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In the Kitchen during Distancing


With shelter-in-place orders across the state, many of us have had more time (or just a greater necessity) to cook. Whether you like going for easy stand-bys or want to take this extra time to be a bit adventurous in the kitchen, we have recipes for you! We asked our staff members to submit recipes they’ve been preparing while at home. Some are easy weeknight go-tos, some offer a bit of challenge. Keep going to the bottom if you are looking for some yummy strawberry recipes! We hope you enjoy!

One Dish Chicken Stuffing Bake
Submitted by Erika Brown, Dietary Services Coordinator

“When my husband and I first started dating, this was the first meal we prepared together. It has become one of our favorites! I like to add sauteed mushrooms.”

4 cups Pepperidge Farm Herb Seasoned Stuffing
1 3/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp paprika
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup milk
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley flakes

1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  While the oven is heating, prepare the stuffing according to the package directions.
2. Spoon the stuffing across the center of a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Place the chicken on either side of the stuffing. Sprinkle the chicken with the paprika.
3. Stir the soup, milk and parsley in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken.  Cover the baking dish.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.


Taco Bundt Cake
Submitted by Autumn Holbrooks, Commissary Manager

10 flour tortillas, stack on top of each other and  cut into 4 strips. Making a total of 40 strips.
2 lbs ground beef, cooked with onion and peppers. Drain and add taco seasoning to taste.
Grated cheese (cheddar or your choice)
Doritos (can use original or any flavor)

1. Follow this video on how to put together.
2. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
3. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to cool, so that it will stay set.
4. Invert onto your serving dish.
5. Serve with taco fixin’s.


Crock Pot Lasagna
Submitted by Abby Monclova, Director of Human Resources
Link to recipe

1 pound Ground Beef, browned and drained
Lasagna noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Spoon 1 C. spaghetti sauce in bottom of 4 quart crock pot. Mix remaining sauce with browned beef.
2. Place 2 uncooked lasagna noodles on sauce in crock pot.
3. Spread 1/3 meat mixture on top of noodles. Spread 3/4 C.cottage cheese over meat. Sprinkle 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese over cottage cheese.
4. Add another layer of uncooked noodles, 1/3 meat mixture, the remaining cottage cheese and 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese.
5. Place another layer of uncooked noodles, meat mixture, and mozzarella cheese.
6. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Cook on low for 4 hours. If cooked much longer, it gets a bit well done.


Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
Submitted by Abby Monclova, Director of Human Resources
Link to recipe

4-6 Russet potatoes
olive oil
your favorite potato toppings

1. Wash potatoes well.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt.
3. Puncture potatoes using a fork.
4. Wrap each potato individually in aluminum foil.
5. Place in crock pot and set on low.Cook 7 hours.
6. Remove from foil and stuff with your favorite toppings.


Cherry Pineapple Dump Cake
Submitted by Kelly Holbrooks, Director of Dietary Services

“My Grandmother used to make this cake on snowy days or any day that ended in “y,” as a treat for a job well done. It’s super easy. It sounds a little odd but, it’s delicious. She called it Dump Cake because you just dump it in an oven proof dish.”

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 bag flake coconut
1 cups chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In an oven proof 4 quart dish or pan, layer in pie filling, coconut, pineapple with juice and nuts.
3. Mix dry cake mix and butter only. This is a thick batter.
4. Spread batter over the other ingredients.
5. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
6. Serve warm or cold.


Crockpot Ham and Pintos
Submitted by Holly Solomon, Director of Communications

1 lb dried pinto beans (rinse and soak overnight per package instructions)
1 ham bone with ham still attached
6 cups of water
salt to taste

1. Put the ham bone in the bottom of your crock pot. Pour soaked and rinsed beans over the ham bone. Add 6 cups of water.
2. Cook on High for 2 hours. Reduce heat to Low and let cook for an additional 6-8 hours.
3. About 30 minutes before your time is up, remove ham bone and pull meat from the bone. Stir the ham pieces back into the beans for the final 30 minutes of cooking time.


Shrimp and Crab Seafood Boil
Submitted by Yvette Floyd, Cottage Parent
Link to recipe

“While we have been confined to the cottage, we decided to have a seafood boil.”

10-12 baby red potatoes, washed
3 ears fresh corn cut into 2 inch pieces
2 lemons, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
6-7 whole cloves of garlic
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasonings
1 pound smoked sausage
1 pound gulf bay shrimp, raw, rinsed
1 pound snow crab legs (about three legs) rinsed.

1. In a large stock pot with a steamer insert, place 3 gallons of water. Add the Old Bay Seasonings. Bring to boil. Add in the potatoes, onions, garlic, and lemon. Cover and Boil for 20-25 minutes.
2. Next add in the sausage and corn. Cover and bring to a boil and boil for an additional 5 minutes.
3. Lastly add in the shrimp and crab. Cover and bring to a boil and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Once done cooking turn off heat and allow to sit, covered for an additional 5-10 minutes until crab and shrimp are completely cooked.
4. Drain and dump on newspaper lined table.
5. Serve with lemon butter. Make the lemon butter by melting one cube of butter and adding the juice of 1 lemon.
*Note: You can add more or less of any of the ingredients depending on personal taste. If you want more seafood then add more seafood. Just watch your cooking times to be sure your meats are completely cooked.*


Spicy Beef Totchos
Submitted by Yvette Floyd, Cottage Parent
Link to recipe

2 lb frozen tater tots
1 lb ground beef
1 ½ tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Original
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups shredded mexican cheese blend
red onion, diced, fresh scallion, sliced, diced tomato, sour cream, guacamole

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF (220°C).
2. Spread tater tots out on a sheet tray. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, Frank’s Red Hot Original, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Gradually break up beef with a spatula and sauté until beef is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Place an even layer of tater tots in an 8-inch oven-safe skillet. Top with half of the beef. Sprinkle a layer of cheese. Repeat layering of tater tots, beef, and cheese.
5. Lower oven temperature to 375ºF (160°C). Place skillet in oven and bake for 5–7 minutes, until cheese is melted.
6. Remove from oven and top with red onion, scallions, and tomatoes. Add a dollop of sour cream and guacamole to the center of the skillet. Serve immediately.


Lime and Olive Oil Cake
Submitted by Elizabeth O’Hagan, Community Outreach Coordinator
Link to recipe

“We, of course, did not follow this recipe exactly. Recipes are merely a suggestion of one possible way to create culinary masterpieces! We used lemon juice because we had no lime juice and added sliced almonds, mint leaves, and lemon glaze on the top. It’s a wonderful cake when you only have self-rising flour and no butter!”

2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup coconut
1 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
3 eggs
3 limes juiced zested

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line an 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine oil, milk, eggs, lime juice and lime zest and whisk until combined.
3. Sift self raising flour into another mixing bowl and mix in sugar and coconut. Make a well in the centre and pour in wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
4. Pour mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for approx 1 hour 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
5. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool.
6. Serve with some whipped cream or yogurt and dust with icing sugar.

And, of course, it’s strawberry season, so we couldn’t leave you without a couple of strawberry desserts to try!

Strawberry Cobbler
Submitted by Meredith Martin, Director of Program Excellence

1 stick of butter
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups strawberries

1. Melt 1 stick of butter in a 9X13 dish as you preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix 1 cup self rising flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Pour into dish (after butter has melted).
3. Add 2 cups strawberries. Do not stir.
4. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes until the top of golden brown.
We highly recommend serving with vanilla ice cream!


Chocolate Strawberry Trifle
Submitted by Patrice Williams, Communications Coordinator
Link to recipe

1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
1 quart fresh whole strawberries, sliced
1 carton (13-1/2 ounces) strawberry glaze
2 cartons (12 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 cup chocolate frosting
Shaved chocolate, optional

1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a 13×9-in. baking pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Cut cake into 1-in. cubes. Place half of the cubes in a 6-qt. glass punch bowl. Top with half of the sliced strawberries; drizzle with half of the strawberry glaze. Spread with 3-1/2 cups whipped topping.
3. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat frosting on high for 20-30 seconds or until pourable, stirring often; cool slightly. Drizzle half over the whipped topping.
4. Repeat layers of cake, berries, glaze and whipped topping. If desired, drizzle with remaining frosting and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.


And last but certainly not least, a very special recipe submitted by Lauren Staley, Lead Therapist on our Avery campus.

2 Cups Adaptability
1 Cup Self Care and Personal Wellness
3/4 Cup Faith
1 lb Hand Sanitizer
½ Cup Planning
3 Tbsp Creativity
1 Cup Emotional Management
½ lb Lysol
1 Cup Relationship Building/Connection
¼ lb Masks
3/4 Cup Patience

We love you all! Hang in there and have some fun bonding in the kitchen!