Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An allergic reaction

We don't know the trigger
and it looks worse today.

 She's got no symptoms other than the rash.  The Doc say to give her Benadryl and called in a prescription.

Let's hope she's in the all-clear in a few days.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ecstasy and Chickens

Yesterday, the girls and I sat out and watched the girls (our hens) dust bathe, peck, and meander about the back yard.  Big Sissy snapped a few pics...

and then there was this shot.  I laughed so hard when I saw it.
What was an attempt to swing my hair out of my face resulted in this rather ridiculous looking snapshot.  I call it Ecstasy and Chicken.  What do you think? ; )

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

King Ranch Chicken

King Ranch Chicken, that ubiquitous Texas casserole, has busted across state borders and onto the plates of folks all over the United States.  It's home food, the comforting stuff, which is why it's so commonly found at dinner parties, reunions, pot lucks, & funerals.  It's hard to hit a large gathering of Texans and not come across this dish  beckoning you to dig in and take a scoop.

Here's what you'll need
10 corn tortillas
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled or 1 whole chicken, boiled and meat pulled. (I used the Rotisserie bird to save on time and clean up).
1 small (8 oz.) box Veleeta cheese, 1 pkg. shredded cheddar may be substituted
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion or 1/2 a large one, chopped
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can Ro*tel tomatoes with green chilies, I used the mild.
1/2 cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat skillet with two tablespoons butter.  Dice onion and place in heated skillet.  Saute onions until soft.

While onions are sauteing, cut tortilla rounds into sixths, as you would for triangle corn chips.  Next, cut Velveeta block into cubes.

Lay a single layer of triangles along the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13" casserole dish.  Pull chicken breast meat in bite sized pieces off of the rotisserie chicken.  Layer chicken meat on top of the corn tortillas. Then top with sauteed onions and cubed Velveeta.

Repeat the layers of tortilla, chicken, onion, and cheese, stopping when casserole dish is 3/4 of the way full.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine soups, Ro*tel, and broth.  Pour soup mixture onto casserole and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
What comes out of the oven will be a a casserole swimming in creamy cheesiness, a queso-esque concoction that screams comfort, and calories, but hey, everything IS bigger in Texas! ; )

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To my Followers

Number 50
I've finally reached 50 followers!  Thanks for taking the time to follow my blog.  I appreciate each and every one of you and hope that you enjoy the blog.  If you ever make any of the recipes I've shared, please let me know how that's turned out for you.  I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peachy Peach Pie from The Southern Lady Cooks

I love finding recipes on blogs (I love sharing them, too).  I don't know how many times I'd see something I wanted to make, but would forget what website I saw it on when I went to actually make it.  Pintrest has helped alleviate that problem for me, when I actually remember to pin a recipe.  I'd seen a recipe for "Peachy Peach Pie" from a fellow blogger, for example, but realized I hadn't pinned it so had to got to an old fashioned search approach...scrolling every blog I follow 'til I found it.  Lucky for me, I found it; unfortunately I added several blogs to my reader so my list was longer than ever.  Well, the search was worth it.  At The Southern Lady Cooks blog I finally found what I was looking for.  Without further ado, here's Judy's recipe for Peachy Peach Pie...

1 (9 inch) pie shell (I used a Pillsbury frozen pie crust)
2 cans sliced peaches (a 29 ounce can and a 15.25 ounce can), drained **I accidentally bought 2-21 oz. cans of peach pie filling and the pie was still yummy.
2 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar **I used 1/4 cup sugar since the peach pie filling was sweet
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
25 vanilla wafers, crushed or enough wafers to make one cup fine crumbs (I put them in a ziploc bag and crush with rolling pin)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut in small pieces **I totally forgot to add the butter, but the topping was still great.
3/4 to 1 cup walnut pieces **I used pecan pieces since that's what I had on hand.
Cook the pie crust in a preheated 450 degree oven for five minutes. (Do not prick the bottom of the crust)  Beat eggs, lemon juice and sugar with a mixer until well mixed.  Fold in peaches and vanilla,  mix with a spoon.   Pour peaches in pie shell.
Mix wafer crumbs, flour, nutmeg and sugar together.  Sprinkle over pie.  Cut up butter in pieces and put on top of crumbs.  Sprinkle walnuts over pie.  Bake in preheated 375 degree oven 40 to 45 minutes.  Makes one pie. Enjoy!

Be sure to hop onto Judy's blog and tell her thank you for creating such a divine pie!

Thanks for visiting.  Have a great weekend.

The Kitchen Witch

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Odd Ball

Have you ever looked at the stats on your blog and looked at the key words people searched to land on your blog.

This list made me giggle.  Here it is...

dump salad
easy hummingbird cake
mouthofthesouth plant blog
tick photos
"chicken, noodle, and spinach casserole
"happy mother's day" in Romanian
art deco planter
berry trifle angel food cake lemon curd
best ever lemon lavender scones

That's an interesting mix, wouldn't you agree?! ; )

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Beach Trip of the Year

 This Mother's Day we headed to the beach
 It was a mild day, no high winds.  I guess you could say it's the calm from all the storms that have been erupting
 Here are a few scenes from the Texas Gulf Coast

A quick snap before these little guys buried into the sand

A Portuguese Man of War...eeek,

and a Jellyfish!

 Teeny tiny wanted to wear Mom's hat.

Receding waves reveal hundreds of these in all colors.  They feel funny under your feet

Mother/Daughter toes.    She's already passed me by two shoe sizes at 13.  She's got the long , slender foot (toes in pink), I've got the short, wide foot ; )

What's a Texas beach without cowboy hats and flags?  Can you almost hear the country music?
And don't forget the surfers. : )  That's life in South Texas.  We're a mixed bag.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole

    This is another of the recipes I found thumbing through a mag at the Doc's office.  This was easy, filling, and inexpensive to make, great for a week night supper.  We loved it so much that we ate it up before I could snap a pic which explains the magazine's photo : )
    Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole
    photo courtesy
  • Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk (I used fat free since that's what I had on hand)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste (I also used about 2 tsps. garlic & onion powder, and approximately 2 tsps. Cajun seasoning)
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • slices sandwich bread (I used enough plain bread crumbs to cover the dish and doctored 'em up with a Cajun seasoning, crushed parsley, and grated Parmesan)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped (I used a bag of frozen, chopped spinach since, again, that's what I had on hand)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes (do not let the mixture darken). Slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions; drain and return them to the pot. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Add the milk mixture, chicken, spinach, and thyme to the noodles and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and drizzle with the melted butter.
  4. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden and the filling is bubbling, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe courtesy Dawn Perry,  March 2012, of Real Simple Magazine

** Many people commented that this recipe was bland so I really loaded in the seasonings.  I tasted it before it went in the baking dish, adjusted seasonings a tad more and thought it was great.

Sharing at:   Ms. enPlace

& for Southern Sundays at Slice of Southern blog

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crazy Weather

Well, 10 tornados were reported to have touched down in my neck of the woods last night.  We had a huge limb from a neighbors tree in our backyard, the roof torn off of the chicken run, and a portion of the posts on our privacy fence snapped (we just had repairs on said fence Tuesday!).  Our power just came back on.  It has been out since 10:20 p.m. last night and it is now 6:21 p.m.  Let's just say, I don't think we'd survive a bigger outage...makes me realize that I need a new stock of flashlights, batteries, candles, and matches.  Well, I'm glad it took a small outage to wake us up so that we're better prepared for hurricane season.  It's easy to get lax about these things, but not wise.

 It's hotter than seven shades of hell today, but much cleaning up is going on around the neighborhood.

Taking a drive around town I spotted McDonald's golden arches crumpled, the roof of our daughter's daycare gone, Dollar General & Exxon signs laying across the street from the stores, trees split down to the roots, and most businesses have remained closed.

Well, that's our Friday!  I think a tall drink is in order, maybe a nice cool and refreshing Mojito.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

What's good about going to the Doctor's office and your appointment being stalled by an hour?  Finding recipes for the week!  (See, silver lining.)

I found a Kraft recipe for Cheesy Chicken Rotini and thought, "I can do that."

This was an easy meal to put together and I made it even easier.  Here's how: Rotisserie chicken.  Yep, that simple.

1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into inch pieces (I grabbed a Rotisserie chicken and pulled meat off of half of it.)
2 cups water (I didn't measure the water, but cooked pasta according to directions.)
3 cups rotini pasta, uncooked (I used Radiatorre pasta because I love the way the little radiators hold the sauce)
1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot blend
1 can (10 oz.) Ro-tel tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (I used the mild variety.)
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Velveeta cut into cubes
1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup
1/4 can milk

Cook chicken in a large skillet with a little olive oil.  You may want to season your meat with salt and pepper, although the recipe didn't call for it.  Since I used a rotisserie chicken, I skipped this step.  I heated oil in a pan and added the veg mix.

While the veggies were heating up, I added salted water in a large pot  and cooked the pasta, al dente, according to package directions.

Once the veggies were thawed and beginning to heat through, I added the pulled chicken, Ro-tel, and diced Velveeta.

When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added it into the skillet.  After tasting, I decided the dish needed something so I added a can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup.  To thin it out, I added a quarter can of milk.  After the last addition, I gave it a good stir to fully incorporate the cheese.

I thought this was a really simple meal to put together and everyone gave it a thumbs up.  So there you go, dinner in a hurry. ; )

Sharing at Rattlebridge Farm's Foodie Friday.

Foodie Friday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Simple Honey Cakes

I haven't had much time for baking these days, what with the semester wrapping up, state examinations, Bebe's 2nd birthday party coming to a head, and just your general all out weariness.  Yet, despite all the commotion, I've had a craving for all things honey related.

My latest fascination was sparked by a most recent read, The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, not a new novel, but a wonderfully crafted one.

I've been combing the web for "honey cakes," the results of which have not been promising.  Don't get me wrong.  Many of the recipes sound divine, but I had something specific in mind, something pure, easy, simple.

What I found was fussy, chocolaty, spicy, fruity even so I gave it a rest.  Then, when I found the house all to myself, I tried again.  This time I searched "The Secret Life of Bees inspired recipes," and bingo!  I found just what I was looking for, mostly.

I didn't have all of the ingredients, but as is my nature, I made do.  The recipe was a snap to put together and the baking time was less than an hour.  Voila, honey cakes!


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup local honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a mixing bowl, beat together oil, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and one egg.  I used my stand mixer so while that was going I sifted my dry ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl.  I alternately combined the dry ingredients and yogurt until it was all fully incorporated.  Don't over mix these ingredients.  

Spray paper lined cupcake tins with baker's spray (flour + oil combo) and spoon mixture in each cup.  I got one dozen cupcakes.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, heat butter, honey, and brown sugar together until sugar is completely dissolved.  This only took a few minutes, maybe five at most.  When cupcakes come out of the oven, poke holes across the tops and spoon honey butter mixture over tops of cupcakes.  The mixture should completely absorb.  

You may top with frosting, but I didn't.  The cupcakes are so sweet, and you really get the honey flavor.  No coffee, chocolate, or spice flavors mucking up the perfect taste of honey.

I hope you enjoy.  They're great when warm and would be great with tea or coffee.

Recipe found at http://butterybooks.com/bookclubpartyideas/the-secret-life-of-bees-sue-monk-kidd/.  I tweaked the recipe slightly, for my tastes, but look at all the other book inspired foods they paired with the honey cakes.  Yum!

Sharing at:

slice of southern button Slice of Southern blog.