Friday, March 20, 2020

Leftover chicken? Make Chicken Cashew Casserole!....

If you are looking for ways to stretch meals during this difficult time of self-quarantining and trying to stay healthy, here is a meal that I made recently and we really enjoyed it!

All you need is 2 cups of leftover chicken to make this delicious casserole!

Its made in an 8x8" pan...

and is quick and easy to make!

Chicken Cashew Casserole
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 T butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1/3 cup chicken broth
1T La Choy soy sauce
3 drops tabasco sauce
black pepper
2 cups cooked, diced chicken
1 cup La Choy Noodles
1/2 cup cashews

Saute onion and celery in butter until soft.  Blend in soup, broth, soy sauce, tabasco and dash of black pepper.  Add chicken and pour into buttered casserole dish.  Top with noodles and cashews.  Bake at 350' until hot and bubbly (20-30 min). 
** If you prepare ahead of time, do not add noodles and nuts until just before heating

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cake Pop Bouquet....

I am not much of a baker, but I love sweets.  This is a quick little bouquet of cake balls that I make every now and then for a party or to take to a hostess:

I have two cake pop makers.  I find these much easier to make than the cake pops you make by smashing a cake and mixing it with frosting, rolling in a ball, etc.  
My two makers can make 18 cake balls in 5 minutes!

Once the balls have cooled, I stick a lollipop stick into each one and dip them into melted chocolate, adding some sprinkles:

I like to wrap them individually and simply tie with a twistie-tie.....

I also add a leaf cut out of cardstock - you can slide it up the lollipop stick or tie it onto the twistie tie.

I buy a little flower pot, a square of styrofoam and some excelsior at the Dollar Tree to use as a base to stick the cake pops into:

I added some greenery for height, tied on a bow and it was ready to deliver!

At the last minute I decided to add a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries...

...and they were all delish!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Ten on the Tenth - An EASY St Patty's Day craft....

Our task this month was to create something, using textiles, and to spend less than $10.00.  

I bought 5 pieces of green felt for $5 and found a sheet of clear plastic in my fabric bin.  I drew a shape of a 4 leaf clover onto paper and used it as a pattern to cut out 5 clovers from the felt and plastic.
I spent $3 on a bag of M&Ms. and made 5 shamrocks for under $10.

I stitched the 1 felt shamrock and 1 plastic shamrock together and before I sewed it totally closed, I tucked some M&Ms inside, and continued to sew until the end stitching met the beginning stitch!

This little gift is perfect as a party favor or a little gift for children:

How do you get the candy out?  Let the recipient figure that out!!

I applied the same idea for Valentine's Day:

Visit these other creative bloggers to see what they created for less than $10:

Sunday, March 8, 2020


I love the aroma of basil and this little plant is giving off such a wonderful scent in my home today.  Trader Joe's had a batch of herbs and I couldn't resist taking home this plant:

 Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It's also a good source of calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Basil isn't simply for internal use, when basil's oils are extracted to make an essential oil, it is used for treating cuts, wounds, and skin infections.

If basil plants grow in a cold place, they will probably die when there are any severe temperature drops; otherwise, they can live up to a year. One thing to keep in mind: you should try not to let your plant flower.  They are pretty flowers, but they are also a sign that the plant is shutting down and going into reproduction mode instead of growth mode.

Harvest the leaves from the top down, cutting back up to a third of the total plant height. Be sure to cut or pinch right above a leaf pair rather than leaving a stub. In a few weeks, your plants will be ready to harvest again.

I love basil in lasagna, salads, bruschetta, caprese, egg dishes, strawberry basil salsa, cocktails, pizza, basil butter, melon salad, tomato soup and especially in this cocktail:

Muddle a few basil leaves and a few chunks of orange in a glass, add a shot of vodka, 3/4 lemonade and top with soda water to make a Orange Basil Mojo!

What's your favorite herb?

Friday, March 6, 2020

St Patty's Day Vignette.....and a few cocktails...

I set up a little festive "Irish" corner on my kitchen counter:

I am trying to downsize my holiday decor and just keep a few thing that will fit on this tray - I am not too successful!!

May your heart be as light as a song.....

To learn how to make these Leaf Napkin Rings, visit THIS POST

And it wouldn't be an Irish holiday without a little "manglam",  or mixed drink, so here are a few of my favorites:


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Have you read these books?....

I don't read too often in the winter but I read a few books while on vacation last month and I highly recommend both!

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.


Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

Happiness is getting lost in a good book!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote #22 and a GIVEAWAY!

The Tales of the Traveling Tote is a series of adventures that share where our Mackenzie Childs tote bags have taken us.  Four times a year a group of bloggers each write a connected post about the places we have been. We have built incredible friendships through our blogs and we hope you enjoy our tales as much as we do!

To read about how it all began, go HERE


December 2019

To kick off the holiday season, a group of friends got together to make "Kissing Balls" at Beaver Lake Nature Center, Miss Kenzie carried all of my necessary supplies:

Every year I donate to the Everson Museum Festival of the Trees and this is one of the trees I donated this year:  The little Grinch Tree with a handmade tassel, sitting in the red truck:

At the Preview Gala I met Thom Felicia:

And as always, December had "Santa Shenanigans":

Right before the New Year I flew to DC to meet our new grandson who surprised us all by arriving 11 days early - I tried to smuggle him in my tote, but got caught by his Mommy:

This map shows all of the areas that my Traveling Tote visited in 2019:  

January 2020

The end of January came quickly and we were off to Hollywood Beach, Florida....

.....there was lots of excitement on the boardwalk: music, dancing, entertainment, and great restaurants and shops along the beach....

....and the next day we hopped onto a cruise ship and sailed for 8 days. 

My totes enjoyed the sun and relaxation:

 Our first stop was Curacao:

We toured the island by bus, visited the Curacao liqueur factory, and spent a few hours at Mambo Beach.

Sadly, I left my padlock on the ship and it was too late to return, but this HEART was loaded with "locks of love" - shopping in Willemstad, crossing the pontoon bridge and taking in the culture was more important!

The next day we went to Bonaire....

...and visited the slave huts, where slaves who worked in the salt flats slept during the week.  Often 7 would sleep in each hut!

Across the street were the slat flats, with pretty pink water, flamingoes in the distance and mountains of salt!

Bonaire is a very colorful island, but Coco Beach was a bit disappointing due to the rocks and coral!

Our third stop was Aruba....we arrived just as Orenjestad was welcoming the sunrise....

We hopped on the Kooku Kunuku tour bus and sang, learned some Papiamento, shook our maracas, and had a fun tour of the island!

We were surprised to see all the cacti: sword cactus and tuna cactus!

 Palm Beach was a beautiful beach, but very windy!....

My Traveling Tote matched the stop signs and curb markings in the islands!!

We enjoyed lots of tropical cocktails on the cruise ship and the beaches:

It was a great vacation and before we flew home, we had planned our cruise for February 2021!


And then this little guy came to NY to visit and I couldn't resist tucking him into Miss Kenzie:

Valentine's Day was spent in Aurora at MacKenzie-Childs.... this dining room...

....and you can read about it here:


...and then there was this baby shower at a home filled with special MacKenzie-Childs decor and furniture:


It's been an exciting 3 months and I hope you will follow the links, below, to see where my other friends have been traveling lately:

Jenna is hosting the giveaway this month:

Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box . HERE
* Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron *
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Cherry Kay and Carrie Ann Hall @ Entertaining Women  

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  1.  DEFINITION: (noun) people whom one has met at the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale or Warehouse Sale and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection for MacKenzie-Childs items
 Some of my Macfriendzies:
Tracey was at the Baby Shower - check out her cute Town Tote:
And this was sent from a friend who attended a weekend 'Stitching Event' ~ Tami loves to stitch in style and has a great collection of totes!!!!:

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