Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sunday Dinner, January 17, 2010 & And An Award!

This should actually be titled "Jessica's Sunday Dinner" because she's cooking it this week, not me. But I'll be eating it, so technically I suppose it's still my Sunday Dinner, I just won't be actually cooking it this week.

You might gather from the Sunday Dinner graphic that we're having MEXICAN CHICKEN CASSEROLE for Sunday Dinner, and you'd be correct, Sherlock.

I have no idea where the original recipe came from but it's been in my family for at least 35 years. When I was growing up it became one of our favorite Sunday Dinner meals and Mama made it often.

I like mine pretty spicy, so I always add cayenne pepper and sometimes sliced jalapenos to my serving. Jessica adds more cheese to hers too, and we serve more Doritos along side.

You can make the casserole as mild or as spicy as you like by choosing mild or hot RoTel, which is a brand of canned tomatoes with green chiles that is common here in the Southern U.S. but not so common elsewhere, I've found.

I have no idea what Jessica is or isn't serving as side dishes or dessert to go with the Mexican Chicken, and it really doesn't matter to me. Somebody else is doing the cooking and that's hunky as well as quite dory with me.

What's for Sunday Dinner at your place this week? Share your plans and/or your menu in the comments if you'd like.Thursday Jessica invited me and her Daddy to eat lunch with her, Emmy and her friend, David. She made 2 big casserole dishes of homemade enchiladas and they were great! I took my cayenne pepper and jalapenos with me and added some to my portion and really enjoyed my 2 enchiladas.

That's all I could eat because Jessica really stuffed them and they were huge! Yummy though, and I appreciated not having to cook. We just had dig ups for supper that night, which is another phrase for what ever you can dig up to snack on. We were still pretty full from lunch!

Have I mentioned that I'm really enjoying having Jessica living only few yards away these days?For Friday's supper I made a HUGE stockpot of my PORTUGUESE BEAN SOUP. And I do mean I made a LOT! Probably close to 3 gallons of the stuff to be more exact.

We had soup for supper on Friday night and we'll have it again for Saturday's supper. I was lazy Friday night and we had saltine crackers with our soup, but I'll make a cast iron skillet of cornbread in a little while to eat with our soup.

I deliberately made way more soup than we'd eat in a couple of meals so I'd have plenty to freeze for later meals. I also deliberately made a big pot of white (Great Northern) beans earlier in the week, planning to use the leftovers in this batch of Portuguese Bean Soup.

One of the most frugal and time-saving things I do when I cook is that I routinely cook double or even triple portions of some foods, planning to freeze them for later meals or to use some of it in other dishes.

For example, several times lately I've cooked ham and saved the bones and cubed some of the leftover meat, then froze them ready to use in beans and other dishes.

I almost never cook beans with just one meal in mind. I cook several pounds at a time and freeze the leftovers to use in other dishes, saving at least a couple of hours of cooking time because the beans are already cooked.

I was able to use those leftover white beans, ham from my freezer, garden okra from my freezer and chopped bell pepper from my freezer in my soup, which really sped up the preparation and cooking time.

I usually have cooked chicken and chicken broth ready to use in the freezer but didn't this time, so I had to cook my chicken and broth and some pinto beans to make my soup. That was okay though, because the other time-saving steps helped cut down on my prep and cooking time.Okay, enough with the cooking tutorials, now on to the award I mentioned in my post title.

My dear blogging friend JULIE@MORE OF HIM - LESS OF ME has graciously given me a blog award and I'm very appreciative.

As I understand it, I'm supposed to share 7 things you may or may not know about me, then pass this award on to 7 bloggers that I think are beautiful bloggers.

I've never been one for blindly following rules and there's no way I can choose only 7 beautiful bloggers to receive this award. If you read my blog or I read yours, please accept this award and post it on your blog.

Or not. I realize I'm not the only one who doesn't always follow the rules.

Now, I've been blogging for almost 5 years so I don't know that there's much that I haven't already told on the blog, but here goes.

1. I love music of all kinds and have very varied tastes. I like everything from old country music, classic rock, bluegrass and even some rap and hip hop.

2. I can sing fairly well and enjoy singing in church. (There's not really any graceful way to say you can say that without sounding like you're bragging, is there?)

3. I love animals of all types and most of them love me right back. I have an affinity for animals and would probably have a menagerie if I had the room and the money to properly care for them.

4. I also have a green thumb and love to raise vegetables and flowers, but I'm not physically able to do much gardening these days. My little apartment yard doesn't allow much room for anything but a few pots of flowers anyway, but I sure miss growing things and my heart skips a beat when those seed catalogs start arriving in my mailbox each January. I still mentally plan a garden and carefully select what varieties of veggies I'd plant if I had the opportunity to make a garden.

5. I had good grades in school and had the opportunity to go to college, but turned it down. I was weary of school and didn't have the faintest idea what I'd have majored in if I'd gone. And if I had the opportunity to go to college right now, I STILL don't know what I'd choose as a major. I have varied interests and know a lot about a lot of things, but no real interest in doing any of them as a job for the rest of my life. I always wanted to be a wife and mother, and I've been content with that. No, more than content, HAPPY with my choices.

6. I'm a voracious reader and most of my knowledge has been gleaned from the books I've read. Until my computer and internet came along books were my passion. I still read a lot, but blogging and Facebook take more of my time, with cooking, crocheting and sewing filling my leisure time here and there. That is, what leisure time I have around watching Emmy most days and my daily routine tasks.

7. Boy, this is harder than I thought, coming up with 7 things! Hmm.....It's not much of a secret that I hate housework. I'm not really a pack rat so much as I tend to let things pile up. I really don't save a lot of things I don't need, but I do put off dealing with stuff a lot of times until it threatens to overtake the house. Just being honest here. But when I DO actually clean, look out! I do it in a big way and tend to keep my head down and plow through until I finish. Since I've developed severe arthritis it's been a struggle for me to try to change the habits of a lifetime and try to work a little at a time instead of working until the job is done. I still overdo a lot and then pay the consequences. It's hard to find the middle ground between doing what needs to be done but not overdoing it.

Phew!! Okay, done. Now, your turn if you'd like to accept the award and list your 7 things I might not know about you. Have at it, and be sure to let me know by comment or email so I can read your list.I've got my post done a little earlier than usual tonight, so I'm going to go put my soup on to reheat and make my cornbread for our supper. I still have to study my Sunday School lesson and take my shower, then after that I'll make myself a pot of Earl Grey tea to enjoy while I check my email, comment on blogs and Facebook a while before bedtime.Y'all have a wonderful Lord's Day. May God richly bless you by meeting your needs and may you have enough to share.


Linda said...

All of that delicious cooking makes me feel downright hungry Diane. I'm so glad Jess and Emmy are close to you now. You will both enjoy the closeness I'm sure.
The meme was fun- you are just as dear as i always knew you were before I even read all those neat things about you. I think we share a lot of interests - except for the gardening part. I have a hard time keeping house plants alive!
Have a blessed weekend Diane.

Mountain Mama said...

Your soup sure does look inviting!! I have been hungry for hamburger soup but have to buy some potatoes first. I just used the last of what I grew last year. Maybe I'll run to the store tomorrow...
That Mexican Chicken Casserole sure looks yummy too. I checked out the recipe and it can't get much easier to make. I guess you can probably tell I haven't had supper yet. LOL
I usually make a large kettle of whatever and freeze a lot too. I love those easy meals!
I'm sure you are delighted to have your girls so close by. My daughter and her little boy lived across the street from me for a while and I loved it.

We really do have a lot in common Diane. Our love of animals, music and singing, gardening, reading,
crocheting,and how you declutter. HAHAHA My daughter told me to get ruthless so I did. Now I can't find a lot of things I need that I'm pretty sure were sold at our yard sale! LOL!
God bless you and yours dear Diane.

Sammy said...

This is a funny post, Diane! I really enjoyed reading your descriptions of that delicious-sounding food, and the meme was fun!

I think it's great that you're happy and satisfied with your life decisions. It's obvious from your writing that you're extremely intelligent and certainly could have done well in college if you had chosen to go, but there are so many choices out there and the most important thing is that you know that you have chosen the right one for yourself.

And by the way, I really had to force myself to finish college. I did not like it at all! (Don't tell my parents!) I loved grad school, but that's so different.

Will you PLEASE record a video of you singing so we can hear your voice??!! :-)

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Belizegial said...

Hi Diane,

Thanks for adding your voice to mine for the folks in Haiti.

I love your Meme and I can see that we share a lot in common - reading, singing, cooking. LOL

Have a great Sunday.

A Merry Heart said...

Yummy post, Diane! HUGS. :o)

Gigi said...

Everything sounds always! I'll be having a salad for dinner with romaine, roasted red peppers, grape tomatoes, asparagus and chicken. I'll probably add some clementines since I have plenty! so that's my Sunday dinner ;)

Have a wonderful week!

Lucy Stern said...

Diane, I'll check out both recipes, they sound great..... I know you are glad that Jessica is cooking today... I've got a chicken in the crockpot for dinner and hurrying to get ready for church....TTYL

Dick said...

That photo almost makes it look like a lasagna from Olive Garden. It does look good. We I think are going to meet my younger son & his family at a Mongolian Grill restaurant near his home for what I'd call lunch, our mid-day meal. Dinner will probably be at home and I don't know yet what it will be.

Bev said...

Your Sunday dinner always sounds so yummy. We're having chicken minestrone, bread and salad while we spend the entire evening watching football!

Brenda said...

I don't think it's bragging if you can sing. It's the one's who can't sing, but think they can sing, and say they can sing that I have a hard time with! Did you get all that? :)
Glad you're enjoying Jess and Emmy's close proximity!
Have a great week.

Dawn said...

I really miss Kristen and the girlies being only 3 doors down - that trip down to their house, though it's only 4 miles each way, gets tiresome and they can't just pop in!

We had fun at my folks' house yesterday with an unexpected visit from our West Point nephew and his beautiful girlfriend - pictures and story over there on the old blog.

MightyMom said...

sew, you threaded that brand new machine yet??

just wonderin.

yummy food

PEA said...

I have no doubt you're loving having Jess & Emmy so near:-) I don't know how you can eat such spicy food, I find black pepper even too spicy for me! LOL I'll never forget going to a Mexican restaurant when I was visiting my two older brothers in Vancouver, BC, back in was my first time eating Mexican food and hadn't realized how spicy it could be...needless to say I drank about 10 glasses of water with my meal, only to find out that was the worst thing I could have done! hehe Lesson learned!!

I think it's a great idea to cook double portions of some food and freeze it. I do that often, especially with spaghetti sauce, soups, etc. and it's so nice to just pull it out when needed.

Congratulations on receiving that well deserved award, my dear friend and thank you so much for passing it on to us:-) Loved learning more about you...wish I could hear you sing!! I can't hold a note if my life depended on it! lol I'm like you, watch out when I get in the mood to start decluttering! lol In fact, I'm still in the process of doing so and it truly does seem like a never ending job.

Hope your week has been going well, dear Diane. Love ya. xoxox

Lib said...

Looks good!Nice of Jess to cook for ya'll,so glad she lives close to ya'll:o)
Hope your having a great wk.

Mary said...


I always enjoy your posts. Your Sunday dinner sounds awesome. It's nice that you ate at Jess' and didn't have to cook. That is a real treat and it sounds like she is a great cook as well.

Like you, my arthritis makes it more difficult for me to clean, so I tend to put it off and then go at it big time. Not sure that's the way to go because then I tire easily and it takes a while to get it done. Still working on the computer room. It's getting better, but a long way from perfect.

Thanks for your comments on my weight loss. It wasn't really that hard. Once I started taking the insulin, my appetite declined. My blood sugars are okay but not where I'd like them to be, but maybe after I see the nutritionist in March.

It must be great having Jess so close.

Stay safe, my friend. Praying those tornados don't do any damage.


RennyBA's Terella said...

Congrats with the 7 things - I'm impressed - and great read too (always good to know a good blog friend even better you know!)

The PORTUGUESE BEAN SOUP looks delicious - so now I'm hungry :-)

Happy weekend to you and yours!

Putz said...

where does a southern girl like you learn to cook portuguese????????