Mealtime Mama: Great menu for a new mom!


By Cydnee Cochran

When I was little, I used to always request this dish for my birthday. It seemed very fancy and complicated, not at all suited to regular weeknight fare. As a grown-up, I asked my mother for this recipe, and I was surprised (and more than a little annoyed) to find out that it is pretty easy to make, especially if you use precooked chicken.

It’s now one of my go-to menus to take to a brand-new mom. It’s typically a dinner that even older siblings will enjoy:

Chicken Spaghetti

2 to 3 cups cooked diced chicken (I prefer grilled breasts)

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp. poultry seasoning OR dried sage

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese or to taste

8 oz. package of spaghetti noodles, cooked

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 2 quart-casserole dish. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add flour, stirring constantly until a thick paste forms. Add broth slowly, stirring constantly to form a smooth thin sauce. Add seasoning and cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Combine chicken and spaghetti in a large bowl; add sauce and stir well to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Place in prepared casserole dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Serves six to eight.

Chili Salad Dressing

This spicy dressing is tasty on a salad of fresh greens, oranges (fresh or canned mandarin) and thinly sliced red onion.

2 T. cider vinegar

1 T. canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp. seasoned salt

¼ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions: Combine ingredients in a small container with a tight-fighting lid and shake well to combine. Serves four.

One Pot Brownies

This easy recipe was clipped from a long-ago issue of Bon Apetit. (Remember when we used to clip recipes? Back before The batter can literally be ready before the oven finishes pre-heating.

¼ lb. (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine

2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small or medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat (Note: If using Nestle’ Pre-Melt, combine two packets with the butter in a microwave-safe dish and heat in 30-second intervals until the butter is melted.) When melted, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has cooled. Add the eggs and vanilla, then stir in the flour.

Pour batter in an ungreased 8×8-inch baking pan and set in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, just until the sides of the brownies begin to pull away from the pan, and the middle has barely set.

Variation, Symphony Bars: Mix as directed. Place half the batter in the pan and top with a large Hershey’s Symphony Almond Chocolate Toffee bar, broken into one-inch pieces. Top with the remaining batter and bake as directed.

spicycow.jpgMealtime Mama is sponsored by Chick-fil-A on Razorback Road, owned by Paige Frost. If you don’t have time to cook tonight, Chick-fil-A is a dinner choice everybody can agree on. As fellow moms, we know you also can appreciate that Chick-fil-A earned the award for America’s Healthiest Chain Restaurant for Kids by Eat this Not That for Kids.