Thursday, October 28, 2010

Broccoli Salad

Wow. This has been a super busy week at the Bell house! And the busyness is not over yet! In fact, we have so much going on tomorrow that I had to take off work just to keep up with my own schedule! haha So this will probably be the only post for the week... but I can't wait to start next week off by sharing our fun weekend! Tomorrow, I am going to my great aunt's nursing home with my mom, grandma, Jack and Millie (my mom's westie) for a Halloween party. We are dressing my aunt up as Miss America and Jack and Millie will be in a dog parade dressed as Super Man and a lady bug!! I can't wait!! After that, Evan and I will be headed to a Halloween party at one of my very best friends' house! I am so excited to spend time with our friends and I always love a reason to wear a costume! haha
Anyway, here's a quick and easy recipe that I have been meaning to share for a while now. I don't have any pictures of it but it's super delicious and would be a great side dish to take to a Halloween party this weekend! :)

Broccoli Salad
1 head of broccoli
6-8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
2 T. white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Cut the broccoli head into florets and the stem into bite sized pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the bacon, onion, raisins, cheese and tomatoes. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.
Did I mention it's a Paula Deen recipe? Now you know it's good!! :)
Come back Monday to see my precious little Super Man and his girlfriend, the lady bug!
Happy Halloween Weekend!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Today's post comes from some quality time that I've been spending with my mom lately. And today's recipe comes from a cookbook that I gave my mom for Christmas a long, long time ago... and it's a delicious recipe if I do say so myself.

A few days ago, my mom called me because she was in a time crunch and she needed some help. She needed to make two recipes of tortilla soup for a women's dinner that she was going to and also one recipe of tortilla soup to leave at home for my dad and brother to eat... and she only had about an hour to cook! haha She told me that if I would come help her get all of the soup cooked in time that she would give me the leftover ingredients to take home and cook for our dinner. Obviously, I would have helped her without the incentive but tortilla soup did sound delicious and free ingredients are always nice! :)

*****Rabbit trail... but speaking of my mom, she was my running (and by running, I mean walking) buddy in the Race For The Cure this past weekend and we had the best time! :) Evan, my dad and our little Westies stood on the sidelines to cheer us on! Here is one of the very few pictures that we took and unfortunately, we forgot to take one with the boys in it!*****

And here's the recipe... without a picture... but with a promise that you'll love it! :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)
4 cups chicken stock
1 (10 oz) can tomato soup
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. lemon pepper
2 t. chili powder
2 t. worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
5 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
1 or 2 avocados chopped
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

Combine green chiles, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken, chicken stock, tomato soup, cumin, lemon pepper, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered for 1 hour. Cut the tortillas into strips and saute them in a small amount of oil in a skillet. Drop tortillas into soup. Heat for 10 to 20 minutes but do not boil. Place the avocados and shredded cheese in soup bowls and ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with sour cream.


And finally, if you want to make this soup in style, then you'll head on over to my friend, Lindsey's, blog and enter her giveaway for a fabulous soup pot. I am actually drooling over the pot myself, but since I won her last giveaway, she told me that I wasn't allowed to win this time! haha :) The giveaway ends today, so hurry over and check it out!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Tomorrow is the 17th annual Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure in Little Rock, AR. This race means so much to me and is a day that I look forward to all year long! This year will be my 9th year to participate! I just think it is such an awesome feeling to come together with thousands of other women who believe in the cause as much as I do!

Between my sophomore and junior years of high school, a close friend of mine lost her mom to breast cancer after a long and difficult battle. In college, several girls in my sorority had moms, grandmas and aunts who were fighting breast cancer and two sisters even lost their mom to breast cancer during those years. Right after I graduated college, I had a lump in my breast that turned out to be a benign tumor and had to be removed... and even though it wasn't cancer, it scared reality into me.

Breast cancer is very real and it is all around us. Just because we or the women we love don't have breast cancer at the moment doesn't mean that it isn't just around the corner. I don't say this to scare anyone but I think that we, as women, almost have a responsibility to support the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer and a responsibility to stand up for one another. That's why I love the race, because it is the perfect way to raise money for research while celebrating women and standing up for those who are fighting for their lives.

Not to mention, it's fun for the whole family!!
Here are a few pictures from the race last year...

So, in honor of breast cancer awareness month and race weekend, I will be wearing pink today and sharing a delicious recipe for Fresh Strawberry Cake with y'all... because it's delicious... and because it's pink! ;)

Fresh Strawberry Cake

1 boxed white cake mix
1 box strawberry jello
1/2 cup crushed fresh strawberries
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs

Mix all ingredients together and beat 2-3 minutes. Pour into 2 greased 9 in. round cake pans or a 9x13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Fresh Strawberry Frosting

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup crushed fresh strawberries
1 (1 lb.) box powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together and spread frosting in between the layers of cake then on the top and sides (or just on the top for a 9x13 cake).


Are any of you "Racing For the Cure" in your city this month?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

White Chili

If you follow me on Twitter then you know that Evan and I went to the Carrie Underwood concert on Tuesday night... and LOVED every second of it! But we stayed up way past our bedtime and we were both exhausted on Wednesday so I needed a SUPER easy recipe for Wednesday night's dinner... and the first recipe that came to my mind was White Chili. I mean, the hardest part is opening the cans... it's almost shocking how fast you can have dinner on the table with this recipe! Oh and it's also delicious and very comforting while being healthy all at the same time! Can we say, "Keeper"? :)

White Chili

2 cans chicken broth
2 cans great northern beans
2 cans chopped green chiles
2 cans chopped cooked chicken
1 small onion, diced
1 t. garlic
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 can green chile enchilada sauce

Pour all ingredients into soup pot and simmer until hot. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, if desired.


Here are a few pictures... you'll have to forgive this meal for not being super photogenic... since that's it's one and only flaw! :)

If you couldn't already tell, this recipe is definitely one of my favorites! Give it a try on your next busy night! :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jack's Birthday Pawty

We had a birthday pawty for Jack on Saturday and it was so much fun! I don't plan on doing this every year (certainly not after we have real children) but I wanted to give him at least one real birthday party in his life and we thought it would also be a good opportunity to hang out with some of our dog-loving friends!
I went with a tennis ball theme because Jack is OBSESSED with tennis balls (you may have noticed that there is one sitting at his feet in our blog header). Here are a few (ok, more than a few) pictures from the event! Enjoy!!

This is the main table... the cake in the center was for the humans and the rest of the treats were all for the dogs!

The jar of tennis balls said, "Thank you for coming! We hope you had a ball!"

The jar on this side of the table was filled with "Doggy Bags" for the guests to fill with treats!

This was the (human) punch table! We had five flavors of punch (pineapple soda, sparkling punch soda, tropical hawaiian punch, orange soda and lime soda) in the five party colors!

On the menu for the pups was: Carob Pupcakes with Yogurt Frosting

Bow-Wow-Brownies with Peanut Mutter Frosting


Canine Carob Chip Cookies

Tennis Ball Lollipups

Carob Dipped Pawreos

I also found these precious tennis ball balloons that we had in several places around the party!

Water bowls for the dogs!

A bucket of toys for the dogs to play with... it was pretty much already empty by the time I took this picture! haha

And finally, a few of the happy pawty guests! :)

Friday, October 8, 2010


Clearly, I overestimated myself when I promised a post every day this week... I guess I will just have to continue the posts that I had planned for this week into next week! Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking considering the fact that this little guy is having a birthday pawty tomorrow and I have been VERY busy getting all of the details together!

Have a great weekend and please forgive me... I'll catch up eventually!! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dr. Pepper Party

My brother, Luke, turned 18 (which makes me feel really old) on September 17. He is a huge fan of Dr. Pepper and actually requested a Dr. Pepper themed birthday celebration! haha He did this because he knows that my mom throws him a family party each year on his birthday and that it always has some sort of a theme (even if it's just a color theme). My mom was a little discouraged by his request because we had just given Evan a similar party (Coke) a few months earlier, but we decided to go ahead with it anyway! This is what we came up with:

Now, as much as I would like to say that we made the cake... we didn't! So I don't have any recipes for Dr. Pepper party day. However, recipes (and more party pictures) will return to the blog tomorrow so come back and take a look! :)

And, last but not least, the black and white Paris salad plates (in yesterday's post) came from T.J. Maxx and they also come in square!! :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Party Week and Sweet Potato Biscuits

I have decided to call this week "Party Week" here on Dinner Bells. My brother, grandma and I all three had birthdays in the month of September and there were family birthday parties for all of us so I have decided to spend the week sharing pictures and recipes from those parties!

My brother's birthday was on the 17th and my grandma's was on the 18th and although we usually celebrate their birthdays on different days, we had one big party for them this year. We had a dinner table for "Mammaw" and a dessert table for Luke. Basically two completely different parties in different rooms of the house... so fun! I'm going to start with Mammaw's party today because dinner comes before dessert! :)

My mom and I decided to do a black and white theme for Mammaw's party because she LOVES black and white... it's always been a huge joke in our family about black being her favorite color! Here are a few pictures, followed by the recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits. During the course of the week, I will also share the recipe for a pesto that we served with an heirloom tomato and mozzarella salad and a delicious scalloped potato dish.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
2 cups self rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 T. shortening
2 T. butter
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (about 1 large sweet potato)
1/3 cup half-and-half

Combine flour and sugar in a medium bowl; cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add mashed sweet potato and half-and-half, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead dough 4 or 5 times. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness; cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake biscuits at 400 degrees for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned.


Happy Monday!!

Come back tomorrow for more of "Party Week"! :)