I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe! These are definitely weird, hard, and crazy times that constantly remind me how important it is to find moments of comfort, moments of family no matter how close or far they are. At the beginning of this month, I braced the quarantine and drove to Dayton to pack up my grandparents home, my first ever childhood home that will be closing in two days time. It was a sad and very hard time to do with everything else was going on, and while I know I was definitely not at my best, I was so very grateful for my family, for the closeness. And now, I am living with my second family, my husband’s family, and again, I am grateful for the closeness and comfort being near them provide. I know not everyone is in or able to be in the same position, but I have been trying to reach out to my friends and my family as often as I can to ensure no one feels alone or forgotten. We are all in this together, so make sure you let others know you care, that you’re thinking about them.
I also thought, I would provide and share some ideas for staying busy:
- Learn a language – what better time right? Duo Lingo is what I’m currently using to brush the rust off my college Italian, and it’s been fun so far!
- Make sure you stick to a routine – whether you’re working from home, or not, making a daily routine for yourself will help the time pass and keep your brain working.
- Read books, start a virtual book club – this way you not only keep yourself occupied, but also get that virtual face-to-face time that a lot of us are missing. My book group is currently reading: The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang, and we just wrapped up Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (also currently watching the show which has been an interesting comparison to say the least). I’ll try to post our book selections on my Instagram for those interested, or can provide thoughts we had for next month!
- FACETIME! – If you have an iPhone, which most people do, use it. Or use Google Hangouts, or What’sApp or Zoom (it’s free and you get 40 minutes).
- Learn something you’ve always wanted to – Wanted to do another hobby? Ever wanted to learn to knit (I needlepoint myself and have 2 belts I am currently working on)? Paint? Play an instrument?
More tips to come as I continue to shelter-in-place (currently till May 15th at the earliest, though I expect it may be longer still). If you would ever like to chat, or want to ask a question about ideas for more books, recipes (which I have left in the care of my mother-in-law for the most part while I focus on my cookies & baking), or just to say hi (I will say hi back), just let me know. Just leave a comment. You are not alone, I see you, I am thinking of you. Be safe, and be kind to one another.
— Cooking Maggie
Prosciutto Wrapped Stuffed Chicken
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 chicken breasts
- 18 slices of prosciutto (optional)
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup cream
- Pine nuts to garnish
- In a food processor, combine basil, salt, garlic, pepper, and pine nuts. Pulse until the basil mixture is finely chopped.
- Turn the food processor on and add the olive oil slowly until the basil mixture is at the desire consistency. Add butter and cheese. Pulse until cheese and butter have been blended into the basil mixture. This makes 1 ½ cups of pesto. Remaining pesto can be stored in fridge for up to a week.
- Preheat oven to 375. Lay and overlap 3 slices of prosciutto on a clean work surface.
- Place a chicken breast on one end of the prosciutto square. Using a sharp knife create a pocket in the side of the chicken breast. Spoon some of the pesto into the slit.
- Spoon some Dijon mustard on top of the chicken breast and spread it evenly. Sprinkle black pepper on top of the Dijon mustard.
- Wrap the prosciutto around the chicken breast. Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts.
- Bake chicken breasts until they are cooked through and golden brown; about 20 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Combine the chicken pan juices and ¼ cup of the pesto in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the cream and bring the sauce to boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer till desired consistency.