Saturday, February 20, 2010

Poppy Seed Chicken

This is a great recipe and a favorite at our house. You could easily half the recipe because it does make a 9x13 pan full OR do like I do, make it then freeze what we don't eat for another meal later. This is a very popular dish in the south and I took 2 different recipes I had and combined them. I sure there are a ton of different ways to make Poppy Seed Chicken but this is how we like it at our house. As with most casseroles, it tastes so much better the next day. So I like to make it the day before and then just reheat it - so good & easy for during the week!

Poppy Seed Chicken

1 whole chicken, boiled, de-boned & chopped (you may also use chicken pieces or a package of boneless chicken breast)
2 cans of cream of chicken
1/2 cup chopped celery
16 oz sour cream
1-2 tablespoon of poppy-seeds (I don't measure just throw a palm full or so in)
3 tubes of Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter, melted
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken & cut or tear into pieces. Mix cooked chicken, cream of chicken, sour cream, celery, and poppy seeds & black pepper. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish. Put Ritz crackers in a large zip-lock bag and crush. Add melted butter to crackers. Pour of the chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

I like to eat mine over rice and AB likes his over mashed potatoes. But you don't have to eat it over anything, it's that good! I also like to serve a salad with it. I love this recipe & love that it freezes so well. Some recipes omit the celery and add almonds. Some recipes also call for cream of mushroom & cream of chicken. I just use whatever I have on hand but I normally keep both in the pantry most of the time. Don't feel like cooking chicken, I bet this recipe would be just as good with a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Make this for your next potluck, church luncheon, or make it to take to a friend who might enjoy some good ol' comfort food. But most definitely make it for you & your own family!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Faithful & Fearless Part I

Me, this Nancy often lives a life of fear. Fear from what I am not even sure of but I do know that that small, four-lettered word holds me back from many things. I hope I can get all the things I want to say on here, and forgive me if it's kind of an all over kind of post...I have so many things I want to say and share.

Yesterday, February 10th was a day I will never forget. It started at 6:30am when I received a call to substitute, I accepted, got up, showered, got ready and headed to "my assignment." I first go to the wrong school, then go the wrong direction because I had the wrong directions, fight a ton of eager parents dropping off their children and insane amount of traffic, finally get to the right school, park and realize I can't get in because I'm parked in the back...get back in my car, go around to front (after fighting more traffic), park, go in only to hear "you're late!" as the first words of the school secretary. I was crushed. It had already crossed my mind before I even got to the school to just turn around and go home. I already felt like a failure and it wasn't even 8 in the morning. I got to the classroom, I'm sure with a "help me!" look on my face. There was a co-teacher in the class, so essentially that means I sat, okay stood all day and did absolutely nothing. Helped a few kids here and there but other than that just observed the other teacher. Not exactly a thrilling day. Yes, while I still was getting paid for the day but when I substitute, I love to get in there and be a teacher. I mean after all, that is what I want to be is a teacher - not a warm body. I think from 8am til 3pm, I spoke a total of 20 words (including to other teachers) because I have noticed as a sub, you essentially non-exist to the other teachers. Which isn't the greatest feeling in the world, but I go there to do a job and I have learned to accept it, I guess.

So my day was spent back holding back tears - for some reason I felt soooo alone. At 3am, I signed out and went to my car hoping to feel relieved yet I didn't. I pull out of the school and the tears start coming...I mean out of control, I couldn't stop them if I wanted too. And that is when FEAR sank in. Well, it always lingers in the back of my silly brain, but at that moment - I was like "God, you can't possibly be serious?!" Mind you I was not even praying, shouting at Him to hear me and pull me out of this pit because I had no words, at that moment or all day really. I fought what He was telling me to do...but I knew if I didn't follow His command and be obedient, I might never get out of that pit. And I thought...well it can't possibly make this day any worse! What is the worse that could happen? Even thought I thought and told myself, who goes to a church at 3pm, a sobbing mess especially to a church I've attended once. So I got to 1604, took a left to get on and head home...instead I stayed on the access road. Drove a couple hundred yards and pulled into the church where I attend Bible study. Okay, Allen & I have visited there once and I just started Bible study literally last week. And we have talked that it would possibly be our church home, but we haven't gotten that far. I get to the church parking lot, park in the "special needs" lot because it's closet to the door and well okay at the time I thought this was a "special needs" case. Walk into the church doors, secretly hoping the offices would be closed, they weren't. I went in - it was silent. No one was around and I just stood there, thinking okay I came no one is here, I can leave now...oh then someone walked through the day. She said can I help you? It was all I could do to say "is there someone here that can help me? or talk to me?" honestly I'm not sure what I said between all the tears. She told me the preacher was not there and if it would be okay if I spoke with someone else. She walks me to a door and well, it is my Bible study teacher. We talked for an hour and she prayed one of the most amazing prayers with me.

I left there a new person. A few hours later, I went to Bible study where we are studying the book of Revelations with Beth Moore. Who is amazing by the way! After Bible study, I started piecing my day together. You see, I don't believe in coincidences...that morning on my way to sub I was praying for my day to go well, for God to give me patience, an open heart, and all the things to do a good job! Little did I know...God was going to teach me sooo much more than all those things. Since we have moved to San Antonio, it has been an uphill battle for me. I have struggled with depression, anxiety, fear, sadness, hopelessness, all things that as a Christian I thought I was exempt from. Well, I just never really thought of myself as those things...but wow if I want to be honest with myself, then yes all those things. While I know I still have a way to go on this journey, I do know God had his hand in yesterday. And I mean all the way down to the little details. I can honestly say, yesterday which what I thought was one of the worst days ever turned out to be one of the most beautiful days in a very long time. My heart melts to know He thinks that much of me, to plan my day down to every detail...He truly amazes me!

There is so much more I want to share and remember from the day but I know this post is probably long and I don't want anyone to miss out on something because it's too long. So.... be continued!

This song has been on my heart and mind lately so I thought I'd share. Beware, some of the photos are graphic but so real, just be sure no little eyes are watching with you.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, do we pray to be blessed with the wealth of this land;
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness
...I want to be like my Jesus"
Todd Agnew - My Jesus