Sunday, July 31, 2011

Easiest chicken & stuffing bake recipe ever!

My sister made this recipe book for me 5 or so years ago and this recipe was in there. Pretty sure she doesn't remember where she got it (like most of the recipes in there!). They were just some she had in her own collection. Either way, it is delicious, quick, easy and my husband LOVES it. Chicken, butter (or margarine), stuffing, can cream of mushroom soup and parsley.

My sister and I in Arizona, 2006

So, here's where I'm going to tell you that my husband has a sensitive stomach. He can't eat spicy foods and usually most stuff I really like, he doesn't. Go figure. He had told me before that he hated stuffing. Picky, picky, picky. Sheesh. ;)
Anyhoo, I hadn't tried out many of these recipes yet, so I decided to make this one, in spite of the fact of his distaste for stuffing. It has mushrooms in it. He loves mushrooms. He'll be fine. 
45 minutes later, we sat down to eat aaaand...whattya know?! He had nothing but good things to say about it. SCORE! His dad and step-mom came to visit a while back and I made this dish for them, only with cream of chicken rather than mushroom, since she doesn't like them. Still, a good dish but we like the mushroom version better.
 He actually requested it this evening, since I haven't made it in a while. Which brought me to this post. :) Recipe below if you would like to try it! 

1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp margarine or butter, melted
4 cups (one package) stuffing. I usually use stove-top. Try which ever brand you like.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. 
Paprika (I leave this one out, for hubs.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

  • Mix water & margarine. Add stuffing mix.
  • Spoon stuffing across center of baking dish, leaving space for chicken on both sides.
  • Arrange chicken on each side.
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Mix soup, milk & parsley. Pour over chicken.
  • Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover & bake 15 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink.
  • Serves 6 small portions (or in our case, myself, my husband and our 19 month old! Ha!) 

I usually up the amount of chicken, which means I bump up the time as well. You can adjust accordingly.



Thursday, July 28, 2011

The land of free samples.

Yes, there ARE things in life that are FREE. They may come in smaller packages, but they're free. In the land of couponing, it's better to not be brand-specific. Meaning, if you've always purchased Tide and you have coupons for All, that would make purchasing each bottle for $1, you would want to do it, right? Laundry detergent is just one example. 

I LOVE coffee. I'm not hard core and don't drink it black, I do have to have a little sweetener in it, but I love it none the less. So when I saw a freebie for Barista Prima Coffeehouse on, I jumped all over it and received it in the mail today!
Cute little packaging, huh? 
Now, when I signed up for this freebie, it suggested (in a strong way) to use it in a Keurig brewer. I do not have a Keurig, nor do I want to spend the $80 it takes to purchase a single-cup brewing station. So, it is freshly brewed in my trusty old 12 cup Coffee-Mate coffee maker! Each of these 4 cups is maybe 2-3 oz, packed full and are meant to make one cup. Now, I love my coffee (clearly) but not SUPER strong. Since I am the only coffee drinker in the house, I usually brew 4-6 cups at a time. I'm going to brew this stuff as I would my regular 8 O'clock coffee. Which means each little cup will make at least 2 pots for me! I am excited. I am also on my 2nd cup of the Columbia (which is why the one cup is missing from the photo). It is really great coffee and not as expensive as I'd imagined it would be. I am impressed not only with the coffee, but the generous amount of the sample! 

So, now I am off to enjoy the rest of it and get dinner in the works. :)

To purchase, head to (Keep in mind, just me drinking coffee, 2 small brewed pots per cup).

Battalion Fun Day

Army fun days. Mandatory for Soldiers, optional for their family members. Since being at Fort Stewart, there have been three, Lucas and I have gone to two. It's a chance for families to get together and mingle. I have to be honest, I don't do much mingling, simply because my eyes are always on Lucas. I know he is in a safe environment and if I can't get to him, another parent will...but I am sure my fellow mom's can agree-I am not comfortable relying on other people to watch my child just so I can chit-chat. I probably need to break loose a little and branch out, but I'm having a hard time doing so. So far, I have yet to make any real connections with fellow Army Wives/Mothers. Maybe they all feel the same way I do? Who knows.
Anyway, it's still fun to watch kiddo run around, play and interact with the other kids. There was one little girl there that decided to push him down a mound of mulch, but Brian and I both let out a hollar for that one! She didn't mess with him again. Her older brother, or so I assume, was good with him and even told her "he's on our team", but she wasn't having any of it. Some kids.
I did meet most of the guys in Brian's company, although I couldn't tell you names for anything. Nice to see who he works along side of every day.

Sitting in an LMTC truck. (used to transport troops, cargo, etc.)

 He loves to drive :)

 Sitting in a HMEE, being shown how to control the levers. (Think beefy tractor with A/C!)

The mulch hill.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In all my newfound frugalness...

I decided to try homemade laundry detergent! Borax and washing soda have been used for generations before me, so I really don't understand where all the commercial products came in to play. I have to admit though, the smell of freshly washed and perfumed sheets have always been one of my favorite things, however, the cost of all the smelly-goodness is getting rather ridiculous. Even having started couponing, I'm finding myself getting frustrated finding generous numbers of coupons to buy products at their "rock-bottom" prices and still only purchasing a few at a time. With this method (assuming it works well) I will be able to do hundreds of loads, filled to the brim, for probably $10/month, if that! YES, please! 

I made up a small batch to try and the first load is in the dryer now. Also, I used about a half cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle, which is supposed to work as a softener. (Really!). I opened the washer lid and DID notice a faint smell of vinegar. But to actually sniff the articles, there were no traces of it. Only a nice, light smell of the Ivory soap! I am SUPER anxious to pull the clothes out and see the final results. And I WILL be updating!! :)

If you would like to try:
Small batch
2 cups shaved bar soap. (The actual recipe called for Fels-naptha. I used Ivory).
1 cup Borax.
1 cup Washing soda.
Mix well. 
Some have said to use 2 tablespoons per load, some have said 1/2 cup. I used almost a 1/4 cup because it was a medium sized load. 

Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to rinse cycle (you can use the downy ball, or built in softener cup if you have it. Thankfully, I have the built in cup-otherwise, I forget every time!).

Voila!!! Happy laundering! :)


So...I start pulling the clothes out of the dryer, sniffing each piece (ha!). This load was a mixture of mine, Lucas' and Brian's clothes. Plus, a couple of Lucas' pissy PJ pants (from nightly diaper leaks), and a couple items from my husbands PT (Army exercise) clothes. Most of the clothes smell and look fresh and clean! However...I am going to have to figure out something to do for the really soiled items, like the PT's and pee pants. Although it wasn't terrible, there was still a hint of stinkiness there. SO...The next load, I added baking soda to the wash, also adding 1 cup to my previous detergent mixture. So we'll see what happens there and again, I WILL update! 

(By the way, I have used liquid laundry detergent for YEARS now. I felt it would dissolve and clean better than powder. I still slightly feel that way and may try the next recipe in liquid form. I'll share than when I do.)

Area fires making life miserable for everyone.

This has been a running theme for the area most of the summer. Nasty, humid heat and wild fires causing most of Hinesville and surrounding areas to be covered in smoke days on end. This has definitely been a miserable summer for me. When we first moved in November, I was excited to be here! Weather was nice up until probably March-April. After that, the terribly muggy heat came and hasn't gone away. Lucas and I are stuck inside most days. Occasionally, he'll have the chance to play outside early morning or late evening. We finally went to the pool on post the other day (although I am NOT a fan of public pools) to get outside and be able to cool off. I'm just hoping the Army makes sure theirs are well maintained, but I have my doubts. Especially since my face is breaking out like I'm 14 again. Definitely hit and miss whether we can go out and about because of these fires. The smoke gives me an instant headache, not to mention I don't want either of us breathing it in! I just hope Hinesville's fire department can get a handle on this at some point. I feel bad for my husband and his fellow Soldiers because they have to be out in this mess every day, whether it be working in the motorpool, formation and even PT every morning. There's no way I could do it!

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Kiser, too by Maria Kiser is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.