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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¬į.

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‚Äď20 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¬į. 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‚Äď12 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‚Äď10 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 B√ČCHAMEL

  • 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¬į.
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‚Äď3 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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3 ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD RECIPES

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So, what exactly is comfort food? Is it fattening delicious food that sticks to your ribs (and everywhere else) leaving you sitting on the sofa in a wonderful food coma? Is it food that conjures up warm childhood memories of Sunday night dinners in Mom’s kitchen while the snowflakes fall to the ground? Quite possibly both.

I kiddingly crown my husband, Steve, the Comfort Food King. Meatloaf, fried bologna sandwiches, anything covered with melted Velveeta cheese, fried chicken with mashed potatoes, and beef jerky are among his faves. Oh…and pies, and cookies, and don’t forget the layered jello mold! He does, however, ¬†eat pretty healthy for the most part.

It is interesting to hear other’s definition of comfort food. The topic of conversation during various parts of my step class typically ranges from food to shopping. During our cool down the other day, comfort food was the topic. ¬†Lisa, who recently moved here from England, had never heard of meatloaf or fried bologna sandwiches, but she was quick to recommend macaroni and cheese which we all hummed with approval. Gina and Barb showed deference to the bologna sandwiches, and Gina chimed in with her Italian ancestry voted for pasta. Barb offered a grilled muenster cheese sandwich with tomato soup. All the ladies agreed that comfort food is actually ¬†just that; ‘feel good food.’

Recently, Steve and I attended a friend’s comfort food dinner party. Each guest was asked to bring a comfort food dish. ¬†The variety was an interesting range of everything from beef short ribs with polenta to chicken noodle soup. I came to the conclusion, after my quite unscientific study of comfort food, that it is personal.

Today, I have a distinct inner conflict about dinner as I watch the snowflakes fall at the very beginning of spring. Do I look forward to the coming of summer and my commitment to try to fit into last summer’s clothes by exploring dinner salad recipes or say screw it and make a delicious cheese stuffed meatloaf with mashed potatoes worry about the clothes later..? The meatloaf wins as well as some other comfort food faves to add to the list as well as two wonderful pot pies; seafood & chicken. Check these out….

 

MOZZARELLA STUFFED MEATLOAF

Flavorful ground beef stuffed with ooey gooey mozzarella cheese.
Serves 4 to 6

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Ingredients
1 pound ground beef (85%)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
¬Ĺ tsp black pepper
¬Ĺ cup milk
2 TB worcestershire sauce
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup ketchup
¬ľ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 TB worcestershire sauce
1 TB red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
‚Öõ tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper

LET’S MAKE ITI

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a glass baking pan (9×13) with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, bread crumbs, basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, milk, and worcestershire sauce.
  • Divide meat in half. Shape one half of the meat into the bottom half of the loaf and place in prepared pan.
  • Place mozzarella slices down the center, leaving ¬Ĺ inch around the ends and sides.
  • Shape remaining half of meat as the top half of the loaf, sealing the edges. This is a free-form loaf so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper. Pour half of this mixture over the meatloaf, reserving the remaining half for later.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 minutes, remove from oven and pour the remaining sauce over the loaf.Increase temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

SEAFOOD POT PIE with PUFF PASTY

FOR THE BROTH

COMBINE:

  • 2 ¬†lobster tails (5‚Äď6 oz. each)
  • 3 ¬†oz. large shrimp
  • 1/2 cup russet potato, peeled, diced 1/4 cup carrot, diced

FOR THE FILLING

SWEAT IN 2 T. UNSALTED BUTTER

  • 1/4 cup leeks, diced
  • 1 t. garlic, minced

WHISK IN:

  • T. all-purpose flour

DEGLAZE WITH; ADD:

  • 2 T. dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup reserved seafood broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas

 

REMOVE FROM HEAT AND STIR IN:

  • Reserved seafood and¬†vegetables
  • 2 oz. lump crab meat
  • 1 t. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 t. chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt, white pepper, and cayenne to taste

FOR THE PASTRY TOP

BRUSH WITH:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed 1 egg, lightly beaten with
  • 1 T. water

 

  • Preheat oven to 425¬į; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prepare lobster tails, cutting both sides of the shell (not the meat) down to the fan. Remove meat, reserving shells for broth. Peel and devein shrimp, then halve lengthwise; reserve meat and shells.
  • Combine seafood shells, potato, and carrot in a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until vegetables are fork tender, 10‚Äď15 minutes. Drain, reserving vegetables and 1/2 cup broth; discard shells and remaining broth.
  • Sweat leeks and garlic in butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until leeks are translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Deglaze with sherry. Add reserved broth, whisking until smooth¬†and thickened;¬†stir in cream and peas.
  • Off heat, stir in reserved seafood and vegetables, crab, lemon juice, herbs, and seasonings. Mixture will be very thick.
  • Prepare puff pastry, rolling out on a floured surface to 1/8″ thick. Trim around a 21/2-cup ovenproof dish so the pastry is 3/4″ larger than the diameter of the dish.
  • Cut vents in the pastry with a knife so steam can escape. Transfer filling to the dish and top with the pastry piece. Trim excess pastry, crimp edges, then brush dough with egg wash.
  • Bake pot pie on the prepared baking sheet until top is golden and filling is bubbly, 20‚Äď25 minutes.

TURKEY POT PIE with PHYLLO CRUST

Makes 4 servings

CHICKEN POT PIE

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
  • 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!
  • Preheat oven to 400¬į. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Cook mushrooms and thyme in 6 Tbsp. butter in a sauteŐĀ pan over medium heat until browned and liquid nearly evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
  • Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup sherry; cook until nearly evaporated. Whisk in broth and milk; cook until thickened to desired consistency, 10‚Äď12 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice; season with salt, pepper, and sherry.
  • Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Stir in turkey, mixed vegetables, and onions.
  • Divide mixture among four¬†¬†baking dishes arranged on prepared baking sheet.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bake pies until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about
    20 minutes. Let pies cool¬†5‚Äď10 minutes before serving.

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

Dear Friends,

Thanks for swing by today. I hope you give these recipes a try. As always, I encourage you to take advantage of all the shortcuts; frozen veggies, rotisserie chicken, but never substitute butter. The substitutes are packed with artificial ingredients, have the similar fat content and zero flavor.

On another note, I have finally launched my ladies’ boutique….FOLIO TRENDS!¬†¬†Great shopping, great finds, free shipping + incredible prices! Until next time….fullsizeoutput_1ddd

ūüć∑Cheers! Laura