Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Isn't In the Air, But I Don't Care....

IT'S SEPTEMBER....(squeal)

My favorite season is Fall.  Now granted I'm a Texas girl and always will be....AND we don't truly get seasons like other states, but I still love Fall.  September, October (my fave) and November get me giddy!  Dust off those Fall cookbooks and start making yummy in the tummy foods


I personally thought he was insane.  How do you hate wild rice and chicken and apple sweets?  Throws hands up.  Can't please em all.  (he's a tough crowd too)

Paula Deen's Sept/Oct issue had some casseroles and I knew I wanted to give the Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole a try.  It had a Sourdough top and that sold me.  My changes are in RED  
and for the record...I'm having leftovers for lunch!


  1. 1/2 cup butter
  2. 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a Rotisserie Chicken that I shredded...I used about 3 cups)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  4. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  5. 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh baby portobello mushrooms (I probably halved this...I'm not a fan of the sh'rooms)
  6. 1 cup chopped onion
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine (I only had chicken broth to use)
  8. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  9. 2 cups chicken broth
  10. 1 cup milk
  11. 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  12. 1 (24-ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  13. 2 (6.2-ounce) boxes quick-cooking long-grain and wild rice,* cooked according to package directions
  14. 1 (8-ounce) package fontina cheese, shredded  (I used Provolone...)
  15. 1 cup sour cream
  16. ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  17. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  18. 4 cups cubed sourdough bread
  19. 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until done. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from skillet; set aside.  (I skipped this since I used the Rotisserie)
  3. Add mushrooms and onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or just until tender. Add wine, and cook for 5 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in broth, milk, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in broccoli, next 5 ingredients, and cooked chicken. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss together bread cubes and melted butter; sprinkle over casserole.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

    Now this made one massive casserole.  You could probably put this into 2 pans and freeze one with a smaller family. 
    I'm not sure what he didn't like about it considering the fact that it had onions and mushrooms in it which he loves.  He loves my chicken and wild rice meal...why not this casserole.  I thought the flavors were fantastic.  I would probably increase the salt and pepper next time (preference)

    I'm standing by this recipe.  It would be perfect for a Fall night by the fire and some crusty buttered bread with a glass of red....Everyone went for seconds (except meal hating hubs)

It was Wednesday night when I made these....You know what that means?  I make a few desserts.  My father in law has a sweet tooth.  He will deny it, but gladly takes his take home desserts with him.  I wonder if he shares with my mother in law???!!

The 2 desserts from last night were from  Paula Deen's Fall Baking (magazine) and it was divided into 4 sections  Pear, Apple, Pumpkin (OHHH THAT'S ON MENU FOR NEXT WEEK), and Sweet Potato with over 59 recipes!

I busted out 2 Apple recipes....Apple Pie Cupcakes w/Brown Sugar Buttercream and a different take on the French Apple Pie (had a custard like topping??!)

Apple Pie Cupcakes w/Brown Sugar Buttercream

Now this had mixed reviews.  Some didn't want the apple pie filling in the center.  Some loved all three combos....some liked the cupcake cold, some like it room temp.  Some just wanted to eat the buttercream.  (me)  Can't please everyone.  I kept these in the fridge until serving b/c the buttercream icing had so much butter in it.  It's Texas and hot and didn't want the cream to melt sitting out all day.  That being said.... I will probably make these again w/half filling half not.  The buttercream took longer than I thought to heat up, but the finally product had me drooling.  I even kept some aside and added to my coffee.  It was great.  My MEAN hubs said it had no flavor.  Bah

Then I made a French Apple Pie  (if you were following on IG you would have seen some bubbling apples on the stove...mmmmm)

Now Paula's picture (here below) looks like there is a crust on the top of this.  I assumed the sour cream/egg mixture poured on top would look like this when I baked mine.  It didn't.  It had more a custard look to it, but still tasted great with the pie!
The crust on this was incredible.  I loved the idea of using a box cake mix to make this.  I had to keep checking it and pushing it down while it baked.  The butter and cake (I assume) kept making it puff up
Everyone enjoyed the crust as well
(I may or may not have had a bite early this morning with my coffee while the kids were sleeping) 

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