serves 8

2 qt water
2-4 cooked & shredded chicken breast halves
(I used the chicken Ryan smoked last night.)
1/2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
2 T parsley
1 T onion powder
2 cubes chicken or vegetable bullion
1 chopped onion OR 3/4 C frozen chopped onion
16 oz jar salsa
14.5 oz can Rotel
10.75 oz can condensed tomato soup
15 oz can drained corn OR 1 C frozen corn
2 - 16 oz cans ranch style or chili beans, drained
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
sour cream
tortilla or corn chips
shredded cheddar cheese

Combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder, bouillon, onions, salsa, Rotel, tomato soup, corn, beans and olives together in a large stock pot. Mix well. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Serve with chips, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. 


Every Christmas Eve while we were growing up, my mother would make reindeer food with us. Then we'd sprinkle it outside on the lawn and walkway in the anticipation that Santa and his reindeer were coming! On Christmas morning every year, it was so fun to go outside to see that my parents had swept it all away to trick us the reindeer really did eat it up! It was an exciting time then and it's more exciting now that I have a child to trick share that excitement and happiness with.

Isn't this a great idea for you and your kids to make and share with other kids that are friends and neighbors?

I spotted these free downloads for reindeer food tags on Tom Kat Studio. Of course, you could be super crafty and show me up and make your own amazing tags too.

Look in your pantry and craft area and choose the ingredients. I chose oatmeal, candy sprinkles and glitter.

Just fill a clear bag with as much reindeer food as you'd like, preferably at least half a cup.
Seal it with tape, a twisty-tie, yarn, staple, etc.
Add the tag and share this cheap fun gift.


Wouldn't this also be a great item to bring to your Halloween party this weekend or fun to make with your kids?
My 2 year old & I had a great time tonight making them.

make 24-32 

1 (8 oz) can refrigerated breadsticks (12-16 breadsticks)
1 T plus 1 t olive oil OR olive oil non stick spray
1 T garlic powder or garlic salt
1/3 to 1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
2 C marinara sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees. 
Use a seasoned pizza stone or greased cookie sheets.
Unroll breadstick dough on work surface.

Cut dough in half crosswise and separate to make 12-16 strips.

Cut each on strips in half lengthwise to make 24-32 thin strips.

Place strips on pizza stone or cookie sheet 1" apart. You might have to do a couple of batches.
Using a small paring knife or kitchen scissors, make 4 thin cuts (2" long) on 1 end of each strip. 
Spread out cut ends to make bristles of each broom.

Brush dough with oil or spray well with olive oil non stick spray. 
Sprinkle with garlic powder and cheese.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with marinara sauce. 


makes 8 pieces of pizza

3/4 lb thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
1 loaf French or Italian bread
(I used a French wheat loaf.)
1 C pizza or pasta sauce
1/4 C sliced black olives

Use a pizza stone or line a large baking sheet with foil.

Cut the sliced cheese into 3/4 inch strips.

Cut the loaf in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 4 pieces. Place bread cut side up on the cookie sheet or pizza stone. 

Toast the bread under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.

Spread some of the sauce on top of the toasted bread to cover.

Arrange the cheese slices overlapping slightly on top of the sauce to look like bandages. 

Add 2 olive slices for the eyes. 
Place another slice of cheese over the olives to cover slightly.

Broil the pizzas until the cheese is slightly melted, 1 to 2 minutes.


Like most of you, we're going to a Fall Festival or Halloween party this coming weekend. With a little preparation, I thought this would be a perfect thing to bring to a party. Not only is it super cute but it's also a healthy snack after your done with your drink.
These are easier to make than what you might think and are such a charming way to enjoy a drink like apple cider at a party.  

To make the apple cups, you'll need apples, a paring knife, and a spoon. If you have a melon baller, it will make the scooping a little easier. 

On a cutting board, cut off the top of the apple.  Carefully outline where you want the rim of your apple cup to be with a paring knife. 1/4″ wide is a good width.  

Carefully scoop out the center of your apple with a spoon and/or a melon baller until you have a smooth cup. 
If you need your apple to sit more level, slice off a few millimeters to even out the bottom. Be careful not to cut through into the cup or the cider will leak out. 
Now brush a little lemon juice over the inside of the apples (to prevent browning).  Then fill with your favorite apple cider, garnish with cinnamon or spices if you’d like, and serve.
If you're taking the apples somewhere, refrigerate the empty apples for up to 2 hours before you leave. Take all ingredients with you (drink like apple cider hot in a thermos and garnishes). When you get there a few minutes early, put the cider in the apple cups on trays or cutting board. Fill with cider and garnish with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves or star anise. 


Another great idea for a Halloween party!

I have to confess:
1. I didn't do the whole recipe as you can see. Why? I'm only doing it for you now for an idea and I'm afraid I'd have to waste a lot of it because Ryan, Canaan & I aren't going to drink two gallons of cider in 2 days. 
2. Canaan's taking a nap and I wanted to hurry and finish this for you before he wakes up so I'm sorry I didn't actually "shrink" the heads in the oven. A short cut that I know will get me into trouble if I don't tell you now. If you were to put them in the oven as I've state below, it will make the heads so much more "shrinky" and "gross." I recommend it when you don't have a 2 year old you're afraid of after he wakes up from a nap.


2 C lemon juice
2 T salt
8 large granny smith apples
32 whole cloves
2 gallons apple cider
2 (12oz) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Peel off skin of the apple, along with some of the core on either side.

Carve a face into one side.

Place in lemon/salt mix for 1-2 minutes. About the time it will take you to make another "head."

Transfer to paper towel to drain.

Then to greased baking sheet, face up.

Repeat with all apples.

Bake 90 minutes.

Combine apple cider and lemonade about 30 minutes before the apples in the oven are done into a large stock pot.

Press cloves in eye sockets then into the cider they go.

TIP: If they don't float face up, take them out and on the opposite side of the face, spoon out some apple until  it does float face up. 


Insert dollar bills and a note inside balloons.
Blow them up with helium or your own "hot air." 
Tie them together then tie a string to it.


My dear friend C. from TX commissioned me to make dolls for her young kids for Christmas.