Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Totally Obsessed Tuesday: Chicken, Taye Diggs, and Mental Health

Well hello again!  Thanks for visiting again today. 

We're back on track for Totally Obsessed Tuesday again.  I know I skipped the last two weeks, but I hope you all enjoyed the burlap rag wreath tutorial and fabulous dinner party recipes I gave you instead.  Still to come is the paper mache pumpkin tutorial, that I promise I'll get around to before Halloween.  There are also some potentially exciting things going on around here that I can't talk about yet.  But keep checking back for an update!

Anyways, on ToT this week, I give you the following: the most delish chicken casserole you've ever put in your mouth, a new hilarious video obsession, and a slightly more serious topic that I think it's important that we talk about.

3rd Generation Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

So right off the bat, let me tell you that this idea was not my own. In addition to writing my own blog, I also read eight or so other blogs religiously every time they post (though there are many more than eight which I check in with every few weeks). One of my favorites is One Good Thing by Jillee.  Jillee is one of the craftiest people on the planet.  She also has a lot of good recipes (many of them gluten free!) and a contagiously positive outlook on life.  She posts something new EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY DAY.  I can't always manage to post every WEEK.  Really, you should just check her out based on that alone.

But if that's not endorsement enough, earlier this week she blogged about one of the most delicious things I've ever put in my mouth.  She calls it "3rd Generation Chicken and Stuffing Casserole.  It was actually a recipe made for her by her daughter-in-law Kaitlyn, whose mother and grandmother made it before her.

It has five ingredients, guys.  How much easier can you get?

Sadly, I didn't get a picture of it from when I made it last night, because DH and I were too busy stuffing our faces for me to think about it.  If you'd like, you can see Jillee's recipe and photos here, but I'll do a quick recap for you.

You need:
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs if you prefer dark meat)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 boxes of stove top brand stuffing
2 cans of cream of celery soup
1 stick of butter, melted

Throw a package of chicken breasts in a pot of water with a few chicken bouillon cubes, and bring the whole thing to a boil.  Your kitchen will smell like Grandma's chicken noodle soup.  It's divine. When the chicken is done cooking, remove the chicken from the water and shred it.  (But make sure you reserve 2 cups of the water for later.)  The easiest way to shred chicken is with a good, high quality mixer.  If, like me, you don't have one of those, break out a couple of forks. 

Spread the chicken along the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.  Cover it with the cream of celery soup.  I won't lie to you--I was a little skeptical about this.  I've had bad experiences with cream of celery soup in the past.  But I trusted Jillee, and you need to trust me--it all works out fine.  Use the cream of celery.

Top the soup with the stuffing mix.  Pour the melted butter over the stuffing as evenly as you can, and then pour the reserved water over that.  Then, throw it in a 350 degree oven for an hour, UNCOVERED.

It's that simple, guys.  The hardest part is shredding the chicken if you don't have a mixer, and that's not even as hard as it is time consuming.  This dish is probably going to be on our menu at least twice a month.  It really is that good.  Seriously.  Stop at Wal-mart on your way home from work today, and make this casserole. You will thank me later.  ANYONE can make this, I promise!

Okay.  Have I praised it enough?  Are you going to make it?  GOOD.  Go do it and let me know what you think!

The Mommy Show

Remember my very first Totally Obsessed Tuesday post, when I talked to you about one of my favorite Mom blogs, Mommy Shorts?  No?  You don't?  Well go read that shit, because it was a good post.   Then go check out Mommy Shorts and like her on Facebook, because Ilana Wiles is amazing.  On top of having adorable children, an awesome blog, and a normal 9-5 job, now she's doing something new--The Mommy Show.

Basically, Ilana invites various celebrities (including Taye Diggs--drool--and SNL's Rachel Dratch) over to her house to interview them--while her kids do their thing in the background.  At one point, Taye Diggs tries to work her baby-proofed toilet, and Rachel Dratch holds her baby Harlow so Ilana can finally run to the bathroom and pee.  So go check out The Mommy show for a good giggle--and also to drool over Taye Diggs crafting with a three-year-old.

Mental Health Awareness Week

I don't know if you know this, but it's Mental Health Awareness Week.  Having been diagnosed with and medicated for both anxiety and depression since I was about eighteen, this shit is pretty important to me, and a whole lot of other people like me.

I originally had a whole lot to say on this topic. But then, I read today's post from Nicole over at Moms Who Drink and Swear, who is devoting all of her posts this week to mental illness. Basically, she says everything I wanted to say, only a whole lot more eloquently than I ever could.  She also manages to make it relatable and amusing at the same time.

If you know or love someone who struggles with a mental illness (and let me clear this up for you; you DO, even if you don't know it), please go check out her posts this week.  Today, she wrote about Three Things You Need to Know and Understand About Mental Illness, which includes a really amazing video of Stephen Frye discussing bipolar disorder.

Stephen said "One in four people, like me, have a mental health problem.  Many more people have a problem with that... Once the understanding is there, we can all stand up and not be ashamed of ourselves, then it makes the rest of the population realize we are just like them but with something extra." 

I think Nicole and Stephen perfectly sum up everything on this topic that people need to hear. So please, go educate yourself a little.  Then, click the share button and educate some other people.

Alright, I'm off my soapbox now.  Don't forget to like and share RHW on Facebook, and keep checking back for those exciting new updates.

Georgia National Fair

First, let me apologize for exploding all over the blog today.  Things have been pretty crazy busy around here the last week or so, and this is the first day I've had entirely to myself to sit down and write.  So settle in with some coffee or something, because I have A LOT to tell you about.  (But I'm going to break it up into several posts. So keep coming back.)

For starters, this past weekend, friendboss Courtney, her boyfriend Chad, Gavin, DH and I took a trip to the Georgia Fair in Perry, GA.  Perry is about two hours away from here, but the copious amounts of fried everything available made the trip totally worth it.

This photo depicts every fried thing you could ever want to eat in life.  There were; fried Oreos, fried Twinkies, fried Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, fried cheesecake, fried Snickers, fried corn dogs, and four variations of funnel cake.  And that's just from this ONE vendor, on this ONE table.  Also available were fried green tomatoes (which I tried for the first time in my life, and they tasted rather a lot like pickles), fried cookie dough, french fries, onion rings, apple dumplings, elephant ears, and deep fried vegetables.

Basically, Courtney and I ate our weight in fried foods.


Then there were the taffy apples.  Gavin chose the one that looked like a pumpkin. 

And then, of course, there were the rides.

Jimmy and Chad went on this ridiculous thing that spun you around and around while simultaneously whipping you upside down.

Chad somehow managed to make sitting in a giant bumble bee look cool.

Jimmy decided to start teaching Gavin about road rage at an early age.

Gavin and I went on a giant pirate ship that he decided he hated about half way through.  Then, about an hour later, he decided that he wanted to go on another ship ride--which was exactly the same, but Egyptian themed.  I guess the Eye of Ra made it less terrifying.

Gavin conned everyone into going into the various funhouses with him at least once.

Courtney and Gavin on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

And of course, various pictures were taken of Gavin being adorable.

Not pictured are the Arctic Blast, which goes a LOT faster than it looks, on which Courtney and I squished our men and nearly laughed until we puked; the giant slide, where the carnie told me Gavin would be fine riding NEXT to me instead of ON MY LAP, and I listened to him, (being a professional, after all), and then had a mini heart attack when Gavin was nearly ejected into outer space; and the mouse themed roller coaster, which was supposedly for children.  I have provided an extra large image for your enjoyment.

Let me answer your obvious questions.  Yes, this is the photo that the roller coaster of death took of Courtney, Gavin, and myself.  Courtney really does have a death grip on my arm.  My eyes really are squeezed shut in terror.  Yes.  This is a photo of two grown-ass adults TERRIFIED of a roller coaster geared towards children.  And yes, Gavin is having the time of his life.  He made Chad and Jimmy take him a second time.

In our defense, the thing (called the "Wild Mouse") went WAY FREAKING FASTER than it looked from the ground.  Also, my ass is literally hanging a solid foot and a half over the side of the track, and there is scaffolding whipping past my face.  This thing was intense, okay? 

So there you have it.  The highlights of the Georgia Fair.  Next time, we will wear stretchy pants, and not go on anything with the word "Wild" in the title.

Stayed tuned today to hear about my DIY face mask and face wash, a delish chicken casserole, and a new hilarious video obsession!