Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy belated...

So two things to belatedly celebrate - my friend Kathleen's birthday, and my first blogaversary! (Okay, I promise to never use that word again.) For me, a year of blogging is an accomplishment - so let's pretend the pictures below are for both occasions :)

For Kathleen's birthday, I hosted a 'comfort' theme party...meaning, I made some of my favorite comfort foods and encouraged everyone to wear comfy clothes so we could just relax and enjoy some games and each other's company. On the menu? Chicken casserole, homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese, butternut squash gratin with pesto, and apple tarts for dessert.

Eating our comforting dinner
This chicken casserole is something my mom has made for as long as I can remember; I even requested it as my birthday dinner growing up. It's totally unsophisticated - heck, it's only 6 ingredients! - and yet totally comforting and delicious. Think of it like chicken pot pie in casserole form - yum!

Mom's Chicken Casserole
(super-stuffed 13x9 serves 12, regular 13x9 serves 8)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 bag regular-seasoning stuffing mix
1 8-oz container sour cream
1 14.5-oz can of low sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-oz can of cream of chicken soup
2 rotisserie chickens, meat taken off the bones and shredded (sure, you can cook some chicken yourself, but why complicate an otherwise no-fuss dish?)
1/2 bag of frozen peas/carrots mix (optional - my mom doesn't do this, but I felt a little guilty serving all that comfort food so I threw in some veggies!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add the bag of stuffing mix and the stick of melted butter (hey, I never said this was healthy) and mix it all together to distribute the butter. Spread 2/3 of the stuffing mixture onto the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, the cream of chicken soup and 3/4 of the can of chicken broth until it's combined and smooth. Add the cooked, shredded chicken evenly around the baking dish on top of the stuffing, then pour the sour cream/soup mixture over the chicken and spread out so all the nooks and crannies get covered. Top it all off with the other 1/3 of the stuffing mix, then drizzle the remaining 1/4 can of broth over the top of the whole thing. Bake for 40 minutes, or until it's bubbly and golden brown and crispy on top.

Kathleen blowing out her scented, non-birthday-candle candle

Everyone does birthday cake, right? I had to go for individual apple tarts!


  1. That recipe has definitely gotten a lot of use through the years. It is SO EASY and delicious. The veggies are always a good idea :-) And those tarts look yummy. Not too much sugar, probably, right? What kind of apples?

  2. I used McIntosh apples, ones that I hand-picked myself back in September! :) I think for all 12 tarts I used about 1/4 c of white sugar, and sprinkled a little cinnamon-sugar on the top before baking.

  3. Looks and sounds great. I'm trying the casserole.