Groceries: The sequel

Sunday, May 29, 2016

You may remember that a few weeks ago I wrote about the challenges of sending a non-shopping spouse to get groceries.

It happened again, and those of you who know Andrew won't be surprised to see what he brought home:

I guess if it's good enough for Jose Bautista, it's good enough for us.

(Apologies to my friends from Texas. I hope we can still be friends.)

Apparently I'm as predicable as my husband, though, because as soon as I saw those Golden Grahams in our cupboard, I knew what I was going to do with them. The last time I visited Aunt Barbara in California, she made a batch of these delicious and completely addictive treats. With three ingredients and about ten minutes in total to make them, they couldn't be easier.

Even Jose Bautista would flip for a recipe like this.

Aunt Barbara's Golden Graham treats

1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups Golden Grahams
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

Line a 9" x 13" pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the white chocolate chips, either on a stove over a double-boiler or in the microwave, heating for no more than 30 seconds at a time and stirring after each time.

Once the chocolate has melted, add Golden Grahams and peanuts. Stir well until completely mixed. Spread out on parchment paper-lined pan and set in the fridge until mixture has completely cooled. Break into pieces and store in the fridge or at room temperature.

Springtime comfort food

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Nothing is so beautiful as spring ...
The glassy peartrees leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling."

- from "Spring" by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Hard to believe it's been four weeks since I wrote my last blog post. We were on holidays at the beginning of May, and last weekend I visited my mom while she recuperated from cataract surgery. In Toronto, the month of May usually moves from just-past-winter to nearly-summer, and it's no different this year. Andrew and I are enjoying the heat as we garden on this lovely Canadian long weekend.

This recipe is probably more apt for those just-past-winter days, but I've been making it for two winters now and still haven't posted the recipe. I didn't want to let it wait for a third winter. These baked shells are comfort food at its best, and I'll happily enjoy that any time of the year.

Chicken and broccoli stuffed pasta shells
(adapted slightly from Fearless Homemaker)
Note: This recipe is particularly great with homemade alfredo sauce. But if you don't have the time, store-bought is fine too.

1/2 cup alfredo sauce, first amount
1/2 cup alfredo sauce, second amount
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 cups broccoli, cooked and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, first amount
kosher salt, to taste
20 jumbo pasta shells (which is half of a 12 -ounce box) cooked according to package instructions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, second amount


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon 1/2 cup alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9" baking dish (just enough to lightly coat the bottom of the dish).

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup alfredo sauce, shredded chicken, chopped broccoli, cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add kosher salt to taste.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the pasta shells and arrange shells in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 more minutes, until the shells are golden brown.

Serve hot.