Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Mmmmm, our new friends out here in the North East had us over for dinner a few months ago and they made us something they call Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole. It was so yummy, so I asked them yesterday what the recipe was and we gave it a try.

Chicken Cordon Blue Casserole

Chicken breast
ham (Deli slices)
Swiss cheese or provolone cheese
bread crumbs or crushed ritz crackers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. cube raw chicken & cover bottom of 9x13 pan with chicken (we had tenderloins so we didn't bother cutting them up until we served it and that worked fine for us)
  3. Layer ham on top of chicken(if you are using the cheep stuff you might want more than 1 layer of ham, but if it is thick you will be fine with 1 layer.)
  4. cover Ham with a layer of cheese.
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs or ritz crackers over the cheese layer
  6. Cover with foil and cook for 50 minutes.
  7. remove foil and cook an additional 10-15 minutes to brown the top.
  8. serve with white sauce and noodles or rice.
  • Since we are only a family of 4 with 2 little kids who don't eat much, we were able to make a smaller batch of this in a 9x9 square pan. I made it early in the day and then put it in the fridge until the evening. and we didn't have any problems with the cooking times or anything.
  • I am excited to have another recipe that uses Swiss cheese. I like to make THIS quiche recipe, but it is the only Swiss cheese recipe I have so I don't always have Swiss cheese on hand. Do you have any Swiss cheese recipes that your family likes?
Here is the recipe I used for our white sauce.

Creamy Parmesan Sauce

1 T butter
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2-3/4 C half and half
1/2 T cornstarch or 1 TBSP flour
salt & pepper
~1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan, then saute the garlic for a minute or two. Add in a splash of wine and continue to simmer for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the half-and-half with the cornstarch. Slowly pour into the sauce pan and mix until it is smooth and thickened.
  3. Add the cheese, salt and pepper to the sauce pan and cook until melted.
  4. Drizzle the sauce over the breasts just before serving.
  • It was so yummy, but VERY thick. If you spread it over your chicken as soon as you are done, it might not be a problem, but we have a kid who doesn't like sauce, so we like to put it on the table and each person can use it or not. And it thickens as it sits out.
  • It was also yummy to have the sauce to add to the rice
  • I think next time we might tweak it a little to have more 1/2 & 1/2 or just use regular milk so it is runnier and easier to spread. Or we will keep it thick and make a double batch.
  • I will also be sure to take a photo to share.
THIS and THAT were the places where I found the recipe for the sauce, I have altered them a little to fit our family, but the original sauce recipes are from &

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I'm in love with Quesadillas right now, but I think I'm a bit of a quesdilla snob, because my husband always does them in the microwave and I think that is SO GROSS. I like them all toasty and warm off of the frying pan.

Here is how I make mine:
I put a soft tortilla shell in a big frying pan, then sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on to the tortilla and set the heat to medium.

On a plate, put another tortilla with some refried beans spread all over it.

Sprinkle some taco meat on top of the refried beans and squish them into the beans with the back of the spoon.

Flop the tortilla with beans and meat onto the cheesy tortilla like a sandwich

When the bottom tortilla has browned, flip it and brown the other side.

When second tortilla is browned, remove from heat and use a pizza cuter to slice into triangle pieces. Serve with Guacamole and sour cream.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hooded Scarf

My girls have some great warm winter hats, but most of them are fleece, so that means constant static. (And that is something I HATE!!!) but recently a friend told me that she Crochets hooded scarfs. That got me thinking that I should give them a try. I'm not very good at Crochet, so I gave it a go, gave up and found a tutorial on line to make one out of fabric.

Here is a you tube tutorial that gave me an idea of how to begin

Here here is how mine turned out.
I used scraps of fabric so I couldn't tell you exactly how much material to buy, but I would guess about a 1/2 a yard of one fabric and 1/4 of the contrasting fabric.

Here are some bullet points about some of the things I did differently than the tutorial.
  • I used 2 pieces for the scarf instead of cutting 1 piece and folding it in half. I sewed the piece together on one of the long sides and then pined it to the hood
  • We are getting 7 degree weather out here, so instead of using only one layer of fabric for the hood, I used 2 layers to make it thicker and warmer. So instead of cutting only 2 pieces for the hood, I had to cut 4. This also means that the hood is reversible so it doesn't have any seems showing on either side.
  • I added a ruffle to the ends of the scarf with a contrasting fabric. So before sewing the last seam shown in the video that closes the ends of the scarf, I tucked a ruffle I made into the hole and then sewed the seam. (if you don't know how to make a ruffle, you can get an idea by reading the numbered steps in the next bullet point.)
  • Since I was using scraps I had to use 2 different prints of fabric to make sure I had enough fabric, I also added a ruffle across the top on one of the hoods that I made. I think it is way cute.
All I did to add the ruffle on the hood was
  1. cut strips of fabric that were 4 inches wide and as long as I could get them out of my scraps.
  2. Sew them together short end to short end, with right sides together, until it is as long as double the length of the brim of the hood. (If you have big enough scraps that are double the length of the hood, don't worry about piecing them.)
  3. Then fold it in half the long way with wrong sides together and stitch close to the edge.
  4. Go back and stitch close to the seem with a running stitch. You can do this by hand or by using a long stitch on your sewing machine. Make sure that you leave a lot of extra thread on the ends instead of sniping it close to the last stitch.
  5. Pull on the threads to bunch or ruffle up the fabric. Keep pulling until the fabric is short enough to fit along the rim of your hood. (If you have trouble with your threads slipping, put a pin next to the last seam and wrap the thread around the pin in a figure 8 several times until it holds well. This will keep it in place while you are pinning and sewing the ruffle into place.)
  6. After you sew the rounded edges of the hoods together (as seen in the tutorial) you can add the ruffle. Take the 2 hoods and put them right sides together. Pull back the edge of the brim and tuck the ruffle in there. Make sure to match up the rough edges together. Pin into place and take a quick peak inside. If you can't see any rough edges of the ruffle or the hoods, then you are ready to sew again, if not, unpin and fix.
  7. Sew the hood along the edge, making sure to use a seam allowance that will cover your running stitch.
  8. Turn all the layers around so that the hoods are wrong sides together and the ruffle is sticking out. If everything looks good, sew a seam along the hood about 1/2 and inch or so away from the hood/ruffle seam. This will help everything to stay in place well. Now the ruffle is down and you can follow the tutorial again adding the hood to the scarf.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Getting Organized

I decided that my New Years Resolution would need to be finally organizing all the stuff that I put on the back burner after we move into our house 4 months ago. I am eager to get stuff done right now because I am expecting baby #3 in June and am finally in my 2nd trimester. So if I don't do it now, it will probably NEVER get done.

I have been collecting a ton of papers and junk on our computer desk. (My husband was especially annoyed by all the clutter) So I headed to Staples and got a bunch of cute coordinating file folders and boxes to help me stay tidy and love the look.

I have a photo box of coupons to the right (I'm trying to get into coupling, but I am not very good at it yet)
And to the Left a pen Jar and file folder.
I put a note pad in the front of the folder for making notes while I'm on the computer, a few tabbed sections on the files, and in the back some folders that close up so I can take them with me to dr. Appointments or any other place I might go and accumulate paperwork.


Next I had to solve the Mail problem. We have a BEAUTIFUL kitchen, but it is always a mess with clutter. Even though we have a TON of counter space, it is always wasted as just another surface to put paperwork down on. So I got a stackable file system and labeled it to help us keep the junk off of the counter, because once it accumulates for a few days it take a long time to separate the junk mail from the stuff we need/want.

And I'm glad to say that having these two organizational tricks up my sleeve has helped me to stay motivated in keeping the kitchen clean for about a week :) So my house is far from looking like it is magazine photo ready, but it is ten times better than it used to be.


having worked in Child care for about 5 years before having my own kids, I feel like no child's play space is ever finished until everything is labeled so that you help enable them to clean up successfully. However, it had probably been about 2 years since I updated our toy labels. That is a lot of birthdays and Christmas's worth of toy accumulation. So I had a lot of catching up to do.
My labels are fairly simple.
  1. I open a word document and make 2 rows of 4 text boxes (Each text box is about 2.15" x3.9")
  2. search on amazon or google images for a stock photo of your toy or one similar. (Stock photos look WAY better than anything I could take with my own camera, and it is nice and clear for the kids to see what belongs where without having to read.)
  3. I copy the picture of the item and paste it into my text box, then I resize it to fit
  4. Type in a clear font the name of that toy. I use all capital letters because I think that is easier for small kids to recognize, but for older kids, you may want to use lowercase letters too, to help them with recognition.
  5. For some things I only need 1 label, but for items I put into a box, I need 2 labels (1 for the box so when it is empty the kids know what needs to go back in it, and the other one for the place on the shelf where the box belongs.)
  6. Print out your pages. (You can laminate them if you like, but most of them will be covered by packing tape, so they will be protected anyway.)
  7. Use clear packing tape to adhere the label to it's location. (For my size of labels, I find that I can use 2 strips of packing tape and trim the ends to be even) For kids who like to peal stuff off, use your scissors to round out the corners of the tape. Rounded edges are more difficult to peel up than square corners.
  8. If I am putting a label on a basket, I laminate the label and punch 2 holes in the top. Then I use ribbon or yarn to attach the label to the basket.
I'm not going to tell you that this makes your kids rooms clean all the time, but I will say that this makes clean up together A LOT easier. Especially when there are visitors involved with helping in the clean up.

Finally to the Recycling part-
I love having a place for everything, but I don't like paying for containers to put stuff in. So my solution is to save the boxes I get from diaper wipes or and I cover them in brown paper bags. I either cut off the flaps on the top of the box, or tape them down around the edges before I wrap the box in the paper. (I've tried using a large diaper box before, but it was too big to be strong enough to withstand the wear and tear of toddlers and preschoolers trying to sit in it and play with it.)
To make sure the paper is snug and secure I use A LOT of hot glue on all sides. It takes me a while to wrap a box and slap a label on it, but they last a long time. The box with the handle in the bottom photo is about 3 1/2 years old, It has survived the beatings of 2 kids, endless visitors and it is still strong. If I remember correctly it was a box of diaper wipe refills.
You could probably wrap a box in some strong decorative wrapping paper or decorative contact paper if you wanted, but that might not stand the wear and tear quite as well as the paper Bag. However, something I have tried doing was painting a box instead of covering it in paper. I used spray paint to give it a smooth texture and it did turn out cute. But, my paper bag boxes were stronger than my painted boxes.

What's your New Years Resolution?