This is my all time favorite, number one, first choice, bestest, loveliest, most deliciousliest meal. It’s so good I had to make up adjectives for it. :) No exaggeration, this is MY personal favorite meal. Growing up this was the meal that I requested for every birthday, or actually any day when my mom asked my opinion on dinner. And I’m pretty sure she was okay with it since it consists of five ingredients and takes about 5 minutes to put together. (six if you count water.) It is certainly not fancy or exotic (and I’m aware that this isn’t the most healthy meal) but just plain good ol’ comfort food and warm yummy goodness. I will say that if you are looking for that super-pow recipe that hits you with all its flavors and knocks your taste buds unconscious…this is not it. I mean come on, it has five ingredients. But if you want a big dish of simple, good home cooking then give this a try. I personally think it is the best.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts, minute rice, 1 pkg. onion soup mix, can of cream of chicken soup, can of cream of celery soup, water.
Mix together “cream of” soups, 1 can of water, and 2 cups of minute rice (uncooked.) Pour into a buttered casserole dish.
Lay chicken breasts on top of rice mixture and sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Cover with tin foil. Don’t forget that important step!
(My dad hates onions so a lot of the time my mom would just mix the onion soup in with the rice. I guess out of sight, out of mind? Either way works.)
Here is where the name Forgotten Chicken comes in. Once you have it in the casserole dish you can put it in the oven and forget it! My mom would always put it in on a low temp. (around 250-275) before we left for church and when we got home three hours later it would be ready. Or you can cook it at 350-375 (depending on your oven) for one to one and a half hours. It is hard to mess up so if you forget it is in there don’t worry, it is probably still okay!
The rice on the outside edges should be slightly browned and crispy and the rice on the inside soft and moist. Serve with a side salad and a nice big slice of bread and you have yourself one tasty meal. It’s my favorite! (in case I haven’t mentioned that enough times in this post.)
***Update*** Many people have left comments or sent emails with their concerns over the sodium or MSG in the soups used in this recipe. I understand, I get it. As I mentioned, as much as I LOVE this recipe, we don’t eat it every single week. And if you don’t want to eat it at all, guess what…you don’t have too! That is the great news. You can decide what you do and do not want to eat in your OWN house. For me this is a delicious, easy meal that we will enjoy once in awhile along with plenty of healthy, clean food. Another tip: Whole Foods has “cream of soups” that are MSG free and are a great alternative. There are also lots of recipes out on the web for substitute “cream of soup” so find whatever works for your family and enjoy!
”I like good strong words that mean something.” - Louisa May Alcott
You and me both Ms. Alcott. I’ve always had a love for words, quotes, and phrases. Whether they are funny, inspiring, or thought provoking I love a good quote. I have small notebooks filled with favorites that I’ve written down and I’ve been doing that since high school. And I’m always amazed at the ones that seem to hit me the most. They are usually the simplest and sweetest, and they always come just when I need them to. I think it is a tender mercy from my Heavenly Father and one of the ways He speaks to me, through words. Especially the words of wise prophets and leaders like during our last General Conference a couple of weekends ago. And when listening to Elder Holland’s talk “The Labourers in the Vineyard” I heard one of those simple, beautiful quotes speak to me again.
Our new apartment is severely lacking in closet space, especially in the master bedroom and bathroom. Lacking is maybe not quite the right word…non-existent would be more accurate. It has made for some creative storage solutions around here, let me tell you! So in our bedroom I claimed a corner as my own to store my accessories and some of my beauty products and toiletries.
I am aware that this space won’t be winning any awards for the most beautifully designed and decorated space. BUT it is functional and organized and works perfectly how I need it too. So I am very happy with it. In our old house the brown cabinet (purchased from Wal-Mart) was in our kitchen but it fit great in this space.
Inside I have some different bins holding headbands and hair accessories, my lotions and perfumes, nail polish, and some jewelry storage.
Forget the fancy-schmancy jewelry boxes. My jewelry storage comes straight from the craft store. I think these boxes are made to hold things like buttons and bobbins but they’re great for earrings and bracelets too!
One for silver, gold, black, and white earrings:
One for colors:
And one for bracelets.
Confession: I have a lot of necklaces. I’ve always loved necklaces. So ever since I was in high school I’ve been using a thread holder to store them. But it was past time to buy a second one!
I love being able to see each necklace clearly so I don’t end up forgetting what I have, like I would if they were in a drawer or cabinet somewhere. I also like that they don’t get tangled and stay organized.
The space works for me. Sometimes that’s all you need when designing!
We have a beautiful window in our living room; I’m in love with the moldings and details. Of course I didn’t want to cover it up with any curtains but it did need something. I tried putting a row of candles along the sill…
…but that didn’t quite work. The candles were just too little and didn’t have any impact. So I had to come up with another plan and it started with a trip to the dollar store.
There I picked up three tall vases and some white daisies at the Joann’s next door. They were on sale so YAY! Once I got home I pulled out some patterned paper that I had on hand and got to work.
I say work like it was hard. It wasn’t. All I had to do was choose my papers,
cut them to size and wrap them around each vase securing with some craft tape,
put some vase filler pieces in the bottom of each vase to hold the flowers in place,
tie a ribbon around each vase, and done!
I think they look great in the window and they add just that little touch that I was looking for.
And none of the molding is covered up, instead it is just enhanced!
Just before we moved I shared some of my new decorating goals and some inspiration photos. Well setting up our new place has been a lot of fun, even if it didn’t start out that way. The first few days were REALLY iffy. When we drove up and walked in the place was honestly disgusting. The previous tenant had left it beyond gross. Thankfully once we called our landlord he came over and agreed that it was nasty and he was very helpful. He had a cleaning service come in and they spent 2 days de-crusty-ing and de-gross-ifying the whole place. And then my sweet, sweet mama came and stayed with us for a few days and really helped me out. Poor lady, we worked her so hard! My mom is a MASTER cleaner though. It is really a talent. So after my mom’s special touch and some time for me to decorate I am really in love with our apartment.
I thought it might be fun to share some of the things we’ve done and some of my decorating tips, for whatever they’re worth. I thought I’d start in the dining room since it is quickly becoming my favorite room.
Its come together as a fun mix of antique-modern-traditional-urban to create a really interesting space. There are a lot of unique pieces in here that stand out but the focal point is obviously the bookcase.
Putting together a bookcase can be challenging if you want to keep it interesting without looking cluttered and cohesive without looking boring. Here’s some tips to decorate a bookcase:
Tip #1- Remove your book covers. All those colors and patterns just make the shelves look messy and cluttered. I relegated all my paperbacks to a bookcase in our office and took the covers off our nicer hardbacks. It makes a huge difference.
Tip #2- Pick a coordinating color. I chose white. If you notice every shelf has something white on it. This allows the eye to flow easily from each object to the next.
Tip #3- Choose interesting pieces that also have meaning. Before we moved I went through the house and packed up every piece of decor that I still liked into a few boxes so I could have it all in front of me when decorating. The pieces I chose for the bookcase while neutral in color are all interesting shapes or textures and most of them are sentimental pieces from our travels.
Tip #4- Use baskets and bins. These black and white bins from Ikea (on sale $3.99) were the only things I bought for this bookcase. The rest all came from shopping around the house. Baskets and bins provide great extra storage while keeping things neat and tidy.
Tip #5- Create small groups, or vignettes. You don’t have to stack all your books straight across. Turn them on the side, angle them, layer with other pieces.
Lots of these tips can apply to other parts of the room as well. Like our gallery shelves on the other wall with souvenirs from England, Brazil, Slovakia, Austria, Columbia, and pictures we took on vacations and loved.
Other walls are also decorated with personal pieces.
A cuckoo clock from Germany.
A DIY art triptych from our photo of the Tower Bridge in London. This might be another ‘how to’ post later down the road.
Camel saddle from Saudi Arabia.
And windows that are screaming out for curtains. I’m kind of stuck on this one and just can’t decide how I want to dress those bare windows.
My last decorating tip for the day is to keep your eyes open for bargains. Sometimes they just fall magically in your lap, other times you have to scout them out. But they’re there! I love our dining room table but it wouldn’t have been ours if we hadn’t been looking for a deal. We found the set in the backroom of a furniture store being sold for 70% off in an as-is-condition. The as-is flaw? A tiny little piece was chipped off one of the legs.
Can you see that line down the side of the leg? That piece was off and taped to the side. Because of that little thing which is not even noticeable we were able to snag this bad boy for much lower than a perfect table! All we had to do was use a little wood glue on it and no one would ever know.
The gallery shelves? The previous tenant actually left them on the walls in the living room! Why yes, thank you. I’ll take them.
I LOVE this clock. Way back in high school I worked at a little boutique and this was an item on one of the shelves. Someone bumped it and it fell and broke- the legs came right off. It was headed straight for the trash before I jumped in and asked if I could have it. A little glue later and I’ve had it ever since and it hasn’t fallen apart once.
All the old and beautiful books on our bookcase are my favorite freebie find…actually rescue. My husband used to work at a small college and one day he walked into the library when they were cleaning out their archives. “Cleaning out” meant ripping the covers off of thousands of books, throwing the covers into the incinerator, and recycling the pages. THOUSANDS OF BOOKS! My husband called me right away and told me to come down. As someone who loves books I wanted to cry when I saw the piles of beautiful, old books in the dumpsters. The school had no problem with us going through the books they hadn’t destroyed and picking ones to take home. We filled three boxes of these amazing books. Our oldest book we saved is from 1850 and the newest is 1897. I couldn’t help looking through the books that already had the covers torn off and some of them were from the early 1700s. I WISH I could have rescued those too!
Be on the lookout for deals and it is amazing what you can find. Gather pieces you love that have meaning and purpose. Find a design plan that can cohesively pull together all your elements and works for your space. And then you can have a room, and more importantly a home, that reflects you, your family, and your story.
I LOVED General Conference this past weekend. There were so many wonderful talks and the music was beautiful. I know I feel inspired and uplifted and found many gems that seemed to be just for me. One of my favorite pieces of advice…”Stop It.” Oh, wasn’t that a great talk? :)
April’s Visiting Teaching message is called Love, Watch Over, & Strengthen. It seems like a lot of the messages this year so far have been on the importance of visiting teaching. Perhaps we need to be paying attention to something here! You can print the handout to take or mail to the ladies you visit teach and you can view the whole message here.