Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tasty Thursday

With all the busyness of trying to get rolling with home school, starting Awanas for the first time with 4 kids involved, and I'm still battling the dreaded morning sickness (shouldn't that be gone yet?), I haven't been doing much posting. I did however, manage to try a new recipe last night.

I love the ingredient search option at I have been craving something with chicken and rice, and I found the perfect recipe. I made it last night, and my kids gobbled it down quicker than I could keep it on their plates. Even my super picky husband liked it, and is willing to let me cook it for dinner again. So this was definitely a hit. I changed a few things from the original recipe (which I think helped for our family), and I'll include those notes at the bottom.

Delicious Chicken Casserole

4 skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup cooked rice
6 ounces sour cream
2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups crushed buttery round crackers
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bring to a boil the chicken breasts, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and enough water to cover. Cover, reduce heat to medium low; simmer for 35 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup liquid. Cool chicken, remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl, stir together sour cream, soup, broth, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in cooked rice and chicken. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. In a resealable bag, shake together crushed crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle crackers over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

**I used frozen chicken, because I have two bags of it. I didn't have any celery, so I didn't put that in, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out where my celery salt went to. I used twice as much rice as was called for, and I also skipped the butter cracker topping in favor of a topping I use on my Au Gratin potatoes.

Crunchy Topping:

1/2 cup butter, melted ****CORRECTION**** THIS SHOULD BE 1/4 CUP BUTTER!!!
2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes

Combine the butter and cornflakes, and spread evenly over the top of the casserole.

Trust me folks, this is the most simple, basic, satisfying dish I've made in a while. I even convinced my oldest boy to eat a whole spoonful of peas just so he could get a second helping. That's gold ladies :)

Don't forget to visit the Pumkin Patch for more great Tasty Thursday recipes!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Just For Fun....

I decided to try to figure out who my worst idea of a candidate would be, by answering as many of the questions opposite of what I would prefer in a candidate.

This is who I came up with:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I So Want One!!

My husband and I have been talking about getting a vacuum for a while now. Our old one was too much fuss (we had a Rainbow, which works great, for a while, until you accidentally leave it on the water a few times. It gets ugly after that). The one we're using now is an ancient one that belongs to his mother, which also works nice, but it's definitely an old one.

So, when I saw this post for the Dyson giveaway on 5 Minutes For Mom, I got very excited. Now, I realize I have a pretty good track record when it comes to winning things on this site, but this is definitely one our whole family would benefit from. Plus, I lost a very good friend to breast cancer several years ago, so this would be a great honor to her memory. (Does anyone still name their appliances? I might have to name this one after my friend!)

So go check out the contest, sign up, and hopefully, I'll win!!! (Just kidding!)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Go Ron Paul!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tasty Thursday

Today's recipe is one that I picked up from a calendar from Pfaltzgraff, when I was buying table decorations for my wedding. It was one of those free calendars that they handed out with purchases, so I took it home and leafed through it. This is really the first yeast bread I had ever made (so the first few attempts were a bit scary, since I had never worked with yeast before), but now it's a family favorite and one of the softest breads I have in my arsenal. I've been making it now since just before my husband and I were married. It's a great bread to match with just about anything, especially a nice brothy chicken soup.

Herb Peel-Away Bread

3 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages rapid rise yeast
1 Tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 cup water
6 Tablespoon butter, divided
1 egg, room temperature

Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, yeast and herbs in a large mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, combine water and 4 tablespoons butter. Heat until hot to touch (125-130 degrees F.). Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir in egg and just enough of remaining flour to form soft dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 4 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Let rise, covered, for 10 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch square (it's important to measure!). Melt 2 tablespoons butter; brush dough surface with butter. Cut into 36 squares (6x6). Place squares butter side down, 12 in a layer, in a greased 9x5x3" loaf pan. Let rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes.

Makes 1 loaf.

Don't forget to visit the Pumkin Patch for more great Tasty Thursday recipes!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

It Is Finished!

My quilt that is! I finally finished the baby quilt that I've been working on for nearly a year. It is light and dark yellow, light and dark green, and white with yellow rosebuds. It also sports some origami flowers, which were a lot of fun to make. (I highly recommend Fantastic Fabric Folding by Rebecca Wat, it's where I got the idea for this blanket.)

Here is a slideshow of the blanket.

Monday, September 3, 2007

My Little Girl

What a funny little thing she is. She is six, and the only girl in a houseful of boys. I recently had two different conversations with her. One let me know that she is starting to learn to listen. The other, well I'm not sure what she's learning there, but it was cute anyway.

Yesterday, after a rather difficult ride home from church (the ever popular stop-touching-me-he's-licking-me-i-don't-like-you-very-much fighting in the backseat kind of ride), I had finally had enough and offered to spank all of them when I got home. So, when we get home, my ever observant daughter had a revelation.

Ariel: Mommy?
Mommy: Yes dear?
Ariel: I was thinking. Maybe, if I don't steal, and I'm not naughty, maybe I won't get spanked.
Mommy: (trying desperately to turn this into a really good teaching moment), You're right sweetie. If you don't do those things, you won't get spanked. That's very good.
Ariel: (shoots me a little grin and runs off)

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my daughter, who has finally learned the truth about spankings. Now, if only her brothers would get the same idea!

Conversation number two. It was bath night last night. Lately, my daughter has decided that she doesn't like to be alone in the bathroom, and wants someone to sit with her. Well, in a house of boys, that's not always a good idea. So, I would sit with her for a little bit, then go do a few things. That seemed to work alright for a little bit. But then, came last night's conversation.

Ariel: Mommy, I don't like being alone with the door closed.
Mommy: What is it you're afraid of?
Ariel: I'm afraid the monsters are going to come get me.
Mommy: Hmmm. Where do you think the monsters are going to come from?
Ariel: Right here, behind the wall. (I was totally expecting the drain, but I went with it anyway)
Mommy: Well honey, if the monsters are going to come through that wall, they'd have to make a lot of noise doing it. (no sympathy here, right?) So, if you hear lots of noise, you'll have enough time to get out of the tub before they get through the wall. Okay? I'll be back in a little bit. (I was sooo tempted to go start banging on the wall from the other side, but I figured that might scar her for life, so I refrained).
Ariel: Mommy?
Mommy: Yes sweetie?
Ariel: I know there aren't any monsters on the other side of the wall. (Brilliant reasoning)
Mommy: That's right dear. So you have nothing to be afraid of then, do you?
Ariel: No, Mommy. You're just being silly.

How true that is. And all this from the reasoning of a 6 year old.