Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Cure for a Blustery Day...

Well, Mother Nature has definitely grabbed Texas by the... hairs of our chinny chin chin.

There's only one thing to do at times like this;  Batten down the hatches and find a reason to pump that stove up! Lol

Here's our particular brand of a cure today: chicken and dumplings, biscuit style.

We're starting with two Rotisserie Chickens from our local market, partially used in two previous meals... So not enough meat for another meal by themselves, but as a good base for stock, or broth... Perfect!

De bone your chickens and throw all the juices, bones, skin in a big pot with water half way up, or to at least cover the chicken in the pot.

Put it on medium so it can simmer for awhile, like a couple hours, stirring occasionally.  or medium high if you're in a hurry, and watch it more carefully, stirring as needed so the bottom pieces don't burn.

Set aside your meat from the chicken you had left, cover and place in the fridge for later use....

A few hours later....

We let our stock cool a bit on the stove before straining the liquid through a colander so we don't have any bones in our chicken and dumplings.

Then we return it to the stove on medium again, and add any vegetables  We want.  Today we added what we had in our fridge.  Some carrots, scallions, and green beans.  We also added a little minced garlic for flavor.
In about 20 minutes, after veggies have cooked a bit, we'll thicken the broth a little and then add our dumplings to cook.

We'll be back later with the continuing steps in our cook off the chill Sunday...

And to the end...

We added two tablespoons of flour mixed with about a cup of water to our broth to thicken it a little before adding our dumplings.
To make my dumplings, I took a basic biscuit recipe out of my cookbook, and added a 1/4 cup of milk to make the dough wetter.

I dropped the biscuits in, and am cooking them at a simmering boil with the lid on the pot, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes depending on size, and turning then gently as they float to the top, occasionally, looking at them to see there size growing as they "fluff: up.

The real test, of course, is trying one out.

Monday, March 26, 2012

For love of Jam: FINALE!

Oh La!!  A row of Sweet Goodness!

For love of Jam

Just 10 minutes ago.  Just at the point to be jarred, or "canned"  Blackberry Pear; made to order.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finale to Today's First Batch!

And the finished product!  Nummie!

Into the hot bath again!

Jamming into 2012 Spring

Sugar gives it that shiney sweet color everyone is used to.  Foam, is skimmed off the top.

Someone always starts cackling at this stage over the canning "cauldron".

Jamming Into 2012 Spring

Jam is brought to boil twice.  Once  with the fruit and pectin, and then after adding sugar.  Near the end of both stages, stirring is important.

Well, 2012 roared in with lots of distractions, but we're back online!
Today, we thought it would be fun to let you follow us as we make a fresh batch of particularly good Simply Strawberry jam.
Num num!!

Early morning jamming:  Morning time, when it's usually coolest in most places, while other are sleeping in, is the best time to sneak into the kitchen.  Quietly.....

Chunky style

Clean and ready to go in the water bath to sterilize before 'canning".