Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad

Most may have this in their recipe book and some may not! Either way I'm sharing it because it makes a great main dish when you add chicken, or a super quick side dish when you're out of Mac n Cheese!!
I usually add whatever veggies or cheese I have in the fridge! I always make sure I have a bottle of Italian salad dressing and a bag of bowtie pasta! Brodey loves this and will eat it after school if there are leftovers in the fridge! This is also perfect to make ahead and portion for lunches. Everyone loves this dish!

Chicken Pasta Salad

  • Chicken, cubed and cooked (optional if serving as a side)
  • Pasta (I prefer the bowties or spirals)
  • Italian Salad Dressing
  • Any kind of cheese (I love parmesan and feta)
  • Cucumber (optional)
  • Cherry Tomatos (optional)
  • Black Olives  (optional)
  • Garbanza Beans (optional if you need more protein)
Cook chicken in a little margarine (do not add salt as the salad dressing is already salty). Boil noodles according to package directions.  
While noodles are boiling and chicken is cooking, cut whatever veggies or tomatoes you have on hand. Put veggies in a bowl with about a cup of salad dressing and some cheese. (I have an awesome bigger glass mix and pour from Pampered Chef with a lid I put this in.) 
Once the chicken is cooked, add to your veggie/dressing mixture. When noodles are cooked, add those to the bowl too. Mix it all together and add more dressing to taste!

Quick Fried Rice

Quick Fried Rice

I came up with this after school meal for Brodey to eat before swim! It's really good!
You can double or even triple this and add chicken and more veggies for a super quick dinner! I make this almost every day after school for Brodey. One of his favorite meals is fried rice from In the Raw so I tried to recreate a super quick version of it!
I buy the little individual microwaveable rice cups from Harp's! You could use any kind of rice! Literally. Even day old rice! You also don't have to have all of the spices I use or the sesame oil! It just makes it taste as close as I could get to the original!
The recipe below is for one serving and how I make it quickly after school! Takes less than 10 minutes.

Quick Fried Rice

  •  Microwaveable Cup of Rice (any flavor)
  • Two Eggs
  • Spinach (optional, bagged in lettuce section)
  • Sesame Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ground Ginger
  • Pepper (no salt since we are using Soy Sauce)
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
Heat margarine/butter, dash of sesame oil, and about half a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. While this is heating cook your rice according to package directions. (the cups I use take one minute in the microwave)
Add spinach to the margarine along with a dash of ginger, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cover and cook until spinach has wilted.
Stir spinach around and add the two eggs. Add a little pepper, cover, and cook just until yolks turn white.
Grab rice from microwave and when the eggs are ready mix them and chop them. Add your rice into the egg mixture so that the rice cooks into the yolks of the chopped up eggs. Sprinkle a couple of dashes of soy sauce, mix, let it heat back up for a few seconds and it's done!

Crockpot BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Crockpot BBQ Pork Tenderloin

See this down there! Ya. This will last forever in the fridge, is almost always in stock at the grocery store, and there are a million ways to cook it! Eric and Brodey's fave is baked in the oven, but I don't care for the pork taste! My fave is in the crockpot with BBQ sauce! It makes it so tender it falls apart and gets rid of the pork flavor! You can eat it on sliders, hamburger buns, or just with some good 'ole mashed potatoes!
Total cook time is around 3 to 3.5 hours.

Crockpot BBQ Pork Tenderloin

  • Pork Tenderloin (Plain unflavored, one feeds at least 4 adults)
  • Package of Kilbasa Skinless Sausage (optional but the boys LOVE it)
  • Bell Peppers, sliced (any color)
  • Half an onion, sliced
  • BBQ Sauce
Add the sliced bell peppers to the bottom of the crockpot. Add onions on top of the peppers. Slice the pork into two inch wide pieces (about where I have my finger in the photo). Place them right side up in the crockpot on top of the veggies. Slowly pour the BBQ sauce onto the pieces of pork. I say slowly because it will coat the meat better that way! Cover and cook on high for two hours.
After two hours, add more BBQ sauce to the pork. Take your sausage out of the package and cut in half. Make tiny little slices to the top of the sausage, not very deep, and place in crockpot on top of pork. Slowly pour BBQ sauce over sausage. Cover and cook at least another hour or until internal temp of pork reaches at least 145 degrees.
You can eat as is with sides or on sliders!

Easy Salsa

Easy Salsa

This recipe is modified from my mother-in-law's version! It is the BEST, in my opinion!
Very easy to modify taste wise to what you fam likes! Just keep tasting it and adding small amounts of what you think it needs! This is usually lime juice, pepper, onion powder, or garlic powder! Don't be scared to make this! It keeps FOREVER in the fridge and freezer! Store in mason jars too!
You will need a food processor for this! It doesn't have to be fancy! But it needs to hold at least 5 cups!

Easy Salsa

  • 10oz can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 14.5oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • One bunch of fresh cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
  • Half of a purple onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 limes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chips (duh)
Add the onion to the food processor. On top of that add cilantro, Ro-Tel, diced tomatoes, and the juice from two and a half limes. Add seasonings, light on the salt. 
Process until it's all combined. Pause and taste. Add seasonings and more lime juice to taste! Remember a little goes a long way!
Process until texture is how you like it! We like our's very combined, but some like it more chunky!

Broccoli Rice (Stovetop version)

This is Brodey's number one most requested meal. It's his all time favorite! (He'll eat anything that contains rice lol) My mom used to make this all the time! It's probably the fastest meal I can make. Start to finish 15-20 minutes.

Broccoli Rice

  • Broccoli in the bag you can steam OR fresh broccoli
  • Chicken, cubed
  • Velveeta Cheese
  •  White Minute Rice
  • One can of Cream of Celery Soup OR Cream of Chicken(make sure it is for cooking and not ready to eat)
  • About 1/2 cup of chopped onions (totally optional)
  • Seasonings: onion powder, garlic powder, pepper
Heat butter/margarine, seasonings, and cook chicken and onions in a large skillet (at least 10 inches better if it's 12). While your chicken is cooking, boil two servings of rice according to package directions and steam broccoli. 
Once chicken is cooked, add the can of Cream of Celery soup. Also add about three or four half inch chick slices of velveeta cheese to mixture. Cover and cook on low to melt and combine cheese.
Slowly add broccoli to mixture and combine until you have enough broccoli added, but it's not too dry. (Broccoli tends to absorb liquids) If the rice is done, slowly add it to the dish until it's throughout, but not super dry. You might have some rice leftover, but that's ok! You can add more, but you can't take it away!
Add a few more slices of Velveeta and cook on low, covered, until the Velveeta is melted and combined! Add more Velveeta and seasoning to taste! Usually I know I've added enough when the color is very slightly yellow!
We love this with hot rolls and a salad!

Easy Chili

Easy Chili

This is a modified version of the Pioneer Woman's recipe! Very easy and very flavorful!! You can ALWAYS add more seasonings until it tastes how you want it to taste! Also, I have used whatever beans I had in the cabinet on many occasions! I even used Garbonzo beans and they were SO good in it!
I eat it with cheese, Eric eats it with saltines, and Bro eats it as Frito Chili Pie!

Easy Chili

  • 2lbs Ground Beef (I prefer the less fat at least 90%)
  • One 14oz can of tomato sauce
  • One 10oz can of Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • One 14oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 14oz can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (corn flour, usually in the hispanic section or bottom row of flower section)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 a cup or so of chopped onion (optional but enhances flavor)
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper to taste
In a stock pot, saute butter/margarine, chopped onions, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper until onions are translucent. Add ground beef, oregano, cumin, and chili powder, and cook until browned. Drain off fat if needed. 
Add tomato sauce and Ro-Tel. Stir, cover pot, and heat on low. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
Add beans, stir, cover, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
Mix your masa and warm water in a bowl to make a paste. Add this to the chili and stir to combine. Simmer to make it thick for about 10 minutes. 
Taste and add more seasoning if needed! Specifically onion and garlic powder!
Serve however you like! 

Easy Tortellini Soup

This is a recipe I came up with before Harp's built the new store! They had these packages of cheese tortellini in the cold section and I thought....Ill bet that would make a good soup! I looked up several simple tortellini soup recipe on Pinterest and came up with this one! The boys request it about every other week! Also, the leftovers get better and better!

  • You can substitute refrigerated tortellini for the bag of tortellini in the pasta section. BUT you need to rinse it before adding it to the soup! The preservatives will make it way too salty if you just add it without rinsing it! It will still be good!!! Just do NOT add salt and RINSE it!

Easy Tortellini Soup
  • Chicken Breasts (thawed)
  • Tortellini (refrigerated OR bagged in the pasta section)
  • Squash and Zucchini (fresh cubed)
  • Lemons (one and a half or more to taste)
  • 24oz Jar of your favorite pasta sauce (yes any pasta sauce)
  • 32oz Chicken Broth
  • 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes (optional but adds rich flavor)
  • 2 Bay Leaves (optional but adds flavor)
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning (optional but adds flavor)
  • Butter or Margarine (I always use Country Crock)
In a large stock pot, heat margarine and begin to sauté squash and zucchini with listed seasonings. Cook until veggies just start to become transparent on the edges. Add a tiny bit of the chicken broth(maybe half a cup) and lemon juice, and cook veggies for about 5 minutes longer. 
Add in the rest of the chicken broth, whole jar of pasta sauce, bouillon cubes, and a few slices of lemon. Cook until boiling while you slice your chicken breasts into 1/3's. 
Once boiling, carefully add your chicken breasts. While the chicken cooks, boil your tortellini in a separate pot. 
Once your chicken is cooked, take it out of the soup with tongs and shred(or cut up it doesn't matter). Add back to the pot until its lightly boiling again. Add tortellini and the rest of the lemon juice. Cook until thoroughly heated! Enjoy with french bread and a salad!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Once you go Mac...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe it's been so long since I have posted! I have been beyond busy!
As most of you know I started taking taking pictures again almost exactly this time last year! It has been a very, very busy year! This is a GREAT thing and I am so thankful for all of my clients, but being so busy has caused my poor blog to suffer! It used to be something I enjoyed doing, but as I got busier I just didn't have the time for it! I would LOVE to start posting again. I go back and read my blog and there are so many things that I wouldn't remember if I hadn't blogged about them! My goal is to blog at least every other week! We will see how that goes! ;)
A few weeks ago I got a new computer! SO excited! The hubby had tried to talk me into getting a Mac back when we purchased my previous computer, but I knew what I wanted and at the time didn't want to transition. Well the other computer kicked the bucket and this time I was much more open to switching. All I have to say is once you go never look back! ;) It's so easy to use and is light speeds faster than my PC as far as editing photos! I LOVE it! Oh and so does Brodey. He hopped right on it and started using it like a pro! Crazy. His favorite is the Photo Booth.

That's my lovely family. I'm thinking this is Christmas card material. Hehe! We have fun with it!
Brodey is a big 1st grader now. Sad how fast time goes by! It seems like I was just sending him to preschool for 3 hours and day and thinking wow what will I do!?!?! HA!
Well it feels so good to blog! Aw!
I have to go now and do photo stuffs! If you haven't already you can visit me on Facebook! April Massad Photography!
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Fall Ya'll!

It's FALL! Fall is beautiful, but I have to be honest. I really don't like it that much. I get sick (cough cough cough all night) and it leads to winter. But if you have ever read my blog you know that. ;)
At least fall is a beautiful time for pics! (I'm taking pictures again in case you didn't know) I'm actually running a special right now! The trees are PERFECT at my house right now! I want everyone to be able to come and take advantage! So I'm doing Fall Mini Sessions! The lovely leaves do not last long here in Oklahoma! So the special only lasts until November 18th. If you have any more questions or to schedule call/text me at (405)816-6462 or email me at!
So Brodey is Bumblebee from Transformers this year. I have to say I think his costume is pretty cool!
He really wanted to be Sonic the Hedgehog, but it was all sold out. I searched all over and I could only find it on Ebay for like $90. Sure! Like that's going to happen! So Bumblebee it was!
I pulled it on him this morning and it ripped right at the waist. We were already running late so I had to take it off of him and sew it back up. Thank goodness for my sewing machine! I don't think staples would have felt too great! ;)
If you are going to be in Tahlequah tomorrow you should come by and see me! Bring at least 2 cans of food to The Scrappin Pad's 2nd Location Open House, I'll take your little ghost or goblin's picture, and you get a free 4x6! (You can order additional prints online)
Scrappin Pod Open House
Saturday October 29
3pm - 5pm
609 W Delaware
Tahlequah, OK
Well friends! I'm off to clean the house! It has been neglected the last few days!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food for days!

Food for days! And it only tastes better and better!
Have you ever eaten at Chipotle? (Yes it's the restaurant with the hot stock lol) Well it's REAL good and I have found a recipe that comes pretty close to the chicken they serve there! You can totally vary it depending on what you like/dislike. I put peppers and onlions in practically every dish I make! If you don't like them don't add them! ALSO! You can sub onions for onion powder! Onion powder makes everything taste better!
This dish is made in the crockpot and only takes about 2.5 hours total. If you are workin' momma it would be great if your crockpot had a timer you could set! Dinner ready when you get home!
If you do not have a crockpot, this dish can be made on the stove in ONE dish. Takes around 15-20 minutes! I will post the directions for that version below the Crockpot one!

Crockpot Mexican Chicken

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, quartered
  • 1 can gold and white corn, drained (regular corn will work but this stays crunchy)
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 jar or 2 cups of salsa
  • Sliced white onion and peppers(optional)
  • Bag of Uncle Ben's Spanish Rice (Or whatever rice you have on hand)
  • Lettuce and cheese or tortillas (to serve with) 

Pour the beans, corn, and 1 cup of the salsa into the crockpot. Stir together.
Lay the seasoned chicken breasts quarters on top. Lay your sliced onions and peppers on top of the chicken and pour the remaining salsa on top.
Cook on high for at least 2 hours or until chicken is done.
Take chicken breasts out of crockpot and shred with a fork. Mix the shredded chicken back in the crockpot and heat for an addional 30 minutes or until ready to eat!

Mexican Chicken Stovetop Version 
Same ingredients as above. 
Cut up chicken into cubes and cook in a larger skillet (at least 10 inches) with butter/margarine. Season with onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper OR your favorite Mexican seasonings. (Optional) Add peppers and onions and cook until chicken is done. While chicken is cooking, cook the rice. Add salsa, corn, black beans,  and rice to the skillet. Cook until bubbling and thoroughly heated! Serve over lettuce, in a burrito, or in a bowl. It's even great as a filling for Quesadillas! Top with cheese, sour cream, or guacamole!

Yes my friends it is that easy. I made this Monday night and we are still eating it! It's so good and it's even better after the flavors have mingled for a while!
We ate it on tortillas with some lime, cilantro, lettuce, sour cream, and cheese. I made Brodey a quesadilla with the meat. It would be awesome in a taco salad!
It's the perfect weeknight meal! We even thought it would be awesome at a party as a dip with chips!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crop OR Shop for a Cure!

Do you scrapbook?
Do you like to shop?
Do you want to support the fight for cancer?
I'll bet you answered yes to at least one of those questions! If you did you need to come to the 12 Hour Scrapbooking Crop October 8 hosted by the Pink Pearls Relay for Life Team! It's gonna be FUN!
I was supposed to attend and do a Make 'n Take, but I'll be in Texas that day! I'm sad! I love to see everyone and there will be a TON of vendors there!
Serendipity Retreat Store from Tulsa
Scrappin Pad Retreat
31 Gifts
Close to My Heart - Doing Workshops
Lia Sophia
Creative Memories
Pampered Chef
Cookie Lee Jewelry
Chicken Creek Hen House Retreat
Mary Kay
Stampin Up
and more!
What a list! I'm so sad I'm going to miss it!
If you aren't a scrapbooker they would love to have you stop by and shop or even make a donation!
If you are a business that is interested in attending the crop or dontaing items for the auction, please contact Bobbie at! She would love to have you!
I'll be donating scrapbook goodies as well as a free photo session! FUN!
If you will be in town that weekend please stop by! Or if your hubby will be glued to the tv for the OU/TX game head on down for some fun girl time!
The flyer is to the left! Click on it to enlarge it!
Hope you can make it!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm so excited...and I just can't hide it!!!

Santa came early for me this year. Yes he did. I got two things I have wanted for years. That's no joke.
The first is WiFi! Yes I know! I'm jumping up and down and you probably are too because you won't have to hear me complain about HughesNet anymore! (Yes my eye still twitches when I think about them.) That means I can actually post photos on Facebook instead of having to wait until the 1am free zone! Yippee!!!
And the other is HUGE! I mean HUGE!
Do you see that!?! That's my NEW CAMERA!!! I'm so excited that I snapped this unflattering photo of me with my new baby because I just had to share! Eeeek!
I have been waiting for this for a very long time. Most of you know that back when I had Brodey I went down to less than part time taking pics. I don't regret that at all! I have been SO lucky the last 5 years to be able to stay home with Brodey!
These last 5 years I have kept going to classes, events, workshops, and stayed in the loop! A couple of years ago I attended an awesome photography workshop and I got to chitchat with the Canon guy. He wrote down the equipment I needed on the back of his business card and I've kept it up on a shelf ever since. It's all wrinkled and kind of stained from me looking at it often. Last week I finally got to take it down and USE it. I can't tell you how excited I am!
I have all sorts of fun stuff coming in! The UPS guy is like enough already!

I know many of you will be as excited as I am and I've already talked to several of you! If you are seriously interested about booking a session send me an email at!
Besides! Bro is sick of being my model! ;) But he's such a sweet one!
Anywho! Thanks for sharing in my excitement and thanks to all of you that have stuck with my through the years!
I'm going to go off and continue my happy dance now!
Happy Monday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Fish Story

I love to fish. LOVE it. I used to want my own fishing show. I wanted to be "that girl with the fishing show." I wanted my name on a reel, t-shirts, hats....okay back to reality.
As I said I love to fish so you can imagine how excited I am that Brodey loves it too! If Eric goes, he goes. It's so fun to see him getting excited about being old enough to be Eric's fishing buddy!
Last weekend he and Eric went fishing at Wetumka Lake. Brodey was SO excited about trying out his brand new fishing rod. (I have photos of this, but it's going to be a scrapbook layout haha) He got a big boy rod and reel. He is an excellent caster for his age, which Eric really appreciates. They both get to fish at the same time!
So Brodey was throwing all day and he did catch some good sized Crappies, but towards the end of the day Eric told him to "throw over there by those stumps."
He did and Eric was messing with his reel not paying attention and Brodey said "I think I have something, Dad."
Eric said he looked up and there was a huge swirl and Brodey's line started pulling out. Eric said he KNEW it was a good sized fish and Brodey got a little nervous. Eric started telling Brodey to "REEL! No! No! Don't reel! REEL REEL! You got a big fish, Bro!!" (Now this is word for word from Brodey) Eric said Brodey reeled it in all by himself, and it even did the whole cool jump out of the water bit. When he finally got it reeled to the boat Eric grabbed it with the net and he took a pic! He said Brodey was SO proud! Eric said that he thought about keeping it and mounting it, but Brodey was adamant about throwing it back. ;) He didn't weigh it but he said it was close to 6lb. This makes me laugh because it weighs more than Brodey did when he was born! Bro only weighed 4.4lb haha!
It was a good and memorable fishing day for both boys! It was so much fun for me to hear them tell the story! They were both so proud! Oh and thank goodness for camera phones!
Well I'm off to put my fisherman Brodey in the bathtub! He just read me his site reading homework. It's crazy to see him recognize words! I love it!
Have a wonderful Monday night!