Monday, October 24, 2011

Southwest Chicken Broccoli Casserole & Fall Challenge

I grew up eating a lot of Casseroles, and it was one of the first things I learned how to cook. I love casseroles, and just like when making soup, you can combine so many ingredients in a casserole, and use whatever you have on hand to whip up a good dollar stretching meal.

This is one of my new favorite Casseroles- Southwest Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

3 cups cubed cooked boneless/skinless chicken
1 10 oz can Rotel (southwest flavored diced tomatoes)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded Cheddar Jack or Mexican Blend Cheese
1 small bag of frozen broccoli-steamed with 1 Tablespoon dehydrated onions
1 package of Rotini spiral pasta - cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large casserole dish combine cooked chicken and steamed broccoli with dehydrated onions (I actually cooked my chicken in a pan, then added broccoli when chicken is almost done and dehydrated onion to steam with the chicken in a little water until the broccoli and chicken were fully cooked), 1 can cream of chicken soup, rotel, and half a cup of milk, and stir. Then stir in cooked pasta and cheese, folding all of the ingredients together until the casserole is evenly mixed if you need a little more milk add another 1/4 cup until mixed. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 F. Or until casserole is heated through. This casserole can be a one dish meal and would also go nicely with some hot corn bread.

A nice "comfort food" dinner.

Fall Making Your Home A Haven Challenge - Week 4

I have been participating in the Fall 31 Day Making Your Home A Haven Challenge going on at Women Living Well blog, and this is week four. You can read this week's challenge here.

Part of this weeks challenge is to create special family nights. Part of being a homemaker is planning fun and special events for your family, I love this part of my homemaking, and planning special family events is something I really enjoy doing. Life can get very busy, especially with kids getting older and having so many different things going on, it is important to maintain family time. I love picking out a special family movie and fixing a special dinner or dessert to go with it, or planning a special outing like our trip this weekend to The Pioneer Cemetery that you can read about here, or our trip to The Pumpkin Patch that you can read about here.

There are so many fun things you can do with your family that cost very little money, my children love game nights, I look forward to more game nights as the fall and winter set in. I love finding beautiful places to take nature walks and bring along a nice snack or even a picnic.

Another part of this weeks challenge is to give every member of your family a back rub- the bible verse to think on is Mark 10:16.

And he (Jesus) took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:16 (NIV)

I am sure my whole family will love this part of the challenge, who doesn't love a nice back rub? When my daughter was first born, I took a class on Mommy and Me baby massage, it was so nice to learn calming techniques and a safe method of giving your baby a nice massage. This was such a nice class and baby massage was very useful for calming both my babies if they were fussy. I would encourage all new moms to find a class like this.

The challenge this week encourages mothers and homemakers to be both fun and tender.

As far as the previous weeks challenges, which can all be read here , I am still enjoying lighting my candle and praying for my family and home as I pass by and notice the flame, this is one of my favorite new things to do in my housekeeping routine.

As far as playing soft music in my home, I have a hard time playing music too often as my hubby works from home, and needs quiet to do his work during the day. Also I am very affected by music, and can get carried away into lala land by just about any beautiful music. I will turn on music and go about chores and find my self hours later with no chore done, surrounded by CDs reminiscing or with my tin whistle trying to learn a new song I heard. I am a bit too expressive in that regard, so I have to only play music when it is the appropriate time for the tone of the household. We all love music though and it is definitely part of our home.

And last weeks challenge to organize a space that needed work, my office, is still underway, I have made a lot of progress on my paper clutter, and am hoping to be finished in the next couple of days.

This challenge has been very enjoyable, it is great to have certain tasks as well as spiritual goals to help with making my home a haven. Next week will be the final task, and will take place in the kitchen with the whole family cooking a meal together- I am really looking forward to that!

P.S. There is still a little time left to enter my Tasha Tudor Giveaway which ends on Thursday, October 27th at midnight.


  1. That casserole looks yummy, and I think everyone here eats everything in it--yahoo! The challenge sounds like it was a great experience...even if it was just to give you a happy part of housework! I am sad to say that whatever I organized last Thursday--three OTHERS messed up by Saturday afternoon!

  2. Stopping by from the Ultimate Blogger Bash!

    That recipe looks great! I may even be able to sneak some veggies into my husband with it!! I have been reading over Courtneys challenge but haven't written about it. I've been following along though. It really helps motivate me to be a better homemaker!

    Monica @

  3. I'm glad you like it! I really had fun putting it all together. It feels a little funny to me to be thinking christmas already, but it's got me thinking about homemade presents, so I guess that is a great thing!

  4. The casserole looks very tasty!

  5. Thanks everyone for all of the kind comments! Mary, I agree, it is a little early for Christmas, but I too was glad for the push to get my crafting started early, so I can make more of my gifts. :)

  6. I have not heard of those southwest flavour tomatoes before, but when I make this delicious sounding recipe I guess I will use regular tinned tomatoes? I will also substitute thick slices of large mushrooms for the chicken as I don't eat meat. Can't wait to try it now . .
    I love my music,I just wear headphones turned down low so I can listen to my music but be aware of things going on around me too.

  7. That casserole looks so good! Blogs are bad for the waistline. There's so many pictures of yummy looking food out there! You play the tin whistle? How fun! I love Irish music, especially the Chieftains. Have you heard of them? That Paddy Maloney is a true artist with the tin whistle. We still play board games whenever we can get enough of us together to play. It is a wonderful family experience.

  8. Hi April, finding you from the WLW Blog Bash. I love how simple this recipe is and I might just have all the ingredients on hand! I really struggle with meal planning. I might just make this for dinner tonight ;)

  9. that looks divine so bookmarked in my recipe folder lol!!

    nice to meet you i'm a visitor via the blog hop!

  10. Celtic Heart~ Southwest Flavored tomatoes have a little jalapeno added to them for a bit of a spicy kick- I think mushrooms would make a wonderful Chicken replacement- I am a huge mushroom fan! Thanks for stopping by!

    Jane~ Yes, I love the Chieftains, their music is so wonderful. I enjoy playing my tin whistle, it is a fun instrument, nice and simple, I started learning it when my kids were little, and am inspired by great musicians like The Chieftains. Board games are so fun, we have a great time as a family playing them. :)

    Tracy, thanks for stopping by from WLW Blog Bash, thanks for your nice comment! :)

  11. Um, that looks a bit tasty, and I will be adding it to my next week menu!

    I'm a new follower. God Bless!


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