I can cook again!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
What kinds of little victories are you celebrating this weekend?
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