I’ve been trying to be better about watching my food budget, so last week when I saw that chicken was on sale, I jumped at it and bought several pounds without actually thinking of meals to go along with it. I pulled one pound out during my lunch break the other day to defrost. By the evening, however, neither of us knew what to make with it. All the meals we usually eat with chicken that sounded good to us required marinating, and we were hungry!
So I got creative. Now let me say that I am the type of person who ALWAYS follows a recipe EXACTLY – even so far as measuring out 1/4 teaspoons of salt and making sure the top of the measuring cup is level. If I don’t have a recipe, then I probably don’t make the meal. There is no such thing as “winging it” in my book. :-)
I hope you have a better appreciation for when I say I got creative. This literally is the first time I’ve done something like this. First I got a package of tortellini that I had bought for another recipe and never used. Tired of seeing it sit there, I decided to make it for dinner. I also cooked the chicken on the George Foreman (probably my favorite small appliance in the kitchen) as normal, letting it brown nicely with oregano and pepper. Then I cut up the chicken in small pieces and mixed the two together. What is missing? Ah a sauce! I didn’t have any sauce mixes on hand, but that doesn’t matter. Turning to page 208 in my trusty Wycliffe cookbook, I followed this easy recipe (okay so I can’t get TOO creative):
Combine in saucepan:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Boil 1 minute. remove from heat. Stir in slowly:
1 cup milk
Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute.
I actually doubled this recipe, but it made a nice smooth, thick white sauce. Also last week I had asked Paul to get some string cheese when he was at the grocery store but he accidentally bought a generic brand and I’m picky. It’s not very stringy or good to eat alone, so I shredded 6 sticks and added them to my nice sauce! It was a bit cheesy but I loved it. A little paprika and pepper to taste, and an excellent meal was enjoyed by all involved. (This is also significant because I rarely do the cooking.)
For dessert, I was craving a yogurt parfait like the one I’d had at La Madeleine. We didn’t have any fresh berries, so we used frozen, and I added a dollop of plain yogurt and granola. We both enjoyed dessert very much (although we decided fresh berries would be better).
Hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to manage mealtimes a bit better, so my kids’ version of a homecooked meal doesn’t come out of a frozen dinner box. :-)
One last picture, and Ikea billboard at one of the train stops in Atlanta. I like the tables comment. (Since I work in advertising, I notice advertising and think it’s interesting. And baby tables are just cute.)