tator tot casserole

after hearing a bunch of people talk about making tator tot casserole recently, i thought i would give it a shot.
it sounded too yummy to pass up!
i found a recipe that i thought would work but added a few extras for flavor & nutrition...this isn't the healthiest thing i have ever made!
blake & i both enjoyed it and it was even good the next day reheated.
here is the recipe:
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teapsoon ground pepper
1/2 yellow onion chopped (optional)
16 oz frozen bag of mixed veggies- whatever you prefer (optional)
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup- low fat, low sodium
1 cup of sour cream- light
2 cups of cheddar cheese (split)
1 frozen bag of tator tots
preheat oven to 400.
brown the beef with onion, salt & pepper until cooked through.
drain & place into 9x13 (sprayed) baking dish.
place veggies over beef- as much or as little as you would like. i used entire bag.
mix soup & sour cream in separate bowl.
layer on top of veggies.
top with 1 cup of cheddar cheese.
layer bag of tots on cheese.
cook for 30 min.
sprinkle tots with remaining cup of cheese.
cook for 5-10 min or until cheese is melted.
it's that simple!
ENJOY & happy tuesday!!


week 37: baby durrett


chicken pot pie empanadas

last night i made these yummy chicken pot pie empanadas.
i wasn't sure how they would turn out but blake LOVED them and so did i!
plus it was SUPER easy.
i actually got the chicken & shredded it the day before so yesterday all i had to do was put it all together and bake.
it took no time at all.
each one of those slices is pretty big so along with a salad or side, one should be enough per person.
i also brushed melted butter on each one to add a tiny bit of flavor & also so it would turn more golden brown.
if you like more of a thinner or runnier chicken pot pie, i would recommend not putting in as much chicken or veggies or slightly increasing the amount of flour & chicken broth.
of course, if you don't like carrots or peas, you can switch out the veggies.

below is the recipe.
enjoy and let me know how it goes!
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 25m
Total Time: 50m


* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1/2 yellow onion, diced
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
* 1 10 ounce box frozen peas & carrots
* 1 3-4 pound store-bought rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 refigerated 9-inch piecrusts (from a 15 ounce package, such as Pillsbury)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Still stirring, slowly add the broth. Cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and carrots, chicken, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

3. Cut each piecrust in half to form 4 half-circles. Spoon the chicken mixture over the bottom half of each half-circle, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Using your fingers, wet the border with water. Fold the top of each crust over the chicken to form a quarter-circle. Press to seal. Make three 1-inch slits in each top crust.

4. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15-18 minutes.


week 36: baby durrett


week 35: baby durrett


pregnancy is my excuse

wow. i guess you can say it's been awhile since i last blogged.
almost a month ago.
pregnancy is my excuse.

so now i will attempt to update you on our lives these days.
things have been mostly good around the fusch household.
we have begun to prepare for the arrival of baby fusch.
my parents came over last weekend to help paint the nursery.
as you some of you know, one of our bedrooms acts as a closet/getting ready room for me.
(blake uses the closest that is actually in the master bedroom.)
well we decided to make the nursery the room i use as a closet so i had to switch EVERYTHING over to the "guest bedroom".
that is what my mom & i worked on most of the time.
the boys- my dad & blake- painted the empty room.
they did such a great job...you would think we hired professionals!
we moved our guest bed into the nursery since it is a fairly big room.
i am quite positive that i will be spending a lot of time there in the near future.
we have ordered our crib, glider & have purchased our stroller.
the room is slowly coming together.
i will be sure to post pictures of the nursery once it's completed.

what else....
i am going on 22 weeks.
only 18 weeks left!
i feel great- completely normal if not better.
baby fusch is kicking like crazy these days.
i feel/see her moving mostly in the mornings & at night.
blake felt her for the first time a couple nights ago.
such a special moment.

i was asked for the first time this past weekend- by a total stranger- when i was due.
i was REALLY excited - it means this baby really is growing inside me!
told her that she made my day.

baby durrett- lyla katherine- is due in less than a month now!
we are so excited to meet her finally.
i know lindsey & jeremy are too.

*buddy bear update*
as most of you know, blake & i rescued a lab/doberman back in june...his name is buddy.
after trying to find him a home for a good month & going through some pretty nasty surgeries, we grew VERY attached to him and decided to keep him.
he is doing absolutely amazing- other than last week when he licked/ate some sort of decaying matter at the park- i won't go into details!
we love this dog more than one can explain & often say there is no dog out there that will ever replace him.
he has become so comfortable with us, our lives & our family & friends.
we find ourselves making plans around buddy- going to restaurants where we can sit outside with him, taking him with us to friend's houses who have dogs, etc.
we are so excited to see him with baby fusch.
i think he is absolutely going to love her & be so protective over her- he is already so good with kids & babies.

on another note: some of you are probably wondering where my baby bump pics are...or maybe you aren't but i am feeling guilty about this so i will mention it anyway.

since i became pregnant, i feel like i have become very laidback, carefree & calm with a lot of things in my daily life including photography & blogging.
stress has been rare which is good because i just don't let things bother me now.
not to say i don't enjoy them anymore but it just doesn't seem a priority these days.
like i said, i guess that is because there is a baby on the way & i have other things on my mind.
it took me until week 17 to get started on my pictures/journaling of my pregnancy.
i still have to edit all the pictures so eventually they will be up but i can't make any promises. ;o)
at least blake & i will have them...right!?

well that is all i've got.
overall- life is great & i feel VERY blessed to say the least.

oh and i am sooooo excited for all my friends who are about to have a baby, who are due around the same time as me, or are due soon after me. you are all in my prayers. what a fun journey we get to experience together!

happy tuesday!


week 34: baby durrett