Monday, November 28, 2016

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

It's no secret Oklahoma has some moody weather. Will Rogers once said, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change."  That's the truth.  It's the end of November and we've still had some 80 and 90 degree days.  Which is great if you're a golfer like my husband.  Not so great when you want to make cozy, hearty comfort food for dinner.  Yesterday Mr. Devilish Dish had a golf tournament and sadly for him it was cold and drizzly all day.  I texted him and asked if it was cancelled or delayed by rain and he answered, "No, we are playing in it."  My reply was, "Hang in there, supper will warm you up."  This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for the Crockpot.  Not only is it just a few ingredients, it's so good.  And so easy for this hectic time of year.  It's literally 5 ingredients, but it tastes like Cracker Barrel and your grandma cooked all day.
So warm and hearty
This will fill you up.
5 ingredients, one pot. 
Perfect for a chilly day.
The ideal comfort food.

Crockpot Chicken & Noodles

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (10 ounce) cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 stick unsalted butter
1 package frozen egg noodles (I use Reames)

Place the chicken breasts in the Crockpot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and butter.  Cook approximately 4 hours, or until chicken is done.  (I do this on low, but slow cookers vary.)  Remove chicken and shred.  Return shredded chicken to crock and add the frozen noodles.  Cook two hours more.  It will thicken up nicely when the noodles are done cooking. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes          Cook Time:  Approximately 6 hours

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Mix in a Jar

Thanksgiving is upon is and it's that time of year again when we have a fridge chock full of leftovers.  Now some folks really like the Turkey Day meal, and don't mind eating leftovers for days.  And some folks get really creative and make Cranberry Sauce Bread Pudding.  I'm one of those people that lobbies for the Thanksgiving meal to be enchiladas.  I know! "The Horror!" right?  A food blogger that doesn't want a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Turkey just isn't my favorite.  To me it's dry and needs something on it.  But cranberry sauce isn't the answer.  And leftover turkey is too thick for a sandwich.  And mayo isn't the answer either.  What is the answer is this super simple, one pot soup.  It's the perfect answer to the leftover turkey debacle.  And who doesn't love a big pot of comforting soup simmering away on the stove.  AND, it's a great way to stretch the leftover turkey if you've still got a house full of guests to feed.  AND, if you are not the Thanksgiving host, then the mix in a jar makes an adorable hostess gift.  Trust me, it will be much appreciated.  I've included the tag for you to print out if you'd like to make one as a gift.  It's a great little treat, a great way to use up the leftover turkey, AND a great meal to have over the weekend while you untangle the Christmas lights and get ready for the next holiday!

What a cute hostess gift!
Like Fall in a Jar
Add the tag with the simple instructions...
Just a few ingredients for a delicious
pot of soup.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
All read for the post-Thanksgiving meal.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Mix

For the Mix:

1 cup uncooked fine egg noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons dry chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried whole thyme
1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 whole bay leaf

Combine ingredients in a small bowl, store in an airtight container

For the Soup:

1 jar Turkey Noodle Soup Mix
8 cups water
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup finely minced onion
3 cups cooked, diced turkey

Combine the Turkey Noodle Soup Mix and the water in a large stock pot.  Add the carrot, celery and onion, bring to a boil.  Cover the soup and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.  Stir in the turkey and simmer an additional 5 minutes.  This is a great way to use leftover turkey.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings is the quintessential comfort food.  At least in Oklahoma and the Southern states it is.  Every year I cannot wait for fall and cooler weather to get here so I can make a big pot for Sunday supper.  It's so cozy to have a pot on the stove simmering a whole chicken with lots of yummy veggies and spices. I usually start my Chicken & Dumplings the same way I start my Chicken Noodle Soup, a big pot of flavorful broth slow simmering all afternoon.  We've enjoyed Chicken & Dumplings in our family as long as I can remember.  My Grandmother Mary (famous for Sunday Suppers and Strawberry Cake) made this often.  My cousin Lindsey, Mom, Attorney, Writer and Blogger extraordinaire makes Grandmother Mary's version.  You know I can rarely follow a recipe, so my version has evolved from the family original over the years.  Lindsey loves to make this right before Thanksgiving so the family can get together and relax before the hectic holiday season starts.  It's a simple process with just a few steps, but the end result is wonderful.  We eat the leftovers for days.  Enjoy!
The perfect comfort food.
Cooked chicken and tender dumplings
in a flavorful broth.
So cozy...
Grab a spoon and dig in!

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

1 whole chicken (about 3-5 pounds)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4-6 large carrots (I leave a couple whole--leaves and all and peel and finely dice the rest)
4-6 large stalks celery (I leave a couple whole--leaves and all and peel and finely dice the rest)
1-2 fresh whole jalapenos, roughly chopped (seed or use less if you want mild C&D)
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
4 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water, and remove any innards.  Pat dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Place in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, jalapenos, garlic, bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Add enough water to cover the hen with about 3 inches over.  Re-season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the meat begins to fall off of the bones.  This will take approximately 2 hours.  Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.  Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into another pot or container.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooked diced vegetables and set aside.  Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.  Chop into smaller pieces.  Return the strained broth to the pot and add in the chicken pieces.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Mash the reserved 1 cup of cooked vegetables with a fork and add to the flour mixture.  Add the milk to the flour mixture, stirring well.  Dough will be sticky.  Set aside.  Heat the broth and chicken over medium heat until you have a gentle boil.  Add the 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Gently drop the dumplings into the broth.  ( I use my small cookie scoop, but two spoons work great also.)  Cook 30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through, stirring very gently, occasionally.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 3 hours

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rest-Relax-Revive Gift

Recently we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday.  She's a huge country music fan and attends a lot of concerts  I almost always give her chunky turquoise jewelry or boot socks or some other kind of concert-worthy fashion statement.  She just had a new granddaughter, so she's been helping out with the new baby as well as watching her three-year old grandson.  This time I thought I'd make her a little treat so she could relax after the grand babies go home.  I found a beautiful cobalt blue mug and the gift came together around that.  I tried to think of the things I like when I'm enjoying some time to myself.  A comforting drink, a magazine.  Some nice hand lotion (because you have to wash your hands around new babies a million times a day) and of course:  Chocolate!  This is the perfect gift for anyone in need of a pick me up.  Birthdays, Get-well Soon, Administrative Assistant's Day, New Moms....Everyone deserves to enjoy a moment to themselves now and then.  A much appreciated gift for any occasion.
The ideal treat for anyone who needs a little quiet time...
Rest. Relax. Revive.  With chocolate of course!
Just add a little card encouraging some down time!
This works for all ages and any occasion...
Just adapt the beverage and magazine to suit their taste.
Add a lip gloss or nail polish too!
The possibilities are endless...
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