Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Easy Chicken & Dumplings

Easiest and tastiest chicken and dumplings-I promise!
Gather these ingredients.
Pour 1 can of cream of mushroom, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, and 2 cans of water in a slow cooker or covered dutch oven type dish.  
Cut 1 can of biscuits into quarters.
Add biscuits and cooked chicken to the soup.  I boiled 3 large chicken breasts, because that's what I had, but to make it even easier you could use the chicken from a rotisserie chicken.
Put it in a slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours.  I'm using this fantastic "dutch oven" type dish with a lid that I got for next to nothing from Pampered Chef when I hosted a party (which I highly recommend!).  If you bake it in the oven, you can bake it at 350 degrees for about 2 hours (or until the biscuits are cooked through).
This meal was also super easy to partially prepare ahead of time.  I'm making this meal to bless a friend, but when I make meals for others my goal is never to deprive my family.  Since tonight was "kids eat free night" at Sonny's, I'm preparing some for us for tomorrow night.  So when I made the chicken, I cooked 3 large breasts for tomorrow night.  Then I'll throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker for tomorrow's dinner for my own family.  Serve with a salad and enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Farewell to Dallas

In 1994, Almost 17 years ago I gave this cute, fluffy toy poodle puppy to Brian for a wedding present.

This was the first picture taken of him. He was so little, he could barely walk. He was slipping and sliding on my parents' tile floor.

Fast forward to 2011. Here is the last picture taken of Dallas.

You can see in Dylan's face what our whole family was feeling. We knew it was time. Dallas lived a long, full life. He was our "baby" for 4 years before we had children. Then, he was Dylan's sibling for 5 years until we had Holly. He was truly "man's best friend" to Brian. I've even called Dylan, Dallas by mistake. It's strange not having him around. He moved into this house with Brian before I did. He was just part of the life we've built together. We feel like someone is missing from our family.

Holly wrote this note to Dallas on Monday.

My sister, Sherry,  just sent me this little clip. I think it puts it all in perspective.
You will be missed Dallas  6/10/94-3/19/11

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is in the... CUPCAKE!

Isn't this the cutest flower garden you've ever seen?! These are the only flowers that I can take care of - I can't keep a plant alive to save my life!  I saw this adorable cupcake on the side of a Pillsbury box.
First, bake the cupcakes in a flat bottomed ice cream cone.
Once they've cooled, frost them with chocolate icing and dip in green sprinkles.  The idea is a dirt/grassy look.  Then, it's time for the flowers.  These took some time-probably a good hour.  But the end result was worth it.  You'll need spice drops and green toothpicks.  I found these at Publix.
To make the center of the flower, cut the top and bottom vertically from the spice drop.  The middle won't have the pretty sugary look.
To make the petals, flatten a spice drop, then cut it into four sections horizontally.
Turn the center of the flower so the non-sugary, sticky side is up.  Press five petals with the rounded side towards the center onto the center.   It will look like this:
Then, when you turn it over and add a toothpick to the center it looks like this:
You could also cut green fruit drops to make stems to add to the toothpick.  I did a couple of stems and decided I was almost over it!  But as I said the end result is worth it!
Happy Spring!
Tip Junkie handmade projects


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lunch Box Notes

Today is our last day of Spring Break.  Actually we have about 4 hours left until bedtime and it's all over.  But that's o.k. for a couple of reasons-
1. I love my job.  So going back to work is not drudgery for me-Thank you, Lord!. 
2.  Tomorrow officially starts the 4th quarter-which means summer is in sight!!!

So as I get back into school mode after 9 glorious days of staying up late, sleeping later, not packing lunches, not doing homework, not studying, not grading papers or doing lesson plans, I know that it's time-time to pack lunches.  I. DO. NOT. LIKE. packing lunches.  I don't know why,  but I don't.  In my attempt to be positive and give thanks in all things, I have found some cute lunch box notes to put in my daughter's lunch.  And I wanted to share them with you!

I found these at Cap Creations.
I found these at Cap Creations.
I found these at Buttoned Up.


If you're like me, I hope this takes a little of the drudgery out of making lunches!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Today's recipe is not a gourmet masterpiece.  It's one of those go-to meals that real moms like me can make any day of the week.  It's steak hoagies.
I put all the frozen steak-umms in a pan on medium low with the lid on.  I just leave them in there to get soft for about 20 minutes.  Then I use a wooden spoon to break them all up in bite size pieces.  Much easier than breaking them up while their frozen.
Once the meat is cooked, add about 1/2 to 3/4 of a jar of spaghetti sauce, mushrooms (we're a mushroom-lovin' family), and a small amount of mozzarella cheeese.  You could certainly leave out the mushrooms and even add peppers and onions if you prefer.  Mix it all together and leave on low for 10 minutes or so.  Done!
Put the meat on a soft,  yummy hoagie roll and sprinkle a little mozzarella on top. 
Tonight I served it with sweet potato fries and marshmallow fluff.
Another one of those "real mom" go-to side dishes.  What?? Did someone say they don't dip their sweet potato fries in marshmallow fluff ??
OOOh, well, once you try it-you'll never eat them any other way!

I'm linking here:

Household Binder

I have been working on our household binder thanks to an ingenius idea by IHeartOrganizing. You HAVE to go to her site and check out her FREE downloads and her great organizational ideas!!
My household papers looked like this before:
Now I have a "Household Binder" and it looks like this:
It has divided sections:
My sections are:
CCA (school)
World Help (sponsored child)
I'm sure I'll add more as I see fit.
I have subsections in some of the sections like under Auto: insurance, warranty, maintenance.
IHeartOrganizing has several free printables like this great calendar that I put in the front of our binder.
I also have some tweeking to do, like getting some pocket dividers and a pouch for the front to hold things like a calculator and pens.
I love getting organized!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pier One on a Walmart Budget

A few months ago I coveted, I mean, saw these glasses at Pier One Imports.  They cost $5 a glass.

I needed a set of 12 to go with  my set of 12 dishes.  But I couldn't justify spending the money on glasses I really didn't need.  Then a few days ago I came across a DIY version on a blog (not sure who's :().  This made me verrrryyy happy!  So I bought these glasses from Walmart.

Along with these supplies:
I taped off the glasses really well.
Then I took them outside and sprayed 2 coats of the chalkboard paint.

And WAh-Lah! A set of 12 glasses for $15!! I love when a plan comes together!


Of course, now I'm thinking of what else I can chalkboard-ize...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekly Plans

Bible Study: Reading John Piper's "The Passion of Jesus Christ". It's a 50 day journey leading up to Easter. I've found it to be a great way to keep my heart focused on the realness of Christ's death and resurrection.

Memory Verse:

Husband Encouragement: Encourage him as he has been burdened by recent events at our church.

Train Them Up: I want to encourage my children to do their own quiet times in the morning-not just relying on our family devotion time.

Personal Goals: Be consistent with my Bible reading


Monday: Dinner at Mom & Dad's (which was fabulous!)
Tuesday: Friends over: Lasagna, salad, bread, mini cherry pies

Wednesday: Friends over: Chicken enchiladas, refried beans, rice, chocolate chip cookie pie

Thursday: St. Patrick's Day: Corned Beef and cabbage of course! Rainbow cake

Friday: Hoping to have friends over-but haven't secured the plans yet!

Saturday: Order Pizza

Sunday: Friends over: pot roast with veggies in the crock pot, salad, bread and dessert TBD

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. Spring Break this week!!
2. The hardware for Holly's bed came in-so we can complete her mini makeover on her bedroom!
3. The body of Christ at our church

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Mini Pot Pies-that's what!
I  made mini apple and cherry pies awhile back and they are big hit everytime I serve them.  I invested in these half pint mason jars just for that recipe.  But I wanted to come up with more recipes to use them with.
Enter Mini Pot Pies!
So here's the recipe:
1.  Boil boneless skinless chicken in chicken broth.  I used thighs because they're cheaper and tastier in my opinion.  But you could certainly use breasts.
2.  Cut up the chicken.  Then in a large bowl combine a can of cream of potato soup and a can of cream of chicken soup. 
3.  Add frozen vegetables of your choice.  I used corn and chopped up fresh mushrooms since my family does not like most other veggies. Combine all the ingredients.
4.  Using the refrigerated pie crust (I use the store brand since it's cheaper) cut circles that are a little bigger than the jar opening.  Cut slits in the crust.

5.  Fill the jars with the mixture.  I was able to fill 6 jars. 
6.  Place the crusts on each jar creasing the edges to look pie like.  Bake for about 30-45 minutes on 350 degrees.
The end result was deliciousness.  I would even make these when I entertain.  I was worried that the jars were a little small and might not be a full individual serving.  But it was plenty.  The kids and I each ate 1 and my hubby ate 2.  I served a salad with the pot pies too. 

Don't go anywhere yet...
What's for Dessert??

Gather these ingredients and get started!
1.  Mix a devils food cake mix with pudding with 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 oil.
2.  Pour into a greased 13x9 pan.
3.  Sprinkle with chopped pecans. I only sprinkled the pecans on 1/2 the cake since my kids aren't nut fans. 
4.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.  Right out of the oven spoon marshmallow fluff on the cake.

6.  Put the cake back in the oven for one minute.  Then spread the fluff on the cake.
7.  Dump a container of chocolate frosting ( I used the dark chocolate) into a bowl and add 2 tbsp. of milk.  Stir until creamy.
8.  Pour and spread the frosting on the fluff and spread. Cool completely and enjoy!
The result:  YUMMY and a tall glass of milk is a must with this one. This was an easy enough dessert for a weeknight!

I'm linking here!


Design by April Showers