Food Talk Friday: Chicken Divan

It’s a comfort food. Always on the request list when our family needs to come together and just enjoy one another’s company, and maybe forget some of what’s going on in the real world.

ckn divan

I blogged about it last year and gave our recipe.

Stud Muffin was headed out of town recently and wanted to leave me some food in the fridge, so he found a broccoli and chicken casserole recipe and we made it together.

As I was eating it later for lunch with a friend, it occurred to me that it was probably supposed to be a “lighter” version of Chicken Divan.

It’s interesting that once I thought of it as a “healthier” Chicken Divan, it became just okay. When it was Chicken and Broccoli with Quinoa, it was pretty darn good. And to be fair, the website where we got the recipe never compares it to Chicken Divan. It’s just a “classic comfort food favorite.” Indeed. 😉

The main changes were making a white sauce and adding cheese instead of the creamy soups. The recipe called for quinoa but we used couscous because we had it. Panko instead of crackers for the crunchy topping.

But sometimes you just need the full fat version. When it’s comfort food you’re after, the lighter iteration just won’t cut it.

I’d prepare it again. And I’d eat it again. I just can’t think of it as Chicken Divan.


Spotlight Thursday: Race the Darkness

I’m super excited to host my friend and Golden Heart® and Dreamweaver sister, Abbie Roads, to Live Vi-Carrie-ous today, to share about her new book coming out in October. Please be sure and watch the trailer below!


Cover2Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Series: Fatal Dreams #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: October 4, 2016



Cursed with a terrible gift…
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.
A gift that threatens to engulf them…
Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.




IMG_2582Abbie Roads

Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
1. She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
2. She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
3. By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
4. She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
5. She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
6. She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.
7. Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS is available for pre-order.


Hosted by:
Facebook | Website | Twitter

Woe! It’s Wednesday

I’ve been quiet here a long time, but I’m planning to be more intentional with my blog and posts.

I know, I know, the road to hell and all that …

Sarmizegetusa Regia 2011 - Dacian Paved Road
Sarmizegetusa Regia 2011 – Dacian Paved Road

By Codrinb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro (, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a busy few months around here.

I hesitate to say this, but I feel like I can catch my breath now. Every time I’ve felt that way for the last two or three years, something has happened to leave me gasping and feeling kicked in the teeth by life. So we’ll just pretend I didn’t say that, and move on. Okay?

So far this summer we’ve been to San Diego for the Romance Writers of America® national conference where we had a great time. Stud Muffin visited the world-famous zoo, the Maritime Museum, and the Midway. I spent four days walking around the Marriott Marquis and feeling right at home surrounded by writers.

We took the grand-daughters to tour an alpaca farm and to see pygmy goats. It was a fun outing although there were no alpacas to be found. The goats were adorable!

This week we plan to take the grand-girls to the local dinosaur fossil museum.

We’ve only got so much time to cram in the fun!



Book Talk Tuesday: Arsenic with Austen

Arsenic with Austen is the first in a new series, Crime with the Classics from author Katherine Bolger Hyde and Minotaur Books.

I’m a sucker for a good mystery. Add a small town, some books, tea, and cats, and I’m all in.
Arsenic-with-Austen-bookArsenic with Austen did not disappoint!

A traditional “fair play” mystery with clues and red herrings, it kept me guessing until the end, just the way I like it.

Emily has inherited an old mansion from her aunt and decides to live there and turn it into a writers’ retreat. Along the way though, she begins to suspect her aunt did not die naturally. Add in Emily’s teenage love, Luke, and then a second chance at romance arrives. The fact that Luke is a law enforcement professional just adds to the complications.

I loved this one and hope Hyde is able to keep this series going all the way to Zapped with Zola!

Media Monday: Longmire

Longmire is based on a book series that I’ve heard of but never read.

A couple of summers ago, Stud Muffin came home from work and said someone had recommended the Longmire television series to him. So we found it, DVR’d it, and settled in.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I genuinely enjoyed it.

LMWalt Longmire is the Sheriff of Absaroka County, in Wyoming. It’s a rural area, populated by ranchers, farmers, Native Americans. Crime runs from petty theft to murder.

The series opens a few months after Walt has been widowed and the search for his wife’s killer and justice are the over-arcing story lines for the first few seasons.

After three seasons on A&E, the series was canceled but then picked up by Netflix. I’m almost done watching Season Four, and Season Five will release in September.

It’s interesting to me that although Stud Muffin was the reason I started watching this show, he’s lost interest and I now watch it alone.

He doesn’t like the unrealistic events he feels the show portrays.

I think the story telling and writing are some of the best on television.

He doesn’t think the police procedural episodes are accurate.

I like the scenery and a glimpse into a truly rural way of life. We live in the “country” but in truth, we’re twenty minutes from Starbucks and shopping. Not so true in Absaroka County.

The stories often show the tight-rope walk policing a small community can be. And it’s a stark look at the realities of life on a reservation. The strict boundaries between the reservation and the rest of the county, the division between the tribal police and county sheriff. Who can investigate what and where. The boon a casino can be to the locals but the problems it brings with it. Not the least of which are greed and a thirst for power.

Walt makes mistakes in his assumptions, but that doesn’t stop him from working through to the best solution.

I also think the show is perfectly cast. Robert Taylor is an extraordinary Walt Longmire, weathered, worn, but comfortable with who and what he is. Lou Diamond Phillips as Walt’s friend Henry Standing Bear is the perfect mix of stoic and purposefulness. Katee Sackhoff as Walt’s deputy Victoria Moretti has grit and she’s tough, but she’s occasionally vulnerable.

I could go on and on, but do yourself a favor and try Longmire, if you haven’t already. And let me know if you’re with me or on Stud Muffin’s side.