caprese chicken, Cauliflower tater tots, chicken, cold weather, handpies, healthy options, healthy recipes, pie pockets, pot pie, recipes
I am a southern gal from my hair follicles to my little pink toenails. I drive a truck, I love football and I can make very clear points with three little words…Bless Your Heart. While Southern women love to see snow, we have no desire for it to cause road issues, melt all over our lawns or cause us to throw a hip out on our morning jaunt to the mailbox. In other words, we have no desire for it to come for an extended stay. We would prefer it be more like us. Come…be beautiful… and disappear. Like Cinderella. How romantic would that even be? But that’s not reality. Snow storms in the south are really kind of like a surprise visit from the Griswalds, not much you can do but grin and bear it.
Enter Atlanta Blizzard of 2014. This is not my idea of a good time.
We were told to leave work around 11:30 am. By then, it was really too late. I passed four accidents in less than 3 miles heading towards the interstate. The roads became icy at an alarming rate leaving motorists abandoning their cars, unable to climb the hills in our area, and school buses trapped on the roads overnight. The fortunate children were the ones whose drivers turned the buses around and immediately headed back to the school where they stayed the night. Yep. This was an EPIC planning fail.
I made it within ten miles of my home. I live in the foothills of the North GA mountains and we have some seriously steep hills and very deep ravines. One little slip and you’re going over the edge and down a few hundred feet. NO thank you. I can honestly say I have never been more afraid driving than I was Tuesday. I drive a Ram 1500 but it’s not 4-wheel drive. Note to self: GET 4-WHEEL DRIVE!
After slipping and sliding repeatedly, I realized this was not a good idea. At all. Blood red is NOT my color. Neither is pale white. I decided I would rather spend the night in the truck than attempt the hills that were coming when I already resembled a flopping fish on the easy, flat parts. I pulled over at the closest spot available. I immediately began to survey my provisions. I am a planner and have most any situation covered in my Ram. Umbrella. Check! Flashlight. Check! Hand Sanitizer. Check! Extra supply of air freshener. Check! I don’t know. Ignore me.
Food and water? LOL! OF COURSE!
Yes, all of that was in my truck. Hey, don’t judge. It’s better than quick trips to McDonalds and would have come in very handy had I needed to spend the entire night iced in my Ram. However, as luck would have it, or an act of God really, guess where I happened to pull in? After reviewing my inventory, I began to survey my surroundings and realized I had pulled right into the Cherokee County EMS & Fire Station! Seriously??? I ROCK!
The guys up there? ^ They are real, live angels. They took me in, and promptly placed me in a cozy recliner in front of a wide screen TV watching the news reports. And better yet, let me use their bathroom! PRAISE GOD AND HALLELUJAH! ALL the angels sang! Are you even kidding? I even got to sample their…”chili”. (And make a few suggestions.) 😉 We’ll save that for another time. Those guys completely and utterly rock! They were my angels. And I have vowed to feed them well. Clay, Chris and Daniel, I can not thank you enough for your hospitality. I have never felt more welcome anywhere in such a horrible situation. The three of you could not have selected a more fitting career. You exemplify the true character of first responders.
Several hours after being rescued by the rescue, I was rescued again by my ultimate hero. My husband had braved the roads all of the way from downtown Atlanta to rescue me and get us home safely in his bright blue 4×4! This was truly no easy task as there were abandoned cars all along the roads and a big rig in the wrong lane of a two-lane road who couldn’t make it up the hill. It was an agonizing two hour ordeal to make it to our home less than 10 miles from the station. The roads had become solid ice.
10 hours later, we finally made it home. I have never been so happy to see our home or so proud to be my husbands wife.
So what do you do to thank one of hero status?
You cook. And I did. And we lived happily ever after. Snow and all. The end.
Caprese Chicken Stuffed Pie Pockets with Cauliflower Tots
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts
- 2 cups roasted chicken – torn or shredded
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 1 ball of fresh Mozzarella – Sliced
- 5 large Basil leaves
- 1/4 cup good Balsamic vinegar
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken with vinegar. Set aside. Roll out your pie crusts and cut into fourths. In the center of each sections, place a slice of cheese, and top with tomatoes, and 2 tbsp. of the chicken mixture. Add a fresh Basil leaf. Top each with the second set of pie crust sections and pinch ends closed. Trim the edges. Place on a prepared baking sheet and brush each with egg white. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake at 400 for about 20-30 minutes or until pie crusts are baked through and golden brown.
*This recipe was adapted from Cupcakes and Kale Chips*
- Half a head shredded cauliflower – You can use the stems as well as the florets
- 1 cup shredded cheese – Original recipe called for cheddar, but I subbed Gruyere
- 1 egg
- ¼ c cornmeal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- a few grinds black pepper
- ½ tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 grated onion
- 1 chopped scallion
- Bleu Cheese Dressing and/or Ketchup for dipping
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with oil or coking spray.
- Place the shredded cauliflower and onion in a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and mix together thoroughly.
- Using a spoon or scoop, divide the mixture between the muffin cups and press down firmly into the cups.
- Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
I like heros. Snow, not so much. Bon appetit y’all!
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