Friday, April 26, 2013

RECIPE: Chicken Breast Bake

The other night, I was just not in the mood to make dinner. But, I have a family to feed and another growing day by day within, so I had to fix us up a mess of something. I was going to grab a cookbook and flip through the quick 20 minute meals, but my grand-daddy's church cookbook fell down while grabbing the basket.

Remember back in the day (or maybe your parish still does this?), the ladies of the church would put together their recipes into one of these plastic bound cookbooks to raise money for either the church, a charity, Sunday school, etc? Well, this cookbook was from my grand-daddy's church. Well, he was the priest (Episcopal) of this parish, and his wife, my Bea-Bea, had a few recipes in here that I had highlighted a while ago when my mom gave it to me. Actually, one of my mom's recipes is in here, too from when she was either in senior high or college! How cool, huh!?

The best thing about these older church cookbooks, is that they are written in older cooking terms/procedures. Like, this is a chicken breast bake (she named it casserole, but I changed some of what I - this is just what we do in my family. I don't think any recipe is the actual original recipe, unless you are the one that made it up, ya know?). Anyway, back then you couldn't just buy a package of trimmed, boneless, skinless chicken breast - gasp! You had to cut that mess all up your self. Whoa. I tried that one time. Not my cup of tea...

Before I hand out my take on my grandmother's recipe, I have to share another one first. See, I came across this ingredient before - my mother has always used this and has her kitchen well stocked with this item... Me? Nope. So, I had to find out how to make it using what I had since it is needed for the recipe.

2 tbsp marjoram (substituted this for 2 tbsp oregano)
2 tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp dried savory (substituted this for 1 tbsp dried thyme)
2 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 pinch (aka 1/16 tsp) dried rosemary
1 pinch (aka 1/16 tsp) onion powder

Mix together and store in airtight container.

Now that you have your poultry seasoning, are you ready to get cooking?

Chicken Breast Bake (serves 4)

1.5 lbs chicken breasts
3/4 cup flour (used whole wheat flour, I ran out of AP flour!)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp onion powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350. Combine and mix flour with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Dip chicken breast in flour mixture and coat well. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides (about 6-8 minutes each side). Place chicken in oven safe dish and cover with soup and onion powder. Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

YUM!! And, can I just tell you... Andy went on and on with each bite he took, "Mommy, I like yours chicken! Mama, this is a good dinner! Mommy, this so good!" Looks like my Bea-Bea added a new go-to recipe to our list! Love and miss her, too!

Hope you dinners are scoring big this week - have a great weekend!

**Linked Up With**
Six Sisters Stuff - Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Tatertots & Jello - Weekend Wrap Up

A Week in the Sun

LOVING this weather! THIS is why I live in the South. Granted, I'm still partially dying from the tree pollen. But, this month is finally coming to a close. Thank goodness! We have been outside everyday this week enjoying the season's first popsicles, sports entertainment, and afternoons at the playground. It has been wonderful! How is the weather where you are? I hope you and your family are enjoying the weather just as much as we are. Have a great weekend!


This day was all about basketball
 ...and popsicles! The first ones of the season!! Yay!! Alex liked his, but wanted to try Andy's, too. Good thing Andy was fine with sharing ;)

 I love my family.


 And today was clearly about golf. Alex (top) looks more like a hockey player in my opinion with his little chunky, powerful self. And, Jason is pretty impressed with Andy's swing. He's getting him his first set of real clubs for his birthday - Shh!! Don't tell him! ;)

We also made a parking lot for dump trucks.

This was the only day this week (maybe ever) I felt absolute hatred towards the trees. I ran out of Sudafed and suffered the consequences for it. I couldn't breath. Couldn't sleep. It was terrible. Stupid trees. Finish getting your leaves already! Luckily, I had my little men to make me feel better :)
 Andy made me a bracelet from his wacky track LOL! 

News flash! If you have train lovers in your family and get tired of tracks not getting in the right places and are also tired of hearing about why you need to buy more pieces...GET THESE TRACKS! They are awesome! Thomas and Friends Wacky Tracks - they move to fit where ever they are needed. Awesome. Best track pieces ever. Get them. I found these at Books-A-Million, but you can get them on Amazon, too.

 Making dinner from my grandmother's recipe found in her church's cookbook - WHICH!! This was my grand-daddy's church! He was an Episcopal priest and was one of the coolest people ever when I was little. Miss him and love him! I'll share the recipe in another post in just bit.

 While I was making dinner, I heard the boys "taking pictures" and giggling up a storm. So, I was lucky enough to snap a pic. Not a very good one, but still so cute! Andy is posing with Tusker (the blue elephant) and Roary (the lion) while Alex takes a picture with a Lego Duplo block that clicks. Too cute. Love them.

After a great day at school and successful errand running, we headed to the park after pick-up time. 
From top left, going clockwise: Racing around the playground / Counting the fish / Climbing the rocky grass stadium seats / Alex taking it all in / Found a bug...and squishing it. Nice. 
 Alex running to bring me the coolest rock ever. 

All he needs is a skateboard, right?! Andy did this over and over again! Climb all the way up...jump all the way back down. Wore. Him. Out. 

See? Wore them both out! They are chilling while watching Wild Kratts. One of the coolest shows on PBS. I've learned a lot from it, too. Like, the groundhog is the world's (maybe just North America's) largest rodent... Again, never trust a rodent...even one that tells you the weather. Who came up with that groundhog 6 week weather business anyway? Lame. But, Spring is FINALLY here, so I'll stop now on that subject.

 More golfing! He may have perfected his swing by the end of the summer :)

 Getting some reading in - working on a few books a the same time. My mind may explode... 

 Tagging our fence. They realized that sidewalk chalk is also great on fences. 

 Our pizza-popcorn-movie night has turned into pizza-popsicles-sillypants night!

 See? Sillypants! Alex said, "Silly face!" and puffed out his cheeks and Andy is covered in a sticky wild berry popsicle mess!

 Two of the best brothers and friends on the planet. Love it!

 Looks like Max got a popsicle, too! At some point a game of tag broke out while eating popsicles and Alex lost his. No worries though...he thought it was hilarious that Max was eating it up. 

Well, that is it for our weekly adventures! Hope everyone has a great weekend. We are supposed to get some rain, but I hope not... Pepper Place opens tomorrow!! And, I really hope to get out there! Wish me luck :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Last Week at the House...

My goodness! Time is really flying past me here. I was updating our kitchen calendar and cannot believe that it is almost MAY!!! That means school is almost out and summer is coming up FAST!!

Holy moly spicy guacamole!!

Anyway, the weather is warming up wonderfully here and we are LOVING it!! Here's a look at what we did last week:


 We are back in the groove of our after-dinner walks!


 Alex and I are getting in LOTS of time at the park after our picnics on Andy's school days. 


 We got a LOT of cleaning done that day! I don't know what happened other than 2 tiny tornadoes going through my house, but my house is amazingly clean. I've already told her about 1000x, but....
Thank you, Kristi for helping me out that day!!!! You are one awesome friend! Love ya!!

 Time for another after-dinner walk!


 Lunch time outside. Apparently for Max, too... Who got a hair cut on this day (finally!) - isn't he the cutest?! 

 After getting Andy from school, we headed over to the park again. Storms were supposed to be rolling in later that evening. We had to enjoy it while we could!

 A most serious elephant rider ;)


 The birds came out when the storms left. Mornings like these are a favorite of the boys. They love watching the birds - especially our sweet cardinal couple.

Nana and Papa came for a visit this past weekend. These are the only pictures I ended up getting from the weekend, but we had a lot of fun. Are you wondering about the game that the guys are playing? It is the Cat in the Hat I Can Do That: The Card Game and it is becoming a quick favorite here these past few weeks. It is SO funny to watch the little guys (and the big ones, too!) do the different tasks in the game. If you have preschoolers/toddlers, then get this game and have a video camera / camera very close by!!


We hope everyone had a wonderful week and weekend, too! We are getting ready for the summer here and excited for all of the end of the school year fun coming in the weeks ahead. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Let's Get This Party Started! {Alex Turns 2!!]

Wowza! Alex is 2 already?! Where on EARTH did the time go?

We started off his birthday extravaganza on Friday afternoon when Jason got home. We opened up all the cards from grandparents, put the pizza in the oven, and got out his presents from Mommy, Daddy, and Andy.


 Opening cards from Grandma, Nana, and Ma! 

Awesome castles and knights!!! Ok, the gray castle - my brothers had one just like that when they were little! I was so excited when I found this whole lot on Craigslist!! These guys LOVED that they could shoot cannons at the other castle and capture people in their dungeons. So funny!

After our pizza party, I brought out his birthday cookie cake.

 Such a big kid! He blew out his candles and picked out his piece. Love him :)

After we got everyone all cleaned up, we played some more until it was time to get ready for tomorrow's adventures... Sleep well, birthday boy! You have a big day in the morning!


One happy birthday boy ready to start off his day with a yummy breakfast at Cracker Barrel!! Complete with a "Birthday Boy" button, of course! 

We did not tell them where we were going - only that it was a cool place. Along the way, we handed out different items to help them guess. After breakfast, we gave them each a Thomas hat - it is going to be a sunny day! Half way there, we handed them each a wooden train whistle. We asked them, "Wow! You guys have a lot of Thomas stuff... I wonder where we are going..." Andy figured it out and the squeals began! "Thomas!!! Thomas!!!"

They are right! We are off to spend a day with Thomas the Tank Engine!!

 Here is that famous blue engine pulling into the station just as we are walking up to show our tickets.

 Can you feel the excitement?! He was giggling the WHOLE way from the car to this point...and beyond!

 We had a little time before getting in line to board our car, so we headed over to one of the areas to play with the endless options of Thomas toys. Stuff ranging from Mega Blocks for the younger crowd to the TrackMaster items for the "bigger" crowd. Lots of fun!

 Playing in the maze before heading over to Thomas

 Waiting in line for our ride! That's right. Mama got car #1 - right behind Thomas. Parents, this thing sells out FAST. I followed our rail road museum closer than a stalker to ensure I got these tickets the second they went on sale. I suggest you do the same, if you plan on doing this with your children. They say purchase tickets in advanced...they aren't joking. Do as they say or you aren't riding!

 Our car

 First ones in line and ready to ride the rails!

 Waiting rather patiently (but slightly annoyed) for the rest of the passengers to board the train

 Holding on tight while the Thomas takes us through the woods, over a bridge, and behind a golf course. 

Snacking on the train ride

 Tired and ready for lunch, Alex waits in the grass for Daddy to return

 Yum! Hot dogs!

 Putt-putt! We think Andy is going to be a lefty with the way he holds his club all the time. Alex needed a little help to get started. But had a ton of fun!

 Bye Thomas!! Thanks for helping us make some great memories for Alex!!

On our way home, we stopped for a snack at Krispy Kreme. You just can't pass one and not stop... If you do, then something is just wrong in the world. They loved watching the donut being made while they ate theirs.

What a super fun day!!

One happy birthday boy!!

We love you SO much, Alex!! You have such a wonderful laugh and one of the best smiles. You are a fantastic little brother. We just know that you are going to be an amazing big brother, too!! 

Hugs and kisses!!!


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