June 26, 2009

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I had a craving for Chicken Cordon Bleu...so I made this cause I don't like stuffing chicken.

Serves 12
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (8 rolls)
2 tablespoons Salted Butter
1 tablespoon 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 box (13.25 oz) frozen baked honey-battered chicken tenders, thawed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, or 1 deli rotisserie chicken (2 to 2 1/2 lb), shredded
16 slices (1 oz each) Mozza or Provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce or cream-style prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 lb shaved cooked brown-sugar or maple-glazed ham (from deli)

Heat oven to 375ºF. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll crescent rolls in baking dish; press perforations to seal. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Remove from heat; stir in cut-up chicken tenders.
Place 8 slices of the Mozzarella cheese over baked crust. In small bowl, stir Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, honey, horseradish sauce and thyme until well blended. Spoon half of the mayonnaise mixture evenly over cheese on crust.
Spoon chicken mixture evenly over mayonnaise mixture on crust. Spoon remaining mayonnaise mixture evenly over chicken. Cover chicken evenly with ham. Top with remaining 8 slices Muenster cheese.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is thoroughly heated.

June 16, 2009

Pasta Salad with Chicken and Spinach

This chicken, spinach, and pasta salad is tossed with a flavorful mayonnaise and lemon juice dressing. This is a great main dish salad for hot summer days. Use cooked leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken for this tasty salad recipe.


  • 8 ounces fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped spinach
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped chicken
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or a favorite gourmet mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • salt, to taste


Cook pasta following package directions; drain and rinse well.
Toss cooled pasta with the spinach, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and chicken.
Combine 1 cup of the mayonnaise with wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and basil. Toss with the pasta mixture. Add more mayonnaise, if needed. Taste and add salt, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving time for best flavor.
Serves 4 to 6.

Mushroom Bacon Breakfast Strata

Picture by Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman
Recipe is adapted from this Pioneer Woman Recipe.
What you buy:
12 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 pieces
12 white mushrooms, sliced
8 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup half & half or whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 Pitas, cut into 2 inch squares and toasted lightly
What you do:
Fry bacon pieces in a large skillet until done but not overly crispy. Drain on a paper towel, pour grease from skillet.
Add mushrooms to skillet (don’t clean skillet first) and cook until done.
Mix eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper.
Arrange pita chips in an 8 x 11-inch baking dish. Slightly press to flatten.
Tear pieces of cream cheese and evenly distribute over the top.
Distribute mushrooms and bacon over the top, followed by the cheddar cheese.
Pour egg mixture evenly over all ingredients.
Place into the fridge for several hours of overnight (makes a handy breakfast casserole!), then bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until eggs are set.
Cut into squares and serve immediately.

June 12, 2009

(Repost) Chocolate Caramel Crackers (so very addicting!)

Adapted from recipe on Smitten Kitchen that was adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from Marcy Goldman who is the genius that first applied this to matzo

approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice (original recipe-4 to 6 sheets matzo)
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semisweet chocolate if you don't like dark chocolate)
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice (optional)
Extra sea salt for sprinkling (if using Matzo)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit. (don't skip this step or your clean up will be torture)

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts. (If using matzo, you'll need to break pieces to fit any extra spaces, which will be annoying because despite being perforated, it does not actually break in straight lines. There has been some luck pressing a serrated knife straight down along a section between perforations, if that makes sense.)

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, they will start to melt and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts and/or sea salt. (The sea salt is great on matzo. On Saltines, it’s really not necessary.)

Once completely cool — I sometimes speed this process up in the fridge, impatient as should be expected in the face of caramel crackers :) — break it into pieces ( nibble on some) and store it in a container out of the reach of any children. (somehow it always goes missing if not hidden) It should keep for a week but it won't last that long

June 10, 2009

Tutus and pony tails

The Last class until fall. (video at the bottom)

If you can't view this just click this link to go the Youtube to view it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHacsC0feKE

Mud Pies = Smiley Girl

Lately it has been raining and pouring (no snoring) quite a bit at my house.  Bex has never been happier!  After a recent "I'm bored", I taught her how to make mudpies! I think she might have thought I was a bit crazy at first but then she got right in there with both hands...and feet.

She left it outside overnight to 'Bake' and she is still in her jammies cause she had to go check on it first thing in the morning!


Mud Pie

Prep Time:
50 min
Total Time:
3 hr 50 min
8 servings (6 if you my family)

What You Need!
22 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 3/4 cup crumbs)
1/2 cup  finely chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP, divided
1-3/4 cups cold milk
1 pkg.  (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding

Make It!
PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix wafer crumbs, pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 10 min.; cool.
BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping; spread over crust. Pour milk into medium bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Spoon over cream cheese layer.
REFRIGERATE several hours or until set. Top with remaining 1/2 cup whipped topping just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

June 9, 2009

Quickest Strawberry Jam

For a quick breakfast or snack, toast slices of country-style bread and top with ricotta and a dollop of jam. ( or just eat out of the jar like Bex does. That is my gauge of culinary success)

Makes 1 3/4 cup ( if you don't have little hands sneaking berries)

2 cups hulled Strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice (just go out to your tree and pick one...right?)

In a food processer, process berries until coarsely chopped, or if you are a ninja go crazy with a knife. Transfer to a large skillet and stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium ish heat, stirring frequently, until the jam is thickened and bubbly, about 9-10 min. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature. ( To store, seal jar and refrigerate, up to 10 days, but I promise it will be gone before then!)

June 8, 2009

FHE Idea of the Week

Lesson 4: Families Are a Part of Heavenly Father’s Plan

Opening Song:  “Families Can Be Together Forever” (CS, page 188)

Opening Prayer

Family Business:  

Scripture or Testimony:  Matthew 6:21

Lesson: Review with the children that each of us chose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan and come to earth. Tell the children that when we came to earth, Heavenly Father blessed us with people to help us and love us.
Tell the children that you will give them clues to help them figure out who these people are. One at a time, have a child hold up each letter of the word family. Have the children state the name of the letter. Then give a clue that starts with that letter. Some possible clues are given on the next page.
1. Father is a part of it.
2. Aunts and uncles are part of it.
3. Mother is a part of it.
4. I am a part of it.
5. Love is a part of it.
6. You are a part of it.
When you have given all the clues, repeat the word family together with the children.
• Why do we need families? 
Explain that when we were babies we needed to live with people who would take care of us. Heavenly Father planned for each of us to live with a family that would love us and take care of us. As we grow older, our families also teach us and help us make wise choices.
Explain that all families are different. Some families have two parents, and some families have only one. Some families have lots of children, and some families have only a few children or one child. Some families have children, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles all living together. Some children live with adults who aren’t related to them but who still love them and care for them. Families do different things together and show love in different ways. The important thing about families is that the family members love and care for each other. Everyone needs to be part of a family.

Hold up your hand with the fingers extended. Explain that the members of a family can work together like the fingers and thumb of a hand. Ask the children to try to pick up their scriptures or some other object with one hand, without using their thumbs. Explain that while they may be able to pick up the object with just their fingers, it is much easier when they use their thumb and fingers together. Remind the children that every member of a family is important. Family members can accomplish much when they all work together.
Give the children paper and crayons or pencils and have them draw pictures of their families. Label each picture My Family Loves Me.
Closing Prayer & Treat

June 6, 2009

I just couldn't resist!

isn't this awesome!

The best OAMC site I have found YET!

While doing my early morning (before the kidlets wake) internet time, i found my new favorite!

I promise once you visit you will thank me...that is if you do Once a Month Cooking.  and...if you don't you should start.


1. you will save money

2. you will save time

3. you will save your busy weekday sanity

4. your husband will have a (ok a months worth) meal for your 'girls night out'

June 4, 2009

My little Ray Ray

Today we are having a Mommy/RayRay/Ez day.  Bex and Daddy are in Edmonton breeding Gracie for the next 2 days.

Here are some pictures of my beautiful girl (these are for you mom)


June 2, 2009

7 ways that I have found to boost Self-esteem

1) Think back to when you did something new for the first time.

Learning something new is often accompanied by feelings of nervousness, lack of self belief and high stress levels, all of which are necessary parts of the learning process. The next time you feel under-confident, remembering this will remind you that it's perfectly normal - you're just learning!

2) Do something you have been putting off.

Like writing or calling a friend, cleaning the house, tidying the garden, fixing the car, organizing the bills, making a tasty and healthy meal - anything that involved you making a decision, then following through!

3) Do something you are good at.

Examples? How about swimming, running, dancing, cooking, gardening, climbing, painting, writing… If possible, it should be something that holds your attention and requires enough focus to get you into that state of 'flow' where you forget about everything else. You will feel more competent, accomplished and capable afterwards, great antidotes to low self esteem!

And while you're at it, seriously consider doing something like this at least once a week. People who experience 'flow' regularly seem to be happier and healthier.

4) Stop thinking about yourself!

I know this sounds strange, but low self esteem is often accompanied by too much focus on the self. Doing something that absorbs you and holds your attention can quickly make you feel better.

5) Get seriously relaxed.

If you are feeling low, anxious or lacking in confidence, the first thing to do is to stop thinking and relax properly. Some people do this by exercising, others by involving themselves in something that occupies their mind. However, being able to relax yourself when you want is a fantastic life skill and so practicing self hypnosis, meditation, or a physically-based relaxation technique such as Tai Chi can be incredibly useful.

When you are properly relaxed, your brain is less emotional and your memory for good events works better. A great 'rescue remedy'!

6) Remember all the things you have achieved.

This can be difficult at first, but after a while, you'll develop a handy mental list of self-esteem boosting memories. And if you're thinking "But I've never achieved anything", I'm not talking about climbing Everest here.

Things like passing your driving test (despite being nervous), passing exams (despite doubting that you would), playing team sport, getting fit (even if you let it slip later), saving money for something, trying to help someone (even if it didn't work) and so on.

7) Remember that you could be wrong!

If you are feeling bad about yourself, remember that you way you feel affects your thoughts, memory and behavior. So when you feel bad, you will only remember the bad times, and will tend to be pessimistic about yourself. This is where the tip 'Get Seriously Relaxed' comes in!

June 1, 2009

Little Prayers

Every night before their heads hit the pillow my little girls say prayers.  Today we had a ROUGH day.

This is Rebecca's prayer:

"...please help mommy to not be a grump anymore.  I don't like it when she is a grump..."

I have come to believe quite strongly that the Lord sends us children so they can teach us something, not the other way around.