Loaded Chicken And Potatoes

Today I have a special treat, a recipe from my daughter Nikki.  Nikki is a wonderful cook, like her momma she isn’t afraid to try new things or to deviate from a recipe to make it her own.  If Nikki is afraid of anything it’s the thought of me turning the blog over to her, just can’t seem to get Nikki comfortable with writing about her cooking adventures.  I’m working on it though.

We’re pretty proud of our girl.  She is going through some life changes lately some are good, a few are bad, others are sad.  But Nikki is a strong girl with a good head on her shoulders, there is no doubt she is going to come out on top of all of this.

Recently Nikki quit her job of eight plus years because of the hours and the time it was taking her away from her little man Eric who started Kindergarten this past September.  As scary as that decision was it turned out to be the right one.  Nikki immediately landed a great job with endless possibilities; a great place for her to settle into a career and not just a job.  Best of all she can take Eric to school in the morning and she is home at night with her little man.  Eric loves it and so does Nikki!   It also means that I get to spend a couple hours a day, a few days a week with Eric before Nikki comes home.  It’s a win, win, win for all three of us!

Eric and Nikki have been putting their time together to good use.  They do homework, read books, play outside, go for walks and play on ABC Mouse.  They have been cooking up a storm too!!  It’s fun watching them together, Nikki will actually ask Eric what they should make for dinner, he gives his opinion.  A family meeting resulting in a joint decision, a mutual agreement.  Needless to say I am hoping that all this cooking and experimenting over there is going to be great for our blog!

Yesterday when Nikki shared this recipe on her Facebook page and posted that she was making it for dinner last night I knew I had to get her to let me blog about it.  I had no doubt that I wouldn’t get Nikki to write the blog so we agreed that she would whip up the dish and let me know how it turned out so I could blog about it.

When Nikki took it out of the oven she sent me a picture via text and her message read; “Smells and looks fantastic!”  After she taste tested it she sent me another text; “OMG!!  Cajun instead of paprika one “hell of a kick!!”  It’s awesome!!  No doubt Nikki is my daughter, she used Cajun instead of the paprika the recipe calls for.  Not only did she make a spice switch she made sure it was spicy too!!

This dish is easy to make and can be put together pretty quickly.  Perfect for a fall evening at home while spending time with those you love.  Give it a try!

Thanks Nikki!!  Can I put my request in now for one new recipe a week?  Next I have to work on my momma, she has some great recipes I’d like to share, I just need to get Mom a digital camera for photo’s!!

Have a great Thursday everyone!!

Loaded Chicken and Potatoes

LOADED CHICKEN AND POTATOES

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)

6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes

1/3 c olive oil

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp paprika (Nikki substituted Cajun Seasoning)

2 Tbsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it HOT)

Topping:

2 c fiesta blend cheese

1 c crumbled bacon

1 c diced green onion (Nikki omitted the onion)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray
  • In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika (cajun seasoning), garlic powder, and hot sauce
  • Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat
  • Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish
  • Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside
  • While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound)
  • Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven
  • Top the cooked potatoes with the cheese, bacon, and green onion
  • Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted

Serve with any of the following:

  • Extra hot sauce
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Sour Cream

Source:  N. Kiester (Source: SuperMoms Raising Healthy Kids – Kristen Washington)

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Hershey Bar Pie

I’ve been asked recently why I’ve not been posting daily as I’ve done in the past.   The main reason is lack of time.  For those that don’t know or are new to our family blog, I went back to work in May and took a short break from writing for several reasons including the new job.  Even though it’s part-time, other obligations have made it harder for me to sit down and write so that’s why there has only been a Sunday and Monday post.  On Saturday I can compile info for Sunday’s “Coming Up This Week…,” finish personalizing it on Sunday morning before I publish it.  On Sunday I start to write Monday’s post, adding a few finishing touches on Monday morning before I hit the publish button.

My goal is to return to blogging at least 3-4 times per week (hopefully soon) and maybe even make a few minor changes in content.  We’re still cooking and baking, still working on crafts and projects.  I hope you’ll bear with us during this time of transition.

Today we want to share with you a recipe for Hershey Bar Pie.  I actually made this for Joshua who is hooked on the Hershey Bar Pie from Burger King.  Although in Joshua’s eyes it didn’t compare to Burger King’s Hershey Pie, he thought it was a great runner-up.  I had one piece, papa and Joshua took care of the rest over the course of a few days.  I’d say it was a huge hit.

This pie is easy to make, light and delicious.  If you want to whip up something quick for your sweet tooth, something to serve to friends and family or something sweet to take as a “dish to pass” event, this pie is perfect.

Hershey Bar Pie

HERSHEY BAR PIE

What You’ll Need:

1 (6.0 oz.) HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate Bar, broken into pieces
1 tub (8 oz.) frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 packaged crumb crust – I used Chocolate – You can also make your own

Directions:

  • Place candy bar pieces in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute or until chocolate is smooth when stirred
  • Cool chocolate slightlyFold whipped topping into melted chocolate; spoon into crust
  • Cover; refrigerate 6 hours or until firm
  • Garnish as desired
  • Cover; refrigerate leftover pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Source: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=3515&name=Easy%20HERSHEY%20Bar%20Pie

Coming Up This Week….October 13 – 19

Sunday

 

Good “SUNDAY” morning everyone!!  Hope your weekend has been a great one so far.

This week we have some fun and tasty days to celebrate.  Monday is National Dessert Day, what a fun day.  Celebrate by making a dessert to share with your family, buying one that you’ve been dying to try, take a trip to your local ice cream or sweet shop and indulge or an even better, eat dessert in place of a meal!!

Wednesday, October 16 is World Food Day.  It always amazes me that there are so many people in our country, especially children who go without food for days on end.  On this day do something to help put an end to hunger, donate non-perishable items to your local food pantry or kitchen.

And then there is Sweetest Day.  Sweetest Day is not celebrated everywhere, it’s a made up holiday who many feel for the sole purpose of making candy companies and florists a little extra cash.  I think a great way to spend this day would be to do something “sweet” for someone; visit the elderly, rake someone’s leaves, hold the door for someone, let someone go ahead of you in line.  It doesn’t have to be about candy or flowers, just something that leaves another person with the thought “Oh, how sweet of her/him.”

Also on Saturday is “Evaluate Your Life Day.”  Good day to reflect on how you think your life is going, where it’s going, the decisions you’ve made, the friends you’ve chosen, the path your on.  Is it, are they right for you?  What changes can you make on this day to make you a better person.

This a fun week filled with desserts, chocolate and pasta, good deeds and reflection.  Have fun with them, you never know who you might make smile this week.

Sunday – October 13

  • National Yorkshire Pudding Day
  • International Skeptics Day

Monday – October 14

  • National Dessert Day
  • Be Bald and Free Day

Tuesday – October 15

  • National Chicken Cacciatore Day
  • National Roast Pheasant Day
  • White Cane Safety Day

Wednesday – October 16

  • World Food Day
  • Bosses Day
  • Dictionary Day

Thursday – October 17

  • National Pasta Day
  • Four Prunes Day
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day

Friday – October 18

  • National Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • No Beard Day

Saturday – October 19

  • Oatmeal Muffin Day
  • National Seafood Bisque Day
  • Sweetest Day
  • Evaluate Your Life Day
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day

NOTE:  My sweet niece Chantell pointed out to me that in the original version I posted I had the date as September!!  Thank you Chantell – love you too!!

Slow Cooker Sweet Ribs

We’re coming out of a pretty great weekend.  Friday was Walt’s and my 10 year wedding anniversary.  We had always said we’d like to spend our 10 year anniversary in Italy but life had other plans for us and that’s OK, maybe we’ll be able to do it for our 15th.  It was a great day without Italy, Walt surprised me and took the day off so we could spend it together and go out for dinner.  Having him home was a nice surprise.

Saturday we went and picked up a few pumpkins and Sunday was dedicated to flag football, even in the rain.  This year Joshua’s on the “Lions” and they won 32 to 14, so far they are 3-0 for the season…Way to go Lions!!  Coming home from the game Sunday to Mississippi Pot Roast in the slow cooker and homemade Hershey Chocolate Pie made the end of our weekend perfect.

Now we’re back to Monday.  Today Nikki has orientation for new job, so proud of how she’s handled all of the changes her life has gone through over the last few months.  I get to take Eric to school today, be prepared Nikki, if he cries we’re outta there!!

On a good note, the count down to my next weekend begins; 4 days, 24-30 hours.  I know, I have it rough.  Today I’m going to leave you with a recipe for slow cooker sweet ribs.  They are not Walt’s smoked,  slow grilled baby back ribs but they are moist and tasty, perfect with a side of homemade cole slaw on fall or winter day.

Slow Cooker Sweet Ribs

SLOW COOKER SWEET RIBS 

What You’ll Need:

4 pounds country-style boneless ribs

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. vinegar

1 bottle of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce

2 tbs. brown sugar

Directions:

  • Spray slow cooker with cooking spray
  • In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the ribs themselves
  • Place ribs in slow cooker
  • Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat
  • Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender

Coming Up This Week…October 6 – 12

Sunday

It’s Sunday!!  A rainy Sunday here in Michigan and time to take a look to see what kind of whacky and yummy days we have this week.

This week we celebrate noodle day (today) and moldy cheese, hoagies, subs and grinders, I think all my grandbabies will agree the best foodie day this week is sausage pizza day although the only kind they all eat is sausage pizza!  Sausage/pepperoni…..we can make it work.

This week is also fire prevention week, with Fire Prevention Day celebrated on Wednesday.  Make sure you check the batteries in your smoke detectors and review your fire escape routes and meeting places with family members, especially if you have children.  It’s a great family project to work on together.

My personal favorite day this week will of course be “Take Your Teddy Bear To Work Day.”  Not that I will, my co-workers will think I’m crazy for sure but I am a bear collector, lots of Boyd’s bear figurines and teddy bears, so finding one to take with me would be pretty easy.

As always there’s are some unique and interesting days this week, pick a few and have a little fun with them.

Sunday – October 6

  • National Noodle Day
  • Mad Hatter Day
  • Physician Assistant Day

Monday – October 7

  • National Frappe Day
  • Bald and Free Day
  • World Smile Day

Tuesday – October 8

  • National Fluffernutter Day
  • American Touch Tag Day

Wednesday – October 9

  • Submarine-Hoagy-Hero Grinder Day
  • Moldy Cheese Day
  • Curious Events Day
  • Emergency Nurses Day
  • Fire Prevention Day
  • Leif Erikson Day

Thursday – October 10

  • National Angel Food Cake Day

Friday – October 11

  • National Sausage Pizza Day
  • World Egg Day
  • It’s My Party Day
  • Take Your Teddy Bear to Work Day

Saturday – October 12

  • National Gumbo Day
  • Cookbook Launch Day
  • Old Farmer’s Day
  • Moment of Frustration Day

Gifts From Our Garden

Our garden was very, very good to us this year.  The best part was that 5 of the 12 corn Joshua planted actually grew and gave him 6 ears of delicious, sweet, white and yellow corn.  Joshua and papa have been planting corn for several years and each year the birds and other little critters get to it before it has a chance to produce any ears of corn.

This year, Joshua and papa decided to trick the birds and critters, they built a frame around the corn and wrapped netting around it.  As the stalks grew the netting got higher and higher.  I realize that farmers probably lose a few stalks as well, but with acres and acres of corn I’m sure they don’t miss a few, all this little boy wanted was to say was that he grew and ate his own corn….MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!  That smile was worth all of the netting adjustments and screech-owl moving.

Joshua's Corn

Everything else we planted came in heavy as well; jalapeno’s, yellow, orange and green peppers, cucumbers and four varieties of tomatoes.  Our garden gave us many gifts, enjoyed not only by us but also family and friends.

Since our garden produced so many tomatoes and jalapeno’s this summer Walt and I wanted to try our hand at homemade fresh salsa.  After doing a little “salsa” research we came up with our own little concoction and were pleasantly surprised when it turned out delicious!!  Give it a try, let us know if you like it!

Rezich Salsa

Salsa

What You’ll Need:

3 Jalapeno’s (I seeded 1.5 and left the seeds in the other 1.5)

2 cloves of garlic chopped up fine (I might add a third next time)

1 medium onion chopped fine

5 (about 1 lb.) tomatoes chopped into small pieces (I seeded 3 and left the seeds in from the other 2)

2 tbls. Lime juice

1 tbls. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

1/4 tsp. Pepper

1/4 cup fresh cilantro (you can add more to your preferrence)

Assemble:

  • In a medium bowl mix the chopped jalapeno’s, garlic, onion, tomatoes lime juice, olive oil, kosher salt and pepper together
  • Add the cilantro to the mixture
  • Refrigerate to chill

Happy 5th Birtdhay Eric

Today Eric turns 5!!

We celebrated with family and friends yesterday with lots of food, iced cold pop and fruit juice.  There were treats and goodie bags and birthday cake too!!  And of course lots of fun outdoor things to do like a mini pool, a slip and slide and water guns too!  What an awesome day for everyone, especially the birthday boy.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC!!!

WE LOVE YOU!!

Blog19

Our Birthday Boy – Eric

Blog 1

Cousins – Kaylee, Eric and Joshua

Blog 2

Eric and Kaylee going for spin around the yard

Blog 3

Joshua, can’t wait for the real deal!!

Blog 4

How fun – TWO friends named Layla!!

Blog 11

Grandpa King, Great Grandma Fern and Great Uncle Bob

Blog6

Dzia Dzia, Busia, and Great Uncle John

Blog9

Great Unlce Greg

Blog8

Great Aunt Monica, Katria (and coming soon cousin Tyler), Uncle John

Blog10

Papa and Joshua being silly

Blog12

The best part – opening presents

blog13

These three are always plotting!!

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Joshua showing the little ones how to slip and slide

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Kaylee slipping on through

Blog16

Of course Momma (Nikki) could not resist the urge to play too!!

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The birthday boy Eric, loves his parties at home!

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Uncle John, a big kid at heart!

Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing

Welcome to Monday everyone!!  Our perfect spring weather continues here in Michigan slowly, steadily wiping away our memories of cold, snowy, rainy, dismal days.  Days like today and the last two are what I look forward too once we get through the Christmas holidays….these are the days that I wait for and literally count down to.

Of course warmer temperatures has brought an increase in utilizing our bbq grill.  This past weekend we spent time outside in the yard cleaning up and uncovering things so a quick hot dog or burger as we moved through Saturday and Sunday was perfect for us and tasty.

Grilling though did bring up a quick conversation on whether or not to leave the slow cooker out or to put it in the cabinet downstairs for the summer.  For right now I’m opting to keep it out and use it at least once maybe twice a week during the summer.  My reasoning is to use it instead of the oven in order to keep the kitchen cool.

Today, I have a tasty slow cooker recipe for you.  When I first found this recipe and saved it I went back to it several times before deciding to give it a try.  I hesitated because I just wasn’t sure how well a stove top stuffing would turn out in a slow cooker I was afraid it would either be undercooked or that it would turn to mush.

I’m happy to say that this chicken and stuffing dish turned out fantastic and I’m happy to share it with you today.  The chicken was tender and the stuffing was nice and moist.  We served it with mashed potatoes and peas and it was a delicious meal.  Walt, not generally a fan of boxed stuffing gave it two thumbs up which means it will be a keeper in our house.

I found this recipe on http://team-t-adventures.blogspot.com/2010/01/easy-crockpot-chicken-stuffing.html through Pinterest.  Give it a try, let us know how it turns out for you.

 

Chicken and Stuffing

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN AND STUFFING

What You’ll Need:

4 thawed chicken breasts

1 6 oz. package of Stove Top Stuffing Mix

1/2 cup of sour cream

1/4 cup of water

1 can cream of chicken soup

Directions:

  • Spray you slow cooker with non-stick spray
  • Lay chicken breasts on bottom of slow cooker – Season (I used Lawry’s seasoning)
  • Open the envelope of stuffing and pour evenly over chicken (yes – uncooked)
  • Whisk sour cream, soup and water together in a small bowl
  • Pour the mixture evenly over the stuffing (you may have to spread it a little)
  • Cook on LOW 4 hours until chicken in cooked through
  • Fluff and serve

Grandma’s Next Top Model

I just could not resist giving Eric his own post when I saw these photo’s of my little Eric hamming it up for the camera.  Those high paid, underweight fashion models have nothing on my baby.  Yesterday he held his own little photo shoot, he’s such a little doll!!!

Eric 4 17 13      4 17 18 2

Eric 4 17 13 3    Eric 4 17 13 4

Isn’t he a little ham??  Eric absolutely has his own little personality and sense of humor.  He is going to sweep the girls off their feet and keep his momma on her toes as he gets older.

He makes me smile………..

Enough Already…..Come On Spring!!

We are ready for spring and we are ready for it to arrive NOW!  Our Joshie has been down for the count with pneumonia since last week, he just can’t seem to kick it.  Josh has spent most of the month of March with a cold, then upper respiratory infection and now pneumonia.  My little sweetie needs sunshine and warm weather to knock this out of him. and brighten his spirits.  I miss his smiling face, miss hearing his humming as he plays a video game, I missed making pizza and cheese sticks.

As I sit here writing, I look out the window at the grey, cold, snowy day.  I snap at Mother Nature and say ENOUGH….enough already!!  Bring on the sunshine so all three of my babies can go outside to play in the fresh air and the warmth of the sun.  Walt keeps telling me that nature, meaning the trees, flowers and shrubs get “confused” by the unseasonable warmth like we had last year.  I say pshhhhh, we’re all confused about something, Mother Nature will just have to get over it and adapt, we are ready for warm weather and sunshine!!!

This is going to be a crazy week, more than likely an untraditional one here.  For a few weeks now I have been sitting on a little secret, I got a job.  Yes, yes I did.  I held off saying anything or writing about it because I still have “irons in the fire” as they say and if something better came along (and even if it still does) I would have taken it.  I start work this Friday, Good Friday of all days, at the Home Depot as a Sales Associate in the garden dept.  It’s a part-time seasonal position, only 29 hours a week for 120 days and I took it hoping that it would be a stepping stone into an HR role which they always seem to post for but I never get calls for.  I always have a career angle……..even if it’s a job with Home Depot.

This Friday is orientation and training I’m not sure if I will be required to work this weekend so I am not, for the first time ever, I am not planning a huge Easter dinner.  If for some reason I don’t get scheduled for this weekend, Walt and I will more than likely just have a quiet dinner and then deliver our “bunny baskets” to Josh, Kaylee and Eric.

I am looking forward to this little adventure how could I not be, it’s in the garden department so I’ll be surrounded by flowers and everything outdoors just a few of my favorite things.  I’ll be in a place where all the creativity in my head will flourish into projects for Walt.  This could be fun!  The biggest plus is that I get to wear blue jeans to work, not just on Friday’s but everyday!

Today I’ll leave you with a tasty Au Gratin Potato recipe which I threw together the night I made the Parmesan Meatloaf.  I didn’t want mashed potatoes or rice and pasta didn’t sound appealing either so I decided to make au gratin potatoes.  I didn’t want anything made from a box and I wanted to make them from things I had on hand so I pulled this and that from several recipes to come up with this one and was really pleased with the final results.  Try it, it won’t disappoint.

AU GRATIN POTATOES

 

Easy Au Gratin Potatoes

 

What You’ll Need:

6 Medium potatoes – sliced thin

1 Small onion chopped up fine

1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese (you can use more)

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 Cup of milk

Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place sliced potatoes in a greased or sprayed casserole dish
  • Add Chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mix (or whisk) the cheese, cream of mushroom soup and milk together
  • Mix into sliced potatoes
  • Bake uncovered for 1 – 1.5 hours (until potatoes are tender)
  • Let set about 5 minutes
  • Serve