Chicken and Dumplings

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**Recipe originally found on Delish, but I modified it**

Soup

2 tablespoons oil

2 pounds chicken breasts

1 large onion, diced

4 carrots, sliced to ¼ in half rings

1 tbsp. minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt (I use McCormick’s Garlic Salt)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 bay leaves, optional

4 teaspoons minced parsley

Dumplings

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon (garlic) salt

1 ⅓ cups heavy cream

PREPARATION

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a skillet, cook chicken over oil on medium-high heat until brown on both sides. Once chicken pieces are browned, remove and set aside. Once the chicken has cooled a bit, cut it into small pieces.

2. In a large pot, add carrot and onion with a little bit of oil and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and stir for another minute.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter and flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes to avoid lumps.

5. Add chicken and all accumulated juices from chicken to pot with veggies and stir to coat in roux/vegetable mix.

6.Add chicken broth, cream, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.

7. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cream. Stir until mixture comes together into single mass of dough.

8. Using a large spoon or your hands, form dough into small round balls about 1 inch in diameter (you should end up with at least 12 dumplings).

9. Place dough balls into simmering soup (making sure they don’t touch), and cover. Let soup simmer for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked (they should pass the toothpick test).
**Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves when finished so someone does not accidentally eat them**

ENJOY!

Pound Cake Recipe

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3 cups sugar

3 cups flour

3 sticks butter, softened

6 eggs

1 cup milk

2-3 tablespoons vanilla extract (I use about 3 because I really love the vanilla flavor, most use 1)

(Extra butter, or preferably shortening and flour for the Bundt pan)

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rub the shortening or extra butter generously in a Bundt pan, then put in a little extra flour from the bag and cover the pan with that also. Just enough to make sure the pound cake is easy to remove from the pan after it is done baking.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the 3 sticks of butter with a blender.
  4. Add 3 cups of sugar, one at a time, and blend with the butter.
  5. Add 3 cups or flour, one at a time, and blend.
  6. Add eggs and… I’m sure you guessed it! Blend it.
  7. Add 1 cup milk and 2-3 tablespoons vanilla extract and blend until smooth.
  8. Pour into Bundt pan you prepared earlier and bake about 1 hour 30 to 45 minutes. Or until you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.

Your tasty pound cake is all done. I recommend letting it sit for 20- 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Or else, you risk it possibly ending up in 2 pieces if you try to get it out of the pan before it’s cool enough.

You can also put some powdered sugar on top when you take it out of the pan if you’d like. But I would wait until it cools down. My mom told me to do it while it was hot once, the powdered sugar ended up looking more yellow than white.

Spicy Ground beef and Hot Italian Sausage Chili

**This recipe yields about 15-20 servings. I will add notes at the end if you don’t want to make so much, so you’ll know what to modify for less. No need to guess. Just read on**

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced

1 red and 1 green bell pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 jalapenos, diced

I can, 8 oz. tomato paste

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

Cayenne pepper, optional, season to taste

1 tsp crushed red peppers, optional

2 lbs. ground beef

1 lb. hot Italian sausage (New York Style Sausage Company is my favorite!)

3- 4 15 oz. cans of black beans (I use 4 because I like beans)

3 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes (Fire roasted tomatoes are my fav)

5- 6 cups chicken broth (depends on how much juice you want)

Salt and black pepper to taste (I always use McCormick’s garlic salt)

  1. In a skillet, brown ground beef and Italian sausage and drain excess fat. (This can also be done in the same pot with the veggies after they have cooked, but I do it in a separate pot so I don’t have to worry about all the extra fat from the ground beef. Once the meat is almost fully cooked, it will be added to the pot with the vegetables.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Sautee diced onion for about 4 minutes, then add bell peppers, garlic, and jalapenos. Cook for another 4 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne and crushed red peppers. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add ground beef and Italian sausage to pot with vegetables, continue to cook until completely brown.
  5. Add black beans and tomatoes. Stir. Add chicken broth, stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cover pot with lid and simmer for about 25 minutes.

*If you want to make a smaller pot of chili, use 2 lbs. of the meat of your choice, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 3 cans of beans (2 if you don’t like beans as much as I do), 4 oz. tomato paste, and 4 cups of chicken broth. And 1 bell pepper, optional. Also, if you don’t want to use black beans, you can use cannellini beans. Both are great.

**I make chili at least 3 times a month. It’s great because you can do multiple things with it. I eat it just in a bowl with cornbread, I make nachos (with Doritos and pepper jack cheese YUM!), and I make baked potatoes with chili, cheese, and parsley in it. Three meals in one! I’ve made chili with Italian sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, and chicken. My favorite is chicken chili. Make 2 lbs. of chicken in a skillet with salt and pepper, shred it with 2 forks while still warm (it’s easier when warm), and make chili out of it.

img_20161031_172327400 Chicken chili