Tag Archives: wine

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

If you know me at all, you know that I really dislike cooking.  Daniel, on the other hand, really enjoys cooking and he’s great at it.  However, there are a few dishes that I can make (but only if they’re super easy).  One of those dishes is “Cheesy Chicken Casserole”.  This was actually a recipe that Daniel’s mom sent me, so I deserve absolutely none of the credit for creating it in any way.  I do want to share it with you though.  Whether you love cooking and are great at it or you hate cooking and are terrible at it, or any combination of those, you can make this recipe.

The quantities I’m giving you are great for 1-2 people, but you can definitely just add more chicken breasts and cheese to increase the quantity for larger groups of people.  (You really don’t need to make more sauce; this version includes double the sauce of the original recipe anyway.)

What you’ll need:

  1. A small casserole dish or glass pie plate
  2. 1 large chicken breast
  3. 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  4. wine or chicken broth
  5. cheddar cheese (or a combination of cheddar and monterey jack, or whatever you prefer)
  6. bread crumbs
  7. butter
  8. rice or noodles

First, you’re going to want to thaw the chicken breast if it’s frozen, then cut off any excess fat.  Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.  Place the chicken breast in the glass dish or pie plate.  Cut 1/4 inch thick strips of cheese and place the cheese on top of the chicken breast.  Make sure the breast is completely covered.

Like this.

In the oven, the cheese will melt and mix with the sauce.  Speaking of sauce, pour 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup into a large mixing bowl.  We prefer Campbell’s for no other reason than it’s just a little bit thicker than any store brand we’ve found.  Using one of the empty cans from the soup, measure 1 can of wine or chicken broth and add it to the mixing bowl.  I prefer to use slightly less than 1 can so that the sauce will (again) be a little thicker.  Using a whisk, stir it until the sauce is thoroughly mixed.

Use this…

…and this…

…to make this.

Now, take the sauce, and pour it over the chicken in the casserole or pie dish.  Next, take the bread crumbs and sprinkle them generously over sauce covering the chicken.  Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter and pour over the bread crumbs.

It should look like this.

Bake the “casserole” in the oven for 45-60 minutes.  You want the sauce to be bubbling; this will indicate that the breast is cooked through.  If you’re not sure, leave it in a bit longer.  The chicken will not get dry since it’s covered in the sauce.  You may want to place tin foil underneath the dish if you’re concerned the sauce may overflow.  When we make it, it’s usually in a more shallow dish, so we always put tin foil underneath it, just to be safe.

During this bake time, make your favorite rice or pasta to be served with the casserole.  Once you think the chicken is done, cut into the breast to be sure that it has cooked through.

And now…enjoy!

Daniel and I prefer it to be served over rice.  We make the extra sauce so that we can just mix that with  any leftover rice.  We call that the “poor man’s risotto”.  It makes for great leftovers.  I made this for dinner last Friday, and it’s kind of our standby.  If we have the soup and the chicken breast handy, it’s probably what’s for dinner.  It’s one of my favorite dishes, and I can actually make it well!

Living the Good Life

Hello again.  I am actually writing this post from our new townhouse in downtown Durham.  I talked a little bit about it in my last post.  I am extremely pleased with how it has turned out.  We pay a little bit more than we did in Rochester for a lot more stuff, including a washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

So, where do I start?  Daniel graduated two weeks ago with his Bachelor’s degree (finally).  I’m really proud of him, he did great.  I ended up flying to Rochester on Saturday night, and he graduated the following morning.  By the way, I’ve decided that I actually really like flying.  This may be a problem for Daniel, because he hates it.  I can’t stress the word “hate” enough, because he just won’t do it.  I thought it was kind of fun, personally.  But, anyway, I digress.  We moved all of our stuff into a van on Sunday, after graduation, and started out for North Carolina that night.  That was not our original intention, but it worked out.  We spent the night in Harrisburg, PA, and arrived in Durham in the early afternoon on Monday.  I’m so happy he’s finally here, and we’re done moving for a while.

The townhouse looks amazing.  I’m sure there will be pictures coming soon.  We are still kind of settling in.  I’m enjoying Durham quite a bit now that I have Daniel to show me around to all the cool places.  We’ve even been doing some partying.  Last weekend we met up with Daniel’s best friend Jeremiah, and we got to meet his girlfriend Mae.  On that Friday we went to Fullsteam, and then to Bull City Burger and Brewery to eat dinner with Jeremiah’s parents.  I had met Jeremiah’s mom before, but I’d never met his dad.  His dad was adorable.  I don’t know how else to describe him.  He has a beard and glasses and wears plaid shirts and loafers.  He was just an adorable man.  It was great to meet and chat with him.  The following Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, we went to Mae’s parents’ house for a little party.  That was…interesting.  There was a lot of tequila that I wouldn’t go near.  Daniel and I only knew Jeremiah and Mae, but Daniel’s friend Forest did show up later and they all had a little jam session on a makeshift stage in the backyard.  It was good to see them back together making music.  I’m still calling for an Acoustic Satan reunion.  So, that was a fun night.

Last night we were invited to a party being held in our own backyard, which was awesome.  Our neighbors Glenn and Mary were throwing a party, and invited everyone in the 6 townhomes that make up our little complex.  Glenn and Mary are actually University of Rochester alumni, which is crazy and very small world.  I swear we didn’t plan that out.  At the party we also met another guy named Luke, who majored in Optics at the U of R, and his girlfriend Carrie who is from Pittsford.  I was extremely drunk, since I’d had an entire bottle of wine, plus two cups of beer.  I came upstairs to grab something and ended up passing out in bed.  I felt a little bad about that because I missed the rest of the party and totally left without even telling Daniel where I was going.  Oops.  The good news is that I think we are going to meet up with Luke and his girlfriend sometime this week at Bull City Burger and Brewery for dinner and drinks.  He seemed like a cool guy and we both need friends here since we all just moved from Upstate New York (except for Daniel, who’s from Durham).

So, in the few weeks we’ve been here, we’ve met some cool people and done some cool things.  I can’t wait for more.  I should not have waited so long to make this update, because there is definitely more that I want to talk about.  Like The Avengers.  That one really deserves its own post.  And I will have some pictures in my next post.  There are just too many things to do now that I live here.

My First Vlog (Because I’ve Been Really Lazy About Blogging!)

So below is my first vlog (awkward word!) video.  The quality is not good because I just used my computer’s camera.  I probably should have saved myself some trouble and just uploaded a voice post, but I did want people to be able to see me since I have family and friends in faraway lands like Unadilla and Rochester that don’t see me very often.  Also, you should know that I’m a couple of glasses of wine into this post, so there may be a few typos that I didn’t catch.  (The video was pre-wine Stine.)  I’m really going to make an effort to post more often about what’s going on in my life here in Durham.

I was serious about the cat anxiety thing.  I know nothing about it, so inform me!  Also, I may end up doing the haul video regardless.  It looks like so much fun.  Cue Daniel making fun of me relentlessly.  I know they’re silly but they look fun to film.  I might wait to do it until I do a serious shopping trip at Old Navy and Forever 21 on Monday or Tuesday.  We will see if that actually materializes.

I just want to point out that I really did enjoy going to see Titanic in theaters.  It’s a stupid movie.  The script is ridiculous.  I hate what James Cameron does to movies (and by that, I mean ruin them).  But, it’s a pretty good story and I happen to really like Kate Winslet.  To me, it was worth it for free dollars.

Forgive Me, Readers, For I Have Sinned

It has been 3 days since my last update.  I’m going through a bit of a weird time right now.  I did not discuss my last Saturday night, so I will do that now.

On Saturday, after Roc Con, we went to Matt’s house for food, drinks, and poker.  I was ecstatic to hear that he was ordering pizza because Daniel and I haven’t had pizza in forever.  Salvatore’s is delicious, I recommend their business.  I will just throw that out there.  It was a pretty good turnout, considering that, for a few weeks, it was just me and Daniel showing up to their house and eating their food.  Jess’s brother Sean was there; we haven’t seen him since probably Park Ave Fest.  He is fun to hang around, so that was awesome.  Dan and Karen didn’t show up until later.  We haven’t seen them since Park Ave Fest either.  They don’t seem to come around the store as often now that they have moved out of the neighborhood, which is such a bummer.  But I want to give my very official congratulations to them because they recently got engaged!  He proposed while they were on vacation in Disney World.  It sounded amazing.  I’m so happy for them; they are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Also, Daniel and Dan get along really well because they can both nerd out together about comic books, more so than anyone else I know.

It was a great night, and I almost won the poker game.  Daniel pulled ahead in the end.  I’m so proud because I taught him everything he knows.

Tonight was Taco Tuesday which is always a pleasure.  I actually worked at the comic store this afternoon, but because it was a Tuesday, business was slow.  After Daniel finished his shift and closed up the store, we headed over to their house for tacos and a few rounds of poker.  Daniel won again!  Just another sign of Armageddon.  That, and the fact the Bills are 3-0.  I think I’m starting to believe that the world might end next year, especially if the Bills miraculously make it to the Super Bowl.  God help us if they win.

I’ll try to resume my regular updates again.  My life has been boring lately, so I haven’t had much to write about.  I hope that changes soon!

Yes, I miss when my life was like this every day.

This picture was taken literally moments before I dumped that glass of wine all over my Fantastic Four shirt and my newest bathing suit underneath it.  Awesome.

“He was bound to love you when he heard you sing, Christine.”

Today started out kind of slow.  Daniel and I lazed around for a very long time until we decided to take a drive to Wegmans for dinner supplies and dessert.  I tried to surprise him with Pop Rocks while he wasn’t looking, but he spotted them before I could hide them properly.  We shared a pack in the car before we walked back into the apartment.  That was fun.

For dinner, Daniel made cheesy risotto with sausage.  It was amazing.  But when he opened the bottle of wine to use in the risotto, the wine opener pushed the cork into the bottle instead of pulling it out.  (That was my fault, but it is difficult to explain.)  So we ended up drinking almost the entire bottle before dinner was even ready.

Now we are watching The Phantom of the Opera.  A few things about that.  I want to see the Broadway show so badly.  Daniel saw it in Durham a few years ago.  In the movie, Raoul is played by Patrick Wilson who played Dan Dreiberg and The Night Owl in Watchmen.  It’s kind of weird because now we’ve all seen his butt.  Also, he looks a lot older in Watchmen.  And I had no idea that Gerard Butler played The Phantom.  But that explains a lot, like how The Phantom isn’t a very good singer but we are expected to believe that he trained Christine.

He is a goofball.

A Mellow Day, But Not an Uneventful One.

Today Daniel and I visited Kelly’s apartment in Oneonta for the first time.  It’s nice.  I personally love our apartment (except for our ugly green rug), so I did not fall in love with her house, but it was good.  I think she will have a fantastic time living there with her friends, and it is right across from campus.  We ate dinner at her house, some chicken parmesan.  It was delicious.  Daniel and I supplied the wine.  We played a game of Settlers of Catan and then a game of Cranium.  Dillon won the former, Daniel and I won the latter.  Poor Kelly.  It was a great night, and it’s always fun to hang out with those two crazy kids.

We went to Old Franklin Day this afternoon to check out the “festivities” and the sales.  Daniel found a copy of Daredevil #5 from 1964 at a yard sale.  He got it for only $10.  Then his computer died and he said bad words.  Tomorrow we have an appointment at the Genius Bar in Victor.

Tomorrow we  plan to leave for Rochester.  Everyone is very nervous about Irene.  I hope our plans are not deterred because of the weather.

Happiness and excitement.

Poker and Park Ave Fest Day 2

Kelly and Dillon decided not to go to Matt’s house for poker last night, which was a shame, but Dillon had to work at 8am this morning.  There’s always next time.

Daniel and I had a fantastic time last night.  We ate hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, and then poker started.  I had excellent luck.  I think it had something to do with drinking my wine straight out of the bottle.  I ended up coming in second when we decided to stop playing.  Dennis came in first with the most chips.  So what this means is that he got to choose his prize last, and he had the option to take a prize from anyone who had opened their prize before him.  I clearly got the best prize of the night.  Mine was a little game called Doody Head.

Doody Head comes with 3 doodies and a cap that one player ties to their head to then catch the doodies that other players throw at him or her.  On the front of the box, they try to entice you by saying “Try and catch the doody onto your head to find out who is the ultimate Doody Head!”  The back of the box goes on to describe its contents:  “Super squidgy doodies with a grippy hat for doody heading antics!”  Yes, I certainly chose the best prize.  But that’s not all I got.

During the last hand we played, I ended up winning with a full house, beating out two people with flushes.  Everyone was pretty surprised by this, so they agreed that I should win the prize for “Best Hand”.  This prize was Don’t Hassel the Hoff, the autobiography of David Hasselhoff.  I can’t imagine why, but it had been discounted down to only $1 when Jill found it for the party.  Expect a post on that in the coming weeks, with excerpts and all.  It’s perfect beach reading, and that’s precisely what I plan to do with it.

I think this picture was taken on Steve's or Sara's phone, so it's a little fuzzy. But I think it really captures how Daniel is the ultimate Doody Head.