Monday, January 24, 2011

Cajun Chicken and Dumplings

There is a restaurant in the height I LOVE...they have this recipe that is to die for and homemade french fries...which if you know me that is a direct in to my heart! :) Russ has been playing around with figuring out there recipe for me and I made them last night and they were VERY close! Yummy!!!
so here goes.....a LOT of the spices are just to taste~ Depends on how SPICY you want them!

3 cans cream of chicken
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (10oz) can of milk
1/2 stick butter ( I didn't use this last night and they were still good :))
4 chicken breasts boiled and shredded
whatever kind of dumplings you like- Russ sometimes uses canned biscuits, my favorite is flour tortillas and I used 10.....of course, you can't beat my mama's homemade dumplins but I am not there yet!
1 TBSP Tony's seasoning- approx
1 tsp old bay-approx
garlic powder
onion powder
I used a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 cup of the hot liquid and then poured it back in to thicken since I didn't have time to let them thicken up.

Asian Chicken Salad

I made this recipe last week for the first time and it was SO good!! Of course, every recipe I get off Pioneer Woman's blog is delicious.....EVERY SINGLE ONE!! How does she do it??? Ok...Here is the recipe! More fun times at the Rauls will be blogged about soon! :)


4 pieces Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

11 ounces, weight Spring Salad Blend

1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded & Sliced

2 cups Fresh Pineapple Chunks

1 cup Green Onions, Sliced

1 package Chicken-flavored Ramen Noodles, 3 Ounce Package

3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 cup Whole Almonds, Coarsely Chopped

4 Tablespoons Sugar



1 whole Seasoning Packet From Your Ramen Noodles

½ cups Sugar

1 cup Vegetable Oil

⅔ cups Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

For the dressing, combine ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well blended.

Place chicken in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and pour half of the dressing over chicken. Seal tightly and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Reserve remaining unused dressing for salad.

Preheat grill to medium-high (about 400 degrees F). I just sauteed the chicken in a pan since we don't have a grill right now and it is too DANG cold otherwise!! ;)

Remove chicken breasts from marinade and pat dry with clean paper towels. Place on preheated grill and grill over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side (maybe a minute or two more depending on thickness). When done, place chicken breasts on a clean baking sheet or plate and loosely cover with foil. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine salad mix, red bell pepper, pineapple and green onion in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate until right before serving.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, crush ramen noodles and drizzle with 3 Tablespoons of oil; toss until well coated and spread onto a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven, stirring often to lightly toast noodles. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it burn! Remove and cool completely.

In a small pan, cook and stir almonds and 4 Tablespoons of sugar over medium heat until almonds are caramelized (they will be light brown and coated with melted sugar), approximately 4-6 minutes. Spread the almonds on foil or wax paper. After they cool, break apart.- I bought some honey almonds at walmart because I don't have time for fancy! :)

Right before serving, toss lettuce mixture, Ramen noodles, sugared almonds and sliced, grilled chicken breasts with enough dressing to coat (to taste). Serve in a large bowl and enjoy!

**Try to prepare the dressing the day before so that you can marinate the chicken overnight**

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Going Home for Thanksgiving

      Us headed home in the airport at Raleigh....Will's face shows it ALL!!
     It was first! lol!
        They REALLY do LOVE each other...thanks Lele for the sweatshirts!!
 The girl cousins

      Best friends and cousins
     Not where we would EVER choose to be but definitely who I WOULD choose to be with :)
     Dr. A and me :)
      Will ADORES Papa!!!
      The Cousins
       My son DRINKING salsa!!!!

     The way we spent most of our was perfect!
     Our Mickey D's gathering :)
 Me, LeighAnn, Will, and Lala
      Mom and Dad's house
         Tyler and Lala
LeighAnn, Tiff, Me, Will, and Laurey

I am not sure I can do this post tonight because the trip was SO emotional for me. I did not expect it AT all to be this way so I will just stick to the facts :)While in Miami I got word that my best friend was in the hospital. I was BESIDE myself and so anxious to get to her I could hardly stand it. I cried for two days before I got home and was worn out before we even left Raleigh from the worry.....which is NOT placing my trust where it should be. But, mom was in Raleigh from our trip to Miami when she watched the kids so she flew back with me which was such a Godsend!! Long story short...we made it! We landed, I handed the kids off to Mimi and Snow and I headed to Baptist which is the only place in the world I wanted to be!! :) I got to spend some time with my bestie....not in the way we either wanted but it was very renewing for my heart. I got to spend the night with Meggie which I loved and probably wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. I got to hug Lynne's neck and spend some time with Andi. I got a birthday dinner at Senor Tequila with Sunny, Kynda, and Jamie that MADE my night!!!! Then, I headed to Glenwood :) On my birthday, the 24th, I had birthday lunch with Tara and she surprised me with one of the most special gifts I have ever received....a DVD that had me playing basketball from a LOT of my high school games, including senior night as well as another DVD from us cheering and dancing. I know this was a lot of work and I treasure it!!! Lexi was already making fun of me watching them! She wanted to know why I shook my head so much!! haha!! Also on Wednesday I met Clinton and Dorla in Arkadelphia to get the kiddos and got to see Rhonda, Scott, and the kids for a few minutes on their way to Abilene! It was such a treat! :) I miss them so much!! Then, I got to see most of the family and spend some time in the barn hanging out with them!! Thanksgiving day I headed back to Little Rock and got to go to the Almefty's and see them, Svetlana, and Professor and Diane. It was a great reunion....I miss my work "home" more than I ever thought I could. Working with Dr. A and his patients is just irreplacable and really where my heart is but I have learned a TON in my new job and am adapting. Friday, we got our stuff together and then ate lunch at my favorite McClards and then crazily decided to go watch Tangled which lasted all of about 5 minutes for two of the kids....I bet you can pick which two!!! At that point I just drove them around in the rental car while the others finished the movie :) Tyler, Landon, Tiff, Tori, Mom, and Lexi..... That night we headed to Little Rock to spend the night since my flight LEFT Little Rock at 5:15.....YES, I am OFFICIALLY insane for that flight and literally barely survived getting back to Raleigh....some of the very worst hours of my life!!! Got here and Jessica rescued me from the airport....after I took someone else's luggage to my car and then had to return it to them....very embarrasing I might add.....and then we went to meet daddy in Smithfield, NC where he was working for the holiday. Whew....I'm exhausted just typing it so you can only imagine how well that weekend went! haha!! We recovered after a few weeks and I decided I wasn't throwing in the towel to this adventure completely!! .....but it was questionable there for awhile!


 Miami Beach

Russ and I got to go to Miami in November. He had a course he needed to take for Anterior Hip replacements :) and I got to tag along!! I had SO much fun with Michelle and poor Russ had to work almost the entire time! He had to "report" to the lobby by 6:45 every morning for the bus!! haha!! I on the other hand got to sleep late, lay around, eat to much, and get a little shopping in! It was WONDERFUL!!! My first break in many months!! YEA! Those are the only pics I got :(  We went to South Beach and walked around, went to Aventura Mall which is really high end...we just LOOKED! The Rusty Pelican in Coconut Grove was good as well as Carpaccio in Bal Harbor. We also enjoyed the outlet mall...Dolphin Mall. It was a great three days!

Halloween 2010

                                                             Mickey, Minnie, and Ariel

                                                                    Miss Priss

                                                    One day he WILL get his revenge I'm sure :)
                                                                   The Rauls
                                                            A little game of Twister!
We went to two festivals Halloween night instead of trick or treating this year. We don't really know any neighborhoods yet so didn't feel all that comfortable going door to door :) So we went to our church, Providence Baptist Church, and Lauren and Will's daycare, North Haven Child Development Center's parties :) They both went ALL out....we were very impressed! Live animals, numerous bouncy houses, fun games, free food, free pictures, and lots of fun!

Fall Festival

So I am only 3months behind but here goes.....Lexi's community center had a fall festival this year that we got to participate in and it was so fun! They had an awesome face painter and the girls refused to wash it off!! lol~ There were games, candy,  and good times by all. Her best friend Delaney came as well :)