The Winter of 2015 is the 14th one I've spent in the Nashville area. Some winters have been worse than others. My car sat stuck in ice on Briley Parkway for three days during the winter of 2003. Had that been my first winter here I would have made an exodus for South Georgia. Not having much experience driving in icy roads, each Winter comes with much anxiousness rather than anything I would look forward to. I don't own any snow toys, sleds or other winter-fun paraphernalia. I missed my chance this past Sunday morning at my local Lowe's store as they were putting out such things. I can guarantee you I will have a sled ready for a future snow day!
I remember one snow day in South Georgia growing up; I think it was 1973. I'd be curious to know if Western Auto or Miller Hardware in Lakeland had any sleds in stock that day.
With local news media outlets using scare tactics to keep people indoors during days like this, I usually follow suit and retreat to the kitchen. I made a couple of excursions out to buy food to my local Aldi food store across the street and endured an almost 1.5 mile round trip to my local Kroger. The term "cabin fever" always applies to me as I'm not used to spending much time at home. Surviving a few near slips on black ice, I survived and arrived home safely from each trip.
On the menu over my two-day home stay were bacon and eggs, Tomato French Onion Soup and a recipe I found on Facebook called "Crazy Good Casserole". A serving of this dish will allow me to stay indoors today during a lunch break rather than endure a stroll to my local Chipolte in 16º weather!
Crazy Good Casserole
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
6 strips of quality bacon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 box (16 ounces) dried spiral pasta (I used penne pasta)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pan-fry bacon according to package directions until crispy; place on paper towel to drain. When cool to touch, crumble bacon and set aside. Cook chicken in pan where bacon was cooked. Add garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. While chicken is cooking prepare pasta according to directions. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add chicken, cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese. Stir to mix well; using hands if necessary. Pour into prepared baking pan. and top with crumbled bacon and remaining Monterrey Jack cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, just until cheese is melted and beginning to brown on top. Makes 8 servings.