armadillas


It’s not raining in Seattle

It’s raining. It’s been raining what seems like all week. But by my count that has technically only been two days, so I can’t really complain. I don’t mind a little wet weather anyway. Plus, gloomy days are perfect for pulling out the crock pot. Mmm hmmm.

Not too long ago Timeline activated on my FB (I held out as long as possible) and now I’m free to spend my days pinning away until the school year starts (finally got my TB screening squared away and am submitting the final bits of my application on Thursday- because that’s when they’ll do my fingerprinting). Needless to say, I’ve probably compiled enough recipes to last me the rest of 2012. One of those recipes is crock pot chicken and dumplings. Yummm! What a day for a good bowl of chicken and dumplings. Oh yeah, and I don’t have to do any work. Throw it in the pot, place a lid on it, and go finish your Supernatural marathon. Summers are great for marathons, aren’t they? Any excuse to drool over Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padaleki). To this day, I’m not sure which brother I would choose. Sweet, sensitive Sam who seems to have certain demonic connections with outbursts of rage and violence. Or gruff, wisecracking Dean who keeps his vulnerable side on lock down, always the tough guy, always the protector. Oh, the choices! Guess I’ll just have to take both, please. I’ve seen most of the later episodes by chance, but now am working my way season by season.

Yup, sci-fi/fantasy geek here! I don’t deny it. And I can’t wait to finish off the second season with a steamy bowl of goodness. Yeah man! This is my first time making chicken and dumplings on my own. The last time I tried to make a soup with dumplings…it turned into a pot of goop. There are a few reasons for that and I won’t go into detail, but I have complete confidence this time things will fly smooth. Being armed with a recipe from this lovely blog helps, I’m sure. Thanks Polish the Stars! Oh Pinterest, I can already see a good thing turning evil…

Recipe adapted from Megan

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can refrigerator biscuits
  • Pepper

Lightly pepper your chicken breasts and place them in your nifty handy dandy crock pot/slow cooker/whatever you wanna call it! I decided salt was not necessary. The cream of chicken smells salty enough in my opinion anyway

Go ahead and toss your two tablespoons of butter on top of the chicken. I didn’t bother cutting it up. No biggie

Now the wet ingredients! Pour the two cans of cream of chicken soup and the one can of chicken broth into the crock pot.  At first, I had my doubts about how much soup I’d get out of all this. Silly me. I’m pretty sure three cans is sufficient for a home of only two

 

Mmm looks appetizing

That’s it! Place a lid on the whole shebang and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 8). Since I started so late we are taking the high route. I do tend to take my time, don’t I? Guess I should start pinning earlier in my day. By the way, no need to stir everything together. This is one of those things in life that can let itself go (hehe). After the prescribed time, it’s time for some added magic. Shred the chicken then put it back in the crock

Add the peas. We add them late so they don’t get too mushy. That’s my excuse anyway

Now for the dumplings! Take four of your flaky biscuits and cut them into little pieces. Drop them into the soup (or is it considered a stew?)  and cook for another half hour or until the biscuits are cooked

Voila! Dinner is served

Not too bad for a first attempt, though I do feel as those the dumplings were a little too doughy. Next time I might try a different approach.

I’m beginning to turn sweet on my crock pot. Last night I made a lovely Dijon pork in the crock pot that I’ll have to share later. Very flavorful. Another Pinterest discovery. I’m telling you, I see and addiction in the near future. I also found a bunch of freezer slow cooker meals. I’m thinking about whipping a few of those up this week. Quick and easy! Just remove from freezer, empty into pot, and a few hours later a full meal is served with no mess. Ingenious!

I still need to update everyone on Saturdays cook-off!

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Cooking in stilettos

Boy, is my love life bursting! Today I added yet another person to my list of amantes. Her name? Candice Kumai. I accidentally discovered her while reading an article on running (I may not look like an athlete or health nut, but by George, I try!). It’s a funny story, actually. I’m pretty sure a few years ago I encountered a cookbook she coauthored, Cook Yourself Thin. At the time, I didn’t give her much thought.  I think we can all agree that happens from time to time in a love story. Before, I wasn’t ready to commit to the relationship. I was young and hesitant and still growing into my cooking apron. But now I have matured  and was pleasantly pleased to learn that Candice has authored another cookbook called Pretty Delicious that I plan to hunt down on my next trip to Barnes & Noble. She also has her own site, which I have already added to my foodies page. What can I say? It’s been a pretty productive day!

I can’t wait to make these! I am such a big dumpling fan, and I lump pot-stickers into that category as well. I’ve been comparing several gyoza recipes over the past week and I think hers might just be the first one I try. Suddenly, I’m excited to go grocery shopping tonight! Does anyone else hate grocery shopping? I love cooking. I have no qualms about going to kitchen gadget stores. I absolutely adore farmers markets. But I hate trudging to the grocery store. I’m pretty sure this is due to the fact that I usually end up wandering aimlessly through the aisles, putting this and that in my cart on a whim. Sometimes I carry a list in with me, but even then I seem to be one of those unorganized shoppers. My summer goal is to start meal planning ahead of time. Hopefully, this will cut my shopping time in half while simultaneously increasing my love for the grocery store.

While we are on the topic of love interests, there’s someone I want you to meet…

This is Toby. Doesn’t he look so evil! Well, sometimes he is, but mostly he’s a very affectionate kitty. I”m sure we can find a more friendly portrait

Ah, here we go! Isn’t he a handsome little man? We took him to the vet yesterday for a bit of a checkup and he was the perfect gentleman

But eventually he just wanted to explore. We had to entice him to stay on the table with some treats. This is Toby considering his options

As you can see, Toby is no stranger to blogging. He started at a very young age. He was quite excited to share today’s feature…but not as excited as he’s going to be about a package that came in for him today! What could it be…

Whoa! It’s a kitty toilet training kit! Note: This was NOT my idea, and yet I have become utterly intrigued by this concept. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not Toby agrees to partake in this experiment. Cheers!

P.S. I’ve decided to add a crafts page to my blog, but haven’t figured out how to put posts in it yet. Thanks for your patience as I learn about this wonderful world of blogging!

Tijuana