Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

There is no denying that I have been on a mission, for several years now, to find the perfect recipe that comes even remotely close to Red Robin’s Sante Fe Chicken Pasta, which unfortunately they replaced it with Southwest Chicken Pasta and there is absolutely no comparison between the two, I’d rather have the original Sante Fe Chicken Pasta.

Sante Fe Chicken Pasta had a great kick to it, a creamy alfredo sauce with chipolte peppers, sweet red and green peppers. slivers of sautéed red onion served over a bed of penne pasta and grilled chicken breast on top – YUMMY!  Over the years I’ve tried several “Sante Fe” type recipes and they just don’t come close enough for me so, I keep trying.

When I found this recipe, Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta, on Pinterest through allthecooks.com; http://www.allthecooks.com/crockpot-buffalo-chicken-pasta.html.  I did make just a few minor additions, I added sliced red, green and yellow peppers (half of each one) along with a small red onion slivered.  I tossed it in about an hour before dinner was scheduled to be ready.

I knew this wasn’t going to taste like the Sante Fe Chicken Pasta I was craving but it sure did look delicious and I was hoping that the buffalo wing hot sauce would give it enough of a kick for me.  I’m happy to say this recipe was quite delicious and easy to make.  Go ahead, give it a try.

Crock Pot Buffallo Chicken Pasta

CROCK POT BUFFALO CHICKEN PASTA

What You’ll Need:

1 pound ·  Chicken breasts, bite-sized pieces

1 can · Cream of chicken soup

½ cup · Hot sauce, like for buffalo wings

1 ½ cup · Shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup · Crumbled blue cheese

Sliced red, green and yellow peppers

Sliced red onion – thin

3 cup · Uncooked penne pasta

1 ½ cup · Sour cream

Directions:

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and put in crock pot
  • Add soup and hot sauce and stir
  • Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours
  • About an hour before adding the cheeses and sour cream add your onion and peppers
  • Stir in cheeses and sour cream
  • Turn off crock pot
  • Cook pasta according to package directions – Drain.
  • Add to crock pot
  • Stir well and serve

Source:   allthecooks.com; http://www.allthecooks.com/crockpot-buffalo-chicken-pasta.html

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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

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

Destiny?

Destiny…..”The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.”  I truly do believe that things happen for a reason; the detour, the lost keys, a last-minute change in routine.  Events that happen to either put us in the right place at the right time or events which happen to keep us from being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When the outcome is positive it’s because it was meant to be, when the outcome is negative I believe it’s because we’re meant to learn something from it.  Some of us learn from those experiences…some of us don’t.

I was scheduled to start a new job on Friday with Home Depot as a sales associate.  Yesterday at 1:00 p.m. the human resources person for the location I’ll be working at called to confirm my appointment on Thursday to complete employment paperwork and confirm my orientation at a sister store on Friday.  At 2:00 p.m. the phone rang again and it was the HR person informing me that orientation has been cancelled and could potentially be scheduled for next week, she’ll call me back.  I inquired as to whether or not I should still come in on Thursday to fill out the papers and she said no.  She said that they were undergoing some “changes” and that I would be notified of a new orientation date.  I will admit I hung up confused, disappointed, frustrated and yes, I will admit, even a little angry.

Has destiny stepped in?  Is there a reason for this delay that will alter my future or is it making sure I’m not in the wrong place at the wrong time?  Will another position present itself to me in the next few days that I would rather accept?  Perhaps my job board stalking will finally pay off?  I know, now you’re wondering what a “job board stalker” is, let me explain; a job board stalker hangs out on all the popular job boards sites all day, each board open on the lap top and as soon as a job is posted, not yet one second old, you immediately hit the send button with your resume attached hoping your resume is at the top of the heap.

For whatever reason, I am not starting a new job this Friday.  Will I ever actually become a Home Depot employee?  Only my “destiny” knows what it has planned for me, I’ll wait and see what she has in store.  For now I’m still looking, still hopeful that my resume will spark interest with the right person, at the right time and for the right place.

Today I am going to leave you with a recipe for “Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie Stew” which I found on http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Chicken-Pot-Pie-Stew/Detail.aspx.  This recipe is great when you know you have a taste for chicken pot pie but know you won’t have time to whip one up when you get home after a long day.  Throw everything into the crock pot in the morning, come home and bake a roll of your favorite Pillsbury biscuits and you’ve got dinner on the table.

Of course I made some minor modifications to mine, well actually some major changes which is reflected in my recipe below.  The link above will take you to the original recipe on allrecipes.com. which inspired my version.  Enjoy!!

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN POT PIE STEW 

Slow cooker chicken pot pie

 What You’ll Need:

4 chicken breasts cut into cubes

5 large red potatoes – washed and chopped into small pieces

1 small onion chopped

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup

1-2 cloves of garlic minced fine

1/2 tsp. Tarragon

1 – 16 oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables

1 can Pillsbury Country Style Biscuits

Directions:

  • Spray crock pot with cooking spray
  • Place into crock pot in this order; chicken, onions, garlic, potatoes
  • Mix tarragon with the cream of chicken soup and spread over the top of the potatoes in the crock pot
  • Cook on High for 5 hours
  • Add the bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • Cook on High an additional hour
  • When ready, bake biscuits as directed on package
  • Serve pot pie stew over hot biscuits

Source: N. Rezich – adapted from allrecipes.com

Back Into The Groove

Yes, yes, I know…it’s been a while.  I don’t know why, I just couldn’t get motivated to write.  Not for lack of anything going on….there is ALWAYS something going on here.

Saturday we celebrated Walt’s dad’s 81st birthday.  It was fun to get together with Walt’s family, I love catching up with Walt’s sister Anna and her girls, Nina and Michelle.  Nina and her husband Chris are expecting their first child this a summer, a baby girl.  So exciting!!  Michelle has four children, the oldest is sliding into those scary teen years..Joey will be 16, he’s a boy, but none-the-less  you still worry about everything.  Michelle also has a pre-teen daughter, Adrianna, a sweet quiet little lady who, like all girls, is exploring and creating her own identity her own niche.  I am so glad those years are behind me but Michelle seems to have things under control.  Josh went with us, he loves hanging out playing with John and Mary’s big old dog and with Michelle’s other children, the younger ones, Lindsey and Billy.

Monday, our Joshua turned nine years old.  Nine, I remember the day he was born so clearly…..not even 5 minutes old and he tried to pee on me…lol, I even changed his first poopy diaper.  I tell Josh that story all the time, I’ll stop when he starts dating so I won’t embarrass him.  I was lucky that Cindy allowed me to stay in the room while she delivered, it was an amazing experience.

I had a second interview with the Home Depot this week and things look promising.  I interviewed for a sales associate position in the garden dept. and actually got a call for a season position, 29 hours a week.  I’ll share more about that another time.

Today I’ll leave you with a great slow cooker soup recipe, Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Walt and I loved this, try it we’re sure you will too.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Chicken Tortilla Soup

What You’ll Need:

1 lb Chicken breast, trimmed
15 oz Can sweet whole corn kernels, drained
15 oz Can diced tomatoes, drained
5 Cup Chicken stock
3/4 Cup Onion, chopped
3/4 Cup Green pepper, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, minced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp  Chili powder
1 1/2 tsp Salt, divided
1 tsp Ground pepper, divided
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Seasoned tortilla strips

Directions:

  • To your slow cooker add the first 9 ingredients plus 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp ground pepper.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Source:  http://www.pincookie.com/slow-cooker-chicken-tortilla-soup/

Home On The Rezich Range

Today we’re home on the Rezich Range and we’re chatting (ok, we’re blogging) about beef stew.  Beef Stew, everyone seems to love it including us but it’s generally not something I think of as a Sunday meal.  When I think of Sunday meals I think of pot roast and chicken, turkey with stuffing, but never beef stew.  I always thought of beef stew, much like I do spaghetti, as a mid-week kind of meal.  We can chalk that up to my childhood memories of the great meals my mom created on Sunday’s and believe me, it was never stew or spaghetti those were always weekday meals.

Now that Walt and I have declared our Sunday’s as “Slow Cooker Sunday” (at least during winter) I wanted to switch things up a bit and I thought to myself, “hey why not stew, the settlers and cowboys ate beef stew on Sunday”….in fact almost everything they ate could have been considered a stew or a soup.  Besides, beef stew, much like a pot roast meal, consists of veggies and meat slow cooked in a tomato sauce or gravy.  Stew has chunks of meat while pot roast is a big piece of meat.  It’s a “you say potato..I say potato” kind of thing.

Anyway, after pondering this “stew on Sunday” dilemma for a few days, this is the thought came to me (yep family and friends…hunker down this post is going to be one of my quirky ones).  When settlers first came to our country they lived off the land.  They spent their days clearing land, planting crops, feeding livestock, drawing water, hunting for food, building homes, creating communities.  Food was scarce and generally families were large with a lot of people to feed.  Because time and food sources were limited as were cooking utensils, meals were generally cooked in one pot or one skillet over an open flame.  Meat, vegetables, roots, plants, water, were all thrown into one big pot and simmered all day while everyone worked to create a new life in the colony.  Although many believe that stew is an American dish it really does have roots abroad; stew dishes actually date back to the roman days when stews were made of fish and lamb.  If you think about it, stew or a stew like dish probably really originated when man first discovered fire.

Sometimes we read stories or see movies that are roughly based on or around actual history of those days long ago.  We might wonder and fantasize about how great part of that life style might have been; the adventures of first settlers who headed out to explore and discover the west or cowboys out on the range, their lives very hard yet simple.  We can imagine them setting up camp for the night, cooking stew over an open fire.

Ever notice that cowboys always seemed to have a “Cookie” some jolly old cowboy who did all the cooking, the guy who would throw meat, veggies, maybe plants and roots with a little water into a pot which would cook and simmer over an open flame all day ready to feed the masses when the cowboys came back after a long day out on the range.   “Cookie” would ladle out the stew into tin cups or plates and watch as the cowboys would dig in to his tasty creation.  Of course there was always coffee brewing too (oh, and whisky) but that’s another blog story.  But you kind of get my point stew has been around for a long time, a part of our history many times memorialized in movies and stories, even history.

This week I decided that if the settlers could do it and the cowboys could do it then the Rezich’s could also rustle up a good old fashion stew for Sunday dinner.  We did just that this past Sunday for Slow Cooker Sunday. The recipe I have for you today is one of the lost treasure recipes that I found last week while I was flipping through all of my neglected cookbooks.  The word EXCELLENT printed in my handwriting next to the title of a recipe forgotten as the internet, name brand on-line recipe sites, Allrecipes and Pinterest pulled me further and further away from my books and the tasty recipes we once made.

This stew, which I found in the Pillsbury “One-Dish Meals Cookbook” on page 247, was as tasty as we remembered and we will definitely make it again.  The only thing I will do differently the next time is to add a water/flour roux about 30 minutes before the end of cooking time.  Although the stew does thicken upon standing, I like a really thick stew but this time I let Walt talk me out of adding the roux so the stew wasn’t as thick as I would have liked it.

OLD-FASHIONED BEEF STEW

Slow Cooker Old Fashion Beef Stew

What You’ll Need:

1tbsp.               Oil

1.5 lbs.             Beef stew meat cut into ¾” cubes

4                       Medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½” slices

3                       Medium red potatoes – unpeeled, cut into ½ inch cubes (I used 5 russet peeled and cut into cubes)

1½ Cups         Frozen pearl onions (from a 16 oz. pkg.)

3 Cups             Vegetable juice cocktail (I use V-8)

3 tbsp.             Quick Cooking Tapioca (not Jell-O Tapioca pudding mix)

1 tsp.                Beef-flavor instant bouillon

2 tsp.               Worcestershire sauce

1½ tsp.           Monosodium glutamate (I leave this out)

¼ tsp                Pepper

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat until hot
  • Add beef, cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until meat is browned
  • In a 3.5 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine browned beef and all remaining ingredients, mix well
  • Cover; cook on low setting for 9 to 10 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender

Source:  Pillsbury “One-Dish Meals Cookbook” on page 247 – Copywrite 1999 by The Pillsbury Company

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone are you ready for the weekend?  I know we are.  We’re also waiting for the mini snow disturbance, 1-3” our local weather channels are calling for.  You can’t really call it a snowstorm, 1-3” is an annoying disturbance, it’s not 6” which really gets in the way.  I thought the snow was supposed to start early so when I woke up this morning and opened the curtains I was surprised to find that no snow had fallen, I did a little happy dance.  I turned on Good Morning America and just happened to catch our local news and weather break the snow is on its way, it’s just a little delayed.  Bring it on I did all of my running yesterday!

Today is going to be a quiet day I’m going to bake some M&M cookies then attempt to hook up the printer I purchased a week ago.  Yes, I am procrastinating setting up the printer, if the truth be told I am afraid of this project, afraid of screwing it up because it’s wireless.  I know I need to just jump right in and get it done, I wish I would have just arranged for Best Buys Geek Squad to do it.  I can’t procrastinate any longer, it has to be done.  Wish me luck.

I am going to attempt to make homemade tartar sauce again today.  I guess attempt isn’t really the right word, I actually did make a great homemade tartar sauce about a month ago we just didn’t get to eat it because when I opened the refrigerator door the bowl of tartar sauce came flying out and crashed onto the floor, what a mess that was.  It was my fault, on several levels; first I put it in a glass bowl instead of in a covered container.  Two, I set the uncovered bowl on top of two small Tupperware bowls that, at the time, I didn’t know weren’t staked evenly so when I set the bowl on top of them it moved the top Tupperware making it even more unsecure.  When I opened the refrigerator door, the jolt of the door opening made the Tupperware slip even more causing the bowl to slip right out of the refrigerator and crash on the floor.  Lesson learned, tartar sauces stored in covered Tupperware bowl and not stacked onto anything else!

Speaking of Tupperware I was invited to a Tupperware party tonight, I haven’t been to a Tupperware party in probably 30 years but I’ll pop in tonight for a quick visit and see what they have.  My corner cabinet, a lazy Susan style, has been driving me crazy lately; maybe I’ll be able to find a few containers to help me get it a little better organized.

My new thing is Pampered Chef, I don’t like to host the shows, I don’t generally like to attend them either but I do love to order from Pampered Chef.  At one time I was into Longaberger Basket parties, I hosted them a couple times a year and I went to any and all of them that I was invited to.  I own so many baskets I’ve lost count, they are all over the house and many are still in boxes in the storage room, never unpacked when I moved into this house.  I still find it hard to believe that the first basket I bought for $26.00 now, 30 years later sells for almost double.  I hope when I’m gone Nikki and John don’t sell them in some garage sale for .25/each, but hey I wouldn’t know anyway right?  To Nikki and John…..I will know and I will haunt you, don’t sell my baskets for a quarter.

Time to get this day started so I’ll leave you today with Paula Deen’s recipe for Slow Cooker Swiss Steak.  As with most slow cooker recipes this one assembles pretty easy.  It’s tasty, the meat is very tender.  We served it with mashed potatoes and corn; it made a very hearty tasty meal.  Give it a try

SWISS STEAK

Swiss Steak

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 pounds round steak, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 Cup sliced onion

1 Cup sliced celery

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

½ cup water

1 (0.87-ounce) package brown gravy mix

½ teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine steak, mushrooms, onion, celery, and garlic.
  • In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, gravy mix, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour over steak mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Source:  http://www.cookingwithpauladeen.com/recipe_results.php?id=3192

Another Cold Michigan Day

Another cold day in Michigan, at 11:00 a.m. it’s only 9 degrees and yes, I am counting down the days until spring.    This year spring officially arrives on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. That means it is exactly 55 days, 7 hours until spring makes its official appearance.  I am waiting and I will admit not very patiently.

I have no reason to go out into the cold so I am staying in.  Today will be a day to work on a few projects I keep putting off.  As I sit here it sounds like a plan however once Walt walks out the door for work and I finish this post it could be an entirely different story.  Rather than finish a project I will probably, more than likely, start a new one or do nothing at all.  I don’t know what it is lately, I am completely unfocused, hopefully this too shall pass, sooner rather than later.

This week I wanted to get a jump on my meal planning for next week so yesterday I spent some time going through some of my cookbooks.  I’ve spent so much time on Pinterest lately, pinning and trying recipes from Pinterest that I’ve completely neglected the many cookbooks that I have.

I have a lot of cookbooks, hard cover, soft cover, name brand, famous chefs, church fund raiser books, specialty recipes…on and on and on.  At one time I was the queen of the checkout line cookbooks, you know, those little 8.5×5 books published generally by name brand companies.  If there was a new one published it was in my cart, Pillsbury, Campbell’s, Betty Crocker, Taste of Home.  Books containing recipes for everything and anything; comfort foods, easy meals, slow cooker recipes, recipes using hamburger, casseroles and more.

This is just a small sampling of the checkout line books I own:

Cookbooks

As I flipped through my checkout line books, I was excited to find recipes that I remember making, marked as EXCELLENT! but for some reason only made once and forgotten never to be made again.  Actually that’s not true, I do know the reason for only making them once or twice, it’s because yet another new recipe book found its way into our kitchen and the old recipe was forgotten and replaced with something from one of the new book.

Now I’m on a new cooking mission.  My plan is to make at least one or two recipes from the cookbooks that are on the bookcase that I insisted be installed when we remodeled our kitchen in 2007.  The other day I found cook books that I had forgotten about on the bookcases down stairs, I plan to add them to the books on the kitchen bookcase. I want to pull a way, just a little, from the on-line recipes and go back to the books that have recipes we’ve tried and loved in the past.

Next week’s menu planner has been started and so far it has several recipes from those lost and forgotten recipes books, I can’t wait to make them again and share the recipes with all of you.

Today I will leave you with a really great recipe that we tried on Saturday, Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers.  First the house smelled amazing all day long.  Second, this recipe is delicious!  I would go so far as to say that even if you didn’t want to use this recipe as a sandwich recipe it could easily pass for a stuffed pepper soup because there is a lot of liquid.

SLOW COOKER SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers

What You’ll Need:

1  tbs olive oil

1 lbs bulk ground sweet sausage

1/2  lbs ground beef

2     15oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

1      8oz can tomato sauce

1      small onion, sliced

1      red pepper, sliced

1      green pepper, sliced

Sliced provolone or mozzarella

Fresh rolls

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • Brown the sausage and ground beef, breaking into bite sized portions as it cooks
  • Transfer to a large slow cooker
  • Stir in the roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, and peppers into the slow cooker with the sausage mixture
  • Cook on low for 5-7 hours
  • Toast rolls with a slice of mozzarella on each until golden brown and cheese is starting to melt
  • Using a slotted spoon (there is a lot of liquid), pile sausage and pepper mixture onto rolls

Sources:

It Is Friday….Right???

I had a little scare this morning, a brief moment of pause, a moment when I felt a chill.  It’s a little funny now, but in those few minutes of conversation concern, fear and even panic set in.  Every morning Walt’s routine is the same, he wakes up, puts on a pot of coffee and goes downstairs on the Playstation to see if Josh has left him a message and to play a little bit before getting ready for work or starting his day.  The only variation on Saturday is that Walt will wait to make coffee until I get up….during the week he makes it before he heads downstairs.

So this morning I was surprised when I walked into the kitchen and there wasn’t any coffee made but thought maybe Walt decided to wait a bit today before putting it on.  I opened the curtains, put a few glasses in the dishwasher, sat down with my lap top at the kitchen table and I could hear Walt coming up the stairs.  When he walked into the kitchen he teased me about not starting the coffee, I’m not quite used to this new coffee pot yet, then he went about the kitchen getting the coffee ready.  As he is running water into the carafe this conversation took place:

Me:  I’ve got a little running I need to do, I have to run to Kroger, to the other Meijer to see if they have any of the coffee that’s on sale, get the meats for the week and then to Randazzo.

Walt:  In a few hours I’m going to run up to Lowes for some totes, work a little more on the storage room.

Me:  In a few hours??

Walt:  Yea, I want to get it done early, I don’t want to wait until later in the day.

Me:  You’re going today?

Walt: Yea, when else am I going to go?

Me:  You’re going before work?

Walt:  No, I’m not working today, what are you talking about?

Me: Sweetie it’s Friday.

Walt: Are you ok, it’s Saturday.

Me: Walt, it’s Friday

Walt: No it’s not, it’s Saturday, are you sure you’re ok?

**This is where panic sets in because he is determined that today is Saturday and I’m the one with the confusion issue.  I physically got up out of the chair so I could look right at him**

Me:  WALT!!!  Remember, I was supposed to take Josh and Kaylee to Karate last night, Karate is on Thursday night. Josh and I had dinner instead.  Today is Friday.

Walt:  Oh, Oh, you’re right!  WoW, I thought today was Saturday, I have to go to work today!

Me:  Are you OK?

Walt:  Yea, yea I’m fine, I just really thought it was Saturday.

Me: Are you sure??

Walt: Yea, I’m fine, I just lost track of the days.

It wouldn’t have been so scary had Walt just agreed with me the first time I said it was Friday, but when he thought I was wrong and challenged me about it I got just a little bit worried.  I’ve had more than my fair share of family members suffering from strokes, dementia and Alzheimer’s so I know what each is capable of doing.

I watched dementia take my Busia from us, coherent one minute, grabbing my arm the next begging me to take her out of the hospital because the nurses were trying to kill her.  Eventually, in her mind, Busia lived in some other place, some other time …..lost.  No longer able to share a joke or funny story, no more weekend trips up to the cottage.  No more chicken wings in a too ketchupie, greasy bbq sauce, no more pasta mixed with cream of mushroom soup to feed the masses who showed up to the cottage on weekends.  No more deli chicken and deli pasta lunches after shopping.  No more popping in to the Mercier house,  I close my eyes and I can see everything in the house, it’s not clouded or forgotten, it’s exactly the way it was, the way it always was.  I see Busia sitting in her chair, Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy on the TV, an Awrey or Sanders coffee cake on the kitchen table.  I can hear her, “Leona, Patsy, Carole, Nancy”……it always took Boo a few names before she got to our own, there were so many of us.  The hardest part was watching my mom try to take care of Busia at home until it became to much….after a while it wasn’t a good idea for either of them and busia was put in a nursing home.  I admire my mom a lot, we all came and went Mom and Dad lived it every day.  Even though we saw the deterioration in Busia, Mom and Dad lived with it, that had to be the hardest part of all.

I’ve seen my dad and brother both go through strokes, my brother still relying on a cane and sometimes a wheelchair, never really fully regaining the use of his arm and hand.  My ex-mother-in-law’s stroke was so bad it left her unable to speak or walk, I know in her head when she spoke she heard words, we only heard garble.  When I close my eyes I can still see the fear and frustration in her eyes, it haunts me 30 years later.

So for a split second I was frightened…..now Walt is walking around, teasing and joking, telling me how I screwed up his plans.  He woke up so sure today was Saturday, he was looking forward to getting a little rest and relaxation then I woke up and took it away.  He is hustling and bustling around here exactly like he does every morning before work.  All is good.

Before I sign off and head out to get my errands done I’ll leave you with a slow cooker recipe, Creamy Italian Chicken.  I found this through Life As A Lofthouse’s blog on Pinterest; http://life-as-a-lofthouse.blogspot.ca/2012/08/crockpot-creamy-italian-chicken.html.  This is another one of those slow cooker recipes that has just a few ingredients but is packed with flavor.  If you try it drop us a quick note let us know how you liked it, we love hearing from you.

CREAMY ITALIAN CHICKEN

Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken

What You’ll Need:

4 -6 boneless, skin-less chicken breasts
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
2 (10 ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, cut into cubes
Egg Noodles or Rice

Instructions:

  • Spray crock pot with non-stick spray
  • Place the chicken breasts in crock pot
  • Sprinkle breasts with the Italian dressing
  • Pour the cream of chicken soups over chicken,
  • Spread the cubes of cream cheese evenly over all.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours
  • Remove lid and stir mixture together.
  • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces or shred
  • If the sauce seems too thick, you can thin it out with a little
    milk

    Serve chicken and sauce over cooked egg noodles or rice.

Enjoy!

 

Slow Cooking On A Slow Sunday

After a bad start to the weekend, Friday was not a good day for me, the rest of the weekend was fantastic.  Saturday we celebrated Kaylee’s birthday with a party at their karate school which I am going to share in a separate post.  On Sunday we did absolutely nothing and it felt great!

The day wasn’t completely lazy.  I worked on my Sunday post, jotted down some ideas for my basket website which I am revamping, I put a pot roast in the slow cooker following a new recipe which I’ll share with you today and I chatted back and forth on Facebook with my niece Tiffany in California about recipes and spices.   It was a very relaxing day.

Today I’ll be running errands, picking up a few Christmas gifts and getting some things down around the house.  I have three little Christmas Candy bouquets to finish up for someone and a few gift baskets to make so I’ll be working on those too.

Yesterday I made Pepsi Cola Pot Roast.  This was a very tender pot roast and it is tasty.  I will admit that my favorite is still the Three Envelope Pot Roast.  I don’t know what I was hoping for, maybe a Pepsi cola taste or something so I felt that I was left looking for “something,” and even though it is tasty and super tender, it lacks the same great taste as the three envelope version.  I won’t say that I won’t make this again because I will.

Walt loved the roast but if we’re being completely honest here there isn’t much of anything that I make that my little pooh bear papa doesn’t love especially if it has anything to do with meat, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Meat, mashed potatoes and gravy are to Walt what honey is to Winnie the Pooh.

So today I’ll leave you with Pepsi Cola Pot Roast, if you try it let me know how it turns out.

085

Pepsi Cola Pot Roast

What You’ll Need:

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1          3-4 lb. Beef Roast

1 Pkt.  McCormick Au Jus (Or Brown Gravy)

1 Pkt.  McCormick Slow Cooker Savory Pot Roast Seasoning

1 Cup  Water

1 Can   Pepsi (or Coke)

Directions

  • Place roast in slow cooker
  • Mix the packet of Slow Cooker Savory Pot Roast Seasoning with the water
  • Pour over roast
  • Add the can of Pepsi
  • Sprinkle the Au Jus over the top
  • Cook      Low:  8 Hours       High:  4-6 Hours