Sunday, March 7, 2010

Green Chili Chicken Casserole and Cherry Pie Jello Salad

Sunday I made my Mom’s famous Green Chili Chicken Casserole; it is a mouthful to say and once you start eating it, you will probably have a mouthful as well. I also made Gretchen's Cherry Pie Jello Salad (which is a salad in the Midwestern sense….no veggies, more of a dessert). I once again coerced Jeff into coming to the grocery store with me. We had a long list of our staples we needed to get as well. I had a $5 coupon at Kings, so we went there. We are really getting good at this shopping thing. There is less back tracking and we know what brands we prefer (or else I sit there for 5 minutes reading nutrition and ingredient information).
To start I had about 4 cheese samples. They are the same samples every week so it’s not really a ‘sample’ anymore, but who’s counting? We had a little disagreement about where the rice cakes were…turns out Jeff was right (I insist it is the first time that he is right).
I was feeling better about cooking. I wasn’t so tired, it wasn’t so cold and I was excited to have some yummy food around the house. I was pumped to start right away, but first I was just going to lie down and watch TV with Jeff for an hour before he had to work. I got a pillow, got under a fuzzy blanket…(do you see where this is going?) Must not fall asleep…must cook!…But low and behold, Jeff left after an hour and I was asleep for most of the second and third period of the USA-Canada hockey game. I did wake up to see the USA tie the game, only to lose in overtime (IT WAS STRESSFUL!). I blew my motivation and didn’t make it off the couch for a while. I was just about ready to move, and a sneaky, cuddly, little kitten crawled up and plopped down right on my tummy and chest for a nap. How can I get up now! He even gave me a few kisses before he nodded off into dream land. I sit for a while, heaven forbid I disturb the kitty (this is the same kitty that will meow at the door or knock over water or chew on my lamp at 6am when he is ready for me to be up on a Sunday morning!). I think God made kittens so cute so we wouldn’t kill them!
I started on the Cherry Pie Jello Salad only to realize the bottom layer needs to set for 4 hours or overnight before I make the top layer. Oh well, I will finish Monday after work. I started cooking the Green Chili Chicken Casserole by boiling two chicken breasts as careful as I can without letting the chicken get near any exposed skin. I add onions, garlic, cream of chicken soup (what a Midwestern surprise), cream of celery soup, and chicken broth to make the sauce. Once everything was cooked, I layered sauce, corn tortilla pieces and cheese in a 9x13’’ dish (I have one now thanks to my Mom!). The recipe only calls for 2 cups of cheese, so I bought a 4 cup bag to have leftovers for the week…that didn’t exactly pan out. I finished my layers, and to my dismay the bag was empty. Extra cheese never hurt anybody! Once complete, I put it in the oven for 40 mins, sat down and enjoyed a glass of good tequila while I watched the boring closing ceremonies. I ended the night with a long bubble bath and went to sleep happy.
Monday after work, I set out to complete the Cherry Pie Jello Salad. I mixed up cream cheese, cool whip and crushed pineapple. The crushed pineapple was a bit of a crisis! I accidently bought chunked pineapple instead of crushed pineapple, which would lead to large chunks dispersed uneven amongst the cream. I tried to blend the chunks…which just settled into the bottom of the blender and didn’t chop. Dang it! Why can’t cooking just be easy! I added a bit of water and was able to blend it a bit better, drain the water and mix it in. Success! I had a ‘Foodo’ Shoot to get some great food pictures for the recipe book and share my creation with Jeff and Dan.

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