Saturday, January 4, 2014

Movin' On Up.... a bigger dining room table!  For almost 2 years, we have been a five person family with a four person table.  Well, today, that all changed!  I had been eye-balling a particular dining set for about 6 months, but kept putting off getting it.  And then last week, low and behold, it went on SALE!!  So I decided the time had come, and I bought it!

Over the past year, we had started to become the family who eats meals in the living room.  Not really sure how this became the norm for us, but it had.  I didn't like it, but since it was the only way that Cooper, the baby, could really be part of our meals, it's what happened.  Meal times were starting to get a little chaotic, too much up and down, especially by Coop since he was sitting in a little desk that didn't have a seat belt.  What used to be talking about our days and having family conversation, had turned into watching TV.  And I can't even remember the last time that I got to eat an entire meal without having to get up to put Cooper back in his seat or without having his chubby little hands being crammed into my plate!

Tonight's dinner was one of the best our family has had in a very long time!  And not just the food (although it was amazing, but more on that later).  Our new table has two benches and two chairs.  I also bought a little booster seat that straps to one of the chairs for Cooper!  He was able to get right up to the table with the rest of us!  We were all able to talk and enjoy our food without getting up and there was no TV on!  Bliss!

My middle child, Corbyn, also felt it was very important to have some beautiful flowers on our new table, so we took off for Trader Joes!  I love TJ and they always have a great selection of fresh cut flowers!  While Corbyn ran off to the free sample station, I picked out some sunflowers (they are my fave) but Corbyn decided they weren't special enough.  So after much sniffing and hemming and hawing, he picked out these beautiful roses!
Well, now that you know all about our fabulous new table, I want to share with you the recipe we tried, and loved, last night!  My daughter actually put together the casserole while I put together the new table and chairs.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole


  • 1 whole Cooked Chicken, Bones Removed, Meat Diced Or Shredded ( I used an already cooked Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store)
  • ½ pounds Very Thinly Sliced Deli-style Honey Ham, Rough Chopped
  • ¼ pounds Thin Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons Flour
  • 3-¼ cups Milk (I Used 2% Milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoons White Pepper
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1-½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • ¾ teaspoons Seasoning Salt
  •  1-½ teaspoon Crushed Dried Parsley         

    Layer the first 3 ingredients in a casserole dish.  Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and then pour over the meat and cheese.  Top with the mixture of Panko and spices.
    Then you bake in a 350 oven until the top browns and the casserole is bubbly!
     That's it! So easy! I served mine with Corn-On-The-Cob and Sourdough French Bread. And everyone in my family cleared their plates!

    Let me know if you try it and how your family liked it!  Til next time...


    PS: Check back tomorrow to see what my amazing husband did with all the boxes from the dining room set!

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