Praying for A Miracle & Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup

  Do you remember Papa Don?  Dale’s father?  

You can go meet him here.  We took some family photos after he got sick, but before he started chemo.

  He is a very special part of our life and home, more now that he lives right next door to us, and shares our dinner table most nights.

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Thanksgiving

  It’s been hard to watch him fight cancer this past year. He has lost so much weight, and the thing we miss most is the sparkle in his eye.  

Papa Don

  Praise the Lord, the cancer markers continue to fall from 8,000 down to 2,300, but we have hit a rough patch this last 2 months, and they are going back up again.

We were over to Nana & Great Gma’s for lunch yesterday, when Dale called.  He had gotten a phone call from his dads boss, saying he was not doing so good: dizzy, falling asleep, vomiting.

He has also been dealing with bouts of paralysis and loss of vision.  He can no longer drive truck, and is talking about quitting the office job now too, so he can rest.  The man hasn’t stopped working the whole time he has been on chemo.

After getting the phone call, we immediately planned to take Papa in for a check up, and to cancel his chemo treatment that afternoon.  Not when he was already so sick.

We were all playing outside, when Dale came over with some hard news from the Clinic about our Papa. The kids were playing nearby, but not so close they could hear our conversation, so I wasn’t sure they knew what was happening.  We talked very quietly, hugged each other and then he headed back to the Clinic to check on his dad.

Not long after that, I couldn’t find the kiddos….I thought I heard them “laughing” behind the fence.

When I walked around the corner, there they were, SOBBING, not laughing.  I grabbed a shot with my little camera phone so I could send it to Dale.

bad news

Destiny said they had decided to gather to pray for Papa, because they could tell something was wrong.  They just all burst into tears, because they were sad. Precious babies!

I hate to see them hurting, the utter heartbreak in their faces made me sob alongside them.  They understand so much more of the big picture then they are given credit for.  But thankfully, this opened the door for some wonderful discussion about how God sometimes heals our bodies here on Earth, and sometimes He heals us by taking us to Heaven and giving us a new body.  They know that part, but it’s still hard to understand sometimes.

After the kids went to bed, we had a big talk with Papa.  After much discussion, we have decided that we will not be continuing his Chemo at this time. The doctor is in complete agreement with us, as it is destroying his quality of life.

He sat in our home tonight in tears, I know this is so hard on him.  He couldn’t move from the chair, his entire left side was paralyzed for a good 10 minutes. This happens on and off now, sometimes an hour at a time.  We thought mini strokes, but it happens on either side of his body.  He goes in tomorrow to get some fluids drained so he can be more comfortable.

Guys, we are scared.  We are in uncharted territory for our family, going through something that you hear your PARENTS going through with your Grandparents, not your husband with his father.

The most difficult part of all, is that we truly don’t know the timeline of this journey for Papa.  So every day must count as if it is the last.

We don’t have all the answers, but we do know that we serve a Father who brings healing in various forms. We won’t stop praying for a miracle!

Thank you all for you continued love and support…..it means more than you know!   I will keep you posted.

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  Now, on to the soup I want to share today.  Dale and Papa Don thought this was too sweet, but the kids and I LOVED the sweet and savory element that the BBQ sauce brings to this unique soup!

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup

Adapted from a delicious recipe at Picky Palate

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BBQ Chicken Soup txt

Ingredients

  • 5 whole Chicken Breasts
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • 24 ounces, weight Frozen Corn (I Used Fresh That We Had Frozen Over The Summer, And It Was Amazing)
  • 2 cans (14 Oz Each) Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce (avoid Too Sweet Of One, Think Savory Spicy)
  • 8 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • ¾ teaspoons Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, Snipped
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Preparation Instructions

In a large 6-7 Qt slow cooker, place uncooked chicken breasts, diced onion, pressed garlic, corn, drained tomatoes and BBQ sauce. Add 8 cups of chicken broth and seasonings.

Cook on low for 5 hours before removing chicken breasts and shredding them. Return to the slow cooker and stir everything well. Continue cooking 30 minutes up to 1 additional hour.

Serve with fresh shredded mozzarella cheese and snipped cilantro.

 Only a few more weeks left of “Soup Season”!

~T

Pepsi Chicken

  We originally made this while camping, and cooked it over an open fire as the recipe indicates. However, we tried that same recipe at home later, and it was still SO SO good!  I am giving you 3 cooking options today, and the end result is delicious, no matter which method you chose!

Pepsi Chicken

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Pepsi Chicken txt

Ingredients

  • 20 whole Chicken Legs
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, fluid Of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 2 liter of Pepsi (not Diet)

Preparation Instructions

Campfire Cooking Directions:
Place your chicken in a fire safe Dutch Oven with a lid. Salt and pepper chicken and add BBQ sauce. Fill with Pepsi until chicken is nearly covered. Put the lid on and place the Dutch oven on a bed of coals, covering with more hot coals. Cook 25-30 minutes depending on your fire, adding more Pepsi halfway through if it has all boiled away.

Home directions:

Option 1, Grill:
Preheat grill and place chicken legs in a large disposable roasting pan. Salt and pepper chicken and add BBQ sauce. Fill with Pepsi until chicken is nearly covered. Close the lid of the grill for the first 15 minutes while liquid comes to a boil, then leave the lid open the remainder of the time. Cook 30-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, and the liquid has mostly boiled away.

Option 2, Stove Top:
Spray the inside of a large stock pot with cooking spray. Place 20 chicken legs inside and cover with BBQ sauce and 1/2 of your 2 liter of Pepsi. Place lid on pot and bring to a rapid boil for about 10 minutes. Turn heat down to medium high and leave lid off for the remainder of the cooking time. We are wanting the Pepsi and BBQ sauce to boil away and leave a nice coated chicken leg. Mine took about 30 minutes.

  No matter how you make it, it is so tender and SO good!

Enjoy,

~T

 

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Sesame Slaw

This weekend was incredible, exhausting, tearful, yet wonderful!  

bye grandpa

We celebrated my Grandpa’s life, surrounded by family and friends.  Several of the funeral home directors and employees, stopped me to say that they love our kind of family. The ones that really enjoy each other, the ones that can laugh and hug, and have a great time in spite of the grief, celebrating a life well lived. From a man who deals with death all the time, I thought that was a real compliment.  Grandpa’s viewing was noisy, it was tearful at times as we said our good byes, yet it was full of laughter, as we recounted stories of Grandpa in the good ol’ days, and hugged necks of second cousins we hadn’t seen in years! 

  I am more tired than I have ever been in my life, both emotionally and physically.  Even my feet hurt!  I am hearing my Mom, Aunts and Uncles, and Grandma say the same!  Most nights I saw anywhere from 1-3 am before crawling to bed and sometimes we were having “second supper” around my Aunt’s table at 11 pm, laughing with the cousins.  There is lots to do when planning a funeral, memory table, photo slideshow, or what have you.  I just had no idea how much went into the planning of such an event, and am thankful to have gotten to have a small part in it.  

  I took nearly 400 photos of our time together, and I am just too tired to deal with it now.  My emotions are spent and I am not ready to dig into the pictures capturing that beautiful, yet emotional day.  But, if and when I do, I will surely consider sharing here.  

  Thank you all for your loving support as we went through this weekend!  I am so blessed to have you all in our lives.

  On to the food: 

  Sweet BBQ meets Savory, in an amazing fresh tasting cilantro-sesame slaw topped sandwich…

  This recipe is adapted from the April-May 2013 Taste of Home magazine.  What drew me to this recipe was the brine you soak the chicken in over night.  I decided to couple it with our FAVORITE Cilantro Sesame Slaw and buttered toasted buns. Amazing!

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
with Cilantro Sesame Slaw

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BBQ chicken sandwich txt

Ingredients

  • BRINE:
  • 1-½ quart Water
  • ¼ cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • FOR BBQ CHICKEN:
  • 3 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • ⅓ cups Liquid Smoke
  • 1-½ cup High Quality BBQ Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch With A Splash Of Cold Water, For Thickening
  • CILANTRO-SESAME SLAW:
  • 3 cups Coleslaw Cabbage Mix
  • ½ cups Green Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • ¼ cups Cilantro, Snipped
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Pressed
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Pepper

Preparation Instructions

In a large bowl, mix brine ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reserve 1 cup of brine out for the next morning. Place chicken in a large zip lock bag or Tupperware and soak for 24 hours, turning often.
The next day, remove chicken from brine and place chicken in your crock pot on low with reserved 1 cup brine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until chicken is tender.
Remove chicken to a bowl to shred and drain juices into a small pot. Whisk together 1 T. corn starch with a splash of cold water and add to pot, boil until nice and thick, pour back over shredded chicken, adding liquid smoke and 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce. Keep warm until serving time.

Make Sesame Coleslaw earlier in the day, by combining in a medium bowl, coleslaw cabbage mix, finely chopped green pepper, snipped cilantro, sesame oil, white vinegar, pressed garlic and salt and pepper. Refrigerate until meat is ready to allow flavors to blend.

At serving time, butter toast buns under a broiler for a minute, then drizzle with BBQ sauce, a large scoop of meat and slaw.

Roll those sleeves up and dig in!

You can thank me later…… Winking smile

Hugs, T

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