Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Pinch of Love, A Smidgen of Joy - Family Food

Flowers for Momma
May 28 was the one year anniversary of my Momma's, Patricia Anna Sue Rains's, passing. It was a bittersweet day for my family, filled with memories and tears, joy and sorrow, and a beautiful memorial for her. I think Momma would be proud of the lovely flowers we placed on her grave. My brother, Dad and I gathered around and sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," her favorite hymn, while at the grave site. It was emotional, meaningful. We ended the day by baking one of Momma's favorite cakes, her Decadent Chocolate Chip Cake (found in her cookbook). It came out so well!

It's so special baking or cooking with family, especially in memory of a family member, for an event or church potluck, or just for a week-night meal with loved ones. One of our favorite dinners is Momma's Chicken and Rice Casserole and a side of green beans, with blonde brownies for dessert. Nothing says quality family time like sharing a meal together. And it's so meaningful for me when I can enjoy making food that Momma loved and is in her cookbook! Especially when I'm at home in Arkansas visiting with family!
Chicken Casserole
Chicken Casserole
By: Patricia Rains and Kris Williams, from "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That" cookbook
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
4 chicken breasts (boneless breast halves or tenders are best)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (Note: Kenda's addition)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (Note: Kenda's addition)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 9x13 baking dish with non-stick coating. Mix soups, milk, Italian seasoning and butter in a bowl. Pour 1/3 soup in the baking dish. Layer all of the rice on top of the soup mixture. Place chicken on top of rice, and place mushroom slices on top of chicken. Top with remaining soup mixture. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 F for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until liquid is taken up by rice and chicken is tender and no longer pink inside. (Note: Make sure all rice is covered in soup mixture or it will be dry and crusty.)
Seasoned (Canned) Italian Green Beans
By: Patricia Rains, from "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That" cookbook
3 - 14.5 oz. cans Italian green beans
1 or 2 Wyler's beef bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon Cavender's Greek Seasoning
1 tablespoon bacon drippings (Note: I leave this out and usually crumble a few pieces of cooked bacon into the beans as they're cooking)
Combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan. You can judge after you make these whether you want 1 or 2 beef bouillon cubes. The more you use, the saltier the beans will taste. Cook on low heat until desired doneness is achieved, stirring only a few times to mix seasonings. 
Dumb Blonde Brownies

Dumb Blonde Brownies (Hello Judys)
By: Patricia Rains, from "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That" cookbook

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten (3 eggs for cake-like brownies)
3 tablespoons water
1 pkg. (10.5 to 12 oz. bag) chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 F. Place dry cake mix in a large bowl. Use a spatula to break up lumps. Combine oil, eggs, and water, and whisk together until foamy. Add to dry cake mix and stir with a spatula. Do not use a mixer! Once most of the lumps are out, add chocolate chips and nuts (if desired). Stir only until well-combined. Spray nonstick coating on inside of a 13x9 casserole dish. Spread batter evenly inside the pan. Bake 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely before cutting.
Enjoy!! :)