Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad - SO GOOD!
I just had this awesome delicious Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad at a recent cookie exchange I was invited to. The hostess sent me the link where she got the recipe. SOOO GOOOD! Here's the link for the recipe source (and the blog for the original chef, Jillian), but I've posted it below as well:

Cranberry-Pecan Chicken Salad

4 -12.5 oz can of chicken, drained (I get mine from Costco)
2 t olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
¼ C Miracle Whip
¼ C Non-Fat, Plain Greek Yogurt (I like the FAGE brand from Costco)
½ C cream or whole milk
2 t poppy seeds
1 C celery, chopped
1 T butter
½ C chopped pecans
1 C dried Cranberries

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Drain the chicken and cook in skillet until all the pink is gone (you may have to do this in batches depending on how big your skillet is). Place cooked chicken in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cool, about 1 ½-2 hours.

In a small bowl, mix Miracle Whip, Greek yogurt, cream/milk, and poppy seeds until combined. Pour the mixture over the chicken and season to taste with salt and pepper again. Add in the chopped celery and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the nuts and stir them often until they are toasted, about 4 minutes (they should be a little more than lightly browned and you’ll begin to smell them).

Add the toasted nuts and dried Cranberries just before serving, and mix until combined. Serve with split croissants.

Makes about 8-10 servings.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crockpot French Toast Recipe

Crockpot French Toast Casserole (serves 8)

Photo Credit:
A good friend of mine made this delicious dish for a church Christmas breakfast. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD! I got the recipe from her afterwards. She said it came from a woman with little time to cook (that might be all of us, right?) and who has mastered the aid of her crockpot for feeding her hungry family. She can be found at and Thanks, Amanda, for the awesome recipe and thanks, Anne, for leading me to it. Here it is:

1 loaf of bread sliced or diced (gluten free works okay too)
6 eggs
2 cups milk (Dairy free alternative can be used)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter (or dairy free margarine), softened
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Dash of nutmeg

Whisk together eggs, milk and cinnamon. Pour over diced bread in large mixing bowl. Cover and let soak overnight in fridge or at least 4 hours. When ready to bake, spray inside of crockpot (4-6 quart size works best) to avoid sticking. Pour in bread mixture. In small bowl, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans and nutmeg. Crumble over top of bread mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. Let sit for 15-20 minutes and serve.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Joey Parker Movement: Against All Odds

Here is the fun and energetic cover to Joey Parker's non-fiction "The Joey Parker Movement: Against All Odds"!

Read in more than 100 countries, forgoes snark, judgment, and tabloid-style gossip in favor of generating positive celebrity content, including coverage of celebrities’ charitable and philanthropic pursuits. In this offering, founder Joey Parker channels that positivity and sense of optimism as he seeks to give today’s youth a new and positive perspective on life, drawing on his own experiences and struggles. Among the topics he discusses are coming out in a conservative town, politics, and what it takes to find and make a positive name for oneself in the modern world. With endorsements and contributions from the likes of Paris Hilton, civil rights activist Justin Mikita, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, actors Ian Somerhalder, Denise Richards, and Lisa Rinna, and Real Housewives of New York star Aviva Drescher, The Joey Parker Movement looks to make a difference in the lives of its readers. Joey Parker is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Joey Parker Movement, which focuses on creating positive celebrity content while interviewing high-profile celebrities. He is also a contributing writer for the MTV Act blog and He lives in Idaho. 
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  • Publisher: Jolly Fish Press (April 1, 2014)

Friday, December 6, 2013


My in-law's long, slanted driveway (garage behind the camera)
When my sister sent me a picture of her new Texas abode (or her car rather) covered in ice from her first ice storm, it reminded me of my first ice storm at the beginning of 2013 in Northern Utah (U.S.A.). I think it was Utah's first ice storm in 15-20 years and IT WAS NUTS! We were living with my in-laws at the time and they have a slanted driveway. We had to open their garage door when we pulled into the driveway because there was ZERO traction. The car slid (despite our brakes) toward the garage, but once our wheels hit the garage floor that was not covered with ice, the car stopped. SO NUTS! We actually had to do this twice in the same day (picking the kids up from school and then going out for essential groceries). The first time we returned home, the car slid straight forward for a perfect ride into the haven of the garage. The second time, however, the car turned at a 45 degree angle and slid that way toward the garage wall, nearly hitting the corner of the brick structure. But we came out of it unscathed (or rather the car did, anyway), but emotionally, I never wanted to experience that again. The girls had fun sledding down the driveway, though, so that was one good thing that came of it.

My girls using the driveway for sliding
Well, we've since moved out of my in-laws, but our new driveway is even MORE slanted than theirs. So far this winter, we've been doing all right in the snow with our 4-wheel drive vehicles, but if Utah gets another ice storm, we'll be in trouble on the driveway. Yeah, I don't care what people say about their 4-wheel drive vehicles being able to get through anything. ICE is no respecter of cars. What's the difference between a 2-wheel and a 4-wheel drive vehicle on ice? Nothing, except the latter has all four wheels spinning instead of just two. If another ice storm occurs, we'll either have to park up near the road, or simply not go anywhere at all (I like the latter thought complete with a cozy fire and hot cocoa).

In-law's truck covered with ice
 In this 2013 storm, we were finally able to walk around (get the mail and retrieve the trash can by the road) by wearing my husband's mountaineering "crampons" (metal spikes that attach to your boots). After that, walking around outside was actually fun!

Happy Holidays!
Ice-covered walkway