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Monday, September 23, 2019

Mama's Chicken and Dumplings (AKA Dumplin's)

My Mama used to make Chicken and Dumplin's for her Daddy every Sunday. It was his favorite dish. He died when I was 8 years old. Mama was devastated and refused to make chicken and dumplin's again. One year, close to Christmas, Mama decided to make chicken and dumplin's. I was about 16 at the time. Unfortunately, she cut her hand with a chef knife and had to go to the hospital to get stitches. 



Here's a very old recipe for Chicken and Dumplin's:

Base:
Stew a chicken. When tender, pick the meat from the bones. Put meat in a large pan with tight fitting lid and add 4 cups of broth. Bring to boil.

Dumplings:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs, boiled and sliced

Place egg slices on a paper towel and salt them to dry out a bit.

Sift together dry ingredients and cut in the shortening. Stir in enough milk, mixing only to moisten the dough thoroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls into boiling chicken broth. Dip the spoon into the boiling liquid first so that the dough will slide off easily. Add egg slices. Cover pan tightly and cook 15 minutes. Enough for 6 servings.


* Another alternative for the dumplin's is to roll them out on a floured surface and cut into strips. Some people prefer this because it makes a firmer, less doughy dumplin'.

**Notice with these OLD recipes, there are very few references to time and temperature. These were cooks who knew how to cook by smell, touch and taste. Times or temperatures were often a suggestion to young cooks.




Thursday, August 29, 2019

Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

I wanted to create a new stuffed mushroom recipe, but I didn't want the same old - same old stand-by recipes. I made chicken Parmesan (the usual way) and through, "What about stuffing mushrooms with that?" So, I adapted the recipe a little and did just that. What do you think? Yes, there are mushrooms, the size of dessert plates, under that cheese! LOL 



4 portobello mushrooms, wiped clean
1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks*
1 can tomato sauce

1 can stewed tomatoes, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoons Italian breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, or to your taste (we like cheese!)


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Scrape black gills out of mushrooms with a spoon and remove stems.
Place mushrooms on a foil lined baking sheet, stem sides up.
In a small pot, combine chicken breast with sauce, tomatoes, seasonings, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Stir until well combined. Simmer until bubbling hot and thickened. Add more breadcrumbs if sauce is watery from the stewed tomatoes.** Spoon chicken mixture evenly on top of prepared mushrooms. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake mushrooms in preheated oven until tender and cheese is melted and a little browned, about 20 minutes.

*I used precooked chicken fajita strips cut into chunks.
** Mushrooms are watery themselves, so you need the sauce to be pretty think.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Blueberry Mini Pound Cakes

These little cakes are great for individual snacks when a large cake would go to waste. They are also great as gifts and can be made in big batches and frozen. I like to keep some on hand in the freezer for quick treats or desserts for parties. Just be careful if you have sneaky snackers like my hubby. He chooses forgiveness over permission every time!!!



For cakes:
2 cups fresh blueberries, frozen
1 package vanilla or yellow cake mix with pudding
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs



For icing:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon of water, or enough to create a glaze


Rinse the blueberries and drain them on paper towels. 

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour about 4-5 mini loaf pans. The number of pans will depend on how full you fill the pans. I fill them a tiny bit over half way. (I get sets of 5 for $1 at the local "dollar" store.)

Measure out 1 tablespoon of the cake mix and set it aside in a small mixing bowl. Place the remaining cake mix and the sour cream, water, oil, eggs, in a large mixing bowl. Beat until the ingredients are mixed, 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed.

Place the blueberries in a small bowl and toss them with the reserved 1 tablespoon of cake mix. (This will keep the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter.) Fold the blueberries into the cake batter until just evenly combined. Divide the batter evenly between the mini loaf pansPlace the cake pans on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. 

Bake the mini loaves until they are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake pans to wire racks and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes. Poke plenty of holes in the cakes with a skewer or toothpick.

Mix the sugar and water and pour glaze over cakes a little at a time. The glaze will soak into the cake and leave holes. Keep adding glaze until the cakes a covered. Cool completely. Wrap with plastic for storage or freeze to enjoy later.





Thursday, June 6, 2019

Southern Cornbread Salad

This is a great way to use that leftover cornbread, if you have any. I know it sounds and looks strange, but trust me, it is delicious! Everyone that has tried it has asked for the recipe!



Prepared 8x8 pan of Cornbread (I use 1 Jiffy mix, 1 egg and 1/3 cup milk)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch dip mix
2 cups Sour Cream (or 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream and 1/2 cup Mayonnaise)
1 - 16 oz diced Tomatoes, drained
1 - 16 oz Black Beans, drained
1 - 16 oz Corn, drained
1/4 cup Bacon crumbles
1 cup Cheddar Cheese

(optional) ½ cup each Green Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Green Bell Pepper

Make Cornbread, and cool completely. Stir together HVR dressing mix, sour cream and mayo. Crumble cornbread into a 9X13 casserole dish. Top with beans, tomatoes, (optional onion and peppers), corn, bacon and cheese. Finally top with dressing. Cover and chill at least 3 hrs. When it is time to serve, take a spoon and stir a little section at a time to mix the ingredients to get a nice moist salad.

* I use twice as much dressing for mine, so it's not too dry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Roasted Garlic, Onion and New Potatoes




I made a new potato recipe, and we can't decide which is better... these or Greek Potatoes?!? These little yellow new potatoes are the perfect size, and they are crispy on the outside and buttery and creamy on the inside! The onion and garlic combo seasons them perfectly! 


1 lb yellow new potatoes, washed and cut in half
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cut potatoes in oil and add seasonings. Arrange potatoes cut side down on a cookie sheets. Pour the remaining oil and seasonings over the potatoes. I added a little more salt and cracked pepper, but that is up to your taste. I also waited until the last 15 minutes to add the onion to the tray to keep from burning them. Roast potatoes for about 30 to 45 minutes or your desired crispiness. 





Saturday, March 2, 2019

Corned Beef Brisket and Reuben Sandwiches

St Patrick's Day is just around the corner, and the stores are stocking up on corned beef. Whether you like it with cabbage and potatoes or on a Reuben Sandwich, now is the time to splurge and enjoy!

Normally, I would cook a corned beef brisket in water on the stove with some cabbage and potatoes. This time I wanted to roast it and slice it thin for Reubens. So, I drained the liquid off and cooked it according to the roasting directions on the package...
350 degrees and 1 hour per pound...

then let stand for 15 minutes...
I actually let it cool more to be
 able to handle it and retain the juices.

loaded up on my slicer and
sliced as thin as possible...

All sliced except for that one
chunk and I have plans for it :-)

Buuuuurrrrrrppppp! Yum, that was good!

NOOO! I didn't eat it all! (OH! I did eat the crumbs on the plate! I am human ya know! :-) I plan on trying lots of Reuben Recipes this week... I'll start with sandwiches! :-)

 One regular Reuben Sandwich...

... and one toasted Reuben Sandwich!
German Mustard
Sauerkraut
Corned Beef
Swiss Cheese
Homemade Dressing
on Rye Bread!





Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Red Velvet Truffles for Valentine's Day

Surprise your Valentine this year with these Red Velvet Truffles! They are simple and easy, but will look like you spent all day to make them happy on your special day! 



Cake
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cocoa
3 tablespoons red food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well. Mix cocoa and food coloring in a cup. Add to eggs and sugar. Add vanilla. Sift flour and salt. Add, alternating with buttermilk. Add soda and vinegar. Let foam and FOLD into mixture. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Icing
2~ 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, room temp
1 lb box powdered sugar (10X)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blend cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla. Blend well.

Truffles
Crumble cake in a large bowl and add icing, mixing until it is the consistency of fudge. Scoop with a 1 inch cookie scoop or by the teaspoon full. Roll into a ball if using the teaspoon. Place on a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Freeze for about an hour. Melt white chocolate in a medium bowl (by double boiler or microwave) and coat each red velvet round. Set on wax paper to set. Return to freezer for 5 minutes, if necessary. Yields about 45, 1 inch truffles.