On those days I’m feeling pretty good, there is no drama around me and there are no people who take away my joy to deal with. Those are the days that I feel blessed and happy with all the things God has given me: Bil, reasonably good health, a cozy home. Those are the days I get joy from being outside working in the flower beds or mowing the grass. The days get even better if good friends stop by to say hi and sit on the porch with us awhile enjoying a piece of pie and coffee. My favorite days are the ones where I don’t have to get dressed up to go anywhere. But the best days of all are the ones on which it rains. I had all of those days last week. So blessed.
At the end of such days, it is nice to enjoy a home-cooked meal. I made this cheesy chicken one night and served it with steamed corn on the cob. Several days later I made the creamed corn to go with our grilled hamburger patties. Corn is my favorite vegetable and H-E-B had corn on the cob on sale last week.
In the rush of things we have to do, the fast-food we pick up on the way home sustains us but doesn’t bring much joy. The next time you have wonderful “ordinary” days, get out your favorite family recipes and celebrate.
Cheesy Baked Chicken
• 5-6 skinless chicken breasts
• 6-7 slices Swiss cheese (or white cheddar or Mozzarella)
• ½ cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
• ½ cup sour cream
• ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tsp. garlic powder
• Preheat oven to 375.
• Pat chicken dry and line up pieces in a row in a 9x13 pan.
• Place cheese slices over chicken to cover, breaking up pieces of cheese, if necessary, to cover completely.
• Mix remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.
• Spread the mixture over the cheese slices, covering completely.
• Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts.
• Serve with the sauce that forms in the pan.
Cook’s notes: You might have the tendency to season the chicken breasts with salt, but when I did that, the dish turned out really salty. Parmesan cheese is very salty in itself, so it definitely doesn’t need any more added. I used the shaved Parmesan cheese as that is what I had on hand. If you want to give this dish a bit of an Italian flavor, add ½ tsp. Italian herbs to the sour cream mixture like I did with the baked tomatoes last week.)
Microwave Steamed Corn
(So fast and easy)
• Trim off any hard stalks on the corn along with the very end tassels.
• Try not to cut too close to the cob as you want your corn to remain completely covered.
• Put in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes per cob. (I’ve only cooked two at a time this way as that is all Bil and I need).
• Remove the corn using a kitchen towel as it is very hot.
• Cut off the end of the cob and peel away the husks and silks. (Sometimes if you just squeeze it at the tassel end, the cob will slip on out.)
Cream Cheese Corn
• 6 ears of corn, kernels cut off
• 3 tbsp. butter
• 1 tbsp. flour
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 oz. cream cheese, cut in small pieces
• salt and pepper to taste
• Cut off the kernels of corn into a skillet.
• With a butter knife, scrape the cobs getting out all the corn milk and starchy bits next to the cob.
• Add the butter and flour to the corn.
• Cook for a couple of minutes over medium high heat, stirring constantly, to melt the butter and cook the flour a bit.
• Add the milk and bring back to a simmer.
• Add the cream cheese pieces.
• Mash them with the back of a spoon to incorporate completely.
• Cook a couple of minutes more, stirring constantly to keep it from sticking.
• Season to taste with salt and pepper.
• Pour into a bowl to serve. It thickens even more when it cools.
Cook’s notes: Get yourself a “corn zipper” and save yourself from cutting the corn off the cob with a knife. It looks like a wide potato peeler and is very, very sharp. It zips the corn kernels off in no time. I use mine all the time. I think I saw them at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I got a call from a reader last week who made the apple-sour cream pie I had in the paper several weeks ago. He said there was too much filling for the pie crust and it overflowed.
I think the problem was he used apple pie filling when the recipe called for canned apples. There is a difference, so read the label carefully. And, if you are using fresh apples, remember, this was a very old recipe and apples were smaller 50 years ago. When I made it, instead of the 4 apples called for, I only used 2 as the apples I got from Lowe’s were huge. You want your pie shell to be about 2/3 full of chopped fresh apples. I thank this gentleman for calling in. If you ever have questions about a recipe, you can call me at 645-8666.