Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last week, Cody traveled to Chicago for a conference.

It was just me and the three amigos...on our own!

I have to admit, I was feeling a little overwhelmed when Cody left on Monday.
My energy is around 75% these days, and the kids' energy is around 300%.
It's not the best combination.
However, the kids totally stepped up.
They made their beds everyday, picked up their clothes and toys, and just obeyed magnificently.
The days went by quickly.

The nights on the other hand...
My lovely neighborhood turned into the ghetto.
I propped chairs in front of every door as my security system.
I slept with my phone in hand, ready to dial 911.
We left lights on all over the place.
Every noise woke me and had my heart pounding.

Anywho...now you know I'm a little crazy...

The weather provided several chilly rainy days that just begged for some comfort food.

We have to enjoy our mushy, casserole-ish foods while Cody is gone.

This recipe was a perfect fit for both needs!

Try it on the next rainy, chilly day!
(but not today when it's 81...you'll melt!)

Chicken "Pot Pie" with Crunchy Brown Rice Crust
(LOVE Whole Foods for this easy gluten free recipe!)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing (I used olive oil)
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 1/2 pound)
1/4 pound sliced button mushrooms (I omitted these)
2 teaspoons chopped thyme, divided
1 large carrot, chopped  (I used 3 large carrots)
1 rib celery, thinly sliced  (I used 3 large ribs of celery)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup brown rice flour (or unbleached white flour if you don't have rice flour)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium gluten-free chicken broth  (regular broth works, too)
1 cup whole milk  (I used 1% milk)
1 cup cooked brown rice or brown and wild rice blend
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 cup frozen peas (I used a whole cup)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish with oil; set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, carrots, celery, onions, salt and pepper and cook until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add broth and milk, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until very thick, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine rice, cheese, paprika, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Stir peas into chicken mixture then season with salt and pepper and transfer to prepared dish.

Scatter rice mixture evenly over the top then arrange dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until bubbly and crust is crisp, about 30 minutes.

The thyme added so much flavor!  

Sort of wish we had just one more helping of leftovers!

Don't forget...chairs save lives.
I'm sure of it.


H-Mama said...

mmmm... looks yummy! with my hubs' travel schedule, i've never thought of using chairs. great idea! ;)

Wendi@EveryDayMiracles said...

Mmmm, comfort food!!

HA! You sound Just Like Me! When my hubby went on a wilderness camping trip for a week a couple of years ago I was the queen of the heart beating out of ones chest at every little sound.

Keith and Tamre said...

My husband has worked nights our whole married life. At first I was like that, but now not at all. I'll even take the garbage out at 11 pm.

peter marie said...

That's funny! I'm totally like that too, but have never thought of chairs. Great idea! :)
I fall asleep thinking about our "escape plan" if something were to happen.
Hope you get good sleep this week with no worries!

Anonymous said...

Next time, go for the bottle on the doorknob, Conspiracy Theory style. But chairs are good. So funny . . . Andrew hates casseroles too. He'd eat that recipe though, minus the shrooms and onions, of course. --jess

une autre mère said...

I'm so glad you survived your week! And I'm sure that chair did save you from all sorts of hoodlums... especially that crazy baby guy! Casserole looks yummy! We love a good casserole on a chilly day!

Amanda said...

Oh sweety!!! I can feel your pain... three kids without hubby and having NO energy... I am so sorry!! Wish I could come over and bring you treats or do chores or something!


FilledToTheBrim - Kate said...

Oh I love the chair thing - totally something I would do!

Kate said...

LOL! I adore you! When Ian was on retreat with the youth group and I had all three children, we all slept in my room with the door locked, and a basket of laundry in front of the door!

Love your recipe... I'm thinking I need to try it asap!

Anonymous said...

Londa you should know what I used to do when Don was going to be gone for a few days to California. I told him never to come home without letting me know ahead of time. He might not make it out alive. I used a board on the floor between back door and kitchen door. Pulled the big table in front of the front door. Had a bat by my bed and all my phone buttons were programmed to 911. Now I have deadbolts and two locks on each door. Joann