Monday, November 29, 2010

Online Santa Fun For Your Kids

Portable North Pole lets your children receive a personalized message from Santa.  Very cool!

Starting on Wednesday, December 1st you can track Santa with the Official Norad Santa Tracker

Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken

**just linked up this recipe to Your Recipe, My Kitchen

One of the things I like best about sharing recipes on my blog is participating in weekly blog parties that spotlight food and recipes.  I am finding lots of yummy recipes to try and am discovering great blogs to follow. 

Recently I found a yummy-sounding recipe on Tiffanee's blog, One Crazy Cookie.  The recipe is for Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken....only a few ingredients to throw in the crock pot...gotta like that!  Thanks, Tiffany, for sharing this recipe!  It was an instant hit with my family.
Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken

4-5 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1/2 cup butter
1 package dry Italian dressing mix (I used Good Seasons)
2 (10-3/4oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup water
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 lb. pasta

Place chicken breasts in the crock pot and sprinkle with the Italian dressing mix.  Pour can of cream of chicken soup and water over chicken.  Add the butter.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice. 

When chicken is done, remove it from the sauce and shred it.  Add the brick of cream cheese and return the chicken to the crock pot.  Allow the cream cheese to melt.  Stir to combine. 

This is great served with either pasta or rice.  I used rotini noodles and added the cooked pasta into the crock pot and stirred to combine it with the chicken and sauce mixture. 

This was a great recipe that my family all agreed was a hit.  And it was good the next day for lunch too!

I'll be sharing this recipe this week...
Mouthwatering Monday
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tuesdays At The Table
Eat at Home's Ingredient Spotlight
Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy Reading

Menu Plan Monday

Go to fullsize image
Here's my plan for this week...

Monday...chicken in slow cooker (no idea what this is friend told me about it...chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup and cheddar cheese soup in slow cooker...I'll let you know how it turns out), mashed potatoes, green beans

Tuesday...chili & rice (this is the 2nd half of the batch I made 2 weeks ago and froze)

Wednesday...Easiest Ever Pot Roast (will share recipe in a few days...thanks to fellow blogger, Amanda...she'll get a shout out in my recipe post!), egg noodles, honey carrots

Thursday...Peanut Chicken (recipe coming in a few days), rice, broccoli

Friday...out for son's b-day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our New Addition To The Family

We have a new puppy!  Her name is Karley and she is just the CUTEST! 
My weekend was monopolized by her...bringing her home, puppy-proofing the house, starting the crate training, etc.  I've never had to do this before.  I would appreciate any advice you can give!

Family Taco Night Winner!

Thanks to all of you who entered the Family Taco Night giveaway from Old El Paso and My BlogSpark. 

The winner is...

bethwright said...

my favorite mexican meal is a chicken chimichanga :) ,

This winning number (#13) was selected via (I can't seem to get the little box to post onto here...I promise it is legit!).

The winner has 48 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be drawn. 

Thanks again to Old El Paso and My BlogSpark for providing this giveaway. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Late in posting this week's dinner plans...

Monday...Chili and rice (do you eat yours this way?  Thought it was weird until I tried it)
Tuesday...Creamy Italian Crock Pot Chicken with noodles and broccoli (trying a new recipe...will post soon)
Wednesday...out for dinner to benefit kid's school
Thursday...Taco Soup and beer bread

I've been pulling lots of new recipes to try and will be posting them soon!

Pizza Dip

This is such a quick and easy dip to throw together.  And it is always a crowd-pleaser...who doesn't like pizza, right?  I made this the other night for my husband and a group of his college buddies that were visiting.  I'm not sure it lasted even 5 minutes before it was completely devoured. 

Hope you enjoy...

Pizza Dip

1 (8oz) package cream cheese
pepperoni slices (I usually quarter these so they are very small bite size pieces in the dip)
pizza sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
oregano or Italian seasoning

Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate.  Arrange pepperoni slices on top (I just eyeball enough to cover the cream cheese).  Spread a layer of pizza sauce (I eyeball this...usually half a jar or a little more).  Top with mozzarella cheese, spread to cover the whole thing.  Sprinkle oregano or Italian seasoning on top. 

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Linking to...
Tuesdays At The Table
Works For Me Wednesday

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole

***Don't forget to enter my Family Taco Night Giveaway!
My family loves this yummy dish! We make this instead of the traditional mashed potatoes and gravy at the holidays. This is also a great dish to take to potlucks. It is very quick and easy and so yummy!

Hashbrown Casserole

1 package (24 ounce) frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed (I use the OreIda frozen hashbrown patties)
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup diced onion (optional)
1 container (16 ounce) sour cream
2 packages (8 ounces each) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

(made this the other night and used hashbrowns that were potato chunks instead of shredded patties...different texture but still very yummy!)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Thaw shredded potatoes in a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Once thawed, add onion, sour cream and one package of shredded cheese. Mix well.
Spread second package of shredded cheese on top of mixture.

Bake for 1 hour at 350° for one hour.

I'm linking up to these great blogs this week...

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up at Serenity Now
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Mom's Crazy Cooking
Tuesdays at the Table
Practice Hospitality at Southern Fried Gal
Works For Me Wednesday

Friday, November 12, 2010

Taco Night & A Giveaway from Old El Paso!!!

My family loves to hear me say "It's Taco Night!".  In this house we are big fans of all kinds of Mexican food...from chips and salsa and tacos to my Sour Cream Enchiladas and Taco Soup.  Look for recipes for the enchiladas and soup coming soon.

When we have Taco Night I set up the island in the kitchen to be a self-serve buffet.  Everything from the taco shells to the toppings are set out in bowls and on platters so everyone can create their ultimate tacos!  **My taco tip for stretch the taco meat further (which will save you money), offer rice along with the meat.  This will help fill the tacos and stretch the beef or chicken.  Using either white rice or a flavored mexican rice works great.

Old El Paso makes Family Taco Night easy for you.  The Old El Paso line of products includes taco shells and seasonings, salsa and dips, chilis, refried beans and sides, enchilada sauce, taco sauce, chilis and dinner kits.  Visit Old El Paso for recipes and product information. 
 GO HERE to download a printable coupon for $0.60 off any two Old El Paso products today!
I was excited to receive a price pack from Old El Paso and My Blogspark.  It included Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, a cactus chip & dip serving dish, 3 Fiesta Chili Pepper Serving Dishes and a $10 gift card to purchase ingredients for our Taco Night. 

And I am excited to be able to give away another prize pack to one lucky reader.  You will receive everything mentioned above (the seasoning, the dishes, and the gift card) to create your own Family Taco Night!

To enter...

1)  leave me a comment telling me your favorite Mexican food
     (be sure to include your email address so I can contact you)

For Extra Entries...(separate comment for each entry)

2)  follow Home Matters (via Google or email).  If you already follow, leave me a comment letting me know.
3)  share this giveaway on your Facebook page (leave me a link to find it)
4)  share this giveaway on your blog (leave me a link to find it)

One winner will be chosen via a random number generator on November 18 (Thursday).  The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize. 

I received this prize pack, information and giveaway from Old El Paso through MyBlogSpark.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Friday Favorites

Here are some of my favorite recent posts from around the blogosphere...

Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie
I was drooling over the Upside Down Apple Pecan Pie posted on Tidy Mom...Check it out and enter the giveaway from Pillsbury.  Then check back on Monday when she kicks off her Love The Pie Party with lots of people linking up their yummiest pie recipes.

Check out Crockpot Baked Potatoes at Finding Joy In My Kitchen... Do you make them this way?  I couldn't wait to try!

How cute are these Five Finger Snowman Ornaments posted on Full of Great Ideas???  So cute and inexpensive and look really easy!

This is a neat family project...How To Make A Homemade Birdseed Wreath (for the birds) posted on Under The Table And Dreaming.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marinated Corn Salad

Yesterday at our church we enjoyed a great potluck lunch.  I brought a marinated corn salad.  It was super easy to make, tastes great and is a great dish for an event like is eye-catching and colorful and there's no need to worry about keeping it warm, etc. 

In my rush to get out the door in the morning I neglected (again!) to take a picture to post with the recipe.  I'll try to remember next time! 

Hope you give this one a try.  Enjoy!

Marinated Corn Salad

2 cans corn (I like to use Green Giant Extra Sweet Niblets)
2 stalks celery, chopped
red pepper chopped (or you can use a 2 ounce jar of pimento)
onion, chopped
green pepper, chopped
**I just eye ball it for the peppers & onion but it is about a 1/2 cup of each**

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl.

Next mix the dressing...

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Pour the dressing over the corn mixture.  Cover and marinate overnight.  The next day drain well. 
Serve chilled.

Joining in the fun at
TastyTuesday200pix Welcome to my new home   Tasty Tuesday
Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Menu Plan Monday

In an effort to stay organized and not blow my budget I am trying to consistently plan my dinner menu each week.  Posting it on here will hopefully keep me accountable (to myself) and maybe will help you with a new recipe or just encourage you to plan for your family too. 

This week...

Monday...soup & sandwiches
Tuesday...spaghetti & salad
Wednesday...cracker chicken (that's what my kids call this Creamy Chicken Casserole), honey carrots, green beans
Thursday...grilled chicken & veggies with angel hair pasta
Friday...homemade pizza night
Saturday...maybe out to dinner for daughter's birthday!

I've linked my menu to Menu Plan Monday...check it out for lots of recipes & ideas!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

Next week my family is meeting up with a friend for some outdoor portraits and I am so excited!  We are long overdue for a nice family photo.  And this is perfect timing for us to have a nice picture to use when creating our Christmas cards. 

I enjoy sending out Christmas cards to family and friends and, in turn, I love receiving them.  The last few years it seems more and more people are sending those neat photo cards.  This year I am excited about creating Christmas photo cards too!  Shutterfly is offering 20% off all Christmas cards right now so it's a great time to get started on this project.

Shutterfly offers a lot of neat options when you upload your photos on their site.  You can make all sorts of things like the photo cards or gift items like mousepads and coffee mugs.  And Shutterfly isn't just for the holidays.  They have lots of options for invitations, announcements and stationary items.  They offer a neat assortment of products and a wide variety of styles to choose from.  The site is very easy to use, even if you are new to this experience, so don't be intimidated to try it.

I can't wait to share my finished project with you soon! 

For my fellow bloggers...Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à

**I disclose that I did receive free photo cards for this post; however, the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cranberry Apple Crumble

I made this yummy dish for a teacher's meeting at my kid's school today and it was a hit!  I've always loved it...especially served warm with vanilla ice cream.  Sorry there are no pictures...I was rushing to get it to the school and forgot about posting the photo on here.

Hope you enjoy...

Cran-Apple Crumble

2 cups fresh whole cranberries
2 cups apples, diced
1 cup sugar

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl.  Stir until fruit is coated.  Pour into a casserole dish.

1-1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl, stirring until well blended.

Melt 1 stick of butter or margarine and add to the oatmeal mixture.  Stir until well mixed. 

Spread oatmeal mixture over the fruit.

Bake at 325 for about 35 minutes.  Serve warm.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Coming Soon: My Next Giveaway!!

Just confirmed my next giveaway...stay tuned!!

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, I can't believe November is here already!  It amazes me how fast the years go by. 

Anyway, I have been quite lazy about my weekly menu plans for about 3 weeks now.  Time to get back on track...

Monday...Rotisserie Turkey Breast (trying out this feature on the new grill!), mashed potatoes, corn

Tuesday...brown sugar ham, mac & cheese, broccoli

Wednesday...taco soup & cheese quesadillas  (soup recipe coming soon!)


Friday...homemade pizzas