Saturday, December 5, 2009

tales from the retreat

us last night

In case you'd missed the flurry of Tweets, I'm away this weekend... scrapbooking with nine lovely ladies. Most of us have been here since Thursday, getting all sugared-up on Egg Nog Chai Lattes and Special K bars. I've mainly been working on photos (you might remember THIS POST and the fact I've stretched myself a little this fall) and my mom's PicFolio album... the album I gave her two years ago that she hadn't yet even pulled out of the bag. Ahem. Despite the fact I've done very little this weekend, I have gained a lot of creative inspiration. And a few good recipes.

As for inspiration, check out these awesome digital albums by clicking HERE. I love Ali Edwards' Celebrating Everyday Life album HERE. She's already designed the album, simply click and drag your images into the template - it's so easy ANYONE could do it! There's a list of everyday photo recommendations HERE. And everyday journaling ideas HERE. Seriously cool.

My very favorite drink - the eggnog chai latte - has been a huge hit this weekend. So huge, it required an emergency run this afternoon for more supplies. Thought I'd share it here as well because it really is THE BEST winter drink. I recommend only one type of chai to achieve the desired yummy results: Pacific Chai - Spice. Here's the recipe:

Egg Nog Chai Latte

8 oz. boiling water
2 Tbsp. Pacific Chai powder
3 oz. egg nog, heated

Heat up your water and pour it into a large mug. Add 2 Tbsp. of chai powder and stir. Heat up 3 oz. of egg nog (watch carefully, it will boil over quickly in the microwave). Slowly stir egg nog into the chai. Spray on a dap of Reddi-Wip and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Serously. THE BEST.

the drink

We also sampled a mighty tasty Chicken Pot Pie recipe on Thursday. You'll find that recipe below, courtesy of All Recipes:

1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease and flour a 2 quart casserole dish. Place chicken breasts, onion, and poultry seasoning in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Drain and dice chicken.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, onions, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, Cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, mixed vegetables, mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Lay one sheet of pastry in bottom of greased and floured pan. Pour chicken mixture over pastry. Cover with second sheet of pastry. Seal edges of top and bottom pastries. Cut steam vents in top.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until pastry is golden brown.

I modified it a bit to serve in an 9x13 pan, rolling out 1-1/2 crusts to line the bottom of my pan and cutting circles out of the other half to put on top of the pot pie. I also used a little more chicken, soup, and the entire bag of mixed veggies to fill the pan. It was very good and something my picky family might even eat.

I'll have a couple more recipes to share later! Right now, I've gotta go wait for the pizza man. Have a super evening.

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Tina Vega said...

...STILL waiting on the pizza man.

Crystal said...

Your homemade meals were way better than the pizza! Thanks for everything to make the retreat a wonderfully relaxing experience.

~Kathie~ said...

Looks like a perfect weekend spent with friends and scrapbooking!

Thanks for posting the links to the digital albums and photo and journaling ideas--can definitley use these!

And that egg nog chai latte looks fabulous- I am going to have to try that soon!! :)

Cathy said...

Thank you for the recipes, Tina. I want to make all of them this week they were so good. Thank you for the great meals, you sure make it an enjoyable weekend and I am looking forward to next year.