Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall Y'All

It's official...Fall is here! 

It's my favorite season.  I love so much about it. 

The colors... 
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The Pumpkins...

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The Food...
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And all the fun activities...

fire pits with roasting marshmallows and sipping hot chocolate
cuddling under a blanket
lighting candles as the evenings come earlier
and the start of the holiday season!

What do you love most about this time of year?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Tastes Like Thanksgiving" Casserole

For some reason I've thought about Thanksgiving several times recently.  More specifically, I've thought about the food at Thanksgiving. 

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So when I ran across this recipe I knew I wanted to give it a try.  I can't remember exactly where I found it on a message board so thanks to whoever it was that unknowingly shared this with me :)

It was easy to make and it did remind me of a Thanksgiving dinner, especially when paired with some cranberries and veggies.  I prefer the real thing but this definitely satisfied me until November 24th rolls around. (sorry for the lack of a photo...completely forgot to take one!)

"Tastes Like Thanksgiving" Casserole

3 cups cooked chicken
1 box of stuffing mix
1 can chicken broth
3 Tbs. butter
1 1/3 cups milk
1 can cream of chicken soup

Put the chicken in the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. 
In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the chicken broth and stir in the stuffing mix.
Set aside while you mix the milk and cream soup together in a separate bowl. Pour the milk/soup mixture over the chicken.
Top with the stuffing mix.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.

Monday, September 19, 2011

{Crock Pot} Loaded Potato Soup

Last week here in NC we started out with sunshine and high 80's to low 90's for temps.  We ended the week on Friday and through the weekend with gray overcast skies and temps in the high 50's.  Wow!  I mean, I am all for cooler fall weather but that was a pretty drastic change. 

Weather like that makes me start thinking about warm comfort foods.  Mmmmm...

Friday morning I pulled out the crock pot and started some soup.  I had been anxious to try a potato soup using the slow cooker and had found one last week on The Country Cook's site.  Brandie, thanks for posting this recipe.  It was so nice to throw it in the crock pot and let it go. 

My family declared this one a winner! 

{Crock Pot} Loaded Potato Soup

4 lbs. potatoes (Yukon gold, red skin, or russet), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (optional)
2  14oz. cans chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups half and half
Garnish:  shredded cheddar cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon, sliced green onions, etc

Spray inside of crock pot with some non-stick spray then throw in the cubed potatoes (5-quart crock pot).

Top with chopped onion, garlic and celery (if using).

Add chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Broth will not completely cover potatoes. 
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until potatoes are tender.

When finished cooking, mash potato mixture with a potato masher.  I like chunky soup so I made sure to leave some potato chunks in it. 

Stir in half and half.  Cover and cook on high for 20 more minutes, or until mixture is thoroughly heated. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. 

* As info, I used Yukon Gold potatoes and I did add the optional garlic and celery. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken

I can't really remember where I first saw this slow cooker recipe but it's the kind I like...a handful of ingredients that I already have in my fridge or pantry to throw in for a quick meal on a busy day and night.  We had this chicken with potatoes and some yummy sweet corn.  It would be great on sandwich buns too.  Hope you enjoy it!

Slow Cooker Honey BBQ Chicken

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1/4 butter, melted
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup bbq sauce

Put the chicken in the slow cooker.  Mix the melted butter and remaining ingredients together and pour over the chicken.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
I shredded the chicken after it was finished cooking and mixed it back in with the sauce before serving. 

I've joined in at Full Plate Thursday with Miz Helen and Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Honey Carrots

Here is a quick and easy side dish that your kids will love! I have used fresh baby carrots for this but usually prefer the frozen ones to speed things up.


Honey Carrots

1 bag frozen crinkle cut carrots
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter

Cook carrots according to package. Drain carrots and return to pan. Add raisins, honey and butter. Cook over low heat until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

*I always just “eyeball” this recipe and never really measure anything.

Very kid-friendly! Great way to entice them to eat some veggies!

Creamy Chicken Casserole (aka Cracker Chicken)

My family loves this easy casserole.  When the kids were younger I'd call it Cracker Chicken as an easy way for them to remember it and the name has stuck.  This is one that my kids request.  It's yummy comfort food.  It makes a small casserole so it's just right for the 4 of us, sometimes with leftovers and sometimes not! 

Creamy Chicken Casserole

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10-3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 sleeve crushed Ritz crackers (or similar)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Combine first 4 ingredients; spoon into a lightly greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Combine crushed crackers and butter and sprinkle over chicken mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 minutes. Yield: 4 servings

Serve with a salad or veggies.  Tonight I served it with Honey Carrots and green beans. 


I'm joining in the fun at Amanda's Family Friendly Food Week.  Stop by and check it out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'm Back to Blogging...And a Dessert Recipe!

I pretty much took most of the summer off from my blog.  I didn't really intend to but it just seemed to happen that way.  Summer was fun and I enjoyed the time with the kids. 

They are both back in school now.  My son started at a new school this year, a charter school in the area, and he went back to school on July 27th.  Seemed a little crazy at the time but we adjusted and he is doing just great.  My daughter just started back just over a week ago.  She was ready for it!

And it's not just school that's started again.  It's things like dance lessons, cub scouts and sports that are all beginning again.  All these things make for some busy afternoons and evenings. Part of this new weekday routine is finding quick and easy meals that everyone enjoys, especially on the evenings with extracurricular activities.  Look for lots of quick, easy and family-friendly recipes in the days and weeks to come.

In the meantime, here's an easy dessert you can throw together for a yummy treat for your family.  Hope you enjoy it!  (Sorry for the lack of a photo...we were in too much of a hurry to dig in!)

Easy Blueberry Dessert

1/2 of a boxed yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 frozen bag of blueberries  (or fresh berries right now since they are in season)

Put the blueberries in the bottom, then the cake mix.  Then pour the melted butter over the top.  Bake at 350 until golden brown and bubbly...about 20 minutes.

Serve with a big ole scoop of vanilla ice cream.