Thursday, January 23, 2014


Oh boy, do I have something special for you on this WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY!!!!

So, I was browsing Pinterest the other day looking for new and easy recipes for one of our Sunday Family Dinners!   I saw a neat post from Jenny over at Picky Palate. She posted a recipe for "Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs" and it looked so easy.   

I'm not a fan of chicken thighs, but I love me some boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins.   So, I decided to adapt this recipe for one of our Sunday Family Dinners, where I try to make something I've never made before. 

Jenny, I wish you lived close, so I could come over and give you a HUGE HUG!   This recipe couldn't be easier to make!   Here's what I used:

12-16 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenderloins (fresh or frozen!  I used frozen!)
1 6 oz jar of pesto
1 packet of Ranch Dips or Ranch dressing seasoning mix
1/2 cup of chicken broth

That's it!   First you put the chicken tenderloins in there.  You can even put them in frozen and they'll cook up great!   I don't like defrosting chicken, which is just one more reason I LOVE MY CROCK POT!!!  

Then you spoon in the pesto from the jar.  

Then you add the packet of Ranch Seasoning Mix...

Then add the chicken broth, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours!   

I cooked mine on low for just a little over 7 hours.

Here is the chicken served up in the serving bowl.  It was moist, and falling apart delicious!

I sure wish this picture didn't come out so blurry....I put mine on top of pasta, but did set aside some rice for my daughter, because she's in kind of a "no-pasta"

This was a huge hit.  My whole family raved about this dish!  My son kept asking for more of the sauce to go with his pasta, and my daughter said "OOH, I LOVE THIS, MAMA!"

So, Jenny, I thank you, for making my family so happy by allowing me to make your recipe and create a dish they loved!  This will be a new menu-regular in our home!!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY!   Enjoy the rest of your week and I hope you'll come back soon!  

This post has been added to:
Tuesday To Do

Monday, January 20, 2014

TABLESCAPE TUESDAY - Icy Cool Blue Tablescape!

Well, Happy Tuesday to you!!!

I hope you had a great weekend and a good start to your week.  My weekend was not so good.   I got sick around 5am Saturday morning, and it really took me out.    Fortunately, I'm feeling better now, but it was no fun, that's for sure. 

Well, for today's TABLESCAPE TUESDAY, I wanted to share with you my ICY COOL BLUE Tablescape.  I've used this for all my Sunday Family Dinners since early January.  

Once February hits, I'll change the tablescape to match the season for Valentine's Day!  I'm already getting some things together for that one and am looking forward to the change. 

For this tablescape I found this really pretty wrapping paper at Walmart for 50% off after Christmas.   I loved the sheen to it and the mixtures of blue hues!

I kept the decorations simple since the runner was so full of beautiful patterns.  I used tall silver candleholders with white candles, on which I put some sparkly silver ribbon (which you may remember from our New Years Eve table)   In the center is a silver box with a mirrored mosaic candle that I received as a gift from friends years ago!      

In between the tall candleholders and the centerpiece are some small snowflake tealights, some small turquoise votive candleholders and a silver pillar candleholder with some teal and crystal hanging accents.  

The plate breakdown is a simple one...silver chargers from Walmart, dark blue rimmed plates I got when I got married ages ago, some silver salad plates from Dollar Tree, and my white Dollar Tree bowls.   I used my blue stemmed glasses and clear water glasses.   White Napkins with blue bling napkin rings and simple silverware finish off the look..

I love how this table looked all lit up!  

Here is a view over to the living room where you can see the cordinating look, with my "Wrapped In Icy Cool Blue" Mantle.

 Thanks so much for joining me for this TABLESCAPE TUESDAY!   I hope you'll come back tomorrow where I share with you a wonderful and easy recipe that I made for one of our Sunday Family Dinners...It was a huge hit and I can't wait to share it with you!!!

This Post is being added to....

Tablescape Thursday

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY - Brandilyn's Bean Soup!

Hi again and welcome to another edition of WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY!   I'm sorry it's been a while since I posted a recipe, but I hope to make up for it in today's post!!

About  2 weeks before we moved, our awesome Florida friends threw us a going-away party!  It was such a special and wonderful time with great people who I'm already missing a lot!!!

At that party, one of my friends brought this amazing soup, which was a huge hit with all the partygoers, including myself and my family.   I told her I just had to have this recipe and she was kind enough to share it.   We made it again and it was so tasty!   I thought I'd share this wonderful soup, perfect for those cold winter evenings to come home to, since it cooks in the crock pot!!!!

I call it "BRANDILYN'S Bean Soup!"  I don't think that's it's real name, but that is what I'm calling it because it came from my friend has beans!  haha!

The ingredients are simple.

1 packet of Ranch Seasoning mix
1 packet of Taco Seasoning
1 lb of ground turkey or ground beef (browned)
1 can of whole kernel corn or 1 bag of frozen corn
1 large can diced or crushed tomatoes (28 or 29 oz)
1 can of stewed tomatoes (optional)
1 large can of baked beans (or 2 small cans),
1 cans of black beans,
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of white beans
Do not drain any of the cans.
The size of the cans will all depend on how much room you have in your pot. You can actually use any kinds of beans you like, if you don't like any of the types listed.

Put all ingredients in a large pot or crockpot, and again, do not drain any of the cans. Let cook till hot.   With the already cooked meat, you can set it on warm all day, or on low for about 4 hours. 

You can serve it as is in a bowl....

Or top it with cheddar cheese and sour cream, which is what I did.  YUM!!!   Both ways are really yummy, though!  This has a slightly sweet tang to it (most likely because of the baked beans and the ranch packet)  and it was very delicious!

This would be an awesome soup to make for a Super Bowl Party...It's also low in calories (if you don't load it with cheese and sour cream like I did...haha!)  and low in fat if you use ground turkey or lean ground meat!
Thanks so much for stopping by!   I hope you enjoyed today's WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY!   I hope you get a chance to try this easy and yummy soup!   I'd love to hear what you think of it, if you try it!  Our whole family liked it a lot!
Have a wonderful day! 
This post is being added to...

MONTHLY MONDAY MANTLE! Wrapped in Icy Cool Blue!

Hi everyone!

I hope you're having a great start to your week!

Welcome to my very first MONTHLY MONDAY MANTLE!!!    As you may have read in earlier posts, we recently moved back to the Midwest after living in Florida for some time.   I loved the beautiful weather that Florida had and the warm winters that felt like a 6 month spring!  

However, one of the things that I love about our new home is that we have FIREPLACES!!!!    I love fireplaces for those chilly mornings and nights!   I also love that I have this wonderful mantle in my living room and very neutral d├ęcor that I plan to use to decorate with a different theme each month!  

This is so exciting to me!!!  I've always wanted a room that was versatile enough for me to decorate with the seasons, and now I have one! 

So without further Ado, here is January's MONTHLY MONDAY MANTLE!   I'm calling it "Wrapped in Icy Cool Blue".   I wanted the colors to be various hues of blue, silver and white.


I started with an old picture frame from an old picture that I painted white and added some wrapping paper to.  The hanger in the back is broken so I just set it on top of the mantle.

Then, on either side are my white candleholders from Ikea in the various sizes, topped with pillar candles.  Under the pillow candles, I hung some snowflake ornaments.  

In the middle is a glass pedestal with a plate and 4 sparkly ornaments on it.  

Then I wrapped the mantle in some pretty blue and silver tinsel that I got from Walmart and some blue lights I found on a super sale at Old Time Pottery.

Here it is all lit up from our dining room, which is decorated in the same theme this month!  I'll be sharing that table for our next TABLESCAPE TUESDAY, so Stay tuned!  =D

It's a simple mantle, but I like how it turned out for my first time!  

I hope you'll come back and join me for another MONTHLY MONDAY MANTLE next month, but in the meantime, please be on the lookout for some yummy recipes and seasonal tablescapes coming later this month! 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope to see you again soon!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!!! Exciting new posts for 2014! And my New Years Eve Tablescape!


I can't believe that we are starting 2014!   It seems like we were just starting 2013....wondering what the year was going to bring.  

2013 was a great year in so many ways for me....I started blogging, our family started the tradition of "Sunday Family Dinners"!   I learned some great tablescaping, recipe and home decor techniques from so many of my blogging friends and through Pinterest, and enjoyed some wonderful times with family and friends. We had some wonderful get-togethers and parties, and....we moved halfway across the country!!!   It was definitely an exciting year to say the least!

However I'm just as excited about 2014!!!   I have to say, I'm loving our new home, and am so excited to be able to share some new features on the blog for you.   Our new home has a fireplace that I plan to decorate monthly to go with the seasons and Holidays of that month, and so I'm very excited to be sharing those with you on the new MONTHLY MONDAY MANTLE posts!!!

To go along with that, I'm going to be doing new monthly tablescapes to go along with the mantles (so unfortunately that means I will not do a weekly TABLESCAPE TUESDAY, but will do one or two each month.)   I will miss doing them more often, but my schedule will not permit me to spend the time on tablescapes like I was able to before.   I will, however be making new dishes for our Sunday Family Dinners, which is a tradition we will be continuing, and any noteworthy ones, I will be posting on the WHADDA WE EATIN' WEDNESDAY posts!    Also, once a month, I will share some of my top bargains for the month on my THRIFTY THURSDAY posts. 

For now, though...I'm going to show you my New Years Eve Tablescape!   My first tablescape in the new home!!!   

I call it "Silver, Snow, and Lights Aglow" 

 I found this cute wrapping paper half off at Walmart shortly after Christmas and thought it would be great!  I really wanted to do something in primarily silver and white.  
 This tied everything in together so nicely, and since my kiddos are really hoping to see lots of snow this winter, we thought it fitting to have these trees with the little snowflakes on the runner!

I kept the plates simple, with just a silver charger, and a white dinner plate, white napkins with silver napking rings.
 The candleholder in the center is from Michaels (with 40% off coupon) that I got last year, set on Dollar Tree silver platters.   The other pillar candleholders are from Ikea, and the sparkly ribbon around the pillar candles was from Michael's...70% off from their christmas ribbon!  The small glass tealight holders were from Joann's for like 69 cents each...I had to stock up!!  

 In the back, under the wreath, you'll see my winter "candy bar" with various Christmas Candies!  I'm going to show that off in a future post...including tips on how I made it.  

When the lights were turned down low, those "lights aglow" looked so pretty at the table!   I really liked how this turned out!!!  

I hope you enjoyed this post and the tablescape!  Happy 2014 and I hope to see you again soon!!!   =D

This post is being added to:

Centerpiece Wednesday
Tablescape Thursday
Let's Dish