Saturday, June 1, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

On Christmas we celebrated with some of my family.  One of my grandmother's always knows how to do it right.  We go into the kitchen and the entire counter is filled with food that she has made for us.  It is never just ordinary food.  She makes the BEST food!  I do not even need presents because her filling us up with her cooking is the best present I could have asked for.

The menu last Christmas included chili.  I was a little hesitant to eat this because I am not really a chili fan.  Also, I am breastfeeding and try to stay away from spicy foods.  However, I tried a bite.  And then another...and another!

It was not ordinary chili that you get from Wendy's or put on hot dogs.  This chili is made with chicken.  The cream cheese makes it so smooth and creamy and blends the flavors together to cool down the spices.

A few months later I decided to make it for my husband.  It was a huge hit and he now makes me make it once a week! I always double the recipe and still do not have enough left over to freeze for later!  But it does feed a lot!  I would say about 8 servings.

Little Layla hands attacking my chili!
I think it's one of her favorites too :)


Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

By: Crystal Barrett

Makes about 8 servings                           (Click Here to Print)                                        


Crock Pot

2-3 chicken breasts, uncooked

1 can Rotel tomatos and chilis
1 can corn kernels, do not drain
1 can black beans OR kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. Dry Ranch dressing mix 

1 Tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese , can be low fat but NOT FAT FREE!


Put the chicken breasts in the crock pot. 

Top with the cumin, chili powder, onion powder, corn, beans, and ranch dressing mix.

Stir well.

Cook 4-6 hours on high or 6 -8 on low.

About 30 minutes before it is finished cooking, take out the chicken breasts and shred them.  (Hint: Use a blender it's so much easier than forks!)

Put the chicken back into the crock pot and top with the cream cheese.

Mix well and cook another 30 minutes.

Serve with Tostitos chips or corn bread and enjoy :)

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Springtime Yarn Wreath

For the past year Pinterest has been one of my biggest obsessions.  There are just so many possibilities and things to learn.  My mind has become so full of ideas I can hardly keep track!  Hundreds of recipes I would like to try, folders full of art pieces I want to replicate, and of course there are my favorite....crafts for the home. 

Unfortunately my husband, 2 girls, and I are currently residing with my father in his three bedroom home until we get a house built.  So, all of my crafting ideas either have to wait or I have to make them for others and hope they like them just as much as I would.

I was at my grandma's house and realized she had a wreath hanger...but no wreath on her door.  Here is my opportunity!!!  I was going to make my first wreath for her Mother's Day gift!

Wreaths either just became popular or I just have been out of the loop until recently.  Some are really big and bulky, old fashioned, or my style "simple and classy".  When looking up examples that I liked for inspiration I realized that yarn was being used a lot.  This seemed easy enough!

I packed up the girls, went to Hobby Lobby, and spent at least an hour trying to come up with an idea haha.

I went to the yarn section and picked out a pretty spring color, my favorite color, teal.  Then I walked around looking for anything that would match.  I wanted to aim for simplicity since this was my first aim at it. 

I think it turned out pretty awesome don't you?

I have a list of people that I am going to make some for very soon so I am sure I will be adding some more :)

Here's what I did:
(I should have took more pictures :-/  ... don't worry I will next time :)  )

1 foam wreath
1 roll of yarn in teal
4 artificial flowers.  I chose pastels to match the teal and make it springy.
1 wooden letter
hot glue
glue stick
wreath hanger

Glue the first inch or two of yarn to the wreath to make sure it stays in place.

Wrap the yarn around the wreath.  Make sure the lines are straight and tight so none of the white shoes through the yarn.  This process requires patience!  It takes a little while and your wrist may need to rest but the more you do the faster you get.

Glue the last strand when you close up the gap between the last piece and the first piece of yarn.

Paint the wooden letter.  When dry, glue the letter with stick glue and pour glitter on top.  Let dry.

Pull the flowers off of the stems and hot glue into place on the wreath.

Hot glue the letter onto the wreath.

Hang by ribbon on the door with the wreath hanger.

Click Here to Read More »

Friday, May 3, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie


I love "country" food.  Is that even a thing?  I consider country food warm... and sometimes smothered in gravy or fried ;)  It comforts me in this cool and rainy weather we have been having lately.

Last night was all about warm and comforting chicken pot pie!  I hate to brag's always delicious! :p  Better than Banquet! haha!  Pretty fast too which I love!

My grandma has been dying for me to give her the recipe so she can try it. .. so this one is for her :)
I love you Grandma!! I hope you love it!


Chicken Pot Pie

By: Crystal Barrett

Makes about 5-6 servings


3 tbsp seasoning (I use Butt Rub...yes, it's a real thing :p )
2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c diced onion (optional)

1 3/4 c chicken broth OR 1 can
2/3 c milk

2 can mixed veggies
2-3 chicken breasts
2 pie crusts (from your own recipe or 1 box of already made)


Cut chicken breasts into strips.  Season.

Put a medium sized skillet on medium heat on the stove.  Lightly cover bottom with olive oil.  When hot put the chicken strips in.

Turn once and cook until done in the center.  Chop into cubes or shred with a mixer...which ever way you like it best.

Pre heat your oven to 450 degrees

Go ahead and get all of your ingredients together because once you begin the broth mixture it goes pretty fast.  Above I have already seperated what you need to put together :)

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.

Stir in flour, salt, and pepper (and onion if you choose to use one)

Cook stirring constantly until bubbly.

Remove from heat and stir in broth and milk.

Put the saucepan back on the burner and heat to boiling.  Be sure to constantly stir.  It will begin to thicken.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.

Stir in the chicken and canned vegetables.  Remove from heat.

Roll out your dough and cover the bottom and sides of your dish with the first layer.  I either use a 9x9 glass dish or this round deep dish.

Pour the mixture into the dish on top of the dough.  Cover with second layer of pie crust.  be sure to make a hole or two for the dish to vent or else it went make a huge bubble.

Bake about 30 minutes or until crust is brown and flaky.  Let cool for a few minutes because this dish is very very hot!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bacon and Cheese Barbeque Chicken

Somehow I turn everything healthy into not so healthy! It's not on purpose I promise!  I just think of things and they somehow all seem to add fat or calories! I had planned on making chicken the other night...plain barbeque chicken.  Then I had the bright idea to idea bacon and cheese!

It was such a great idea!  It was freakin delicious!

My husband and dad weren't so happy! They have been on a diet for a while now and I have been kind of ruining that for them.  The chicken looked, smelled, and tasted too delicious for them not to try!  My husband even went back for a second breast!

I plan on adding a few things next time to make this even better than it is (which seems impossible).  But for now I'll share what I have so far :)

Bacon and Cheese Barbeque Chicken:

4 boneless chicken breasts
cheddar cheese
1 bottle Sweet Baby Rays Barbeque Sauce
4 pieces of thick cut bacon

Cover bottom of a 9 x 13 glass dish with barbeque sauce.

Place a piece of bacon down.  Put a chicken breast in the middle so the chicken is laying in the center of a piece of bacon...making a t shape.

Coat chicken in barbeque sauce and poke with holes so the sauce with soak through chicken.

Put a slice of cheddar cheese on top of chicken then wrap entire breast with the bacon.  I cut my cheese slices in half so the cheese would cover entire breast when melted.

Do this with the rest of the breasts.

Cook in oven on 350 for about 45 minutes.

Take out of the oven and check to make sure the chicken is done.  Add a little more shredded cheddar cheese and barbeque if desired.

Place back in oven on broil.  Let broil for about 5 -10 more minutes or until cheese is brown and bacon is crispy.

Click Here to Read More »

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Watergate Salad #SundaySupper

This Sunday Supper is all about Spring!  I love spring!  It is my favorite season!  Out with the cold weather and in with the warm!

When I think of spring I think of flowers, baby birds, Easter, trees full of green again, and of course St. Patrick's day!  I do not really know much about St. Patrick's Day other than everything is supposed to be green.  It was always fun growing up trying to plan my outfits to make sure I was to never be pinched!  Now that I am a housewife with nowhere to go, my food has to be the same way.  I want green, delicious, and creative ideas for St. Patrick's day dinner.

When I was trying to come up with green food ideas the first thought I had was Watergate Salad.  "Green Stuff".  I was introduced to this a few years ago and LOVED it!  It a sweet chilled dessert, perfect for cookouts, and SUPER easy to make.  Plus it has my favorite ingredients...marshmallows and cool whip! MMMM!

This "green stuff" is delicious!  I have been trying to get my husband to try it but since it has pineapple he refuses :( I froze it and made it into ice cream (his favorite thing) so maybe now I have a chance ! I'll let you know how it goes! 

Watergate Salad

By: Crystal Barrett



1 - 3.4 oz package of JELLO Pistachio Pudding mix
1 - 8 oz package of Cool Whip
1 cup nuts.  I used walnuts.
1 can of crushed pineapple.  Do not drain!
1 cup of coconut

1/2 of a bag of mini marshmallows


Mix the pudding mix very well with the package of Cool Whip.

Add pineapples, nuts, coconut, and marshmallows.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.  

*If you want the salad in ice cream form just freeze in the freezer for a few hours.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

#SundaySupper Spring Recipes

The warm weather is creeping in (did you smile, I sure did!) and our first day of Spring, March 20th, is right around the corner! Let’s warm up around the table with our friends from our #SundaySupper team and share delicious spring time recipes! Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day green, green food or spring inspired, our group sure has a menu to please your taste buds!
Green and Spring Dishes Menu Includes:
Apps, Bread, Salads, Soups and Dressings:
Main and Sides:
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

Click Here to Read More »

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Roast and Vegetables

Pot Roast is one of those meals that just warms you up.  On a cold night, this is one of my favorites to make!  It is easy, made in the crock pot, and makes your entire house smell delicious! 

I absolutely adore my crock pot!  Having two tiny babies, all I have to do is throw some things in there and get on with my day.  When dinner time comes, the food is already ready! I don't have to worry about making a mess, setting timers, or getting dinner cooked before bed time.

This week has been very busy for my home.  The other day we had several appointments to get to so I decided to throw a roast in my crock pot so dinner would be done when we got home. 

Usually when people make a pot roast they use beef.  While grocery shopping I told my husband that I wanted to make a pot roast.  He accidentally picked up a pork roast instead.  I am not going to lie...when I put this thing in the crock pot and realized it was not beef I got kind of upset.  I was expecting it to be salty and chewy like pork usually is.  I was not happy at all.  However, I let my husband and dad try it first and they really liked it!  When I tried my first bite, I was very shocked!  It was actually better than the beef!  Not only was it more tender, but it gave more flavor to the vegetables!  The broth stayed clear unlike brown when you use beef, and the potatoes didn't turn brown or mushy!  This will be used every time fro now on!

Sorry for getting upset honey! :-)  You made an awesome mistake :-)

This is my favorite recipe!  Whenever I have ate a roast at other people's homes, the meat just seems too dry.  I like my roast juicy and tender.  Chicken broth and a slow cooker is the secret :)

You need:
Crock Pot
Bag of baby carrots
1 - 2  onions
1 lb fresh sliced mushrooms
4 - 6  medium brown potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
Pork roast (whatever size you would like, as long as it fits in your crock pot)
48 oz container Swanson's Chicken Broth

Slice up your onions and separate them.  Place most of them in the bottom of your Crock Pot (about 3/4 of them.) 
 Put your roast in on top of the bed of onions.  
Wash and cut the potatoes up into 1 inch cubes.  Layer the potatoes on top of the roast.  
Now layer the carrots, followed by the mushrooms.  If you choose to use the celery and green pepper, layer them on top now.  
Next, place the final slices of onions on top.  (My picture doesn't show the layers because my husband just dumped all of them in at one time haha)
Slowly pour the broth into the crock pot.  You'll want the liquid to cover the potato and carrot layer, but not the final onion layer (as the roast cooks - the roast and veggies will settle)  Any left over broth could be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days or placed in the freezer for 6 months - in case you have any left over. 
Cooking with the lid on - this thing takes a while - minimum of 6-8 hrs on high or 10-12 hrs on low.  Your choice.  You know it's done when the roast is fork tender - basically if you stick it on the side with a fork it'll start to come apart. 


I serve mine in a bowl with juices and all!

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes with White Chocolate Crust #SundaySupper

When I heard #SundaySupper was having a cheese, cake, and cheesecake week I was so excited!  I knew I had to join in on the fun!

Cheesecake is by far one of my favorite desserts!  I could eat it every day!  Matter of fact when I was pregnant...I did :)  My husband would buy me cheesecake whenever we went to the grocery store and sometimes even had to make special trips out!  Not only was it delicious, but it always made me feel better.

This week I was planning on making a homemade cheesecake, but when I went on a trip to the store I came upon a tub of Philadelphia Cheesecake Filling!  Fantastic!  I'm a mom of two tiny babies... so not only would this be more convenient for me to make cakes with, but what I have left over I can just eat straight out of the tub :-)  YUM!

I decided I would use white chocolate as a main crust because I love love love white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from Olive Garden.  Instead of using white chocolate in the cheesecake though, I thought it would be neat to make the cheesecake more tart with raspberry and use the sweet chocolate for the crust.  It worked!

Here's the recipe I used:

Cupcake Pan
24 Cupcake liners

1 Tub of Philadelphia Cheesecake Filling (or 24 oz of your own no bake cheesecake recipe)
1 Bag frozen raspberries (thawed out)
1/2 c sugar
2 c white chocolate chips
36 Nilla Waffers

1/2 bag of dark chocolate raspberry melts (optional for decoration)

Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Crush up the Nilla Wafers so they are fine crumbs.

Melt white chocolate chips according to package.

Push the white chocolate onto the bottom and sides of the cupcake liners creating a "bowl".

Spoon crushed Nilla Wafers into the bottom of the cupcake liners.

After the white chocolate has completely dried, spoon the cheesecake filling into the cups.  Even the tops out with a spoon.

Mix raspberries in a small bowl with 1/2 cup sugar.  Mash the raspberries with the back of a spoon until they are smooth.

Spread the raspberry sauce on top of the cheesecakes.

For decoration I melted dark cocoa raspberry melts into a mold.  Once they cooled I took them out carefully and places on top of the cheesecakes.

Below are some other great Recipes from other #SundaySupper members for our "Cheese, Cake and Cheesecake week!!

Cheese –
Cakes –
& Cheesecakes

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing our love of Cheese, Cakes AND Cheesecakes!  Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST!
Follow the #SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. 

Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7PM Eastern Time and share your favorite Cheese, Cake and Cheesecake Recipes with us! 
Click Here to Read More »

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pina Colada Cake

I LOVE the beach!  Anything warm and tropical makes me happy! Including things that remind me of being at the beach...such as coconuts, pineapple, and pina coladas!

My husband is the exact opposite!  He hates the beach, hates pineapple, and really hates coconut!
Usually we argue about who is crazier, but on this cake... I don't argue.  Why?  Because I am happy with not having to share :-)

My cousin introduced me to this cake when I was really little and I haven't had it since!  It has really been weighing on my mind for years, so I decided to recreate it my way....and MMMM!  It was good!

It's full of coconut flavor, pineapple, and cool whip.  If your feeling can even add in some coconut rum :-)  I would have totally done that if I didn't have to share with my 1 year old!

Pina Coloada Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix (or your own made from scratch kind)
8 oz cool whip
1 can crushed pineapple
1 bottle cream of coconut
1 bag shredded coconut
coconut rum (optional)

Make yellow cake mix according to box and bake in a 13 x 9 pan.

When it is done, poke holes in cake and pour bottle of cream of coconut on top.  If you are using rum, now would be when you would sprinkle a few tablespoons on top of the cake.

Let the cake cool.  As it cools, the cream of coconut will soak through cake (making it really moist!)

When the cake is cooled spread coconut all over the top.  I only used half a bag but you can use the entire thing if you like.

Next, I spread cool whip on top of the coconut layer.

Evenly distribute the crushed pineapple on top of the cool whip.

Now sit back, eat your cake, and pretend you're in paradise!

Click Here to Read More »

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup #SundaySupper

Warm.  Flavorful.  Kick of spice.  Comforting.

For those of you that have had Brunswick Stew know exactly what I am talking about!

Brunswick Stew can only be found in my home town (from what I have found anyways) and seems to only be sold from church fundraisers!  Everyone I know stocks their entire deep freezer up with this stuff when it is being sold to hold on to through the rest of the year.

While living in Jacksonville, this is one of the things I missed the most.  I got sick twice while there and craved for this stew so bad!  I couldn't find it anywhere!  So the moment I moved back..low and grandma had some in her freezer she pulled out for me :)

All better!

For those that know me, unless it is soup from Olive Garden or Brunswick Stew, I am not a soup lover at all!


I found out an easy and fast way to make Brunswick Stew!  Better yet...I found a way to make the "stew" into "soup"!

Woohoo!  No more waiting until December!  Which was fantastic because I got sick this past weekend and needed this!


Usually it doesn't have noodles...but I LOVE pasta and want noodles in almost everything I make haha.


Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup

By: Crystal Barrett


2 tbsp olive oil
1 large chopped onion
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 medium cooked chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 small bag lima beans
1 can drained corn
1 can green beans (optional)
8 oz. boiled elbow noodles (optional)
1/2 c ketchup
tomato juice


Start off by sauteing onion in olive oil in a huge pot over medium high heat until they are translucent.

Add tomatoes, chicken, cayenne pepper, and lima beans.  Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat then reduce to simmer for about 25 minutes.

Add yellow corn, ketchup, and cooked noodles (if desired).  Add tomato juice to desired thickness.

Heat another 5 minutes.

Serve and feel better :)

P.S.  There may be a lot of Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup left..but don't fret!  It is freezable!  Just put them in Glad containers and stick in the freezer.  Pull out on a cold night when you are sick or don't want to cook, stick in the microwave, and voila!


The #SundaySupper family will be digging out their stock pots and slow cookers to serve up these amazing soups:

Do The Chicken Dance (chicken {or other poultry} soups)

Where’s The Beef (Beef Soups)

Pass The Pork. Please (Pork or Sausage Soups)

Under The Sea (Seafood Soups)

Eat Your Veggies (Chock Full o’ Vegetables Soups)

Some Don’t Like It Hot (Chilled Soups)

Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our  #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday

We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun.

Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

Don’t forget to check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Join us Around the Family Table this Sunday at 7pm Eastern Time and share your favorite soup, stew, chowder or bisque recipes with us!

Click Here to Read More »