Thursday, October 6, 2011

Accidental Chicken Noodle Soup


The other day I began to make my favorite Chicken and Dumplings.  I started with the chicken and broth base. 

4 pounds whole frying chicken
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Then I decided that it was too warm to eat Chicken and Dumplings, so we had Sonic for dinner. Not a healthy choice, but one that I love every once in a while. After the chicken was cooled, I stored in the refrigerator for another night.  Well, that night was last night, or so I thought.

While out shopping, I found a box of premade dumplings.  I thought they were worth a try at least once.

So following the directions on the box, I continued on with my dumplings (reserving a few layers) as follows:

Remove the frozen dumplings from freezer while broth is heating.(I also added 2 chopped carrots and 2 stalks of chopped celery)  Separate each layer of dumplings as needed and drop 8-10 in boiling broth stirring under as added. As broth comes back to a boil, add more dumplings stirring after each addition until all are in boiling broth. Cook at a full boil about 10-12 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved Add cooked chicken and boil 2 more minutes. Check to see if more salt is needed and add pepper as desired. Remove from heat, cover and wait 20-30 minutes before serving. 

As I waited for the dumplings to thicken, I decided to bake the 6 reserved dough strips to make crackers.  I placed them on a baking pan, rub them lightly with butter and picked them several times with a fork.  I put them in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes.  I checked on them several times, but as luck would have it I over cooked them.  This happens to me often when I try to do too much at one time. Regardless, they turned out ok.  Nice a crispy crackers that would have gone perfect with the soup, if the hubby and I didn’t have to taste them all to make sure they were good.  Oh well!  Back to the dumplings…

So I pulled off the lid to taste test the dumplings.  To my surprise, they did not thicken one iota!  I tasted it and it had great flavor, but it looked more like Chicken Noodles soup.  The family concurred.  Nonetheless, We all enjoyed it.

Update:  The next night I decided to make biscuits to go along with our soup.  I heated up some of the leftovers on the stove.  Much to my surprise, the soup turned into Dumplings!  LOL!!!  So there you have it Accidental Chicken Noodle Soup one night and Chicken and Dumplings the next.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I learned while at the Farmers Market

We went to the Virginia Beach farmers market this weekend.  I had a list mile long of items to pick up, but first we were all starving!  We happened upon the Princess Anne County Grill.  They have a daily blue plate special that is only $5.99.  On this particular day it was Chicken and Dumplings.  Oh My, was it wonderful!!  The dumplings were scrumptious and the chicken was so tender.  If I had enough room left I would have eaten another bowl!  This inspired me to try and make my own version.

{Insert photo here once I find my SD card.}

4 pounds whole frying chicken
2 quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk


Place chicken in a Dutch oven. Add celery, carrots, bay leaf, onion, salt, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour or until tender (should almost fall off bone). Remove the chicken and vegetables from the broth.  Discard the vegetables and allow the chicken to cool. Bone the chicken and cut meat into bite-sized pieces (try to keep the chicken in nice big chunks). Bring the broth to a boil and add pepper.

For Dumplings: Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening. Add the buttermilk, stirring with a fork until moistened. Pinch off pieces and add to boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will see the broth start to thicken. Stir in the chicken and serve.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Creamy Potato Soup

This is one of those soups I make when a family member is sick.  It is warm, creamy, and just make the soul feel better. 



  • 4 slices of turkey bacon
  • 6 small or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks,chopped fine
  • About 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Grated cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce to garnish


  1. In a large pot cook bacon until crisp.  Set bacon aside.
  2. Add potatoes, onion, carrot, and celery to pot.  Add enough chicken stock to cover vegetables and cover.  Cook over low heat until tender, stirring occasionally
  3. Stir in milk, half and half, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.
  4. In separate bowl, stir together sour cream, flour, and paprika. Gradually stir in 1 cup of hot soup mixture into sour cream mixture.
  5. Pour sour cream mixture into soup mixture.  Cook until small bubbles break soup’s surface.  Top with grated cheese, sour cream, crumbled bacon, and hot sauce.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Asian Lettuce Rolls

This recipe is from Pampered Chefs, All the Best cookbook.  It makes enough to feed us (me, hubby, boogie, and pumpkin).  My hubby and I like spicy, so we add hot chili sauce which you can purchase on the Asian food isle at your grocery store.  The leftover store nicely in the refrigerator.  I typically just make a salad with the veggies, throw the noodles on top, and add a little of Newman’s Own Asian salad dressing.
2 pkgs. (3 oz each) oriental-flavored ramen noodles
2 C. coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I uses what is left over from a whole roasted chicken.)
1 each: red and yellow bell pepper, sliced
½ C. thinly sliced green onions with tops
2 T. reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ tsp. ground red pepper
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1½-inch piece peeled fresh gingerroot, pressed
1 medium cucumber, scored, seeded and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips
¼ C. chopped peanuts (optional)
24 Boston lettuce leaves
1 jar (11.5 oz) sweet and sour sauce
1. In large bowl, microwave 3 cups water on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until boiling. Break each block of noodles into quarters; add noodles and seasoning packets to boiling water. Microwave, covered, 2 minutes; stir. Drain noodles and rinse under cold water.
2. Coarsely chop chicken. Slice tops and bottoms off bell peppers; remove stems and chop tops and bottoms of peppers. Set center portions of bell peppers aside. Place noodles, chicken, chopped peppers and green onions in batter bowl.
3. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, ground red pepper, and oil. Add garlic and ginger. Pour over noodle mixture in batter bowl; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
4. Slice reserved bell peppers into thin strips. Thinly slice cucumber. Cut carrots into julienne strips. To serve, spoon noodle salad into medium bowl; sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. Place bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, and sweet and sour sauce into small bowls. To serve, top each lettuce leaf with noodle salad and vegetables. Drizzle with sauce and roll up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Menu planning

I am sitting here planning out our meals for the week. It got me thinking, How many of you plan out your meals? Do you ask your family for input? What is a sample week?

This week we are having
Asian Lettuce Rolls (requested by the hubby)
Fajita Pizza and Cheese Pizza (requested by Desi)
Beef Macaroni
Tortellini with Spinach & Ham

We have a salad with most meals and I bake bread and sweet through out the week. This week I am making wheat artisan bread, graham crackers, and pound cake.

I am going to post pictures and recipes as I go this week. I can not wait to see what meals you have planned!!!

Update:  So what happened to all those promised photos and recipes you ask?  Well, LIFE!  I lost my memory card for my camera.  BUT while doing so deep cleaning in preparation for family to visit, I found the card!  YEA!!  So, I will be posting them soon.