Friday, September 20, 2013

Handheld Fried Chicken Pot Pies

I've made these babies twice now - and both times they were devoured within minutes. {Meaning: We literally ate them right as they came out of the deep fryer.} #dontjudge. I mean, the recipe stems from a Paula Deen/Rodney Henry recipe collaboration {Anyone else watch Food Network Star?!}... So, how can it not be delicious!?

First things first, gather your ingredients:
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cans of Buttermilk Biscuits (Jumbo - 8 biscuits/can) *this means that this makes 16 pies! you can obviously cut all of the other ingredients in half and only use 1 can of the biscuits to make just 8 pies.
- 1/2 of a 25 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies from Jolly Green Giant
- 1 12 oz jar of Heinz Classic Chicken Gravy
- Seasoning of choice (for the chicken)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Olive Oil (just a drizzle)
- 2 qts of 100% Vegetable Oil (If using a deep fryer like we did. Only pour about 2 inches of oil if using a heavy bottomed pot instead.) 
* A deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pan/pot is obviously necessary.
** You can get really fancy and omit the ingredients listed in green if you want to make Rodney's Savory Chicken Pie Filling instead. However, I am lazy and the frozen veggie mixture worked out just fine for me!
Step 1: Add your vegetable oil to your cooking device (pot or fryer) and heat to 350*F.
Step 2: Cut up your chicken breasts into bite size cubes. Season with the drizzle of olive oil and your seasoning of choice. Cook them all of the way through in a large skillet.
Step 3: After the chicken is cooked, add the mixed veggies and cook those up as well!

Step 4: Add the chicken gravy! Then let cool slightly.

 Step 5: Roll out your biscuits so that they are big enough to put about a scoopful of the filling in the middle. Just guest-i-mate, maybe about as big as your hand. I'm not too technical when it comes to this, haha. Then wet the edges of your dough with some water (to help the dough stick together when frying).

Step 6: Scoop the mixture onto the rolled-out biscuit and then fold over the one side of the dough and crimp the edges with a fork. Again, it doesn't have to be super perfect.

Step 7: Fry that sucker! Ours was good at about 3:30 minutes on each side. It made for a nice golden-brown and crispy crust.

Step 8: Let they pies de-grease a little by sitting them on some folded over paper towels... and try to resist not eating them right away...

Step 9: Fail miserably at the whole "don't eat it until the others are done" thing.

Step 10: Make a mountain of Fried Chicken Pot Pie deliciousness.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Grammy turns 90.

This year, my Grammy turned 90 years old. To think of all of the things she has witnessed in those ninety years... I just can't even fathom it all. She is such a wonderful and amazing woman and I am so beyond lucky to call her my "Grammy".

Technically, her birthday was back in July. However, we were on our vacation when she turned the big 9-OH (we're awful people, I know). Thankfully, this weekend we finally got the chance to have a big party for her and celebrate her day of birth properly.

Peyton had her not-so-little cousins wrapped around her finger. They are such young gentlemen that they went to pick flowers with her {from that giant wildflower field in the background}, kick the football for her... and then go retrieve the football to do it all over again, etc. Needless to say, Peyton had a great time, haha.

Peyton helped Grammy open all of her presents, of course.

My (& Jen's) Uncle Dan and Aunt Janice came down for the party- all the way from New Hampshire! It's a shame that we only get to see him every few years or so, if that. However, he did invite us to stay up at his place sooo we may be taking him up on that offer soon!

My Grammy, Jen, Momma, and our Great Aunties. The Aunties come to stay with my Grammy this time of year and they laugh, and laugh, and laugh and play cards all day and night. They each come from different states: Florida, Texas, and Arizona. They celebrate Christmas on a Tuesday (in September) so they can all "be together for Christmas". They go to the "Cousin Crab Party" which is practically a family reunion and a crab feast combined into one. I love each and every one of them and I am so thankful to consider these happy, happy women members of my family.

I do believe that Grammy had a wonderful time at the party. There were numerous people there to celebrate with her and to enjoy her company, of course. There was tons and tons of food, which was nearly completely finished by the end of the night. Seriously, I didn't even get to take a picture of the appetizer set-up (I made the bacon-wrapped-brown-sugar weenies and some spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl, yum!) before it was completely annihilated by the swarm of party-goers, haha. It was a super successful event and I am so glad we got to throw Grammy a birthday party full of laughter, catching up with family, and great food.

Grammy, you mean the world to all of us. I hope this year is filled with much joy and happiness. Here's to 90 more fabulous years! I love you.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Peyton starts Preschool

My baby is old enough to start school.
How did that happen?!

Granted, it's only preschool and its just Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11:30am.

Excuse me while I go look through her baby albums and sob for a few minutes...

Okay, I'm back.
So, she technically had her "classroom orientation" last Wednesday. ^^This was her cute little outfit she let me put on her. I say "let" because, well, she's more about picking out her own outfits these days and they most always include a very interesting combination of clothes topped off with a pair of dressy black heels. Not exactly preschool/playground appropriate, haha.

She was SO excited to be at her classroom. Look at how hard she's cheesing in this picture! ^^

The orientation was basically a scavenger hunt of activities for her to complete, i.e.: Find the bathroom, turn on the light, wash your hands, and then turn off the light. or Trace and cut out a "piece of popcorn" and glue on popcorn pieces. or find the puzzles and put one together. She was in Heaven.

The teacher read a little story at the end of their hunt that was about a little bear (I think) starting her first day of school and one of the lines was about "Well, what if you miss me Mommy? What if you're lonely without me?" --- You can bet your bottom dollar that I bawled like a baby, standing there in the back of the classroom.

So then her first day was Friday, Sept. 6.

I made chocolate cinnamon rolls for breakfast, thinking she would of course want one... She wanted apples! Haha. Love that she picked something healthy instead when given the option to have sweets for breakfast. (No worries, though. Nick, Jen, and I all devoured those chocolatey rolls of deliciousness.)

We were in a crazy rush that whole morning, trying to get ready in time to meet her Daddy and her other grandmother down at the church with time to take some pictures. Luckily, we made it there early enough to get these shots:

It was then time to head up to her classroom and wait for the teacher to let them all in.
Que the Momma tears.

We could tell that she was so excited but SO nervous!
I have never seen her bite her fingernails before.
But then, the door opened...
and this insanely huge smile spread across her face and she just rushed right in to greet her teachers and hang up her bookbag.

She didn't hesitate one little bit.
She did come back for a kiss and quick hug after hanging up her bag.
But then... she was off!

When my Mom and sister went back to pick her up later that morning, the class was out on the playground. Guess where Peyton was?

In a little play-house, hanging out with FOUR (yes, four!) little boys.
My little girl is definitely going to be a leader, not a follower.
"That's for sure." -- her new saying, by the way.

I still can't believe she's old enough for school.
It's like the saying goes, "The days are long, but the years are short."
Not a day goes by that I don't thank my lucky stars that I get the privilege of calling her my daughter and getting to watch her grow up into this beautiful and intelligent little girl.
I love you, babygirl.
To the Moon & back.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

labor day weekend happenings

Our Labor Day weekend was all about spending time with family and eating delicious food:
Friday: Jenna came back from school in NYC {after we just dropped her off last week} and Dadda took us all to get Mexican food. Chicken Enchiladas = YUM in my tum(my)!
Saturday: I worked late. The morning was spent doing MORE dress shopping! Eeek! I know I already mentioned about how I fell in love with two dresses at that shop and I am just itching to go back and try them on again! That night at work, my coworkers had put together a little birthday gift for me that included a bottle of pink moscato, The Knot magazine for PA/DE, and a generous gift card to our place of employment. They are so the BEST! Thanks guys! :) Also, Saturday evening (after work), Rory snuggled up on me as if she were a 3lb lap dog... I would've been mad at her, except she's just so darn cute.

{PS- I know I am biased, but my little girl is just so darn beautiful. Even in her sleep.}

Sunday: I didn't have to work! And I didn't even request off! It was a miracle. So, we raided Bath and Body Works' candle section did some shopping and then went to my parents' house for a delicious homegrown and homemade dinner that was straight out of Jenna's garden! 

Monday: Labor Day. No work was to be done so, naturally, we stuffed our faces. We went to one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Maryland and chowed down on our "family-style" crabcake lunch and sugar biscuits! SO STINKIN' GOOD! I'm drooling just remembering it.
After out belly's were about to burst, we decided it would be a fantastic idea to go on a nature hike. #nobigdeal. This is Prettyboy Dam on Gunpowder River in Maryland:

{those are a whole heck of a lot of stairs, if you couldn't tell.}

{on our way down the "trail" to the water.}
(Nenna ended up taking off her flip flops in order to carry the baby down on her back. We were also in skirts. We may be crazy. May be.}
{Do you see Nicholas over there on the side of the dam? :)}
{I was so worried he was going to slip and fall in 'cause the rocks were so slimy and wet!}

And then our weekend ended with this:

{sunsets from home are always the best.}
I hope you had a wonderful 3-day weekend! :)

Sami's Shenanigans