Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

These were even better the second day than they were the first day. The sauce thickens and tends to absorb into the dumplings. These can also be served over mashed potatoes, but I just like a bowl of dumplings. This dish is hearty and warming. These remind me of the dumplings served at Cracker Barrel. Perfect for a chilly night.

Chicken and Dumplings


For chicken stock:
1 chicken, cut up
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil

For dumplings:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk
Extra flour for rolling out dough

Directions for chicken stock:  
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken and spices.  Cover with water to top of stock pan.  Cook for 1 hour. Remove chicken and debone. Reserve stock and chicken pieces. Remove bay leaf from stock and discard.

Directions for dumplings: 
Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter. Add milk and stir until it forms a sticky ball.  Place on rolling surface that has been well floured.  Roll out and then use a pizza cutter to cut pieces of dough into one inch pieces. 

Bring broth to a boil. Add dumplings and stir as you add them to prevent sticking. Cook for 20 minutes. Add chicken back into pan. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Houston's Baked Potato Soup

I have always loved Houston's restaurant. I love every dish I have ever tried there, and have never been disappointed. The food is only outmatched by the service. I love it when the wait person comes by and picks up a sugar wrapper off of the table just to keep things tidy--now that is impeccable service! Of course, I had to search out some recipes similar to those prepared at Houston's. I found this one over at Copykat Recipes. It is very tasty, and the secret ingredient is...fennel.

Houston's Baked Potato Soup

5 Medium Russet Potatoes
3 cup Whole Milk
1/2 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon Chives
1/2 teaspoon Salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper or more to taste
2 1/2 tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt
1 Green Onion Diced
5 Strips of Bacon Diced and Fried Crispy-drain
1 1/4 teaspoon Fennel Seeds

Wash and scrub potatoes, pat dry. Rub potatoes with butter and place in baking pan, bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool slightly. When the potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel 4 of the potatoes, we will need the skin on the 5th potato. While potatoes are cooling, add fennel seeds to milk and half and half, and scald the milk. Scalding is heating milk at moderated temperature just until boiling point but not boiling and quickly remove from heat. Scalding will keep the mixture from separating. Let milk cool slightly with fennel seeds in mixture.

When potatoes or cool enough to work with carefully cut 4 in half  and place in a food processor. Potatoes should measure out to 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked potato. Dice the 5th potato and set aside, leave the potato skins on this potato. To the cooked potato add sour cream, chives, salt, pepper, celery salt and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese. Strain the fennel seeds from warm milk and discard seeds, pour milk mixture into food processor and processes 1 1/2 - 2 minutes until smooth. Place mixture into a sauce pan add butter and diced potato stir frequently and simmer on very low setting for about 15 - 20 minutes.

When ready to serve ladle into individual bowls and garnish with cheddar cheese, bacon, and green diced onion.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


     There are endless ways to use Fiestaware!  Most would say, "Yeah, it makes a great dinner plate."  But, it also makes a great fall decoration.  Check out my version of a cornucopia which features three Fiesta mixing bowls and one Bauer bowl.  I call it Bowl-ucopia!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Cheeseburger in a Bowl

I was looking for a soup recipe. I wanted a soup that used hamburger meat. I wanted something I had never made before. I was leaning toward steak soup in the style of Plaza III restaurant when I stumbled upon this tasty concoction. I saw it over at Tasty Kitchen. It is originally from A Farmgirl's Dabbles. This makes a large quantity of soup, and I would probably cut the recipe in half next time. Enjoy!

Bacon Mushroom Cheeseburger Soup
--adapted from A Farmgirl's Dabbles

8 slices Thick Cut Bacon
2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
2 Tablespoons Lipton Onion Soup Mix
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
16 ounces, weight Button Mushrooms, Sliced
4 whole Garlic, Minced
6 cups Reduced Sodium Beef Broth
2 cans (14.5 Oz. Cans) Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Undrained
2 cans (10.75 Oz. Cans) Cheddar Cheese Soup
2 cups Half-and-half
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cup Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Medium Hot Chili Powder
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
½ cup Light Sour Cream
Diced Dill Pickles, Optional Garnish
Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Optional Garnish
Garlic Croutons, Optional Garnish

     In a heavy pot with tall sides (a small to medium sized stock pot works great) over medium heat, fry the bacon. Remove bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Let cool, then roughly chop it and set aside.
     Drain the bacon grease and return pot to the burner. Add the ground beef, breaking it into smaller chunks as you cook it. Sprinkle with Lipton Onion Soup mix and stir. Once the hamburger is thoroughly browned, remove to another plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
     Drain any hamburger grease from the pot and add the butter. Once it is mostly melted, add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir well. Cook until thoroughly softened, about 15 minutes.
     Then add the browned hamburger back to the pot, followed by the beef broth, tomatoes, cheddar cheese soup, half and half, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, Lawry’s salt, and black pepper. Let the soup heat up as you occasionally stir it. Once hot, stir in the sour cream and chopped bacon. Let it cook another minute or so, then you are ready!
     Serve with a garnishing of dill pickle chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and garlic croutons.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ham and Swiss Sliders

Ham and Swiss Sliders
Recipe adapted from Chef In Training
1 package King's Hawaiian Rolls, 12 count
24 pieces honey ham or regular sliced ham
24 small slices Swiss cheese
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip
4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Poppy Seed Sauce
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp. mustard (Dijon or Yellow)
1/2 cup butter melted
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

     Combine mayonnaise, mustard, and miracle whip. Slice rolls in half and spread mixture on rolls. Place 2 pieces of honey ham and 2 pieces of Swiss cheese on one half of each roll. Place rolls in a 9x13 pan, lined with parchment paper.
     Mix together all ingredients of Poppy Seed Sauce. Spread evenly over the tops of all the rolls. You may not need all of the sauce.
     Cover with aluminum foil and Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes, but watch them so they do not burn.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Skipping Halloween and going straight to Christmas!

So, all week I have been making cookies for an article in a magazine.  This is one of the cookies I made.  Found them on Pinterest!  LOVE Pinterest. Hyacinth was like, "Why didn't you just go to the bakery!"  But honestly, you know a bakery wouldn't have anything this cute! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Burger Night

This recipe is a little bit more healthful than fries that have been fried in oil. I will admit I love those fries, but in an effort to cook healthier foods, I am changing some of my preparation techniques. Enjoy!

Un-Fried French Fries
from In the Kitchen with Rosie, Oprah’s Favorite Recipes
by Rosie Daley

5 large baking potatoes (5 seems to be too much for one pan, so I cut it down a bit)
Light vegetable oil cooking spray
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Cajun spices
Salt and pepper (this is my addition)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice each potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch ovals, and then slice each oval lengthwise into matchsticks. Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil (I place mine on parchment paper to prevent them from sticking). Combine the egg whites and Cajun spice in a bowl. Add the matchstick potatoes and mix to coat. Pour the coated potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out into a single layer, leaving a little space between them. Place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the fries are crispy, turning them every 6 to 8 minutes with a spatula so that they brown evenly. Serve immediately. The secret to these fries is that none of them should touch, and you need to turn them frequently so that they get browned all over.