Category Archives: Weeknight wonder

French dip sandwiches and finding peace

This has been one heck of an week y’all, I am not going to lie. I am ending this week even more grateful than usual that today is Friday. I am just worn out and in need to quiet. Being a mom is a big job, sometimes more than others. This week seems like one of those times. All this school stuff is a lot to take these days. At the same time it is a blessing because my kids go to a really wonderful school full of amazing teachers, faculty and staff. My oldest is in his last year at this wonderful school and with all the changes across the state happening in the classroom, it has all been a lot to take for him. For me. It all kind of came to a head yesterday. He is too smart for his own good and knows too much. Being a type a person like his mama, he takes so much to heart and became overwhelmed by it all. Too much stress for a kid. Heck, too much for a mama. I think we got it all worked out, thanks to some really wonderful teachers who love my kid(s) to pieces and are not afraid to speak up. We had a talk last night and I think it is going to be ok. Of course it will. Even still, I am in need of a retreat from the world. I am seeking peace. When I feel that way, I just want to feather my nest. Clean, straighten up, and of course, cook something really delicious. Or even better…have my trusty crockpot aka big red, do it for me. Yeah that’s even better. So I came across this one on Facebook yesterday and I pinned it, thinking that might be perfect for tonight. Here is the link http://creolecontessa.com/2014/06/slow-cooker-french-dip-sandwich/. So mit’s happening. Now, it’s a recipe I have never made before so I will have to wait to tell you how delicious it is, though I am feeling pretty confident that it will be really tasty. So now pictures of the final product until later. For now, we will just get the recipe down.
Ok! Let’s get down to it y’all!!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

stuff you need

3-4 pound chuck roast
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon Tony’s seasoning
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried crushed oregano
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

what to do with the stuff~

In a small bowl, mix together the spices. Like so…

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Now, rub that spice all over both sides of the roast. I did this all in the crockpot.
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Ok. Now just pour the liquids over the roast and then lay your sliced onion on top. Cook on low heat for 5 hours. Remove from crockpot and shred. Return to crockpot. Serve on a hoagie bun with mayo, mozzarella, and/or mild pepper rings. Add some juice to the bowl for dipping if you are so inclined. And I will be.
Enjoy!!! (And I will post pics of the finished product later. Also look for a recipe for apple sangria and crockpot beef enchilada soup…both on tap for this weekend!! Oh and Patti Labelle’s over the rainbow macaroni and cheese!! Comfort food!)

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supper is cooking away and I am cleaning…feathering my nest. Finding peace.

**UPDATE…they are delicious!!!! Must try friends! Must try!

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wipe the drool off your face…

Chicken cordon bleu bubble up

Ok now I have been hearing about bubble ups for a while now. When I see them on Pinterest I think they look good but I am always so distracted by other recipes that I don’t ever make any of the recipes. Well Big Daddy has been out of town this week and I have been looking for quick and easy recipes. I searched for bubble up casseroles and found this little gem. I am now a total and complete bubble up concert. I cannot wait to try all of them! I love anything cordon bleu. I like the name cordon bleu. It sounds fancy even though it usually just means with ham and Swiss cheese. But I often wonder…the Cordon Bleu cooking schools…do they cook lots of stuff with ham and Swiss cheese? Where does that name come from? I will have to google it. I found the recipe on Pinterest and it is from the Plain Chicken blog. Anyhow, I adored this recipe. My sweet sugar cookie aka Kayla Ann loved it too. The other kids just were not interested but they did not hate it. I sent the leftovers to the kids’ teachers and they all liked it and rated it “yummy”. So it’s a safe bet that unless you hate ham and Swiss cheese (bless your heart) then you will likely love it. Give it a whirl friends! Jump on this bubble up train. I am now obsessed with finding new bubble ups and creating my own. Have you tried bubble ups before? Let me know. Now let’s get this bubble up…bubbling, shall we?~AMB

Chicken cordon bleu bubble up (from plain chicken blog)

serves 6

Stuff you need~

1 can Pillsbury Grands jr. Biscuits, quartered
2 cups Swiss cheese, divided
1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli)
2 cups cooked chicken (to make it crazy easy just get a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup diced ham (I bought the packaged diced ham but this is a great way to use leftover holiday ham or Sunday ham)

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stuff you need

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the quartered biscuits. Just cut them into 4 pieces using kitchen shears. Like this…

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Ok now, just pour in your Alfredo sauce, ham and 1 cup of Swiss cheese.

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lovely pictures just for you. My lovely assistant, Madame Toot, helped me out

Now, just gently fold the biscuits and sauce/cheese/ham together. You want to coat the biscuits. Ok, now, add in your chicken.

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Now pour all of this deliciousness into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remainder of Swiss cheese over the finished product. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty, the biscuits done and the casserole is all bubbly.

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bubbly…cheesy…delicious (not the best pic but you get the point right?)

Lisa’s elegant beef tips, bringing home a baby and and a fairy godmother

I have told y’all about my good friend Lisa. She is the mother of my babysitters, April and Alaina. Now, these girls rarely babysit for us anymore as they are both away at college. These days, when they babysit it is more like spending time with my kids because they miss them and cannot take not seeing them another minute. We have been together so long that it supersedes any definition. We are family. We spend holidays together. We love each other. And Lisa is at the helm of our ship. She is the most fabulous. She is an excellent cook and southern woman extraordinaire.
Back in the day, when I was a mom of 3 little kids and pregnant with baby Lucas as we called him…April and Alaina babysat for us a lot. I was a needy person if there ever was one. I was tired, pregnant, and just likely a hot mess. Big Daddy worked all the time and I needed help. So no wonder, those sweet girl and their mama were there. Sometimes daily. Thank God. So when I went into labor with Lucas a month early, they were right there during the following days, taking care of kiddos, cleaning the house, and waiting for us when we got home from the hospital. And the house smelled so wonderful because these beef tips were cooking away in the crockpot. I still have the piece of paper the girls had written the recipe on as Lisa called it out over the phone, I suppose. I pulled it out yesterday to make these beef tips and I just smiled. I will never forget when Lisa was leaving my house that day we got home from the hospital. She came to get some baby Lucas snuggles and pick up the girls (so long ago they could not drive yet…crazy business folks). She was walking to her car and I said “thank you so much for everything” and she said and I quote “well Mrs. Aimee (that is what the girls call me and she does too…even now…) everyone needs a fairy godmother and I may as well be yours.” I knew then that woman would be my friend for life. I was not wrong. Her recipes are divine and these beef tips are no exception. Try them. But I have to say, her friendship is the best. ~AMB

Lisa’s elegant beef tips

serves 8

Stuff you need~

1 (3 pound) chuck roast, cut into chunks, fat removed
1 cup sherry cooking wine
1 cup chopped celery
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (I used the larger sized jar)
2 packets of beefy mushroom soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of water
Cooked rice

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ready to go

What to do with the stuff~

Whisk together the soup, water, soup mix and cooking together. Stir in the celery and mushrooms. Finally, stir in the cubed up beef. Cook on low for 6 hours or until beef is cooked through. I will be honest and say I put mine on around 11 and they were cooked by 3:30 when I got home from picking the kids up. It depends on your crockpot and anywhere between 4 and 6 hours is normal. Just check them if you don’t know.

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cutting into that roast (it is more economical to do it this way but stew meat is convenient so do what works for you)

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whisking the soups and wine together

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add the celery

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it’s go time

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so good

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my two angels several years ago with baby Lucas(that was their baby and he still is)

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my fairy godmother and 3 year old Lucas

Crockpot chicken and gravy and welcoming Fall

I know we all love a good crockpot recipe. We also love a good crisp Fall day. First off I want to say “Happy Fall y’all!!!!” There is a slight chill in the air and it is so welcome over here. Now, I know the other side of all this is that for some of y’all this means a little fall and then here comes the power outages, freezing cold and snow, snow and more snow. But for today, we will enjoy this lovely Fall weather and a deliciously easy crockpot recipe. I am waiting in the Starbucks line for my triple shot pumpkin spice latte. It seems appropriate. This recipe was a big hit in our household. I found it on http://www.thecountrycook.net. I served it with a side of steamed broccoli and served the gravy over rice along with some Sister Schubert rolls. My little lamb chop aka Pappy aka Lucas (yes they have a million nicknames) loves those rolls. I really hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did. Madame Toot happily exclaimed in her sweet little voice “yum! This tastes like Thanksgiving!!”
Get inspired my friends. Enjoy this new season rolling in because all too soon it will change. Break out your crockpot and make life easy on yourself. Let supper cook itself so you can sit outside and watch the leaves fall and the kids run. Or just sit there and enjoy this day for the beauty it is. Enjoy the moment because truly it is all we have promised. ~AMB

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a little glimpse of Fall in our hood

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

Stuff you need~

1 pound chicken breasts
2 packages (0.87 ounce) dry gravy mix
1 (10.75 ounce) cream of chicken soup
2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream (optional but definitely recommended)
Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder

What to do with the stuff~

Season chicken busoms with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
In your crockpot, whisk together the dry gravy mix, water and cream of chicken soup until fairly smooth. Now lay the chicken busoms in the crockpot. Cook on low about 4 hours (mine cooks fast so it takes less time so do what works for your crockpot). Remove chicken breasts with slotted spoon onto a plate. Shred and then set aside. Whisk in the sour cream. Return shredded chicken to it’s lovely gravy. Now spoon over mashed potatoes, cooked white rice, or cooked noodles. Easy at that. Delicious chicken and gravy and Fall has arrived! Ahhhh!!

Most of all…

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my friend Liz posted this on Facebook this morning and I figured I would share.

Mrs. Mona’s taco salad and really good slumber parties

So I went to a Catholic school in Alex. (For those who don’t know that Alex is slang for Alexandria aka Elic aka A town.) called St. Francis Cabrini. If I must say, it is likely one of the best elementary schools that ever existed. When I was there it went to 8th grade but now I am pretty sure it is only 6th. Anyway, every class was small. So that made each grade relatively small. So mostly everyone knew everyone, every parent knew the kids and parents. It was just awesome. I cherish every moment at that school. And now, thanks to Facebook, I get to be in touch with my friends from Cabrini still. And thanks to the tight bonds we formed there, we are pretty close for people who rarely see one another, if ever. So naturally we had slumber parties as all little girls do. Mrs. Mona is my friend Staci’s mom. She was always the nicest, most even keeled mama and always kept her cool. She is also an excellent cook. For one of Staci’s slumber parties…5th grade I think? Mrs. Mona made this taco salad. I fell in love. I can still remember thinking what a delicious treat that taco salad was. She introduced me to taco salad, monkey bread, and 7 layer dip. I have told y’all my daddy is a rice and gravy man, my mama aims to please and that’s what she made. Now a days, she makes a much wider variety of stuff and ole Steven (my daddy) is just glad to have something to eat. I imagine he would tear up this taco salad! Mrs. Mona was certainly influential to me as a cook, if I look back at it. She is a great lady and I am so blessed to know her and her precious daughter Staci. We went to school together from 2nd grade until high school. One of those friends. Always and forever somewhere in my existence and I am so grateful. Now, when I was in college , BBM (my mama) gave me an heirloom recipe cookbook that allows you to add recipes and special stories to it. I thought of all the recipes that were my favorites, Momee’s cornbread dressing, Shrimp mold, Nana’s Neiman Marcus bars…and mrs. Mona’s taco salad. So I called her up and she gave it to me. Right then and there. Little did either one of us know that one say I would have a blog and add this recipe to it. I guess it many ways, this blog is a super fabulous version of my heirloom cookbook. This is the actual page from the cookbook..
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pretty cool…

So now, I will give you the recipe and you can have it. Straight from Mrs. Mona Roy’s kitchen…to mine…and to yours. Now, I just need to get mrs. Mona to agree to host another slumber party. Staci, you think she is up for it? Can we bring the kids? Thank you Mrs. Mona for the awesome hospitality, the delicious food, and the recipes. Oh and giving birth to a lifelong friend of mine. ~AMB

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a picture from one slumber party at Staci’s in high school. So much fun. Also so much hair. Love you girls!

Mrs. Mona’s taco salad

serves about 8

stuff you need~

1 pound ground beef (I used lean)
1 (8 ounce) jar taco sauce (I used Taco Bell brand and bought 2 jars so I would have extra)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head of lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 pound shredded cheddar (about 1-2 cups)
1 can kidney beans, drained (optional, this is my addition)
2 cups crushed corn chips

What to do with the stuff~

Chop up your lettuce. I just put it on a cutting board and just sliced and chopped. There’s no exact science to it. I would say freestyle works. You want bite sized pieces…not huge chunks.

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Rinse the chopped lettuce well in the colander.
Now slice and dice your tomatoes.
Ok now, in a large skillet, brown ground meat. Drain. Stir in taco sauce. Now, give it a taste and then add some salt and pepper. I also added some MexiCajun seasoning (a friend of mine from Alex. Actually created it and it is amazing!

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love some MexiCajun seasoning!
Here is a link to purchase if you are interested. It is really delish! http://mexicajun.myshopify.com/) as well as a little cumin. Just add and then taste. You might want more kick! Ok, next I drained my beans well in a colander. Then added to the beef mixture. Like so…

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Ok, now at this point, your lettuce should be rinsed and drained. So pile that lettuce in a big ole serving bowl. Throw your beef and bean mixture on top of that. You are amazing. You are doing great! Ok, now add the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle all that shredded cheddar on top of it all. Yes. Like that. Now crushed corn chips have arrived at the party. It is their time. I just crush and sprinkle. Crush and sprinkle. Add more or add less. Mrs. Mona won’t mind. She is cool that way.
Then it will look like this…

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Now, I poured some more taco sauce all over the whole thang to just kick it up a notch. It’s all good. Toss it well and then serve. Next time I will add some black olives to mine. Madame Toot insisted on a dollop of sour cream. She was not wrong. It was yum!!!
*Mrs. Mona said serve immediately. She was right. It serves a crowd so make it for a crowd. Leftovers do not do well with this dish. If you have a big slumber party of gals or guys, pretty sure you won’t have to worry about that. Enjoy!! Hugs and kisses to Mrs. Mona and Staci from Shreveport!

Cheesy chicken crescent squares aka little pockets of yum

This recipe is so old school I do not even know where it comes from. I have to be honest. I have about 5 church cookbooks that have some version of this delicious concoction. Some are more involved and some are more straight forward and simple. Guess which one I am more partial to? Yep. The straight forward and simple one. These little pockets of yum are so tasty and simple to prepare it almost seems wrong. But it’s not. It’s so so right my friends. In honor of Labor Day, I decided to make a recipe that required almost no labor. So easy my 7 year old could make them. And she almost did them herself. And then she refused to eat them. Yep. That easy!! Sigh.
Now, I have to he honest and say, this is the first meal I have cooked all weekend. I have pretty much been out of commission the entire long weekend with some sort of stomach flu/demon that possessed my body. I thought I was unwittingly chosen to be in a low budget sci-fi film. Nope. Just a yucky bug that knocked me off my behind for a few days. Today is the first day since Saturday I even felt semi human. And still it was a struggle to do much. But I said to myself, what sounds good that I think I can stomach and is not too much work. Yep. These. We went out on the boat so I could at least say we did something over the weekend fun and also my oldest is turning 11 tomorrow and he is ready to PAR-TAY! So here is the recipe and I know y’all will enjoy the heck out of these little pockets to yum aka cheesy chicken crescent squares!

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so teeny and precious

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then boom, like a flash, he is 11. Not so teeny, but still precious and always my baby.

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Toby says he knows nothing about the stomach bug, he is just glad to be on the boat!

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Toby is all tuckered out from his boating adventure. He is also super spoiled.

Cheesy chicken crescent squares aka little pockets of yum

Stuff you need~

2 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped (I used the breast from a rotisserie chicken I picked up and it was just about enough)
1 cup shredded cheddar (use any blend you want or have on hand)
1 can cream of chicken
1 (soup can) of milk
1 can of crescent squares (I used the big and buttery kind and there are 8)

what to do with the stuff~

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (you could use a smaller one) with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut up your cooked chicken. Roll out crescent rolls and separate them out. Now, take some chicken and place it in the largest part of the crescent triangle. Then top with some cheese. If I had to give you a guesstimate I would say about 1 tablespoon of each. Maybe a little less. Now, roll that bad boy up and place seam side down in your prepared dish. Do this for each crescent roll/square/triangle of dough what have you. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the can of soup and can of milk. Pour this over the pockets of yum.
Pop the dish into the oven for about 25 minutes. Add a sprinkling of cheese to the top and pop back in oven for a few more minutes or until the cheese is all melty and irresistible looking. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Enjoy them and pass this recipe along y’all. It’s too good to keep to yourself! Or just prepare them for a friend and they will ask you for the recipe.


add chicken and cheese

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roll em up (this is my sweet Toot doing the rolling

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whisking the soup and milk together…Toot did this as well

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looking all lonely with no sauce

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me pouring the sauce/photo credit goes to Madame Toot

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pockets of yum

Million dollar spaghetti and at the center of it all

So when I was growing up, spaghetti was an event. Spaghetti and meatballs that is. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs. Took all day to cook and it was worth the wait. It almost always was a meal on a weekend and we would have leftovers during the week. That meal to this day is very special and still very much an event. I do enjoy cooking up a pot of spaghetti and meatballs from time to time, but my family loves and I mean LOVES spaghetti. And as much as I love them, I do not have time to make a pot of spaghetti and meatballs as often as they would like it. So I often turn to spaghetti and meat sauce. My oldest prefers meatballs (mix of pork and ground chuck mom, STAT) but he will endure meat sauce if he has to.
Of course, as much as I adore tradition, I am always looking for good variations on our favorite meals. I like to shake it up sometimes, keep it fresh, and make some noise (ha! Like I have to do that…these cookoo loos over here make enough noise for 3 households) but you get what I am saying. I like to stay out of the dinner time rut. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest for million dollar spaghetti a while back http://ashleykaitlin.blogspot.com/2011/01/million-dollar-spaghetti.html?m=1, I knew I had to try it.
Well this week has been, um, interesting to say the least. It started off that way and it continues to be so. For different reasons. Swimming pool calamities, sick kids, sick hubby and it’s only Thursday, so I figured let’s just blow it out and doing something crazy! Let’s make million dollar spaghetti!!! Or it went something like that. I have said it before and I will say it again, when things are stressful on the home front and I have an inkling of that feeling that I just want to bury my head under the covers and cry, I shift into crazy homemaker mode. I know that few things are in my control, but what I cook and how I feel in my home, is all me. So I cook something traditional and comforting or I try something new. I try a cleaning tip and do some laundry. I guess my home is my center and I find comfort there. I guess it’s the Narcille and Beulah Mae coming out in me and every other Cajun mama I come from.

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the two sick dudes laid up, everyone else around them (getting infected I can only imagine)…but that’s my chaos and my heart and soul

This million dollar spaghetti was a wonderful alternative to our regular spaghetti and meat sauce. Big Daddy said he could do with less creamy stuff, but the kids LOVED it. Even my BHB (picky man) ate it with gusto. It’s kind of like my lazy girl’s lasagna https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2013/12/13/lazy-girls-lasagna/, only with angel hair pasta. It really was very easy and delicious. I recommend you give it a go the next time you are feeling stressed to the limit and not quite certain you do this whole being a grown thing another day. It may not change the world, it may not make things 100% better, but it will surely change your outlook. You can look around the table at your family enjoying a meal that you made and think, ” I cannot do it all, but I can make a meal my family enjoys” and “I can bring my family together.” And let’s not forget, that is kind of the point of this whole cooking for these people we live with anyway. Enjoy!!~AMB

Million dollar spaghetti
Stuff you need~

8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
2 lb. container Cottage cheese (that’s the taller one)
1/4 cup sour cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 small jar spaghetti sauce (I am a Ragu girl)
1 pound ground chuck
1 stick of butter (I used about 3/4 of the stick)
2 cups shredded mild cheddar

What to do with the stuff~

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook your pasta according to package directions. Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain well.
Stir spaghetti sauce into the drained ground beef. Heat until warmed throughout.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese. (I used my standing mixer to do this, as she suggested)
Put half of the butter (sliced into pats) at the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish. Layer half of the noodles on top of this. Now layer all of the creamy mixture on top of this.
Next, layer the rest of the noodles on top of the creamy mixture. Lay the rest of the butter pats on top of the noodles.
Now spread the spaghetti sauce and meat all over the top.
Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.
Finally, sprinkle the cheddar all over the top of the whole shebang.
Cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is all bubbly and irresistible looking.

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noodles on top of creamy mixture

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more butter pats on top of the noodles

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my handsome boy helping me cook and telling me all about his latest google research. He amazes me.

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layers and layers of yummm

Weeknight wonder #2!! Crockpot brown sugar pork loin with balsamic glaze

So for today’s weeknight wonder I have a recipe sure to be the talk of the town, the bell the ball, the cat’s meow. Maybe I am exaggerating a tad but it will definitely be a hit in your house! This is a knockout pork loin with a sweet tangy glaze. My kids all devoured it. They could not get enough. It was the easiest thing to make too. I made this before this whole Cajun Mama thing, when it was everywhere on Pinterest, but not since and I have always wanted to blog this recipe to share with y’all. This is the link I found the recipe on this time http://brooklynactivemama.com/03/2014/slow-cooker-pork-tenderloin-recipe.html. I wondered if it was as good as I remembered it being. The answer to that question is yes. It may have been better than what I remember. Not sure if it is the simplicity that makes it so terrific or if it is the sweet, thick tangy glaze. Maybe it is those two things combined. One thing is for certain, this a pork loin for all seasons. It’s cooked in the crockpot so it is perfect for summer time. It’s delicious and hearty, so it is great for winter time, out of the house all day, come home to a great smelling dinner. Anyway you go, it is all good.

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though he is never hard to please, my baby really ate this roast up!

Crockpot brown sugar pork loin with Balsamic glaze

Stuff you need~

2 pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 clove garlic, smashed (I used minced garlic because that is what I had. Worked fine)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

What to do with the stuff~

In a small bowl, mix together the sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Put your tenderloin in the crockpot. Rub that seasoning all over that roast. Now add the first 1/2 cup of water to the crockpot. Put the lid on. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Mine took 6 hours and it was fork tender.

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easy enough? Yes it is! Ok good!

Ok at some point before the hour 6, whisk together in a small saucepan the water, cornstarch, soy sauce, Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to whisk the mixture until it is thickened. About 4 minutes or so. Remove from heat. For the last hour, brush the sticky sweet glaze over the roast 3 or times as it continues to cook. When done, transfer the roast to a large serving plate. Drizzle the remainder of the glaze all over that tender roast. It will make you drool. It is absolutely as yummy as it looks.

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there you go. You are welcome. Enjoy!!

Weeknight wonder #1! Southern Living creamy chicken and noodles

First of all, dispel any notion of any previous recipes for chicken and noodles. Even if you love chicken and noodles, this is a different recipe. It’s like sassy, saucy chicken and noodles. They are like traditional chicken and noodle’s sassy older sister with a mysterious air. Yes. The familiarity of chicken noodles yet with an added something. My mother in law, Deb, makes what my father in law calls dead man noodles. They call them this because she makes them when someone passes away and brings them to the grieving family. They are very delicious and a recipe she has made often. They are comforting and make a ton. I enjoy them. So when I came across this recipe several years ago in Southern Living magazine, I would have passed it by except, this recipe was in a section about meals with rotisserie chicken. I stopped short (that’s a nod to Seinfeld, yes. I love rerun comedies. So said like Frank Cosfanza…”I stopped short!” Lol!) and did a double take. What? No boiling a chicken all day? Well sign me up! At that time I distinctly remember having 3 little bitty kiddos under foot all day long and getting any meal on the table was a struggle most evenings. So when I found this and BD really loved it and the kiddos kind of ate it, I thought score!
This week, I decided to post recipes I consider weeknight wonders. Meals you can either prep ahead of time or throw together quickly using shortcuts. Who does not love that? I like to cook, but I love a good shortcut! AND the list of ingredients is so small, I can recall it easily. After 4 kids and lots of sleep deprivation, that is saying so much. This meal definitely comes together quickly and you can change it up a bit to suit your families tastes.~AMB

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not so long ago, there were 3 instead of 4. Home all day and I cherish every crazy moment. They were 3, 2, and about 7 months…2007

Southern Living Creamy chicken and noodles

Stuff you need~

8 ounces of wide egg noodles
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces (insert ROTISSERIE chicken here…just pick it up at the store and debone it! Done and done!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning packet mix (yes the Good Seasons stuff…or store brand)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Fresh parsley (the dried stuff will do in a pinch. Promise)

What to do with the stuff~

Boil your noodles and drain them. Put the noodles back in the pot. Add the butter and toss noodles to coat. It gets hard now so pay attention.
I am totally kidding it’s so easy that it should be wrong. Ok sorry for my little foray into pranking y’all.
Anyway, noodles are coated in butter. It’s all good. Throw in that cut up chicken. Stir. So now, you toss in your 1 tablespoon of Italian dressing mix. NOT THE WHOLE PACKAGE OF IT!!! Next, throw in the grated Parm. And then the parsley. You are gently tossing to coat this whole time. Now, pour in that good ole heavy whipping cream. Stir it in. Oh yeah. It looks good right? Yes so now, over a medium to low heat, heat this up until it thickens a bit. It is so fabulous. Feels like you really did it up, and yet that wasn’t bad at all. Your family gets fed and you are all awesome mom. Or dad. Check you being all awesome!

*If you want to get real fancy like, you can toss in a cup of frozen peas and pieces of ham instead of the cut up chicken.

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these ain’t your grandmother’s chicken and noodles!

Updated: Crockpot Chicken Burritos 

You know those days when you want the comforting and familiar?  Today is one of those days.  This week I have been so pleasantly surprised by how great the new crock-pot recipes we have tried have been.  Seriously impressed ya’ll.  But today I woke up and looked around and feel like my house and chores have been neglected.  I know I need to get it together.  Being a stay at home mom is a job.  It is my job.  So no matter what you do for a living, I know you take it seriously and I do the same.  Laundry needs to be done, dishes, in general straightening.  And today is one of those days where I know I need to cry uncle and remind myself that I can’t do it all.  So instead of blogging about a recipe that I have not tried yet today, I am bringing you one of my all time favorite crock pot recipes.  It not only makes itself but it is pretty nutritious too.  Also it is very versatile and it can be as kid friendly as you want it to be.  It requires only a few ingredients that you most likely have and is just so darn good.  Everyone I have ever given this recipe to has raved about it and it has become a regular on their menu line up.    I hope you will try it out.  I am going to blog this recipe while I drink my second cup and then I am going get busy on this house.  Time to kick it into gear.  If I don’t do it, it won’t get done…ya’ll know what I mean!!

The 3 main ingredients for this yummy recipe(plus the chicken)


Crockpot chicken burritos (from Gooseberry Patch Slow Cooker Recipes)

Ingredients

6 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts (typically like 2 pounds)

1 can black beans, drained

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 16 oz. jar of salsa or picante sauce

tortillas

burrito fixings~shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onion…

All set and ready to cook!!

This is a picture of it when it is about to start cooking.  

Directions

Pour corn, black beans and salsa into the crockpot.  Lay your chicken breasts on top of the mixture.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and then cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 7-8 (depending on your crockpot).

Remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred them with two forks.  Return chicken back to crock pot and give it a good stir so the chicken and black beans, corn and salsa can get good and comfortable together.  You can serve right away or let it sit in the crock pot a while.

When you are ready, spoon some of the filling into your warmed tortillas and add shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.  Now the beauty of this recipe, is that it is so versatile.  You can serve it over rice, baked potatoes, or tortilla chips like nachos.  Make it your own.

*I am updating this post to really focus on the beauty of this recipe. I have not made it in a while and I am literally salivating while thinking about having these delicious chicken burritos. The simplicity of the recipe mixed with the tastiness and semi-healthy nature (black beans and corn are both superfoods!!) We are staying with some friends in the cabins at Lake Claiborne and we needed something good for supper that we did not have to slave over. This recipe is perfect!!