Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I am so behind . . .I started this blog for several reasons . . .
1) I like to write
2) to keep a colorful record of fun . . .and not so fun . . .happenings in our lives
3) to force me to sometimes think deep thoughts
4) so that my sister in Texas could "see" our lives . . .(if she would only get on facebook . . .)
5) I had some spare time
Which of these reasons is not correct???

If you guessed #5 - you win!  Not sure what you win - but you win!!

Back in May, Mark and I helped host a shower for the son of one of our good friends (and of course, for his sweet bride!).  The party was at Debbie and Jim's house and we had a great time!  We served a wonderful mexican chicken casserole  (recipe at end of blog) and chips and homemade guacamole and salad . . .and lots of other good stuff.

The decorations were the Pièce de résistance (Pièces?).  

My sister-in-law, Alice, spearheaded the making of the tissue paper flowers.  She is a graphic artist by education and she is so talented.  I have made many tissue paper flowers over the years, but she took the flowers to a totally different level.  They were amazing.

I was in charge of "napkin rings" and napkins and forks.  Keep it simple :-)  I used my trusty silhouette cameo and cut flower designs of all shapes and colors.  I used ribbon to create the "ring" and then brought the ribbon through a hole in the center.  I thought they turned out really cute and went well with the theme.

Look at the center of this flower!!!

Alice even made some really cool initials - Leslie and Harrigan . . 

Now this was the fun part to watch - one engineer, one cfo and one day trader . . .making sangria.  They started off with a measuring cup but before long . . .there was no need.  They were the guards of the big drink container so that it didn't get toppled over on her beautiful floor/rug.  I think they did more than guard the drinks . . .just saying. :-)

Theresa got involved . . .actually, I think she was waiting to be the taster!

Three of the cute hostesses --Lynn, Alice and Debbie

All of the hostesses and the mother of the groom

The only picture I took of the bride and groom . . .and it is blurry!!

A fun night with fun friends . . .we are so thankful for good friendships.  We count our friends as one of our greatest blessings!!
So . . .on to the recipe
Southwest Chicken Casserole

1 box Rice-a-Roni (Spanish Rice Flavor) Note: box calls for 1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes when making
1 - 11 ounce can of black beans (drained)
1 - 16 ounce can of fiesta corn or mexicorn (drained)
1 - 8 ounce sour cream
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 - 8 ounce bags of sharp cheddar cheese
6 - chicken breasts cooked and chopped into small pieces
2 - 10 ounce cans rotel tomatoes (one regular/one mild)
1 - medium onion chopped
1 can of cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook rice according to package directions using slightly less water.  Spray pan with pam.  Spread rice in bottom of pan.  Cover with chopped chicken.  Layer black beans and corn on top.  In a bowl, mix together onion, soup, sour cream, chili powder and 8 ounces of cheese.  Spread evenly on top of other ingredients.   Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.  Pour both cans of rotel on top of everything.  Bake for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and bubbly.
(this recipe triples well -- we are serving for our young adult group - do not triple chili powder - use about 2 Tablespoons for triple recipe.
May be made ahead and frozen or made ahead and chilled in refrigerator for up to two days before baking.  Baking time increases significantly if casserole is cold.  (if frozen, thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours)
Serve with chips, melted cheese, salsa and BLT Mexican salad.

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