Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"I have a bone to pick with you."

Last night my mom called me.  The first thing she tells me is, "I have a bone to pick with you."  I was speechless.  My mind was racing, wondering what it was that ticked her off.  It takes a lot to make my mom mad.  A lot.  She then follows that line with, "Maybe I should say, I have a chicken bone to pick with you." lol!  I relaxed still puzzled at what she was getting at.  Apparently, she viewed my blog and saw my chicken and dumplings entry.  Normally I'll make enough to take some over to my mom and brother for their dinner.  This time it was raining cats and dogs so I did not get out.  I promised her next time I would be sure to take some over to her.  And next time I make them, I'll be making my "shortcut" chicken and dumplings and I will share the recipe for that. :-)

Please tell me that having a flock of buzzards circling around your house as they make their way south for the winter is good luck and not an omen. Not that I'm superstitious or anything.  There must have been 50 of them.  To my knowledge, we have never experienced this in our neighborhood.  It was kind of hypnotic to see them spiral around in the air above us.

Some good news.  I'm beginning to feel my mojo returning.  Since before my dad passed away, it went MIA and would reappear in fits and starts.  In the last few weeks, I've been getting some creative ideas going through my head.  I've made a few cards and a scrapbook layout here and there.  Now I'm wanting to hole myself up in my craft space for a day or two and get to work.  Or shall I say play. :-)  Here is a layout I worked on yesterday afternoon:

It is a "blast from the past".  It is a layout of some pictures I took some 11 years ago that I ran across.  I'll be sharing more of these types of layouts in the future. I've been sorting through photos and found a box that I had completely forgot about.  I've had so much fun traveling down memory lane.  There have been some photos that I feel a bit melancholy about as well.  Loved ones that have passed.  But many good memories.  I'm so blessed.

I am bound and determined to use what is in my stash to create layouts.  Although I am really digging the new "October Afternoon" lines that have just been released.  It will be very, very hard to resist the temptation to order their product. ;-)

Hope everyone can have as good a trip down memory lane as I have had.

Thanks for looking in!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Yum!  When the air starts getting a chill to it and the days grow shorter, I start craving comfort food. (Actually, I crave it even when it is warm and the days are long. lol!)  One of my favorites is Chicken and Dumplings.

This dish has always been one of my favorites.  I remember coming home from school and when I  would smell the chicken stewing, I would get excited.  And if you are lucky enough to get leftovers, it tastes better the next day in my opinion.

For the sake of trying to eat healthier, though, I make this every once in a great while.  I like to make it when it is a really nasty day out and you want something to stick to your ribs.

Enough gabbing. Here is how you make them...

Here are the list of ingredients:  One whole chicken or chicken cut into pieces, self rising flour, shortening, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, ground red pepper, chicken bouillon granules, milk.

Cover chicken with water in dutch oven or stock pot.  Bring to a boil and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and ground red pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.  Remove chicken, let cool.  Skim fat off broth and add chicken bouillon granules.  Bring to a simmer. Skin and bone chicken and coarsely chop.  You can either return to the broth or cover and keep warm.

When the chicken is about 10-15 minutes from being done, combine flour and poultry seasoning in bowl.  But in shortening with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Knead for about five minutes more or less.

Turn dough out on light floured surface.  Roll out to about a 1/8 inch thickness and cut into strips.

Bring broth to a rolling boil and drop dumplings into broth stirring gently.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring often for about 30 minutes.

Serve the chicken and dumplings with mashed potatoes and peas and carrots or sides of your choice.  Be prepared to experience bliss as you are dining and take time out for a nap afterward. ;-)

Since I make this dish from memory and measure the ingredients in handfuls and pinch of this, dash of that, I am sharing the recipe from the Secrets from the Southern Living Test Kitchens cookbook:

Chicken and Dumplings

1  2 1/2 lb. whole chicken, cut up
2 1/2  tsp. salt
   3/4 tsp. pepper
   1/2 tsp. garlic powder
   1/2 tsp. dried thyme
   1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
      1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (I personally add 2-3 tsp.  If you are concerned about sodium, use the lesser amount)
3 cups self rising flour *
  1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  1/3 cup shortening (or as my mom taught me, "About the size of an egg.")
1 cup milk

Cover chicken with water, and bring to a boil in a large Dutch oven.  Add salt, pepper and next three ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven; cool chicken.  Skim fat from broth; bring to simmer.

Skin, bone, and coarsely chop chicken.  Add chicken and bouillon to broth.  Return to simmer.

Combine flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Knead. 

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.  Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into strips.

Bring broth to boil.  Drop dumplings, a few at a time, into boiling broth, stirring gently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes to half an hour. Yield: 8 servings

*If you do not have self- rising flour, for every cup of all purpose flour add 1 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt.

One of these days, I'm going to figure out how to make my recipes printable. In the meantime,  I hope you and your family enjoys this dish as much as I do.  Bon appetit!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.

Shauna Niequist
from the book, "Bittersweet"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lions, Tigers and Wolverines, Oh My!

In the fall of 2011, the planets were in perfect alignment.  And snow flakes were flying in H.E. Double Hockey Sticks.  Or maybe it is due to good old-fashioned hard work and tenacity.  In any case the Detroit Lions are 4-0, Tigers are playing in the American League playoffs, and the Wolverines after playing a couple of disappointing seasons, are 5-0.

After watching Michigan stomp beat Minnesota in Saturdays game and the Lions narrowly defeating Dallas on Sunday, we have been biting our nails watching the Tigers against the Yankees the last couple of nights.  Quite a weekend and start to the week. I haven't heard so much yelling directed at the television since, well, since I don't know when.

We are really loving Michigan's new coach.  When it was announced that Brady Hoke would be the Wolverine's new coach, we were excited.  From what hubby knew about him, he thought he would be a good match.  And so far he is proven right.

After going for decades going, "Lions? What Lions?", it is exciting to see them finally getting their groove back.  When I was in Florida, a nice cashier I met in one of the stores was upset that his beloved Atlanta Falcons would not be televised due to not selling out the game.  I told him I was from Detroit and welcome to my world. :-/  It is so refreshing to finally see some wins.

And now the Tigers are in the playoffs. I love my Boys of Summer (especially Inge and Verlander). :-) I have many fond memories of going to the corner of Michigan and Trumbull as a girl and seeing the Tigers play every summer.  I looked so forward to getting a mini-bat and having a stadium hot dog.  I loved watching Al Kaline and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych play and hearing Ernie Harwell's voice on the transistor radios held to everyone's ear. (Okay, I'm really showing my age now. :-P).

At any rate, this has been a fun ride these past few weeks rooting for our home teams.  Speaking of rooting for teams, I need to go to root for those Tigers.

Thanks for looking in!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Inspiration

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Hebrews 11: 1 NLT