Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Casserole

I am always on the hunt for east week night dinners. Evenings can be tough for us because Graham is usually supper fussy and that darn witching hour lasts way longer than an hour. I'm always talking to friends and swapping recipes. Lately my sweet friend Megan has been giving me some great ideas for supper. She gave me this recipe that I made on Tuesday night. I adapted it slightly but for the most part kept it the same as how she cooks it.

1 Lb. Chicken Breast (chopped or shredded)
1 Box Uncle Bens Wild Rice
1 Can Cream of Chicken (or Mushroom, or celery)
Sour Cream
chopped onion (I forgot about this)
3 Cups Broccoli (I used Fresh but frozen works too)
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
Bread crumbs (optional)

I find the easiest way for me to cook chicken if I'm using in a casserole is to use my crockpot. I get perfectly shredded chicken in a few hours. Just put your chicken in the crock pot and top with your favorite seasoning. Add in some chicken broth or water (I used water this time). You just need enough to cover the bottom of the crockpot. Don't fill it so full that it covers all the chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. It shreds so easily and is great in any casserole. I also will top with BBQ sauce and make sliders, or use for chicken tacos.

Cook the rice according to the directions on the box.

Chop the broccoli into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.

In a mixing bowl add the cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Once these are combined you can add in your chicken, broccoli, and cooked rice. You can also add in some chopped onion but I forgot this time. Stir everything together until it's all coated with the soup mixture.

Spray a 9x13 casserole dish and pour the mixture into the dish. You could easily divide this into two and freeze one or take to a friend!

I always use freshly grated cheese whenever possible. I find that it melts so much better and generally tastes much better than the pre-packaged kind. It doesn't take long at all and you can always grate the entire block and put in a baggie to save for later.

Top the mixture with cheese and if you choose some bread crumbs that you've mixed with melted butter. I didn't use very much topping this time and will add in more for the next time.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (if you are using fresh broccoli I would cook longer, my broccoli was still pretty crunchy after 30 minutes)  or until hot and bubbly.  Let it sit for a few minutes to set up a bit before serving.

If you cook the chicken ahead of time this really takes no time to throw together. I bought the Uncle Bens quick cook wild rice and it took all of 15 minutes to make. This make a pretty large casserole. We had some friends over and between the 4 adults we still had a good bit of leftovers.

So there you go, a quick meal that everyone in your family will like! Let me know if you try it and what you think!

*linking up with Annie for Thoughts for Thursday

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What's Up Wednesday {June 29}

Happy Wednesday! I can't believe that it's the last Wednesday of the month. I swear it was just June 1st! Today I'm linking up to share what we've been up to lately! 

1. What we're eating this week....
On Monday we had pork tenderloin that I marinated for 24 hours {only because we changed plans Sunday and went to the baseball game}, I served it with corn on the cobb and green beans. Corn is fresh right now in Wilson and I seriously can't get enough of it! Last night I made cheesy chicken, broccoli and rice casserole. Be on the lookout for a recipe post coming soon! 

2. What I'm reminiscing about....
Graham turned 8 months old yesterday and I cannot believe it. I feel like he was just a tiny NICU baby and now he's sitting by himself and so chunky. We went to visit a friend who has a 4 week old little boy and seeing Graham next to James made me realize just how big he is getting! 

3. What I'm loving...
The slow summer days that we have been having. I'm also loving that I have gotten both my boys napping at the same time in the afternoon. This means I usually have at least 1.5-2 hours of quiet. I'd like to say that I'm doing laundry and cleaning, but more times than not I'm posted up on the sofa catching up on some DVR or taking a quick nap. I will spend a little time picking up or loading/unloading the dishwasher too.

 4. What we've been up to...
Lots of outside time and pool time! 

5. What I'm dreading...
Same thing as last month! Potty training...I don't necessarily want to do this but I'm going to attempt to at least try over the summer. I know they say you will know when they are ready so if it doesn't go over well then I won't hesitate to stop and revisit at a later date. I really wish there was some sort of toddler potty training boot camp you could send them off to and they would return fully potty trained. I bought a little potty that Jack has gone on a handful of times, I guess I really need to try and push it more than I do. #lazymom

6. What I'm working on....
Trying to get my upstairs organized. It had gotten out of control with clothes not being put away. I spent all of Graham's morning nap yesterday folding, putting away, and organizing our clothes. Tomorrow I plan to tackle the closet in our spare room upstairs. It has become a catch all and frankly you can't even find a thing that's in it! 

7. What I'm excited about...
We are headed to the beach this weekend with my In-laws for the Fourth of July! I can't wait to get my toes in some sand and watch Jack play. We had a great time when we went for Memorial Weekend and I know this will be just as fun.

8. What I'm watching...
Of course I watching anything on Bravo but my favorite right now is Southern Charm {anyone see that reunion Monday night?} I'm also so glad that RHOC has started back.

I'm watching the bachelorette too but honestly I can't get into it. These 2 hour episodes are too long for me. I don't have time to watch it all at once and I'd just prefer a one hour episode. They could cut out half the "fluff" that the include in the episode.

I also can't forget my daily obsession....thank you Lifetime for helping me be so unproductive during nap time.

9. What I'm listening to...
A whole lot of Mickey and George...We have been watching Curious George Christmas Special {'s summer, I know!} non stop whenever in the car. I have gotten so that I am singing the songs in my's driving me insane! I often will find myself 10 minutes down the road with no kids in the car and realize that I'm still listening to the movie play.. If I don't have kids in the car I've got The Highway on Sirius radio on. Country radio all day every day.
10. What I'm wearing...
Well since legging weather has officially gone out the door I've moved on to my summer staple. Workout skorts and tanks. I'm also still sporting some workout leggings because I've been trying to go to barre a few days a week and end up wearing that outfit the whole day. If I'm actually going to get dressed my favorites are white jeans and a top or a t-shirt Lilly Dress.

11.What I'm doing this weekend...

See #7...The Beach!!

12. What I'm looking forward to next month...
We are heading to my most favorite place ever, Torch Lake, Michigan! My parents spend the summer up there and I've been going every summer since I was 7. Both of my sister and their family go at the same time too! We have always spent the Fourth up there but decided this year to wait and go towards the end of the month in hopes that it will be a little warmer and the water will be warm enough for the kids to swim.

 2 years ago when Jack was Graham's age

and that's what's up with me! I would love to hear what you've been up to. Have a great day, Happy hump day friends!

* Linking up with ShayShaeffer, and Mel 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Scenes From Our Weekend {Sunday Funday Edition}

Here we are Monday morning..again! I cannot believe that this is the last week of June!

 We had a pretty low key weekend. Pizza friday night. A date night Saturday. Sunday was when the fun happened. I have mentioned before that we live in a small town. I grew up in Charlotte...which is a huge city. I never imagined that I would end up in Eastern North Carolina. If you aren't from around here then you really don't understand what I mean. Eastern North Carolina is like a whole different ball game when it comes to things. It's small towns. It's everyone knowing everyone. It's a slower pace of life.

For example. We rode the rec train yesterday. I know I talked about this earlier when Jack's class rode it at the end of the year. Every Sunday from May to October you can go ride the train at the rec. It's a cute little train that costs $1 to ride. Which is up from the $0.25 that it cost when Patrick was Jack's age. It's really cute and kids love it. We didn't have anything like this in Charlotte growing up. As we were riding around and around the track yesterday I couldn't help but think how excited I am that my boys get to grow up in a town that has something so unique and fun. Patrick still remembers going to the train and riding it as a little boy with his parents. I foresee lots of Sunday afternoons spent here this summer and for many summers to come!

After we rode the train we headed over to watch the summer baseball league, The Wilson Tobs, play a game. Now, I had really never heard of such a thing before moving to Wilson. Sure, I knew there were baseball teams, but I assumed all were the major and minor leagues. This is different. Think the movie "Summer Catch" {please tell me you've seen it? Freddy Prince Jr....anyone?} It's a league where college boys from all other come to play. It's a fun activity for everyone. You can look around and see young kids running around trying to catch foul balls to grandparents sitting in the stands watching. As I sat there and watched the game, looking around, I couldn't help but to think, again, that I feel lucky that my boys get to grow up going to these games each summer. Local families even host these players for the summer. Letting them live in their house. I foresee my boys begging to have a Tobs player live with us each summer.

When we woke up yesterday morning we didn't have a plan for the day. I assumed it would be like every other Sunday. Errands, chores, naps, maybe the pool. As I went to bed last night I couldn't help but think what a fun day we had and that I can't wait until we get to do it all over again!

*Linking up with Biana for weekending

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday! This week has seemed to drag on for me. My favorites this week are per usual...totally random!

O N E // I ordered some canvas prints from the pictures my babysitter took of the boys. I forgot how expensive Canvas can be and thankfully found a great deal! If you are looking to purchase some definitely take advantage of this. You get two 16x20 for $46.99 which usually two would be over $200. I may or may not have bought several vouchers. I plan to hang these two in Jack's room.

T W O// We went to the pool with some friends last night. I was able to capture this picture of these three. They have been friends since they were infants. I wanted to do a side by side of them as babies and now. It's amazing that in 2 short years they have grown so much. Also how cute are Jack and Charlotte. He thinks she is the bees knees. I like to think they will pose like this at prom one day.

T H R E E// Graham can finally sit in the shopping cart! This is such a game changer. I no longer have to lug that heavy carseat into Target or the grocery store. It also frees up so much space. I am not piling groceries on top of him anymore.

F O U R// The other morning the boys were playing on the floor with some Mickey in the background. I looked over and they were both staring at the TV and Jack so sweetly had his hands on Graham's back trying to keep him from falling over. Their bond gets stronger every day.

F I V E// Graham has mastered the art of a cheesy smile and I love it! He goes to town bouncing in this jumperoo and every time he stops he looks over at me and gives this closed mouth grin. It's so cute.

S I X// I got my hair done Tuesday. Who doesn't love getting their hair done. It's one of my favorite things. I think it's the blow out and how it's always 100% better than anything I can ever do. I decided to go from being all one dark color to adding some hi lights. I usually try to lighten myself up in the summer some. {Fun Fact..something most don't know about me is that I'm a natural blonde! Like blonde, blonde. If you remember the pictures I posted from my sisters wedding with my mom and sisters they all have blonde hair and I have brown...If I were my natural color I would look just like theirs.}

* Linking up with April, Andrea, and Karli