Peanut and I had a pretty full day of errands yesterday. When we got home, I discovered the water in our town had been shut off for maintenance. Nice of them to let us know ahead of time, right? The radio said it could be anywhere from one hour to a day. Outstanding.
I made a quick trip to the small grocery store to buy jugs of water. Apparently everyone had already been there because they were sold out. Lucikly we had a few bottles of water in our camper so I brought that in and decided we’d try to get by with that until it came back. The only other option was to drive 30 minutes back to the next closest store and, with gas at nearly $4/gallon, I wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
I was relieved when I realized that the dish I’d planned for supper required no water. It was a cinch to mix up and pop in the oven. Shortly before it was ready, I got started on making the rice.
Rice requires water.
I really didn’t want to use any of the bottled water because I knew we’d want it for drinking and teeth brushing if the water stayed out all evening. That’s when I remembered that we had these:
I don’t normally buy a lot of convenience foods like this because a) they’re almost always higher in sodium and b) rice really isn’t that hard or time-consuming to make so I hate paying extra for them. The only reason I’d picked them up was because they were on sale and I had a coupon, actually making them less expensive than the equivalent quantity of regular brown rice.
A quick 1 minute zap in the microwave and they were ready. I could definitely taste the added salt, but overall it was still pretty good. It made a good accompaniment for our main course, Poppy Seed Chicken.
I found several versions of this recipe online and morphed them all together to create my own.
Poppy Seed Chicken
makes 6 servings
1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken (I used boneless, skinless breasts)
1 can reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
3 teaspoons poppy seeds, divided
3 tablespoons reduced-calorie butter, melted (I used Country Crock Light)
25 reduced-fat butter crackers, such as Ritz
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Crush 20 of the crackers and mix into the melted butter. Set aside.
3. Stir together the chicken, soup, sour cream and 1 teaspoon of the poppy seeds. Crush the remaining 5 crackers and stir them in. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer.
4. Spread the cracker/butter topping evenly across the top of the chicken mixture.
5. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds and the cheese.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.
This was a HUGE hit in our house! My husband isn’t a huge fan of casseroles, but he raved about it and went back for seconds. He liked that it was creamy without being too heavy. Peanut ate a large spoonful and then asked for more. It was great comfort food on a cold, rainy day.
The water did finally come back on around 8pm, but we were under a boil advisory so we made do with our rations of bottled water through the night and into this morning. I didn’t realize how much I rely on water until I didn’t have any
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In other news, I’m taking part in the FitBlog Chats PLANKS Challenge!
I’ve been doing plank as part of my New Rules of Lifting for Women Stage 2 workouts so I have a benchmark. Right now, I’m at 2 sets of 60 seconds on my elbows. This is what I did yesterday for Day 1 of the challenge.
Rather than increasing my time, I’m going to aim to try out new plank variations, like some of those Susan posted on Morgan’s blog today. I’m going to do a different variation each week. The first day of that week will be a benchmark. Then, I’ll add time during each effort at that variation. Here are the variations I want to try:
- Week 1: Plank on Elbows
- Week 2: High Plank
- Week 3: Plank with Alternating Leg Lift
- Week 4: Plank, Elbows on Ball
- Week 5: Plank, Feet on Ball, Elbows on Floor
- Week 6: Plank, Feet on Bench, Elbows on Stability Ball
I do realize that some of these are pretty dag on tough and my time at the end of each week may not be very long. Still, it’s all about improving so as long as I can go longer than I did on the first day, I’ll call it a success.
I’m really excited to follow along with everyone’s progress and to post my own as I go.
Let’s get plankin’!