Jan 31, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Piiiiee...

Name the show.

Um...I think I have a problem.

Hi my name is Larissa, and I make obscure television and movie references and annoy those around me by asking if they know where the quote is from...

I should probably start a club.

Wanna join?

We could have meetings.  You can spew forth never-ending television quotes and see if I know them, and I will cook for you.

If the day of our meeting is chilly, I could whip together this super satisfying and complete comfort food Chicken Pot Pie Crumble.

So, call me maybe (and now I have added in song lyrics as well).

When Hubby and I were first married, I actually made traditional chicken pot pie quite regularly. Now 11 years in, I um, haven't made it in years. Years and years to be exact. Poor Hubby. He did enjoy it ever so much. I was always on the fence about it and once we started having kids and they were in the toddler-picky stage chicken pot pie just kind of left my recipe repertoire.

With all the snow and chilliness we are having in our neck of the woods I decided it was time I introduced my Little Men to Chicken Pot Pie.

Proof of said chillines:

See we needed something warm!

I opted for this recipe for a crustless Chicken Pot Pie topped with a biscuit crumble top. This warm hug in a baking dish is made from scratch and worth every minute of extra time.

The filling is the perfect mixture of chicken and vegetables. The biscuit top is light and crispy.

It really is a warm hug on a cold winter day.

The whole family loved this dish. Two big thumbs up.

I have to say I am not on the fence about this Chicken Pot Pie Crumble. It was delightful and we will for sure be seeing it again at our dinner table. Especially since it looks like the snow is not going anywhere.

Chicken Pot Pie Crumble
Cooking Classy

Printable Recipe

2 large chicken breasts
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup finely diced onion
2/3 cup frozen peas
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

For crumble:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup butter, cold and diced into cubes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Put chicken in a slow cooker and pour the broth over the chicken. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove chicken from slow cooker and cut into bite-sized pieces. Strain the broth through a mesh strainer, separating the fat from the broth. Keep the broth and set aside.

Prepare the crumble next. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbles. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Then pour in the heavy cream and mix until just combined. Break the dough into 1 to 2 inch pieces and drop them onto a baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Next heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced carrots, onion, and celery. Cook the vegetables, stirring frequently, until they are tender. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Pour the vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the pan, letting it brown just slightly. Add the flour, stirring constantly, cooking the flour. After about 20 seconds, while stirring, pour in the milk. Then pour in the reserved chicken broth, lemon juice, parsley, thyme and a little bit more salt and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for another minute until thickened. Remove from heat and add the cooked vegetables, frozen peas and chicken to the sauce then toss to coat.

Pour the mixture into a baking or pie dish and sprinkle with the bake crumble topping.

Bake at 400 degrees until nicely golden and the mixture is bubbling slightly. About 12-14 minutes.



Jan 30, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: You are "Loaf"ed Valentine

Welcome to another A Pinteresting Wednesday.

Only part of this post is about my crossing off a pin from my pinboards. When I first saw a pin for using tissue paper and wax paper to wrap cookies or a small loaf of bread, I thought "genius!".

I was not surprised to find the original idea came from the ever-wonderful Martha Stewart and Company.

Now here I have a moment of truth...it is a common problem with Pinterest...



Oh no she didn't just say there is a problem with Pinterest!

Sadly I did, but let me explain before you pledge to hate me forever.

Okay so many times the instructions/comments/description of the pins you see are not accurate to the actual project or pin. Sometimes the way you think the project is going to be done is not.

For instance, when I originally pinned this project the description was simply "iron wax paper over tissue paper" with the picture of cute loaves of bread wrapped in said tissue paper/wax paper.

So for months I filed the project away in my head. I kept my eye out for cute tissue paper and waited for a good time to try out this project. I found some cute Valentine paper and I also thought of a cute Valentine saying to go with a tiny loaf of bread. I set out to make my Loafy Valentine.

Tissue paper ready. Wax paper ready. Iron warmed and bread made. I was ready for a quick project.


When it came time to click over to do the project, imagine my surprise when I found out the project was not to iron a sheet of tissue paper between layers of wax paper, it was actually to punch out shapes from the tissue paper and then to iron those in between the layers of wax paper.

Minor change, but it did make the project a little harder.

Also I wasn't in love with the final project as much as I loved Martha's...yes I am aware that maybe because I am not Martha...unfortunately.

When will the wah-fest end???

Now, because the good news is that the final product was still cute and it went perfectly with my Loaf Valentine idea.

I took my wrapped bread and tied a strip of gingham fabric around it.

I made two different tags using PicMonkey of course. One with the "You are LOAFed" phrase on it. I hole punched and strung on the heart tag to the loaf. Then I attached the main tag to the fabric with a washi-covered clothespin.

I even made a download with some "You are LOAFed" tags for you. So bake up your favorite loaf of bread, wrap it up and attach this little tag.

I would love for you to be a follower of Just Another Day in Paradise before you download these tags. That would make me feel oh-so-LOAFED.

I made a little tiny version of my favorite white bread recipe, so it seemed only fitting that I gave a little jar of homemade raspberry jam with it.

An easy and and yummy valentine to give a friend, a neighbor, or a teacher.

Thanks for visiting this A Pinteresting Wednesday and for putting up with my teeny tiny rant.

Jan 28, 2013

Toy Story Play Dough Present

We had a birthday party to go to this weekend for a sweet little two-year-old boy. We will forgo mentioning that we ended up not being able to go because of a sick kiddo. Back to the party...you know what that means...birthday present fun.

I really enjoying coming up with present ideas. We have given superhero capes, dolls (yes we occasionally get invited to little girl parties), and movie themed presents just to name a few.

Before Christmas I had thought up this present idea for homemade play dough with a coordinating fun place mat. I thought it would be perfect to give to some of Little's friends.

Well, then, I ran out of time...Christmas came and went. Luckily for me the idea stayed in my head. That my friends is rare occurrence. Thoughts typically do not stay in my head. They rattle around for a day or two and then roll on out.

A few weeks ago whilst grocery shopping I walked past some cute plastic placemats and was reminded of my idea. I picked out a few for future present giving and stored them for later.

Fast forward to now. For this little boy's present I decided to go with the Toy Story place mat. Toy Story pretty much rocks any Little Man's world. My Little Men have even been Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

How awesome is Buzz Lightyear? 

For the Toy Story themed play dough I chose to use purple and green for Buzz and yellow and blue for Woody.

I followed my favorite Homemade Play Dough recipe. Buzz approved.

I had been saving up Bean's baby food containers since before Christmas when I originally wanted to make play dough.

I sectioned off just enough play dough to fit into the small container.

The extra play dough was immediately put to good use.

I filled all the little containers.

Then I went to my good old stand by PicMonkey and I created some labels for the tops.

I cut them out and stuck them to the top.

Yellow made me the happiest. Well hello and howdy to you!

 Play dough done. Roll up the place mat, tie some fabric around it and BAM...present.

Fun present for a fun little friend! This was a fun and super easy to make. I better keep saving those baby food containers!

Jan 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Saturday: Barbecue Meatloaf

It is Saturday. Woot.Woot.

You know what that means. Not having to get up and get ready for school. Hubby doesn't go to work. The house should gets a good cleaning. Errands. Basketball games. Basically a regular free-for-all.

Here on the blog that means another Slow Cooker Saturday.

Today I am sharing this recipe for Barbecue Meatloaf.

Say what!? Cooking a big ol' loaf of meat in the slow cooker? Say it ain't so!

I had some trepidation too people. Believe me I did.

However, man-oh-man!

I am not gonna lie. I enjoyed this meatloaf quite a bit.

This was such an easy meal to make. Mix all the ingredients. Put it into a slow cooker. Let it go. Enjoy the BBQ smell all day long in anticipation. Slather in more BBQ sauce. Serve with a simple side of veggies, since the meatloaf is a meal in of itself.

Bam. Done dinner done.

We had leftovers, not for a lack of enjoying, but more so because this makes A LOT of meat.

The next day those leftovers were used in making meatloaf sandwiches. While I passed, because this girl can only take so much meat so many days in a row, the menfolk, both of regular and of little variety enjoyed themselves a Meatloaf Sandwich.

I have really been enjoying this Slow Cooker Saturday. I said that at the beginning of all of this that I had not traditionally used my crock pot, except for a very few family favorites. I am not sure why, but I am glad that Slow Cooker Saturday has allowed me to expand my crock pot cooking. I even just bought a new slow cooker cookbook which I am excited to give a try. It is from the people at one of my favorite cooking shows. I already have several of the recipes marked.

Don't worry I will talk more about it soon.

I am sure you will enjoy this Barbecue Meatloaf as much as we did.

Slow Cooker Barbecue Meatloaf
Chef in Training 

Printable Recipe

3 lbs ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/3 cup favorite BBQ sauce (we like Baby's Rays), +more for drizzling later

In a large bowl, mix the beef, sausage, bread crumbs, eggs, Ranch, onion, salt, and garlic powder all together by hand.

Add to your slow cooker and form the meat into a loaf shape.

Spread the 1/3 cup BBQ sauce over the top of the meatloaf.

Cook on low for 6 hours.

When it is done, remove it from the crock pot (there might be some residual liquid in the slow cooker) and place on a platter. Drizzle with more BBQ sauce.

Slice and serve.

Have a great weekend!
Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 24, 2013

Cheesy Spanish Rice

This last Slow Cooker Saturday we had Shredded Chicken Tacos. The lovely little sidekick to our tacos was this Cheesy Spanish Rice.

I promised that I would share this recipe with you all this week.

I can't tell you how happy we are to have finally found a good Spanish rice recipe. We have tried many and all of them have come up short. You wouldn't think it was that big of a deal,  but it really is. We eat our fair share of Mexican meals in this house. Finding the sides to go with those meals, that is a conundrum.

I know, problems, problems...

Even this recipe is a mix of a couple of recipes.

I kind of picked and chose what sounded good. Then it all came together and BAM we had ourselves a pretty darn tasty Mexican side dish.

Yum worthy. Left over worthy...now you know I am not joking around.

The rice is great on its own...but with the addition of some cheese, well...

Please, cheese makes everything better.

Oh wait, that is bacon...

Oh wait, that is chocolate....

Oh wait, all three of those things make everything better...probably not together...


Yeah, definitely not together.

However, cheese + rice = delightfulness in a bowl.

You know what I will have with my tacos now...a side of awesome topped with cheese.

Cheesy Spanish Rice

Printable Recipe

1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced red peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white rice
1 can mild Rotel (tomatoes with chilies)
1 cup frozen corn
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
shredded cheddar cheese

Heat up the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat. Cook the onions, peppers, and garlic in the pan for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Stir constantly.

Add the rice in with the vegetables and cook for another 2-4 minutes, long enough for some of the rice to turn golden. Stir in the can of tomatoes and the corn. Stir to mix everything together evenly.

Add in the chicken broth. Stir. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Stir every once in awhile to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

At the end of 20 minutes, fluff the rice and add salt to taste.

Serve immediately, topped with shredded cheese. It will melt like a dream on the hot rice.

Have a gloriously lovely day.

Linking Here:
House of Hepworth, The 36th Ave, Tatertots and Jello,
Your Homebased Mom, Tidy Mom

Jan 23, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Stick With You Valentines

Two out of three Little Man Valentine's done.

And on this A Pinteresting Wednesday I am sharing the second set of Valentines with you.

This idea is not of my own making. I came across this idea on Skip To My Lou. Anders Ruff offered this "Let's Stick Together" gum wrapper download. I pinned it on to my Valentine's Day board thinking that it was a good valentine possibility for Oldest.

He is of the age where the cutesy stuff is pretty much just oh-so-lame.

As I searched a little more I just kept coming back to this idea as the best one for my 8 year-old going on teenager.

The wrappers downloaded easily. They printed off nicely using the best setting on my printer. I used cardstock which worked lovely.

I will be honest, folding them was a teeny tiny pain, but I was still done pretty quickly.

Then I simply hot glued the wrappers in place.

The most difficult part of making this valentine is finding the gum. Regular grocery stores do not sell this size of gum packages anymore. Big Box stores do have them. However, you might have some packs left over. Still, it is pretty reasonable.

In hindsight I should have searched for Big Red, but our store didn't have that so I went with a cheery yellow Juicy Fruit. Even though the yellow didn't match, I still thought it coordinated well.

Oldest saw them and said that they were "good", which in 8 year-old means "awesome mom, thanks!"...at least that is what I like to tell myself.

They are pretty cute.

I also did a small Little Man Valentine Round Up for you.

These are some of my favorite Valentine ideas. If you have boys and are not sure what to do yet, maybe some of these ideas will strike your fancy.

Pinterest is a great source for Valentine's Day ideas. What have you pinned for Valentine's Day?

Jan 22, 2013

S'UPper Jar: Talking at the Dinner Table

Our family is pretty good about sitting down all together for dinner every night. My Little Men are young so we don't have many conflicts in the evenings. This allows us to gather around the table and eat as a family.

Now, while we are able to gather together at the table, that does not mean that meal times are always pleasant.

In fact, it is a miracle if we don't have spilled milk, crying over said spilled milk, whining, coercing, one child poking the other, that child annoyed at the poking, a burp, a poop joke, outburst of laughter at the poop joke, humming, singing, ear plugging, and all of it resulting in the culmination in Hubby declaring in a raised voice,

"1,2,3 QUIET GAME!"

At which every member of the family is "challenged" who can be quiet the longest.

Hint...Little never wins.

A few weeks ago, while going through our same dinner routine, a thought popped into my head.

I am quite surprised I could even hear any thought in my head, but I did.

I wanted us to talk to each other, maybe even find out something fun about each other. I thought it would be fun to have dinnertime be a time to learn about each other, to ask questions, and to grow closer.

I came up with the S'UPper Jar. A jar of questions if you will.

Hence the play on word with the S'UP part...hahahaha...oh man my moment of cleverness made me giggle. It also brought to mind a phrase from one of my favorite shows

"S'up with the wack s'up, s'up!" Name the show, name the character!

Okay back to the S'UPper Jar.

The jar is filled with tons of different kinds of questions. Some are silly. Some are questions to help us learn something about each other. There are questions meant to spark a discussion and there are some to teach.

Every meal we pick out 2-3 questions. We answer one question at a time, going around the table so everyone gets a turn to answer or discuss. Then we move onto the next question.

The jar was really easy to put together. I am making it even easier for you because I am giving you a label to print off and a set of questions you can download.

Woohoo! It is pretty exciting.

To make your own family S'UPper Jar you will need a quart-sized canning jar, a label and the questions printed off.

Here is the label:

Just right click and save as an image on you computer. Then insert into a Word document, and resize to fit the jar (about 3" across the top). Then print off.

There are 4 sheets of questions you can download, too.

Download S'UPper Jar Questions (4 pages)

Cut the label down to size. Tape the label on the front of the jar.

Cut the questions into strips. Fold the strips and put them into the jars.

I prettied up the jar a bit, 'cause I am obsessed with that kind of thing.

At dinnertime the jar comes out. Then the conversation begins. 

Now my jar is not going to get rid of the occasional burp and it certainly is not going to get rid of all the poop jokes. However, I am excited to see what kind of things I will learn about my Little Men. I am also excited for all the discussions. It should be a pretty good time.

I hope you enjoy the S'UPper Jar and that your family will join mine in growing closer to each other one plate at at time.

Linking Here:

Jan 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Saturday: Shredded Chicken Tacos

Another Slow Cooker Saturday...uh-woo-hoo!!

No. 3 Slow Cooker Saturday is a recipe for these super yummy Shredded Chicken Tacos.

So two taco-type recipes in one week. Taco Soup and now these Shredded Chicken Tacos. I am guessing that you are figuring out that we like tacos.

We are a family of taco-eaters and we came from families of taco-eaters. Hubby's parents ate tacos early on in their marriage and have continued the tradition. My mom lived on Taco Bell during the majority of her six pregnancies.

Tacos were any easy and affordable meal to feed both of our families of six.

Now as we raise our own family, tacos have continued to be a staple in our family meals.

The tacos have evolved a bit over the years.

To traditional tacos we have added Carnitas, Shredded Pork, Teriyaki, and now Shredded Chicken.

We make this dish a lot...which totally supports the "we like tacos" thing. It is made up of only a few ingredients and you just throw it in a crockpot and let it go.Nothing could be better. Okay eating Chocolate and not getting fat would probably be better.

We have paired these tacos with fresh pineapple, Honey Lime Fruit Salad, tortilla chips, and most recently, this uber yummy cheesy Spanish rice. I will share the recipe next week.

All in all, this is a simply delightful little Mexican meal.

Dare I throw out a festive 'Ole?

I think I shall.


Shredded Chicken Tacos
Crumbs and Chaos

Printable Recipe

2-3 chicken breasts
1 cup Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder

Place all of the ingredients in the crockpot.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Shred chicken and place back in the crockpot for 30 minutes.

Serve on tortillas with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream.

Thanks for stopping by.
You guys are grand.

Linking Here:
Lil'Luna, Chef in Training
The 36th Ave, Your Homebased Mom


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