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Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Childhood Treasure

Seems like it has been forever since I have been able to post and it was only last week. It is most definitely the start of the holiday season! Busy, busy, busy. We have had several events and lots of company. Every time I have company I always like to fix something special. So I contacted my childhood best friend's mom, and got a recipe from her about two weeks ago. My mother and father-in-law came to visit one night last week and I made this delicious meal called chicken manicotti.

I remember the first time I had this dish. I had went to spend the night with my friend Kensley. Every weekend she was either at my house or I was at hers. We were inseparable.That night her mom made this pasta filled dish and I loved it. Kensley would call and invite me over whenever they had it thereafter. Her mom always was a wonderful cook. Her style of cooking was much more gourmet than my parents, who had a very southern style. Don't get me wrong my parents made wonderful meals growing up, but I loved going to their house to see what she made that was different. Kensley's home always smelled so good. Her mother had a way of making a home look beautiful. She just had that special touch. Even though Kensley and I are miles away from each other, I still consider her to be one of my best friends and we try to keep in touch as much as we can! I am very thankful for the childhood memories that I still  hold on to.

So, today I am going to share this recipe with you. It is so very simple and so very yummy. But beware, it is not a low fat dish!

Chicken Manicotti
8 manicotti shells
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbs. melted butter
4 ounce can mushrooms (undrained)
1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese

Cook shells until just barely tender with no salt, drain and set aside.

Mix soups with sour cream.
Mix half of the soup mix with chicken
Stuff shells with this mixture and place in a greased 9x13 pan.
Saute onion and butter, add mushrooms and remainder of soup mixture.
Spoon over shells and bake @ 350 for 15 min.
Top with cheese and bake 5 more min
*Recipe from Anita Culbertson

I do not stuff the shells. I slit them and then fill them and roll them back up. It saves me time. I also baked this with cheese on for the full 15 to 20 min. Here is a pic of my shells before sauce and cheese. Wish I had a picture of the finished product but I don't. So sorry! Needless to say there were no leftovers for us!

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family. I can guarantee it will be a treasure in your recipe box!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

S'more Fun For Fall

Alot has happened for October. So far we have painted some pumpkins with polka dots!

Made a fall wreath (with inspiration from pinterest)!

 We also had a very relaxing fall break, even though I missed our youth bon fire because of being sick.The couples hayride for church is up and coming. It should be lots of fun. There will be a hayride (of course), bon fire, fun with friends, chili, hot dogs, and of course s'mores. Here is a picture of our cute little s'mores kit I made for this special night. My friends Connie is coordinating this event and she found flat marshmallows for roasting! Just layer grahams, chocolate, and the flat marshmallows in a cellophane bag. Tie with pretty ribbon and add a sweet tag! Perfect favor for your fall party!

Stay tuned for s'more fun! :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Crazy good pumpkin pie

Growing up my dad always made pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, or butternut squash pie in the fall. I have to be honest, I never was a fan. I would always choose the pecan variety over this vegetable pie. Then one day a lady at our church made us a pumpkin pie and to my surprise it was delish! I could honestly eat this whole pie myself! Straight out of the tin pie plate!

She insist on using fresh pumpkin or butternut squash in this recipe. I do like it much better with the fresh but you can also use the canned variety. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Fresh Pumpkin Pie
(makes 2 regular pies)
2 cups cooked squash or pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1&1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake @ 350 for 45 min.
If I use fresh pumpkin, I put it in the food processor to be sure it is very smooth with no lumps. I don't like just mashing it up. I like the texture of the pie better when it has been processed.  I never make my own crust! I really wish this was something I were good at, but I am not! The ladies at my church however, have the crust making down! I need to have them teach me! Until then, I promise the store bought option taste wonderful with this pie! I promise, this recipe is one of the best!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sisters Tea and Me!

It has been a busy week! My church had  VBS Monday through Wednesday and that alone has kept my whole family busy. On Sunday my mother asked my oldest treasure if she would like to go have tea this week. Well, I was probably more excited than L.

My mother and I started this a few years back. We found one tea place in our area and decided to see what it was like and ever since I think we have been hooked. Thursday, we went to a sweet little place called Sisters Tea Parlor and it was so fun. The decor was everything you would hope a tea parlor would be! A pink room (my oldest treasure had to sit in this room!), an aqua colored room with black accents, and a garden gate room. The garden gate room looked like the perfect place to have a little girls tea party! There was tulle and ribbon, and frill everywhere!

 Cute little sign at the door...
 I love mesh ribbon! So cute how they used it to add frill at their door!

 You could pick out your own hat. They had a room full of them.
Our sweet and savory food! It was all wonderful! 

 We sat at the kindness table. Loved the scripture! My tea was wonderful! Royal Wedding= Mango, Kiwi, Raspberry. I think L drank 4 cups of tea. Who knew she loved hot tea?

 Loved the decor in this room! Definitely Shabby Chic!
The Pink room and the garden gate room!

Pinkys up! Hope you enjoyed my Sisters tea experience! I'm going to have a cup of hot tea!
Happy Friday Everyone!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Farmer's market fun!

So, this weekend it definitely feels like fall. The high today was 57 degrees. We had our church car show and it was very chilly. Yes, I opted to go with my husband to this car show because it was at our church and they had fun things for my little treasures and free food. Who doesn't like free food?

I have been on the hunt for my porch fall decorations, which aren't anything too special but something simple that puts my family and I in the fall spirit. To my oldest treasure it's not officially fall until there is a pumpkin on the porch. It's true, riding down the road the other day she said "it's fall mom because everyone has pumpkins on their porch".

While looking for the perfect pumpkins, my youngest treasure and I packed up and went to my little town's local farmer's market. I must be honest, he and I both love to go. Its so colorful with all the fall fruits and veggies. and the fall flowers. Pumpkins have been pretty pricey this fall so I was so happy when I found some from a little old man with a big beard for $2 each. They are selling at our local dollar store for $4. I was very excited to get them for 1/2 the price! The same little old man also had some beautiful pears and apples.
 So with it feeling more like fall. I wanted to bake! Something pumpkin but since I didn't have any on hand I decided on an apple pie. The kind with a crumb topping instead of a pastry crust topping. My friend Stephanie makes the best crumb topped apple pie. I searched the web for her perfect recipe but couldn't find it anywhere so I had to go with this recipe. Not too bad. We had it eaten in no time! Still not quite as good as her recipe maybe I will have her share it with me sometime and in return share it with you. Below is a picture of my delish apple pie!