Chicken Bacon Mac and Cheese


Very productive day…finished up some book fair stuff, vented about a lot of things, movie night and tried to weed out some of the girls books. Taylor is a speed reader so we buy a ton of books. She has decided she doesn’t like her Nook, so that didn’t work out like I had planned. The books are multiplying like bunnies. Now I just need to get her to realize that we really don’t need to keep all of them.

I’ve never met a mac & cheese I didn’t love. This one was great.

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni Pasta
1 slice Bacon
8 ounces Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Flour
1-1/2 cups Fat Free Milk
1/3 cup Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Chop bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until done.

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup and gradually add to saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, dill, salt, monterey jack, colby cheese and 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Mix in pasta and chicken.

Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and sprinkle evenly with bacon and remaining cheddar cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Servings: 6

Calories 347
Total Fat 14.9g
Total Carbohydrates 26.5g
Protein 26.1g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find:

Chicken Divan


Megan has had a nagging cough for the last week and a half. I was going to take her to the doctor today but she begged me to wait until tomorrow so that she wouldn’t miss drama and choir. She’d rather miss tomorrow because she only has a test. She was relieved that she didn’t miss drama because they got their roles for their big play. Taylor got the lead and Megan got a mermaid. When Megan was little she always said she wanted to be a mermaid when she grows up. Looks like she got her wish.

One learning from today, Megan doesn’t have asthma but the pharmacist informed me that Delsym cough syrup can trigger an asthma attack if you have asthma. I didn’t get that just in case.

2 (10-ounce) packages Frozen Broccoli, chopped
6 cups Shredded Chicken, cooked
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Sharp Cheddar, grated
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Thaw broccoli in microwave. Drain the broccoli and put into a casserole dish. Add the shredded chicken.

In medium bowl, combine soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, Cheddar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and wine. Whisk together to make sauce. Pour sauce over broccoli and chicken. Mix well.

Pat down evenly. Combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Adapted from Paula Deen

Servings: 8
Calories 525
Total Fat 29.5g
Total Carbohydrates 20.9g
Dietary Fiber 2.2g
Protein 41.6g
Nutrition Grade D+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: GRANDEUR LEOPARD RADIANT Tyler Mixer Melter – Fragrance Warmer

Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese


I had to take Megan shoe shopping for the dance yesterday. Not an easy task at all. Bless her heart, she knows exactly what she wants but we can’t find it anywhere. She’s a women’s size 5 (which is hard to find) and the girls shoes aren’t as grown-up looking as Taylor’s (who is suddenly wearing a women’s size 6-1/2). We have one more place to try today. Crossing my fingers that we find something so that we don’t have an unhappy Megan tonight.

You can’t go wrong with pasta, cheese and bacon. This was super yummy. Perfect comfort food for after-shoe shopping.

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
1 slice Smoked Bacon
1/2 lb Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Flour
1 1/2 cups Fat-Free Milk
1/3 cup Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, do not add any salt.

While pasta is cooking, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Chop bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Pre-heat broiler.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Add cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Spray 8″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and Colby-Jack cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 6
Calories 359
Total Fat 12.3g
Total Carbohydrates 34.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 26.8g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Gloveables Dish Gloves — Red and Leopard with Black Bow

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Stack


My dad is been researching our family tree for months. We had known for years that we are related to John Neely Bryan and that was about as exciting as it got, until a couple of days ago when my Dad discovered that I’m practically Royalty! He discovered we are related to Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry. Which the girls decided is like being related to Ellen since she’s related to Princess Kate. Megan was disappointed that we didn’t discover this before the Royal Wedding so that they would have known to invite us. So from here on out I’ve informed those around me to only address me as Princess or Duchess. Good thing I already had my tiara!

I wonder if they use crock pots at the castle? And do they know how to do Tex-Mex?? I’ll have to work on that when I get there.

1 tsp Canola Oil
1 cup Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Poblano Chile, chopped and seeded
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1-1/2 tsp Chili Powder
14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes, drained
8 oz can Tomato Sauce
Cooking spray
2 cups Chicken Breast, shredded
1 cup Frozen Corn
15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
5 (8-inch) Corn and Flour Blend Tortillas
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 Tbs Cilantro

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, poblano pepper and garlic to pan; cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in chili powder, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Place half of tomato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture.

Coat a 5-quart round electric slow cooker with cooking spray; place 3 tablespoons tomato mixture in bottom of slow cooker. Combine remaining tomato mixture, chicken, corn, and beans.

Place one tortilla on sauce in slow cooker; pour 1 cup chicken mixture over tortilla; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Top with another tortilla. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken mixture, tortillas, and cheese. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours or until cheese melts and edges are lightly browned. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Cut into 8 wedges.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 8
Calories 367
Total Fat 15.0g23%
Saturated Fat 7.1g
Total Carbohydrates 37.8g
Dietary Fiber 8.4g
Protein 27.0g
Nutrition Grade B+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Faux Fur Throw Blanket – Leopard

Chicken Tamale Bake


Okay, just catching up on The Bachelor…..Sean surprising Sarah with her dog was the sweetest thing ever! We raise them right in Dallas. Bless his heart for having to deal with the crazy girls though. Ugh it is so painful to watch sometimes.

I loved this! It’s not as cheesy as it looks in the picture. (I’ve got to figure out a better lighting set-up until we get to daylight savings time.) It was even better the next day. Only 297 calories too!

1 oz Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 oz Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
2 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Fat-Free Milk
1/4 cup Egg Substitute
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/8 tsp Ground Red Pepper
14-3/4 oz Cream-Style Corn
8.5 oz Box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
4 oz Can Chopped Green Chiles, drained
Cooking spray
10 oz Can Red Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Toss the 3 cheeses together.

Combine 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture, milk, egg substitute, cumin, red pepper, corn, corn muffin mix and chilies in a large bowl; stir just until moist. Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 8
Calories 297
Total Fat 10.3g
Total Carbohydrates 33.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.7g
Protein 19.3g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Foxcroft Women’s Leopard Print Cardigan

King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese

IMG_7631Are there certain words you can’t say no matter how hard you try? Trust me, with a southern accent it’s hard to get a lot of words out correctly. For Taylor, it’s “cinnamon”.  So Megan has decided our next pet will be a Maltese named Cinnamon. Cute movie by the way if you like talking Maltese movies.

Two of Johnny’s favorites are Macaroni & Cheese and Chicken Tostitos Casserole. This is like the perfect blending of the two. Except for Taylor who had to pick out all the cheese and Megan who had to pick out all the Rotel….


8 oz Elbow Pasta
2 Tbs Butter
1 (10-oz.) Rotel
8 oz package Velveeta
3 cups Cooked Chicken, chopped
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9″x13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in Rotel and Velveeta; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Stir in chicken, soup, sour cream and cumin. Add pasta and stir. Spoon mixture into baking dish; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Servings: 6
Calories 557
Total Fat 31.0g
Total Carbohydrates 30.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.8g
Protein 39.6g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Rene Rofe Leopard Footed Pajamas for Women

Crock Pot Lasagna


Today was the first day back to school for the girls. Megan went all out. She has a very unique fashion sense. She found the vintage suspenders and tutu on Etsy. Taylor said people were going to think that it was dress like a clown day at school and she followed that with “Please don’t make me walk in with her!”


In honor of Megan and her “explosion of greatness”….. This was really good and crock pot meals are always a plus.

1 lb Ground Beef
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
26 oz Chunky Style Pasta Sauce
1/3 cup Water
8 Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
15 oz Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 cup Lowfat Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Cook beef, garlic, and seasoning in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set aside. Combine pasta sauce and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place 4 uncooked noodles in a 4-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray, breaking noodles to fit. Layer with half of beef mixture, pasta sauce mixture. Spread ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Layer with remaining noodles, meat and pasta sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 hours.

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Servings: 8
Calories 462
Total Fat 12.8g
Total Carbohydrates 49.3g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Protein 35.4g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Dickens and Smith Fun Purple Leopard Print Blanket / Throw

Beef Macaroni and Cheese

This weekend was totally crazy and exhausting. I think I slept a total of 10 hours. Yet somehow I got a second wind to write this blog. If none of it makes sense at least you’ll know why….

The weekend started with a 40th Birthday party for my sister at Terelli’s. Once we got there  her fiancé threw a surprise at us….they were getting married on the roof top on her birthday. It was beautiful.

Next was the only non-fun part of the weekend….a funeral for a truly wonderful lady that I’ve known my entire life….Mrs. B. I love the slideshows at funerals now, but they make me a sobbing mess. Love you Mrs. B!

Then T & M’s sleepover for their 10th birthday. It started out with 6 and quickly grew to 13 because there were just too many people they couldn’t leave out. They sang karaoke, we walked up the street to look at Christmas lights (and along the way they managed to ding dong ditch a few boys) and they wrote about 5 letters with 20 questions for the elves.

One of the letters to the elves asked them to “please make a mess”. They sure did that for them….

Then finally….my niece Rya’s 4th Birthday party…little sweetheart…

After that I got to go home, Johnny still had the Cowboy game to go to.

Somehow through all of that I did manage to cook once….

1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
2 lbs Ground Beef
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Onion, chopped
2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 lb Pasta Shells
2-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking…Heat the oil in a skillet; add the onion and garlic, and saute until soft.

Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper basil, cumin and oregano.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the beef mixture.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Adapted from Paula Deen

Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 681
Total Fat 37.47g
Total Carbs 46.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Protein 38.04g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Michael Stars Women’s Leopard Print Off Shoulder Dolman Shirt

Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine

Today the girls’ school had their annual Veterans Day Program. My father-in-law was a Marine and they love showing him off at school. Taylor proudly said that he had more honors listed than anyone else up there. It’s a really special day for everyone. The school is packed.






Nothing at all to do with Veterans Day but this was really good and everyone was happy!

2 Grilled Chicken Breasts, shredded
3 (10.5 oz) cans Cream of Chicken
12 oz Frozen Broccoli Florets, cooked
16 oz Fettuccine Pasta
10.5 oz Milk
8 oz Mozarella Cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook fettucine according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, warm soup and milk on medium heat. Add broccoli and chicken. Add to pasta.

Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and top with cheese. Cook for 10 minutes of until cheese is melted.

Servings: 8
Calories 437
Fat 15.8g
Carbohydrates 44.3g
Fiber 1.1g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Lee Hiller Designs RAB Rockabilly – Gold Brown and Black Leopard Print – Trivets

Ranchero Chicken Casserole

It’s not easy to blog while crammed in a bed with the hubby, both girls, both dogs, 2 MacBooks and an iPad while trying to get caught up on Big Brother 14. But Taylor begged and pleaded. She’s milking this “last week of summer” thing. She can’t decide what she wants to do for her last day of summer vacation….Six Flags, Hawaiian Falls, Main Event, or IKEA. Really, IKEA??? I blame the “dream” commercial.

10.75 oz can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
4 oz can chopped green chilies
15 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz can tomato paste
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Stir soup, water, chili powder, cumin, chiles, beans, tomato paste, chicken and tortillas in a large bowl. Spoon the chicken mixture into an 8×8 baking dish. Top with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Servings: 6
Calories 477
Fat 9.4g
Carbohydrates 65.2g
Fiber 13.9g
Nutrition Grade A

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Tango Chef Hat (oh I need this!!) …