Monday, January 16, 2017

Smothered Chicken Casserole

Did I surprise you by blogging 2 weeks in a row? I am trying to get back into sharing recipes with you. The best part to me about blogging is how easy it is for me to find a recipe we like and the photos of the kids. They have really grown up so fast since I started this blog. 
Since chicken is my husband's choice for dinner, it can get a little boring. So, I figured I would try this dish. The original recipe called for frozen broccoli but I prefer fresh every time. The original recipe had bacon crumbles on top but I hate cooking bacon so I didn't add it. This recipe does look pretty boring. I was hoping the parsley would brighten it up but I don't think it worked. Boy, I am glad it tastes better than it looks! I even told my oldest daughter she should make it. It isn't a hard recipe.
Smothered Chicken Casserole
1 tsp olive oil
4 boneless chicken breast
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 cups of cooked rice
Parsley for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick baking spray. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. 
  4. Add the chicken breast. 
  5. Sprinkle the chicken with the garlic salt and pepper. 
  6. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per a side until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. 
  7. In a large bowl, combine the soup, half-and-half, and paprika.  
  8. Remove 3/4 cup of the sauce and set aside. 
  9. Add the rice to the sauce and mix. 
  10. Spread the rice mixture evenly into the casserole dish. 
  11. Top with the chicken breast.
  12. Spread the reserved sauce over the chicken breast. 
  13. Sprinkle the parsley over top. 
  14. Cover and bake for 20 minutes.
  15. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes or until the sauce bubbles. 
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.

One year ago.........................I made Angel Food Cake.
Two years ago.......................I made Quiche Lorraine.
Three years ago.....................I made Cookies and Creme Cookies.
Four years ago.......................I made Italian Ranch Dip.
Five years ago......................I made Creme Brulee.
Did you already know...................
-More hens talk to their chicks while they are still in their egg.
-Chickens have more bones in their necks than giraffes.
-Chickens have no teeth and swallow their food whole.

Monday, January 9, 2017

One Pot Spinach Sausage Pasta

How has your year been going so far? Are you still going strong on your New Year resolutions? Have you broken any? Our New Year resolution is just to be a little more frugal and eat more fruit. It really isn't that hard. Also, the other New Year resolution is the kids and I are doing a number of exercises for the number of the day into the year which means if it is the 9th day of the year we will do 9 sit ups, stretches, push ups, jumping jacks, etc. So, far so good but I am unsure when we hit day 50 of the year!
     I have started cooking new dishes again. Recently, I have been trying to make easy one skillet meals. The kids like them. My husband likes them. Plus I can add additional vegetables which no one complains. Whether they notice or not, they haven't said anything.
     I may spend less time preparing supper but we still eat at the table as a family. I can't remember the last time we have not ate at the table. I think it is less messy plus we talk. We normally will ask about the best part of their day. It is cute how the kids go into stories about their favorite part of the day. The stories they tell us tend to make us laugh. When my oldest daughter lived at home, she always went last. Her stories always took the longest. Any other time of the day, she spoke the least. I think she was saving it for supper.
     My children practiced their photography skills and took the photos for me. I asked them to take a photo of themselves but they didn't. I will have to get some photos of them soon.
One Pot Spinach Sausage Pasta
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 package smoked sausage, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked pasta
4 cups water
2 Tbsp basil plus more for garnish
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped sausage and saute until heated. 
  3. Remove the sausage and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Add the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta, water, and basil. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is the desired tender.
  8. Stir in the spinach, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, milk, and sausage. 
  9. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.
  10. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. 
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe adapted from Chef In Training.

One year ago......................................I made Italian Cream Cake.
Two years ago....................................I made Stuffed Pepper Soup.
Three years ago..................................I made Sausage Wonton Appetizers.
Five years ago....................................I made Burgundy Mushrooms.
Did you already know...................
-More kids eat their vegetables if they eat supper with their family.
-Kids that eat supper with their family tend to be more exposed to new foods.
-Dinner conversation helps improve kids vocabulary which help improve their grades.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Best of 2016

     I keep meaning to blog, to say hi, or even post a new recipe but time wouldn't slow down for me. Now, we are already at the end of the year. I actually like blogging. I love cooking. I just haven't been cooking as much. Luckily, my husband has been cooking. He really does a good job.
     Before I recap our favorite recipes, I want to recap the year. We are still in North Carolina but we bought a house. Moving is so much work. We still have boxes to unpack and we moved over 5 months ago! At work, I have been working on a temporary detail which I love. However, it is temporary but I am still able to work on the detail for a couple more month. Personally, I love my husband and kids with all my heart. We have lost a cousin, nephew, an Aunt, and friends. It has been hard and they will always have a place in our heart and memories. Now, lets talk about food.

Favorite Breakfast:

Favorite Dinner:

Favorite Cake:

Favorite Dessert:

I wish you and your family a 
Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Greetings Everyone! I have returned from my trip to Scotland. It was great since I spent time with my Dad and sister. Also, I tried some great food over there. Yes, I had tea and scones in Edinburgh. I tried sticky toffee pudding and Cranachan. I had dinner in a pub and snacks on a train. I have photos to share with you.
 This is a photo of Edinburgh castle. Queen Mary of Scots lived there. She gave birth to future King James of England. As you can see, the castle is well defended and was never conquered.
Since we took a tour of the castle, I wanted to share some photos of the grounds. It really is beautiful with a spectacular view. The Edinburgh castle is one of Scotland's most visited attractions. During our visit, we were unable to visit the Holyroodhouse Palace since Queen Elizabeth was in residence.
I had to capture a Scotsman in full outfit. I did see the gentleman at several locations. Normally, I did not see many men wearing the traditional kilt but it was nice to spot some. I did ask the family if anyone wanted me to bring them home a kilt. Sadly, my family said no. Since kilts are not cheap, I didn't buy one even with a lower than normal exchange rate.
This is a photo to show a view of the city. It is beautiful with so much history. One day I will bring the kids and my husband with me. Cheers!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Six Bean Salad

     Occasionally, I will post a healthy recipe. My philosophy is to eat your fruits and vegetables, then you can have some sweets. No wonder my kids will eat their vegetables. The first time I had a five bean salad was while I was in the military. I liked it but I like beans and green beans. My favorite is green beans so I doubled the green beans.
     Since we were having a cook out. I decided to make some easy side dishes. The five bean salad was one of the side dishes. My husband will not eat this dish. He wouldn't even try it. The kids would try it but they preferred the macaroni salad. 
     I will have to make this dish for my Dad. He would appreciate it as much as I did. I will post photos of my trip soon. I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July. Be safe.
Six Bean Salad
2 cans (15 oz) green beans
1 can (15 oz) waxed yellow beans
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) black beans
1 can (15 oz) white kidney beans
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 tsp grated onion
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt, additional for garnish

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the green beans and yellow wax beans. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Rinse off the kidney beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans. Set aside. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Gently, toss all the ingredients in a large bowl. 
  5. Lightly top with additional celery salt.
  6. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Recipe adapted from Samina Cooks

Two years ago.......................I made Strawberry Fool with blueberries.
Three years ago.....................I made Strawberry Whoppie Pies.
Four years ago.......................I made Bacon and Cheddar Scones.
Did you already know........................
-Green beans originated from Mexico and South America.
-In the 16th century, the Spanish explores introduced beans to Europe.
-Green beans and dry beans belong to the Phaseolus vulgaris family.