The Best Ever Chicken and Dumplings!

CAUTION! Maybe I should put a disclaimer here. This is by no means a dieting recipe. It is a good hearty meal that goes over well all year round.

Every time I have asked my son Chuck what he would like for his birthday he always says Chicken and Dumplings. And now it is passing down to my grandson.

This is a chicken meal I came up with years ago when trying to create a different (for me anyway) way to serve chicken. It remains to be one of the more economical meals to feed a family.

It’s funny, I didn’t realize how endearing this recipe is to me. I hesitated posting on it because I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it. But here we are!

Whereas in the beginning I would buy a whole chicken and cut it up myself, now I purchase breasts, legs, and a few thighs already cut up. These are the pieces that are the main favorites.

Now, unfortunately, the chicken needs to have the skin on. I have tried using skinless and boneless and it just isn’t the same. However, if you start out using boneless and skinless chicken your family may not notice the difference. The gravy will still get you in the calorie count though.

I trim off any excess fat that I can before frying the chicken. I fry it in a little vegetable oil until it is browned. Then I drain off any grease that I can.

The pan gets put back on the stove with medium heat and I add enough water until it reaches about a half inch from the top. I’m old fashioned in that I still use boullion cubes, adding 8-10 of them to the simmering chicken. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a good 20 minutes, checking it to make sure it isn’t sticking and that the cubes are dissolving.

Also, at this time I add dry mustard. Now I know that may sound a little odd and I don’t remember what possessed me years ago to add it, but it works. It just punches up the flavor. I use a heaping tablespoon for a 12-14 inch pan’s worth. Salt and pepper also get added to taste. I also tend to add a little garlic powder here.

After checking the chicken for doneness I remove it and place it in a bowl nearby. Using a whisk, I stir the gravy to loosen anything stuck to the pan getting it ready to thicken. I use cornstarch but you can use whatever you like to create a good thick gravy. About a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with a little water added to it first should thicken it properly. If not, repeat.

When it is good and thick add the chicken back to the pan, letting it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

It can be served from the stove or put in a large dish for the table.

The dumplings? Well, the recipe I use is one handed down to me from my childrens’ grandmother. She played an important role in my life. I would need to ask her family if it would be okay to broadcast her recipe. Any good dumpling recipe will work. Or mashed potatoes. Also, something that I have begun to use for another dish is frozen egg noodles. When cooked they taste similar to dumplings and are very much like homemade noodles.

Enjoy!
D.

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Old Apple Cake Recipe

This is an old apple cake recipe. Not a cake made from old apples, but a recipe that I have had for a very long time. Not really sure where I got it. I think it was some time around the time that I was a member of the West Chicago Mothers’ Club. I usually make it about once a year. It is not exactly a quick recipe but is so worth the time. It doesn’t take forever, it’s just that I am not a fan of peeling and chopping apples. But it is the thought of the results that make it worthwhile.

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Apple Cake

2C flour
2tsp baking soda
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp salt
2C sugar
1C shortening…(if using oil add last)
4eggs
2tsp vanilla
5C chopped apples (tart)
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1C chopped walnuts/optional

Cream sugar, shortening, & eggs (one at a time). Add rest of ingredients.
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Pour into greased and floured 9×13 pan.
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Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
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(Want a little decadence? Have a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to a warm slice of cake. Yum!)

As far as the apples go I usually buy whatever tart ones that happen to be on sale. How many make up 5cups? It varies depending on the size of the apples of course. I tend to buy a bag of them.

Sound easy enough? It really is. Just a little time consuming, chopping apples and all.
Every year at this time I get the urge to make Apple Cake.

It’s Fall again! Time for beautiful colors, cool mornings, and crisp apples.

Oh, yes, and a bit of news! My application to take part in the Morris Three French Hens Market on October 11th has been approved. Another great market to get ready for!

Have a great day everyone!
Doris

New Project and Oatmeal Cake

Hello there!

I am combining some bits of 2 posts. The first one is a project I am working on for an upcoming market show. This is just a before photo of some of the pieces that I am working on. I am focussing on small pieces of furniture for the market. Also I am having a carpenter friend make up some of the wooden cornices that I have worked on and paint them in a couple of different styles. This is going to be fun and I am especially looking forward to presenting the cornices. I will be posting about them off and on as the work progresses. Fun! Fun! Fun!
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The second part is that of a cake I got from the blog onsuttonplace.com. It is Oatmeal Cake, and if you would like the recipe and to see more photos of it, I recommend visiting her blog for that. What I will tell you thought is that it is delicious and very easy to make. If you are like me in that you usually having oatmeal on hand then you most likely will have all of the ingredient in your cupboard already. The taste kind of reminds me of an apple cake that I make from time to time that is a bit time consuming. This is a nice alternative!
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Summer is winding down around here. My grandson actually starts back to school next week already!

Hope you have a good week!
Doris

Chicken Fajitas

Want a quick and easy fajita recipe? I should mention delicious too! Then this is one for you! I don’t remember where I got this recipe from and I have made my own adjustments along the way, but it is definitely a keeper!

Chicken Fajitas

1lb boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
2T vegetable oil
2tsp chili powder
1 1/2tsp cumin (I don’t add this)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp seasoned salt (I use regular)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel), well drained
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper

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400 degree oven.
Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
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In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
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Slice peppers and onions and drain tomatoes. I was using things up so this time I used a half of yellow and orange pepper instead of the red and green. Also, you will notice in the picture that I used 2 kinds of onion, not necessary to do this.
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Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the mix and stir to combine.
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Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
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ENJOY!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Doris

P.S. I am thinking that tofu could be easily substitued for the chicken in this recipe. What do you think?

I am also thinking that they could work quite well in the homemade pitas that my niece makes. Yum!

Alice Adams Tea Cake

A Father’s Day treat, one of my mother’s treats…….call it what you will, this quick and easy little coffee cake really hits the spot. One of the best things about it is that it uses ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen.

Alice Adams Tea Cake
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3/4C sugar
1/2C (1 stick) softened butter
1 1/2C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1/2C milk, room temperature
cinnamon to taste

Mix first 4 ingredients plus cinnamon (I find about a level teaspoon is a good amount). Save 1/3 for the topping.
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To the remaining amount add the egg and milk. Beat until smooth. Pour into a square or round pan. Sprinkle the topping over it.
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Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
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I usually double the recipe and put it in an 8×11 pan. Of course, it will need to bake a little longer.

Enjoy!

And a Happy Father’s Day!
Doris

A Mother’s Day Treat

Happy Mother’s Day!

I follow the blog On Sutton Place. Ann Drake who writes it is quite an inspiration and she gave me permission to post one of her recipes. It is called Sour Cream Shortcake Bisquits. Not only is it delicious, it is quite delectable looking, and you probably have almost all of the ingredients on hand already. The only thing that you may need to purchase is sour cream.

Sour Cream Shortcake Bisquits

Ingredients
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2C Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Baking Soda
1/4tsp Salt
1/4C Sugar
4T Butter, chilled
1C Sour Cream
1/4C Milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder,baking soda. salt, and sugar.

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender. (or if you don’t have a pastry blender you can do as I did, cut it in by using 2 knives. Tha’s the old fashioned way).

Stir in the sour cream and milk.
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It should look “shaggy” at this point.

Spread it out on a cookie sheet until it is one inch thick. Sprinkle with sugar.
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Bake for 12-15 minutes, watching it closely near the end. You want the edges to be lightly browned.
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Cool slightly.
Cut into bisquits. You may have a bisquit ciutter. I used a glass. You can also serve it rustic by just breaking it into bits. it tastes great no matter what!
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Spread strawberries over a bisquit and serve!
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You may want to add a dollop of whipped cream. Also, I add some sweetener to the strawberries after I cut them up and let them set a bit.

I hope you all have a wonderful day today!
Doris

Veggie Soup

It is cold and rainy here today. Sounds like a good day for a bowl of soup!

This is my version of an all time favorite of mine, the “free” soup from Weightwatchers. Years ago I started making this soup. My version is a little jazzed up and not exactly “free” because I choose to add a bean like cannelini or as today, butter beans. But really though, that is important only if you are in Weightwatchers. I would rather have it be a little more substantial. I also serve it with a hearty bread.

Another great thing about this soup is that it is pretty much fat free. The only fat is in the butter beans I used and that is really negligible. So…..

Veggie Soup
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Chopped carrots
Onion
Garlic
Using non stick spray, in a large saucepan heat the first three ingredients until softened. About 5-7 minutes. You will see from the photo that I use the baby carrots to cut and chopped garlic in a jar.
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Beef Boulllion or beef broth(you could use vegetable bullion or broth for vegetarians)
Cole Slaw mix
Green beans
Tomato paste
Butter beans
Basil
Oregano
Salt (optional)
Water if using boullion
Add all of these to the softened mix and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the green beans are softened.
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Zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
Add this to the mix and heat for a few minutes.
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It is ready to serve!
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How easy is that?
I know, I know, I didn’t give exact measurements. I literally just throw this together and taste it often to see what may be needed. I know I at least double the Weightwatcher recipe. Especially with the Basil and Oregano.

Hope everyone has been having a good week!
Doris