November 30, 2011

homemade chicken and dumplings

I went ahead and planned ahead for the rest of the week's meals. Tonight, I'm making chicken and dumplings. :)

For the dumplings:
1 cup of flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cold butter
slightly less than 1/2 cup milk

For the rest of the dish:
6 cups chicken broth
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, ripped into little pieces

Place dry dumpling ingredients into bowl of food processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles a fine meal. Stream in milk, continuing to process until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto very floured surface and roll into thin sheet, about 1/4" thick. Cut into 2x2" dumplings, or thereabouts.

Pour broth into pot, adding celery and carrots. Bring to a boil, then add dumplings one at a time until all are added. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add chicken and continue to heat until veggies are tender, dumplings don't taste doughy anymore and chicken's heated through. Add pepper to taste. :)

November 29, 2011

Cleaning day

I took everything out of my pantry cabinets today, wiped the shelves down and threw away a few things that had been stored improperly. Also got a chance to reorganize. Looks better now. :) Looking at everything all together got me thinking about what I'd like to make for this year's treats...
So far I'm thinking gingerbread loaves, chocolate truffles, puppy chow, tons of cookies, smore bars, cherry butter...

And then I was hungry! lol

I think I'll have a pantry supper tonight...

Southwest Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground turkey/beef/whatever ground meat you like
1 medium onion, diced
1 can Ro-tel, undrained
1/2 batch taco seasoning (recipe here)
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
buns/bread for 4

Brown meat with onions. Add Ro-tel and taco seasoning, simmer about 15 minutes(until it slightly thickens). Stir in corn, cook until heated through. Put a big spoonful on a bun and top it with some cheese!

Have a good day!


November 28, 2011

100th post!

Yee haw!!! 100 blog posts! *happy dance*

Last night, we went to a birthday shindig for Zach's brother. It was out of this world! Entertainment by William Rader, The Memepunks and 7 Deadly Sins made for a one-of-a-kind awesome party, along with the potluck and costumes! Hotdish+cosplay=good time.

For my contribution, I made a batch of sangria. Really not traditional sangria, but crunk punch sounds tackier and less like something you'd want to put in your mouth. lol :)

1 BIG, clean container to dispense from (jar-type with spigot, punch bowl, pitcher, etc)
2-1.5 liter bottles of wine: red table wine and a nice white, like pinot grigio
1 750ml bottle of rum (use this to taste. you may not want the whole thing in there)
3-4 big navel oranges, washed and whole, sliced thinly
2-3 lemons, same way
2-3 limes, same way
2-3 ripe green apples (such as granny smith), washed, cored and sliced into bite sized chunks
2-3 ripe red apples, same way
1-2 cans pineapple-orange juice concentrate
1 jar of maraschino cherries (be sure the pits and stems are out before dumping it in)
1 big can of pineapple chunks/tidbits

Being sure your spigot is closed on the container, start putting your fruit in the container. It's a nice idea to roll the citrus around with a bit of pressure on your cutting board before slicing, so it'll release the juices better in the container. Once the fruit is all in (and the juices from canned/jarred products, too!), add your concentrate and your boozes. stir it all around and let it mingle for a while before serving. PRO TIP: This drink is mostly booze, so treat it as such! Either make a small glass straight up/on ice, or cut it with some 7up. Nobody wants to see your stomach contents after you've had 3 straight red cups of this! :D

Anyway, it was a phenomenal party! Keep it merry, y'all!


November 9, 2011

The further adventures of Dr. Crockpot

Tonight, I have a show committee meeting for my chorus, and Zach has physics class, so the crock pot is being called to duty again, this time to make a soup inspired by a recipe from 80/20.

Light French Onion Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large white onions, sliced thin (~ 5 cups)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups water
3 cups low sodium beef broth
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups crusty bread cubes
1 1/4 cups Parmesan, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place bread cubes onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown and crispy. Set aside.

Slice onions, and place in crock pot with oil and spices. Cook on high until onions are translucent.

Add broth, wine, water, and Worcestershire, and let cook for a few hours.

To serve: ladle soup into a bowl or crock, then immediately top with 1/2 cup bread cubes and 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.

November 8, 2011

My life will never slow down. EVER.

It has been hellaciously busy around here. My gal pal Katy and her hubs were here last weekend for the OU vs Texas A&M game, which meant many hours of making the guest room and communal areas tidy and hospitable. Zach got sick, then I did too. My chorus has been planning our fall dinner theater (which is next weekend, BTW). So, there have been quick little throw-together meals, pizza, and my saints of parents offering leftovers tiding us over. The yuckiest part of the semester is just about through, then Zach gets his victory lap and graduates in May. *happy dance!* I wanted to get the happy started by sharing some of my holiday ideas with you all. This will be ongoing, so some recipes, gift ideas, and general funsense will keep the blog going.

This year, my focus will be more on quality and usefulness, with whimsy mixed in.

I usually try to make goody bags for people, containing a variety of edible treats.

This year, I really want to up the ante by making some cherry butter. TG Farms makes and sells some that is to die for. Sadly, they are usually too far for me to go and get any. I am overdue for some cherry butter, so I will attempt to make my own. Fear not, I'll document the process here. :) I'm thinking the recipe and directions found here will do nicely.

Zach and I decided to forgo any big presents for each other this year and will instead take a trip to the Dallas IKEA and get ourselves a new coffee table. Ours is so ugly and doesn't match a single thing in our living room. Plus, road trips with Zach are always fun. :)

That doesn't exclude our advent calendar, stockings, or small gifts, as far as I know...
So, I'm knitting a scarf for Zach, using Knit Picks Gloss heavy worsted yarn in Aegean. My pattern comes from Rachael at Yarn-a-go-go: There are a few yarnovers and places where I didn't count it right, but it's working out fine now. Plus, it's my first time to make something with a cable. :)

As far as the advent calendar goes, I've been having fun scoping out small things for it. We have a nice reusable one from Target (same style as this one). I'll keep you posted on places to find the littles, but for the pure fact that Zach reads this blog, I will not reveal exact items! LOL

Keep it merry!
<3 Jennifer