I made an extensive grocery store list on Monday morning because I’d spent most of last week just trying to piecemeal some pantry items together and call it dinner. But the jig was finally up on Monday morning because P was out of Coffeemate and, while we can live on leftover Easter ham for a scandalous amount of time, we aren’t complete barbarians who drink our coffee black.
Of course I drink choffee (half hot chocolate, half coffee…patent pending) in the morning so it really makes no difference to me if we run out of Coffeemate, but it’s P’s lifeblood. As evidenced by the fact that he goes through a large bottle of it every other week.
As I made a list comprised of every household item or foodstuff imaginable, I decided to take a more organized approach and actually plan out some meals for the week as opposed to my usual method of getting home from the store, unpacking all my groceries and realizing that I have cupboards full of delicious snack items but dinner comprised of Cheetos and powdered Donettes does not a meal make. (Contrary to what I believed in college.)
One of my goals was to make the No Knead Bread that Sophie mentioned last week because, ever since I made Ree’s cinnamon rolls last fall, I’ve experienced some freedom from my fear of the yeast. But once I read through the bread recipe, I realized that I don’t own a proper Dutch oven. I didn’t feel like my current version of a Dutch oven with synthetic handles could handle the heat required to bake the bread, so I’ve had to shelf my dream until I can purchase some better cookware.
Honestly, I feel like the only thing standing between me and a career as a wildly successful food blogger is my lack of proper cookware. Well, that and the fact that everyone already knows how to make tacos from Old El Paso’s Taco Kit.
I’m just so glad that when P and I got married we received some lovely china that takes up vast amounts of cabinet space and has been used exactly two times, but yet I don’t own one pan that allows me to make homemade bread for my family. I’m sure I received a very nice Dutch oven and returned it so I could have store credit to go towards that expensive navy plaid Ralph Lauren comforter that now serves as the dogs’ bed in the winter time. People shouldn’t be allowed to register for nice things when they’re twenty-six years old and believe that marital bliss is ensured by the number of monogrammed silver frames they receive.
As God is my witness, I will get myself a Dutch oven and I will bake my bread.
In the meantime, I had to come up with some other dinner options. I’m fairly certain P had an allergic reaction to HEB’s rotisserie chicken (I can’t even go down that road right now.) so I decided to overcome my fear of dealing with raw poultry and bought a couple of packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to bake and use in various recipes throughout the week.
I unwrapped the chicken, placed it on a baking sheet, seasoned it and baked it at 350 degrees until it was thoroughly cooked. And then I took a Silkwood shower.
But it has been totally worth it because I made a big batch of homemade chicken salad for us to all eat for lunch this week and I cooked chicken cakes for dinner last night. However, we have no homemade bread to go with everything because I believe I may have mentioned my lack of a Dutch oven.
A few weeks ago, I talked about Gulley’s chicken salad and several of you asked for the recipe. Or maybe I just made that up in my head. It’s possible. But I’ll share it anyway because it is delicious and not too mayonnaise-y and that’s my primary criteria for any type of luncheon salad.
Gulley’s Chicken Salad (adapted from Southern Living)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
3 green onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted pecans, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
It’s up to you how fine you chop the ingredients and you are certainly welcome to add more mayonnaise if you feel the need. Stir everything together and chill. (The chicken salad. Although you are certainly welcome to kick back and relax.)
Best of all, it doesn’t require a Dutch oven. But if you’re feeling fancy you can serve it on that china that you never use.