Chicken Challenge Day 2: Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake

  This layered Mexican Casserole uses Cilantro Lime Rice, Mojito Lime Chicken, Sour Cream and Salsa all baked together in the oven and served with a Creamy Ranch Dressing.  As you can imagine just by hearing about it, it goes KA-POW! in your mouth.  Ah-stinkin-mazing!

I found this great recipe on Weekend Potluck, shared by Artistic31Mama! Go check her site out, she has fantastic recipes over there!!!!!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake

{click title to print}

Adapted from Artistic31Mama

Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake (txt)



  • 4 whole Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 envelope {1.06 Oz} McCormick Grill Mates Mojito Lime Marinade
  • Plus Ingredients On Envelope (oil, Water, Vinegar)


  • 2 cups Uncooked Brown Rice
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Cilantro
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste


  • 16 ounces, weight Sour Cream
  • 16 ounces, fluid Of Your Favorite Salsa Or Picante Sauce
  • 3 cups Of Mexican Blend Cheese


  • 12 ounces, fluid Bottle Of Ranch Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Cilantro, Finely Chopped
  • Juice Of Remaining Lime

Preparation Instructions

Slice chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and follow directions on Mojito Lime Chicken Marinade packet. Set in the fridge until you are ready for it, marinating at least 30 minutes. Scrape chicken and marinade into a skillet, and cook on your stove top. I brown both sides, then let it simmer with lid on for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Make sure liquid doesn’t boil away, add a splash of water as necessary.
Combine 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover your saucepan. Simmer rice for 45 minutes until all liquid is absorbed, or as instructed on rice package. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Stir in fresh lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 pan.
Layer cooked chicken bites on top of rice, then spread the entire container of sour cream over that, followed by the jar of salsa and 3 cups of cheese.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

To make Creamy Ranch, combine bottle of Ranch with tomato paste, cilantro and lime juice. Stir well and drizzle on top of each individual plate of casserole.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake (3)

Dig in! This is one FANTASTIC, flavorful Supper…..


Cilantro Lime Chicken Bake Collage

Chicken Challenge Day 1: Basil Cream Chicken Noodles

  We have turned into BEEF eaters.  Once we found Grass Fed Beef, there was no turning back I guess. 

  3 years ago? I made chicken almost every night!  Now? I am MAKING myself find some new chicken recipes to put on here for you. 

Starting with this one:

Basil Cream Chicken Noodles

Basil Cream Chicken Noodles

  I adore Basil, so I knew right away this was what I wanted to start my Chicken Challenge with.  And Cream sauce? HELLO. You know how I feel about anything creamy.

  This recipe came together really easily, we all adored it, even Dale who is anti creamy food!  {how in the world did I marry someone anti-creamy foods?}
He loved the CRUNCH the Panko Bread Crumbs gave the final dish.

   I served this all over Grandma’s homemade noodles, oh man, it was INCREDIBLE! If you can find homemade noodles, do it! Otherwise, try a whole wheat angel hair or something similar.

  I got this recipe from my Mother In Law’s Taste of Home Chicken Cookbook, and changed it around to my liking.

Basil Cream Chicken Noodles

{click title to print}

basil cream chicken noodles collage


  • ½ cups Milk
  • ½ cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 6 whole Chicken Breasts (about 4 Oz Each)
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 18 ounces, fluid Can Of Progresso Creamy Parmesan Basil Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce
  • ½ cups Grape Tomatoes Sliced
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry Basil (or 1/4 Cup Fresh Minced)
  • 16 ounces, weight Angel Hair Pasta (buy Homemade If You Can, YUM)

Preparation Instructions

Place milk and bread crumbs mixed with salt and pepper, in separate shallow bowls.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dip chicken in milk, coat with crumbs on both sides.
Cook chicken in butter for about 5 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer reads 170*. Remove chicken and keep warm in a low oven.
Add broth to skillet, bring to a bowl and stir to loosen browned bits from chicken. This will add wonderful flavor to your cream sauce!
Stir in the cream, Progresso cooking sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a gentle boil and stir for 1 minute. (we don’t want the sauce to scorch!) Reduce heat then add cheese and basil. Simmer for 10 minutes while you cook and drain your angel hair pasta.
To serve, heap plate with angel hair pasta, cover in sauce. Place a chicken breast on top of pasta and drizzle with more sauce.
Serve with a salad and garlic toast for a great and fast meal!

Chicken Challenge Day 1 is off to a GREAT start! Don’t you think?


Christmas 2013: Part 1

We got the kids home for 2 whole weeks for Christmas Break!  There is nothing that makes me happier than when we are all under one roof together.

  I have to show you these photos I found on my camera when I was uploading Christmas!

Funny kids

We even had our first big snow of the Season, just in time to have a White Christmas….

  I love living in a place where we experience all 4 Seasons to their fullest!

snow blog 1

The photo above {right side} with the little shed, made the local paper!!!!  So exciting when that happens 🙂snow blog 2snow blog 3snow blog 4snow blog 5snow day blog 6

snow day blog 8  snow day blog 7

  We got 9 and a half inches of snow, so it was pretty tough to get around, but everyone had fun….
UNTIL the Snow Ball Fight started. 

  Apparently, Snow Ball fights sound a lot more fun than they actually are.

Just sayin’.

snow day 9

Avery is sobbing and Pax grins, “Hee hee! I do it, Momma.”

snow blog

  Last year I got a beautiful picture of the kids having fun in the snow.  I guess I waited too long to get a shot, because by this point everyone but Ty was in tears. 

  I told him he might as well cry for the photo too.  He is a good faker. 

snow day 12

The tears continued as we tried to walk in….snow day 11

So I assigned partners and sent them in to warm up.   We will try, try again next snow!

snow day 10

  Christmas Eve Eve I took photos of some PRECIOUS newborn twin girls! 

   Their sweet Momma needed photos done ASAP before they got too big to be sleepy. They were 13 days old, and much after 10, they are no longer sleepyheads.

  I told her if we could keep it short and sweet, and she didn’t mind my living room, I could fit her in before our family came over for Christmas. 

  I have never ever shot in my house before, and I was so worried about lighting and the timing of it all. Sometimes newborns can take HOURS to cooperate.

  God was gracious, I was able to get all the food made in the morning, and put the ham in before she arrived. The light was fine, and the girls were angels!

Here are my favorite shots:

12baby blog 1baby blog 2baby blog 3

  About the time I cleaned up, Dale’s siblings and dad arrived for our traditional Christmas Eve Eve get together.  The kids always have fun with their cousins and aunt and uncles!
Christmas 1

  The next night, Christmas Eve, we had some surprise company from Phoenix, Uncle Marion & Aunt Judy.  We just sat around and talked and of course, ate tons of good food! 

  That night, we decided to try the first annual Sleepover in front of the tree.  I always did that growing up and we are finally at a stage to do so. 

  Dale and I lay by the kids and sang Christmas carols until everyone was relaxed enough to sleep.  A couple of them were still up at ELEVEN!!!! Ack!
Oh well, they all must’ve been very tired, because they all slept until 8!  That never happens at our house….

Christmas eve

  WordPress always gets mad at me for putting on too many photos, so I am going to start a new post for the rest! 🙂

Hugs, T

Word of the Year 2014: Balance

   I had not ever had a “Word of the Year” before, when the Lord spoke to me RESTORATION in 2013, then followed it up with a million and one “God Moments”. 

Click on the word Restoration above, when I re read it, it gave me tears and chills. 

  Our Father in Heaven is so incredible to speak to us in such tangible ways.  I was asking Him in to Restore what the locusts had eaten at my house and in my marriage in 2012.  I was asking Him to restore my joy, to heal my heart.

He did.

He still is.

I feel my Word of the Year for 2014 is BALANCE.  As the Lord has blessed our home in various areas, we have gotten busy.

And you know what I think about busy:

So my commitment to 2014 is to filter everything through Christ Jesus and His word, and His desire to be Number ONE in my life.  To stop and PRAY about each commitment before it goes on the calendar.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3)

My second commitment is to put my husband and his needs next, followed by my precious children.  This means that I will not always be staying up late at night to create a blog post for you all.  This is tough for me to say and do, because I am a pleaser and by nature want to do my best, both feet in.  I have worked hard to have blogs set into January, ready to go, because I worked ahead knowing the Holidays were going to be crazy.

But here is the deal….

No one made me blog 5 days a week for the past 3 1/2 years, but I have done it: driven by my need to give it my all.

I am plain burned out, and I think I need to admit that to you and to me.   So, sometimes if you come and there is no post, just know I am choosing to snuggle up with Dale on the couch, make a t-shirt scarf, play a game with the kids, or just read a book for fun.  

  I also am going to have to find BALANCE in my Photography business as it grows.  I want to limit myself to 2 appts. a week, no appointments wedding weekends, and once again put into place, a waiting list for any appointments beyond my set limit. 

  The pleaser in me wants to fit everyone in anytime they ask, but in putting my life back into its proper order, it will just not be possible. I know God will bless this commitment, even if it means some people chose another photographer.  I am ready to be ok with that.  I release it.

  I also want to be careful not to over do next October-November.  We call this the Christmas Card RUSH.  I was working all morning, all nap time, AND staying up until 2 in the morning trying to get sessions done because there were simply not enough daylight hours.

Paxton got to the point where when I was heading outside he would ask, “You leaving a long time mommy?  You got lots of photo shessions today, Mommy or just one?”

The others would ask, “Mommy, can I watch you edit so I can be with you?”


Time, no matter how much I beg, does NOT multiply.

For years I kept asking God to multiply my “Pie”, my time allotted each and every day.

A slice to hubby, a slice to kids, a slice to cooking, a slice to Facebook, a slice to blog, a slice to edit, a slice to a hurting friend, a slice to quiet time….wait, there are only crumbs left well before my list is done!

My family is my world, and I want to show them that by giving them my biggest, best piece of pie, not the crumbs.  They are starving for me!

I want to seek them out while they are still seeking me back.  Avery goes to school next year, these moments of me being a stay at home mom are passing quickly through the hour-glass, and I can’t help but feel jealous of the time I give other places.


  So, can you commit with me to find BALANCE in 2014?

Anytime you add something, it means another area must give up!
Seems simple enough, but it was news to me!!!!!

finding balance

  Can we commit to limit busyness, so we can have family time around the table each evening, curl up with our spouse on the couch after a long day, read a book, or knit a scarf?

 Commit to communing with God, no longer rushing from thing to thing, wondering where the time goes?

I want to find Balance in 2014.

My battle is not against the people who ask me for my time, but against the devil himself….

1 Peter 5:8 (AMP), it says:

“Be well-balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

“Do you ever feel your life is out of control—out of balance? As a child of God, we must take time from our busyness to set our priorities in order. Life is a gift and should be lived well.
We all have emergencies where we burn the candle at both ends, but this should not be the norm or soon there will be no candle left to burn.
That candle is the spirit within us that inspires us and propels us into forward motion.

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness”(Psalm 18:28).

The darkness refers to our confusion, hesitation, frustration, or anything that would put out the light within us, as life has been known to do. Finding balance in life applies to all age groups, as the principles remain the same. It is essential to keep the most important things on the top of the list and to allow proper time for these things so one does not burn out, become frazzled or haggard.”


More about Christian women finding balance here:

May God bless you with a fresh start and a fresh perspective on your “Pie” of time each day in 2014….

Let’s keep each other accountable!

Hugs, T