Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Italian Chicken & Moving

I feel like my head is about to fall off trying to get ready for this move to Europe.  Selling as much as possible, going through clothes to decide what to pack in a suitcase and what to let movers take, finishing up crafty projects so I can hurry and give them away before I lose everything to boxes and styrofoam peanuts.  Then I take a quick look around and realize...I haven't gotten anywhere. Gr!  I have less than two weeks left before I head to Washington, and am starting to feel the pressure of making sure everything is perfect so the organization that owns base housing won't dock us anything.  Everything will be fine, though.  I'm horrible under pressure, but I manage to get results at least.

I've been coping with all of this by experimenting with new recipes.  I've managed almost an entire week straight of dishes my hubby and our friends love, which is amazing.  One of my absolute favorites is this Crockpot Italian Chicken.  I found it on Pinterest, but slightly adapted it to fit our tastes.  The original recipe can be found here, but I'll share my altered version.

Crockpot Italian Chicken over Pasta

4 Chicken Breasts (I used two and had more than enough for three people)
1 packet dry Italian dressing
(1) 8oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken soup (can add more if you like, I just like mine ultra cheesy)
Italian seasoning to taste
1 box (or less...or more...up to you) bow tie pasta
Parmesan cheese to taste
Olive oil to taste

Thaw and score chicken using a knife, cutting about halfway into the chicken breast to let seasonings soak in (I make a tic-tac-toe board on my chicken)
Combine cream cheese and cream of chicken in saucepan and melt over low heat, stir in Italian seasoning
Ladle some of cream cheese mixture into bottom of crockpot, then sprinkle some of Italian dressing over it
Place chicken into crock pot, distribute rest of Italian dressing on top
Cover with rest of cream cheese mixture
Cook on low for minimum of 4 hours, can sit all day if needs to

Bring 2-3 quarts water to rolling boil in large pot (add tablespoon of oil to keep pasta from sticking)
Add pasta and cook 7 minutes until al dente
Drain pasta and put back into pot
Pour olive oil (to taste) over pasta and toss until well coated
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and mix well

Serve chicken over pasta. If the dressing is too thick after taking out the chicken, add some milk to thin it out.  Chicken falls apart, so can be shredded, cubed, or just cut into thin slices (my preference is thin slices).  Can sprinkle more parmesan cheese over top if you like!

Can also serve over rice, veggies, whatever you prefer.  I'm a pasta girl, so that's my go to side dish.

Hope you enjoy.  I'm so in love with this meal, I want everyone to experience it!  I suppose I should be productive and keep going through the piles I've managed to build up in every room of our house.  More recipes to come soon, along with some of my new favorite deserts.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Weekend In Pictures

I really didn't have a very eventful weekend, but here is a small glimpse into what occupied my time.

Finally made a tiered serving tray, something I've been wanting to do for quite a while

Purchased this quite gorgeous vintage ring at a thrift store.  Love love love!

Disclaimer: I am not a photographer, I have never claimed to be a photographer, and I doubt I ever will.  I do enjoy snapping pictures though, and when some of our dearest friends asked for me to take family shots, I jumped at the offer.  Here are their gorgeous kids and the amazing couple :)

A very productive and fun filled weekend.