I'm not diminishing anyone's concerns with these matters but I was using the media's concern of the week as an excuse not to fix a meal that we liked. Realistically, I think we all know that moderation is the key, right?
The first recipe is from Publix. We don't have Publix stores in Michigan but I am familiar with them from visits to Florida.
The link to Publix is here. My paraphrased directions follow:
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 8 oz spaghetti, broken into 2" pieces
- 10 oz cooked, diced chicken (about 2.5 cups)
- 4 oz jar of pimentos, drained
- 8 oz trinity mix (I used a few stalks of celery and onions)
- 10.5 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 14.5 oz can low sodium chicken broth
- 1.25 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Boil the broken pasts for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until partially tender. Drain.
- Combine chicken, pimentos, trinity mix, soup, salt, pepper and broth. Cover and microwave on high 2-3 minutes until hot and veggies begin to soften. (I did this in a skillet on stove top)
- Add drained pasta to chicken mixture. Transfer to 2 qt baking dish. Stir cheese and bread crumbs into softened butter. Mix with fingers until mix is crumbly. Spread evenly over casserole. Make 15-20 minutes or until bubbly around edges.
Next is a slow cooker recipe from America's Test Kitchen. The link is here with my paraphrased directions below.
Bachelor Beef Stew
- 2 c frozen chopped onions (or 2 onions, minced)
- 3 T tomato paste
- 2 T vegetable oil
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder (or 6 garlic cloves, minced)
- 2 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
- 1 c low sodium chicken broth
- 1 c beef broth
- 8 oz baby carrots
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 2 T Minute tapioca
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 lbs beef steak tips
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb frozen roasted potatoes, steak fries or French fries.
- 1 c frozen peas
- Microwave onion, tomato sauce, 1 T of oil (the other will be used later), garlic powder and thyme in bowl, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until onions are tender. Place in slow cooker.
- Stir both broths, carrots, soy sauce, tapioca and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and add. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.
- Remove beef, allow to cool slightly on cutting board, then shred with two forks. Skim fat from stew with large spoon and remove bay leaves.
- Microwave potatoes with remaining T oil, stirring occasionally until thawed and warm, 5-7 minutes. Stir warm potatoes, shredded beef and peas into stew and heat through. Adjust seasonings and add more hot broth as necessary.
My crafting this month has been scrapbook/photo albums that don't merit showing here but I am very happy to have them done. Each son now has his life from birth through high school graduation chronicled and in THEIR homes (see that? I'm decluttering here!) and I have a Disney album from our two trips to the House of Mouse in '85 and '95. See what I mean about long neglected projects? Another bonus is that doing these albums means most of our photos are now sorted and organized. Despite the bitter cold and starting the year with a head cold, January has turned out to be a productive, happy month.