Chicken slow cooker pot pie and Muffin Flats

Recently I discovered a new soup on the shelf in our local grocery store.
‘Cream of Chicken with Herbs’
Most of my cooking is experimental at best, so I decided to give this new soup a try.

I mixed a the can of soup with a 3/4 can of water and a 1/2 tsp of lite salt and poured it in my slow cooker.
I cut up a couple chicken breasts  in to hearty size pieces and put them in the slow cooker and stirred them around to cover them in the soup.
I cooked them on high for a few hours.
When the chicken was fully cooked, I added fresh carrots and sweet peas.
I let it cook for another hour. Fresh carrots take a long time to cook in the slow cooker. I should have pre-cooked them in the microwave.
After the carrots were finally cooked, I added a cup of minute rice to the slow cooker.
I let it cook for about a half an hour more

I served it in a bowl with a side of muffin flats made with Jiffy muffin mix. Muffin flats is what I call the way I make my muffins now. I cook them in a whoopie pie pan. Muffin flats seem much better for us grown-ups than cupcake shaped muffins.
Yes, I realize that some folks would call them muffin tops instead of muffin flats. However, since it’s my whoopie pie pan and my oven I bake them in, in my kitchen with a batter mixed by my own hand, I can call them anything I want. 😉

The chicken slow cooker pot pie tastes quite a bit like a regular chicken pot pie without the crust.
The sweet muffin flats pair well with it.
This falls into my favorite food group of ‘comfort food’.
It’s pleasantly filling and would be great on a cold winter day.

My journey into experimental cooking with the ‘Cream of Chicken with Herbs’ soup and creating ‘Chicken slow cooker pot pie’ was a mighty tasty success.

Wishing you all success in your cooking and crafting experiments.

Post inspired by:
2017 WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Experimental
“Show us your interpretation of today’s theme, “Experimental.”



Five For Friday – hummingbird – carrots – garden news- my clutch pattern

8-18-2016-hummingbirdThere’s an adorable little round hummingbird feeding at our feeders. We’re guessing it may be a baby girl. It sure is cute.

20160819_095857I harvested the rest of the carrots. There wasn’t many. Just enough to freeze for one cooking of a winter soup. Now, when the cold of winter comes knocking, I’m prepared for the first soup of the year made with mostly homegrown ingredients. As delicious as it sounds, I’m not in any hurry to make it though. 😉

P1050128My husband mowed the garden down last weekend. Now it’ll rest until we decide to put in a garden  again somedayP1050024My herb garden hasn’t faired well during the dog days of Summer. The herb garden’s so dry that I doubt any of the herbs survive. Only the rosemarys are hanging on with any sort of chance. I’m especially hoping my ‘Madeline Hill Rosemary’ survives the winter and comes back strong next year. It’s special to me because my Brother sent it to me. If the herbs all die out and don’t come back next Spring, I’ll most likely just plant some annual flowers in the little garden bed. That may be pretty. We’ll see…

00-protoclutchI had enough luck making my clutch/wallet by the McCall’s pattern that I was inspired to make my own version of the pattern. I’m changing up some things like the size, amount of dividers and how it goes together. This is my first try, a proto-type. It didn’t turn out like I wanted. It’s warped and misshapen, However, I learned a thing or two about what I need to do to make the next one better. That’s the creating process.

I hope you all had a wonderful gardening season and your flowers, vegetables or herbs were a success.

Have a great weekend!


Bumblebee, Basil, Carrots, Corn & June Bugs

P1040328I noticed a bumblebee has taken a liking to my basil. I bet if it made honey, it’d be a mighty interesting flavor; sweet basil, cinnamon basil and lemon basil
P1040421My basil grew so tall that I had to transplant them into 5 gallon buckets. It’s interesting how much shorter the lemon basil is than the other two.
The sweet basil and cinnamon basil are my favorite. To me, the Lemon Basil smells like a cheap perfumed dishwashing liquid.
When a breeze crosses my porch the basils wonderful mingled aroma wafts through.

P1040587The mixed color carrots has mostly produced oodles of white carrots. I picked several carrots and had a few of other colors.  The color ones have more of a carroty taste than the white ones. They all have an edge of hot taste like radishes.
*I’m glad we grew and tried them to see what they taste like.
**In my opinion, for the taste, a normal orange carrot is the best bet to grow.
purplecarrotsThe purple carrots were a fun surprise. They’re orange on the inside. I chuckled when I saw it. 😀

P1040531My husband noticed this weird looking ear of corn growing in the top of a tassel with 3 june bugs feeding on it. P1040530There’s several stalks with weird little corn ears growing high up on the stalks. We’ve never seen corn grow like this. The little ears don’t look fit to eat, so we’ll leave them for the critters.P1040532

P1040545We harvested a few ears of sweet corn to have for supper. Homegrown fresh corn on the cob is mighty tasty and a dandy of a way to top off the season.P1040613

P1040569My husband picked a few ears of the ornamental corn for me to take a photo of. The ornamental corn is maturing nicely and the kernels are getting really tough. We grew the ornamental corn mainly for the wildlife, but I plan to use some for crafts and also for decoration.

P1040523My garden is about all gone now. It’s a bittersweet joy to see the end of the season. We’re already planning for next years garden.

P1040582aThis will be the last harvest of such a mixed variety of veggies now that the main parts of the garden are done.
P1040582In the red container is my rosemary that I posted about earlier this season. I stopped using the netting because the wind kept knocking it over. Rosemary does great outdoors and uncovered. I discovered something about this rosemary. It doesn’t grow any larger than the container. I clip it, use it, it grows back to the same size.
My rosemary out in the herb garden has about doubled in size. So maybe rosemary grows to the size or space available.
I think that’s pretty neat.

Happy August 1st everyone. I hope you have a pleasant month filled with some nice cool breezes breaking up the heat of these sweltering days.


Garden Update 7-22-2016 – peppers, cucumbers, carrots, corn

0-stuffedpeppersMy blogging buddy Dianna mentioned in a comment on my pepper post that she used to make stuffed peppers.
I’d never made stuffed peppers and since I have oodles of them at the moment, I found a simple recipe and made some.
I used a green pepper and a purple pepper so we could compare their taste.
I served the stuffed peppers with a baked potato and cornbread. We really enjoyed it.
The purple pepper was really good. It had a nice smooth taste to it.
We didn’t care much for the green pepper, it had a harsh taste to it. The stuffing was good so we emptied the green pepper’s stuffing out on our plates and ate it that way.

I used a recipe for Broccoli and Rice Stuffed Peppers by Knorr
I made some changes and additions to it:
ground turkey instead of ground beef
chopped fresh tomatoes
chopped fresh basil
in the casserole dish bottom I put 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce with 1/2 cup water.
After the peppers were done, we sprinkled them with the Worcestershire water
my husband topped his with mixed shredded cheese
I topped mine with ricotta and sour cream cheese

0-cucumbersMy blogging buddy Sheryl posted on her blog about fried cucumbers. It sounded like something I’d be interested in trying except I would bake them. I peeled a cucumber, quartered it up, coated it in a bit of olive oil, coated it in crushed herbed croutons and grated parmesan cheese and added them to a tray of squash sticks prepared the same way.
The cucumbers had a nice texture and smelled great, but I think the taste would be described as an acquired one.
I think if I had of used the recipe on Sheryl’s post and deep fried the cucumbers they may have been more to our liking.

0-carrotsWe planted a pack of mixed color carrot seeds. So far only a few of the white ones have matured enough to pick. I topped them, washed them and scrapped the skins clean.
Well, the taste was really not very carroty. It was more like a big crunch with very little taste, for some reason it reminded me of a very bland radish.

2016-02-01 10.18.55We harvested, shucked, cleaned, cooked and tried to eat some of the ornamental corn. We didn’t care for the plainness of the taste. I think if I had of add a lot of sugar to the water and it would have been better. It’s edible though and would be welcome if one was hungry.
Thankfully, we didn’t grow the ornamental corn to eat. We grew it just to be growing it and maybe get some to dry for decor. If the birds and critters leave us any for that.
We have a large patch of sweet corn for eating, so we’re still hoping for some delicious corn on the cob.

P1040229Here’s a photo of our bounty for the week. I’ve got a few last stragglers of squash. My squash didn’t do very well this year. We’re still getting a few tomatoes. We’ve been eating the tomatoes like candy. Yum! I’ve got oodles of peppers and I’ll be up to my elbows preparing and freezing them someday soon.

Next year we don’t plan to use the variety mix of color seeds. They were a disappointment. We plan on buying individual colors in plants or packs of seeds.
And that’s all of my gardening updates at the moment.
I wish you all a nice relaxing weekend.


Gardening update – 6-9-2016

cornbean1Back in May my husband got a creative idea to hang twine down from ropes for the asparagus beans to run on.
cornbean2Now the corn is as tall as the ropes/strings. We figure the corn will grow much taller as time goes on.
cornbean3The beans are running on the strings (and on the corn stalks as well.) We’re hoping soon that the beans will bloom.

carrot2carrot patch before weedingAfter the recent welcomed rains, We were more easily able to weed the carrots. It took us 2 hours to carefully pull, dig and toss the weeds out of carrot patch. Hopefully the carrots will grow into some tasty colorful veggies.

mater-1My husband weeded my gnome garden last week. He moved a the volunteer tomato plants to the garden and planted them in bunches, so they can support each other as they grow. They must be happy because they’re blooming quite lovely. We can hardly wait to see what variety they are.

squash2I made the hard decision to dig up and throw away 2 of my squash plants. It was a sad thing since I planted only two seeds of each variety. The two I pulled up were golden zucchini squash. The vines were big and they even had several new squash on them. To a non-gardener they would’ve looked healthy. squash2I originally thought the yellow leaves were from the cool weather at night we had a while back. But I trimmed those leaves off and as the squash grew so did more yellow leaves. My other varieties of squash are full and luscious and green. I worried that whatever was causing the golden zucchini to have yellow leaves might spread to my other plants. Also, an unhealthy squash is more susceptible to pests and other diseases. I surfed several garden websites and have come to the conclusion that my two golden zucchini plants may have been suffering from a ‘nitrogen deficiency’ or a ‘nutrient deficiency’ or something else. Regardless, I wanted them out of my garden so my other squash wouldn’t catch anything from them.  I planted a couple more golden zucchini squash seeds in another spot. Hopefully they’ll live and be healthy.

And so ends another gardening update.
I hope you all are having pleasant weather & good days.

Happy gardening!

Garden Update – 1st squash, pepper plants & a toe

babysquashOur squash has started putting on fruit. It’s a shame these first squash won’t mature. They rarely do because the male and female blooms haven’t started blossoming at the same time yet. But none-the-less, at least we’re on our way.

bellpepperplantsWe planted our 58 pepper plants. They’re a bit small and I wonder how many will survive. I’m happy to finally have them in the garden where at least they have a sporting chance of growing into productive plants.

carrottoeOur carrots are almost big enough for us to safely pull weeds from around them. As I was looking through my photos of our carrot patch I found a rock that looks like a toe sticking up out of the ground. Mother Nature sure has a bizarre sense of humor. 😼

That’s all my gardening nonsense for the moment.P1010292



I hope you all have a great week.



Triop 16 days old eating spinach

shed16daysIt’s hard for me to believe how quickly our dinosorta has grown. I figure you all will may get tired of seeing posts/videos about him. But I can’t help myself. lol It’s fascinating to me to see how fast Rex changed.
He shed his exoskeleton yesterday. It’s the light color thing on the left, Rex is on the right. I kind of hope he doesn’t get very big. I’m setting up a beta bowl for him right now. I plan to put some aquarium gravel in with the sand. Rex likes to dig and maybe the small gravels will keep him occupied.

I figured that Rex might have been hungry after shedding his exoskeleton, so I went online and looked up some things he can eat. He’s an omnivore, so he can pretty much live off anything within reason.
I par boiled (blanched) a sliver of carrot and a small spinach leaf. I wasn’t sure how Rex would react to the food. I was surprised when he pounced on the carrot. He didn’t seem to care much for it, but then he pounced on the spinach and ate his fill. I’m happy I was able to video a few seconds of his spinach feasting. It was something to see and I’m glad to be able to share it with you.

I hope you all are keeping warm during this freezing cold snap.
I hope that none of you are getting iced or snowed under.
Wishing you a warm & healthy rest of the week.