Sunday, February 19, 2012

Catching Life

By no means do I believe myself to be any sort of photographer. I like to play with my camera. In fact, I couldn't even tell you what kind of camera I have. Hold on. I'll check.

It says Canon Rebel xsi on it. If you know anything about cameras, maybe that means something to you. To me it just means that the thing takes way better pictures than my phone does.

This weekend, I went to my favorite place: My Gran's. While there, I took a trip to historic downtown Conway and took pictures all along the Riverwalk and Main Street. I'm pretty happy with some of the shots, so I'd thought I'd share a little bit of the South.

It's really a beautiful place.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chicken and Red Rice

When I was a kid, my mom had this recipe book that she used to cook a few things out of. (This is a big deal because my mom is a self-proclaimed non-cook). The cookbook looked like it was used every day for years because it was falling apart and bound by a rubber band. One recipe she would make from time to time that we all liked was Chicken and Red Rice. Although, I don't know that we ever really knew what that recipe tasted like because my mom was (is) a firm believer in "If we don't have it already in the fridge or cabinet, we don't need it" kind of recipe follower. I think it always tasted a little different every time she made it, which was fine because we all loved it anyway.

Flash forward to me when I first got married over ten years ago. I could kind of cook, but not really. I think the hubby and I lived off of the same 3 dishes until we got sick of seeing and eating them. So I went to my mom's house and tried to find really great recipes. They were scarce, but one I did steal was the Chicken and Red Rice recipe.

I make it at least once a month and it's just as good as it's always been. It's my ten-year-old's favorite dish. And today when I told my seven-year-old what I was making for dinner she jumped up and down, yelled yippee, and then had to go tell everyone else in the house. So yeah, it's good.

It can serve 6 if you don't want leftovers.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Four Chicken Breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can tomatoes, mashed up
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°
  2. Melt butter in a large baking dish while the oven heats
  3. In a small bowl, mix flour, salt, paprika, poultry seasoning, and pepper
  4. Dip chicken bites into flour mixture, coating well and place in baking dish with melted butter
  5. Bake chicken bites for 25-30 minutes until browned
  6. While the chicken is baking, mix all of the chopped veggies, crushed garlic, oregano, and rice in a container
  7. Then, in a small saucepan, boil your chicken broth and tomatoes
  8. Once the chicken is done baking, remove the pieces from the baking dish (just put them on a plate or something) and then pour your rice mixture into the baking dish, spreading it out so it evenly covers the bottom
  9. Put your chicken bites back in the dish on top of the rice mixture
  10. Pour your sauce pan of broth and tomatoes over the whole dish and put it back in the oven for 45 minutes.

Usually, while this is cooking, my hubby makes a big salad with all the works and I make a big pitcher of sweet tea. It's one of those meals where plates get so clean they don't look like they've even been eaten off of. That's what I call cooking success!


1961 Helps Me Shape My Bread Loaves

Baking Homemade Bread: How To Shape Loaves

Rolled Dough Method

Step 1
With rolling pin, roll dough out to uniform thickness, stretching by hand to form rectangle approximately 9″ x 12″. Make certain to break down all gas bubbles in the outer edge of the dough.
Step 1 - Rolled Dough Method -
Step 2
From upper edge, roll dough toward you, jelly roll fashion, sealing dough with heel of hand after each roll of dough. (About four turns will bring you to last seal.) Be sure to seal final seam on bottom of loaf.
Step 2 - Rolled Dough Method -
Step 3
Seal ends of loaf by using the side of hand to get thin sealed strip.
Step 3 - Rolled Dough Method -
Step 4
Fold sealed ends of loaf under, using fingers. Avoid tearing dough.
Step 4 - Rolled Dough Method -
Step 5
Place shaped loaf, with seam side down, in well greased bread pan (approx. 8″ x 5″ top inside measure).
Step 5 - Rolled Dough Method -
Step 6
When bread has risen until doubled put pans in oven, leaving space around each pan so heat can circulate freely around pans.
Step 6 - Rolled Dough Method -
Source: Robin Hood Breads & Rolls, 1961