Late Friday afternoon my “co-worker” daughter from another company sent out an email to everyone in her company. She created a 30 day act of kindness calendar. Just a few ideas of how to show a little kindness in our area can go a long way! And it seems our country is in dire need of some kindness.
Her only hesitation was sending it after closing time on Friday or wait till Monday morning. I told her send it, there are some who check their emails and it can’t hurt to sit there unopened until Monday either. Before she told me what she was working on I had planned to go grocery shopping for my in-laws who are 89 & 90 and finally arriving home from being quarantined in FL. My sister-in-law kept them safe for 6 months; now it is our turn.
Browning all the meat in the same pot separately for several dishes I was making – less dishes
A friend of mine has been spreading kindness for several weeks now making fried rice and selling it with all the proceeds being spread out to some local charities, first responders, families in need you name it and she has touched a lot of lives. My daughter and I picked up some of the rice and then headed to the grocery store. While in the store my daughter was approached by a co-worker who proudly said she had already started on the list and shared with her what she had done just that day. My daughter was so excited to tell me about this. It’s working!
When we got home and put away their grocery’s and ours I started making food. I wanted them to have a few things they could just pop in the oven, or take out of the freezer and re-heat. How to keep them safe is to keep them home. Which isn’t going to be that easy but we will try.
I actually find it pretty easy to cook for an army; as they say. I am pretty organized in my thought pattern; say if I am making several dishes and a couple of them need onions I will cut up enough for whatever I am making. Basically I rock at mise-en-place (put in place). Yesterday I made a large pot of chili, a couple of shepherd pies, some bolognese and a I wanted to make a chicken and pasta bake of some sort. I had such a busy afternoon I popped one of the chicken bakes in the oven for dinner which I will share with you here.
Chicken and Pasta bake
- 2 Boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
- 1 box pasta cook to package directions
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp flour
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 packets Sazon seasonings
- 1 container mascarpone cheese small container or replace with 1/2 brick cream cheese
- Kosher Salt, Black Pepper and your choice seasoning
- Cook your pasta to the package instructions
- Dice your chicken breast into bite size pieces, season your pieces with your favorite seasoning liberally. I chose kosher salt, black pepper and Crop Dust all purpose seasoning from my local butchers shop The Flying Butcher.
- In a saute pan add the olive oil and when hot add the chicken, sprinkle on the 2 packets of sazon. If you want the pieces browned do no over crowd the pan and cook in batches. Set aside.
- In the same saute pan add the butter and flour making a roux. cook the flour for about a minute. Whisk in all the milk and keep whisking until the sauce thickens. Lower the heat and add the mascarpone cheese stir till all combined. Remove from the heat and add the cheddar and half of the mozzarella cheese stir till melted.
- In a large bowl add the cheese sauce and the cooked chicken to the pasta. Stir till combined. Depending if you are saving for later or having now. Add to your baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and heated through.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Be Kind