Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings...finally mastered!!

My husband's dad makes the best chicken and dumplings!  So obviously, I wanted to master the recipe.  I tried making them a long time ago and failed, so I've been a little cautious ever since.  I've been craving them, so I thought I'd give it another go. They turned out fabulous and were pretty simple. Try it out!

Boil 1 whole chicken (some people boil just chicken breasts, but I think you get so much more flavor from the whole chicken). De-bone the chicken and tear apart into small pieces. Save the broth. Chop 1 bell pepper, 1 medium onion, and 3 stalks of celery. Add 32 oz of chicken broth to the original broth, 1 can cream of chicken soup, and 1 can of water (using the cream of chicken can). Bring to a boil. Add the veggies. Take 3 cans of cheap biscuits and press flat with your hands.  Cut into fourths (I used a pizza slicer). Coat each individual biscuit fourth with flour and drop into the boiling mixture one at a time...if you just throw in a bunch of biscuits at the same time, they could get all stuck together and cause a mess. You're going to think you have way too many biscuits, but it'll be fine!!  Then add the chicken. Try to stir gently and as little as possible. Add salt (easy with the salt due to the chicken broth and cream soup), black pepper, and garlic powder. I also added 1 1/2 sticks of butter for a wonderful, rich flavor. Boil/simmer for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

Definite husband pleaser!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken and Veggie Chowder

Apparently I take after my grandmother, Mamie, by never following a recipe!  I found a recipe for Corn and Potato Chowder on Pinterest, but I totally changed it up to make it my own.  It was easy and delicious, I must say so myself...but so did the hubs.  Even though it has chicken and corn in it (not his faves), he loved it!

First, I baked 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which I had seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder...cut into cubes when done. Then saute 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped green bell pepper, and minced garlic in 1 stick of butter. I used the jarred minced garlic,  but you could use fresh. Then add some chopped baby carrots to the mix. Throw in about 2 tbsp of flour. Add about 5-6 cups chicken broth, bring to boil. Add a bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley flakes (or fresh). Cut up cream cheese into cubes and add to the broth mixture. Once the cream cheese is pretty much melted into the mix, add about 2 cups heavy whipping cream. Now add frozen broccoli, corn, and chicken. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Serve with shredded cheese on top and more parsley if you like...mainly for looks.
I served cheesy toast on the side. I used leftover hamburger buns. Spread them with butter and sprinkle garlic powder. Add mozzerella, parmesan, and cheddar cheeses, broil in oven for about 3-5 minutes.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

36 weeks survey and my Jasper shower

 Last weekend, my husband's family through us our 2nd baby shower.  It turned out so cute! They went with a nauticle-type theme. My in-laws live on the lake where the shower was held, so it worked out perfectly. Here are a few pics...
Diaper cake made by my talented sister-in-law.
My parents...patiently waiting on their first grandchild!
35 weeks
My mother-in-law and mom.
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
Cute sand bucket made of fruit with adorable fruit crabs and starfish!
Total weight gained/lost: hahaa!!! Who's counting?? 
Maternity clothes: I'm working with what I've got.  I'm too close to the end to buy anyhing new. I'm very thankful I wear scrubs to work.

Best moment of the week(s): My shower last weekend was great. I think I've got everything I need for this little guy. I've been busy washing clothes, socks, blankets...just getting ready for his arrival.
 Movement: He's still moving alot. He loves my ribs on my right side. I never feel him in my left ribs. Every now and then there's a kick or movement that is so dramatic that I actually kinda jump!
Sleep: Hmm there are nights I sleep great and nights that I toss and turn. I try to squeeze in a nap when I can on the weekends and sometimes after work. I know I'll need all the rest I can get pretty soon.
Food cravings: Lately nothing special. I have been eating alot of avocados though now that I think about it.
Food aversions: Nothing really. I still haven't eaten shrimp. And last night I made homemade hamburgers and I thought the smell of the raw beef was disgusting, but it didn't stop me from eating the final product!
Morning sickness: No, thankfully.

Gender: Boy...and ready to meet my new man! :)
What I miss: Being able to jump up and do whatever I want to do. I've been dealing with some major sciatica pain or something of the sort. My left hip has been giving me a fit which is really slowing me down. I have to take lots of breaks or just stay seating to be comfortable. Doctor said the best cure is to evict this baby! Ha!  Hopefully this is a pain that will disappear as soon as he's born!

What I'm looking forward to: Wednesday I go for my last ultrasound and we will check his growth and have a good idea of what size baby we're dealing with!
Weekly wisdom: Allow people to help!!! Now that I've been dealing with this hip, I've had to learn to take people up on their offers to do stuff for me. :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Nacogdoches Baby Shower!!

 Some of my closest friends and family on my side of the family put together a super fabulous baby shower last weekend!  I seriously could not have asked for a more fun, creative, sweet shower. They really went all out for me and I felt so very special. Here are a few pics to prove just how wonderful that day was...
My creative friend, Anna, made this super cute diaper cake.

My mom's best friend, Kelly, did it again with another awesome fruit display (aka fruit-a-palooza)!

A onesie creation station!

Beautiful cake and onesie cookies hanging from the clothesline :)

Yes, I got a few gifts!

Making onesies!

This is all the "junk" I've been craving during this pregnancy!

Baby wishes for Drake...these will be so neat to read years from now.

All of my wonderful hostesses!

The hostess with the mostess!!!

Love my wreath made by Anna!

Enjoying some HOT FRIES!

Me with my sweet Mom!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Spicy Italian Sausage & Chicken Pasta

So, I haven't blogged about food in a while mainly because my creative juices haven't been flowing. I ended up combining a few of my favorite recipes together to come up with what Justin calls "the best thing you've ever made!"

Here's what you need:
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 small package boneless, skinless chicken breast
bell pepper (I used 1 large green and a very small red), chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Olive oil
1 block of cream cheese, softened
about 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 small package of fresh mushrooms
shredded parmesan cheese
pasta (I used bowtie)
seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Here's what you do:
Brown the sausage. Scoop it out onto papertowels to drain. Add the chicken to the skillet in the sausage grease. If needed, add a little olive oil. Add onion and bell pepper. Season with the above seasonings. Cook until chicken is done. Add sausage back to skillet. Move the meats to the outer edges and add the cream cheese to the skillet. Melt down, then add the heavy whipping cream, about 3/4 cup parm cheese, and mushrooms. Stir all together. You probably need to add more of the seasonings at this point. Simmer on low for about 15 mintues. Add your cooked pasta. Top with about 1/4 cup parm cheese.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

31 weeks....9 to go!

I can't believe we are counting down in single digits!! :)

Total weight gained/lost: I just don't ask :)
Maternity clothes: I am a lucky girl with lots of friends that have handed down lots of cute maternity clothes.  
Best moment of the week(s): Mom missed out on the last ultrasound, so she wanted to go back to Early View and take a look at her first grandchild, so seeing our cute little baby on Friday was my favorite moment this week! I love these 4-D ultrasounds...you can see so many details! I love his little lips! The cutest I've ever seen.
Movement: He moves all the time. He loves having his feet in my ribs. Friday, I was feeling very uncomfortable, I assume because of his position. I felt like I had no room at all for my stomach, lungs, or bladder. I guess he moved into a more comfy position because I haven't felt that uncomfortable again since. I know this is probably just the beginning of the uncomfortable stuff though!
Sleep: I'm not having any trouble sleeping...other than waking up 2 or 3 times a night to go to the bathroom.
Food cravings: I'm still loving my junk food, but thankfully a new craving for me has been salad! Yay!  Especially with avocado.
Food aversions: Nothing really.
Morning sickness: No, thankfully.

Gender: All boy!

What I miss: Being able to go outside without feeling like I'm going to DIE! It's so so so hot...but since my temperature is way off, it feels like 200 degrees out there to me! My poor husband is constantly freezing in our house nowadays and has to stay bundled up.

What I'm looking forward to: So much! We start birthing classes this Tuesday, I take maternity pictures on Saturday, and my showers!
Weekly wisdom: Work on enjoying "downtime."  I've been complaining to a few people how I'm bored, but I think it's just because I'm so ready for the next chapter to begin. Everyone keeps saying to enjoy the boredom. I'm trying.

8/3/12 @ 30 weeks, 4 days
You can't tell me those aren't the cutest lips you've ever seen!

8/5/12  31 weeks
Definitely growing, growing, growing!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

29 weeks!!

Total weight gained: I have not been keeping up with this at all. I do not own a scale and when I was at the doctor on July 9th, they weighed me, but I just didn't even ask how much I had gained since the last appointment. My doctor is happy with the weight gain, so that's all that matters. And as far as measurements, I'm measuring right on target for our due date of October 8th.
Maternity clothes: I'm still able to buy some non-maternity shirts. Luckily alot of stylish clothes are loose and flowy.
Best moment of the week(s): My sister-in-law's sister had her baby a little over a week ago. She had a boy too and it got me all excited and ready for Drake to get here!
Movement: This kid is busy!  Justin calls him "Karate Kid" and I swear he's doing flips. I can tell when he's resting, but the majority of the time, he's moving!
Sleep: Oh goodness, sleep is getting more and more difficult between getting re-adjusted, crazy dreams, hips/legs/arms falling asleep, and my sinuses being stopped up at night. But, like they say, it's preparing me for when Drake keeps me up all night :)

Food cravings: I'm still craving junk! Lately I've been wanting a chili cheese coney, chili cheese fries with jalapenos, and a Coke....I just haven't had the chance to go to Sonic yet....but it'll happen SOON!
Food aversions: Still avoiding shrimp. I did actually eat it in a sushi roll a couple of times, but just plain shrimp, I can't do right now.---same

Morning sickness: No, thankfully.

Gender: According to the tech at my last ultrasound, he's all boy.  Her exact words were, "That's definitely a boy, look at those testicles!"  I just wish Justin had been there to hear that!!! HA!
What I miss: Mainly wine!

What I'm looking forward to: Mom didn't get to go to the last ultrasound, so she wants to see him one more time before he makes his arrival. We scheduled an elective ultrasound for August 3rd. Maternity pictures on August 11th and then my baby showers!
Weekly wisdom: Take this time to get prepared and do some fun stuff that may not get to happen for a while!
7/13/12~~27 weeks, 4 days