Tag Archives: sour cream

Seven Layer Salad


This is FOR SURE a favorite salad in this house. Feel free to add even more veggies ~ add broccoli, red pepper or more peas. Whatever is in the fridge! (My kids don’t even SEEM to notice the veggies in this salad, so that is why I add a bit more! Bonus!) ENJOY!!!

Seven Layer Salad
1 head of lettuce torn into small pieces
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. of chopped green pepper
1/2 c. of chopped green onion
1 c. of peas
3/4 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
3 TB. sugar
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine the mayo, sour cream and sugar ~ set aside. In a 9″ x 13″ pan layer the lettuce, green pepper, celery, onions, peas, dressing, cheese, eggs and bacon. Chill a few hours.

I hope you enjoy our families favorite lettuce salad!

Recipe adapted from Mom W’s “Salt Lick Salad” (aka Seven Layer Salad).


Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole


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SO. There are 2 kinds of people in the world. Those who plan their meals in advance (menu planning a week or more ahead and their meals are made (or prepped) WAY before the dinner hour) and there are those who can whip together fabulous meals within minutes of thinking them up (at 5pm mind you). I fall into the first category, I want to be able to be like those in the 2nd category BUT if a day turned out differently then planned or if I just plum forget to plan a meal, I wander. Wander down the hall, wander to the cookbook cabinet, help with homework, change my socks, wander back to the kitchen, get sidetracked by wonderful stories of the day from the kids, open the fridge. You, know, doing everything but making dinner. Usually I will figure out a cookie to make sometime soon, or I will just stand and eat peanut butter. No closer to getting dinner on the table. A thought! There is the rock hard chicken in the freezer that would be really good to cook up real quick, uh hum. It stays there. (Another bite of peanut butter with chocolate chips on top this time.) I think of the jarred pasta sauce, noodles and bread under the broiler we like. Could use some meatballs or something with it.. (Now…. I may be getting plenty of protein from the peanut butter I am eating…..but that is only me.) Moving on.  Frozen pizza. Got it. Applesauce. Excellent. Dinner. Nothin’ wrong with a frozen pizza here and there!!!!

This meal fits right into the “make ahead meal makers” out there. Make it the day/night before you need it, make it the morning of ~ or HEY!!! ~ you can EVEN make it JUST before you NEED to bake it, those of you who are good at that!! Awesome.

This meal along with a few others got me out of a dinner rut! Ever have those??

Enjoy this casserole, it is kid friendly because it has really simple delicious flavors. Leftovers re-heat good too!!!

ON a side note. Way back when, when I started this blog, I was looking forward to “chatting” about food with you all!! I STILL want to do that, BUT I seem to be the only one chatting. 😉 SO don’t forget to tell us about things your family likes or things you have tried ~ perhaps off of Pinterest??? Tell us IF we should or shouldn’t try something!! Tried and true recipes are the bestest!!!  I know many of us are not “commenters” ~ but hey! Shoot me an e-mail  ~ favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com ~ and tell me about it there!!!  🙂  I really do want to hear from you guys. 🙂 I have been wondering if I should keep this blog going……does anyone read? Try things? There are so very many fabulous blogs out there. I just wonder………

Oh, yah, back to the recipe!!!!  Pretty sure I saw it when I searched for “easy dinner ideas”. Recipe came from Julie’s Eats & Treats ~here is the recipe with a few of my extra notes! Enjoy!!

Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole 

1 lb. chicken, cooked and shredded (I used about 2 heaping cups)
6 oz. box of Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. minced onion flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the rice according to package directions. (I like to cook it a few minutes less than the instructions say.) Combine all the ingredients together, pour into a greased 9″ sq. pan. Bake @ 350º for 30 minutes, if it is cold bake it closer to 45 minutes. Serve with a veggie and ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Julie’s Eats & Treats.

Cucumber Salsa


Garden time is here!  Or should I say, gardens FULL of yummy produce have finally sprouted!! I, myself, have a brown thumb ~ as brown as soil. BUT there are a few people that I love, who have wonderful green thumbs and share fresh garden produce with me! Or a quick trip to the farm stand, even the grocery store has farm fresh produce right now! So it is right at  our fingertips!! Let’s enjoy it!!!

Cucumber, plain sliced cucumber, make my noise flare. You know, when you eat something you really are not keen of, your nose flares, right? Well, for me that is cucumber. Unless it is sliced and in a lovely vinegar sugar mixture, now that IS good. Or made into a pickle.  Or if it is in a salad and surrounded by other things, you don’t notice as much when your fork is full of lettuce and tomato and such.  Dipping it is ranch is good too, tho I will still forever reach for the carrots or cherry tomatoes on a veggie platter (taking a cuke or two, simply cause it is probably real good for me being a veggie and all ;)).

Anyways, when your garden is brimming with cucumber or you find that you have a lonely cucumber in your fridge needed to be used up, try this recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. It does get watery after a day or two in the fridge, so don’t make tooo much at once. My family  eats nearly this whole batch and dinner, the leftovers can be a bit watery (from the cucumber draining) the next day, but still good.

~ Cut the cucumber up nice and small, then let set a few minutes to drain any excess liquid, pat dry with a paper towel. It also helps to scoop out the seeds, just using the outer shell.

~ Technically this is ment to be eaten with chips, which we do, but is also good “as is” ~ grab a fork and eat it like a salad!

~ Plum tomatoes work best for this recipe, as they are not quite as liquidy as other tomatoes, if you no not have plum (or Roma is good too) ~ then just take the seeds out of the tomatoes, then cut.

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Crisp Cucumber Salsa

2 c. peeled,  chopped cucumber (remove seeds 1st)
1/2 c. chopped plum tomatoes
2 TB. fresh minced parsley (can also use dry, about 1/2 – 1 TB.)
1/4 c. chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, remove seeds and chop
1/2 c. minced cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, onion, jalapeno and garlic. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and stir to coat. Chill at least 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Chicken Tortilla Bake


Sometimes creativity at dinner can be hard, sometimes we run into a rut.

I have run into a dinner rut, perhaps because we are very near grilling season, burgers and shish-ka-bobs sound really good about now…….perhaps it is because I feel like I always make the same things or similar versions of the same things. Ever have dinner ruts?? What gets you out of them? Do you try new things or stick with the same ol’ favorites??

Chicken Tortilla Bake or Enchilada Casseroles, etc. ~ they are really nothing new…….not for us and probably not for you either BUT this one was a quick throw together and an easy bake AND  really good!!!

Sometimes we just need to have a few easy dinner meals that we can count out to come together quickly and to be enjoyed by the family! Dinners that require simple staples that most of us have in our house. This dinner helped me get out of a rut, perhaps it will help you someday if you are ever in a rut!!

Recipe Notes:
~ I used Homemade Cream “of” Soup. I added about 1/4 c. chopped onion to the butter melting part of the soup making. It gave nice flavor to the sauce.
~ You can make this Tortilla Bake earlier in the day, when things are perhaps a little quieter and you have more time. Just pop it in the fridge and take it out when you are ready to bake it. (May  need to add some time to the baking, if it is totally cold through.)
~ Last time I made this I used 1/2 can of leftover Rotel tomatoes and added enough salsa to make it equal 1 c.  I would do that again.
~ Rotel tomatoes give this dish a bit more of a kick then salsa, unless you use hot salsa ~ so choose your salsa spice depended on your families preference!

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Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup (or 1 batch of this)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (drained) OR 1 c. salsa
(or a combo of both equalling 1 c.)
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (equalling about 2-3 c.)
12 corn tortillas
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the soup, tomato product of choice, sour cream and milk.

Cut tortillas up, into strips. Layer 1/3 of the tortilla strips in a greased casserole dish (I use my oval Corelle casserole dish ~ it is a but smaller than a 9″x13″ pan, but deeper. So a 9″ x 13″ pan could work too, I would think. However it might bake quicker, so keep that in mind.) Then top with 1/2 of the cooked chicken and half of the sauce. Repeat (tortilla strips, chicken, sauce). End with the last layer of tortillas, then cheese.

Cover and bake @ 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes to brown the cheese just a bit.

Delicious topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

Serve with a chopped salad and ENJOY!!

Recipe adapted from thrityhandmadedays.com. (By the way, her pictures look MUCH more appealing than my “leftovers”! Sorry about that!) ((Pardon the green plate shadow in the corner, someone was being silly.))

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce & Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes


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Thanksgiving week is HERE!!! The stores are busy, turkey salt & pepper shakers are taking over and the kitchen smell yummy. It is just a really fun time of year.  Outside looks like fall, maybe even a snowflake here or there……. Peppermint Mocha creamer is in the store! (for those who don’t enjoy coffee, it is also good in hot chocolate…….) So, lets enjoy the busy week!! If you are in the store, the busy store, take a moment to look around, enjoy the sights. The older man pushing the cart while his wife scurries about with the list. The carts full of turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce. (JUST don’t shop when you need to be somewhere at a certain time. You will be crabby. Just don’t go. Period. Go when you have time to enjoy it.)

A few recipes that seemed “holidayish” to me.


Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce, now, cranberry sauce is NOT everybody’s thing. BUT if you enjoy tart things (me), then this will be right up your alley. It has a nice kick of orange in it, and apple too! It freezes well! So go ahead and make it easy for your Thanksgiving day meal and check one thing off your list!

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce 

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
12 oz. pkg cranberries
1 TB. orange peel
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Mix brown sugar and water, heat to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and boil for 20 minutes. (Stirring often.) Chill. This also freezes well.

Recipe adapted from a Betty Crocker New Christmas Cookbook.

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These potatoes are a handy recipe to have in your file. “Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes” is what I like to call them.  Make a full batch of it one day, and freeze it into freezer safe containers for easy side dish on a busy day!! OR make a day or two before  a big gathering, let’s just say Thanksgiving, and it will sit in the fridge waiting for you!!

I keep mine pretty simple with just salt & pepper. But feel free to add garlic, garlic salt, or onion powder to yours ~ depending on your taste.

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes 

5 lb. potatoes
6 oz. cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 TB. butter
paprika, optional

Peel and cut up the potatoes, put in a pot of salted water and boil till tender, drain. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, salt & pepper. Mash till smooth. Use right away, or chill in fridge till needed OR divide into freezer safe containers for later meals.

When time to serve ~ Place potatoes (thawed) in a greased casserole dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake @ 350º till heated through, about 30 minutes. (OR cook in a greased crock pot, on low for about 4-5 hours, till heated through.)

This recipe is in a lot of church/school cookbooks, so I am not sure who to give the credit to!! A good “handed down from generation to generation” recipe!!

Ranch Chicken with Bacon ~ Crock Pot Cooking


Aldi Special Items for February 27 ~ March 5.

(I have listed only a few items that caught my eye, for a complete list go here.)

I really was happy with the ad this week! Lots of things, good things. I hope you find some great finds as well!!!

* Avocados ~ 49¢ each.

* Roma Tomatoes ~ 99¢ each.

* Asparagus ~ $1.99 per 16 oz. pkg.

* Gala Apples ~ 3 lb. bag for $2.49.

* Lemons ~ 1 lb. bag for 99¢.

* Strawberries ~ 99¢ for 1 lb. pkg.

* Tilapia ~ 32 oz. bag for $5.49 OR 16 oz. bag for $3.49.

* Tartar Sauce or Cocktail Sauce ~ 12 oz. for 99¢ each.

* Fresh Chicken Breasts ~ $1.69 per lb.

* Jalapeno Slices or Pepper Rings ~ $1.19 for a 12 oz. jar.

* Mexican Style Corn (Mexicorn) ~ 79¢ for 11 oz. can.

* Chopped Green Chilies ~ 69¢ for 4 oz. can.

* Medium or Mild Salsa ~ $1.69 for a 24 oz. jar.

* Corn Chips (Big Dippers or Chili Cheese) ~ $1.19 for 9.25 oz. bag.

For today’s recipe I am excited to share with you Ranch Chicken with Bacon. BONUS, it cooks in the crock-pot.

This recipe freezes well, if you want to add it to your “Crock Pot Cooking” plan for next time! * Some notes on that.* ~ Just cook the bacon and put in a small Ziplock baggie and attach to the larger Ziplock bag. Add it near the end of the cooking time, so it stays crispy. DO NOT add the sour cream (it does not freeze well), just make a note on your Ziplock bag that you need to have 1 c. of sour cream when you plan on cooking this meal.

My oldest son said “Mom this is actually really good.” 🙂  Let me just say that we had this for dinner one night after 3 ( yes 3) nights of near fail dinners. So, I did not blame him for being nervous about what his mother was going to serve him…….

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Ranch Chicken with Bacon ~ Crock Pot Cooking

3 strips of bacon, cooked crispy and drained
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used this)
1 pkg. Ranch Dressing Mix
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. sour cream

Set the cooked bacon aside (if you do this early in the day, just pop in the fridge till ready to be added to slow cooker).

Place the chicken in your slow cooker. Mix together the cream soup, dry dressing mix and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

(If freezing ~ combine the chicken and cream soup mixture in Ziplock bag, attach the bag of bacon. Be sure the write the cooking time and “add 1 c. sour cream after shredding chicken” on the bag.

Shred chicken, put back in your slow cooker and add the sour cream and bacon. Stir, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or so, till heated through.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta.

Serve chicken mixture over pasta and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Six Sister’s Stuff. I changed the directions so that you can freeze it for a “make ahead meal”.

Mexican Salad


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I found this treasure of a recipe while reading a very old cookbook. There is a small stash of cookbooks that a read and re-read each summer on vacation. Occasionally my grandma will throw a new one in there…..happy happy me. Cookbooks are my “books”. At least am reading….right??

In a constant quest to find the “just right” pairing for tacos or anything Mexican,  I stumbled upon this recipe that I jotted down a few summers ago. Yum. My kids aren’t necessarily fans of all the “extras” in it ~ but they just load it off to the side and it happily joins my plate.  Leave off something if your family will not enjoy OR add something you think they might…..I am thinking you could even add chicken to this for lunch or a light dinner!

* I did change a number of things from the original recipe.

  1. It was straight up mayo in the dressing,  I took out some and added some sour cream.
  2. It also called for a can of diced green chilis, I had JUST used my last can for soup…..so I used some candied jalapenos I had made, it gave it a nice sweet~heat kick.
  3. The recipe called for cheddar cheese, but I had pepper jack cheese JUST begging to join the party…..nice addition as well!

SO, now we go to the recipe!

Mexican Salad 

1-2 heads of Romaine lettuce (I used one large one)
sliced black olives (I used about 10)
2-3 tomatoes (I used about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved)
1/4 – 1/2  of a red onion, diced
1 can of green chilies, chopped (I used candied jalapenos)
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese (I used pepper jack)
1 avocado (cut up and toss with some lemon juice)
good handful of Doritos, crushed

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. salsa verde (the green salsa)
1/4 c. ketchup
1 tsp. chili powder

Layer the salad ingredients in the order listed. Saving the avocados and the crushed Doritos to add in JUST before serving.

Combine the dressing ingredients. Chill till serving time.

When ready to serve ~ toss together the salad, avocado and chips. Pour about 1/2 the dressing over, toss. Adding all of the dressing would be TOO much in my opinion. Though, my husband likes more……so I put the rest on the table to serve over individual serving. PLUS that makes the leftovers not so soggy.

TIP:Leftover dressing is delicious on wraps or on quesadillas.


Sorry about my crazy ( )….THAT got a bit out of control.

Good Day.

Recipe adapted from a lovely old Church Cookbook from Kalamazoo.