Stories From Ike- What In The World Is For Dinner?!

In memory of Hurricane Ike, I’m taking a trip down memory lane this week and sharing some personal stories and lessons learned of what it was like to be a part of that storm. Hopefully what I learned and went through can give some of you a better idea for how to prepare for your own emergency situations. I hope you enjoy this week! 😀

Cooking in the wake of Hurricane Ike was a bit interesting. We were very fortunate in that we have a gas stove and did not lose connection with our gas. So we still had our stove to cook on. But even at that, without electricity, this was a whole new ballgame. It was funny how many times I would think of something to make for dinner, only to have my plans foiled because I needed the oven or something. (This was prior to my knowledge of the apple box oven, of course.) Without wanting to sound like a complainer… trying to come up with some ‘put-together-meal’ got old real fast. Don’t get me wrong, I did recognize my blessings at even having the option to cook on a stove and I was very grateful. But it has become very clear to me the importance of being able to continue a ‘normal’ food routine in the event of an emergency. If I was getting tired of trying to think up strictly stovetop meals within a matter of a few days, I can only imagine how frustrating life would become in the event of a BIG emergency if I were to not have access to a way to cook my ‘normal’ foods for a LONG period of time. So there’s a plug for the apple box oven, or a solar oven, or any other cooking method that brings you a bit of normalcy. Do your planning now to save yourself some heartache later!

And on that note… here’s one of the strictly stovetop meals we enjoyed in the week following Ike.

Chicken Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 – 1 lb penne pasta (there likely won’t be enough sauce to cover 1 lb, unless you thin it out with milk or something)
  • 1 jar Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce (I like the Classico brand for this)
  • 1 pint canned chicken (or about 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • McCormick’s Grilled Chicken seasoning
  • Optional Veggie

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, cook your pasta according to package directions till al dente. (I like to sprinkle some Kosher salt in the water prior to adding the pasta. This way it flavors the actual pasta.)
  2. Drain and rinse your canned chicken (skip this step if using frozen chicken)
  3. In a large saucepan, heat your oil and then add your canned chicken. Sprinkle on enough grilled chicken seasoning to your liking (about 1 Tbsp) and lightly sauté the chicken (this helps get rid of the ‘canned’ taste and smell). (If using frozen chicken, cube the chicken and then saute it in the oil with the seasoning until cooked through.)
  4. Add the sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce to the chicken and simmer over medium heat until the sauce is heated through.
  5. Place the penne pasta in your serving dish and ladle the chicken alfredo mixture over the top. OR, if you don’t want to dirty up another dish, just pour the pasta into the saucepan with the chicken and mix it all together. 🙂 Serve and enjoy!
  6. Serves a family of 4 quite nicely.
  7. Optional variation: Don’t forget the veggies! You can also try adding a vegetable to the dish if you’d like… canned green beans, frozen peas, whatever floats your fancy… or just add a good vegetable as a side dish. In the picture above, I used green bell peppers from the garden because my cute little girls decided to pick every last one off our plants… so we’re trying to use them up. 🙂 I sauteed them in the pan with the chicken and it actually added great flavor. We’ll have to do that more often!
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