07 March, 2011

My Most Recent Therapy Session

Now, now, before you skip over this post in fear of some strange Freudian reflection, my therapy happens in my very own kitchen and my therapists include various flours, spices, and chocolates.

Yesterday was my birthday and I worked all morning at the parish. I love my job, but a birthday spent working leaves a bit to be desired. After spending the last 26 days working at the parish or being on the road for speaking engagements, I was ready for a break. I told Kevin that the one thing I really wanted to do today was spend some time in the kitchen.

I have a lot of opportunities in life to be creative, but there is nothing quite like being creative in the kitchen. Chinese healers have long believed that things like bread and noodle-making is the perfect treatment for stress because of the demanding physical manipulation. For me it is the sights, smells and sensations of digging your hands into a good dough that makes all the difference in my mood. I also love the joy that it brings to those who walk through my home or eat my food.

This birthday was a lot about feeding my soul. After an unbelievable meal and bottle of red wine at a local italian restaurant last night (an all-plans-made-surprise from my thoughtful and generous husband) and an afternoon in the kitchen, my soul is warm and satisfied. My muscles are loose, my mouth is watering, and my house smells like my home. It doesn't get much better than this.

Today's recipes included: lemon tiramisu (but I used Lemoncello liquer in place of the hazelnut liquer and substituted blueberries for the chopped hazelnuts), chocolate-chip scones, rum-raisin scones, hot wing dip, chicken and dried beef and raspberry jello salad. (The final two being my favorite meal from my childhood and my birthday meal!) You can find the base scone recipe here and the wing dip and dinner recipes to follow!

Wing Dip
5 oz. Franks Hot Sauce
2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup of finely chopped celery
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix hot sauce and cream cheese together until smooth. Mix in celery, cheese, and chicken and place mixture in oven safe dish. Bake dip in oven for 20-30 minutes and serve warm with crackers, chips or celery.

Chicken and Dried Beef
6-8 Chicken tenders or 3-4 sliced chicken breasts
1 jar of dried beef (found in the canned tuna section)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of sour cream
splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap your chicken in the dried beef and place in an oven-safe casserole dish. Mix the soup and sour cream together and add milk until the mixture is a saucy consistency. Pour the sauce over the wrapped chicken. Cook in the oven for 50 minutes until bubbly on top. Serve over cooked white or brown rice.

Raspberry Jello Salad
1 cup boiling hot water
1 small pkg. raspberry jello
1 cup applesauce
1 bag of frozen raspberries

1/2 container of cool whip
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mini marshmallows

In a large bowl, pour hot water over the jello powder and stir until jello is completely dissolved. Stir in cup of applesauce and raspberries. Put in refrigerator to set. If using topping, wait until the jello is set. Mix together the ingredients and spread over top of jello.

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