Tuesday, August 24, 2010

0 Jennifer's Casserole

I have the ULTIMATE blessing of teaching at the middle school that I went to! I have so many "second mothers" on the staff who used to be my teachers and now have become my mentors and my friends!
This is my basketball coach from when I was in middle school!
I get to coach with some of my best friends at our school!

Tomorrow is the first day of volleyball tryouts! Even though life has gotten busier, I still love having dinner on the table when Nate gets home!
Our friend, Jennifer, introduced us to this recipe and Nate and I both loved it! (This casserole has become one of Nate's favorite meals!)

Jennifer's Casserole
6-7 chicken breasts (you can use less)
10-12 oz sour cream
1 stick of butter
1 can cream of mushroom
Stovetop chicken stuffing
2 cans of chicken broth (3/4 can and 3 cups)
Boil 6-7 chicken breasts in 3 cups of water and 3 cups of chicken broth. Bring to boil. Turn off heat, cover and let stand 15 min or until done. Dice chicken. Put in bowl with cream of mushroom soup. Add sour cream. Mix and set aside. Make stovetop in 1 stick of butter and 3/4 can of chick broth (follow directions on box). Put chicken mixture into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle stuffing on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes!  

I'll be at Starbucks tomorrow morning, EARLY!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 Cornish Hens with Raisin Sauce

These are amazing and look VERY impressive (even though it is a pretty easy recipe)! We had dinner tonight with friends, and I split each hen so that everyone had half a hen and it was more than enough food! Word of warning though, this is a slow cooker recipe that you kind of need to babysit all day .  . . but perfect for stay at home moms or for Saturdays! I ran errands and went to a birthday party all while basting every (almost every) hour!


  • 1 package (6 ounces) stuffing mix, prepared as directed
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 jar (10 ounces) currant jelly
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice


Stuff hens with prepared stuffing; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place trivet or crumpled piece of heavy-duty foil in slow cooker, to keep hens from sitting in juices. (I just used crumpled foil) If you're using a deep and narrow crockpot, put Cornish hens in neck-side down. In a 1-quart saucepan combine jelly, raisins, butter, lemon juice and allspice. Cook over low heat, stirring, until hot and simmering. Brush some of the sauce on hens in the crockpot. Keep remaining sauce in refrigerator until serving time. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 to 7 hours, basting once about an hour before done. Bring remaining sauce to a boil and spoon over hens at serving time.
Makes 4 servings.
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Friday, August 20, 2010

1 Okra and the South

I adore the South . . . from the love of hand written notes to having a fresh pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge at all times, I like to think of myself as a Texan (with a dash of the South in the mix)! I will never forget visiting my friend, Ashley, in Charlotte and absolutely falling in LOVE with the entire town. . . especially a lady at church who during the prayer literally made JESUS into 4 syllables.  . . I was obsessed. . . seriously, obsessed. . . . when I teach my kiddos about the Civil War, I immediately revert to my "Charlotte" accent and tell them that it was truly the "War of Northern Aggression!" Then I spend part of the class giving a lecture on how they need to act like southern gentlemen and ladies, with a few manners lesson intermingled in the lecture. . . (don't worry, I give the Northern side too. . . . have to be the unbiased teacher!)

My love of the south does not stop with being enamored with Civil War history .  . .

It continues into the realm of food. . .

OKRA.  . . mm-mm, good. . . it is amazing fried or stewed. .  . this is my favorite "healthy" okra recipe and has been passed down in my family for years. . .
 Slice the okra
Cook it in the bacon grease 
Chop the tomato
Add to the okra 
bell pepper 
only add two jalapenos with seeds if you want your mouth to be on fire for 3 days . . . spoken from experience and I like things spicy. . . 
and enjoy! 
Super Mom's Okra and Tomato Mumbo Gumbo
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pint sliced okra (1/2 " thick)
1 med, onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 pint tomatoes, chopped
1 med bell pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (seeds removed or don't use jalapenos at all if you don't want the okra spicy)
1/4 c bacon drippings
Cook okra in bacon drippings about 10 min. Stir constantly to keep from sticking. Add tomatoes and boil for another 10 min. Add rest of ingredients and simmer on a low burner for about 1 more hour. Salt and pepper to suit your taste.

(my daddy likes to serve it with black eyed peas and cornbread!)
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

3 Granny Grace's Pot Roast

Nate is such a MAN's MAN which is one of the things I love about him so much! This pot roast recipe is one of his favorite meals and is tried and true for all meat and potato guys! My Granny Grace passed the recipe down to my dad who in turn passed it on to me! Not only is this pot roast so good, it is extra special because it came from my granny!
(clearly my granny didn't have a slow cooker so I'll write the recipe the way you would cook it in an oven and add notes in italics of how to cook it in a slow cooker! I have made it both ways and they both turn out WONDERFUL!)

You will either need a large, heavy pot with a lid that will be able to go into the oven or a slow cooker.
One rump roast (one that will fit in your pot) 2-3 pounds (if using a big slow cooker you can get a bigger roast)
2-3 garlic pods
2 green peppers (remove seeds), quartered
2 onions peeled and quartered
2-3 bake potatoes peeled and quartered
4 celery stalks cut into chunks
4 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
Wesson oil (Vegetable Oil) or Olive Oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly salt and pepper the roast. Take a couple of pods of garlic and slice into small slivers or about half the size of an eraser. Take a knife and make 8-10 small slits in and around the roast. Push the garlic slivers deep into the slits in the roast. Put about 2-3 tablespoons of Wesson oil or olive oil in the pot. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Place roast in pot and brown it on all sides. (Cover it while browning it - tends to make a mess of your stove) After browning, carefully place about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pot. (if using the slow cooker you only need 1/4 cup of water) Caution- as the water might come back out of the pot due to the extreme heat! Place the green peppers, onion, celery and carrots in and around the roast.. Place the potatoes in and around the top of the vegetables and roast. Cover and place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check the roast at about 1 hour to see if there is water or juice in the pot. If dry, place about 1/4 cup of water in the pot.  (or put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours!)
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

3 Pumpkin Bread

This pumpkin bread is a staple in our house during the holidays! Delicious! (wrap it up and it becomes a great gift for co-workers or teachers!) Definitely a family favorite that has been passed down!
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil
5/8 cup water (1/2 cups plus 1 tbs)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; Combine dry ingredients; make a well in mixture and add remaining ingredients; mix; add chopped pecans. Pour into two 9x5x3 inch greased, floured bread pans and bake 1 hour!
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

1 Softball and Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

Nate and I love playing softball with our sweet Sunday school class! We have so many fun memories from the past two years and have enjoyed spending time with old friend and getting to know new ones! It is no secret that when (and if) the Lord blesses Nate and me with kids, I will RELISH in bringing snacks to my kids games! . . . Providing the softball team with goodies is just a way to get my "fix" until that day comes! This picture is from last year and we are missing numerous people :-( I'll have to take a more current picture tomorrow!
Ok, Flipside! Here is what you have to look forward to tomorrow! (if Nate doesn't eat them all tonight!)

CALLING ALL CHOCOLATE LOVERS! :-) These cookies are NOT your normal slice and bake. . . but the extra effort goes a long way. . . because they are SO chocolaty and you will be CRAVING a glass of milk with the first bite! YUM-MY!


1 bag (11.5 oz) Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 Tbsps (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 bag (12 oz) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup (4 oz) chopped walnuts
In double boiler over hot water, melt the bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick, stir in chocolate mixture. In small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into two logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 8 inches long. As dough will be very soft, use plastic wrap to hold dough tin log shape. wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough, with sharp knife, cut into 3/4 - inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. Cool on baking sheet.
Makes 2 dozen.

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0 Pineapple Sweet and Sour Chicken

I love Chinese food and really never make it at home! This is a great and easy recipe that is wonderful!
(side note, Nate DOES NOT like Chinese food (it is too much of a variance from his steak and potatoes) and REALLY doesn't like pineapples next to his meat (he is thinking "there are pineapples where my potatoes should go")! SOOO if you husband or significant other is TRULY a steak and potatoes man, you might want to steer clear of this dish! To all others. . . Enjoy!)

2 cups Minute White Rice, uncooked
1 can (20 oz) Dole Pineapple Chunks
2 Tbsps vegetable oil
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sweet and sour sauce
2 Tbsps less sodium soy sauce

Prepare rice according to package directions
Drain pineapple; reserve 2 Tbsps juice
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and mushrooms; cook until vegetables are tender crisp. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
Cook chicken in same skillet until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add vegetables back to skillet with sweet and sour sauce, pineapple chunks and reserved juice. Heat through.. Serve with hot cooked rice.
Serves 6.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

2 Caramel-Cream Macchiato Coffee

With fall quickly approaching (even if it doesn't feel like it!), a new drink is always fun to serve when people come over! This is a great addition to a visit from friends or a perfect end to a meal in lieu of dessert!
Beat 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tbsp. jarred caramel topping, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract with an electric mixer on low speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into mugs, and pour hot brewed coffee over caramel whipped cream. Makes about 2 cups whipped cream.
Southern Living
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Monday, August 2, 2010

2 San Antonio Chicken Salad

, I was introduced to this salad the day one of my best friends got married! I mean seriously, isn't she beautiful????


Ashley's mom made us this delicious and healthy salad the afternoon of the wedding! It is light and perfect for summer! I would serve it with crackers at either a shower or party or by itself as a salad with a meal! For us girls, it makes a lovely lunch or dinner!

4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 Red Delicious Apples, peeled, cored and copped
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded queso Chihuahua or Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 prepared ranch dressing
4 cups torn lettuce leaves
1 (10 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup store bought spicy or hot peanuts
1 TBSP finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce

Combine all the ingredients except the dressing and the barbecue sauce in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled! Meanwhile combine the ranch dressing and barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Serve the salad with the dressing on the side! (add sliced jalapenos for spicy addition!)
Ruth Suddarth
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2 The Keurig

I am in love with my Keurig coffee maker! Nate was not such a fan at first (because our pretty big kitchen is becoming increasingly small with all of the appliances on the counter! Hey, a girl NEEDS her slow cooker and mix master daily!) but then I gave him a yummy Cafe Mocha by Cafe Escapes and he is hooked! When I had high tea at my house, everyone has such fun choosing which tea they wanted to try! (I know that it is SO much more AUTHENTIC to use the tea kettle and tea bags, but this caused less of a mess!) Some of our favorites were Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Pomegranate Green Tea all by Bigelow! So, what is YOUR favorite "K-Cup?"
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