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Staying Home + My Rotisserie Chicken Challenge

Hey fellow quarantiners! I wonder if you are being as resourceful as I am trying to be….and surprising myself! Doing my own nails, highlighting my own hair, and yes……cutting my own hair….are my most recent activities.

This cutting my own hair thing is a daily event. Watching you tube videos of people cutting their own hair and other people’s hair has been entertaining but hasn’t helped, and I definitely don’t recommend it. My hair dresser, Devin, is going to shit herself when she see’s what I’ve done to my hair. I’m not quite sure what I’ve done either…

I did cut Steve’s hair the other evening after cocktails and every morning check to see which side needs evening up. He’s been super patient. Yesterday he told me that he thought his hairline was receding….I told him that it was probably his new haircut and maybe we should let it grow a little….What I really meant to say is that maybe we should do haircuts before cocktails?

My son and new daughter-in-law, who just got married in their home last weekend, have been our personal shoppers. I worry about them… As nursing home administrators, Jeffrey & Mackenzie are both on the front lines so I’d like to keep my grocery list short giving me a new challenge….which is also keeping me away from haircutting for a bit…..

MEALS CAN YOU MAKE WITH ONE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN

There is nothing more delicious than a fresh, hot, store bought grocery store rotisserie chicken…Even smelling it in the car on your way home makes my mouth water…

Meal 1. I pull the thigh/leg off and serve it with any side. No magic, but delicious. Cut up the leftover chicken and tuck it in the fridge for the next creation..

More recipes:

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

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Super easy and delicious…add fresh or frozen spinach & corn if you like…

Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil1  Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2  Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar, divided
  • 8 flour tortillas (8-inch)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

For the sauce, purée tomatoes in juice, chopped onion, and garlic in a food processor.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Stir in flour, chili powder, and cumin; cook 1 minute.
 
Whisk in puréed tomato mixture and broth; bring to a boil.
 
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce until thickened, 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
Season sauce with salt and pepper and let cool. 

For the filling, combine chicken, drained tomatoes, diced onion, and 1 cup Cheddar with 1/2 cup sauce to coat.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place
1 tortilla into dish, spread on 1 Tbsp. sauce, and flip.

Scoop 2 Tbsp. filling onto tortilla, and roll to enclose.

Place tortilla, seam side down, in the dish.

Repeat saucing, filling, and rolling with remaining tortillas.

Top enchiladas with remaining sauce and 1 cup Cheddar.

Bake enchiladas until Cheddar melts and sauce is bubbly, 30 minutes; let cool slightly before serving.

CHICKEN POT PIE WITH PHYLO CRUST

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So easy and delicious! Substitute the phyla with refrigerated pie crust  for an easy alternative.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz.cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flouR
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup whole milk
  • 2  tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, black pepper, and dry
  • sherry to taste
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (rotisserie)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry
  • 4 Tbsp. each unsalted butter and olive oil
  • 16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed to room temperatureMAKE IT!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cook mushrooms and thyme in 6 Tbsp. butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until browned and liquid nearly evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
  3. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup sherry; cook until nearly evaporated. Whisk in broth and milk; cook until thickened to desired consistency, 10–12 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice; season with salt, pepper, and sherry.
  5. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Stir in chicken, mixed vegetables, and onions.
  6. Divide mixture among four  baking dishes arranged on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Heat 4 Tbsp. butter with oil in microwave until butter melts. Place a phyllo sheet on a flat surface; cover remaining sheets with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
  8. Lightly brush phyllo sheet with butter-oil mixture; roll into a loose tube. Repeat brushing and rolling with 3 more phyllo sheets, then starting at outer edge, place 4 phyllo tubes end to end in a spiral pattern on top of filling. Repeat phyllo steps for each pot pie. Drizzle any remaining butter- oil mixture over phyllo or coat with nonstick spray.
  9. Bake pies until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about
    20 minutes. Let pies cool 5–10 minutes before serving.

Depending upon the width of your dishes, the number of phyllo sheets needed may vary by one or two.

Creamy Pesto Lasagna with rotisserie chicken

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Serves 12

Use no-boil lasagna sheets or regular sheets (cook them 5 minutes before assembling) Also, add spinach for added nutrition.

 

Ingredients:

FOR THE BÉCHAMEL

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup purchased refrigerated basil pesto
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

FOR THE LASAGNA

  • 1 pkg. whole-milk ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup purchased refrigerated basil pesto
  • 12 dry, flat, no-boil lasagna sheets
  • 3  cups diced rotisserie chicken, divided
  • 4  cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

Preheat oven to 350°.
For the béchamel, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes.

Slowly whisk in milk and nutmeg, bring to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes more.

Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and pepper.

For the lasagna, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and pepper.

Spread 2/3 cup béchamel in bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Lay 3 lasagna sheets side by side, top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture,
3/4 cup chicken, 2/3 cup béchamel, and 3/4 cup mozzarella.

Repeat layering three more times, topping the final layer with 11/2 cups mozzarella.

Cover lasagna with foil. Bake lasagna until bubbly, about 45 minutes.

Remove foil and bake lasagna 15 minutes more, then broil on high until golden, 2–3 minutes.

Let lasagna rest 15 minutes before serving.

Dear Friends,

Staying home and staying safe have become part of our new normal.

Making a list of things to accomplish each day has helped relieve boredom and frustration and gives me a sense of accomplishment.  Organizing those boxes of pictures into labeled baggies or photo albums, making boxes of clothing and other items to be donated (there will be a huge need), and finding delicious recipes with items shoved into the back of the pantry are this week’s list.

Cheers to hoping that this will get better. If we all do our part in keeping our distance and staying home, we hope this will pass.

If you have any easy and delicious recipes to share, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, Laura

PS: Here are some finds to shop for!

Barilla Gluten Free Pasta, Oven-Ready Lasagne, 10 Ounce $2.19Barilla Gluten Free Pasta, Oven-Ready Lasagne, 10 Ounce

Le Regalo HW1236 Glass Casserole with Insulated Bag, Ideal for Picnic, Potluck, Hiking & Beach Trip-Retains Hot and Cold Temperature of Food, 14″x8.5″x2.75″, Red $16.23

I love this one so that I can bring a warm lasagna to my kids or my parents.

Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color Creme, 8.5A Medium Champagne Blonde, 1 Count by Clairol $14.23

I’m not advocating coloring your own hair, but I did try this and liked it. Easy and not stinky…It comes in a variety of colors to match your hair. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Little Food for Thought

I spent most of last week scrambling from store to store engaging in my own version of “Say Yes to the Dress” hoping to find the perfect dress for my son’s upcoming wedding. Little did I know that I was successfully exposing myself (and my family) to God knows what and hoping this invisible enemy would just disappear. The good news….I found the dress…The bad news….The wedding is off, or postponed for now.

My husband, Steve is happy because all of the ‘say no to the dresses’ have been successfully returned and the credit card is tucked away….for now.

What is the take away? Stay positive, worry about what we can control, and turn off the tv after the Today Show.

For me, self quarantining is a great time to search out recipes to share! Technically, I should be offering immune boosting recipes, but today, since our restaurant choices are limited, I found some great ‘restaurant quality’ recipes to share. Check this twist on chicken Parm from Cuisine Magazine!

Chicken Parmesan Roulades 

with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Caesar Salad

For the roulades—

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded thin (6 oz. each)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Mozzarella sticks cut into eight, 2″ long pieces

For the coating—

  • 1 C. panic bread crumbs (I use Italian blend)
  • 1 C. Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 T. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 C. all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 C. olive oil

For the sauce—

  • 1 C. chopped onions
  • 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • 3 C. cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt to taste

serve WiTh:

Caesar Salad, 
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 400* & coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Halve the chicken for the roulades.
  • Season & roll each with a piece of mozzarella.
  • Combine panko, Parmesan cheese & parsley
  • Dredge roulades in flour, dip in egg and coat in panko mixture.
  • Roast in the oven 10 min.
  • SautĂ©s in skillet with 2T olive oil

FOR THE SAUCE:

Saute onions and pepper flakes in a sauce pan 2-3 min.

Stir in tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened 8-10 min.

Season with basal and salt.

TO SERVE:

Place roulade on top of Caesar salad, spoon tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.

CAESAR SALAD

Makes 10 cups; Total time: 15 minutes

Mash TogeTher:

11/2 t. garlic, minced
1/4 t. kosher salt

Whisk in:
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated 2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 T. mayonnaise
1 t. anchovy paste
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Toss WiTh:
10 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

Mash garlic and salt together with the flat side of a knife blade until it forms a paste,  Whisk remaining ingredients together with the garlic paste until combined. Toss the romaine with the dressing just before serving.

Dear Friends,

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe. Shortcuts work….use jar sauce and store bought dressing…it’s all good.

Every day my daughter FaceTimes me with our 18 month old grandson doing everything from dying spaghetti noodles to finger-painting cards and mailing them to family members. Working full time from home and being so resourceful, I marvel at her positive outlook and commitment.

It’s a lesson. Without being preachy and trite….cheers to health and watching out for each other while doing the right thing…..Stay home….Stay healthy.

🍷Laura

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Heirloom or Clutter…+ A New Twist on an Old Favorite…Chicken Parmesan as a muffin!

Happy New Year, everyone!! I have a new dilemma to share!

I know it’s really great that there are things so special to you that you want to pass them along to your children and grandchildren….but seriously…..you have to think, “Will they want this shit?”

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Take, for example, the Lenox bird collection, that I know was an expensive bite out of the budget that my husband provided for his mom….I just spent an entire afternoon, matching each bird to the corresponding certificate of authenticity, photographing, and listing them on Ebay. I sold one, but by the time I packed it and shipped it, I lost money.

Kathy, a very close friend of mine offered me $25.00 for all of them so that her husband can use them as target practice for a gun he purchased recently. Tempting. I can’t help but thinking that someone out there appreciates these dust collecting birdies.

Moving Steve’s mom into an assisted living facility was quite the undertaking, especially as her daughter-in-law….I was given the dubious job of sorting through countless pairs of stockings, some still in the original package, hair ties and bows, denture boxes, and an assortment of long forgotten treasures packed away for safe keeping. Year after year, I would go to the dollar store for holiday bags and have Salina pack up these treasures as gifts, but she didn’t want to part with anything. You really have no idea….So for now, I’m stuck with these birds…lots of them.

My parents, at 89 and 91, have kept those special to them in a super organized way. When I visit, I love how my mom is always trying to give me her things. Although they take great pleasure in sharing, I want my mom and dad to keep and enjoy the memories they bring, rather than taking them away. I also know that the beautiful and valuable belongings of my parents are far from junk and someday will value and cherish the sentiment and memories.

On a return flight from Cancun, I vividly recall the pilot saying, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation and have carefully packed all of your souvenirs that will be at your garage sale someday.” So….note to self….Only buy and keep what gives you pleasure and let it go when it no longer has meaning.

Speaking of giving pleasure, I found this twist on an old favorite. Get ready for this delicious and EASY twist on your favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe!

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins

Makes 12 Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs raw ground chicken breast or turkey.processor and run until ground)
  • 2 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs
  • Âľ teaspoon dried basil
  • Âľ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Âľ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ a small finely chopped onion
  • Âľ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • Âľ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Âľ cup pasta sauce
  • Âľ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
  3. Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.

Dear Friends,

Thanks for swinging by! Whether you are stuck indoors watching the snow, or reading this poolside, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and these great finds!

Until next time…

Cheers to cherished memories, both old and new!

🥂Laura

CELEBRATION + SUNSETS SHOPPING

Those of you who know me know that I am OBSESSED with anything NINJA! Check out the latest!…

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Ninja Foodi Complete Cookbook For Beginners: 150 Amazingly Easy and Delicious Recipes to Pressure Cook, Air Fry, Dehydrate, and More with Your Ninja Foodi. 2019 Paperback – November 20, 2018 $13.49 or for your Kindle $4.99

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4 PC Instant Pot Accessories Pressure Cooker Ninja Accessories with Egg Bite Mold, and Trivet $25.95 + FREE SHIPPING!

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