i love costco. i love the giant shopping carts, the anticipation of wondering what new, unexpected treasures they might offer and the costco hotdog, which i have at the beginning of every costco visit. unlike the ikea hotdog, which is more of a little snack, the costco hotdog is very big and qualifies as a meal. so i time my costco visits to coincide with lunch.
* i only put ketchup on my hotdog because ketchup is the BEST condiment!
i have learned, over time, never to buy the giant tubs of spices because we can’t seem to get through them before they expire, but we love the madelines, the chocolate covered berries, the big bags of chocolate chips and all the snacky stuff… we never have trouble polishing off those. we like tasting things at the sample stands with the old ladies in jaunty white paper hats and we like to peruse the books, stock up on stamps, toothpaste and toothbrushes and of course revel in the big sheepskin rugs (the quatros) for only $100… best sheepskin deal in the world.
costco IS a bit tiring because when the cart gets full it is pretty hard to push around. and if my kids are with me they are usually hanging off the side, which makes it even more difficult. so i also count my costco visits as exercise time. there is also all the loading and unloading of stuff in the car, which is probably more intensive than the two pound weights i use at bar (most people use the threes or fours, but i don’t want to over tire myself or end up with madonna arms so i stick with the twos) because everything you buy at costco is supersized and heavy.
since i am usually pretty wiped after a costco run, i always pick up one of their roasted chickens for dinner that night. then i only have to make my five minute parmesan cous cous and a veggie plate and we are all set. we all prefer dark meat (lucy eats her drumstick like a viking) so no one is ever too excited about leftover white meat for dinner the next evening, which has been a long standing problem. but after this last costco visit, i came up with a GENIUS idea… chicken pot pie!
even though i grew up in berkeley, in the era of wheat germ and homemade granola and loads of hippies and patchouli and faded tie dye, i have mid-western parents and my mom favored iowa’s best comfort food at our dinner table. she did not make chicken pot pie, but it reminds me of the kinds of dinners we would have and makes me feel cozy and safe. it is not the best meal for a boulder dinner party as it has loads of gluten and hardly anyone here will eat it, but it is perfect for us gluten-eating outliers. i will say, this is really “cheater” chicken pot pie because all you have to do is assemble it and bake it… easy, peasy.
CHEATER CHICKEN POT PIE (adapted from allrecipes.com)
2 C chopped chicken, cooked (i used up our two big breasts)
1 C grated, fresh carrots (i get bags of these at safeway in the organic section)
1 C frozen, petite peas
1 can corn
1/3 C butter
1/2 onion, chopped small
1/3 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper (i use white pepper because lucy doesn’t like to see the black dots)
1/4 t celery seed
leaves pulled off of a few springs of thyme
1 3/4 C chicken broth
2/3 C milk
2 unbaked pie crusts (i used pillsbury)
preheat oven to 425 degrees. in a deep saucepan over medium heat (or a soup pot to avoid splatter), saute onions in butter until they are translucent. add flour, salt, pepper, celery seed and thyme. slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. add peas, carrots and corn and simmer until thick. add chopped chicken. put one crust in the pie pan and scoop the pot pie filling into the pan. cover with the second crust. pinch the edges of the two crusts together to seal and make several slits in the top with a knife so the steam can escape. bake for about 30 to 35 minutes and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. ENJOY!