Saturday, March 30, 2013

Since I've Been Gone!

     I have to apologize for leaving you for so long!  I know it was not great but...I do have an explanation.  I was asked to make a wedding cake about a month ago and need I say more?  

     I am far from being an accomplished wedding cake maker but it has been a dream of mine for, well, about my whole life.  I bought pans, looked at sensational pictures and dreamed of the day when I would be good enough to make one like "that".  Well, the day came and I still wasn't prepared.  But I looked at the pictures of some simple cakes and thought "How hard could it be?"  I was about to find out....

    I wasn't concerned about finding a wonderful cake recipe because I have one that I have used many times on large one layer cakes.  It turns out beauuutifully.  Then I was told that due some manufacturer changes in ingredients that my recipe was failing.  And I was told that by some pretty wonderful accomplished wedding cake makers.  Oh dear!  So I spent a few sleepless nights wondering what to do.  And with some help from my niece, Hil and her sister who makes cakes a lot it all worked out.  

     There is a lot of good advice out there on the web and I believe I probably read about 13 million hours (I never exaggerate!) of it just to be sure that I was ready for any possibility.  You just can't take chances on someone's wonderful, most special day in the world can you?  It was a fun, nerve wracking, tiring, exciting and beautiful time all in one.  In the end I was just super relieved and proud that it all came together (and also that I didn't drop it or trip with it.) Here are some of the highlights in pictures of the process.  

     If you are interested in learning from my experiences about all the steps and neat tricks I learned, please comment below and I will do a complete tutorial on making a Wedding Cake.


 Here are some of pictures of the finished product!

Thanks for your patience.  I will be blogging again very soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chicken Marengo

     This delicious chicken has been one of my family favorites for many, many years.  It actually caught my attention when I saw it on a can of soup.  The great thing about using a mixture of canned soups is that instead of ending up tasting like the same old soup you have known for years, when they are mixed they take on a whole new and unique flavor.  This is a blend that you will want more of.  The other great thing is that it simplifies your life.  And that is a good thing!
     Don't worry if it seems like a lot of onions when you first put them in.  They cook down and don't overpower the sauce.  I use chicken legs and thighs but you can try it with any chicken.  Just remember to cut down the cooking time if you use boneless meat.  

Chicken Marengo

3 lbs. chicken parts
3 Tblspn. salad oil
1 can Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 med to large onion sliced in thin strips

In a large skillet (I like to use an electric skillet for even temperature browning), brown chicken in oil; pour off fat.  

Mix soups together in a bowl or in the pan (somewhat harder but saves washing the bowl.) Then pour over chicken pieces.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  

Cover; simmer on med low for 45 minutes or until tender. Stir often and turn chicken to avoid sticking and over browning.  Serve with rice.  Makes 6 servings

Recipe source: Campbell's Soup slightly revised by me.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Creamy White Chicken Chili

 Sometimes you find recipes in the places you that seem the least likely.  I was minding my own business at a church craft day(Actually I was teaching a class on making Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day, but that is a whole other story for another blog).   We love craft days and it just makes sense that when we have one we spend the whole day together making as many crafts as we can possibly make.  So lunch is provided by a few wonderful cooks.  On this day, soup was on the menu and when I tasted this one I knew it was true love!!! I had tried many recipes for this and none even compared.  I had to try for a few hours to track her down find the wonderful woman who made this and throw myself on her mercy ask nicely for the recipe. (When I taste a good recipe I really am relentless in finding it).  Everyone who even took a sip of this marvelous soup was hooked.  If you meet her (Missy) please tell her "Thank you very much!"


2 lbs. chicken breast (cut in chunks)
1 large onion
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

4 (15oz.) cans great white northern beans, drained
2 (4 oz.) cans chopped chilis
2 (15 oz.) cans chicken broth
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground oregano
2 tsp. salt 

1 cup whip cream (Can use heavy, regular or even 1/2 & 1/2)
2 cups sour cream (Can use regular or reduced fat)

Put diced chicken and onions in a frying pan.  Sprinkle with garlic powder. Cook until chicken is done and juices are clear.

Pour chicken mixture into a 5 quart or larger slow cooker.

Mix next 6 ingredients into the mixture until combined.

Cook 4-6 hours starting out on high for 1 hour then turn to low.
Before serving stir in the whip cream and sour cream.  Serve with cilantro and chips if desired!  

You can thank me later!  
p.s. Comments are very welcome!
p.p.s. When people comment it makes my whole day happy! 
p.p.s.s. Thanks for your visit!