I’ve never “binge-watched” football until last Sunday when we watched four games in a row. If not for the fact that some of the games were crazy, I might have given up early in the day. Of course, there are still more playoff games before we can get to the Superbowl, but I’m not sure I can handle another TV binge!

If you need a break from football, don’t forget the Tamale Festival in Atascadero this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the downtown area and the Sunken Gardens.  

Last week we met Stan and Maureen Marquis for breakfast at the Atascadero Bistro to celebrate Maureen’s birthday. We had not eaten there, but we will certainly be going back. The food was delicious, especially the biscuits and gravy—one of my favorites!


Speaking of birthdays, on Jan. 8, our family was blessed with the arrival of little Hannah Charlotte Butz. She is the first child for our grandson Morgan and his wife Becky and the 20th great-grandchild for John and me. Welcome to the family, Hannah!

By the way, while you’re watching football, there’s nothing better than slipping a main-dish casserole in the oven, timed to be ready when the last play is made. Ahead of time, put together a nice green salad and prepare a simple dessert. Serve the casserole with warm sourdough rolls and butter, and you’ve got it made! 

The results of the recipe for this week will taste like you’ve been in the kitchen all day. Your family and friends will want to meet the chef you hired.

Chicken-Artichoke Casserole


1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds), cut up

4 tablespoons butter 

1 package (8 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained or 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained (not marinated)

½ cup chopped onion

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup dry white wine

1 can (6 ounces) whole button mushrooms, drained.


In a heavy skillet, brown chicken in butter. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2 in. baking dish. Cut artichoke hearts in half; arrange among chicken pieces. Add onion to skillet; cook until tender. Blend in flour and seasonings; and broth and wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Add mushrooms. Spoon over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until chicken is tender. Serves 6. Touchdown!

Note: You can substitute the 1 cup of white wine with 1 cup chicken broth plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Also, you can stir in 1 small jar of diced pimento, well-drained, when you are adding the broth and wine or broth with lemon juice.

Enjoy the games.