We’re Ad Free!

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About a year and a half ago I succumbed to the pressure by some Ad agencies to put advertising on this blog. I rationalized that the money the ads bring in would help offset the cost of blogging. (Yes, there is a cost to write a weblog!)  However, the nominal payments have not come close to making up for the frustration I get every time I try to find a recipe and have to close out 3 or 4 ads first.

I’ve wondered if you experience that frustration too?  Wanting to actually read what someone has written, but having to stop every little bit and dodge a pop-up ad or close several ads so the page will load faster.

As I thought through it I realized if it bothers me, maybe it bothers you too!  So, as of today, we are Ad-Free!

There is a freedom and a peace that comes from making a decision and then making it happen. So today, I cleaned up the blog, got rid of the ads, and began breathing ad-free air!

Have you ever floated in The Dead Sea? No feet on the bottom of the lake, no hands paddling to keep you afloat. Just lay back and float – freeee!

In April my husband took me on the trip of a lifetime. These are just a couple photos from that trip. I’ll be telling you more about it soon!

In the meantime, surf for a new recipe or two, enjoy a few stories and stay right here!

Ad-free and lovin’ it!
~Catherine

P.S.  Last night I treated my Chief Traveling Companion and my sous-chef dish-washing mom to Garlic Parmesan Crusted Chicken.  This is one of the easiest and best recipes I’ve ever made.  click here.

No Bake Layered Lemon Pie

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Sometimes I just make myself so mad!  I made this luscious, creamy, sweet and tart pie in March when our friends Maribeth and John came to dinner. (Note: St. Patrick’s Day celebration tablecloth!)   But did I take time to share it with you?   😳  Uh, no.  Fast forward 2 months.  I can blame my sharing error on a fast and furious spring — but I’ll bet you can say the same thing!

Sous-Chef Dishwashing Mom and Me!

I am so blessed to have my 87-year-old mom living with us and still spending time in the kitchen with me! Today I was uploading this Mother’s Day photo to my computer and I ran across the yellowy-lemon pie pictures.

My first thought was, “I wish I had a piece of that pie right now.”

I remember it being particularly easy to make using canned lemon pie filling!  That is when I clicked over to this very blog and searched for the recipe.  No recipe.  Huh. How can that be?

 

The next search was on my computer for the recipe.  Huh. No lemon pie recipe.  How can that be?

From there I went to my office and searched through a stack of food-stained recipes waiting to share with my blogging world.  I am a messy cook and almost always the paper the recipe is written on takes a splatter, spill, or gob of something during the creative process.

Layered Lemon Pie.  Nope, no recipe in the stack.  But I have the pictures!  Where is the recipe?

Think, Catherine, think.  Okay, that didn’t work.

If you (or your family) love lemon then this is the recipe for you!  It is easy to make, doesn’t use a ton of ingredients and it is guest-worthy!  It took a while for me to re-discover the recipe but alas  Taste of Home does it again.  The original recipe is from Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota.  How cool it would be if she were a  reader of My Daily Bread Body and Soul!  I would say thank you for sharing such a light and tasty delight!

Lucky for us we can now easily find the recipe from here on.  Posted below!

Happy Baking and God Bless,
~Catherine

No Bake Layered Lemon Pie
 
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A Taste of Home recipe by Elizabeth Yoder, Belcourt, North Dakota! This sweet and tart, light and tasty, fast and easy no-bake pie is packed with flavor and looks pretty too!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 can (15-3/4 ounces) lemon pie filling, divided
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Beat in half of the pie filling. Fold in the whipped topping. Spoon into prepared graham cracker crust. Spread remaining pie filling over cream cheese layer.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or longer before serving.
Notes
* Store bought graham cracker crust works well or you can make a graham cracker crust, which is what I did.
1½ cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9-inch pie plate.
Chill for about 1 hour.

 

Broccoli Bites

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I recently got a job as a nanny to two ADORABLE two-year-olds.  They are just about the cutest twins you’ll ever see and sometimes I can’t believe I get to play with them all day.  It’s pretty much the best job ever. But every job has its challenges.  Mine is vegetables.  Getting toddlers to eat good stuff isn’t easy.

I’ve noticed that when I give them options, they eat all of the things they like, then leave the other stuff on the plate.  To fix this, I decided to start making food that is all mixed together so they can’t separate it.

I was telling my sister, Beth, about my dilemma over the phone and she mentioned broccoli bites!  I looked them up on Pinterest and google but didn’t find a recipe I liked.  So I came up with my own.  The concept is simple.  Take all the things you want a kid to eat, bind it together with eggs, make it taste yummy with cheese, then bake it like cookies!

I decided to use chicken, broccoli, carrots, and rice.  Next time I might try something like corn, chicken, mushrooms, and peppers.  Whatever direction you decide to go, your kids (and YOU) will love these easy-to-eat, hand-held, no-mess bites!

The process goes like this:  First, cook everything to mush.  Mash it up with an egg or two.  Then add breadcrumbs and cheese till it’s the right consistency.  Scoop.  Bake at 400.  EAT!

Enjoy!

Abby Hughes

Broccoli Bites
 
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These fun-to-eat bites will be sure to dazzle your kids while giving them the nutrition they need!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Head Broccoli (cooked soft, drained)
  • 2 Medium Carrots (cooked soft)
  • 1 Large Chicken Breast (cooked and shredded)
  • ½ Medium Onion, chopped (can be cooked with carrots or broccoli)
  • 1½ C. Cooked Rice
  • 1½ C. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients except eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Smash with a fork to mix, then add salt and pepper to taste (garlic powder and herbs may be added as well).
  4. Stir in the eggs.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or bakers parchment.
  6. Using a cookie scoop, spoon the mixture onto the tray, being sure they don't touch. (they can be placed closely because they don't spread).
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the tops are golden brown.
Notes
Depending on the size of your eggs, chicken breast, head of broccoli, etc. You may find that the "dough" is too wet or too dry. If it's too wet and doesn't hold together, add a little whole wheat flour or bread crumbs to the mixture. If too dry, and an extra egg. 🙂

 

 

 

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole

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Am I the only cook on the planet who hasn’t heard of Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole?  Apparently, when it comes to church food Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole has been a hit for a long, long time!  My friend, Lila, made this casserole for a Community Bible Study fellowship lunch this spring.  At first, I thought I must have just been really, really, hungry because I couldn’t get enough of this creamy, crunchy, tasty casserole.  Other members of our class seemed equally hungry, because I noticed most of us had second helpings!

I couldn’t figure out all the ingredients my first time around, but by the second helping, I discovered a layer of Rice A Roni that seemed a lot more flavorful than I ever remembered for Rice A Roni.

If you are not familiar with Rice A Roni it is a pilaf-like boxed food mix that consists of rice, vermicelli pasta, and seasonings. To prepare, the rice and pasta are browned in butter, then water and seasonings are added and simmered until the water is absorbed.

“I’ve had this recipe for years,” Lila told our group as we ooh’d and aah’d quite appropriately!

Although lately, she has had trouble finding the exact rice called for in the recipe which is Rice-A-Roni Fried Rice with Almonds.  I couldn’t find that exact flavor and so I used a mixture of one box chicken and garlic and one box chicken and broccoli. Whew!  I highly recommend the chicken and garlic. The garlic creates a flavor layer that really adds to the overall taste of the casserole. The broccoli gave me that false sense that I was eating healthy! 😜

The Rice A Roni is made according to box directions and then becomes the bottom layer in a 9″x13″ baking dish.

I always start any chicken casserole with gently boiled chicken breast, trimmed to remove any fat or stringy pieces.  Then I shred it and the resulting chicken is so white, fresh, and ready for my casserole. (For speed and ease, canned chicken breast will work well in this recipe also.)

Mix the cooked chicken with soup and sour cream for the next layer.  Crushed Ritz crackers and poppy seeds top the chicken layer.  Lila’s recipe calls for a cup of melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers.  I omitted the butter and sprinkled the top with slivered almonds.  Oh my goodness!  Can you just taste it now?  

I know our vegetable should be about twice the amount of the main dish, but I promise, you can start with a smaller amount of casserole but you will be back for more before the broccoli cools off!

Thank you, Lila, for the outstanding recipe!  Keep ’em coming!

Blessings and Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S.  Can you taste poppy seeds? My Chief Casserole Eater husband says he couldn’t taste the poppy seeds.  I don’t think they are meant to be tasted as much as they add texture and color.  What do you think?

Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
 
Prep time
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Love it! Packed with flavor, very versatile and especially easy to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Casserole
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 lb. chicken breast, cooked, chopped or shredded
  • 16 oz. light sour cream
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups Ritz crackers, crumbled
  • 1 cup butter, melted *Optional
  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 boxes Rice-A-Roni (Fried Rice with Almonds or any favorite flavor)
  • Slivered Almonds *Optional
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to the package directions.
  2. Heat oven to 350⁰. Spray bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread rice in bottom of 9"x13" baking dish.
  4. Combine chicken, sour cream, and soup. Spread on top of rice mixture.
  5. Mix melted butter and crushed Ritz crackers. Layer over chicken.
  6. Top with poppy seeds and slivered almonds.
  7. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, uncovered.
Notes
1 lb. of chicken works fine, originally recipe calls for 2 lbs.
Any flavor of Rice A Roni will work well.
May use canned or fresh chicken breast.
Poppy seeds and almonds optional.
Melted butter mixed with the crushed crackers optional.

 

 

 

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." John 21:17

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