Thursday, February 24, 2011

A love story

I recently picked up the Pioneer Woman's book on a shopping trip to Sams.  Naturally I left in my cart by mistake because it was the smallest thing in my purchase- ha.  I called the store and a nice person had turned it in so I went back to get it the next day.  I started reading it and read about 150 pages before I would put it down.  Ree is one of the reasons I was hooked on blogging early on and this book felt like I was reading about a dear friend.  If you follow her blog I would recommend this as a great little book.  If you don't read her blog please check it out soon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Special Chicken Casserole

Super easy to put together.

2-3 chicken breasts cut into strips or chunks
sliced swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 T. margarine
1 box Stove Top stuffing (chicken flavor)

Place chicken in the bottom of greased casserole dish. Top with sliced cheese until covered. Spread soup over cheese.  Top with stuffing mix from box.   Slice butter and place evenly over stuffing mix.  Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

I haven't tried this yet, but it looks awesome!

2- 4 1/2 oz cans, sliced mushrooms drained (reserve broth) or 16 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
small onion, chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups half-and-half
 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cooked and diced
2- 6 oz boxes long-grain and wild rice mix, such as Uncle Ben's, cooked
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch casserole dish.
2.  If you use fresh mushrooms, saute them in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and reserve juice.
3.  In a large skillet, saute the onion in the remaining butter until tender.  Stir in the flour, cooking 2 to 3 minutes.
4.  Combine the mushroom juice with enough broth to make 3 cups of liquid.  Slowly stir the juice-broth mixture into the onion mixture.  Stir in the half and half.  Cook until the mixture is thickened.
5.  Add the sauteed or canned mushrooms, the chicken, rice, almonds, pimento, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Pour into prepare dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Low Calorie Chicken

Season chicken breasts (desired amount) with salt, pepper, thyme, and oregano.

Place in skillet with 1-2 T. oil.  Cook chicken until browned on both sides.

Add 1/2 cup water, cover, turn heat to low.

Let chicken steam for about 20 minutes.  Serve over rice if desired.

Is it time yet????????????

I haven't seen them in the stores yet, but I know I will soon and I can't resist.  These are my favorite!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Chicken Dish - Mexi-Chicken

1 cup rice, cooked
2-4 chicken breasts, chopped and sauteed in oil
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small jar salsa
monterey jack and cheddar cheese

Cook rice and chicken.  Place rice in bottom of baking dish.  Top with chicken.  Mix soup and salsa and spread over top.  Cover with cheese and bake until cheese is done at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.

Chicken Dish

4-6 chicken breasts
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Durkee French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 350.
Place chicken on bottom of baking dish
Mix sour cream and soup and spread over chicken
Top with french fried onions

Cover and bake for 30 minutes~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pork Tenderloin

Tonight I tried a new pork tenderloin recipe and it was divine!!!! I thought I heard angels sing it was so good!  I served it with my twice baked potatoes and had cheesecake for dessert.  Yummy!!

1 pork tenderloin
Sprinkle generously with McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
Wrap in bacon slices

Bake at 425 for 25-35 minutes and check temperature.  Cook until 155 on meat thermometer.  I am paranoid about undercooked pork so I may have cooked it a little longer.  Broil as needed to finish bacon if needed.  Allow to rest before slicing.

Recipe/photo from
This is a very old recipe I haven't used in years because I forgot about it.  I wanted to put it on the blog so I could keep up with it.
1 lb ground beef, drained (cook with onion)
1 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked Minute Rice
1 can tomato soup

Mix beef mixture with above ingredients and then place in baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese and canned (flaky Hungry Jack) biscuits.  Bake 350 for 20 ~ minutes until bicuits are done.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's that time of year....

In our family we end up with almost one of each box (or two) because my husband and I like completely different kinds.  I prefer thin mints, shortbread, and samoas and he likes the peanut butter kinds that I detest.  I love this time of year!!

Shhhh....don't tell

I am as southern as they come and I have been peeling potatoes and making homemade creamed potatoes for too many years to count.  When I was in nursing school it became very difficult for me to do everything I always did for big family gatherings so I tried these mashed potatoes.  I microwaved them and hid all the evidence and put them in the crock pot to keep warm.  They were so good!!!   Recently my daughter asked how to make my potatoes since she loved them so much and I confessed my secret for the past few holidays.  She was floored but excited because they make a single serving size too.  Trust me these are the best mashed potatoes you will find.  They are not at all like the instant potatoes.  You will be amazed how good and easy these are.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Broccoli Salad

I admit when I first read the ingredients in this recipe I was skeptical, but I had it at a wedding shower and it was really good so I gave it a try. 

1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
1 medium red (purple) onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 T. cooked bacon, crumbled

Mix and set aside.   Mix dressing and pour over top and stir to combine.

Dressing: 1 cup mayo, 1 cup sugar, 3 T. red wine vinegar - Mix and pour over top.

Herbed Round Steak

I don't have a photo of this dish but my best friend cooked this in my crockpot when we had a death in our family and I still remember how good it smelled several years later.  Serve over noodles cooked in chicken broth.

2 lb round steak or roast 
(cut into cubes and brown in oil on all sides and then place in crock pot with below ingredients.)
1 can cream of chicken or cream of celery
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. thyme
a few dashes Worchestershire sauce
1/4 t. pepper

Cook on low in crock pot for 10 hours or high for 4-5 hours.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Help me kick the habit....

So with my new job I don't have time to stop and grab a biscuit on the way to work.  This is something I have needed to stop doing for quite some time and now I have to do it and that is probably best!  My problem is that I am so used to the convenience of getting breakfast on the run that I haven't figured out what I want EVERY SINGLE DAY during the week yet.  I love breakfast food, but it is not practical to cook a large meal in the morning.  I have been having apple oatmeal and turkey bacon.  PLEASE leave me a comment on your regular weekday breakfast.  I tend to gravitate towards warm foods and I just don't want to get sick of oatmeal.   I am also packing my lunch most days to avoid the expense of eating out so much and I am tiring already of the sandwich, fruit, chips routine already.

Suggestions are appreciated!!  Please share you regular breakfast and lunch ideas with me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Strawberry Cake with Icing

1 box white cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup cooking oil
1/2-1/3 cup water
1 3 oz box of Strawberry Jello
1/2 10 oz box of frozen strawberries
1/2 stick butter
1 16 oz box of powdered sugar
Other half of strawberries & juice to reach desired consistency

  • First, preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs until light. Add in cooking oil and water. Mix dry ingredients into liquid. Beat well. Add strawberries. Stir until combined. Pour into well-greased cake pan.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and it bounces back to the touch. Let cool completely.
  • To make the icing, the butter needs to be very, very soft. Add the box of powdered sugar and the remaining strawberries and juice (a little at a time) until you reach the desired consistency. I used a hand-mixer for this so it would be smooth.

Total Time: 45 minutes, plus time to cool
Serves: 10 slices

I found this cake at Kendall's blog and it was fabulous!!! Great for Valentines Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beauty Tips

I am trying my first ever link up to Kelly's Korner SUYL (Show us your life) segments.  Hopefully I will get some new blog friends after this.  I am a make-up junkie and I have been since I was about 15 years old.  Here are some of my favorite products.

This powder is great alone or with foundation for a long lasting look

I have only been using this in the last year, but it makes a huge difference in coverage.

This has been the absolute best mascara. I have used it since I was 15 years old and now it is discontinued so I have to find some place online to purchase it.  This stuff does not come off.  I need an eyeliner pencil that is just as reliable...any suggestions?

I have tons of eye shadows, but I have to say MAC has great pigment and staying power and it lasts forever.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Is is really so hard to perform this simple task?  I find this situation on a regular basis...I mean if you are going to be in there THAT long couldn't you place the new one on the holder.  It is not rocket science.  Maybe this just happens in my house.

Red Velvet Cake

2 1/2 cup self rising flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
1 t. vinegar
2 oz. red food color (2 bottles)

Cream sugar and oil, then add remaining ingredients alternating flour and buttermilk.

Makes 3 layers. Bake at 350 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Frost when cool.

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 stick margarine
1 box powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans (or use them to top cake)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chocolate Eclair Cake

*I usually make this the day before or early morning to allow time to set*

1 box graham crackers
12 oz. container Cool Whip
2 packages instant vanilla pudding (small size)
3 c. cold milk

Topping: (May use canned icing instead if desired)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
3 t. vanilla
3 t. soft butter
4 T. milk
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix pudding mix and milk with mixer.   Blend in Cool Whip. 
Layer graham crackers in 13X9 pan.
Spread 1/2 of pudding mixture over crackers.
Repeat graham cracker layer.
Spread remaining pudding mixture and end with layer of graham crackers.

Frost with topping.  Allow to set overnight in refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why I am fascinated with the Amish...

Before Christmas I posted about a book I ready about the Amish community.  Since then I have read about FIVE more.  Some have been fiction and some were non-fiction.  I have found that I have an admiration and fascination with them and their customs.  I live in an area that that only a very small community about an hour away, therefore my experience with the actual people is limited and I am sure my opinions might be different if I lived in an area with a very large community, but for now I will enjoy it for what I have made it and this is - inspiration.

1. I admire they take care of each other stand strong as a community to take care of each other and not rely on the government to care for them.

2. I love the simplicity they represent in their homes, attire, homes, etc.  They believe in and take pride in being "simple" people and they actually try not to stand out or be noticed above others.  The ultimate example of being humble I can think of.  So many times we get consumed with the next item for the home or game for the children or countless other things and forget to live simply.

3.  I love the thought of large meals of extended family and children being taught to "work" and not be "idle."  Many of their customs such as declining automobiles and use of electricity is centered around their desire to keep the family and their extended family close and not to be able to drive away or become absorbed in television and become distant and divided.

4. The faith demonstrated by the Amish in their customs and culture is intended as a way to "show" their faith in their actions and beliefs.  Shouldn't we all do this

5.  They allow the sunrise/sunset and seasons dictate their lives and work.  They allow God's creations to be enjoyed and used for what it is intended for and appreciate all things.

I know the Amish are not perfect and the information I have read indicates they would be the first to admit that, but I once received some very good advice from a former boss.  He said you can learn from everyone.  I choose to see this unique culture as a source of inspiration as I try to read my Bible more, spend more quality time with my family and focus less on material things and more on moments that make memories.  I think these are things I have always tried to do, but I saw the emphasis on these qualities similar to my own desires, even though I come no where close to their commitment in my daily life. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spinach Arthichoke Dip

Remember my blog is named "feeding my picky eaters" and the story begins with spinach.  We attended a birthday party for a little boy who lived next door to us about 11-13 years ago and this dip was being served.  My husband was offered some and because he is polite he accepted, despite the fact that he HATES spinach, but he was raised to be polite.  I remember the day well because then he had to be polite and stop eating the dip because it was so good.  As soon as we were home he told me to get the recipe for that dip because he like it so much. It is now a staple of any celebration or gathering because he loves it so much.  Today we bought the ingredients (and I have made him help me before) and he said, "it has yogurt in it?" I just laughed knowing that once again he was thinking of everything he should not like about this dish but loves it instead.  So if you don't think you like the ingredients...give it a try because you might even surprise yourself.

1/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup shredded parmesean cheese (shredded, not the green can)
1 package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 block pepper - jack cheese, chopped into small cubes
10 1/2 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

Stone ground crackers(we use Red Oval Brand) or Tostidos

Mix mayo and parmesean cheese, add chopped pepper-jack cheese.  Squeeze any remaining moisture possible from spinach using paper towels after squeezing by hand.  Stir into cheese mixture until combined.  I removed the end from the artichoke hearts and then gently squeeze the water from those as well but not as firmly as the spinach.  Chop gently and add last to mixture stirring gently to combine so they remain intact.

Bake in pie plate or quiche dish at 350 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.  Try to avoid allowing it to brown for better consistency.

Sit back and enjoy watching your masterpiece being consumed!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Normal

For obvious safety reasons I don't post a lot of personal information on the internet, but I feel the need to post about my new normal.  As an ER nurse the schedule has not been the best part of my job to say the least.  I was blessed to have God intervene when I began praying about if and I started a new job in nursing that I feel will be very rewarding and STILL allow me a family life!!! I know normal people cannot imagine how this could warrant a post, but until you have worked night shift, rotating shifts or all weekends, etc. , you have no idea how you crave being "normal."  This was my first normal week and although I didn't get my picture perfect plan in my head done each night; I did get my entire house clean today and my laundry is going and I feel like a new woman.  I know this 5 day a week thing will be a new concept, but I figure it has worked for so many for so long it has to be better than the live I have had most of my life.  Continue to pray for me that I will have better health (mentally and physically) and I can adjust to these changes with new found energy to keep my home life running smoothly.  I really want to be back in church and exercising and eating normally too.  I am so thankful for these exciting times and I know God will continue to work out His plan perfectly - as always!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oops...forgot one..

I am sure I have forgotten more, but this was an obvious oversight!

Favorite Places to Eat Out

Just a few of my all time favorite places to chow down!!