Supper Club – Standing Rib Roast

We have our supper club once a month. Stew and I always look forward to it. Four couples together to eat and just hang out! We all love to decorate and entertain, so it’s always a great time! This month, Stew and I hosted. The theme was Silver and Gold. I wanted it to be cozy, yet have all the sparkle of the season! I found a sheer gold sequins fabric at JoAnn Fabrics, which was perfect (and cheap) to lay on top of my white table cloth. For my place mats, I used silver & gold glitter scrapbook paper!! It was nice and thick, so it worked perfectly. I used silver glitter painted pinecones and tied everyone’s names to them with silver string. I used a silver metallic sharpie to write their names. And, of course, white candles and baby’s breath to brighten it up. Here is my table-scape.


And, of course, we can’t forget the chalkboards! Winter Wonderland and Silver and Gold are now available on Etsy as digital prints!

Then, the most important part of the night, THE FOOD! For the main course, I chose a standing rib roast (recipe below). I came across this delicious recipe in Southern Living Magazine. Here is the original recipe. I made a few changes and it came out absolutely delicious!


In addition to the roast, I made buttermilk biscuits and roasted brussels sprouts. Annie brought a cheese platter as an appetizer, Kirsten brought a spiked hot cider (vanilla vodka to spike it) and Missy brought homemade chocolate truffles. It was a feast fit for a king! The perfect holiday meal spent with great friends.

Standing Rib Roast with Red Wine Gravy
Serves 8-10

Roast
1 (7-lb.) 4-bone prime rib roast, chine bone removed
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Digital Thermometer

Red Wine Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 red onion, minced
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 cup beef broth
pinch of salt

Preparation
1. Prepare Roast: Let roast stand at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together mustard and next 3 ingredients; reserve 1 Tbsp. mixture. Rub remaining mixture over roast; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place roast on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan.

3. Bake at 450° on lower oven rack 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°; bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 120° to 130° (medium-rare) or 130° to 135° (medium). Don’t trust a timer. ALWAYS use a meat thermometer. Let stand 30 minutes; transfer roast to a serving platter.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the gravy: Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally and moving pan as necessary to prevent hot spots. Add onion; sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Whisk in flour. Cook, constantly whisking, for about 1 minute. Whisk in wine; cook, whisking constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in broth; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Stir in reserved 1 Tbsp. mustard mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice roast, and serve with gravy.

Note from Southern Living:
Ask your butcher: Have the chine bone removed. A thin bone that runs perpendicular to the rib bones, it will get in the way of slicing once the meat is roasted and has rested.

Roast like a pro: Start roasting at 450° for 45 minutes to form the caramelized crust. Then reduce the temperature and finish cooking to keep the inside pink and juicy.

The right temp: 125° for prime rib lovers. Remember: The internal temp on large roasts like this will continue to rise as the roast rests.

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Melt In Your Mouth Turkey

I have a foolproof recipe for the BEST turkey you will EVER taste! I promise! Follow this step-by-step recipe and your guests will be talking about your turkey for years to come! It will go down in history! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good “Cooked and plated shot” because it was such a mad rush for food, and the sun had already gone down, so I had to use the dreaded FLASH. But here’s a picture of the spread.

Melt In Your Mouth Turkey

15 lb. fresh Turkey
1 1/2 sticks room temp salted butter
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
2 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic paste
Brine recipe here
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 carots, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 onions, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
Foil breastplate (funny sounding, I know)
Digital Thermometer
canola oil
salt & pepper
Big roasting pan

Gravy:
Turkey drippings
2 envelopes Knorr Gravy mix
2 boxes your favorite chicken broth

Monday:
1. Place butter, herbs, and garlic in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix until well combined. Put in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tuesday Morning:
2. Make the brine. Cool in fridge COMPLETELY. Once cool, remove turkey neck, giblets, etc. and put turkey into the brine, breast side first. Cover with foil and put in the fridge.
3. Cut celery, carrots, onion, lemon and put into a gallon sized ziplock bag in the fridge.

Wednesday Night:
4. Take herb butter out of the fridge and leave on the counter overnight to come to room temperature.

Turkey Day!
5. Preheat oven to 500F. Remove turkey from the brine. Discard brine. Rinse turkey with cold water and dry COMPLETELY with paper towels. Place on roasting pan.
6. Stuff cavity with the lemon and half the bag of carrots, celery, and onions. Place the rest of the veggies in the bottom of the roasting pan.
7. Carefully separate skin from the breasts and rub the butter under the skin on each breast. Use the skin to move the butter around to get it into all the nooks and crannies. Then, rub butter on top of the legs.

8. Fit foil “breastplate”. This foil will protect the breast from burning. Once the foil is fitted, set aside.

9. Use a paper towel to rub a thin layer of canola oil on the outside of the whole turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
10. Bake turkey for exactly 30 minutes at 500F to brown the skin.
11. Lower temperature to 350F.
12. Take turkey out, insert digital thermometer into the thickest part of the BREAST (smack in the middle between wish bone and outside of breast) and set thermometer to 155F (about another 2 hours). Place foil breastplate on and put back in the oven. NO BASTING! You want a crispy skin.
13. When thermometer beeps, take turkey out and cover with a foil tent. Let rest for AT LEAST an hour before cutting. Keep thermometer in. The temp should come to 160F while resting. That is your goal temperature for a DONE bird!
14. Cut both breasts off and set aside under foil tent.
15. Stick thermometer into thickest part of the thigh and put carcass and thighs back into the oven at 350F until thermometer beeps. This ensures that the dark meat cooks without overcooking the white meat.
16. To make the gravy, place the roasting pan, full of the delicious drippings, on the stove over medium-low heat. Whisk in 2 cartons of chicken broth and two envelopes of Knorr Gravy mix. Simmer and whisk until it thickens. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed. Run through a strainer. Keep warm in a pot on the stove or pour into serving dish if eating immediately.

**Keep turkey under foil until the last second to keep warm. To reheat when guests arrive, place in a shallow baking dish and moisten with HOT chicken broth. Carve and plate with beautiful garnishes like pomegranates, citrus fruit, kale, or grapes. ENJOY!

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Cauliflower Pizza

In an effort to do this whole “Paleo” thing, I came up with a cauliflower pizza recipe. We love our pizza, so I didn’t want to deprive us of that! This is definitely the best cauliflower pizza crust we’ve had yet. I tried a few variations, and this is the winner! The thing with this pizza is that it’s delicious, but it’s not the white-flour-pizza-dough pizza. So, we just accepted it for a different type of pizza, and it was perfect! Hey, it’s worth a shot!

I started out by blending the cauliflower until it was course, but not pureed (like couscous). Then, I microwaved the cauliflower for 5 minutes so it softened a bit. Once the cauliflower was ready, I mixed it with the other ingredients and formed the pizzas on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
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I baked the crusts for 30 minutes. I like them as crisp as possible. That seemed to work!
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I chose basic pizza toppings, but you could honestly top with whatever you’d like! I baked the pizzas for another 10 minutes to melt the toppings. Then I broiled the pizzas for 1 minute just to make the cheese crispy. I topped with some fresh basil for a pop of color. I must say, these were delicious! Let me know what you think!
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Cauliflower pizza
Makes 2 pizzas

1/2 large head cauliflower (about 2.5 cups ground)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 egg
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pizza Toppings
1 Tbsp sauce per pizza
1/2 Roma tomato per pizza, sliced
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella per pizza
Sliced red onion
Sliced basil

Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut cauliflower into chunks and place in food processor. Pulse until course (like couscous). Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, add the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix together until well combined. Add the cauliflower and mix well. Divide dough in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place each half of dough onto the baking sheet and press into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake crusts for 30 minutes or until browned and firm. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Broil for 1 minute to crisp up the cheese. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!

 

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Paleo “Spaghetti” with Sausage and Peppers

I know I’ve been posting a lot of food lately, but that’s about the most exciting thing we’ve got going on in our house. Turner is teething AGAIN. This time, it’s his top teeth. He is NOT a happy camper. He’s been waking up the past 3 nights, every half hour, moaning/crying. Luckily, I haven’t had to get out of bed. He just sort of drifts back to sleep. Poor baby. So, cooking makes me happy and calms my nerves! Therefore, that’s what you get!

A few days ago, Stew decided he wanted to try the paleo diet (after we just bought 3 loaves of bread). This all stemmed from this program my mom and stepdad were watching when they babysat last week. It was about the “perfect” diet. I’ve been seeing a ton of yummy looking paleo recipes on Pinterest, so I figured, why not!? I love any excuse to use funky ingredients to make a meal. Hell, I did the raw food thing for months! So you’ll be a part of my experimenting!

I saw a recipe for crock pot sausage and peppers over spaghetti squash. So, I made my spin on that. I didn’t use the crock pot at all. I feel like it would have turned to mush if I did. So I made a sort of spaghetti with meat-sauce meets sausage and peppers dish. Again, I was experimenting. But it came out DELICIOUS! Spaghetti squash is such an underrated vegetable (fruit?). It was light and delicious but had that sort of comfort food feel.

I started by cutting the squash in half lengthwise. Ok, to be honest, Stew cut it. That sucker isn’t easy to cut through! I filled a casserole dish with about 1/2 inch of water and placed the squash cut-side down in the dish. I used the tip of a knife (a fork would be safer) to poke some holes in the skin. I covered with foil and baked at 400°F for 45 minutes.
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In the meantime, I made the sauce. I chopped the peppers, onion, and garlic, and sauteed them in a dutch oven for about 5 minutes. While the veggies cooked, I removed the sausage from its casings and had them ready to go!
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I took the pepper mixture out to rest and popped the sausage in that same dutch oven. I used a hard spatula to break up the sausage into tiny pieces and cooked them until they were no longer pink. Then, I added the jar of sauce and pepper mixture back in. I let it cook on low for another 5 minutes.

Once the squash was finished, I used a fork to scrape all of the flesh into a bowl. I dished out the squash and topped with the sausage and peppers sauce. It was so good! I’m glad we have leftovers 😮 You’ll have to let me know what you think when you try it!
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Paleo “Spaghetti” with Sausage and Peppers
Serves 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
3 links hot Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce
basil for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Fill a casserole dish with about 1/2 inch of water, and place the squash cut-side down in the dish. Use a fork to poke some holes in the skin. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, heat Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Slice 1/2 an onion and peppers into long strips, and sautée for 5 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper over the pepper mixture. Mince a clove of garlic and add to peppers and onions. Cook one more minute.

While the peppers and onion are cooking, remove sausage from its casing. Take onion and pepper mixture out of the Dutch Oven and put on a plate. Add sausage to the same pot and break up with spatula into small pieces. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink.

Add the jar of sauce and pepper mixture to the Dutch Oven. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 5 minutes.

Once squash is finished, remove from oven. Let cool so it’s easier to handle. Use a fork to scrape the flesh into a bowl. Divide quash among 4 bowls and top with sausage and pepper sauce. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

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Pasta with Lentils & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Every weekend, Stew and I plan our meals. We like to have a mixture of everything–Italian, American, Mexican, Thai, etc. This was our Italian dish for the week. Although I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t like meat in my pastas. So, I decided to throw some lentils in to add that protein kick! These little legumes are often overlooked. But they are SO good for you! They are packed with protein (more than most nuts and beans), and they are so inexpensive! They are super easy to make too! They’re perfect to throw in pastas or salads to add some vegetable protein to your diet!

I know I have professed my love of brown rice pasta! But I am truly addicted. It’s true that a gluten free diet is for people with Celiac disease. But, I say, if something’s not agreeing with you, DON’T EAT IT! Semolina pasta is one of those things that doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’ve been eating this brown rice pasta for years, and I truly don’t taste a difference! More importantly, I don’t feel uncomfortable after eating it!

Now that I’m done with my health rant, I’ll get back to the dish! This meal is so packed with flavor that you won’t miss the meat and the white pasta! The combination of the salty sun-dried tomatoes, sweet basil, and crunchy almonds is enough to sell anyone on this dish. PLUS it’s super easy and inexpensive to make. While you’re boiling the pasta, throw the sauce together in another pot, and then toss it all together! How easy is that (as The Barefoot Contessa would say)?? I wrote in the recipe to reserve pasta water. That’s an important step, because it creates the sauce. Basically, the tomato paste and the pasta water come together and coat the pasta. You can always add more pasta water if it’s too thick! I hope you enjoy!
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Pasta with Lentils & Sun-dried Tomatoes
Serves 2

6 oz. brown rice pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup lentils
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade*
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup reserved pasta water

Rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes by soaking in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat dutch oven to medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook one more minute. Add spinach, lentils, sun dried tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cook about one minute until spinach wilts. Using tongs, transfer pasta to the dutch oven and toss to combine. Ladle 1/4 cup of pasta water into dutch oven. Add parmesan cheese and basil. Toss with tongs to combine. Place the pasta in two large bowls. Top with slivered almonds and more parmesan if desired. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

*Chiffonade is just a fancy word for rolling the basil up like a cigar and making thin slices so you end up with strips of basil.

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Linguine with Avocado “Alfredo” Sauce

I am a huge fan of pasta. There’s nothing like a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs after a busy day! The only problem is that a meal like that leaves me feeling very heavy and uncomfortable. This recipe is the perfect comfort food without all the cheese and guilt!

I love rice pasta. I honestly can’t tell the difference. That’s pretty much the only kind of pasta we eat at our house! My husband loves it too. At least he likes it better than the whole wheat I would try to give him! I even made rice pasta for my father in law when he was here once and didn’t tell him until AFTER! He said he couldn’t tell a difference. Ok, are you sold yet?? Plus, eating a lighter dinner saves room for ice cream!

My husband loves pasta with alfredo sauce. I’ve never been a fan of creamy sauces on anything. So this is the perfect compromise! It’s so rich and creamy, yet it’s full of healthy fat and doesn’t weigh us down. Plus, I add a little crispy prosciutto on top which makes everything better!

I start by baking the prosciutto and tomatoes in the oven.IMG_0293 IMG_0298

While those bake, I cook the pasta and make the sauce.IMG_0299

I mix the sauce and the pasta together, adding some pasta water to thin it out. Then, I plate it in big white bowls and top it with the crispy prosciutto, tomatoes, parmesan and parsley. IMG_0309This is a flavor explosion! It’s definitely one of our favorite pasta dishes. I hope you enjoy it!

Linguine with Avocado “Alfredo” Sauce- Serves 4

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 slices prosciutto
1 10 oz pack of grape tomatoes
4 servings brown rice linguine
2 avocados
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
salt
pepper
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
chopped parsley for garnish
shredded parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place 4 slices of prosciutto on a cooling rack. Place the rack onto a sheet pan to catch any fat that drips off. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until crisp. In the meantime, place grape tomatoes on another sheet pan and drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and begin to pop.

Cook pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine avocados, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.

Pour the avocado sauce into a large bowl. Using tongs, add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the avocado sauce. Use the tongs to mix well. Use more pasta water to thin out the sauce if you’d like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Plate the pasta in large bowls and top with crumbled prosciutto, tomatoes, some parmesan cheese, and parsley.

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Butternut Squash Soup

I LOVE this soup! All of my friends can attest to this. I make it every chance I get. We had it at our pumpkin carving party and at our early Thanksgiving celebration last night. I also make it for lunch every chance I get. I’ll make a big batch and just keep it in the fridge right in the dutch oven. That way I have a delicious lunch waiting for me every day! I think you get the point!

Stew and I went to Monza last weekend, our favorite restaurant downtown. The special that night was pumpkin soup. I HAD to get it to see how it compared to mine. I actually liked mine better!!! It was definitely tasty and had a great apple onion compote on top with some toasted almonds. But there is just something so addictive about this butternut squash soup!

It all started when I was home for lunch a few months back and the good old PB&J just wasn’t gonna cut it. I had all of the ingredients I needed to make this soup, so I gave it a whirl! I was so proud of the finished product! The thing that makes this different than all the other pumpkin or squash soups I’ve had is that it’s sweeter! It has a great balance of spice from the pepper and sweet from the maple syrup. Roasting the squash adds so much more flavor too! In my opinion, roasting the squash is the secret weapon. You can switch up the toppers to shake it up too. I topped this batch with a little toast with goat cheese, cranberry relish, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. SO GOOD!

You have to make it. It would be a perfect little appetizer for Thanksgiving or really any occasion! I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed!


Butternut
 Squash 
Soupserves 6

3 cups roasted butternut squash (1 large or 2 medium)*

olive oil

1/2 onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp 2% milk (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

*For the squash-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel the squash (I use a potato peeler) and cut the ends off. Cut in half where the squash begins to round. Cut the round half in two lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (just as you would a pumpkin). Cut the squash into about 1 inch cubes. Spread the cubes out onto two sheet pans. Pour 3 tbsp olive oil on each pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper on each pan. Mix thoroughly with your hands so that the squash is evenly coated. Place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Use a spatula to move the squash around halfway through the cooking. Once they are fork tender, they’re ready!

Heat large dutch oven to medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 more minutes. Add in the butternut squash, chicken stock, and cinnamon. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Working in batches depending on the size of your blender, transfer mixture to your blender and mix until smooth (you can add more stock for a thinner consistency). Make sure to hold lid securely in place with a dish towel over it. Transfer the blended mixture back to the pot over low heat. Add in the maple syrup, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Just heat until warm enough to serve. I topped this batch with a little toast with goat cheese, cranberry relish, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

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Maple Glazed Salmon

Let me start by saying I’m not a huge salmon fan. In fact, it’s my least favorite fish… until now that is! In an effort to add more fish to my diet, I put salmon on the menu for the week, even though I wasn’t thrilled about it. Holy moly this salmon is good! The main reason I didn’t love it is that I’ve had it when it seemed to be undercooked. So instead of cooking it on the stove or the oven, I broiled it! That was the secret weapon. Broiling it made the glaze sweet and caramelized on top. YUM. Stew and I took our first hesitant bite and both looked at each other in amazement and said, “WOW this is really good!”
Not only is it delicious, but it couldn’t be easier to make! I literally put all of the ingredients into a ziplock bag, mixed it up, and popped the salmon in there. I let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours and BAM… delicious salmon ready to broil! I paired it with a simple quinoa and some Haricot Vert (french green beans) on the side. This was one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. It will definitely be a “go-to” from now on! Hope you enjoy!

Maple Glazed
SalmonI
Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 4-4 oz pieces raw salmon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/8 t crushed red pepper
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the salmon, into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Mush all ingredients together with your hands.
  2. Add salmon to the  ziplock bag, then refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour (I marinated it for 4 hours).
  3. Preheat the broiler in your oven. Line the bottom of your broiler pan or a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Place salmon skin side down onto the foil. Pour some of the excess marinade over the salmon, sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper, then place directly under the broiler. Cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the salmon’s thickness, until opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Remove and serve immediately.

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Momma’s Chicken and Dumplings

I absolutely LOVE chicken and dumplings. I feel like it’s one of those warm-you-heart-and-soul meals. At least it always felt that way to me growing up. Now, I know it’s not quite cold enough, and I might be jumping the gun here, but I couldn’t help myself! I had some leftover chicken and I thought this was a great way to use it! My trick for shredding chicken, as I’ve probably told you too many times, is to pop the chicken breasts in a crock pot with water almost covering them. Put some salt, a bay leaf, and some peppercorns in there. Cook them on low for 3 hours and they should be SO tender and ready to shred. Then I use what I need and save the rest for another meal. It’s a good way to make your chicken go a long way. It also mixes up your meals so you don’t have to have leftovers! That technique makes this meal REALLY quick and easy to pull together on a week night!

Time for the soup! I pull out my already shredded chicken and cut up my veggies so I’m ready to go!

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add in chicken and peas. In a separate bowl, heat 1 cup chicken stock and slowly whisk in 1/4 cup flour. Pour the flour and broth mixture into the soup (if lumpy, use a sieve to strain the mixture as you pour it in). Bring soup up to a boil and reduce to simmer about 10 minutes, or until broth is thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, prepare the dumpling batter according to package instructions. Here is my warning… I know you’re thinking “Bisquick!?” But honestly, I’ve tried all the homemade buttermilk dumpling recipes and they come out terrible! They taste like sticky gummy wads of dough. The Bisquick is the ONLY thing that has cooked up light and fluffy on the soup. Trust me!

Remove bay leaves. Gently drop spoonfuls of dough onto the soup about 1 inch apart. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the biscuits comes out clean. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!

Momma’s Chicken and Dumplings

Serves 4

1/2 onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/4 tsp thyme

salt

pepper

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken broth (1 cup reserved)

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

1- 7.75 oz package Bisquick buttermilk biscuit mix.

For the soup:

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in large dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. Sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken broth, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add in chicken and peas. In a separate bowl, heat 1 cup chicken stock and slowly whisk in 1/4 cup flour (use a sieve to pour mixture into the soup if it is lumpy). Bring soup up to a boil and reduce to simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes, or until broth is thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, prepare dumplings according to package instructions.

Remove bay leaves. Gently drop spoonfuls of dough onto the soup about 1 inch apart. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the biscuits comes out clean. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!

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Chicken Kale and Tomato Tacos

My husband was just teasing me about how I put kale in everything! I just feel like it’s such an underused green, and it’s SO good for you! It really absorbs any flavor you pack in there. When I was in my first trimester, I was on this kale kick (because we got so much dang kale in our CSA). I made it with some chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce… it was so good! I was eating a head of kale a day for a while there!

Now, my husband will eat it, but not quite as much as I would. So I was trying to figure out how to turn kale into a substantial meal. Put it into tacos with some chicken…voila! It couldn’t be easier to make! Everything goes into one pot! If you don’t have leftover chicken, you could easily get a rotisserie chicken or grill up some chicken breasts and cut them up. I actually had leftover lemon chicken this particular night, but the citrus worked great! It’s a delicious low-fat meal that’s packed with protein, fiber, and tons of vitamins! It would even be good, if you had leftovers, to toss it with some whole wheat pasta! That was my lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Chicken Kale and Tomato Tacos

Serves 4

8 corn tortillas

1 cup leftover chicken, shredded or cut into pieces

1 cup pinto beans, drained and  rinsed

4 leaves of kale, roughly chopped

1 small shallot, diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

a pinch of salt

a pinch of pepper

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

1 lime, sliced into wedges

Prep your veggies by dicing the shallot, chopping tomatoes, and cutting the kale; set all aside. That way they’re ready to drop into the pot!

In a dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat, saute the shallot with oil for about 3 minutes. Add leftover chicken, beans, and kale. Season with cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook until the kale wilts down, about 5 minutes. Toss in the tomatoes at the last second just to heat everything together. Heat another pan on medium-high heat and warm the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side. You can even warm them in the microwave for a few seconds with a damp paper towel on top. To serve, top the tortillas with the chicken and kale mixture. Top with a squirt of lime.
 


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