Chicken and Dumplings

This was my first attempt at making chicken and dumplings and it went over fairly well. This is another Pioneer Woman recipe (I was watching her show the other night and getting all sorts of cooking inspiration) 🙂 I have to say, this recipe did not disappoint! Absolutely perfect for Fall! 🙂 I did make a few of my own adjustments, but it turned out really yummy anyway!

Ingredients:
(Soup)
– 2 tbsp. butter
– 1/2 cup all purpose flour
– 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut in half
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 cup diced celery (I didn’t have any on hand, so I left it out and just doubled up on the carrots)
– 1/2 cup diced carrots (I used a full cup in mine)
– 1/2 large onion, diced
– 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
– 1/4 tsp. turmeric
– 4-5 cups chicken broth
– 1/2 cup apple cider
– 1/2 cup heavy cream
– 1 -2 tsp. celery seed (I used this since I didn’t have celery, would also be a nice added spice at the end).
(Dumplings)
– 1 1/2 – 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
– 1 tbsp. baking powder
– 1- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 1/4 cups half and half

Directions:

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet with tall sides, and add in your floured chicken. Brown for a few minutes on both sides and then remove to a clean plate. It’s alright if the chicken is not cooked through, it will finish cooking in the stew.

In the same skillet, add a couple more tbsp. of butter and add in the diced onions, celery, and carrots. Stir the vegetables and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium low. Stir in the thyme and turmeric, and celery seed, then pour in the chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add the browned chicken pieces back in. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the stew is simmering, make the dumplings. Sift together the flour, salt, cornmeal, and baking powder. Then, add the half and half starting with a cup first. My dumplings were a bit too liquidy with all the milk and I had to add a bit more flour in, so just go slowly at first. You want the dough to be moist, but not overly moist. Set aside.

Remove the chicken from the skillet. Let the chicken cool for a few minutes and then shred it with your fingers or two forks usually works ok too. Add the shredded chicken back into the skillet. Pour the heavy cream into the stew and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough on the top of the simmering stew. You should be able to get about 8-10 good sized dumplings in the pot, more if you’re using a smaller size. Cover the pot back up with the lid and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked on the inside. To test this, just use a fork and open up one of them, if they aren’t gooey on the inside and are pretty stiff, then they’re finished. Check the seasonings, and add more if needed.

Remove from heat, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving. It will be very warm and this gives it a chance to cool off and also for the broth to thicken a bit.

Enjoy! Also a winner with my toddler, although she didn’t care for the dumplings too much. However, my husband and I thought the whole dish was really delicious.

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Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman and boy is it yummy! My family always made scalloped potatoes and ham growing up so when I stumbled upon this the other day I knew I had to try my hand at it. It was absolutely delicious! You can search her original recipe online, but in this one I scaled it back a little bit and I’ll give you my measurements. It was plenty for our family of three with a big Tupperware of leftovers for tomorrow 🙂

Ingredients:
– 6-7 russet potatoes, washed and dried
– 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
– 2 cups diced ham
– 1/2 cup half and half
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/8 cup all purpose flour
– black pepper to taste
– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat up some olive oil, and add the onion. Sauté about 2 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add in the ham and cook for about 4 minutes and thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice up your potatoes very thinly, about 1/8 inch thick and set aside.
In a glass mixing cup, add the heavy whipping cream and the half and half. Heat for about a minute or so in the microwave, until warm. Whisk in the flour and the pepper until completely combined. Set aside.
Combine the jack and cheddar cheeses in a bowl and set aside as well.
Now we’ll move on to assembly:
Take your casserole dish you prepared earlier and start with a layer of potatoes, next spoon 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture on top, followed by 1/3 of the grated cheese mixture, and pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the top. Repeat this three times finishing with a good layer of cheese on the top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes in your preheated oven. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness after the 20 minutes is up, you may need to put it back in for an additional 10 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a side of veggies.
This is a very toddler friendly meal also! 🙂

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It’s a….

GIRL!!! We will be welcoming another little girl into our family in the Spring and we couldn’t be more excited! 🙂 I think I always knew I was meant to be the mother of girls and I’m so excited to watch the bond develop between Paisley and her new sister 🙂

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Boneless Country Pork Ribs

Hubby and I are not big traditional rib fans, we both have an issue with all the fat there is and just don’t really like the messiness of ribs either. My inlaws feel the same way but made this awesome recipe for us the last time we were visiting. They are still pork ribs, but are boneless and have virtually no fat. I found a big pack at Costco for under $20.00 and what I made tonight was only 1/3 of the package! The ribs were so tender and about fell apart as I was scooping them out of the crockpot, they are pure meat and like I mentioned before virtually no fat. A+ in our book! 🙂 Even our two year old gobbled them up, and if you have little ones, I’m sure you know what a struggle it is to get them to eat some days!

Ingredients:
– 7-8 boneless country pork ribs
– salt and pepper
– red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper if you want some heat
– 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Directions:
Place your ribs in the crockpot, season them with some salt, pepper, and cayenne and/or red pepper flakes. Pour a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce over the top. Cook on low for 8 hours. I served ours with a side of pasta and a veggie, but bread would be good and so would corn on the cob or potato salad for summer. Super yummy and so easy! Also you can add a bit more BBQ sauce on for more “saucy” ribs and to create more of the traditional messy rib experience 😉

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Sautéed Mushrooms

Mmm Sautéed mushrooms! One of my favorite side dishes, my mom would make these growing up and they are so yummy! My hubby isn’t a fan of them but I am and I may have made a batch when I was supposed to be making dinner the other night, and may have eaten them all as a pre dinner snack 😉 They’re pretty awesome! They would be really nice on the side with a steak or a chicken breast, really anytime you want to make them you can’t go wrong.

Ingredients:
– butter for sautéing
– white button mushrooms
– salt and pepper
– 1-2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Melt some butter in a medium sized skillet, add in your mushrooms and and let them cook down until they are nice and tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the Worcestershire sauce. Cook for a few more minutes and serve immediately.

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