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Trying Times and Tuna Casserole

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are holding up well during these unprecedented times. I hope you are being kind and patient and thoughtful. I hope you have wine at home to help you be kind and patient and thoughtful.

We are only one week into staying at home due to Covid 19. My kids are still officially on spring break so I am not even thinking about what we will do when “school” starts again. We are very much taking one day at a time and so far we are handling it pretty well.

We have a schedule on our chalkboard so everyone has an idea of how the day should go. It is really more of an order of events. There are no times listed on our “schedule,” it is definitely a flexible plan. I recommend everyone come up with an order to your day, it really is more helpful than I could have imagined. Here is ours if you want to use it as a starting point.

The left side are ideas for different activities, the right side is our “schedule.” This will be altered once we have to include some learning time but again, I’m not worrying about that yet. My cousin sent this a week or so ago. I will base our school schedule on this. It is a good ideal.

We are all going through the same thing. I’m not the only one missing the opportunity to celebrate a loved one’s birthday. I’m not the only one having to cancel a vacation that has been planned for over a year. I’m not the only one with friends and family on the front lines, working in hospitals. I don’t have to miss the last basketball game of my career. I’m not the one who doesn’t get to have senior prom or graduation. I didn’t have to postpone my wedding. I’m not losing my job. I’m not the one who has had to see a loved one infected with this virus (and I pray I still get to say this when it’s all over).

I think the key to all of this is calm, patience, vigilance and realistic expectations. Know that everything won’t go smoothly. Know that things will get messed up. Know that you (along with everyone else) are going to go stir crazy. Know that you are in charge of your health and the health of EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH. If you don’t do your part, this will only get worse. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

The experts are all saying we should behave as if we already have the virus. That is the most simple way to think about this and understand the severity. If you knew you had this deadly virus, would you be doing the things you are doing?

Maybe you have “mild” symptoms so you assume you don’t have Covid 19.   That doesn’t mean you are spreading mild symptoms. You are still spreading a deadly virus. Stay home! No play dates! No gatherings! This is the time for families, friends, spouses and individuals to band together… but separately.

We are playing more board games. We are writing letters. Last night we had book club over FaceTime. Tonight we are having a happy hour drink over FaceTime. My family is all over the country. Why have we not been doing this before Coronavirus? If you don’t have FaceTime use Skype or Zoom.  There are silver linings. There are good things happening.img_7412

Our neighborhood is thinking of great things we can all do together, on our own. On St. Patrick’s Day we colored shamrocks and put them in our window. Then each family went on a scavenger hunt to see how many shamrocks they could count. I think they are doing more days like this with smiley faces, Easter eggs, etc. On March 27th we are having an “art fair.” People are making art and putting it in their yards. We can walk around and look at art. It is easy to socially distance during all these activities. Take these ideas. Use them in your neighborhood. Are there some great ideas you can share? Please do so in the comments below.

People are going to have to go out sometimes, I realize that. But do it only when necessary. Do it thoughtfully. Wear gloves if you can. Wash your hands and don’t touch your face. Don’t hoard toilet paper. Help whoever you can, however you can but do it safely. We are still ordering curbside take out to try to help local restaurants. If you are able to donate to no kid hungry or another organization, do so. If you are able to donate blood, do so.

It is hard to navigate all of this but lets all do our best and realize we are all in this together. I’m here for you in whatever way I can be. Ask me questions about what you can make with what is in your pantry.  Let’s keep in touch and lift each other up. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to get my #Covid_19 Thought Of The Day. They range from ideas for activites to don’t cut your own bangs (trust me on this, I did the legwork for you).

Obviously, my area of expertise is food. I have included a recipe for good old tuna casserole below. It is an ideal dish for these reasons:
1. This is comfort food, we can all use a little comfort right now.
2. Tuna Casserole is made from ingredients you probably have on hand and doesn’t require a trip to the store.
3. This is a perfect dish to make if you celebrate Lent.

If you don’t have all the ingredients just leave them out or substitute. These are trying times. The dish will still be good without milk (use water) or french fried onions (use breadcrumbs, potato chips or skip all together). It will still be comforting and delicious.

Tuna CasseroleIMG_9282

Serves 4

Ingredients:
Egg Noodles
½ c Milk
10.5 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
10 oz can Tuna, drained
1 c Frozen Peas
1 c shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided
2.8 oz container French’s Fried Onions, divided

Preheat oven to 400
Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Once boiling, heavily salt the water and add the egg noodles.
Boil 7 minutes, or about a minute less than what is listed as “al dente” on the package.
Drain noodles and return to the pot.
Add milk, mushroom soup, salt, pepper and garlic powder; stir.
Add tuna, stir.
Add peas, stir.
Add half of the cheese and about ¼ of the fried onions; mix everything together.
Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes; until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining fried onions on top.
Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until the onions are browned (keep your eye on it, they can burn fast).
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

Tuna Casserole

Comfort food in trying times; made from things you have on hand.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rest Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Casserole, Comfort Food, Easy, Lent, Tuna
Servings: 4 People
Author: Emily ~ Garlic & Olive Oil

Ingredients

  • Egg Noodles
  • ½ c Milk
  • 10.5 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 10 oz oz can Tuna drained
  • 1 c Frozen Peas
  • 1 c shredded Colby Jack cheese divided
  • 2.8 oz container French’s Fried Onions divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400; Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil.Once boiling, heavily salt the water and add the egg noodles. Boil 7 minutes, or about a minute less than what is listed as “al dente” on the package. Drain noodles and return to the pot.
  • Add milk, mushroom soup, salt, pepper and garlic powder; stir. Add tuna, stir. Add peas, stir. Add half of the cheese and about ¼ of the fried onions; mix everything together.
  • Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes; until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining fried onions on top. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until the onions are browned (keep your eye on it, they can burn fast).
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “Trying Times and Tuna Casserole

  1. This might be my favorite blog yet, minus those two young ladies not pictured :(, but it gave me a lump in my throat. It is a time to band together and do for the good of all. Well said, Emily. I miss everyone too. But oh the thanks to the heavens above and celebrations when this passes.

  2. Well said Em! Positivity goes a long way.
    We miss you all but are thankful you are safe
    And keeping busy. Hopefully this will be over sooner than we think but staying in touch until this passes is everything.

  3. Dear Em, I think you do write what you are feeling and it always comes thru.. we all must do what is best for ourselves and our loved ones and if we do that it will also keep everyone safe. Tough times for all , more for some than others , pray for the caregivers. Stay safe and healthy, love to all…. aunt carol

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