Archive for December, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings!

Yummy chicken and dumplings!


Chicken Stock:

3-4 chicken breasts depending on size 1/4c diced onion 1/2c diced carrots 1/2c diced celery I never measure so adjust to your taste. ¼ tsp dried thyme, rosemary, tarragon Pinch salt/ dash fresh cracked pepper Homemade Dumplings: 1c flour ¼ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp baking powder 1 egg 1TBS milk maybe more Pinch salt/ pepper Any dried herbs to taste Start stock First set some water on to boil. I did 8c plus as I added 4 frozen chicken breasts. Allow the meat to poach in boiling water you can add some dried herbs and a bit of salt. Go easy as you will notice we will salt in layers that is the trick to a hearty flavorful stock. You can also cook chicken in chicken stock and skip bouillon later. 048

Start with soup base trinity celery, onion, and carrot. If you are in the south or creating Southern dishes like gumbo it would be red and green bell peppers and onion. Sauté in part butter and olive oil until onions are translucent. Add a pinch of salt you can always add more later!


When your chicken is fully cooked pull the breast and set aside to cool. Add the cooking liquid to pull up all brown bits in the stock pot with sauteed vegetables. Scrape bottom of pan loosening all the goodies and allow to come back to a simmer. I like to add 1-2 TBS or 2 cubes chicken bouillon.


Now for the dumplings:

At this point you could bring everything back to a gentle boil and just use biscuit dough. I still recommend rolling in flour and herbs and then cutting. The flour will create and ultra rich broth. Or make your own with 1c flour in bowl add 1 egg. 1 TBS milk. Add more if too dry. I often add Tony’s or pepper as well. If you stop here you have a basic homemade noodle recipe. But please continue for a delicious dumpling if you like! Add ¼tsp baking soda and ¼tsp baking powder. So they puff. Cover surface with flour and cover hands and rolling pin as well. Roll out just a bit to your preferred thickness. Bear in mind the dumplings will almost double in size. Cut into shapes I use a pizza cutter and cut bite size squares. They will get bigger when cooking. Cook time may be dictated by dumpling size. Let them rest. Go ahead and shred chicken you will add this back when dumplings are almost cooked completely.


Now is a good time to taste your broth. Adjust flavors. Add your dumpling pieces dropping them gently into a now gently rolling boil. Allow to boil gently your liquid will thicken while cooking. Once you see the puff it may take 20 min. test a dumpling. If it looks nearly there, a slight color change in middle, then add your chicken bring down to a simmer. Serve when dumplings are cooked we like ours a little chewy. Enjoy!


Herb Butter Great Gift!

Herb Butter


So easy! Just leave butter to soften at room temp. If  too firm when test stirring with spatula then heat 10 sec. in microwave. When smooth add herbs.


For Garlic bread use

Dried minced garlic or fresh minced

Italians seasoning

For chicken or pasta try


Fresh cracked pepper

Dried minced onion

Take softened prepped butter and add your extras mix and place in containers to chill. You can also roll in center of wax paper and twist of ends chill until ready to use. Or freeze for later! These are also fabulous to top fresh grilled steak. You can mix in any spices to make sweet or savory mixes.

Whole Oat Granola


Prep time 5min.

Bake 30 min. stir every 10 min at 350

4c whole oats

1/4c honey

1/4c maple syrup

¼c brown sugar

1tsp cinnamon

½ tsp any one of the following ground clove, nutmeg or pumpkin spice


Mix all ingredients together and spread on sheet pan. Place in oven and set timer for 10min. stir every 10min. After 30min if you still want it darker you can toast a bit longer this is totally up to you! Once the granola is finished toasting you can add nuts and dried fruits. I like to add the nuts while the pan is hot out of the oven.


Add any of your favorite dried fruit or nuts.  Some delicious combos I’ve tried banana/ walnut, pomegranate/ coconut, and raisin/ nutmeg. You can try any combo! Makes a great gift.


Quick easy Holiday Delish


Ready made pie crust recipes

To create this Quick Quiche:
Line ungreased pie pan with your pre-made pie crust chilled to room temp.
Crack 6 eggs in a bowl and add a splash of almond milk or any milk
Whisk add Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper
Stir in all remaining ingredients selected for filling and pour egg mixture into pie crust.
Bake 365 about 40min- 1 hr depending.
You will see it bubble and firm up, slightly golden. Let stand and cool. If testing while in the middle of baking there may be a slight amount of moisture come out on testing knife, depending how many veggies you may decide to treat yourself to. This is ok but, if it still looks like gooey egg allow it to cook a bit longer. Watch for the bubble!
The picture shown above with ham, cheese and mushrooms. Choose any add- in’s! I love spinach, bacon and swiss. Any combo roughly a ¼- 1/2 cup of each. Be sure if using frozen spinach you thaw and squeeze out all extra juice.


Big Easy Sweet Potato Pie:


Recipe at your request!




Quick Chicken Pot Pie with fresh thyme. Recipe coming!

Holiday Handmade

Handmade gift tags. I totally cheated borrowed my friends Cricut. Needless to say I totally want one! You can also get free printables here

I cut a variety of tag sizes and embellished them with paper cut outs, trim, glitter and stamps. I chose twine and a shabby chic theme. But you could use all white with white ribbon and glitter or snowflake stamps for a White Christmas theme or anything that suits your taste! These were a big hit with my crafty buds.

holiday handmade
To create your own display trees for cents on the dollar grab some poster board! Create a cone with preferred height and width and leave about a 1/2in to an inch overlap secure all along length of the overlapped edge with hot glue. Make it smoother and more secure by doing small portions at a time to maintain shape. I was looking for an excuse to use up all these scraps I had and was really into the shabby chic hand done look this year. You can secure burlap, strings of pearls or just cover in buttons or glitter! Enjoy please send pics of your crafty creations to I would love to see them and share them too!
028 Creations with my crafty ladies! Shabby chic 2013
More items under Holiday page enjoy! Feel free to send requests my way in comments below.


Best/ Easy Crock Pot Beef

It’s not overly sweet at all or spicy this comes out perfect every time. For BBQ beef use 1-2 bottles of BBQ sauce instead of carbonated beverage. I have tried everything from Sprite and Ginger Ale to DP and Classic Coke makes for the most tender meat. With this I use about a 1/2c BBQ sauce, soda to top edge barely covering beef and 1-2T Tony’s is my favorite but any Cajun works nicely.
Let cook on HIGH for 6-8 hours. If meat looks tough like big piece of rubber don’t fret leave it for another hour and retest it will get tender!
It should be fall apart tender and ready to eat! I often save the broth freeze it for later. To make a quick stew use the broth with trimmings add slice mushrooms, carrots, onion and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste you are done! Enjoy your cozy cold days!