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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicken Ala-gone

This is a recipe from my tried and true archives....  I have made it so many times, I couldn't count them... It is something I turn to when I need to take a meal to someone in time of need, like a death in the family, or a new baby, or when someone is recovering from a surgery.... It is one of the oh so good comfort food type of meal.  It is one of those casseroles that even picky eaters, young and old seem to like.  If you pair it with a nice crisp green salad, and some brownies, you have a perfect meal to drop off and make someone feel special, and all three dishes can be thrown together in a small amount of time.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family does...

Chicken Ala-Gone

1 lb. pkg. thin spaghetti noodles
1 large can cream of chicken soup (26 oz size or 3-small 10.5 oz size)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast
1-2 stalks celery chopped fine
2-3 carrots peeled and sliced in thin coins
½-1 cup frozen peas or more if you really like them
½ tsp. garlic pd. Or 1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp onion pd.
Liberal dash of paprika

Peel carrots, and slice into coins
Chop celery

Bring water to boil for spaghetti, add carrots, and celery with the noodles and cook specified time on box.

Drain noodles and veggies into colander that you have placed the frozen peas (they will cook by the hot liquid pouring over them, and not get soggy).  When completely drained, place noodle mixture into a greased 9X13 pan.

In a large sauce pan heat cream of chicken soup with ½ can of water until very warm, you might need to use a whisk to remove lumps. Add seasoning, and when all lumps are gone and soup is heated, add the chicken breast and sour cream just until completely blended.

Ladle mixture over the top of the noodles, and work in the sauce and chicken with spoon to get it distributed throughout.

Bake 350 until top is lightly browned, Or until heated through, about 30min.

You can also add a layer of shredded cheese to the top before baking, for those who love cheese.

** In place of garlic and onion, I usually use 1-2 tsp Canadian steak seasoning from Sam’s Club.  It is a blend of garlic and spices. 

Reading of my Blog across the globe...

It always amazes me to read the activity on my blog dashboard.

As Bloggers, we get to see how many times people read the blog, and from what countries it is being visited from. It is fun to check up on the blog and see from what countries my blog is being read.

Some days, it is only the USA, and Russia that are checking in with my blog, and on other days, there are many more countries that have checked in with my latest posting....

It is fun to see where my words are being sent to on the planet....

So far this week these countries have checked in:  USA, Russia, Netherlands, Serbia, Canada, Australia, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Qatar, Italy....

I have very dear friends in several of these countries, but some of the others I have only an understanding of where the country is located...

It is kind of exciting to know that you can reach so very far away with a simple click of a button on my computer or my Kindle, and touch someone on the other side of the world....

I wonder what is happening in their lives, and if they have found a bit of something to make their lives a little bit better...

I thank God for each and every one of you and pray that you find a bit of peace and comfort from my blog....  if you look close enough at my blog, I hope you will see that my faith in Christ is very important to me. 

I look forward to seeing where my blog with reach next..... And hope that I will eventually reach all over the globe, and with doing that, share my faith, my recipes, my thoughts,  with as many as possible...

Have a blessed Day...


Contest on a blog that I follow to win a free Kindle Fire

This ebook blog has a contest to win a new Kindle fire...

Enter to win a Kindle Fire

I absolutely love my Kindle, and if you are interested you can enter to win your own.

This blog/email list has great deals on ebooks, and also links to free ebooks.

I have been following his page for a while...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Throwing the Bridal Bouquet, not only one winner

At most all weddings, the bride throws the bouquet, and one lucky single lady gets to take it home with her...

It is said that whom ever wins the catch and the bouquet, is the next in line to get married. All the single ladies at the wedding get ready to catch and compete to get the bouquet, and sometimes it is a knock down drawn out fight to get control of it and win.

Seemingly mild mannered ladies with knock each other over in a competition to get to be next in line to wed....

Well at my daughters wedding we decided to do it a little different...

We made the throwing bouquet to come apart when thrown.  We had one larger bouquet in the center, and made 8 smaller bouquets to sit around the larger one in the middle.  To anyone looking at the bouquet, it looked normal.  We just tied a large ribbon around the base of the bouquet, and as the ladies lined up to compete and catch it, the bride loosened the ribbon that was holding it all together.

We did some trial runs at home to make sure it would work, and found that you had to throw it high in the air to make it work and separate correctly.

It was fun to see the faces of all the ladies, not sure what was happening, but they were pleasantly surprised, and not one, but 9 people got to take home a part of the bridal bouquet.

When it came to throwing the garter for the guys, we put it on a football and threw it to the single gentlemen...

Because everyone knows, that a guy never lets the ball drop....

It was fun, and was a great competition for the single men.  You need a large area to throw the football, because it travels a far distance, and they need to be told to go long to catch it......

It was fun watching the young men trying to catch the ball too... and quite a memory...

The wedding was a wonderful an amazing day..... so glad that so many friends and family were able to spend the day with us and be part of these beautiful memories....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Spicy Pasta with Garlic and Chili Peppers

This is a easy and filling go to meal for when you are on a time crunch.

We have made it with many different vegetables, just use what you have on hand, fresh or frozen.  It is quick, and filling, and oh so yummy.  

Using shredded Parmesan cheese, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese makes all the difference.

Using enough garlic is important (we like a lot of garlic), hence this pasta is meant to be garlic flavored, be careful not to burn the garlic, or it will have a bad aftertaste.


Spicy Pasta:

1 lb. Spaghetti noodles cooked 
Chopped garlic 3-4 cloves or More (I use chopped garlic in a jar and add 2 Tb.)
4 Tb. Olive oil
Shredded Parmesan cheese
1-2 tsp. Chili pepper flakes

2-4 cups Broccoli florets (Or) Asparagus, zucchini, snow pea pods, Kale, etc.
1 Lb.Shrimp (optional)

In a large skillet, put olive oil in and saute your chopped Garlic
Add your vegetables, and shrimp If you are using it, and saute. 
And chili pepper flakes, 
Add pasta and toss to distribute over pasta.  
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper over the noodles and serve

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do...


Frozen Fruit Cups for a Cool Summer Dessert

We have been making this fruit dessert for many years, it is so refreshing on a hot summer day.

We made these for our Ladies tea at our church in California last year, and it was enjoyed by all, and looked really pretty being served with the finger sandwiches and scones.

You can make it in a 9x13 pan, or put in clear plastic cups to serve individually, which is what we usually do.  

Frozen fruit cups…

*12 oz orange juice concentrate with 1 can water
*12 oz pineapple juice concentrate  with 1 can water
1 bag frozen strawberries, chopped
6 bananas, sliced
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 can sliced peaches in juice, cut up
1 package raspberries or blackberries (about 2 cups)

Mix juice and fruit together and mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch glass pan, or into individual clear plastic cups. Freeze until solid. When ready to serve, let it sit out for about 15-30 minutes before attempting to cut. (depends on how hot it is out)  Use a fork to eat it, you kind of flake it apart and eat it like a slushy fruit delicacy. 

**You can use frozen Lemonade, Cran-raspberry, or other juices in place of the juices recommended, as well as adding any other fruit that you might like. We have added apricots, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, etc to the mix and it always turns out wonderful.  If you add sour fruit, you might want to add 1/2 cup of sugar to counter the sour fruit.

Some Pictures from the wedding...

Wedding Pictures are getting done, and here are 
some of my latest favorites.

Daddy Daughter Dance.... She'll always be 
His little girl....

The Bouquet was made to separate into 9  parts, with one main 
bouquet and 8 smaller ones giving more ladies a chance to catch the flowers.
The Maid of Honor won the toss....

Great Grandpa and Bride doing the Jitterbug... 
He taught the girls to dance when they were just little girls, and they dance
 when ever we go to visit them.... It is tradition...

My Husband's fathers pocket watch being held by the newlyweds.... 
He passed away 2 weeks before the wedding.... 
He was missed at the wedding so very much.... 
But still there in our hearts and thoughts...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Corn Bread my Mom's way

Mom and Me In Tahoe a few years ago, 
with me in a rarely seen ponytail.

This recipe has been our family since I was a little girl.... We would have this almost daily through the winter because it goes with so many winter dishes so well.  We would definitely make it with our chili, or stew, or with a big ole pot of pinto beans and ham.

I remember my mom making this by huge batches to feed all the hungry muzzeloader Mountain men out at the range during our shoots on the weekends.  

One year we had a big shoot at the range and everyone brought ingredients to add to the big cast iron stew pot that my parents had, it is about 4 feet wide and holds who knows how many gallons... any way, everyone brought some meat, and a vegetable to add to the pot to make a big batch of "Stone Soup".  Well my brother had just heard the story in school about how one person fooled everyone into giving up their food to make him a pot of soup with his special rock that made special stone soup.

Well the soup was a huge success, but as the pot got down to the bottom of the pot, there were a bunch of huge rocks in the bottom.... My brother, and I had added stones to the big pot...  My mom wanted to kill us... everyone thought the soup was a success, and only my mom and us kids knew our mischievous act.

This was served along side the Stone soup....

It is a sweet corn bread with almost a cake like texture, but heaver than cake. For those who like non sweet corn bread, you will not like this recipe, but in our home, it is the only way to make it.   I also like to use Albers corn meal, but you can't get it here on the east side of the united states...

Me and my brother when we were little..

Johnny Cake Corn Bread

1 C. Flour
1 C. Corn meal
½ C. Sugar
1 T. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

Mix dry ingredients together in bowl

1/3 C. Oil
1 Egg
1C. Milk

Mix wet ingredients, and add to dry....stir only to moistened. Do not stir too much or it will be tough.

Place in buttered/greased 8x8 glass pan.
Bake 400 degrees for 25 min.  Until nicely golden in color and toothpick comes out clean.

*I double this and put in 9x13, and bake a little longer.....

I also sometimes add a dash of vanilla and some cranberries for muffins, or a cup of canned/frozen corn, or a can of creamed corn to the cornbread for a change.
A cup of cheddar cheese, and a can of diced green chilies are also a good addition.

My mom has been making this for years, and everyone loves it... Great with chili. Or stew,

You can  make into 12 muffins also.* add ½ T. more baking powder (single batch=12muffins)

Should look nice and toasty brown on the top when done... 
Rich, delicate and sweet... best kind of corn bread in my opinion.


Delicious Thai chicken salad recipe

This salad is perfect for those hot summer days.... Which is exactly what you need for these summer days lately... For a heartier salad as a main dish, you could add more chicken, or even some cooked shrimp.

We have been making this salad for special functions for years, if you like it spicier, just add more chili oil, or add some chili pepper flakes.

The Dressing is also good just tossed with noodles and chicken or shrimp, either hot or cold.

Hope you enjoy!

Thai Chicken Salad 

Dressing:( I double or triple this)
1 ½ T. peanut butter
2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cilantro
1 T. green onion-chopped fine
2 ½ T. salad oil
½ t. sesame oil
½- 1 t. ground red pepper
1 t. white or rice vinegar


Quantities are not set, we just buy the ingredients, and fill the size bowl that is needed to feed the amount of people that are present. The Napa Cabbage gives this salad a nice crunchy texture.

Nappa cabbage,  green leaf lettuce, and or romaine lettuce or combination
shredded carrots
Chinese pea pods
Bean sprouts- fresh or canned
water chestnuts-1 can sliced
red onions thinly sliced, or chopped
1 pkg. Fresh Chinese noodles, cooked and cooled, cut to manageable size
2 cup cooked chopped chicken
sesame seeds
mandarin oranges

Mix dressing ingredients together and completely chill to set the flavors, several hours.
Make salad and toss together,  chill.
You can put dressing on whole salad or let each person use amount wanted. we like to have extra because it is so delicious. 

You can also break up pkg. of dry Ramen noodles and sprinkle on top for an extra crunch.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.....

~ Brat~

Monday, July 15, 2013

Crispy cobbler, heirloom recipe

This recipe has been used by my family since somewhere in the late 1960's and was used each summer with whatever berries were in season and on hand at the time.  Sometimes it would be black berries, blue berries, or what ever you had on hand.  It is tried and true, and a family favorite.

Crispy Cobbler
Aunt Mary 
Anchorage Alaska 1970’s

1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ Cup Milk

3-4 Cups Mashed fruit in juices heated in med saucepan
   (This measure is of fresh fruit or berries and added liquid to make natural juices release from the fruit, if using canned fruit use the lesser amount)

1 Cube of butter

Melt butter in 8X10 pan
Mix all but fruit and butter until smooth
Melt butter in pan, pour batter over butter
Spoon hot fruit and juice over batter
(Fruit should be heated and or cooked to tender)
Bake 375 for 40 min.

Berries work great.  You can add a small amount of sugar if fruit is sour.

The fruit will sink to the bottom with a nice sauce, and the dough will rise to the top and turn a nice golden brown when done...

**We use canned peaches but we do not mash them. It is our go to recipe for a quick dessert for pot lucks, and unexpected guests.  We always have the ingredients on hand, and it is made so quick.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Refried beans the way Great Grandma makes them

I don't make these often, but they are worth the time and effort...

Refried Beans
Grandma Sally Duran

1 Lb. Pinto beans
2 Thick Pork Chops
2 cloves of garlic
½ onion chopped
2 dry red chili peppers stem and seeds removed.
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight, rinse and discard water.  
Add fresh water to 1 inch over beans.  
Cube and brown pork chops.  
Add onion, pork and rest to beans.  
Simmer to tender.  
Mash ½ the beans in pot.  
Remove ½ to frying pan with 1/8th cup oil and fry till smooth and bubbly, do the same with the rest. 
Add some milk to make creamy. 
You can also add Jack cheese. (Grandma always does)

***Traditional Spanish beans ore not mashed, they are served soupy.***

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chicken Chili Rellano Recipe Success!!

Making chicken chili rellano rellano casserole for dinner, also some Spanish rice, refried beans, and hopefully salsa, for dinner!

Roasted all the chillies, and they are waiting for me to peal them...

Chicken is simmering and smells yummy....

Just have stuff to chop for the rice, and put the casserole together and in the oven...

Get to eat with the newlyweds tonight, Nan is working so won't see her, she'll have to reheat dinner when she gets home....

Can't wait to try it all....

Well here is the finished product.... It was amazing.... I will definitely make this again...

It was a little time consuming, to cook the chicken, and broil all the chili peppers, and skin them and seed them....  But Oh so worth the time and effort...

Everyone liked it, well everyone but my oldest child, she doesn't like green chilies, so I just saved out some chicken and she had chicken tacos, with Spanish rice and beans...

So... Put this on your list of recipes to make, you will be happy you did.


Here is the link to the recipe

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Crazy Weather outside tonight....

Well the storm is raging outside...

A couple of friends took these pictures of the weather outside.... Pretty crazy...

They just put out another Tornado warning... Hope it doesn't hit again, we have had 2 touch down in the last hour... Pretty crazy...

This picture was taken by my daughters brother in Law on his way home.... If you look you can see the tornado up ahead on the corner.... he is heading home which is a couple of miles from us... crazy....

Tonight should be crazy through the next few hours, severe Thunder storms predicted...

Kinda feels like the wizard of Oz.....

The Thunder keeps going on and on and on....

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fish Tacos

Fish tacos for dinner tonight.... Quick, refreshing on a hot night, and very tasty.


Fish filet (one large piece per person)

Shredded lettuce
Cilantro cleaned and chopped
Chopped Onion (used Vidalia)
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Shredded Monterrey or cheddar cheese
Tomatilio salsa
Lime wedges, or a queese lime
Taco sized flour tortillias

1 1/2 tsp. Taco seasoning  (From a foil packet of taco seasoning) 
1/2 cube of butter, or 4 Tb. olive oil
Garlic powder
Steak seasoning

Cut fish filets in fourths, saute in frying pan for 3-5 min until cooked through, with the butter/olive oil, and seasonings.

Warm tortillias, layer ingredients in each tortillia.  

You can also use frozen fish filets, batter dipped or crunchy.  I like the tacos both ways.  Tonight we made both, but didn't take a picture of that taco option.

Serve with my Grandma's Spanish rice recipe, and you have a great meal.

Hope you enjoy!


Is there a limit to Love?

The Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay
Love isn't love until you give it away.....

I find my self thinking lately about love....

It makes since with all the weddings, and relationships blooming all around me, but that happens when you are surrounded by young people in their 20's...

It makes me think back on my life, and all the loves that went in and out of my life...

I wasn't one of those people that waited to find the perfect man and get married, I went out and wanted to save the needy, and conquer the unconquerable, and search high and low for the love I was missing in my heart...

I went searching for Mr. Right, well I found Mr. right now..... and there were some that I thought might be the right one... and for one reason or another, mostly having to deal with Love and Commitment issues, each of them eventually walked out of my life and into someone else's life...

I think back on my parents life, and the Love they had for each other..... I never doubted the love between them, they had a special relationship, and it was comforting to know that my mom and dad loved each other fully... I'm not saying that life was always rosy, they had their ups and downs, but I always knew that they really loved each other, and always would.... And I know my mom still loves my father to this day, even though he is not with us anymore....

Love is something that you don't run out of.... you get more, the more you give away.
If you spend your life holding all that love and those feelings inside, you just end up with less in the end.  Less people that could have meant more to you, less friends, less memories, less times of happiness, less fulfillment.  The more you share your heart with those around you, the more love there is available to give and receive.  There isn't a limit on how much love you get, but there is a down side to keeping it all to your self,  that is loneliness, doubt, frustration, isolation, missed chances... less people that really love you and let you love them...

Try to think of all the blessings you get from the people in your life that you truly love with all your heart....  What would your life be like if you let others in, and shared some of your self with them too....what if you let your self feel more than polite kindness, and actually decided to really care for those people in your life, and share some true pure love with them?  

Ultimately Christ is Love... so if you are sharing Christ with others then you are sharing Love.... and sharing love with others is sharing Christ, and sharing Christ's Love is the best thing you can do... 

Love One another..... God commands it of us.....  

When was the last time you stepped outside of your self, and your world and shared a part of your self with someone that needed a little bit of kindness, or a loving deed....  

Try sharing a little bit of your self, and showing Love and Kindness with someone outside your comfort zone.... or better yet, maybe even share your Love with a loved one you have neglected.  

You never know when it might be too late to say "I love You".  Never have regrets when it comes to Love..... 

Me and the Love of my life

Monday, July 8, 2013

Spanish rice Like my Great Grandpa's mom used to make

My Grandmother and Grandfather 
Love this picture from their younger years....

Spanish Rice 

from the kitchen of Sally Duran
(My Great Grandma, who got it from her mother in Law)

1 ½ C. rice
½ to 1 Can. Tomato Paste or 1 small can tom. Sauce
3 C. Water
3 Stalks Celery
*1 tomato chopped
garlic pd. To taste
Onion pd. To taste Or 1 chopped Onion
2 Tb. Chicken Bullion= 4 cubes
2 Tb. Oil

Brown the Rice in oil in deep skillet or Pot.

Add Onion if using fresh, and brown with the rice.  
Add the celery, tomato, and all ingredients to browned rice.  
Put lid on and simmer for about 20-25min over low heat.  
Do not lift lid any more than necessary

*I use 1 can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies in place of the chopped tomato.

Hope you enjoy....

Determined to make this recipe this week....

For the past 3 weeks I have been wanting to make this recipe for Chicken Chili Rellano Casserole... and it has proved impossible to make it for one reason or another.... But I will make it this week, if I am the only one eating it... It just looks so yummy, I can't wait any longer to make it..


I bought all the ingredients weeks ago, and I am so excited to make it....

I am going to make my Grandma Sally's Spanish rice to go with it, and maybe even 
make some homemade tortillas to go with it...

Doesn't it look amazing???

I'll let you all know how it goes when I make it... 
I have complete faith that it will be absolutely amazing... 
you can't go wrong with chicken, green chilies and cheese!

Maybe I will make my favorite home made salsa recipe too... 
Great way to start a wonderful Mexican dinner, by eating some fresh made salsa and chips.... 
(the recipe for this is one of my blog posts.)

Well, family... will you all be available to eat with me this week.... 
I know our schedules are crazy, but I am willing to make this great meal... 
can we all be in the same place at the same time this week???


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