The universal 
love language

Suzanne Hanzl


Chicken schlup

6 Tbs creamy peanut butter

4 Tbs soy sauce

4 Tbs fresh lime juice

2 Tbs brown sugar

2 tsp fresh grated ginger root    

½-1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbs peanut oil

2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced quarter-inch thin

¾ lb broccoli, chopped small, or another veggie

3 scallions, green and white parts sliced thinly

3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

½ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish/Hot cooked rice/Sriracha


In a small bowl, combine half-cup water with peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes and salt. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat the oil over high heat. Add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Add the broccoli or other veggie, scallions and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter mixture and the chicken back in with any juices, stirring until the chicken and veggies are coated with sauce and the peanut butter has melted. Serve over hot cooked rice garnished with chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro, and Sriracha if desired.


Note: Be sure to slice the chicken thinly and evenly. Cook the chicken first then remove it while the vegetables cook so as to not overcook the chicken. Use your favorite vegetables or even leftovers — peas, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, etc. This recipe would also be a great vegetarian option when omitting the meat. 

Easy cheesy macaroni


4 cups uncooked macaroni noodles

2 whole eggs, whisked

2 cups whole milk

Fresh ground black pepper

½ tsp coarse kosher salt

½ tsp dry mustard

2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or an assortment of your favorites)


½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 cups Panko, bread crumbs, or Ritz crackers

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Butter or non-stick spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 casserole-size, ovenproof dish with non-stick spray.Cook macaroni noodles until al dente. Combine cooked macaroni with eggs, milk, cheese, pepper, and mustard. Spoon the macaroni mixture into casserole dish. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top. Place on the bottom rack of oven and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


Note: This recipe is a great excuse to use up all those small remnants of cheese in your refrigerator. We used cheddar, Monterey jack, Gruyere and Parmesan for our second go-around of this recipe.

Growing up, I always knew my family loved one another. There was never any doubt. We were just not as verbal or as affectionate as some other families.

However, when I met my husband, I knew instantly he was the hugging type. Despite this behavior, I still fell for him. On the flip side, I won him over through his appetite. I try not to take offense to this as I am sure I may have a few other characteristics that attracted him, but I have to be honest, food is without a doubt MY love language. You are more likely to get sandwich, a bite of pasta, or a pork chop out of me than a hug. I love company and entertaining, just please, please, don’t take it personally if I don’t embrace you at every encounter. I may have perfected my pasta sauce but I am still working on my social graces. 

So, one can only imagine how I felt when I went in for foot surgery hoping for a simple fix with only a little time off and came out of the surgery with the worst-case scenario — a fused foot joint, six weeks non-weight bearing and 12 weeks recovering in a boot. OK, I can do this, I tell myself. I have overcome many hurdles in my lifetime. This is just another hiccup. A few days outside of the kitchen might actually do me some good, right? Well, as simple as it sounds a few days may be weeks or months of quality cooking time lost as gravity is your worst enemy of any lower extremity surgery. Keep the swelling to a minimum they say. What? I want a hot lunch!

As much as I have always declared my love language to be that of food, (validating my lack of participation in engaging in awkward hugging situations) I recently learned it is not just mine to claim. Over the past few weeks this became abundantly clear to me. Humble, grateful and blessed are just a few of the many feelings overwhelming me this past month as day after day friends and family showed up at my front door patiently waiting for me as I rolled up on my scooter. Hot meals, homemade soups, comforting casseroles and salads with homemade dressings arrived daily. Both of our refrigerators were quickly jam-packed with enough food to feed a small army. 

Any anxiety I had of keeping my family well-fed during my initial recovery quickly diminished as plate after plate of lovingly prepared meals showed up at our doorstep. We devoured daal, an Indian lentil and tomato stew over brown rice, chicken schlup, sautéed chicken, and veggies with a creamy Thai peanut sauce, chicken barley vegetable soup, homemade macaroni and cheese (kids say more please!), baked orzo with fontina Cheese, saucy porcupine meatballs, braised beef in white wine over noodles, (a familiar recipe), locally made favorite pork and chicken tamales, chicken fiesta soup, dozens of homemade sausage and egg breakfast burritos and homemade chocolate chip bread. Hot breakfasts were once again satisfying feasts, lunches were packed with warm, nourishing foods and dinner was a snap. 

Languages of love may differ from one to another and many of us may not think of food as one, but I’d like to declare it as such. In my opinion, and I think many of you would agree, there is no better compliment or feeling of love when someone opens up their home to you and shares a meal.

Our lives depend on food. It’s an unpolitical, undeniable common bond we all share. You may not like mushrooms (shame on you) but I am sure you can find mutual interests in the area of cooking and food with just about anyone. That being said, when someone takes the initiative to go above and beyond to bring you a homemade meal, take it from me, be as quick as you can to answer the door. You may even find that you have discovered some new family favorites, just as we did.

Suzanne Hanzl is a personal chef, culinary instructor and owner of Tourné Cooking School, Email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Search More Jobs

734 S. Seventh St.
Grand Junction, CO 81501
970-242-5050; M-F 8:00 - 5:00
Subscribe to print edition
eTear Sheets/ePayments

© 2017 Grand Junction Media, Inc.
By using this site you agree to the Visitor Agreement and the Privacy Policy