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I love everything about food, especially cooking for my family and friends. When I have the time, I quilt! My favorite thing....spending time with our Granddaughter Jayla! Please feel free to leave comments, ask questions and let me know how you like the recipe!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Quikie with Pomegranets

Well hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  It was a busy one for us since Grandbaby Jayla was here.  Thank goodness we had plenty of leftovers in the fridge and cooking wasn't necessary other than breakfast.  Of course she is going through a fussy, I don't want to eat phase right now, but Gigi (that's me) always has something in the house she will eat.

The plan was to bake Halloween Sugar Cookies, but the weather was so beautiful, we spent as much time as she wanted outside playing in the fallen leaves, chasing Maxx (our dog) and riding her new Dora Big Wheels!  So much to Baboo's (that's Jayla speak for Grandpa) dismay, no cookies baked.

I did make a great fruit salad that my friend Kim passed on to me with Pomegranates that has me hooked.  It's quick, simple and oh so good.  Give it a try and let me know what you think! 

Grape & Pomegranate Fruit Salad

2 cups red grapes, cut in half
1 pomegranate
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 orange or tangerine, juiced

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and allow to stand for several hours before serving.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Long Time Coming



Well it's been quite a while since I posted.  Between Janis' accident and job hunting (still not working) I just haven't had the mindset or the time to post.  But Fall has arrived here and with the sweltering heat we had this summer it's back to cooking and writing and I've been busy the past few days.

So let's start with my Chicken and Dumplings.....okay all I can say about this was yummy and I'm getting hungry for leftovers as I sit here writing.

Many years ago I worked with a woman that made the best Chicken and Dumplings I have ever eaten! They were a rolled dumpling. Until then my experience with this comfort food dish had always been with a drop dumpling that resembled a biscuit.  Don't get me wrong it was fine, but a bit heavy for my liking..back to those dumplings, they were heavier than a noodle but still light and delish.  So this week I decided to start my search and low and behold.....Alton Brown to the rescue!  Rolled Dumplings; simple to make and oh sooooooooooooo good!  So with recipe for dumplings in hand (actually on laptop in the kitchen) I bring a recipe to warm the bones and comfort the soul from my slow cooker to yours.  Enjoy and Buon Appetito!

Rolled Dumplings (Courtesy of Alton Brown)

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups, plus extra for rolling
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup skim milk, chilled
Directions


Whisk the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of the salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Rub the shortening into the flour mixture using your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk, 1-ounce at a time, just until you have a rough ball of workable dough. Knead the dough 3 to 4 times, until it is mostly smooth, but do not overwork.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough, using a floured rolling pin, to a sheet about 1/16-inch thick, on floured piece of waxed paper or parchment paper.
Cover the dough, still on the waxed paper or parchment, with a tea towel, and dry for at least 8 hours. This can be done the night before or early in the morning.

Slow Cooker Chicken

Ingredients
8-10 bone in chicken thighs
2 teaspoons sea salt                                                                                
fresh cracked black pepper
1 onion, chopped                                                 
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon olive oil
8-10 cups water


Directions
Preheat slow cooker on the brown/saute setting and heat olive oil just to smoking point.  Salt and pepper chicken thighs generously and brown well beginning with skin side down (you will probably need to do this in several batches).  Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or the chicken will steam rather than brown. 


When the chicken is finished browning, drain all but about 1 teaspoon of fat and add the onion.  Saute until just golden brown.  Switch the cooker to the slow cook setting and add back the chicken with the remaining ingredients.  Add approximately 8-10 cups of water (enough to cover).  Allow to cook on high for approximately 4 hours or 6-8 hours on low.  When the chicken is easily removed from the bone, remove all of the chicken skin and bones and cut into bite size pieces and set aside.

At this point you can strain your broth or leave the veggies in like I did.  Bring broth to a boil.

Cut the dough into 1/2-inch wide strips, break into 1 1/2-inch long pieces, and drop into the boiling broth. When all the dough has been used, gently push all of the dumplings down into the broth with a slotted spoon. Do not stir the dumplings. Cook the dumplings until they are cooked through, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the meat.  Adjust for salt and serve in bowls with fresh cracked pepper. (I had some left over peas so what the heck in they went!)

Note:  If you don't have slow cooker with a brown/saute feature, this can be done in a pan.  Just be sure that you transfer all of that browned goodness to your slow cooker!