laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Simply Comforting


I’ve seen a lot of other blogs recently featuring their favorite comfort foods. I even did a chicken noodle soup one. While this one isn’t so terribly different. It’s good enough that you’re going to want to try it. And for a limited time only, I will offer you two recipes for the price of one.

Bacon Chicken and Dumplings and how to make your own, homemade version of bisquick.

One of my favorite cooking companions. My sweet little Sous Chef!

Bacon Chicken and Dumplings (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

3 slices of bacon

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 onion, diced

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts diced*

3 cups chicken broth

1 tsp poultry seasoning

salt and pepper (to taste)

1 can whole kernel corn (drained and rinsed)

2 cups half-and-half**

1 1/2 cups biscuit mix

1 cup milk

*I used 4 because I wanted it extra chicken-y, and of course the eternal problem where hubbyman doesn’t like soup.

**I used whole milk (because that’s what I had).

***You could add in more vegetables. If I’d of thought about it, I would’ve at least added some of the carrots sitting in my fridge.

1. Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over med-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside; reserve bacon drippings in skillet. (I didn’t have any bacon thawed, but I thought it sounded so good. I did have some bacon drippings, so I did use that. But I will be using the bacon next time.)

2. Add potatoes, onion, and chicken to bacon drippings and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in chicken broth; season with poultry seasoning (here’s what my poultry seasoning has in it: marjoram, parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, onion powder, and savory), salt, and pepper. Stir in corn, and simmer everything together for about 15 minutes.  *

3. Pour in milk (or half-and-half) and bring to a boil; add crumbled bacon. In a med. bowl, combine biscuit mix with milk and mix well (dough should be thick). Drop tablespoon sizes of dough into boiling mixture; reduce head and simmer for 10 minutes (uncovered) and then another 10 (covered). Avoid stirring while it’s simmers, or the dumplings could break apart.

*It was during this time (the 15 min simmer) that I whipped up the homemade version of bisquick, so by the time the simmer was done, so was the mix.

(image credit: AllRecipes.com) I couldn't find my camera so I didn't get any pictures. But it looked and tasted wonderful!

Homemade Bisquick Mix

 6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted *

3 tbs baking powder

1 tbs salt

1/2 cup cold butter

*I used Tom Sawyer all-purpose gluten free flour (it’s my favorite) but I’m hoping to come up with my own blend

1. In a med. bowl, measure and sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a wire whisk to make sure it’s blended thoroughly.

2. With a pastry cutter (or something similar – I actually used a cheese grater to “grate” the butter), cut in butter until it’s fully incorporated.

3. Store in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 months.

You can use this in place of bisquick. We’ve made pancakes, snickerdoodles (My Aunt said she actully preferred my gluten free version!), and biscuits out of the mix. It’s fantastic. And, in my opinion, even better than the box. Also- it’s way cheaper. So there you have it folks!

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Simply Impressive


Yesterday, my hair dresser/brother-in-law came over to #1) Give hubbyman a haircut! (He’s in a wedding this weekend, and we’d like a little less shaggydoo for it) and #2) To have me make him a wonderful vegan meal! So I am made stuffed peppers! I found hundreds of recipes, so I did my usual (look hundreds of recipes over, decide I only like one ingredient from each recipe) and combined them all…

So, here is today’s version of stuffed peppers, which in my opinion ALWAYS look impressive- no matter what you’ve put into them. And the more you put into them, the more impressive they sound!

Take 3 large, red, sweet peppers (you can use any kind, I love the flavor of red and orange, personally), cut the top off and take seeds out.

You can cook this in a 5qt slow cooker (mine is too big!), so I just did them in a 2 1/2 qt dish. Basically you want it big enough that everything fits and you can still get a lid on, but small enough that they don’t move or slide around. So whatever size that may be for you (which will of course depend on how many peppers you make as well. I’d of made more, but we’re leaving for out of town tomorrow and worried they’d go bad… and then I found out they’re great to freeze, so now I wish I would have made a couple more!!). Anyways, put peppers in dish, and set aside.

1 cup cooked rice (or quinoa)

1/2 onion

1/2 yellow zucchini, sliced

1 1/2 cups spinach

1 cup mushrooms

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce (meatless)

1/2 cup of water

*While I had the rice cooking, I threw the spinach, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in some olive oil and sauteed. This next step you probably don’t have to do, but for consistency’s sake I threw it all in my food processor (just so it was more uniform, not to puree it).

Next mix rice, sauteed veggies, salt, pepper, and any other herbs you’d like to throw in (I threw in a pinch of oregano and basil) in a large bowl. This is what the kids had for dinner- it was so, so, so very yummy. I added in a pinch of cheese thinking it would need it, (don’t get me wrong, it was fantastic with it) but it was really good even without the cheese. Seriously, like it would be a terrific side in any meal, not just stuffed in peppers. So good. (Can you tell that I liked it, and was very impressed with my creation?)

Stuff rice mixture in the peppers. You don’t have to pack it in, but fill it. Next mix the water and spaghetti sauce, pouring half into the bottom of the dish and the rest over/in the peppers.I topped with quarters of the squash and threw some into the sauce in the bottom as well. For color and taste! I cooked covered at 375 for 30 minutes and then uncovered at 350 for 10 minutes.

So good! Hubbyman declared it the best began meal he’d ever had! If not making it vegan, I probably would have thrown cheese into the rice mixture. This would be a great option for a Meatless Monday meal! Have to have meat in it? I think it would go really well with a shredded chicken.

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