Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Comfort Food

Artichoke Turkey Casserole
One of my most favorite appetizers is a Hot Artichoke Dip. So when I came across this recipe in BHG Best  Comfort Foods  Special Interest Publication 2011 I thought it seemed worth a try. Besides I still had turkey left over from the holidays.  It is quite a tasty dish and worthy for company.  I have adapted the recipe. A time saver is having the meat and rice cooked the day before.
Ingredients:
  • 1 TB. butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup red pepper finely chopped
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (light)
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 small jar of artichokes drained, patted dry with a paper towel
  • 2-3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme and 1 TB. parsley flakes or 1 tsp. herbes de Provence and 1 TB. parsley flakes 
  • 2 cups dried wide egg noodles
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
  • Cook measured out dried egg noodles and bring to boil  and cook 3 minutes, drain
  • Saute in 1 TB. butter onions, peppers and carrots
  • Drain artichokes, pat dry and chop
  • In a 2 qt. baking dish,add soup and milk whisk together and then add saute mixture, chopped turkey or chicken, rice, chopped artichokes, noodles and cheese   
  • Grate Parmesan cheese over the top of this and cover with foil
  • Bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake another 20 minutes
  • Let set 10 minutes before serving  

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Anticipation p.3
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply  there, when yesterday it was not. 
This is Erin Morgenstern's debut novel and that is quite extraordinary since for a first book she has received a lot of press. It comes as no surprise that movie rights have already been secured for the book. The novel has a magical quality about it and the author's use of figurative language and imagery is impressive. The book absorbs your imagination. She writes at a leisurely pace but for me as a reader I felt like each page unfolded with suspense that really kept my interest. Morgenstern writes in such detail that you can visualize the ongoing splendor of the night circus.  The novel has intrigue, becomes a love story, has lots of magical things happening entwined with some dark moments.  
The two main characters are Celia and Marco who are bound in a magical competition. They were chosen as children with no explanations. Each character does not really understand what the parameters of the competition are nor how the winner is even chosen. 
Le Cirque de Reves is the venue for the competition and the characters drive the story. 
A word of warning if you pick this book be prepared for it to jump back and forth in time much the like the novel The Time Travelers Wife.  And the book has split narratives.
But I really enjoyed the book and would give it a high recommendation. 

Little known fact:
Numerologists have noted that the four digits that make up 2013 are all different from one another. And the last time that happened was in 1987.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, rats, if only I hadn't pulled turkey from the freezer and used it to prepare something else just this evening. But I have chicken in the freezer and that wild rice from you. This looks like a delicious recipe.

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