School Work, Park Fun and FOOD…what a great day!

Hope everyone is enjoying their day. We finally caught a break in rain & humidity so we’ve spent a lot time outside! The rest of our school books came today…finally. So we’re just chugging right along.

SAMSUNG Here is what I was waiting on. I do not buy boxed curriculum sets. Mainly, Mario, (age 6) is more advanced in Math and Reading. I did not want to buy a bunch of things and spend so much money to not end up using it. I have guidelines that I go by and buy books. Then, I add in supplements as needed. Notebooking, science projects and math manipulatives, plus a few other things, seemed to have tied our year together well last year. There are many different learning styles and many ways of teaching and I would love to hear what works well at your home!

My husband and older 2 went to walk the golf course this evening…leaving me & Toad up for some adventure time! We took off to the park…and there were NO kids there. NONE. ZERO. But there were 2 ladies on the swings with a baby that was sleeping. You would not believe how much fun Toad had having that great big playground all to his self! Humph. Not even. He did everything he could to get those girls to talk to him. And tell him how cute he is. (I give him that…he’s super cute) And to get them to play hide and seek with him. And to go down the enclosed slide with him. And I really could keep going but I’m trying to get over the fact that my 4 year old is already a ladies man. Sheesh.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG See what I mean about cute?

 

And lucky for me, I had supper in the crockpot! SHOCKER! 🙂 Here’s a look at what we had…

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And I present in excellent yumminess…the Chicken Philly. SO good. Even though the cheese slices were HUGE (as you can see) and next time I’ll only use 1 slice. Maybe.

Here’s what I did…

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken

2 green bell peppers (or 1 if peppers aren’t your thing)

2 onions (or 1 if onions aren’t your thing)

couple squeezes of zesty italian dressing (wow…now I’m thinking of Zesty Italian Dressing guy….)

Throw in the crockpot on low until the chicken is shreddable and the onions are a gorgeous translucent wonderful thing.

When finished, put on hoagie rolls and cover with provolone cheese. Stick under the broiler until cheese is melted. DON’T LEAVE YOUR BROILER. Unless you are one who can remember you put something in there. For the rest of us…stick close to the oven..

Now would be a good time to tell you a story. I HATE onions. UNLESS, they are cooked properly. When I was a kid, I would have taken a bullet before I would have eaten an onion. No matter HOW it was cooked! So please know…anything I cook that has onion in it…does not taste like a hard, raw, nasty onion!

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Super easy, few ingredients, feeds a crowd…and very inexpensive. Can’t ask for much more than that!

Enjoy your evening! ❤

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Chicken Casserole, Fresh green beans and “Dummy Pie”…

Ahhh it was a good night for supper at my house! 😉

supper

Chicken Casserole, fresh green beans and some peach cobbler! YUM. (I don’t care much for the peach cobbler to be honest…does that make me weird??)

Everything above is pretty simple..just the way I like it!

Everybody seems to have a chicken casserole recipe…and they all seem to be different. Well…so is mine 🙂 

Here is my take on it:

1.5-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken (give or take)

1 packet of dry italian dressing seasoning mix

2 cans of cream of chicken soup OR 1 can cream of chicken soup and 1 block cream cheese

1 bag Knorr Rice Sides ( any flavor but I use Cheddar Broccoli or Creamy Chicken)

1 spoonful of sour cream (you don’t have to use this)

1 package of chicken flavored stuffing (I used the new stuffing from Betty Crocker)

  

  • Put your chicken in the crockpot with the Italian Seasoning mix. Cook on low during the day. When it’s easy to shred with a fork, it’s done.

  • Add cream of chicken soup and/or the block of cream cheese (helps if it is soft) to the shredded chicken, mixing thoroughly. 

  • Cook your rice per the directions. When it is done, this is what I add a spoon of sour cream to.

  • Cook your stuffing per the directions. 

Mix everything in a big bowl. (except the stuffing) spray a pan with nonstick spray and spread mixture evenly. After the stuffing is done, spread it on top and bake at 350 15-20 minutes just to firm up the stuffing. 

 

Instead of using stuffing you can also use 1 sleeve of crushed ritz crackers & half of a stick of melted butter mixed together and spread over the top. Still bake it off same temp and time as you would if you use the stuffing.

**You can also put the cream of chicken soup and/or cream cheese in the crockpot from the very beginning. BUT I recommend you only do this if you are home to stir it occasionally. My last perfect wonderful crockpot died (suddenly and tragically…I’m still not over it) and my new one tends to run hotter (even on low) than the other one. So sometimes, it seems like mine tends to burn around the edges.**

As for the peach cobbler…I call it “Dummy Pie”. Meaning any dummy can make it! 🙂 

Preheat oven to 350. Put a stick of butter in a 9×13 pan and stick it in the oven while it’s heating up, to melt the butter.

When butter is melted, add a can of drained peaches to the butter. You can also use blueberries, blackberries, strawberries…anything you want! 

Whisk 1 cup SR flour with 1 cup of sugar. Whisk in 1 cup of milk. 

Pour the mixture over your fruit. Don’t stir it or anything…just stick it in the oven. 

45 minutes to an hour later, you got yourself a peach cobbler that took little to no effort whatsoever! My husband and boys would take “Dummy Pie” over an 8 hour cheesecake any day! Which means I’m really lucky, or I trained them really well! 🙂 

*When using fresh fruit, it is recommended to put them in a bowl with some sugar & refrigerate for 1-2 hours to sweeten them up*

Last but not least…

The green beans were fresh and soooo good! You could not have grown up in my family and not liked green beans. My Grandma is the QUEEN of green beans. I like canned green beans…not canned as in, open with a can opener…I mean CANNED! Good, Grandma, canned green beans! And if they’ve been sitting on the shelf a year or two…even better. But this time, I went from plant to bucket to pot. Can’t beat that! After washing and breaking, I put them in a pot, covered them with water, cut an onion up in it and added some side meat chunks for flavoring. (Bacon works well too, but these chunks stay together better than bacon) After getting them to a boil, reduce the heat, cover them up and let them cook into yumminess! If you cook them low and slow (which is best!) they need 4-6 hours in the pot. (These can also be put in a crockpot on low to cook all day while you’re working!)

The crockpot is one of my best friends! You can do a LOT of things to make things easier on yourself. I’m at home during the day & somedays wish I had more than one crockpot! If I worked outside of the home, you can bet I would have 2 or 3! More crockpot recipes to come!! 

Now for the fun part…I gotta go do the dishes 😦

Oven Roasted Chicken

So yesterday for dinner I did everyone’s favorite at our house. Behold, Oven Roasted Chicken….

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Melt 1/2 stick butter in a roasting pan. Add a cup to cup and a half of chicken stock. I also add in some red wine to the bottom of the pan. This is totally optional. Cut up carrots, quarter an onion, throw in some lemon slices and add a few sprigs of thyme to the pan.

Now…for the chicken…

You can use as much or as little chicken as you need…I have a house full of boys, so I make extras!

If you use a whole chicken:

Wash chicken and pat dry. (this goes for ANY meat you buy!) On the inside of the chicken, salt and pepper the inside. Cut a lemon into quarters and put 2 (or more if you use a bigger chicken) parts inside. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and some peeled garlic cloves. Truss the chicken and stick the wings underneath its body. Cover with some melted butter, salt, pepper and I also add some McCormick Montreal Chicken spice mix to it. I do the same butter and spices to the leg quarters.

Set the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables, and bake on 425 for an hour and half or until juices run clear. If it is getting too brown before it’s done, cover with foil.

And you end up with…

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You have NEVER tasted such yummy carrots or onions…side this up with some home potatoes and green beans…mmmmmMMM! You can’t beat it! This is seriously about the boys’ most favorite thing for me to fix.

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Perfect Roasted Chicken recipe over on Food Network.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/videos/perfect-roast-chicken/24509.html

Apple Cake

This is a crowd pleaser FOR SURE! Best served warm on a cool fall day! (Did I mention I’m not a fan of the summer HEAT?!)

 

Mix together:
1 1/4 C oil
2 C sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla flavoring

Add in:
2 1/2 C sifted SR flour
2 tsp cinnamon

Gently add 4 C diced apples (I use 4 good sized Fuji apples. Galas are good too!) and 1 C crushed pecans. (totally optional)

Grease a 9×13 pan and pour mixture into it. Bake on 375 degrees for 45 minutes. If it is getting really brown, cover with foil and bake up to 15 more minutes.

Now for the best part…the FROSTING…mmmm

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 softened block of cream cheese

1 softened stick of butter

1 box powdered sugar

Mix together and also add a nice dash of vanilla and cinnamom…mmmmmmmMMMM~

You can also add whole or crushed pecans to the top of the icing for a little fanciness 😉

Blueberry Crumble (oldie but yummy!)

The thing I love most about living in the south during the summer time is the HEAT!

NOT! I’m no fan of heat…or blueberries actually. But this recipe is a great addition to any home. The fruits are interchangeable and it’s easy peasy! Let me know if you make it & like it!

I must apologize for the picture…someone got into it before I got a good picture!

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Blueberry Crumble

Yield: 9

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Total Time: 60 Minutes

ingredients:

for the fruit layer:
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
for dough:
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)

directions:

to make fruit layer:
Stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). coat a 9×13 inch pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and cinnamon, if desired. Use a fork to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

Layer the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust and crumble left over dough onto the berry layer.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until brown on top. Cool completely before cutting into squares.