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Rainy Days and Mondays

Unlike some people, the rain doesn’t bother me much. Living in So-Cal, we see so little of it that an occasional cold and rainy day is a good excuse to cuddle up by the fire, read a book and bake something delicious. The unfortunate part – the part that does get me down – is that I will eventually have to get up and go to work. So I must say goodbye to my fireplace, my book and any hope of baking for the privilege of driving the wonderful Highway 78 in the rain, growling at my fellow motorists and wishing it were still the weekend.

Mondays, however, bother me plenty and not in individual parts. “I Don’t Like Mondays” sums my feelings fine (minus the whole killing spree). They mean the weekend is over. They mean the alarm must be set. They mean I have to have reality in my life again. Sleeping is one of my favorite things and I’m the farthest thing from a morning person. Just 5 more minutes. And then another 5. But, hit snooze more than twice, and the whole morning is screwed, complete with lateness and messy hair. Given the choice, I’d work from 10 to 7; the hours when I’m at my best. I stay up far too late to really appreciate the morning, and that isn’t changing. It’s not that I mind working, and I’m good at my job, but man… 6 am feels like punishment.

Maybe  “Monday, Monday”  is more my anthem, although I would go so far as to say trusting any weekday except Friday is just foolish. Since I needed comfort food after today’s Monday, and since I’d already been musing about this dish all weekend, the 2 seemed destined for each other. So, to chase away my Monday blues, and warm up the house on this blustery day, I created “Bleu Monday Casserole,” kind of a blend between mac ‘n cheese and cordon bleu.

Bleu Monday Casserole

1 package penne pasta (16 oz)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

5 oz diced ham

4 tbsp butter

6 tbsp flour

4 cups milk

6 oz shredded Swiss cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded (I boiled it last night)

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cook whichever pasta you choose as instructed. Saute onions and garlic until opaque, stir in ham, remove from heat. In sauce pan melt butter. Add flour and whisk together. After about 2 min add milk. Whisk continuously until steam rises from milk. Do not boil! Add cheese, salt and pepper and whisk together until cheese is melted. Stir onions and ham into sauce and remove from heat. Put chicken, cooked pasta and sauce into large bowl and mix together. Spray 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, add pasta mix and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bread crumbs are browned and sauce is bubbly.

It seemed pretty kid-friendly, as the Swiss cheese wasn’t too overpowering. If I were prepared (which I of course was not), I would’ve served it with a nice salad as diced onions don’t really count as a vegetable. But, healthy sides or not, it was exactly what I needed after a day I didn’t want.


2 responses »

  1. Holy crap this is a great reheat option 🙂

  2. intelligent investor

    If this is what Monday looks like, I can’t wait to see Friday!


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