Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sunday Dinner, September 20, 2009

This has been a busy week for me. Besides having Emmy here Wednesday through Friday, I've made and canned more muscadine jelly, HOMEMADE SALSA and HOT PEPPER JELLY, and that's in addition to my usual cooking and the odd household chore here and there.

Our neighbor, Mr. S. shared more of his garden bounty with us today, so I'll be making more hot pepper jelly after I fix a quick bite of supper and get Sunday Dinner in hand. The green bell peppers and jalapenos Mr. S. brought over are huge, and just gorgeous!

He also gave us more okra which I'll add to my freezer stash, and some beautiful new crop sweet potatoes that will make some great candied sweet potatoes. I think I'll make some candied sweet potatoes to go with our Sunday Dinner, as a matter of fact.

Did you like how I tied that all together?

Sunday Dinner this week is going to be Chicken Spaghetti. I make it just like my MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE, except I leave out the nacho chips and cook spaghetti to add instead of the chips. I also add a couple of cans of drained whole kernel corn, and I'm adding a big can of sliced mushrooms to it this time.

I have my chicken breasts cooked and cooling right now, so I'll skin and debone them and tear the chicken into bite sized pieces, then combine cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, Ro*tel tomatoes and Vel*veeta cheese in a pot and heat it until the cheese is melted and everything is blended together. The drained corn and mushrooms and torn chicken breast are then added and mixed to combine.

I'll cook my spaghetti until it's still a little al dente, then combine it with the soup/cheese mixture in a large baking pan and refrigerate it overnight. I'll reheat it in the oven when we get home from church tomorrow afternoon. I'll reserve a little of the cheese to slice over the top so it will be all gooey and melted when it comes out of the oven.

With the addition of the Ro*tel tomatoes, corn and mushrooms, the Chicken Spaghetti becomes a perfect one dish meal. You have protein from the chicken, dairy from the cheese, a starch from the spaghetti and plenty of veggies.

I'll also cook my sweet potatoes tonight, then refrigerate them until I get home from church. At that time I'll dot butter over them and sprinkle on plenty of brown sugar. They can cook in the oven at the same time the chicken spaghetti is reheating, so that will work out great.

That's my menu for Sunday Dinner: Chicken Spaghetti and candied sweet potatoes.

What are your plans for Sunday Dinner? Care to share your menu/plans with the rest of us in the comments?As I mentioned earlier, I've been busy again this week canning salsa, hot pepper jelly and muscadine jelly. As Fall approaches and the garden produce and fruits trickle to an end, I want to preserve as much of it as I possibly can. It may sound like a lot of hard work, and it is, but I can sit down for much of the preparation so it's not as tiring as it might seem.

I really like to can, freeze and preserve food because you have something to show for your time and effort. Every time I go into my pantry I can see the results of my labor of love on the shelves, and a jar or two of salsa, jelly or pickles makes a nice gift. It shows that you care enough to share your hard won bounty and in my opinion is a generous gift, more so than something you just buy off the shelf.

Not that there's anything wrong with a purchased gift, just that something homemade has more love and thought to it, I think.My sister DONNA and I may be going camping next weekend in the Ozark Mountains at GUNNER POOL, our favorite camping spot, weather permitting. The wild muscadine grapes are nearly at peak ripening there, so we hope to kill two birds with one stone: enjoy our first camping trip of the year at Gunner Pool and also load up on as many muscadines as we can find and pick to bring home.

The muscadines can be processed to render the juice and the juice can then be made into jelly immediately or frozen to make jelly at a more convenient time.

I'd love to have some of the wild red muscadines for jelly. I haven't had wild muscadine jelly in over 20 years and I've got a hankering for some with toast or hot homemade biscuits.

I'm also looking forward to going camping, especially at Gunner Pool. It's been a long time since we got to camp there and I'm almost afraid to get my hopes up. It's been raining for a week here, and more is forecast for the coming week, so I hope it quits raining at least long enough for us to get our camping trip in.

If it does rain, we may still make a day trip of it on Saturday just to pick muscadines and enjoy the time away in my beloved Ozark Mountains.I've got a lot to do in the next few hours, so I'd better quit yammering on about it and get busy.

I hope y'all are having a great weekend. May God richly bless you with all you need and enough to share.


Lucy Stern said...

Diane, your Sunday dinner sounds yummy..... I hope Lamar enjoys his football game and gets home at a decent hour.... I have no idea yet, what I am cooking for our Sunday dinner...All I know is that it will be easy...

I'm glad that you are enjoying putting up your veggies... You will be greatly blessed this winter when you can open your pantry and just take out a jar.

Don't stay up too late, Diane...Have a great week.

Gigi said...

You sure are one busy woman...between cooking and canning, minding Princess Emmy, farming and "icing" people...I just don't know how you find the time to do it all ;)

I'll pray your weather clears so you can get in a camping sounds wonderful!

Have a blessed week!

Michael Manning said...

Sweet Potatoes! :D) lol to you this Sunday, Diane!

Just Terrific said...

Wow! You sure have been busy! I'll have to try your chicken casserole. It sounds delicious! I've been reading your Sunday posts for a good while now and always enjoy them. I've just got to admit........I don't know what muscadines are. I subscribe to Southern Lady magazine and they featured them in an earlier issue. Maybe they are something that I know by another name or are they exclusive to your area???? Anyway, I hope you get to go camping AND pick muscadines.
My Sunday dinner will be meat loaf, green bean casserole, rice and sweet tea. Have a great week!

Betty said...

You make me feel sooooo lazy.(LOL)
I have some fresh kale that I am going to saute in a little oil with onions and precooked bacon.
I think I will also have sweet potatoes(not candied) and oven cooked chicken breasts in foil.For dessert, Greek yogert(fat free) with fresh blueberries.
~~Hugs and Prayers~~

Rachel said...

The dinner sounds wonderful Diane! I'll bet you are a humdinger of a chef!!! I would love to be sitting there enjoying that meal with you and Lamar!

I ate 2 donuts at church this morning, so I have tried to keep it light after that indulgence! I had 2 chicken strips for dinner and a few almonds later.

The camping trip sounds like fun!! I hope you get to go. We've been getting some of that rain here too.

Hugs and love!! Oh, I did what you suggested about getting my pictures to upload and it worked for me!! Thank ye! Thank ye! Thank ye!! (like Gomer Pyle would say it!). :)

RennyBA's Terella said...

You know I love to read your food reports and how clever you are to make it deliciously.

Camping trip sounds great - keep us posted!

I had roasted moose today - it's hunting season in Norway you know.... and even cloud berries for dessert :-)

Lakeland Jo said...

candied sweet potatoes

Dick said...

My Navy son came up for the weekend to visit and yesterday afternoon I had both of my boys here. We all ate out at a Mexican place Friday night while yesterday Pat fixed spaghetti for all of us for dinner. They were all gone today by noon so we drove to the little waterfront town of La Conner, about 12 miles away, for lunch and then had stuffed green peppers at home for dinner. Rain overnight Friday night but none during the daytime all weekend. That was pretty civilized of the weatherman.

Hootin' Anni said...

I haven't been here to visit with you in so long!!!!! I'm sorry to have been absent, I know I've missed a lot of good blogging.

Mexican Chicken casserole!! Sounds divine. I made chicken for dinner too, but mine was Chinese.

And to go camping in the Ozarks...such beautiful, BEAUTIFUL country!! Enjoy.

Dawn said...

I hope you get to go camping with your sis - I know you enjoy it so much. Do you sleep on the ground? I'd never get back up! You're amazing to tackle that with your arthritis and all!

Reva said...

I like how you fit food into everything you write. Obviously, cooking is your favorite thing to do and you get to share it with your family and friends too. Thanks for sharing. We just did alot of canning and freezing to of vegetables from our garden and alot of apples from my grandma's tree.

jennifer said...

My grandmother used to make muscadine jelly. That brings back memories!

Kellie Bell said...

Hey there! Would you mind sharing the recipe for your muscadine jelly? I just made some for the first time, and I think I need a better recipe

Michael Manning said...

I forgot to add that the Ozark Mountains sounds beautiful! :D)

Brenda said...

Hello Diane!
Your dinner sounds delicious. I love anything Mexican related unless it includes tripe or Mole'.
Reva and I tried our hand at canning applesauce, apple butter and some salsa. We flew by the seat of our pants with the apple butter, but it turned out good.
Have a great time picking your muscadines!