Sunday, August 27, 2017

Difference a Change Can Create.

Change, change can be quite annoying at times.  Rattling around in a purse or pocket, those elusive pennies never there when needed; or too many taking up precious space.  For many years there has been consideration of doing away with the penny.  Has not happened yet as that would lead into another type of change altogether.

Change, “the act or instance to make or become different”, “to alter, vary or modify to make or become different”.  Change is evolution, growth, development which goes hand in hand with making or creating something different.  This is often sort by some, but feared by the majority; it is comforting to be one of many, then alone on an unsure roadway.  I believe there lies the rub; to be different, unique, in a smaller grouping where one can stand out.  Why be different when the “same old, same old” has always been good enough?  Why, why be good when there can be better!?!

When it comes to recipes, a first attempt will be following word for word, measure by measure, ingredient by ingredient; no changes or differences.  The resulting culinary creation might be liked, even enjoyed so much to spark the word love; pretty close to perfection.  However, I am an adventurer in, as well as out of, the kitchen; my pantry is a wonderland of spices, herbs, seasonings and sauces from around the world.  The second, third, even more attempts are play time; changing original designs to make/create different tastes, textures.  The ultimate goal is to be better, not just good!

As an example, let’s use Campbell Soups’ recipe for One-Dish Chicken & Stuffing Bake, a simple dish to make and very tasty too.  (Recipe from:


4 cups Pepperidge Farm® Herb Seasoned Stuffing
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell's Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat the oven to 400°F.  While the oven is heating, prepare the stuffing according to the package directions.

Step 2

Spoon the stuffing across the center of a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Place the chicken on either side of the stuffing. Sprinkle the chicken with the paprika.

Step 3

Stir the soup, milk and parsley in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken.  Cover the baking dish.

Step 4

Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Made it once or twice as is, very good and no leftovers, but not good enough, so I made it again and again; changing ingredients like cream of celery, instead of cream of mushroom; using cut up, precooked chicken instead of raw chicken breasts; adding frozen or canned vegetables to see which tasted better.  Each time it went from good to better, better to betterer to betterest; yes, yes, I know I am not using proper English and I can hear the groans of teachers everywhere.  Each time though, it was a delicious concoction devoured by all who tasted it; success in making different!

So now I will share with you my latest changes to Campbell’s most basic recipe.  Do not fear change my friends; accept, embrace and remember most of all; Fear is the Mind Killer.

Chicken Corn Stuffing Bake


1 box (10 oz.) Mrs. Cubbison’s Herb Seasoned Cube Stuffing (personally like this brand)
2 cups homemade chicken broth (or used canned)
2 cups precooked chicken, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel sweet corn (do not drain liquid)
1 tsp. each ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
1 can (15 oz.) sweet cream styled corn
1 bag (8 oz.) shredded, medium Cheddar cheese


 Preheat oven to 350F; spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, mix together cube stuffing, broth, precooked chicken, whole kernel corn and seasonings.  Spread out evenly in baking dish; spread creamed corn evenly over all; spread Cheddar cheese evenly over creamed corn. 

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes; remove foil, bake another 20 minutes; cheese will be completely melted and browning at dish edges.  Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Mary Cokenour