August 22, 2011

Jeana's Fancy Chicken

Okay, so I'm kind of lame

I didn't get a photo of this recipe after I made it. Okay, I did...but I took it kind of fast and discovered later it was pretty blurry. But, in my defense it was like 7 p.m., and my children were crazy hungry, and our guests had been waiting, and I need a new camera... Thus, the lameness.

I thought about trying to find a picture on the internet of another chicken casserole-ish dish that looked similar to this recipe, but do you know what you get when you google the words  
Fancy Chicken?

You get this:

And this:

  I don't know why I was surprised. It could have been worse....I guess.

So, you are going to have to use your imagination on this one, and try to get the images of those other so-called Fancy Chickens out of your mind.

Think buttery crust.

Think sour cream sauce.

Think cheesy goodness.

Think about wearing an elastic waistband the next day.

And with that, I present you....

Jeana's Fancy Chicken
Printable Version

6 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
6 slices of Swiss cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups chicken flavored stuffing mix
5 tablespoons of butter, melted
salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 365 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a greased 9 X 13 baking dish and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then cover each breast with a slice of Swiss cheese. (Note: I think the Swiss cheese is where this recipes derives the title Fancy. 'Cuz if the cheese in my house is anything but yellow, or moldy, it's considered fancy.)

In a small mixing bowl combine the cream of chicken soup and sour cream, and then spread over chicken breasts. Evenly cover chicken with the stuffing mix, and then drizzle with the melted butter.
Sprinkle again with salt, if so desired.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the chicken's internal temperature is at least 165 degrees.

Now serve it up, and bask in your Paula Deen-ness, y'all

The next and final recipe for Chicken Week! is:

Patti's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Taking a Lipitor,
August 20, 2011

Easy BBQ Crockpot Chicken

I came up with this recipe all by my pretty little self. 
You are going to be soooo impressed, I just know it.

All you need is this....
A crockpot, some chicken (cuz' it Chicken Week! yo) and a large bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.

Here's how you make it :

Throw the chicken and the sauce in the pot, and set it to cook for 6-8 hours. 

And you're done.


 Just walk away.
Go get a mani/pedi.

Or take a nap.

Unless you have young children at home who are not napping.

Then a nap while the children are awake may not be your best idea.

I hear that's frowned upon.

That's why I don't do it.....anymore.

Maybe, just take a little breather on the couch with a caffeinated beverage 
so you won't be tempted.

All this nap talk to getting to my eyelids, so I guess I should get back to talking about the chicken.


You'll know the chicken is done when it's basically falling apart,
and your house smells something akin to your favorite BBQ joint.
(Light a candle if that last part doesn't sound too appealing to you, or make some Snickerdoodles to make your house smell like Christmas and your favorite BBQ joint. That's what I did.)

Now, it's up to you how you want to serve it. 

Maybe on a toasted roll with some melted provolone cheese,
and a slice of red onion for good measure?

Or how about over some white rice?

We're watching our carbs, so I decided to serve it over a baked potato...
(I know that baked potatoes are full of carbs. I just wanna make sure you're awake and not napping!)

And it was DELISH!

I think this going to be a staple meal for us. It was just too darn simple. 

And I was born for simple.

Try it out, and let me know what you think.

Next Up:
Jeana's Fancy Chicken

Having some coffee,
August 17, 2011

Rachel's Creamy White Chicken Chili

I had this chili at my friend Rachel's a couple months ago and instantly fell in love with it.
It is probably one of them most flavorable and hearty soups I have ever tasted.
So, of course being that it's Chicken Week!, I must share it with you!

Now, don't let all the ingredients scare you. It's super easy to make and so worth it!

Here you go:

Rachel’s Creamy White Chicken Chili
Printable Version

3-4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
2 cans (14oz) chicken broth
1 can (4 oz each) diced green chiles
1 box (10oz) frozen spinach, finely chopped*
1 can hominy, drained
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

*Don't thaw the spinach, just place the box in the microwave for 15-20 seconds so it'll be easier to chop. Also, if your family is not big on spinach, try halving the amount. I added more than the original recipe called for because my kids actually like spinach, and it's a easy way to get them to eat more of it. I know, they're weird

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a small baking dish and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken’s internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Place chicken on a cutting board and cut into bite size pieces.

In a large stockpot, sauté onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium- high heat; about five minutes. Now add the rest of the ingredients (including the chicken), except for the dairy items, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream and sour cream. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.

I have adapted a couple things in this recipe from the original to fit our family a little better, like by taking out some of the heat. So if you like your chili with a little more oomph, try adding these:

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 more can of diced green chiles
(You won't be sorry. Well....maybe later you will be. Ahhh... potty humor. So appropriate on a recipe post. )  

Next up: 
Easy Crockpot BBQ Chicken


Sigh....It's the First Day of School

We interrupt Chicken Week! to report that Ben has officially started school. 

Breath Beth. Just breath.

*sniff* *sniff*

It's only been an hour, and Harrison and I are staring at each other like "What do we do now?"
You see, Ben's the entertainment. 

On the other hand, I did get to drink a hot cup of coffee for a change this morning, while also getting in some cuddle time with the little one, and some extra blogging time. 
You know Harrison is an excellent shopping buddy. there's some possibilities.

Note: Ben just returned from school, and had a great time! I knew he would.

Slowly seeing the silver lining of having school aged children,

August 16, 2011

Pesto Tortellini with Grilled Chicken


I love pesto.

What's not to love?

Basil. Yes, please.

Olive oil. Uh huh.

Garlic. Well, if you must.

Pine nuts. Of course.

Do I make my own pesto? Will I someday when I plant my dream garden? Maybe. Until then I am going to settle for store bought or the generosity of my neighbors.              
(ignore this subtle hint if you do not live in my subdivision)

It's Chicken Week!, and I've had a hankering for something pesto, so I decided to play my hand at creating a little dish that would marry the two. I came up with Pesto Tortellini and Grilled Chicken. 
I think you'll like it. It was soooo easy to make, and really took no time at all.
 Here's what you'll need:

Pesto Tortellini with Grilled Chicken

3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
capable man, optional (to grill your chicken so you don't have to go out in the elements)
1 large pkg. tortellini, frozen or fresh
1 small container of pesto
Parmesan, shaved

Place the chicken breasts in a small baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn the breasts over and repeat. Cover and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. 

Prepare your tortellini according to the package directions. You'll also want to start grilling chicken at this time. Grill your chicken on medium-low heat for about 7 minutes on each side, or until the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Once done, let the chicken rest for about five minutes on a plate tented with foil. Then slice long ways. 

In a good sized mixing bowl, stir the pesto and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add your prepared tortellini and combine gently. You don't want to be too rough with your tortellini, their sensitive. Now place your pesto tortellini on a serving platter, and top with grilled chicken and shaved Parmesan. 

Ain't she lovely? I am going to take the humble liberty of saying that this dish
was quite the crowd pleaser.   

Here's what my focus group had to say about it: 

Hungry Man:  Wow, Beth! This could be on Olive Garden's Menu.  It's that good.  
(Oh yeah. We're fancy like that.)

Hungry Boy #1: This is super awesome! What is it? 

Hungry Boy #2:  Good supper mama. (He says that every night.)

Disclaimer: I should probably tell you that this group would be happy with a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner. But, the good news is for some reason the under four crowd didn't care that the pasta had green stuff on it. I was worried that this would be a deal breaker. So, I wish you the same luck.

Next Up:

Rachel's Creamy White Chicken Chili

 Filling out my Olive Garden Culinary Institute Application right now....
August 15, 2011

It's Chicken Week!

We try to eat at home for the most part, which means I "try" to meal plan on a weekly basis. So, since I have a plethora (love that word) of chicken in my freezer, I have officially declared this week Chicken Week! I put a lot of creativity and thought into that title if you can't tell.

I've gathered up all of my favorite chicken recipes, and a couple of new ones, to cook up and pass along to you throughout the week. So enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Last night we had Lemon Chicken Breast inspired by my personal kitchen hero, Ina Garten. Of course I didn't take a picture of what I made, but let's just say that it was as beautiful as this (one can dream):

Barefoot Contessa. Photo: Quentin Bacon 

I tweaked it just a little bit to fit the ingredients I had on hand, and of course Hungry Man, Hungry Boy #1, and Hungry Boy #2 were clueless and singing my name as they devoured it. Okay, maybe they weren't singing my name. It might have been more like a mouth-full-of-food Thanks Mom! from the 2 year old, but none-the-less they liked it.

Here's my version:

Lemon Chicken Breast
(adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
1/3 cup cooking wine
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme (if you have fresh, hey use it, but if you are a wannabe like me and don't have fresh laying around, just use dried)
Salt and Pepper
4 good sized chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 lemon, cut into eighths Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat, and then add the garlic; cooking just for a minute. By the way, this smells AMAZING. Now, take the pan off the heat and add your cooking wine, zest, lemon juice, herbs, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir and pour into an 8 X 8 baking dish (9 X 9 will work too).

Place the chicken breasts over the sauce, and then brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Then place the lemon wedges around the breasts.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken's internal temp has reached 165 degrees. Remove from oven, and cover with some foil so the chicken can rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy the amazing aroma for sure!

Serve over some Basmati Rice or pasta of your choice, and then please don't forget to spoon some of that yummy sauce from the baking dish over it. So good!

Here's what you can look forward to this week (in no specific order):

Pesto Tortellini with Grilled Chicken 
Creamy White Chicken Chili 
Fancy Chicken
Chicken Tortilla Soup 
Crockpot BBQ Chicken

What's your favorite chicken recipe? 

Never Chickened Out,
August 10, 2011

The Visitor

I was pretty astonished to see a good-sized turtle leisurely walking through our backyard this morning. The boys were beside themselves trying to get past me to go outside and check him out, in which I recommended that they first put on more then just underwear and a 12-hour-old
pull-up to greet our new friend. They looked at me like I was crazy even suggest such a thing (Clothes?!?! You've got to be mad woman! Don't you know it's summer?), but the lure of the very large reptile was too much for them to bare, and soon they conceded. 

By the time we were able to get outside, Mr. Turtle was already in the neighboring yard, 
which happens to be vacant right now, so we didn't mind doing a little trespassing
to get a better look at him (yet another reason I should be nominated for mother of the year).

 We tried to bribe him into friendship with some food.
Let's just say that the turtle is now gone, and the carrot still remains. 
Ben's thoughts: "See mom, nobody likes carrots."

We sat and stared at him for a while, and he at us. That lasted all of five minutes.
We wished Mr. Turtle good luck in his adventures and went back inside
to watch yet another rousing episode of Go, Diego, Go (yay).  

Along with the lizard that Darrel and the boys discovered last week, and the legion of salamanders the week before, I really don't know how I feel about all this unexpected wildlife in my backyard.

Whatever happened to precious little baby bunnies, the non-intrusive blue jay,
and playful squirrels?

Hmmm...I think I know what  happened to them. 

  It's time to get a fence,
July 30, 2011

Summer Thus Far

 I've never been the biggest fan of summer. Why? Well, I'm a Pacific Northwest girl, so full swing humidity and temps above 85 are unbearable to me. Let's not forget about about the bugs that come along with these months. Here in Oklahoma, they are bigger, smarter, and in your face. I promise you. Then there's the grass that turns brown in June, the higher water and electric bills, the sun blaring in when it's time to put your sleep-haten' children to bed, boring television, and let's not forget when the power goes out in 110 degree heat for seven hours (grumble, grumble, grumble).
Cue the Debbie Downer music.

But, I have to say... so far the events of this summer have far outweighed those little nuisances.
First, we had the cousins here for a week. That was awesome. 

But, as a family, we've also made some memories. Check them out:
Ben started T-Ball last month. I love his little uniform and the way he absolutely has no care in the world when he is out on the field during a game. Will you see him twirling on third base? Yes. Will he be oblivious about the ball headed in his direction? Yes. But, then there are those moments where he'll actually make contact with the ball or he'll even run in the right direction. Either way, I'm a proud mama when I'm loading up the washer with his filthy little uniform. One proud mama

The kids fell in love with the free splash park in OKC. I just fell in love with the free part.

Sadly, if there are puddles on the ground, my son is drinking out of them. 
I don't think he gets that from my side.

We dragged the kids to see Seussical the Musical at a local theater, and you know...
I think we all thought it was pretty fantastic. And, the kids got in free.
Sensing a theme yet for what makes me happy?

Hello my name is Beth, and I am addicted to Pinterest
Hello Beth.
Our 4th of July was filled with goodies that I copied gathered from this amazing site!
These patriotic little guys were a hit with the family, and were so easy to make.

This idea was also inspired from my Pinterest perusing. I modified it just a bit to add a couple of my favorite things like: butter pound cake, cream cheese whipped filling, blueberries, and a sinful amount of sugar. These my friends, are happiness in a jar.

Nana and Papa spent the 4th with us, and we had such a good time with them!
When these fine folk are around, our kids forget that Darrel and I exist and I'm
pretty sure just see us as live-in help.

Can't forget Grammy. Yep, these kids were spoiled in heaven with all their grandparents visiting.

Again, I think I'm changing my mind about loathing summer.

Pushing daddy into the pool. They thought they were being sneaky, 
so daddy didn't disappoint with his dramatic fall.

Walking home from swimming, lightening bugs, popsicles, sunscreen, and headless towel children. 
The essence of our summer.

Changing my attitude,
July 8, 2011

An Old Friend, the Twins, and a Cheerleader

We moved into our new house about four months ago (Hallelujah), and I am just now putting stuff up on the walls. Just now. I adore arranging furniture and styling pieces, but for some reason I would rather prepare taxes then hang pictures, plates, or worse...shelves. 

I had found some inspiration here that I was actually pretty pumped to try out. So, after gathering some items I already had, "enduring" a little bit of childless shopping, and practicing some minor patience, I was able to put together a spot that's pretty and functional.

The spot for this dresser is kind of unique. It's a little bit in the living room, a little bit in the kitchen, and even a little bit in the dining room, thus it functions a little bit for each room. We needed some lamp lighting for the living room in the evening, and some extra storage for dining linens and paper goods. Thus, meet my new best friends:

(See how it's a little part of every room?)

Here's a breakdown on how it came together:

The Dresser: is an old reliable friend from my college days. I think I paid $75 for it at a yard sale, slapped some white paint on it, and named her Mary. Not really. Names for dressers are silly. She's been our guest room standard for the last 10 years, so her free and painless transformation from sachet connoisseur to our fab new table console, slash key holder, slash linen closet, slash paper goods keeper, slash stereo table (Pheww...she's busy), is kind of cool.

Lamps: Found these girls at TJMaxx for $29.95 a piece. It was love at first sight fo sho.

Leather Tray: Target, $16.95 on clearance. Not bad. Not bad.

Accessories: The silver bowl was a gift from a work Christmas party like six years ago. It is the perfect place for the hub's keys, wallet, watch, whatever. It's not just a bowl. It's a peacekeeper. The stacked books are just from our stash, but you know the kind, these are the ones that are too tall to fit upright in the book shelf. Yay! Finally a home where they fit in (Get it? Fit in? Nope. I'm here all day people.)

Stereo: It may be little, but it definitely puts out great sound.  It's a Philips Ipod Stereo/Charger that I am pretty sure I got it at Target last year. This is a great spot for it too, because music radiates between the dining room, kitchen, and living room, which is perfect for entertaining. 

Plates: They're all from TJMaxx at some time or another, and I can promise you I didn't spend over $4 for one of them because I'm cheap like that. I did splurge on these adhesive plate hangers from Hobby Lobby for $1.99 each (see below), well, because I'm lazy like that.


Love these guys. They are so easy to attach to the plate, and hanging is a breeze. Which bodes well for my "hanging stuff" aversion. Arranging tip #1: Place your plates on the floor to play around with the design and look you want before hanging them. You'll have less nail holes. Well, less nail holes then me probably. Arranging tip #2: Do not ask your husband what he thinks after hanging them. He may say at first that he likes it a lot, but then later concede that he thinks your design might look like a cheerleader holding poms poms. This will make you sad, because now...that's all you see. Just saying.

Never moving again,

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