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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Classic Chicken Divine

  1. Classic Chicken Divine
    This is a classic recipe popular in the 1950's and 1960's. My mom fixed it regularly when I was growing up. Recently I posted about it on Facebook and some of my friends asked for the recipe. Many of the recipes on Pinterest do not call for curry powder and some call for mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup. I'm sure it's great that way too, but in my opinion, this is the best recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. 20 oz frozen broccoli or a  lg fresh bunch of broccoli
  4. 2-3 cups Chicken breasts, slightly cooked & cubed (it will cook more in the oven, so no need to cook it more than 10 minutes)
  5. 2 cans Campbell's cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  6. ½-1 cup Hellman's Mayonnaise (I use 1 cup)
  7. 1½ tsps fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  8. ½ tsp curry powder (or more to taste)
  9. 1 cup shredded original Velveeta cheese ( can use sharp cheddar cheese but I like Velveeta better)
  10. 1-2 cups bread crumbs
  11. 3 tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Thaw frozen broccoli, but don't cook it. If you are using fresh broccoli steam it just till tender, but not too long because it will cook more in the oven; drain. Arrange in greased shallow casserole pan. I use my glass 9"x13" pan. Layer cut up chicken on top of
Broccoli. Combine lemon juice, soup, mayonnaise, curry powder and cheese. Spread evenly over chicken. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over top. Bake for 30 minutes or til brown on top. I like to serve this on top of rice. Serve immediately.

Creamy Broccoli Soup - My Favorite

This broccoli Soup recipe is quick, easy and delicious! It takes only a total of about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. A little old lady gave me this recipe in the 80's and I've never found another one that compares to it. The secret of the creaminess is the cream of mushroom soup, Half and Half (or real cream) and Velveeta cheese. Most other recipes call for cheddar and theythe good, but this is my absolute favorite broccoli soup recipe.

Creamy Broccoli Soup 
Gluten Free
Creamy Broccoli Soup

48 oz can chicken broth or 4 - 15oz cans (sometimes I add Chicken Bullion to water if I don't have enough chicken broth)
2 - 10 oz bags/boxes frozen broccoli or 1 whole head fresh broccoli (cut up in bite size pieces)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 stick butter (8 Tbs)
2 cups Half and Half (or heavy cream)
16oz Original Velveeta (that's half of the big 2 lb box)

If you're using fresh broccoli, steam it till it's tender (but not too done)
In the meantime put chicken broth, butter and mushroom soup in a large pan. Stir with a wisk to smooth it.
Cut Velveeta in cubes or grate it with a grater and add to the chicken broth mixture. It's hard to grate it though because the Velveeta is so soft. That's why I cut it up. Heat on low till cheese is melted, stirring as it's melting. Keep stirring so it won't burn on the bottom.
After cheese has melted, add broccoli to the soup. Last, add the cream or Half and Half and heat through for just a few minutes. This should all only take 30 minutes or less.
It's delicious!
No flour so it's gluten free! The soup is thick enough on it's on.

NOTE: I think there's nothing worse than cooking broccoli (or other vegetables) too long. You want the broccoli to still have that bright green color. My mom was a great cook and I loved her cooking but I have realized over the years that she way overcooked things liked broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans and some other veggies. Actually I hated Brussels sprouts growing up, but I love them, now that I learned to bake them or saute them in butter (not tons of water). I've used the frozen broccoli before and it's just as good, but if I have time I like to buy it fresh. (Cut it up and steam it). Of course, when I use the frozen broccoli I don't cook it. I just thaw it out, drain and add it to the soup.

Creamy Broccoli Soup 
Gluten Free

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Peek A Boo Shrug

My Peek  Boo Shrug Design published in Kim Werker's Book, Get Hooked Again.
See link to FREE hat pattern below.

Many of you have probably heard of Kim Werker, who actually started the famous blog she called "Crochet Me". There are  many free patterns  posted, as well as paid patterns and all kinds of info about
crochet. After a few years she retired from that blog and it is now run by Interweave Crochet. 

 But years before she retired, Kim wrote her book Let's Get Hooked, which was geared 
more for young women. The designs would actually appeal more to teenagers. Then later, she decided to do Get Hooked Again! and she opened it up to other designers. So I submitted this shrug and skull cap and she accepted both for the book. There wasn't enough room in the book for the hat, so she put it on her blog as a free pattern here

Free Pattern
Peek A Boo Hat by 
Mary Jane Hall

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fresh Tomato Pie

Fresh Tomato Pie
If you're from the south you've most likely heard of Tomato Pie, and if not, you're in for a real treat!  This tomato pie is good as a side dish with any meal, but many times I eat a warmed up slice for breakfast. So good! I've seen a lot of recipes for this pie and have tried some of them, but I have to say, I like my version best.
Fresh Tomato Pie
The first recipe I ever tried, that my brother gave me, did not say to saute the onions and they came out a little too crunchy for me. So now I always cook them first and it's much better. Also, I didn't like the oregano it called for, but did love the taste of the basil. I've also seen some recipes that call for fresh garlic, but I prefer garlic powder in mine. The mozzarella and mayonnaise mixture tops it off just perfectly! Another thing is that if you don't place the tomato slices on paper towels and salt them (to draw out more liquid) the tomatoes will make the pie soggy and not as good. My version is just perfect, so I hope you'll try it and enjoy it!

(makes a deep dish pie)

1 pie shell (I used All Ready Pie Crust by Pillsbury)
3-5 fresh tomatoes, sliced
1 cup sweet Vidalia onion, thinley sliced
1-2 slices bacon, cooked (optional) It's just as good if you don't have bacon
¾-1 cup Hellmans mayonnaise (not fat free and not Salad dressing)
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon sugar (optional)
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Parsley (optional)
Dill weed

Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pie shell for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let it cool.
While crust is baking, slice tomatoes ¼" thick and place them on paper towels to soak up excess liquid. Salt the tomatoes to bring out more liquid and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Put another paper towel on tomatoes to blot out more liquid.
     In the meantime, cook bacon, leaving grease in the pan.  Saute sliced onions in bacon grease. After crust has cooled, spread ½ cup mozzarella cheese onto crust. Then place ½ of the tomato slices on top of the cheese. Sprinkle tomatoes with sugar, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Next spread cooked onions on top of tomatoes. Spread another ½ cup mozzarella cheese on top of onions.
Place remaining tomato slices on top of cheese, then sprinkle on the spices. (Garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper). If you're using bacon this would be the time to break that up and place on top. If you have some green onions sprinkle some chopped ones on to of this.
In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining mozzarella cheese, parsley and mayonnaise.  Spread this cheese mixture on top of tomatoes. Then sprinkled some dill weed on top of all.
Pie Shield 
Place pie in heated oven and let it cook for 25-30 minutes. Toward the last 15-20 minutes you may have to place a pie crust shield around edges. If you don't have one, put aluminum foil around crust edge so it won't get too dark. Watch pie so it doesn't get burnt on top. You do want it to be a crusty brown though.

Let the pie cool 15-30 minutes before serving, so it will set up. I think it is best when warmed up the next day, but I'm sure you could eat it cold too!
Note: I did not have parsley this last time I made it and it was great without it.
Please enjoy the recipe! You're in for a treat!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Curried Rice

Curried Rice

This is a side dish I like to fix when I make Coconut Chicken, but I also make it with many other main dishes. Curry goes with so many things and it is eaten in many cuisines such as Thai, Chinese, Indian and African dishes. I learned to love curry chicken when I was a little girl in the Philippines where my parents were missionaries. I'm In fact, I have the  recipe for Chicken, Curry and Rice my mom fixed HERE.

Curried Rice

1 cup white rice (or brown)
6 Tb butter (or coconut oil)
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1-2 tsp yellow curry powder (I like it best with 2 tsps)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional- golden raisins, ¼ cup sweet coconut flakes
Note: if you don't have coconut milk you can use 2 cups chicken broth or 2 cups water, instead of 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water, as in the recipe. I like the taste of the coconut milk, but have used all chicken broth many times. It kind of depends what main dish you're fixing with it.

Saute onions and celery in butter (or coconut oil) in large frying pan or large sauce pan (this makes about 6 cups rice when it's finished so make sure your pan is large enough).
Cook onions and celery till onions are translucent. Add rice and curry powder to the onion mixture and stir all together for about 2 minutes to coat rice. Add water and coconut milk. When it boils, cover pan and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until rice is tender and rice is absorbed, about 18-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and coconut if desired.
Note: If using brown rice, you'll need to cook it longer than that and probably add more liquid.

I hope you enjoy this!

This Curried Rice goes great with Coconut Chicken. The recipe I use is

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Macaroni Salad - No Sugar

My Favorite Macaroni Salad with No Sugar

I am not a huge fan of sweet macaroni salad. I will eat it and enjoy it, but several years ago a little old man brought his version of macaroni salad to a church potluck and I loved it so much that I had to have his recipe. That was many years ago and I have lost that recipe, so I had to try and come up with a version on my own, trying to replicate his. I think I pretty much figured it out since I remember some of the basic ingredients. I do know for sure it was not sweet. There are many more ingredients you can add to macaroni salad, which I don't add to my recipe, and I've listed some below as optional. Actually my recipe is similar to my potato salad in the fact it has lots of eggs and I always use Hellman's mayonnaise. If you do prefer sweet macaroni salad, just as add some
sweet pickle relish and a little sugar. I hope you enjoy this!

1 lb dry macaroni
6 hard boiled eggs
1-1½ cups Hellmans mayonnaise
1-2 Tbs yellow mustard
2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1-1½ cups black olives, sliced
Milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional- sweet pickle relish, chopped celery, grated carrots  canned tuna, frozen green peas.

Cook the eggs and let cool before peeling. Set aside. Boil the macaroni and drain in a colander, rinsing the starch off so it won't stick together. After it has drained, place in very large bowl.
While the macaroni is cooking, chop the green pepper and sweet onion. Then slice the olives. Add to the macaroni. Grate the eggs into the macaroni with a grater. Add mayonnaise and mustard. Stir this all together. Add black olives. Taste and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Add more mayo if needed. If you want it a little more creamy, just add some milk or cream, but not too much.