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cold weather, FINALLY!

A big ol' storm system is rolling in and bringing cold weather with it. Well, cold for us. That means hearty soups and pecan pie. (I've been itching to make a pecan pie. Side note: xochitl42? What's your email address? I tried sending you that thing and it came back a no-go.) Today is my old chicken-n-dumplings recipe with herbed dumplings. Yuuuuuuuum. I also have marshmallows for when the kiddos get home and want hot cocoa. \o/ (Hot chai for me.)

Recipes under the cut. Since I can't do a long walk today, I'm going to curl up in bed and finish reading "Look Me In The Eye" which I'm finding incredibly illuminating about people with Aspergers. Also, it's funny. Both older kids finished reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" so we watched the movie together last night, and it was lovely to hear them ask why on earth "the African-Americans had to sit upstairs and wait." It's heartening to realize that this new generation of kids just don't understand racism. At least, my kids don't. And "Scout, stand up. Your daddy's passin'" chokes me up every single time.

I voted yesterday, and didn't have to wait in a single line. They had plenty of machines and workers, which was nice. Incidentally, I would encourage as many of you as possible to VOTE EARLY, regardless of your affiliation. It gives more time to count and tally, more time to find errors, and reduces the chance of a Bush v. Gore situation. My nails are going to be chewed down to the quick my Nov. 4.



Chicken And Herbed Dumplings (my absolute most favorite "comfort" soup that's not bad for you. Much.)
1 1/2 TBSP butter
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if you don't care about fat, use thigh meat)
1 C chopped onion (I just use one medium onion)
1 C chopped celery (I use three big ribs)
2 cloves garlic minced
3 TBSP flour
3/4 qt. chicken broth (I add more - just enough to cover with an inch to spare, which is 2 32 oz. containers - I like it as a soup, not a plated dish)
cracked pepper to taste
fresh rosemary to taste (a sprig), chopped
1 or 2 bay leaves (I only use 1)
3 TBSP parley, chopped
1 1/2 C flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp butter, cut in pieces
1 small egg, beaten
another sprig of rosemary, chopped
1/2 C skim milk

Heat the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat and brown the chicken breasts. Remove the chicken and saute the onion, celery, and garlic for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and mix well. Add the broth, sugar, pepper, rosemary, bay leaves, and parsley; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Chop the chicken roughly. Return the chicken breasts to the pot and spoon the sauce over them. (or add extra broth as I do) Cover and bake in a 350F oven 30 minutes. (I leave on stop stop and simmer for this amount of time because again, I like it as a soup)

Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cut in the butter until well blended. Combine the egg, rosemary, and milk, and add all at once to the dry mixture; blend quickly with a fork, just enough to moisten. Remove the pan from the oven (If you've done that instead of leaving on stove top) Remove the bay leaves. Bring to a boil on top of the stove. Shape dough with your hands into dumplings and drop one by one into boiling stew. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Then om nom nom. (You can leave this on low heat for up to an hour before eating, incidentally. Great to make while doing laundry, etc.)

Other herb combos: parsley, tarragon, and green onions. I just have loads of rosemary, so I use that exclusively. Plus, chicken + rosemary = MY FAVE.

A cheater method if you're pressed for time: use package buttermilk biscuits, cut into pieces, roll the pieces in cracked pepper and rosemary, and drop one by one into the boiling mix. Homemade dumplings are just too good to not try, though.

This seems labor intensive, but it's really just adding things in stages. This is another recipe I'm going to try, I'll report back if it's any good. It looks very similar, with a difference of olive oil , thyme, and buttermilk over skim milk.



Chipotle Shrimp Cups - Appetizer
36 won ton wrappers
Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese<
1 cup chopped cooked shrimp<
1 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 cup  bottled chipotle salsa
1/2  cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 350.

Fit 1 wonton wrapper into each of 36 mini muffin cups coated with cooking spray, pressing the wrappers into sides of cup. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Keep wontons in muffin cups.

Combine cheese and remaining ingredients, and spoon about 1 TBSP filling into each wonton cup. Ake at 350 for 6 minutes, or until cheese melts. Remove from cups and serve immediately. (note: you can do the first two steps the day before, then heat in oven for 6 - 10 minutes before serving. Nice!)

Less than 100 calories per 2 cups, so that's sweet, too.


Salt and Pepper Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

(note: these are WONDERFUL with champagne, or a Pinot Grigio. Also, use an aged cheddar, aged white cheddar if you can find it. You can make these a month ahead, freeze, and reheat at 375, uncovered, until crisp, about 5 minutes.)

1/2 C butter, cut into chunks (1 stick)
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
6 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/4 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp fresh-ground pepper
Coarse sea salt (or Kosher)

1. In a 3 -4 qt. pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 C water and the butter to a full rolling boil. Remove from heat, and flour all at once, and stir until mixture is a smooth, thick paste with no lumps. Add a quarter of the beaten eggs at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until dough is no longer slippery. Stir in cheese and pepper.

2. Spoon dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a plain 1/2 inch round tip (note: I use my cookie scoop.) Pipe in 48 equal mounds on two cooking parchment-lined or buttered 12x15 baking sheets. Sprinkle each mound with a few grains of coarse sea salt.

3. Bake in a 400 degree oven until dry and browned, about 30 minutes. Serve warm. (Each puff is 53 calories with 3.6 grams of fat, but 2 grams of protein!)

I need a cold weather food icon...

Comments

( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
tricksterquinn
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)
Omg chicken and dumplings. Thank you so much for the recipe!

I would totally vote ahead if I could, but my state doesn't have early voting, and I decided against absentee this time. But seriously good for you! I'm really excited by how many people are voting early - it seriously changes the dynamics of these last two weeks.
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
It's one of my all time faves. Mmmmmmm, soup.

Oh, no! I love the early voting process, I wish all states did it! I hearing bad things about absentee votes getting "lost" or not counting at all, so I def. agree with you on getting there and physically pulling the lever. (Or touching the screen, punching the hole, blowing the candle... *G*)
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moosesal
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, chicken and dumplings. Thank you. I've been wanting a recipe, but wanted one that was tested and appreciated by someone I know. My mom used to make them when I was little and now she says she doesn't remember that. There's a reason we call her Bonnie Reagan. *sigh*

I'm hoping to get to the courthouse to vote tomorrow. We'll see. I've got to read through all the damn amendments on our ballot first so I can get in and out quickly. If I don't go tomorrow, I'll definitely vote on Friday. I love going on election day but our ballot this year is insane. Add in the presidential thing and it'll be nuts even in my tiny (population-wise) district.
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
My bio-mom's recipe was so bland. This is one I stumbled on a few years ago, and the herbs in the dumplings make it fantastic. (Another version I've done: make everything as is, but roll the dumplings in a little corn meal before dunking them in. Makes it soooo thick and nummy. Extra calories, but hey.)

There's been a lot of talk about Colorado voters' names being purged from the list, so going early is DEF. a good idea - it gives you time to solve any issues, should any arise.
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wolfshark
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Chicken and dumplings looks *so* good - maybe i'll make it this weekend!
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. Cold weather + chicken-n-dumplings?? You can't go wrong! :D
entrenous88
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Cheese puffs are always so nummy! And cold weather, not so bad if you get stews out of it (though I'm hoping for you the wind factor is low).
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
I loooooooove cheese puffs. What's not to love? Cheese + pastry = DELICIOUS. Mmmm, like sharp cheddar (or asiago) cheese straws! OM NOM NOM.

I'm scared to find out about the wind factor... I have NO wind-protective pants for walking. I may need to scoot out and pick some up, in case the weather stays cold and breezy... <3

Off topic, but your icon makes me so happy every time I see it. Rosy-cheeked kiddo + cat? <3
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undersea
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
I'm planning on waiting until November 4th to vote, just because it's the first election I've been eligible to vote in and I feel like it's more exciting that way (man, does that sound lame). But then again, I live in Palm Beach and it's pretty obvious that we have some issues so maybe I should go early. XD


Also, I've been feeling pretty experimental with cooking lately (that is, not eating only frozen foods *facepalm*) so I'm going to start abusing your "recipes" tag soon. I'm excited to see what it holds in store. :D
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Florida. I can't stress enough how important it is to vote early there. Both sides are agreeing on that one. But I get it - I remember my first official vote and how cool I felt being a part of the crowd. And this vote?? This one is historic! (But um... maybe consider voting early.)

Oh, good for you! I hope you find stuff you can use. I don't like overly fussy recipes, so hopefully there will be things you can work with. :)

And hahahahahaa to your Spaghetti Cat icon. Hee!
brunettepet
Oct. 22nd, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I love stew weather! Chicken and dumplings sounds like a fabulous meal for the weekend. We're working on a Chengdu braised pork and daikon (with sichuan peppercorn) for the next couple of days. Mmm, spicy and satisfying.

I'm walking up to the library to vote this afternoon. I don't think I've ever been this nervous about an election...
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Mmmmmm, stew. Tomorrow is Beef Randang, and I'm excited about this week's eating potential. :D And feel free to share that Chengdu braised pork recipe, om nom nom!!!

Oh my god, I'm on pins and needles. I got choked up walking out of the voting booth, I won't lie.
copykween
Oct. 22nd, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
It's rather chilly here, too. Plus the wind is howling, so it feels even colder. On the bright side, bring on the fall colors!

I voted Monday and there was only ONE other person there. So awesome. I love early voting. :)

All three of those recipes look REALLY good. I might try the Chicken & Dumplings this weekend, if it stays chilly. Or some spicy Mexican. Mmm. OMG am I hungry LOL
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
YAY for fall colors/weather! It makes me very happy in a "batten down the hatches" way.

Wow, that's awesome! In some places, people are waiting in long lines for early voting which is cool, but I do early voting so I *don't* have to wait. :D

I am SO HUNGRY. My breakfast smoothie is not cutting it... I would like to dine on your icon, thanks. Mmmm, tamales!
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drusplace
Oct. 22nd, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any warmer, Toronto got snow last night. :-(
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
*bundles you up!*

I know everyone boggles at how hot Texas gets, but I wouldn't trade those harsh winters for anything. Brrrr!!!
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stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, how I love cheese puffs. Poor N - I'm so sorry about his tum. I can't imagine how frustrated he must feel at the dietary restrictions. It's hard when you're little to know that in the long run, it's for the best. (And poor mom, too.)

If there's any way I can help contribute to your recipe file, let me know. My s-mom has lots of gluten-free recipes, I'll hunt for yummy ones that are dairy and red-meat free, too.

Anne, I wish I could hug you today.
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windstar
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Those chipotle shrimp cups sound divine! Now if only, when I get home tonight, this little system hasn't blown the fence down...I might be able to make them! I have everything but the wonton wrappers in the house.
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Whooo, that wind is whipping us up good here in the 'burbs, too!

Don't those look so good?? My mouth watered when I saw the picture in my Cooking Light magazine. YUM.
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kseenaa
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Lovely lovely food recipies from you as always. :-) Thanx!
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
You bet! Mmm, I love food and cooking!

Your icon is fantastic!
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ethrosdemon
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
This is also my very favorite comfort food. Hands down. I still lament that I will never again eat my great aunts and great grandmother's versions because the flavor was all in the brand of flour the dumplings were made of and the water they used and I no longer live at home and the flour was a regional variant that no longer exists.

I make flat dumplings and roll them out, like very thick noodles. This is a regional thing.
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Man, I know just what you mean about those regional foods. Any bread my aunt makes is so fantastic, due to her milling her own wheat. I DREAM of that, because I am a huge food nerd.

YUM! I do that sometimes with the rolling? But I roll them out on a board floured with Parmesan cheese. Holy shit, I need some food right now.
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soulwhispers
Oct. 22nd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
*is jealous of yummy food*

Someone tell me why Florida has to be in the 80s still?
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
N. FL should be getting some of my weather in a day or so?

Then again, if you're like me, I'm pleased to know that my feet won't freeze off because of the negative a million degree temps outside. SO we have that working for us. :D
ruthless1
Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
I just made chicken soup with matza balls and it was GRAND. I used/overused rosemary as my spice and daaaayam - it was tasty. I have to get some cheesecloth though - picking fresh rosemary out of my teeth wasn't very much fun at all!
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)
hahahaha, i forgot to chop my rosemary fine when I made a sweet potato dish this weekend, and that was our night, too. *pick pick pick*

My house is filled with delicious smells and it's making me tres happy
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one other question about the chicken - ruthless1 - Oct. 22nd, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
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kben
Oct. 22nd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Look Me in the Eye is so totally sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it. I actually picked it up TODAY and said to myself, "Self, you need to read this one next."
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
I completely agree with your self! It's really fun and interesting, fo sho.
wicked_charie
Oct. 22nd, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
Here in NY - beef stew is the cold weather dish of choice. My mother taught me a good recipe. But we really want the cold weather to hold off another 8 days. In fact, we are hoping it will warm up. Nothing sucks more than a cold day for Halloween when you have to go trick or treating in heavy coats that cover those great costumes. The past few years, it has been warm enough to forgo coats for Halloween and I have a blast with all the kids who knock on the door in great costumes. We used to BEG our mother not to make us wear coats for Halloween. But then, back in those days you didn't go off to Costco and get a 40 dollar Disney costume. You made your own! Torn up bedsheets and fake blood and all kinds of great ghoulish stuff. One year my brother and I switched roles and went as Bonnie and Clyde. He wore one of my outfits and even wore heels. He made it as far as our Aunt Mary's house before begging her for a pair of Uncle Frank's bedroom slippers. Guys are such wusses when it comes to heels. So we are hoping for a warm spell here for the kids. Then it can get as cold as it wants to get. Nothing like walking up and down the streets of NY looking at the Christmas windows and going for a carriage ride in Central Park all bundled up under blankets. Winter in NY is great. But it's too soon!!!
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
We very rarely have to wear coats over costumes here. Um, unless you're going as a nudist or flasher, which, yeah. you're gonna need a coat. :)

I love that our real winter doesn't come until mid-January. Then by the end of February, it's starting to warm up.
dovil
Oct. 22nd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I'm going out today to put in an early vote as well, if only it wasn't in another country. :) But hey, all the news coming out is looking good for the Obama camp so I'm thinking your optismism wasn't for nothing. Hurrah I say!

All the polls point to NZ voting in our version of George Bush. Can you be invading us now please? *sigh*
stoney321
Oct. 22nd, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I hope your fellow countrymen don't screw you over like mine did for EIGHT YEARS. I hope it's over, and I hope you get a GOOD leader over there, too.
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darkhavens
Oct. 23rd, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Thank you for the chicken and dumplings recipe. It's getting cold now over here and I need comfort food. *g*

In other news... I had to create a new tag at my comm slashthedrabble just now, and it made me think of you. *g*
stoney321
Oct. 23rd, 2008 11:49 am (UTC)
!!!!! YAY!!

I don't know if you've ever been to sausagefestival but it's a Metalocalypse slash comm. Um, I'll be frank: the vast majority isn't very good. But what it lacks in quality it makes up for in quantity? :)

I'm so glad you linked me! lml -_- lml

Edited at 2008-10-23 11:50 am (UTC)
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stoney321
Oct. 23rd, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
I am! Ooooh, it was so lovely and chilly this morning! I wore long sleeves to work out, yay!

You bet - mmm, we had them last night and my mouth was most pleased. :)
( 62 comments — Leave a comment )

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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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