Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


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Crock Pot Chicken Pot [Not] Pie

It’s been a while since I’ve tried any new recipes. Life’s been a little crazy – work, 2 classes (and the work for that), alumni events, and trying to make the most of some un-seasonally warm weather. And what better way to cook with a busy schedule than my Crock Pot! I wanted something easy without any strange ingredients. And when I came across this pot pie recipe it sounded like the perfect February comfort meal to follow up some studying.

It seemed a little bland so I tweaked a little with some poultry seasoning. Still could be better so I’ll continue to tweak. If you want to experiment, poultry seasoning is a mix of thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. Or maybe you have a better idea – please share!

This is an easy and yummy meal and it’s going to get me through the week. Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Chicken Pot [Not] Pie

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen chicken breasts
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 large potatoes
  • 12 oz. bag frozen peas and carrots
  • ½ bag frozen chopped onion
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Poultry seasoning to taste
  • Dried parsley to taste (optional)
  • Frozen or canned biscuits (or make your own!)

Directions

Peel and dice the potatoes. Place frozen chicken in bottom of crock pot.

Mix the potatoes, cream of chicken soup, & frozen vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, & poultry seasoning. Pour onto top of chicken in crock pot. Add chicken bullion cube.

Cook on low 8-10 hours. Use a spoon to break up the chicken and mix well with veggies. Season with additional salt, pepper, & poultry seasoning as needed.

Bake/make biscuits (I do 1 per serving).

Place bottom half of biscuit in bowl. Cover with chicken from crock pot. Top with top half of biscuit and sprinkle of dried parsley.

[modified from The Monthly Lineup]


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Tavernpointe

My friend Kate and I had tickets to a concert – my favorite, Marc Broussard – and decided to make a night of it. We both like to try out new restaurants so we searched around Midtown near the concert venue. We came across Tavernpointe and it had decent reviews so we made a reservation. Then my friend came across a Scoutmob dinner for two deal – our lucky day!

If you’re a planner, like my friend and I, or just get really excited for new restaurants, don’t plan ahead for Tavernpointe. Get excited, just don’t plan ahead. They have a few staples that stay on the menu, but for the most part it changes regularly. The chef decides what looks good at that time, what’s in season, etc. and plans the menu. Pretty cool.

Our deal included two cocktails – I got the Herbal Remedy and Kate got the Peaches and Peppers Sangria. The difficulty in choosing a drink from this menu is that they all have at least one interesting ingredient that makes you pause. For example, the Herbal Remedy has a green bell pepper sauce. Don’t pause too long – it was delicious.

photo cred: Kate

photo cred: Kate

Next came the fresh rolls and herb butter, which everyone gets. No better way to describe these than simply amazing. The next part of our deal was a meat & cheese board – one meat, one cheese (I can’t remember what they were), red onion jelly (interesting and delicious), 420 beer mustard, and caramel popcorn.

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meat & cheese board

Lastly was an entree each. I had a risotto with two types of mushrooms, peas, and Parmesan. Kate had linguine with pork. The pasta is made there fresh every day – how often do you get fresh pasta? – but the rest of the menu looks great as well.

risotto

risotto

Tavernpointe is trendy and super cozy, but not too couple-y. Great for date night, girls night, guys night, group outing. The location is a little concerning as it is not exactly in a high traffic part of Midtown – at that weird intersection of Peachtree Street and Spring Street – and is in the bottom of an office building. Hopefully they still get plenty of traffic and good reviews. But definitely give it a chance. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed.


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Cranberry Apple Casserole

This is a delicious recipe that I got from a friend’s mom who is an amazing cook and baker. I make it during the holidays and make it for any pot luck I go to. It’s easy and everywhere I go people ask for the recipe. It’s not necessarily quick because you have to peel and chop apples, as well as bake it for a while. But other than that it’s just mix everything together and stick it in the oven! It can be a side dish, a dessert, or I have even had it for breakfast (it has oatmeal in it….).

Enjoy!

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Cranberry Apple Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 C fresh cranberries
  • 3 C apples, peeled & cubed (~3 large apples)
  • 1/3 C flour
  • ¾ C sugar
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 stick butter

Directions

Melt butter.

Mix all ingredients well.

Bake covered in a 2 qt. dish at 350° for about 1 hour.


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Fall

It is barely September but the weather is already teasing fall. And fall is great. I’ll admit, summer is my favorite month – I love the sun and don’t mind the heat (or really just hate being cold…and it doesn’t take much for me to get cold). But I do look forward to fall for many reasons. What are your favorite things about fall??

Pumpkin everything.

I don’t care if it’s now trendy or cliché, I was on the pumpkin bandwagon before there was a bandwagon. I love everything pumpkin.

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Boots.

Nothing really needs to be said….boots make an outfit even better

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Football.

So maybe my team isn’t the best but I will cheer them on no matter what. And yes, SEC football is better football. Period.

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Scarves.

I’ve recently made an effort to purchase some statement necklaces….but in general, my go-to accessory is scarves.

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Soup.

I love soup, but I just can’t eat soup in the summer. Mayyyybe in the office where it is always frigid, but in general I don’t want to eat something hot that will raise my body temperature 20 degrees. So I save my soups for the fall and winter. They’re easy, I do most of them in the crock pot, they make a lot, and I have a good variety. And soups are good freezer food. Check out some recipes I’ve already posted and I’ll be sure to throw in some new ones this fall!

 

 

 


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Chicken Fajita Quinoa Bowl

This recipe is so easy I’m kind of embarrassed to post it. But not really….because everyone should have an easy, delicious go-to meal. And this is one that you can use in many ways. Use it to make actual fajitas, a rice bowl, or go for tacos, burritos, whatever!

Chicken Fajita Quinoa Bowl

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. + extra taco seasoning
  • ½ Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 bell peppers (various colors)
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • quinoa
  • whatever toppings you want (shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, cilantro, etc.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix taco seasoning and corn starch and set aside.

Cut the onion and bell peppers (I used 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow) into strips. Place them in a large 9×13 inch casserole dish.

Slice the chicken into thin strips and add to dish with vegetables.

Sprinkle seasoning over meat and vegetables. Drizzle with vegetable oil and toss until everything is well coated with oil and seasoning.

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Squeeze juice from half the lime on top of meat and veggies after it comes out of the oven.

While the chicken bakes, cook quinoa according to package. When it is done, seasoning with taco seasoning to taste.

Combine into a bowl: quinoa, meat & veggies, and whatever toppings you have/want! I had avocado, cheese, and salsa so that’s what I used!

adapted from Budget Bytes

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Volunteer

#10 on my 30 before 30 list (about 2 months to go on that…) is an important to me. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and giving some time to the community/various organizations, but I’ve mostly just done random projects. Jumping in on Community Bucket events when I can and random events through church. I also organize service projects for my alumni chapter every 4-6 weeks with various organizations. But I wanted to focus on one thing to devote some regular time and challenge myself to commit. A weekly or even bi-weekly commitment is no joke. It may sound easy, but once you get started it can be a struggle to keep it up.

I’ll admit that my first attempt was a fail. Well, ok maybe ‘fail’ is a strong word, as I did commit regular time to the local Ronald McDonald House helping on a weeknight for a few months. But life got in the way and it was too easy to ‘take a break’. They are, by the way, a great organization to volunteer with – times are flexible, they have lots of different needs to help with (group and individual), and you can manage it all online. We still do group dinners throughout the year, but the individual commitment was harder to keep.

I was sitting in church one Sunday reading the bulletin and there was a blurb about the need for one-on-one buddies in the kids program. I had definitely been struggling with the desire to get more involved at church but knew that it would be a significant commitment. Sundays were for sleeping in a little later to attend the 11 o’clock service or driving back from a football weekend in Nashville or early bike rides before the paths were crowded. But it just felt like a great fit. I had been a one-on-one camp counselor and missed working with kids. I knew leading/teaching a whole group wasn’t necessarily my gift, but one-on-one with a kid within a group sounded pretty awesome. And I had no idea that was even an option!

So I emailed the director and a group of us showed up one morning to observe UpStreet and learn more about being a buddy. UpStreet is what many know as Sunday School, but SO much better. Although I was pretty involved in church growing up, Sunday School was nothing like UpStreet. It is so well run and fun. There are small groups for relationship building and deeper chats and large group for fun worship and lessons. So in November I started hanging out with a Kindergarten small group and have not regretted it since. It has been an amazing experience. These kids are funny and crazy and honest and sweet. I’m a one-on-one buddy but also get to know the other kids and can step in to help lead when needed. It’s the best deal possible! And we just moved up to first grade, so getting to watch these kids grow up, even in just one year is pretty cool! Now I can only hope to make a difference to even just one of these kiddos ha.

I’d say deciding to volunteer with UpStreet was the best decision of my past year and I’d encourage everyone to consider what your skills are and where you could be helpful in your own community – whatever you consider your ‘community’ to be – in your city/neighborhood, church, alumni group, or something you’re passionate about. You may just get more out of it than those you are helping/working with.

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Family Roadtrip

I realize I’m biased, but I have now firmly decided that I have the best family. How many people can take a 12-hour family road trip, spend a week with even more family with no wi-fi and very slow/limited data service, drive the same 12 hours back, and still be on good terms and speaking to each other at the end? Well, my family can!

My mom worked in education, so growing up we were able to take a trip every summer. And every summer we headed. from Atlanta, out in the minivan driving to wherever we were going for 1.5 – 2 weeks. No matter how far, we drove. The longest trip was either Texas or South Dakota. Obviously we stopped along the way but that is a long time to spend in the car. I don’t remember hating it, though. So when my sister-in-law decided we needed to take a trip to Illinois to see my dad’s family (how many sisters-in-law suggest that?!), there was no question. I’ve done that trip at least 20 times in my 29 years of life. Never have I done it, however, with 5 adults and a 15-month-old. Apart from them just being realllly long days in the car, the drive days weren’t bad (plus, going up, I had the back bench in the van to myself). I might even venture to say it was fun. I really am lucky to have such a great family.

So how do you keep a 15-month-old entertained for 12+ hours, you ask? That is a GREAT question and luckily my sister-in-law asked people and Googled well. But really it all depends on the kid. My nephew usually sleeps a lot during their car trips, but I guess it was too exciting to have so many of us in the car and at his entertainment beck and call. So he didn’t sleep much. But he/we read his books, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played with Scout, played with a couple electronic toys, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played on the iPad, read books, and oh, did I mention that we listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”. He really was great and I’m semi-joking about the music…kids songs aren’t all that bad and it makes them so happy! But do be prepared to take more breaks than you would without a child.

Anyway, apart from the drive days, we got to see all of my dad’s family. And what do you do for a week with no wi-fi and slow/limited data service, you ask? Another great question. We played Farkle, went to the park, ate, played corn hole, played Ticket to Ride, ate, went to Wal-Mart, visited dad’s old stomping grounds/neighboring towns, ate, watched Wimbledon, oh, and played more games and ate. It’s honestly pretty nice to have limited social media/web access and just hang out.

I’d say it was a very successful trip, and one that not every family can stand to do. And although it did not take much “planning” per say….I’m totally counting this as #21 on my 30 before 30 list – I helped with plans and games and entertainment, which totally counts.