With many families spending more time than usual at home, scratch cooking trends are popular among home chefs. From homemade sourdough to elaborate multi-course dinners, the kitchen has become a place of creativity for many.
However, since summer brings all sorts of fun and outdoor activities, busy families may be looking for ways to spend less time in the kitchen without compromising on quality or flavor. Try to work smarter, not harder, and let your local grocery store do some of the heavy lifting.
Starting with prepackaged salads, casseroles, fresh-baked breads or prepared items from the deli case, like a rotisserie chicken, opens an array of possibilities for quick family meals.
Serving up a tasty and comforting dinner can be as easy as mixing together fresh ingredients like pre-made macaroni and cheese, rotisserie chicken and frozen broccoli then topping your dish with cracker crumbs. You’ll have food on the table in less than 30 minutes and more time to spend with family and friends.
With the resources available at your neighborhood store, you can build restaurant-quality chicken sandwiches at home by visiting the deli department for fried chicken and swinging by the bakery for a loaf of European-style bread. Crunchy fried chicken, cool lettuce, crisp pickles and spicy dressing including a handful of pantry staples make for the perfect flavor and texture combination.
End the day with a creamy milkshake as classic flavors come together with vanilla bean ice cream, fudge striped shortbread cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk. This ice cream treat is an indulgence that blends in a flash.
Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
• Nonstick cooking spray
• 2 packages (12 ounces each) prepared macaroni and cheese
• 1 cup frozen broccoli
• 2 whole roasted chicken breasts (about 1 cup), skin
removed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
• 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Coat 6-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add macaroni and cheese, broccoli and chicken, stirring to combine until well incorporated. Top with cracker crumbs. Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing
Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise:
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
To make Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise: In bowl, combine mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
To make Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: Spread Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise onto bread slices. Arrange sliced chicken on half the bread slices and place lettuce and pickle chips on other half.
Dress with additional Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, if desired. Fold sandwiches together, spear with toothpick and slice diagonally.
• 4 scoops (1/2 cup each) vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream
• 6 fudge-striped shortbread cookies
• 4 tablespoons strawberry preserves
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus additional (optional)
In blender, process ice cream, cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk. If desired, add milk to achieve desired thickness. Serve in chilled glasses.