I Hope You Are In The Mood for Meat

I’ve been under heavy conviction as of late over my lack. Yes, girls, I have fallen short of the glory of homemaking. I would truly love to have my stuff a little more together but until my children decide to cut their tired mom some slack and lay off sports for one measly season, it appears our schedule and therefore my home shall remain a hot bundle of chaos.

But I’m taking steps. They are baby steps but advancements forward all the same. You’ll be glad to know that thanks to Joanne, I’ve cleaned out a junk drawer, two utensil drawers, and my pots/pans cabinet in the past few days. And tonight? Well, I cooked Paula Deen.

Well, not Paula Deen herself, but a delicious chicken dish she conjured in her Lady and Sons Savannah Country cookbook. This particular meal was met with rave reviews from the fam therefore I could not let this day go by without sharing the recipe.

BUT, before I do, I should tell you this dish is very meaty. If you sicken easily over raw chicken, or if you’ve eaten Mexican for lunch and supper the day before (oh yes I did), then be warned the prep work on this recipe is a little nauseating. However, how could I refuse when my Number Two son said, “You are cooking chicken, topped with beef and rolled with bacon? That is awesomeness!” Since his multi-layered meat dishes are typically limited to a Jack’s Double Cheeseburger, I soldiered through the fleshiness of it.

If you aren’t throwing up yet, here’s the 411: (Wonder why I’m not publishing cookbooks?)

Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream Sauce

8 slices dried beef (in a jar)
8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (7 oz. each)
4 slices bacon, cut in half
1 cup sour cream
One 10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay one piece of dried beef on each chicken breast and wrap with a half slice of bacon. Place in a 13×9 inch casserole dish, seam side down. Mix sour cream, soup, and mushrooms together. Pour over chicken breasts. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice.

Hope you love it!

NOTE: I didn’t eat the dried beef and bacon though you can if you want. They flavor the chicken nicely without having to eat the fat.

You Know It’s Bad When I’m Resorting To Recipes

What should I write when I really have nothing to say?

Should I tell you about The Girl graduating from Pre-K and how she, instead of a picking a toy for her present, chose 2 new outfits instead? It is quite a win-win for a mother when necessities are ranked as a gift. Kind of like my boys using their Christmas Hibbett’s gift cards to buy new tennis shoes. My pocket book let out a sigh of relief on that one – especially considering we get hi-fived every time we bring our three boys through the door of that place. All Employees get to meet their sales quotas on those nights.

Or would you like to know that I wore my cute shoes to WalMart today and a girl chased me down to ask me where I got them? Her husband thought we were both weird chatting it up in the frozen food section over footwear. She said, “Well, are they comfortable?” to which I replied, “Heck no, but who cares?!” We bonded instantly. She said, “It hurts being beautiful, doesn’t it?” Considering my feet were screaming, I responded in the affirmative. I wasn’t even offended when her hubby rolled his eyes. Dudes are just different.

Oh, I know. I know! I could tell you how I made an excellent new dish tonight called Chicken Penne with Smoky Chile Cream Sauce. Shoot, you might even want the recipe so here it is:

12 oz. uncooked penne pasta
1 1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cut in strips or cubed
1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups Alfredo sauce (I used Ragu)
1 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (I used more because we like spicy)
2 tsps chili powder
2 tsps maple syrup ( I used Log Cabin but I think you could really leave it out)
1/2 tsp salt
8 slices bacon (I used real bacon bits)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (didn’t use this – I hate to bite into cilantro)

1. Cook penne pasta. Drain.

2. Heat oil and cook chicken until done. Remove to plate and reserve.

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the Alfredo sauce, chipotle, chili powder, maple syrup and salt. Cook at med-high until bubbly. Stir in chicken.

4. Place the pasta in the pot and stir in the Alfredo and chicken mix. Spoon pasta onto a large serving platter and garnish with the bacon and cilantro.

(Recipe: Family Circle, January 2008.)

This dish was delicious and the whole family loved it. Just a word of caution. If you live in a small town in Alabama, don’t expect your local grocer to have heard of, much less stock, Chipotle in Adobo. And if you see a guy in the store who goes to your church and he asks you what you are doing? Well, don’t tell him you are looking for Chipotle in Adobo (Henceforth known as CiA). He’ll think, along with the guy in the frozen food section at Walmart, you are totally wacko. And his wife will think so too if you text her a picture of said delicacy when you find it just to prove it actually exists – especially if her hubby hasn’t explained it’s significance. And if all that ever does happen to you? Be glad those two love you enough to overlook your fruit-cakiness.

(BTW – You can find CiA at Walmart in the Latin Food aisle for $1.19. You have to have it for this dish. It adds the most wonderful flavor to the sauce.)

Well, friends, that’s all I got. Seems a good place to cut it off for now so I’ll just bid you a good night!

Because we can only eat so many nachos dipped in cheese..

Okay, girls. I need help.

Ball season is full on and I am completely stumped as to what I can cook that will accommodate different dinner shifts. I don’t want the kids eating at the ballfield every night so I would LOVE it if you would share your favorite crock pot, one pot, or casserole recipes with me.

Your reward for being so kind? Hopefully you’ll find a new dish to add to your own menu this summer!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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