Thursday, April 26, 2012

Church Chicken

This past Monday morning I just could not get it together.
After the trip to New Orleans and celebrating a friend's birthday over the weekend, I was a wreck. My hair needed a deep conditioning, my skin felt so gross, and I was still exhausted. I'm not even going to tell you what the house looked like. Long story short, I pulled myself together. I took a long, hot shower, used an Aveda deep conditioning mask, my Clarisonic Mia and covered myself in a gradual sunless tanner-Cetaphil mixture. I felt like a new girl! I decided that I was going to cook a very comforting meal to ease us into the week.

After looking in my kitchen, I decided on Church Chicken. I call it Church Chicken because my parent's neighbor in Waycross cooks this recipe for church banquets. It's the first place I've ever had it and it's so good.

Later Monday afternoon, I was on the treadmill trying to compensate for everything I had eaten the week before. I turned on the tv and it was Paula Deen cooking the same recipe I was planning on cooking that night. It's also a very popular dish at her restaurant in Savannah.

Here's what you need:
*I modified this recipe slightly

7 Boneless Skinless Chicken Strips
1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 Cup of White Wine
6 Slices of Swiss Cheese
1 Cup of Herb Flavored Stuffing Mix
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a casserole dish and place the chicken strips into the dish. Salt & pepper the chicken.

3. Cover the chicken with the slices of Swiss cheese.

4. Combine the cream of mushroom soup and the white wine into a bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.

5. Pour the soup-wine mixture over the chicken strips in the casserole dish.

6. Top with breadcrumbs and 4 tablespoons of  melted butter.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

I would recommend using chicken breasts if you are bringing this to a gathering or serving it to a crowd. You could cut the chicken breasts in half if needed.

I served this with white rice and green beans. Green beans out of a can. Yes. The only way Cameron will eat them. But it just so happens to be the way they served them at my church in Waycross too.

Here's the link to Paula's recipe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cute and Girly

Once in a while, I feel like doing something very girly. 
It makes me feel so young and free. Whether it's a spa day, shopping, or buying something insanely pink I just love that cute and girly feeling I get. It's refreshing. 

While being girly is not a huge stretch for me, it still rejuvenates me and makes me feel special. A spa day or a hot pink Chanel are not exactly in the budget right now, so I opted for pink, glittery nails.

Please Santa?

I got a text from my BFF Paige last week suggesting that I do a post on Sally Hansen's Salon Effect Nail Strips. I've used them several times and they've lasted for a few days and looked nice so I was pleased with the product. She is way more artistic than me so of course her nails turned our beautifully! She painted the yellow polish and used the nails strips for the floral nail. Too cute Paige!

 Not being one to be outdone, I went to Target this week to copy Paige's look!
I decided on a pink glitter and pink polka dot strips. I think I got too carried away with unleashing the 6 year old girly girl inside of me. 

It was a LOT of pink for me. While the strips go on easily and look ten million times better than when I paint my own nails, they just don't last long enough. I put them on at 4 pm, went to the Rebels on the Road party at 5:30 and they were coming off before I got home at 9. 
Soooooo, I picked them off before I went to sleep.

I woke up this morning and thought of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere and her glittery nails. 
I. love. her. nails.

 So i'm going to copy them!

Here's what I used:

I started by painting a coat of my Essie polish on every nail except for my index fingernails on each hand. I let those nails dry before moving on. So glad I did this because the glitter was messy! 

Next, I painted a coat of my polish onto my index fingernails. 

Then, I poured about 2 teaspoons of glitter onto a sheet of paper. I folded the paper into a spout and gently tapped the glitter onto my index fingernails. This step got very messy, very quickly. 

I ended up with more glitter on my index fingernails that I imagined but I'm still happy with the look I got. 

I painted one more coat of my Essie polish onto all of my other nails and let them dry.

I finished my glittery manicure off with Essie Top Coat. I tested my glittery nails to see if this glitter had dried to the polish first. After determining that they were dry, I painted a top coat on those nails too.

Like I said, they aren't perfect & pretty like the Sally Hansen strips but I don't really care because they will last way longer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Orleans Trip

Beer tasting & dinner at the Crescent City Brewhouse

Cafe du Monde 

Always a problem.

 Saks was so close to our hotel. It gave me anxiety. 

Roosevelt Hotel. Gorgeous!

John Besh's restaurant Domenica. o.m.g.
Cam's cab & my peach bellini. YUM. 

Instead of bread or crackers for the sausage & cheese plate, they gave us a savory beignet thing. It's the perfect vessel for eating the meats and cheeses. It's light, flakey and melts in your mouth. You don't have to worry about creating the perfect bite and then the cracker breaking before you can get it into your mouth. 

Thank you John Besh. 

Half white pizza, Half spicy lamb meatball.

Random Pics

Of course Gus had the filet.

Uh oh Bethenny. You better watch out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday's Must Have

Easy Appetizers

I love this time of year. It's full of Oxford trips, pool days, and cookouts or crawfish boils with friends.The guys are always in charge of the meats and beverages. The ladies are responsible for anything else we may want to eat. We usually end up with a few appetizers and dips. Nothing too exciting but it is always delicious! I could live off of party food. Here are two super easy recipes that you can throw together from things in your pantry or refrigerator. The bacon appetizers are from Pioneer Woman. I can never make enough of these. They are always a hit! 

The second recipe is a very simple and yummy dip. I have no idea how I know the recipe but I'm sure that you have eaten this dip at a church or school party sometime in your life!

Let's start with the bacon one. Because bacon is fabulous.

Here's what you need:

1 Package of Club crackers 
( FYI: I tried the Kroger brand and they were not cute and fell apart too easily during the assembly)
2 Packages of Bacon
1 Canister of Grated Parmesan cheese. (yes, the kind in the can)
Brown Sugar
Cooling Racks
Rimmed Baking Sheets

 1. Lay the Club crackers onto to a drying rack over a cookie sheet. You can make as much or as little as you desire.This cookie sheet doesn't have to be rimmed. 

2. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place one teaspoon of brown sugar or Parmesan cheese on top of each cracker. 

 3. Slice the package of bacon in half.

4. Take a strip of bacon and wrap it around the cracker. Make sure to cover the middle of the cracker by overlapping the edges of the bacon. Check out Pioneer Woman's pics on how to perfectly wrap each cracker.

5. Take the cooling wracks with the appetizers on them and place them on top of a rimmed baking sheet. 

This is mandatory. 
I neglected to use a rimmed pan last time and my entire house was filled with smoke from the bacon grease burning on the bottom of my oven. It's not cute to smell like a grease fire at a party.

On the left = WRONG    On the right = RIGHT

6. Bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees. 

7. Take the pan out of the oven and plate them. 

The next recipe is even easier. You basically just cook the stuff in a pot. 

Here's what you need:

1 Package of Jimmy Dean Sausage (I get the "Regular" kind but you can use "Hot" too)
2 Blocks of Cream Cheese
1 Can of Rotel (Again, you can get the "Hot" version here too)
Tostitos or Fritos

Helpful Hint: I do not recommend using both "Hot" Jimmy Dean Sausage and "Hot" Rotel. 
It simply does not taste good.

1. Brown the Jimmy Dean Sausage in a skillet and drain all of the grease from the pan. 

2. Watch out for psychotic Cavalier King Charles Spaniels while cooking the sausage. 

3. Add the two blocks of cream cheese and browned meat into a medium sized pot. I usually let the cream cheese sit out for a little while to let it soften. It makes it much easier to work with and melt faster. 

4. Once the cream cheese has melted down some and is more manageable, add the can of Rotel into the pot. 

5. Keep the heat down so that the dip doesn't burn onto the bottom of the pot. 

6. Once everything has combined, transfer the dip into a crock pot. Heat and serve with Tostitos or Fritos.