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
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...