What’s Cooking?

I can cook again!

Now that I have my kitchen back I can make hot chicken salad, chocolate peanut butter ooey gooey butter cake, and other family favorites! | A Chat Over Coffee

Now that I have my kitchen back I can make hot chicken salad, chocolate peanut butter ooey gooey butter cake, and other family favorites! | A Chat Over Coffee

You know from my last home improvement update that the kitchen floors are pretty much done, which means I can get to my stove and refrigerator and (still doorless) cabinets and (cleared enough) counter tops! That means I can cook and bake and do projects like make soap. The other great thing is that I’ve been doing most of the cooking from my pantry rather than running to the store. Look what I have done in the last couple of days!

Because our weather has been swinging between rainy Spring and hey-it’s-still-winter snow, I’ve been making comfort food to combat the blahs on the gray, nasty days. I cooked up some chicken in the crock pot and then used half of it to make a chicken tortilla casserole (that I forgot to photograph for you, sorry) using pantry staples and leftover tortillas. It’s flavorful but not spicy-hot, so it was a needed lift from the dismal weather.

Comfort food doesn't get any better than this Hot Chicken Salad! | A Chat Over Coffee

Comfort food doesn’t get any better than this Hot Chicken Salad! | A Chat Over Coffee

I used the rest of the chicken to make the best and most wonderful hot chicken salad from more pantry goodies, including the end of a bag of potato chips that was going stale. Topping a casserole with crushed potato chips adds a wonderful layer of crispy, salty goodness to hearty casseroles. I’m adapting this recipe to a use-up-leftovers casserole recipe that I hope to share with you soon. My husband and daughter will probably be crushed (sorry, just a little potato chip pun) to have to taste-test the trial runs, right? Yeah, right!

These giant biscuits came out tender and tasty. | A Chat Over Coffee

These giant biscuits came out tender and tasty. | A Chat Over Coffee

Hot chicken salad is great with hearty, crusty bread but this time I decided to celebrate having counter space by making homemade biscuits using this recipe, minus the brown sugary part. You’ll notice that I patted the dough out into a rectangle with my hands, handling it as little as possible to keep the biscuits from getting tough, and then cut it into square-ish biscuits. Cutting squares is not only faster but also limits handling because there’s no re-rolling the scraps. Less handling means better biscuits. I made eight large biscuits to go with the hot chicken salad but I would make twelve smaller ones if I were planning to simply serve biscuits with butter and homemade preserves.

Cutting square biscuits saves time and minimizes handling the dough for better biscuits. | A Chat Over Coffee

Cutting square biscuits saves time and minimizes handling the dough for better biscuits. | A Chat Over Coffee

I split the warm biscuits and piled them with hot chicken salad. With a simple cooked veggie on the side and chocolate peanut butter ooey gooey butter cake for dessert, it was the kind of comfort food meal that banishes winter blahs with the first bite!

Hot chicken salad served open faced on a warm homemade biscuit is the best kind of comfort food. | A Chat Over Coffee

Hot chicken salad served open faced on a warm homemade biscuit is the best kind of comfort food. | A Chat Over Coffee

And can we just talk about the chocolate peanut butter ooey gooey butter cake? This cake is the reason I made sure to get the larger bag of Reese’s Cups on Chocolate Day. With a chocolate crust, a layer of chopped candy, a creamy peanut buttery cheesecake layer, and a top coat of chocolate, this is not a dessert for the faint of heart. Or diet. But for the two or three times a year I make it…wow, is it good!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a good way to use up your post-holiday candy stash. | A Chat Over Coffee

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a good way to use up your post-holiday candy stash. | A Chat Over Coffee

There will be more days when I can’t cook in my kitchen. Jay carefully removed the old base boards before we laid the new floors in the hopes that we can sand, paint, and reinstall them rather than having to buy and cut all new molding. My father is coming next week to help reinstall cabinet doors. (Thanks, Dad!) Touch-up painting will be needed after all of the installation. But it looks like we’re getting close to being finished and then I can cook and bake and craft free of drywall dust and paint fumes! Until we start on the family room.

My husband saved the old base boards from the kitchen and is hoping a little sanding and paint will allow us to reuse them. | A Chat Over Coffee

My husband saved the old base boards from the kitchen and is hoping a little sanding and paint will allow us to reuse them. | A Chat Over Coffee

What kinds of little victories are you celebrating this weekend?

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Update: This post was shared at The Homemaking Party (2/23), Pretty Pintastic Party #94, Home Matters Linky Party #75, and Five Star Frou-Frou #38.

4 responses to “What’s Cooking?

  1. So happy days for you, with an almost finished usable kitchen. I am sure your family loved all the homecooked dishes.

    I make lazy biscuits also, though I cut in nine with the pizza cutter, starting with a square shape. My maternal grandma always did it that way (well she didn’t have a pizza cutter, she used a knife) and she is the one who started my sister and I learning to do the baking. We were 8, almost 9.

    The hot chicken salad looks good. Have you listed the recipe? I am not seeing it. I ended up with an excess of chicken last week, so I made two chicken dishes…a chicken stuffing casserole and a chicken broccoli rice casserole (some call it Divan). I also always have to make a vegetarian version though too for my youngest 2 girls. I had all the chicken as my oldest girl manages a free range chicken farm and well, hens stop laying you know? It was the equivalent of 3 chickens, all prepared and everything. She had dismembered them for me since I can’t do that anymore. But I wasn’t home when she dropped them off and they ended up in the freezer. So, biggest kettle and turkey-sized chunk of frozen chicken. Lots of broth!

    Like

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