Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Homemade food for the holidays!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Homemade4TheHolidays #CollectiveBias

Hover over the image below to start shopping for Swanson® Chicken Broth and Campbell's® Cream Soups!

The holidays...it’s my favorite time of the year!

The family, the gatherings, the food. Did I mention the food?

Oh, how I love homemade food for the holidays!

Nothing says love, family, and holidays like home cooking and comfort food. One of my favorite comfort foods just so happens to be my mama’s Chicken n’ Dumplings. It’s delicious, warm, easy to make, filling, full of memories, and feeds a enormous amount of people. You only need a handful of ingredients which can be picked up at your local Sam’s Club.

I’m not sure why I thought this recipe was difficult to make as a child??? It’s not. I asked my mom for the recipe...and more importantly how to make it? My mind was blown by the straightforward steps.
You’ll need:

I enjoy Swanson® Chicken Broth for many reasons!
  • The packaging is resealable.
  • It’s America’s #1 selling broth.
  • Nothing artificial added (no MSG, no artificial flavors or preservatives). Plus it’s 100% Natural.
  • Swanson® Chicken Broth has a perfectly balanced flavor from chickens farm raised in the USA cooked with vegetables and herbs picked at the peak of freshness.
I choose Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup because of the fabulous flavor! This product also has no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Both of these products are what I would call pantry basics. I always have them in my pantry...these are staples in so many of my recipes. This is why I purchase these products at Sam’s Club. I can buy them in bulk and even if I only use one container of Swanson® Chicken Broth I can keep the other 5 for another day...the same applies to Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup pantry packs.
If you choose not to use all of these products you can use the extras to give back!
With it being the holidays... I thought there has to be a better use for the delicious cans of soup and cartons of fabulous broth.
I decided to send mine over to my local women’s shelter. My church partners with the awesome organization that offers housing, food, and other items for free to women and children in need. They simply these women’s lives so that they can get back on their feet. In order to make this happen they rely heavily on donations... donations like simply pantry items.
Ok. Back to this simple recipe.

Step one: boil your whole chicken. For about an hour. { if looking for a shorter cook time please see moderation at the end of this post }
Step two: while chicken is cooking...mix flour and spices together.

Step three: tear biscuits into small pieces...three or four pieces per biscuit.

Step four: roll dough into balls.

Step five: toss dough into flour and spices.

Step six: once chicken is cooked remove from water. Set aside and allow to cool.


Step seven: depending on the amount of people you’re feeding...add ½ carton of Swanson® Chicken Broth for a smaller batch (feeds 4-6 people) and for a larger batch add one full carton (feeds 8-10)

Step eight: add one can of Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup for a small batch and two cans for a large batch. Stir with a whisk and bring to a low boil. Stir until Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup has mixed evenly.

Step nine: add the dumplings to the pot. Stir. Bring to a low boil...cook...about 20-25 minutes.

Dumplings will rise to the top. Stir occasionally...you can cut dumplings in half to see if the dough is cooked all the way through.

If sauce seems too runny. Sprinkle a little flour (and I do mean a LITTLE flour) (you can use the flour from the dumplings) and mix. Wait a few minutes...and add more flour if needed...repeat until sauce is thick. Do NOT add too much flour or it will clump up.

By now, your chicken should be cooled off...shred and debone. Add chicken to the pot and it’s ready to serve!!

This kind of dish can really bring a family together. Your whole house is filled with the aroma of food, while cooking. The warmth and flavor of chicken and dumplings is the perfect addition to the holiday season.

Don’t be put off by the cook time of this dish. Yes, start to finish is over an hour...however...it doesn’t need to be tended to the whole time. You can cook your chicken and play a family game while it boils...you can make a craft...read some books...simply enjoy each other.

If you don’t like that amount of cook time. Here are two moderations…
••{{{ If cooking a whole chicken isn’t your thing...or you are looking for a quicker cook time...you can simply cook or boil a 3-4 chicken breast. This will cut cook time by 30 mins. You will just add 1 more container of chicken broth. This will be necessary because your water will be bland without a whole chicken...Swanson® Chicken Broth will add all the flavor you will need. }}}••

••{{{ cook the chicken in the slow cooker! Add 1 more container of broth. Then prep time is only 30 mins. }}}•••

Now, clearly I didn’t use all the cans in this case. What should I do with all these left over cans? I could keep them in my pantry for a later recipe...that is a practical and great solution.
With it being the holidays... I thought there has to be a better use for the delicious cans of soup and cartons of fabulous broth.
I decided to send mine over to my local women’s shelter. My church partners with the awesome organization that offers housing, food, and other items for free to women and children in need. They simply these women’s lives so that they can get back on their feet. In order to make this happen they rely heavily on donations... donations like simply pantry items.
Who would you give back to if you could?

Be sure to head over to Sam's Club for all you will need for this recipe.
Sam’s Club will be hosting their annual Holiday Taste of Sam's event, a huge in-club demo sampling occasion. Swanson® Chicken Broth will be sampled with Idahoan Mashed Potatoes on Dec 21 & 22.
Not only can you do some sampling but you will also be able to take advantage of the temporary price reduction of $1.50 off Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup, and Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup!!

Check out more Campbell's® Cream Soups and Swanson® Chicken Broth holiday recipes and inspiration here.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A winter hike.

Sometimes when the weather turns cold...and you’ve been relaxing in the house all day...it feels great to bundle up and brave the cold for some fresh air. 

This Sunday we did just that. 

We went on a winter hike. 

We discovered a frozen pond. The kids through rocks to see if they could break the ice. We witnessed a breathtaking sunset...and we may or may not have ended up bringing home a Christmas tree.

Today also included ending a sleepover with cousins...headed to church for great worship...sandwiches for lunch... finished a book report...ate too many sweets...watched Brooklyn put on a “conformance” ...which I think is a cross between concert and performance??...and ended the day with snuggles and Home Alone. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

I’m Not A Scaredy Cat (giveaway)

Follow this adorable cat through this story by Max Lucado! 

See what makes him a scaredy cat! And see how to be brave! 

A wonderful message your child will love!! 

For a chance to win a copy leave a comment telling me if you own a cat or not? 

A Very Thankful Prayer giveaway.

I can get over the adorable illustrations in this book! Maybe it’s the art major in me...but they are just stunning. 

This book is perfect for any preschooler (and up!) it has a strong message of thankfulness through out the entire book! 

For a chance to win a copy leave a message telling me what you are thankful for! 

Brave Girls Confidential giveaway

The Brave Girl collection has got to be one of my favorite collections from Tommy Nelson Publishing. 

Talk about girl power. 

I have three daughters and it so important to show them strong women figures...what better place to find them than in the Bible??? 

This book is full of beautiful illustrations and wonderful stories...perfect for any young girl! 

Want a chance to win a copy?

Leave a comment telling me who is your favorite lady of the Bible?? 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Taco pockets with Crystal Cheese Farms


The holidays should be dubbed as appetizer season in my house. 

Always snacking, always gathering. 

Simple snack foods are the perfect for this time of year. 

Today, I’m making Taco pockets with Crystal Farms ®️ cheese. 

Simple. Yummy. 

The perfect finger food. 

You’ll need: 

Pie crust or pastry puff...this can be homemade or store bought. 

Crystal Farms ®️ Cheese of choice (I used sharp cheddar) 

Pocket fillings: I used only meat because I knew children would be eating this...you can add onion, corn, beans, and more! 

Roll your dough out. 

Use a glass or circle cookie cutter and cut our circles. 

Grate cheese. I love freshly grated cheese. I love Crystal Farms Cheeses for many reasons! 

Crystal Farm products are made by cheese lovers, for cheese lovers. They are a natural product with few preservatives, gluten free, and it’s a rich source of calcium. 


Fill your pockets with fillings of choice. I filled a few with meat...and I filled a few with just plain cheese for a certain red head who lives in my house...she’s a plain cheese kind of gal. 

Once stuffed. Fold circles in half and squeeze closed. Then with a fork smash the ends...like pictured. 

Brush tips with butter. You can also salt with a garlic salt if you like...but it isn’t necessary. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees...flip over half way through cooking. 

Be sure to include Crystal Farms Cheese in all You gatherings this season! 

To learn more about the Crystal Farms Cheese products click HERE.  

Leave a comment telling me what cheese you would choose and what recipe would use it in? In doing so you’ll be entered to win 3 Crystal Farms coupons. 

1 winner who will receive 3 Crystal Farms coupons.

Good luck! 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Essentials + Amazon.

Sponsored post: this post is sponsored by Kleenex but the content and opinions are all my own. 

What was life like before Amazon

I don’t know. It’s hard to remember. 

Amazon has recused me more than once...saved my party...my gathering...my holiday...a child’s school project...I could go on and on. 

Here’s the deal. I have four children. Between school pick ups, drop offs, practices, school events, and more... I don’t always have time to go to the store. 

Oh and don’t even get me started on sicknesses...sickness can whip through our house like wildfire...

Once last winter I didn’t leave the house for 12 days straight...TWELVE DAYS!...one by one my family all went down with the flu...I was the care taker...I couldn’t abandon my patients...and I couldn’t  take them out to spread the plague to everyone else...but we will needed Kleenex (so.much.Kleenex.) and paper towel and toilet paper...you know the essentials. 

Amazon...saved my sanity that winter and continues to do so all year round. 

I can order what I need from the warmth and comfort of my own home...all while still in my PJs...and it just shows up on my door!!! I didn’t have to load up kids in the car...bear wrestle them into a car seat...drag them through the store...and listen to them begggg me to buy them something on every.single.isle. 

Sometimes my pachages and paper products show up that same day...amazing. If that isn’t an option two days isn’t long to wait.at.all....especially when it helps lower my stress...and makes holiday prep easier! Don’t you remember how long you had to wait back in the day for Happy Mail? For-evoooooor. 

I literally am giddy when I see a package sitting on my front porch! 

I recently learned about Amazon’s Subscribe and Save feature. Mind blown. This service also saves you money...%15 on 5 or more products subscriptions. 

I don’t know about your family...but I’ve got six members...and we go through sooooooo many Viva Towels...rolls of Scott Toilet Paper...Cottonelle products...and Kleenex. If you add a few parties and holiday gatherings to the mix...we are sure to run out. 

That would be so embarrassing. To run out of toilet paper during a feastive celebration. 

Amazon is here to make sure that doesn’t happen. 

Thank you Amazon and Kleenex Products for making my life easier this season. 

Can we talk about Kleenex for a minute? 

Kleenex reminds me of my childhood and more specifically my mama. 

My mom refuses to purchase any other brand of tissue. I’m not even kidding...she will not purchase anything other than Kleenex. 

It’s always stocked in her home...in the bathrooms...and any area guest my lounge in.

I never realized the importance of this until I had my own family and started hosting my own gatherings. 

As silly as it sounds Kleenex makes me think of my mom and the love that she poured into us...in the simple things...like what brand of tissue she bought. 

I want to make my children and house guest feel loved and welcomed in the same simple ways. 

Be sure to check out Amazon’s amazing paper products ..this Holiday season...ok and all year round! You’ll save money and more importantly time!!

P.S. you can save more than $8 going this route!