Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

  • This is a Paula Deen recipe I have been using for several years now. Growing up we always had soft, biscuit type dumplings. This is not, however, what Phillipp was asking for when he asked for "Chicken and Dumplings." After a bit of arguing over which was the real style, we gave up and I found a recipe for the style of dumplings he would prefer. This is the recipe I've been using ever since. I have substituted chicken breasts for the whole chicken in the recipe, but the flavor is not as good this way, of course. I generally don't use as much water as the recipe calls for either. Usually no more than 3 quarts (12 cups).

    1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Ice water

To start the chicken: Place the chicken, celery, onion, bay leaves, bouillon, and House Seasoning in a large pot. Add 4 quarts of water and in water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the chicken until it is tender and the thigh juices run clear, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and, when it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the pot. Keep warm over low heat.

To prepare the dumplings: Mix the flour with the salt and mound together in a mixing bowl. Beginning at the center of the mound,drizzle a small amount of ice water over the flour. Using your fingers, and moving from the center to the sides of the bowl, gradually incorporate about 3/4 cup of ice water. Knead the dough and form it into ball.
Dust a good amount of flour onto a clean work surface. Roll out the dough (it will be firm), working from center to 1/8-inch thick. Let the dough relax for several minutes.
Add the cream of celery soup to the pot with the chicken and simmer gently over medium-low heat.
Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Pull a piece in half and drop the halves into the simmering soup. Repeat. Do not stir the chicken once the dumplings have been added. Gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes.
To serve, ladle chicken, gravy, and dumplings into warm bowls.
Cook's Note: If the chicken stew is too thin it can be thickened before the dumplings are added. Simply mix together 2 tablespoonscornstarch and 1/4 cup of water then whisk this mixture into the stew.

House Seasoning:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Chicken Curry

I found the book The River Cottage Family Cookbook online a while back. I bought it used and got a great deal. It's definitely a fussy cookbook. It encourages you to cook everything from scratch as well as using organic/free range food sources and growing your own food. It also goes step by step through everything so even a kid could use it (which was primarily why I decided to buy it). Every recipe I have tried from this book I have loved!

4 to 6 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
1/4c vegetable oil
1 1/4 inch piece fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 to 2 mild green chiles
1t ground coriander
1t ground cumin
1/4t ground tumeric
salt and black pepper
1/2c (scant) water
1 whole chicken (I used a few breasts)
2T plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
1 lime

Peel the tomatoes by nicking them with a knife, submerse in very very hot water until they swell then pour the water out. Once cool enough to handle, peel skins from the tomatoes, halve them, scoop out seeds, chop coarsely and set aside.
Finely chop the onion. Add oil and onion to the saucepan. Fry over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes to golden brown.
Add ginger, garlic and chiles and fry for another minute or 2. Add spices (coriander, cumin and tumeric). Fry for a minute or two stirring constantly. Add a little salt and pepper.
Pour in water and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add chicken pieces and cover in sauce. Put a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
Add yogurt and juice of half a lime. Taste and add the other half if needed.
Serve with rice

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spanish Rice

  • I made this a while back with Enchiladas. It was great! A little spicy, so take the chili powder down a notch or two if you don't enjoy spice.
2T vegetable oil
  • 1c uncooked white rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2c water
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2t chili powder, or to taste
  • 1t salt
  • Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Saute rice, onion, and bell pepper until rice is browned and onions are tender.
    Stir in water and tomatoes. Season with chili powder and salt. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

PW Cinnamon Rolls... Oh my!!

**I'm editing this recipe to a half batch since I keep messing up reading it as a whole one. 

I am a big fan of cinnamon rolls and a big fan of Pioneer Woman, so it was only a matter of time before I tried her recipe. Why have I waited so long?!?!
I had a friend ask me to make him cinnamon rolls for his birthday. Perfect excuse! This make a HUGE batch of cinnamon rolls, which works out, since you want to eat a million of them. We just sent a big pan their way, finished off a pan ourselves and I have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!
This recipe is so deliciously flavorful. The best cinnamon rolls I've ever made... and I've made more than my fair share of cinnamon rolls!

2c Whole Milk
1/2c Vegetable Oil
1/2c Sugar
1 packages Active Dry Yeast
4c (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1/2t (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2t (scant) Baking Soda
1/2T (heaping) Salt
Plenty Of Melted Butter
1c Sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

(I just made a glaze from powdered sugar, vanilla and milk, but someday I want to try her glaze with them.)
1/2 bag Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
1/4c Milk
1/8c Melted Butter
1/8c Brewed Coffee
pinch Salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parker House Rolls

I tried another roll recipe this Christmas. They were good, but
not at all what I was looking for. Then I found this recipe.
Oh my goodness! These were exactly what I was looking for

and I want to keep this recipe for a long time!
Recipe found on www.joythebaker.com and she got it from The

Gourmet Cookbook.

Makes 20 rolls
3 tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 - 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Stir together warm water, 1 tablespoons sugar and yeast in a 
small bowl until yeast in dissolved.  Let stand until foamy, about
five minutes.  If the mixture does not foam up, throw it out and 
start over with different yeast.  Foam means that the yeast is 
livin'. Melt 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter in a small saucepan.  
Add the milk and heat until lukewarm.  Pour into a large bowl 
and add yeast mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, bread 
flour, and salt.  Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. 
Stir in 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, dump out onto a clean work 
surface and begin to bring the dough together into a ball.  If your 
dough is too sticky to handle, add up to 1/2 cup of all-purpose 
flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough is just slightly sticky.
Knead dough until a smooth and elastic dough begins to form, 

adding more all-purpose flour as needed.  The dough will be 
smooth, satiny and just slightly sticky after 10 minutes.  Good 
job!  Form dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl, 
turning the dough so that the entire ball is covered.  Cover with 
plastic wrap and a towel and let rest n a warm, draft free place 
until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan.  Divide dough into 20 equal 

pieces. Roll each one into a ball and arrange evenly in 4 rows of 
5 in a baking pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in 
a warm, draft free place until almost doubled in size, about 45 
Using a floured chopstick or the edge of a ruler, make a deep 
crease down the center of each row of rolls.  Let rolls rise, 
loosely covered for 15 minutes. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the center 
of the oven. 
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cool slightly.  
Brush he tops of the rolls with butter and place in the oven 
for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool rolls in the pan 
for 5 minutes then remove and serve warm. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Orange Glaze

I'm definitely an imperfect person. I have many, many faults. One of them is never being content with a recipe, even if it's absolutely delicious. That is what brought me to this recipe for banana bread. I'm really glad I kept trying different recipes, though. This one was delicious!
I found it at an Eat at Home website I found.
3/4c butter
8 oz. cream cheese
2c sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2c of mashed banana (about 4 bananas)
1/2t vanilla
3c flour
1/2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer bowl. Mix in the sugar, then the eggs, bananas, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add them to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into 3 well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes.


1 cup powdered sugar
2T orange juice

(The recipe called for 3 T but I found 2 to be sufficient.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homemade Apple Cider

I never realized it was so simple to do this for yourself! A little pricey to buy everything in whole form (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc) but this drink is so completely different from the stuff you get from the instant mix packet! It is rich and deep. I want to keep this recipe around for sure. Another recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

12 or so small-to-medium-sized apples, assorted types

1 orange
1/2-1 cup brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
1 Tbsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice (optional)
water to cover

Wash apples and the orange, and then roughly cut into quarters.   (Don’t worry about removing peels, seeds, or stems.)  Place in a large stock pot.
Add sugar (I start with 1/2 cup, you can always add more later), cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.  Then cover with water, filling the pot until it is nearly full. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.  Then cover and reduce to a simmer, and allow juice to simmer for at least another two hours.
Periodically during the three hours, use a potato masher to begin mash the apple and orange slices once they are soft.   Feel free to also add more sugar or spices to taste.
When cider is ready allow to cool then strain apple pieces and whole spices into a clean pitcher or pot. If you feel like it you can strain everything through a cheesecloth and twist and squeeze to get every last drop.
Serve hot, and garnish with a cinnamon stick, fresh orange slice, or dried apples if you’d like. Store in the fridge and reheat as desired.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zuppa Toscana

Phil loves this soup from Olive Garden and I've tried to make it before (when I was younger and much less experienced in the kitchen) and it turned out really really badly.
Then I found this recipe on a blog I love called Gimme Some Oven. I just omitted the bacon since it seemed a bit much to have bacon and sausage in the same soup. It was really delicious! Phil said it was right on with what he was hoping for. I would know... I usually go for the minestrone :)
We were too busy devouring it to get pictures before so this is packing up the leftovers to put in the fridge.

1 pound hot (spicy) Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 medium onion – peeled, chopped
1-2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and sliced 1/4″ thick
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard
1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half, or whole milk)
salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown sausage, breaking into small pieces as it cooks.  Remove from heat, drain the extra grease, set aside.
In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add garlic and onions, and cook 3 minutes.  Then add potatoes, chicken broth, water and sausage, and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add kale, and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes (or until the potatoes have softened.)
Add cream (or half and half) to soup, then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Creamy Green Enchilada Sauce

I used this sauce to dip tortillas in then fill with chicken and cheese. Wrap pour extra sauce on top, cover in cheese, bake and enjoy!

1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until mixture begins to boil. Slowly add the broth, stirring with a whisk until thickened. Mix in the sour cream and chiles, heat thoroughly but do not boil, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture over the enchiladas.