Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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Cheese Sausage Strata

Hey there! It's been a while since I've contributed. I guess I don't feel I have much experience to be helpful, so I learn from you guys. I love this blog, it's so great!

Anyway, this recipe is really easy and super good.

1 1/2 lb pork sausage (I didn't have regular sausage so I used maple flavored sausages and took the casings off. It tasted SO good.)
9 eggs, lightly beaten
3 c milk
9 slices bread, cubed
1 1/2 c (6 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard

In large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add eggs, milk, bread, cheese, bacon and mustard. Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (I didn't refrigerate and it was great)
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes our clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Buttermilk Pancakes

This is my husband's favorite. He won't eat pancakes made from a mix anymore. I don't buy buttermilk though, I make it with just under 1 1/2 cups milk and about 2 tsp white vinegar. The pancakes come out thin and moist, not thick and dry like most packaged mixes.

1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ¼ cups flour
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup oil
¼ cup sugar
1 heaping tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl with wire whisk till smooth.
2. Pour desired amount on hot greased griddle and cook till set, then flip and cook on other side till golden brown.

Makes about 8-10 pancakes

You can call me...

I just have a simple question this week. What do you like kids to call you? Growing up I always referred to my friends' parents as Brother and Sister So and So, or Mr and Mrs (I even remember always making sure to use Aunt and Uncle before my parents' siblings names). And it was disrespectful to use first names. But now that seems so formal and so long in a casual playgroup setting! I've tried to teach my 4 year old to use Brother and Sister at least for his Primary teachers. But I'm never sure which mothers would find it rude for my kids to use their first names so we've resorted to "Child's Mom" when we are playing.
I think it's cute when I hear little kids call me Cassi... and it's sounds way easier than Sis. Willoughby or Parker's Mommy. So what do you all think? What is the norm now? What do you think is appropriate?



Sorry, I've really been a bloggin slacker. I haven't posted any recipes or made comments, I really apologize.... not that anyone is missing my words, but I still feel bad. As I've been blog stalking lately, I ran into this really fun cooking site. I really like to cook, and I love looking at new recipes. This site is all about that, with really fun pictures, and the blogger is very humorous. I really like reading it. So, check it out here - at first, I thought this lady might be LDS, but I don't think she is. The site is called Pioneer Woman Cooks. She is always joking about how she lives in the country.... I haven't figured out where that is, but she says some pretty funny stuff, and since I'm from the country, maybe that's why I relate or think it is funny. Anyhow, hope you enjoy!


Mango Chicken Kebabs

I got this recipe from a friend. I tried it out and my husband and I really liked it! So if she reads this blog I hope she doesn't mind me putting it up here! :)

Mango Chicken Kebabs
1 ¼ lb chicken
Finely grated rind of lime
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 mangoes, peeled and cubed
1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and place in a bowl with the lime rind and juice, vinegar, sugar and cinnamon. Toss well, cover and leave to stand for 1 hour.
2. Save the juice and thread the chicken on to four wooden skewers, alternating with the mango cubes.
3. Cook the skewers under a hot grill or barbecue for 10 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with the juices, until the chicken is tender and golden brown.
4. Serve with rice and salad.


This weeks Tricks of the Trade..please help me

So we have lived in this duplex for 3 months now and have really loved it, its in a really nice quiet neighborhood with a fantastic ward we even have our own back yard that is fenced in. However on the side that is connected to the other sides yard has a gate. Which hasn't been a problem while its been cold, but now that its warm and beautiful out its causing problems. I really don't know how to deal with it. So this is where you come in, please help me. The other day I was doing yard work in the front of the house, my girls were playing together in the back yard and I hear my neighbors mother come out with the 18 month old little boy and I hear her ask him if she wants to go play. So she opens the gate and comes on over and starts playing with the girls...eventually she (the grandmother) works her way up to me in the front yard and starts talking my ear off, I kept weeding and trying to hide my annoyance. Finally I finish the flower bed I was working in (aren't you MN people jealous that we can do that here in Utah, okay just kidding) and say "well we are going in now for dinner" so she finally leaves. Then that night after dinner Mikelle wanted to go outside and play for 10 minutes before bed. So we go out and Mikelle is playing with her ball and I'm pushing Kaylee in her swing, and go figure the Grandma comes out with the little boy and then he rams his truck into the gate so his grandma says "you want to go play" and opens the gate. Never asks if its okay just does it. I was so annoyed, I hope I was civil but I was so annoyed that I don't know if I pulled it off. We only had 10 minutes so we came in shortly after. I shut the gate on our way trying to get a message across. Now get this, we weren't home at all friday so didn't play outside at all, so Saturday when Mike was hiding Easter Eggs the gate was wide open (it can't just blow open) Then today, 2 days after they opened the gate, she emails me and says that on friday her little boy opened the gate came in our yard and she didn't feel well enough to get him out so she let him play in my yard. What should I do? I don't want to have to play with them every time I take my girls outside. Shouldn't they be able to play in their yard and us in ours and not play together? What should I do/say that isn't totally rude, after all I have to live next to them. But I can't handle all summer going on like this. So please help me!!!!!


Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is my most favorite salad! It definitely has a green ingredient and it would be a great Easter side dish if you can find some good strawberries! :)

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

2 bunches fresh spinach, broken into pieces (or I take the easy way out and buy a bag of baby spinach from the grocery store)
1 pint strawberries, quartered
2 green onions, chopped (optional)

½ C sugar
½ C oil
¼ C cider vinegar
1 T poppy seeds
¾ tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. paprika

Mix salad ingredients together in large bowl. Blend the dressing ingredients on high speed until well mixed and pour over salad right before serving. (if you do this too early the spinach will wilt.)



I know a lot of you have husbands who are in grad school. After two years of being in "real life" we are headed back to school. We will be moving to Boston at the end of May for my husband to begin a two year program where he will get an MBA and a Masters of Engineering degree from MIT. So obviously it will be intense, and not only that but we will be poor students! So, my question is for all of you grad wives...anyone have any advice on just about anything you can think of? I would REALLY appreciate it!

Zucchini Bread

I've never made this specific recipe before. I was going to post Banana Bread but the recipe I have is SO good that it was already posted by Shelly! :) So this is my aunt's recipe for zucchini bread so it should be good! I just haven't tried it out yet!

Zucchini Bread
2 c sugar
2 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c oil
2 c grated zucchini (peeled)
3 eggs
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c chopped nuts (optional)

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Then add eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, nuts, and vanilla. Mix well. Put in 2 greased loaf pans. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.


Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This is so good. Stays moist and the icing has a sweet and lemony zip. Makes great gifts.

3 cups flour
1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp lemon extract
1 ½ Tbsp poppy seeds
2 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/8 cup vegetable oil

for icing:
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup sugar
3/4 tsp lemon extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and lemon extract. Add flour, salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, and sugar and mix one minute.
3. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans.
4. Bake 50-60 minutes or till browned and cooked through. Cool slightly. Remove from pans and place on rack.
5. Mix icing ingredients and drizzle over warm loaves over and over.

Makes 2 loaves or 6 mini loaves



Six week bran muffins

These are definately one of my favorites!! Lots of fiber, very tasty, and they keep for a long time.

3 c. all bran
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. shortening or oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 quart (2 cups) buttermilk
2 1/2 c. flour (if you use whole wheat, decrease to 2 cups)
2 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
raisins, craisins, neither or both

Pour boiling water over 2 cups of All bran and let stand while gather other ingredients. Mix in shortening or oil, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and remaining 1 c. bran. Sift flour with soda and salt. Add flour mixture to bran mixture. Bake at 400 degrees until top springs back when touched or a toothpick comes out clean (about 10-15 minutes). They say the batter will keep in the fridge for 6 weeks, but I've never left it in that long. I usually just make all the muffins at once and freeze them. I really like to make mini muffins (Will really likes them that way!!)


I know I should volunteer for a "tricks of the trade" post, but I can't ever think of anything when I'm near the computer. Then, randomly, I have these thoughts and I think I should post them and before I get to it, I forget what it was! Anyways, I did want to ask all you wonderfully creative moms out there what are some things you are doing or do for Easter. Besides all the comercial things like Easter baskets. I'd like to start talking to my 2 year old about Easter and how special it is, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

On to the commercial side, is there any fun events that you gals do as a family to celebrate easter? Anyone here in the Twin Cities, is there a fun egg hunt or anything "Eastery" that you've heard of?

Thanks everyone, can't wait to hear all your wonderful suggestions!!


Banana Nut Bread/Muffins

(not my pictures--thanks Google images)

I recently had a bunch of bananas leftover from a Primary activity. The recipe taken from an old school "Mormon Country Cooking" (1980) book says "bread" but I wanted muffins so I just followed the recipe and poured into muffin pans instead. I had to adjust the cooking time from 75 min to about 30-35 min.

Banana Nut Bread or Muffins
4 eggs
5 large, ripe bananas
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
4 cups sifted flour
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts, coarsely broken

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In large bowl, beat eggs until thick; add bananas and beat until smooth and liquid. In another bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add sugar mixture to egg-banana mixture and beat. Sift flour, soda, and salt; add to mixture. Stir in walnuts. For bread: bake in two well greased loaf pans for 75 min. For muffins: line muffin tin with cups and bake for 25-35 min (ish). (Watch this time because I was just guessing.)

I'm eating one, make that two, right now, Yum! And Charlie loves them.


Moving On

Recently our family has been busy relocating and I was surprised how hard this has been on our 3 year old. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but she had a pretty difficult time for a few weeks. Bedtime and eating have been more frustrating and she absolutely refuses to talk to anyone she doesn't know anymore. Since we're only going to be here until the end of the summer, I am dreading the next move and having everything change on her all over again. I know that everyone takes time to adjust, but there has to be some ways to make moving easier on the little ones. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Tortilla Casserole

This recipe is super easy and quick! And everyone in my family likes it, which doesn't happen that often.

Tortilla Casserole

1 pkg flour tortillas, torn into bite size pieces (We get the big tortillas and I never use a whole pkg. I just mostly fill up a 8x8 dish, maybe 5-7 big tortillas)
½ cup chicken, cooked and cut up
1 can chopped green chili
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Put torn tortillas in dish. Heat other ingredients except cheese in a pan. Stir heated mixture in with tortillas in dish. Top with cheese. Bake

Temp- 350 degrees
Bake Time- 20 min
Serves- 4-6


Cream Cheese Chicken

I got this recipe from my Blog friend Emily. She seriously has got the best recipe's. Everything that I have made from her blog is outstanding. Darian could not stop talking about how good it was and the kids wanted the leftovers for breakfast instead of cereal. I will definitely be making this in the future.

Cream Cheese Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package dry Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup water

Cook these ingredients for 4 hours on low in your crock pot.Then add:

8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken soup

Cook one more hour on low or until sauce is bubbly. If sauce is too thick add more water!Serve over Rice, Mashed Potatoes, or Noodles

Kid Bullying

I'm interested to know how you all deal with this problem. A blog of my friend's addressed this issue and there were a lot of really helpful comments.

Let me explain. Charlie (13 mo) and I went to the library for story time yesterday. Everything went fun and dandy. Afterwards, we went to venture to the play area where they have those fun tables with the beads on wires and the sand/magnetic thing that you move the cars/whatever from the bottom with a magnet. I was sitting close by in a chair and there were about 3 other kids, including 15 mo. (I asked) twins and, I guess, a 4 or 5-year-old girl. The twins were being supervised, of course, but the 4 or 5-year-old girl was not. Charlie was having fun cruising from one table to the next and exploring all his options. The little girl was playing with the magnet thingy. Charlie watched her and as soon as he showed some interest in the magnet thingy by just looking at it, this girl started screaming/yelling/throwing a fit and then forcefully pushed Charlie down so he fell down on his bum. He got really upset and started crying big time. I think he had his feelers hurt more than anything. I ran to the rescue and helped him up. I continued to sit right by his side and he calmed down. I said something to the little girl like, "He wasn't trying to take it away from you." A couple minutes later, the "mother figure" showed up and asked if she had done anything to hurt Charlie (as the whole library could hear him crying). I didn't want to make her feel bad and replied, "He got pushed down," instead of an accusatory, "She pushed down my baby!". There was a forced, "Sorry" and the mom was gone again. Again, Charlie stepped too close too the toy she was playing with, and screamed/yelled/threw a fit and begin squeezing/strangling Charlie's neck! It happened so quickly, I couldn't believe it! Luckily, I hadn't moved from Charlie's side and was there immediately to pry her fingers off my son's neck. No mother to be seen. Now, here is my question, if you read my friend's blog you'll see lots of solutions if the mother is actually watching her child misbehave and hurt another, but what if the mother is no where to be found?? I am a "I should have said/done _________!" kind of person, after the fact and then I stew myself to bed thinking of all the things I should have done, getting madder and madder. Obviously, the safety of your child comes first. We left the library right after that. I did not say anything to the mother but I felt that I should have said that her child was acting violently towards my baby and that she needs to be more closely supervised. The more I think about it, the more I have the feeling to slug that little girl! This isn't healthy. I know that someday Charlie may be on the other side and may hurt someone else, which I will deal with as it comes. But I just feel I should have done more than just pick up and leave, with no consequence to that little bully. Alright, all you playgroup gurus, there has to be some solutions out there.


I need a Buttercream Frosting recipe

For my daughters first birthday party I am making Fairy Cakes (cup cakes) and I need a good buttercream frosting recipe. Normally I would use cream cheese frosting since its my favorite, but it has a cream cheese center to it so I want to put buttercream on top. Does anyone have a good Butter cream frosting recipe?

Swiss Chicken

This is a very quick and easy recipe. It also freezes really good, cooked or uncooked. We like to eat this with rice or potatoes and then a veggie on the side.

Swiss Chicken

8 chicken breasts (put in a 9X13 pan)
place slices of swiss cheese on top of chicken
stir together 2 cans crm. chicken soup and 1/4 c. water together
spoon evenly over chicken
sprinkle 2 c. seasoned bread crumbs or crushed up stuffing mix over mix
Drizzle with 1/3 c. butter and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes

Calling all recipes!

Okay ladies, I need some help here. I bought some buttermilk last week to use in a recipe. Well, it only called for 1 cup of buttermilk, so now I'm left with almost the whole thing. Any ideas what I could use it for? I have a recipe that I'm considering for buttermilk pancakes, and I also have a buttermilk salad dressing.... but I'm wondering if any of you have a fantastic, delicious recipe that calls for buttermilk?

Any suggestions would be very helpful. THANKS GALS!


We have major sleep issues around here. I blame it on our small apartment and light sleepers. But it seems like I've been hearing a lot of moms ask questions about how to get your kids to sleep! I have one in every phase... my 7 month old won't sleep at night for longer than a couple hours at a time before waking up crying. And for naps he usually only gets 30 minutes before one of the other kids loud voices wakes him up. My 2 yr old is finally staying in her toddler bed at bedtime but wakes up frequently during the night crying. And my 4 year old wakes up really early in the morning and climbs into bed with my husband. And it seems like none of them are getting enough sleep!!
So my question this week is... how have you gotten your kids/babies to sleep? Whether it's training a baby to sleep through the night, training a toddler to stay in his new "big boy bed", helping a child who wakes up a lot during the night, or how to keep your baby/kids asleep through the noise of everything else that's going on.



Hi everyone! I was invited to join this blog by Shalee. Shalee and I were companions on our missions. She was actually the companion I had the longest, we were together for
seven months, which is pretty rare. For those of you who know her, as you can imagine it
was a blast. We had a lot of fun, and I learned a lot from her.
Well, I have been blog stalking this blog for a couple months now! I have tried some of the recipes and loved them (I am a big recipe buff), read all the advice, and voted in just about every poll. I am excited to get to participate on this fun blog!
As by way of introduction my name is Rachael Bishop, and we live in Tucson Arizona. I have been married four years in May, and my husband Todd is an Electrical Engineer for a government defense contract company here in Tucson. We have lived here two years and we love it. It is hot during the summer, but the rest of the year it is wonderful to be here. Short sleeves all year round! We have two boys, Thatcher who is 3 and Taggart who is 18 months. They rull the roost, and keep me busy and happy. When I am not cleaning up toys, playing with my kids, or wiping peanut butter from goopy hands, I like to do crafts, blog, and cook. Cooking really is a hobby for me. I first started to really love to cook after I had Thatcher and would nurse him watching the Food Network. Paula, Giada, and Sandra Lee became my best friends. I love trying new recipes, and as of lately, trying and experimenting with healthy low fat/low calorie recipes. I also do like TV shows other then Diego and Dora, like American Idol, The Office, Lost, and pretty much anything on the the Travel Channel, The Food Network and HGTV, which I look forward to watching when the kids go to bed at night. I love being a wife and mother and I try to be a good homemaker. I am excited to be here and get to know you all better!


Chocolate Scotcheroos!

Okay so this doesn't have any brown sugar, but it does have sugar. I meant to post this when the ingredient was peanut butter but forgot.

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups rice crispy cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch morsels
vegetable cooking spray

Place corn syrup and sugar into large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in Peanut butter. Mix well. Add rice crispy cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13x9 pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butterscotch morsels together in small sauce pan over low heat. Stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm. (I actually don't do this part and just stick the chips into a bowl and warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir and then another 30 seconds.)