Life with the Bs

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I can mash-potato

I love mashed potatoes!  They’re easily one of my favorite foods (well, side dish since they aren’t really a meal).  However, I never make them, other than once for a holiday.  I needed potatoes for a recipe a few weeks ago so I bought a bag and had lots left over.  I decided to make mashed potatoes and they really aren’t hard.  Makes my wonder why they even sell the fake mashed potatoes since the real ones are so good and easy!  My kids are strange and don’t like them so I had a ton left over.  I take back saying they aren’t a meal because I had mashed potatoes for lunch one day last week.  Anyway, we had so much left that I decided to make shepherd’s pie.


Isn’t is beautiful!  It looks better than it tasted.  I used Rachel Ray’s recipe but I used ground turkey so I think that took away some of the flavor.  I also put in too many peas.  We don’t really like peas around here so I put in the whole bag as not to waste it.  But it was very pea heavy!  I can make mashed potatoes once and get two (or three) meals out of them.  I’m going to try the shepherd’s pie again with the correct ingredients and amount of peas.  And keep pushing potatoes on my kids so they will find out what they’re missing!

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Iced Coffee

I didn’t become a regular coffee drinker until we received a Keurig for Christmas.  Now I drink one cup a day but it’s been too hot for coffee lately.  I tried making iced coffee and I love it.  However, it makes a nice little treat so there have been a few days that I’ve had more than my one cup.

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I fill my reusable K-Cup Filter a little higher than usual.  Then I add less water so I have stronger coffee.  Once it’s brewed, I add two packets of Stevia and two tubs of French Vanilla Creamer (I know that one would be better but two is just so good).  Then I pour it over ice and enjoy!

Sept 009

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Meals for Friends

Nothing says you care like a good meal!  I had a minor non-surgery this year and it meant so much to have our family and neighbors help out with the kids and feeding my family.  I know after having a baby how much a good, hot meal means, even if you have to eat while cradling a sweet newborn.  I can only imagine how helpful it is while going through chemo to not have to worry about what you and your family are going to eat.  Our church asks for side dishes often for senior lunches and funeral receptions.  I always try to have aluminum pans on hand so I can help out.  Here are some of my go to recipes:

Chicken Enchiladas

Cheeseburger Casserole

Chicken and Stuffing

3 – 4 chicken breasts

Swiss cheese

1 can cream of chicken soup

.5 cups milk

2 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

2 T. butter

In a casserole dish, place a piece of Swiss cheese on each piece of chicken.  Mix soup with milk in a bowl and pour over chicken.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and stir in stuffing mix.  Spread crumb mixture over chicken.  Bake at 325 for an hour and a half.


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My Favorite Chicken Salad Recipes

I really love chicken salad.  Here are my two favorite chicken salad recipes.

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Cashew Chicken Rotini Salad – This recipe came from my Aunt Sheila.  I make it for my Christmas Cookie Exchange every year.  I makes a ton and is always a big hit!

1 (16 oz) package rotini or spiral pasta

4 cups cubed chicken (cooked)

1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits (drained)

1.5 cups sliced celery

.75 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 cup seedless green grapes

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 (6 oz) package dried cranberries

1 cup ranch dressing

.75 cup mayo

2 cups salted cashews

Cook pasta.  Meanwhile in a large bowl combine chicken, pineapple, celery, onions, grapes, and cranberries.  Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.  Add to chicken mixture.  In a small bowl, whisk ranch and mayo.  Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Stir in cashews just before serving.  Makes 12 servings.

Chicken Salad Sandwiches – This recipe came from my best friend’s mom.  I think we make it for every wedding/baby shower that we have hosted.  However, I don’t have a picture.  I know that makes me a horrible food blogger, sorry!

2.5 cups diced, cooked chicken

1.5 cups chopped celery

1 cup sliced white grapes
1 cup mayo
1 tsp salt
.5 cup sour cream
2 chopped boiled eggs
white pepper to taste
.5 cup slivered almonds

Mix and chill.  Serve on mini croissants.



Cookie Exchange

I’ve hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange for about 7 years (I think I missed one or two when I was pregnant or had an infant).  We had a great turnout this year.  It’s so much fun to see friends that we don’t see that often, the cookies are just an added perk!

cookie exchange

I’ve served the same chicken salad for a past few years because everyone asks for it.  I will share the recipe soon.  We also have Apple Brandy Brew every year (in the crockpot) that makes you feel all warm inside.

Janie invites some friends and we always have a craft or project for them.  I didn’t get too creative this year since we did ice cream cone trees last year. Luckily, we only had 2 repeats and Janie was one of them.

Now if the cookies make it to Christmas, we will have our Christmas miracle.


Georgia on my Mind

One of my dear friends is moving to Michigan so we had a going away party for her on Saturday.  Here’s Suzi and her hosts.

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Our party theme was everything Georgia.  Luckily, my basement has a Georgia/Falcons theme so we didn’t need many decorations.  Even our little Georgia tree fit!

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Here was our menu:

Veggie Tray

Salsa Pepper-Jack Grits Dip

Vidalia Onion Dip

Corn Bread

Boiled Peanuts (I was going to do these in the crockpot but couldn’t find raw peanuts anywhere so they came from the store)

Peach Cobbler

Pumpkin Cake with Pecan Topping

GA food

And you can’t have a Georgia party without some Sweet Tea and Coke!

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We asked everyone to wear something Georgia…..Braves, Falcons, University of Georgia or even Georgia Tech (evidently we don’t hang out with smart people).

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I gave Suzi a Braves shirt so she can bring a little Georgia to Michigan!


Pumpkin Dump Cake

I love dump cake (the one with crushed pineapple, cherry pie filling and yellow cake mix that you dump in a pan, hence the name dump cake)!  My friend from church gave me this recipe for pumpkin cake and it’s just like dump cake with a few extra ingredients.  I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but I LOVE this cake (and my pumpkin spice latte, of course).

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1 can pumpkin (29oz)

1 can evaporated milk (13oz)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup chopped pecans

1.5 sticks of butter

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Pour into a 9×13 cake pan.  Sprinkle cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture.  Melt the 1.5 sticks of butter and pour over cake mix.  Top with chopped pecans.  Bake at 350 for 50 – 60 minutes.  Serve with Cool Whip and enjoy!


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Mummy cake balls

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3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup skim milk

1 – 2 bags of white candy melts

mini chocolate chips

Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the milk and flour mixture a little bit at a time starting and ending with the flour.  Bake the cake balls in a cake ball maker for 4 – 5 minutes.  Let them cool while you melt the white candy melts, according to package.  Dip each ball in the candy melts until covered.  Add the chocolate chip eyes while they are still wet.  Reheat the candy melts and put it into a baggie.  Make a small cut in the baggie and pipe onto the cake balls.  This recipe made 36 cake balls.  One bag of candy melts was enough to cover 24 cake balls.

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A+ weekend

What a great weekend!  The weather was beautiful and we did lots of fun stuff.  Of course, my house is a mess, no laundry is done and our fridge is empty but lets talk about the fun stuff……

My weekend started off with a free Salted Carmel Mocha Frappaccino.  I stopped by Starbucks with my coupon for $1 off and they couldn’t get my coupon code to work so they gave it to me!  A sign of a great weekend to come!  Next up was girls night out.  Great company and fabulous food!

We started our Saturday at the ball park for Nolan’s second game.  He did a great job up until the last 15 minutes when he “got tired” and laid on the field.  He still got the game ball for playing so well in the outfield.  He goes after that ball, no matter where it goes.


Tim had a function at church so the kids and I played at the park and had a picnic at the lake since the weather was so awesome.  Then we went home for naps.  Any weekend that I get in a nice nap is a good weekend!

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We went to a neighbor’s for s’mores on Saturday night.  I just love fall temperatures!


I got free tickets for the Wizard of Oz in IMAX and 3D on Sunday.  Tim had tickets to the Falcons game so my mom joined the kids and I for the movie.  The kids were worried about the witch but they both enjoyed the movie, on a lap during the witch scenes.


The movie was at Atlantic Station so we walked around afterwards and had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.  I love their chopped salad.  I know it’s weird to go to a pizza place and order a salad but it’s so good.



That was our fabulous weekend.  Enjoy your week!