Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

I am really loving my crock pot.
I have found so many wonderful recipes recently.

My friend Carolyn from  "A Pinch of This...A Dash of That"  made these chicken and dumplings, that she found on Pinterest, and told me that they were so easy and delicious.

I thought that I would give them a try.
I was not disappointed.  I usually make homemade dumplings (they take me at least an hour and make a huge mess).  These are just as delicious and one-pot keeps my kitchen clean.

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings
(adapted from A Pinch of This...A Dash of That)

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon creole seasoning (I used Tony's)
1 package of Grand's Jr. Flaky Biscuits

In the bowl of the crock pot place the chicken, soup, broth, onion, and creole seasoning.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours.  Remove chicken and shred.  Place back in the crock pot.  Cut each biscuit into 5 pieces and place in the crock pot.  Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour longer (cook longer for less doughy dumplings.

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Envelope Euro Shams with Ruffle Trim Tutorial

One of my latest projects is finally redecorating our 
Master Bedroom
I really haven't done anything to it in several years, but alas I am inspired by the updating going on in the rest of the house.  Look here for my inspirations and a before.
(I must confess, the inspiration is from some fabulous bedding that I bought  "on sale" 
at Restoration Hardware and some beautiful fabric that I found at a local fabric store.)
I decided to start this project with some new Euro Shams to coordinate with the bedding and to share a tutorial on how to make them.  I decided to add ruffle trim with a coordinating silk for a feminine touch. 
These were very easy to make as long as you have some simple sewing skills ( I do not have anything beyond simple sewing skills!).

I decided to make 3 Euro Shams (26" x 26").

Here is what you need:

3 front panels--26" x 26"  (Some people make the panels larger, but I like my pillows full)
6 back panels--26" wide x 17" long (divide 26" in half and add 4" to each for the envelope)
3--8" wide fabric x 138" long (approximately--it's better to be too long than too short)

Once you cut all of your fabric, pin a 1-inch hem on each piece of the back panels.

Sew to secure.

Next, fold 8" trim fabric in half and iron.  (To make mine so long, I sewed 2-pieces together.)

Next, attach ruffle trim to the right side of the pillow.

I make a 1/4" pleat every 2 inches and attached.

Sew to secure.

This is what it will look like when you fold it over.  (Prettty!!)
Next, attach the back panels to the front.  Remember to place the right sides facing each other. Your back panel insides will face out when you are sewing.

Once you've finished sewing all the way around, then flip and stuff.
Here is what you get--
I think that they turned out great.
Master Bedroom reveal coming soon.
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Peach Enchiladas

My friend Carolyn from A Pinch of This...A Dash of That first shared this recipe.  It is so easy and soooo good!!  I love to make it when I need a dessert and I don't have a lot of time to spend on preparation.  

Peach Enchiladas

2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 pounds fresh, firm, ripe peaches; peeled and quartered (4 large) 
 (I actually used one bag of frozen peach quarters due to them not being in season)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12-ounce can citrus-flavored soft drink (I used Mountain Dew)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Unroll crescent rolls; separate into triangles.  Place 1 peach quarter on wide end of each triangle.  Roll up triangles around peaches, starting at wide end.  Place, point sides down, in a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan.

Stir together sugar, butter, cinnamon, and drizzle over rolls.

Pour soft drink over rolls.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  

Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.


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It's Starting To Look Like Fall Around Here

If you are from where I am from (Louisiana) 
 then you know that it's still a little too early for fresh pumpkins (outside)
 if you don't want to replace them,
 and that the mums will get too big, too early.
( I usually put everything out the week prior to Halloween even if I have to replace them--I can't have the neighbors coming over for trick-or-treating with my house looking a mess.)

But it's not too early to enjoy the fall decor inside 
(and a few things outside).

The idea of the monogram pumpkins is from here.  

I kept most of the decorations simple 
and in tones of burnt orange, brown, copper, and silver.

Chicken Pot Pie

I think that Chicken Pot Pie is probably one the ultimate comfort foods.

My mom always made it when I was growing up with pie crust, which I love.  Well, I saw this recipe on food network one random Saturday, when Paula Deen (love her) was making The Lady and Sons Chicken Pot Pie and she used puff pastry as the crust.   I ran right out the to the store and bought the ingredients to make this treat.  Needless to say, I was not disappointed.  I was, however, a little overwhelmed by the list of  ingredients.  I do love you Paula, but my stomach just can't handle all of the cream and butter.  So, I have made a few small modifications to the betterment of my waistline and hope you enjoy.  

Chicken Pot Pie
(adapted from Paula Deen)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
salt and pepper
cajun seasoning (I used Tony's)
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
1 quart milk
1/4 cup chicken base
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
1 cup frozen green peas, cooked
1 cup carrots, chopped and cooked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the puff pastry into 1-inch strips.  On a large cookie sheet, weave the strips into a lattice large enough to cover the pot you are cooking the pie in (I used a 5 1/2 quart dutch oven).  Bake for 5-10 minutes until the dough rises and turns a light, golden brown.  Set aside until ready to assemble the pie.

In a large pot, cover the chicken with water and a little bit of cajun seasoning.  Bring to a boil and let boil for approximately 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken.  Allow to cool and cut into small pieces.  Set aside.

For the carrots and peas.  Place each in a small pot and add 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour stirring until you reach the consistency of peanut butter, but do not brown.    Slowly add the milk and keep stirring until smooth.  Add the chicken base, garlic, and onion and stir until thickened.  Add the peas, carrots, and chicken.  Remove from heat and place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from the oven and place the lattice pastry on top.  Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes prior to serving.

(Sorry I didn't take more pictures,  we were all dying to eat!!!)


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Saints Football and Jalapeño Poppers

When you are from Louisiana--  

Source: None via Sabrina on Pinterest
Source: via Sabrina on Pinterest

You Gotta Love Football and 
You Gotta Love the Saints!!

Source: via Sabrina on Pinterest

So in honor of this week's victory over the Carolina Panthers,
I decided to give you a great football snack with a little kick, just like Drew and the Boys!!

  This recipe is very easy and everyone usually eats as many as I make.

Jalapeño Poppers
(Makes 24 individual poppers)

12 jalapeño peppers
4-6 ounces cream cheese
12 pieces of center-cut bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.    Remove top of peppers and slice down the middle.  Remove veins and seeds.  Spoon a little of the cream cheese into each half of the peppers.

Cut each piece of bacon in half and wrap around the cream cheese filled peppers.  Secure with a toothpick.

Place in the oven and cook until the bacon is done, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pat with a paper towel to remove excess oil.  

Serve with ranch dip.


Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

I love anything that I can cook in my "Crock Pot" or slow cooker.  I usually use it to cook soup or roast.  But this time, I found a wonderful Red Beans and Rice recipe that could be made in my slow cooker, so I was definitely on-board.  

This recipe is adapted from the Shreveport-Bossier's Junior League cookbook 
"Mardi Gras to Mistletoe" (Thanks Carolyn and Heidi).

This is a great cookbook.  Definitely a little bit of everything.  

Red Beans and Rice
(adapted from Mardi Gras to Mistletoe)

1 pound dried red beans
1 large white onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound link sausage, sliced
2 quarts water
1 (4-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes Tabasco sauce
Hot cooked rice

The night before:  In the large pot of the slow cooker place the beans, onions, parsley, bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, cayenne, and sausage.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Add the water, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce the next morning.  Turn slow cooker on high and cook for 4-5 hours.  Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3 to 4 hours.

Serve over hot white rice.


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Muir Woods, Napa and Sonoma Valley--The Highlights

On our recent trip to California,

we had the pleasure to travel to Muir Woods outside of San Francisco and take a little tour.

(I really love history, but I'm wondering if my husband and I were just a little to happy to be taking a tour into the cold, dark woods.)

This markings on this tree date it to 900 A.D.---WOW!!!

Now on to the wine!  
We had a great time in Napa and Sonoma.  I could definitely look at the scenery all day.  

We definitely had a wonderful time and can't wait to go back!!