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Archive for March, 2011

Today we’re talking chicken!  Chicken and noodles and soup to be exact.  Put those 3 together and you’ll be a happy camper.  Hmm… happy camper.  Ponder that for a moment.  Is there such a thing?  I’m not sure.  Anyway… I love this soup.  I love this soup because it understands me.  This soup knows I have all the best intentions for making things from scratch, but I really don’t have time.  So instead of acting rude and refusing to cooperate, this soup becomes emotionally supportive by coming together for me with virtually no effort on my part.  If I could, I would hug this soup… it would be weird and I would more than likely need a change of clothes but that’s not the point.  The point is, this soup is probably one of the most comforting things you could ever make and once you do, you’ll want to hug it too!  For this recipe you will need:

One Rotisserie Chicken
4 celery stalks with leaves chopped
1 onion chopped
About 4 shredded carrots (you can grate them or chop them or buy them shredded. whatever works!)
2 cloves minced garlic
Handful of chopped parsley
The big huge can of Chicken Broth (i think its 49 oz)
Noodles (I used thin “no yolks” brand but feel free to use your fave)
Crusty Bread for dipping

Grab your chicken and pull all the meat off.  You will also want to shred this into bite sized pieces.

Next, chop up the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic.  Season them with salt and pepper and throw them in your pan or soup pot that you have some olive oil heated in.  you want this over medium-low heat.  I used the bottom of my soup pot and it was great. 

You don’t want color on the veggies.  You just want them softened.  Once they are soft and fragrant, add the chicken to the pot and let everybody meet each other.  I love it when food gets along.

After a minute or so, you can add in the whole massive can of broth and the noodles.  I really like these noodles.  They are so cute and I think they work beautifully in the soup.

These noodles will only take a few minutes so put the lid on the pot and go ahead and check facebook really quick.  By the time you update your status to say you’re making delicious chicken noodle soup, you’ll be all set.  Take the lid off and stir to make sure the noodles are done.  If they are, stir in the chopped parsley and taste test for seasoning adjustment.  If necessary, adjust.  Now, I used a little more than half my bag of noodles and they soaked up a lot of the broth.  I had some extra chicken broth on hand so I added a little more liquid to the mix.  I would have some extra handy just incase. 

Yum!  Now tell me you can’t envision yourself hugging this soup.  Do you see what I mean?  Serve this in a big bowl with crusty bread on the side.  I know you’re gonna love this recipe. 

Enjoy this!  You deserve it.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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Hey there!  Welcome back to a happier version of The Bluebird’s Nest.  I know I’ve been all recipe-less and angsty lately.  I’m sorry.  I’ve had some personal “ick” going on.  But, if there’s one thing that always makes me feel better, its eating my feelings.  Terrible advice I know, but I never said I was your diet and exercise guru!  I only promised to be myself… and I think you’ll appreciate this easy dish when you need to eat your feelings too :)  For this recipe you will need:

2 cans of Chunk White Tuna in water
About 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
About half a box of noodles (your choice. i used cavatappi)
Milk
2 cups of shredded cheese (whatever ya got)
1 small onion chopped
Salt and Pepper
Big dash of garlic powder
Bigger dash of paprika
Smallish dash of dehydrated onion flakes (cuz they are so yum)
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers
3 Tbsp. melted butter

Okie Dokie, so go ahead and get your noodles going and while they’re cookin up get the ither ingredients together. Drain the tuna and get it in your mixing bowl with some salt, pepper, and the rest of the spices.

I know it doesn’t look like much now, but you have to stick with me to the end.  To take your mind off things, go ahead and cover this up with the 2 cans of soup.  Then, using one of the soup cans, add a can and half of milk.  Eh… go wild and throw the onions in there too… crazy crazy kids…

Next we add the cheese and peas right on top!  I used a mix of monterey jack and cheddar because that’s what I had on hand.  Use your favorite.  There’s no science to this.

Now you can mix everything up until its well combined.  It will start looking a lot more appetizing.

Get this into a 9×13 pan and set it aside.  Grab the sleeve of crackers and crush it into crumbs.  While you’re doing this, imagine that the crackers are the source of all your anxiety and really just stick it to ’em.  Thats it… yep!  Bash those suckers up!  Ok I think that looks fine.  Really.  Stop crushing the crackers!  Stop it!  You’re acting crazy!  Back away… slowly…  Deep breaths… Good…  Do you think you can handle mixing in the melted butter now?  Excellent… Phew!

Sprinkle the cracker crumbs over the top of the casserole and bake until brown and beautiful!

All that’s left to do now is dig in!  Just looking at this beauty makes me feel better already.  I hope you enjoy this on a day you really need it… whenever that may be.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon!

Love,

Meagan

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I’m so empty, I feel so numb
Will this grey day just be done?
I feel so anxious, feel so tried
When will I be satisfied?

I feel no magic, I find no peace
Where’s the hope and sweet release?
It’s like I’m mourning someone who died
When will I be satisfied?

I’ll be satisfied when there’s less of me, when there’s nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I give my all, just jump out of my head
And I finally just fall…
I’ll be satisfied… I’ll be satisfied

The morning crashes through the night
Dressing dark in shades of light
But like a coward, I run and hide
When will I be satisfied?

I’ll be satisfied when theres less of me, when theres nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I give my all, just jump put of my head
And I finally just fall…
I’ll be satisfied, I’ll be satisified…

Theres a reason the skies hang above me at night
So I sing to the stars and I blow out their lights
I give grace to my heart and I hold my own hands
And I wonder to no one if this is your plan…

I’ll be satisfied, when theres less of me, when theres nobody else
And you’re all that I see…
I’ll be satisfied when I win this war, lead the life I believe
Finally be something more…
I’ll be satisfied, I’ll be satisfied…

Are you satisfied with where you are in your life? Do you ever feel like your’e just floating around out here llike a balloon that lost it’s string? Me too. Sometimes my only consolation comes in the form of writing… Maybe you keep a journal or scribble your thoughts on napkins. Maybe you don’t write at all… maybe you should. Be it just thoughts, or a letter, or poems or songs, you need to connect with yourself. If I can’t connect to myself, I find it hard to connect to God and to others. Maybe you fel this way too. If you do, I encourage you to write something today.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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Hello and welcome to The Bluebird’s Nest.  Today we are talking “Temperance”.  Why?  Because I need to.  I was fixin’ to lose my salvation right smack dab in the middle of my office because a certain client was driving me cuckoo banana crackers!  I found myself saying “Lord give me patience. Give me a double dose of that sweet attitude stuff.  Help me control my temper and not the other way around!” but I don’t think the Lord was listening.  How do I know?  Because the more this buck toothed busy body kept talking, the madder I kept getting!  Her being buck toothed is completely my assumption because I have never met her in person, but the busy body part is without question.

Once I hung up the phone, I remembered that my pastor told me once not to ask God for patience unless I wanted to get really annoyed, really fast. He was right.  Temperance/Patience is a skill that takes a while to hone.  I look at it like being a ballerina.  I am not a ballerina but I always secretly wanted to be one when I was little.  (Ok… I still might want to be one a little bit now too….)  You don’t just wake up one day and realize that you are this incredible ballet star.  The prima ballerina works for years and years developing her skills, refining her movements, and honing her talents down to the most minute of details.  This comes at a price.  Her feet swell and bleed, her diet must be exact, and her discipline for training comes before anything else in her life.  She is consumed by the dance.  She is saturated in her technique.  It makes me examine my own spiritual discipline.  It shows me I am very lacking. 

I am reminded that patience comes with an equal price.  No one is ever refined without being presented as a sacrifice to that blazing fire.  The fire is hot!  It hurts, it burns, it singes, and it melts you down until you’re unrecognizable.  Then and only then can God pull us out and make us into something better…something beautiful…something useful.   Theres an old song we used to sing at church that went “Refiners fire, my hearts one desire is to be holy.  Set apart for you Lord.  Ready to do your will.”  Now that’s how I want to be, but how I am is sometimes different.  I am continuing to work on my patience/temperance but I’ve decided to stop asking God for more of it.  I can’t take it anymore!  Instead, I am just going to “Shhh” and take the lessons as they come.  I have this scripture painted on my living room wall: Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”.  Such a small verse says so much. 

I wish I would have remembered to be still and to “Shhh”, when dealing with my difficult customer earlier.  I later found out later that she  had just lost her Dad… She was simply misdirecting her grief and anger toward me.  When I replayed our conversation in my head, I saw several places where I could have “been still” or responded with a lot more love and patience.  Lesson learned.  I hope that someone out there needed to hear this today as much as I did.

 “Let nothing disturb thee, Let nothing dismay thee.  All things pass and God never changes.  Patience attains all that it strives for and he who has God find he lacks nothing.  God alone suffices.” -St. Theresa of Avila

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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Eclair Cake

Welcome back to The Bluebird’s Nest!  Do you like eclairs?  Do you like cake?  Then this one is for you baby…  If you want a make ahead dessert that is sure to impress this will be your new go to.  My friend Erica gave me this recipe a while ago and I’ve been taking all the credit up until now.  Sigh… I must give credit where its due so… Erica, you are the eclair cake goddess and I am merely a worshipper in your dessert temple.  For this recipe you will need:

3 boxes of Instant French Vanilla Pudding
3 cups of cold milk
1 Container of Thawed Cool Whip
1 box of Graham Crackers
1 container of dark chocolate cake frosting
9×13 pan

Ok so this is so refreshingly easy to make. It’s actually pretty unbelievable that so little effort goes in to making something so amazing.  So to begin, put all 3 boxes of pudding in a mixing bowl with the 3 cups of milk and whisk it up.  It will soon set up to be a thick pudding.

Once the pudding has set, add the container of cool whip to it by gently folding it in.  You do want to make sure you fold it in carefully because you don’t want to push the air out of the mix. 

Now that your filling is done, grab your graham crackers and line them up in the bottom of the pan so it’s all covered.  You’ll want to use the small pieces on the edges so there’s no pan showing.  Don’t worry if it’s not all completely flat around the edges.  It will turn out.  I swear.  I would not joke about something this serious.

Take half of the filling and spread it carefully over the top of the graham crackers.  They will try to lift up on you but take charge!  You will get the hang of it and before you know it you will have buried them in filling and they will just have to like it. 

Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Ok, so now we have to cover up this hack job of graham cracker shingles.  We need chocolate.  Asap.

Ok.  You have to melt this in the microwave or you won’t be able to spread it.  We want to liquefy it.  Then we want to fill a bath tub with it and climb inside.  Sorry.  Maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, once it’s melted go ahead and pour the whole thing over the top and smooth it out with a spatula.

Hello Beautiful.  You want to refrigerate this overnight because the crackers need time to soften up.  They will literally turn into a cakey consistency and you will thank them for it.  Slice it up and serve it to the people you really like.  I put a strawberry on mine because its pretty and delish!

What more can I say?  You’re gonna love it! 

A special thanks to my friend Erica Stevens!  Erica, you are one of my kindred spirits and you will never know how much I love you and value your friendship.  Thank you for all of our talks and inside jokes.  Thank you for speaking into my life at a time when I needed you to.  Sometimes when you’re wandering around in the dark parts of life, you bump into something great.  Thats you. 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon!

Love,

Meagan

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Well hello darlins’ and welcome back to The Bluebird’s Nest.  Today I’ll share with y’all my recipe for Southern Sweet Tea.  Now, if y’all make this tea and find it’s not sweet enough, you just call me  and I’ll come on by and stick my pinky in it….  For this recipe you will need:

12 Plain Tea Bags
4 Cups of Boiled Water
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
Lemon Wedges

First you want to put your kettle on to boil.  When you have a nice boil going, take it off the heat and put 12 tea bags in the pot. 

Let this steep for a half an hour.  Put your sugar in the bottom of the pitcher you’re fixin to use.  Mine is a 2 quart pitcher.  Once the tea has steeped, pour it in the pitcher and stir. 

Once the sugar is disolved, fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water.  Refrigerate until ready to serve and garnish with a lemon wedge. 

Now I hope y’all enjoyed my sweet tea recipe and I expect to see y’all on the veranda drinkin’ some of this right quick like!  Run along now and mind yer manners…

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back real soon.

Love,

Meagan

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