Chicken N Dumplings

Main Dishes, Recipes, Slow Cooker | March 20, 2017 | By

All last week I had been hearing about this big snow storm that was headed our way. My town was supposed to get 10-16 inches, or so they said. Well once again I woke up to hardly any snow :(. I think we had maybe 4 inches. Not cool! I was ready for the big one. I went to the grocery store and hoarded toilet paper and milk, just like you are supposed to. I was even interviewed by a news crew at the store doing a story on people preparing. Which, by the way, I think is really silly. I don’t know about you, but I buy toilet paper every week, not just when it snows! With the lack of snow this Winter has given us, it was nice to have a day “stuck” inside, watching the snow fall. It wouldn’t feel like a snow day without a comforting meal going in the crockpot. That called for….Chicken N Dumplings.

I watch YouTube videos quite often, and one of the people I follow is Rachel Hollis. I came across her videos one day and have been a fan of hers ever since. Soon after I learned about her, she came out with a cookbook called “Upscale Downhome”. I just had to get it! My sister got it for me for a birthday present and I have been happily trying out many recipes. I haven’t been disappointed with one yet! One that I am totally in love with is the Chicken N Dumplings.

Since the slow cooker does all the work for this Chicken N Dumplings, it is the perfect comforting weeknight meal. The hardest thing you will have to do is pull apart a already cooked rotisserie chicken that you bought at the store. You don’t even have to sauté the vegetables first. Just throw everything in, turn it on low, set the timer for 6-8 hours, and you are good to go. Thirty minutes before serving, you drop your biscuit dough on top. The dough will puff up as it cooks, turning into the perfect vehicle to soak up all of that creamy goodness.

Another plus to making this is I get to use the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock! Yes!

When it’s all said and done, you won’t believe how thick and creamy this turns out. Crispy bacon on top really adds something special and chives bring some freshness.

I love recipes like this where I can toss all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and enjoy an amazing home cooked meal that night, with minimal effort. Thank you Rachel Hollis for this amazing recipe!

 

Chicken N Dumplings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced,
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsps. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp, dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crispy bacon, chopped
  • 3 tbls. chives, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the baking mix, milk, bacon, and chives in the bowl of your crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, combine the baking mix and milk in a large bowl. Drop the dough by the spoonful in the crockpot. Cook until the dough is cooked all the way through. This should take about 30 minutes. Serve with bacon and chives on top.

Notes

Source: Upscale Downhome by Rachel Hollis

I recommend cooking it on low for a longer amount of time. This really allows the flavors to marry and vegetables to get tender. But if you are in a hurry, you can the cook on high method.

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Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Main Dishes, Recipes | December 15, 2016 | By

Well that stinks. I just sat down to edit photos from a delicious breakfast casserole I made and for some reason they were all blurry. (I have been struggling with lighting now that it gets dark so early). I wanted to get that up on the blog but I will have to postpone it. That’s okay though because that means I will have to make it again soon, which means I get to eat it again soon! I guess I am fine with that ;). I am glad I have another recipe photographed and ready to go though! Say hello to Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya.

I saw Ina Garten make this on the Food Network a couple of years ago and I was immediately intrigued. It looked absolutely delicious. I whipped up a pot of this Jambalaya that evening and I have been making it ever since. This is such a comforting and impressive dish. 

It may look like this Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya calls for a lot of ingredients and that’s because well….it does. But don’t let that scare you! This dish needs love. Lots of love. There are meats that need to be browned in order to build flavor. The veggies need to soften and marry with the spices. The rice needs to simmer until it’s cooked and slightly sticky. The shrimp need to steam gently inside the rice. And the final seasonings need to be added at the end. But don’t run away! Don’t say you can’t do it! This Jambalaya is so flavorful and so completely worth all the effort that goes in it. I love to go in my kitchen (also known as my happy place), turn on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and cook me some Jambalaya! There is something very relaxing about it.

This is a great dish to entertain with because it makes a big ole pot. This may actually, literally, feed an army. Once my Dutch Oven is filled to the brim with colorful and flavorful Jambalaya, I pop it down in the middle of the table and everyone digs in. You can top it with fresh herbs, scallions, and more hot sauce if you like.

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Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Main Dishes, Recipes, Slow Cooker | November 29, 2016 | By

As I am sitting here watching my kids eat breakfast, I find myself in deep thought about their eating habits. They are 21 months old now and getting them to eat real food can be a struggle. They love any kind of fruit (Danny is currently eating his weight in pears) but I can’t say the same for vegetables. Danny went through a phase where he loved peas, but all of sudden, when they would arrive to his plate, he would act as if they were poisoned and throw them on the floor. What happened? They pretty much love anything with cheese: pizza, grilled cheese, quesadillas, etc. but my conscience will only let me make so much of that food for them. Getting them to eat any sort of meat seems to be the real battle. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt my feelings a little bit when they refuse to eat my perfectly cooked chicken thighs. Many nights I make the kids one meal and my husband and I another, which is not ideal. One meal that saves me from having to do that is Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples. Thank goodness for this easy meal that everyone loves!

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples could not be simpler to make. It starts with one and a half pounds of smoked sausage in the bottom of our trusty friend the crockpot. Then apples, red cabbage, and onions get layered on top. (Leave the ingredients layered and don’t stir.)

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Next, the ingredients that make the sauce go in: brown sugar, salt, pepper, and apple juice. Guess what! That’s it! How easy was that? Now you can go about your day and come back in 6-8 hours for a delicious dinner. 

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Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Main Dishes, Recipes | August 2, 2016 | By

Holy moly it’s hot outside! We have been flirting with 100 degrees for over a week now and it’s awful. If the humidity would go away I could stand it, but of course it doesn’t seem to be budging. Now, I know that some people live in much hotter places and probably think I am silly complaining about 100 degree weather but I am reeeaaaaally not made for it. I just want to stay inside where my friend the air conditioner keeps me cool and comfortable. Of course with twin toddlers I have to suck it up and go outside to run some energy off (there’s not mine). They don’t seem to mind the heat at all…I’m trying to be supportive 🙂 I have a pasta recipe that is refreshing, light, and is perfect for a summertime lunch or dinner after chasing the kids around outside….Artichoke Lemon Pasta.

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

I discovered this recipe last year and it quickly became a favorite of mine. I found it in Taste of Home Magazine and the first time I made it I was so excited about how beautiful and delicious it was. I set my husband’s plate down in front of him and he poked around at it for a minute, took a couple bites, then looked at me and said “There’s no meat in it?”. So maybe I should warn you before we begin…this pasta has no meat in it. Artichoke Lemon Pasta doesn’t need to be bothered with meat. Sure you could serve it alongside a pork tenderloin or a steak but I like to keep this pasta the star of the show.

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Yes its called Artichoke Lemon Pasta but asparagus should be included in the name because it plays a big role. Lots of asparagus stalks are one of the reasons I like it so much. The original recipe calls for you to blanch the asparagus but I would never…okay there was this one time I did but then I swore I would never again! You can blanch yours if you like it that way, I am not going to tell you what to do in your own kitchen, but I like to get some char on mine either by roasting it in the oven or pan frying it. I think it adds more depth of flavor. Then of course there is the artichoke which is another love of mine. Artichoke and lemon work so well together in this recipe. What wonderful flavors! 

For this recipe, I pan fry the artichokes, asparagus, and garlic before combining them with the pasta, lemon peel, lemon juice, goat cheese, and parsley. The goat cheese melts and creates a light and creamy sauce that coats the pasta just enough. I love that this pasta doesn’t weigh me down. Even after eating a big bowl of it I feel like I could go for a run…who am I kidding I’m not going to run…but if I wanted to I could.

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2in pieces
  • 4 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can (14oz) water packed, quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon peel
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tsp. of salt and add the bowtie pasta. Cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water and drain the rest from the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, the asparagus, and artichoke hearts. Sauté until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add this mixture to the pasta.
  3. To the pasta, add the goat cheese, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice, and the remaining salt and olive oil. Toss to combine, adding just enough of the reserved pasta water to create a sauce that coats the pasta. Heat through and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

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Artichoke and Lemon Pasta

Day 1: Fireside Tavern

We have finally made it to dinner on the first day of our Lancaster County Foodie Adventure. After leaving Corner Coffee Shop we drove around and saw some beautiful Amish country before heading to Fireside Tavern. It is so peaceful up there, I just can’t get enough. If you haven’t been to Lancaster County you really must make a trip.   

Lancaster View

Lancaster View

Lancaster View

Lancaster View

Fireside Tavern is another one of those places that my sister Laura has been raving about. She couldn’t stop talking about their amazing daiquiris, so of course I needed to try one for myself. This cozy tavern is located in Strasburg, PA amongst beautiful rolling farmland. They provide a casual dining experience serving delicious elevated American comfort food. I love that it is family friendly and I felt very welcome bringing the twins along.

Fireside Tavern

Once we were seated, Laura went right ahead and ordered her virgin Mango Daiquiri. I thought I might stray from the idea and go for a signature cocktail but I ended up choosing the Peach Daiquiri, with alcohol please :). Laura was right, best daiquiri ever. That whipped cream on top…I don’t know what they do to make it so thick and irresistible…but I could eat a whole glass, or a couple glasses, of that stuff. It’s not normal whipped cream. It is something special. Of course the daiquiri itself was good, all fizzy, refreshing, and filled with peach flavor. Yum!

Fireside Tavern

Fireside Tavern

Making a decision on an entrée was difficult. The menu had so many great dishes to offer like crab cakes, jambalaya, shepherds pie, ribs, and steaks. Eventually you do have to decide, so I picked the Apricot Salmon. I loved this dish! Salmon is by far my favorite fish and I get so excited when it is treated right and not overcooked. This salmon was crusted with Cajun seasoning and topped with an apricot glaze and fried “I think” spinach leaves. Served alongside were green beans and jasmine rice. The jasmine rice was sticky so it soaked up the apricot glaze and that paired with a big chunk of juicy perfectly cooked salmon is the ultimate bite. The Cajun seasoning and the apricot was a great sweet and spicy combination. 

Apricot Salmon.

My mom chose the Prime Rib Sandwich and first impression…wow what a beauty. This gigantic piece of prime rib has been rubbed in seasonings and grilled until blackened. It had a ton of flavor and went really well with the horseradish mayonnaise its served with. Onion rings came as the side and as you can see they were huge too. Overall this sandwich was well seasoned and it’s a great dish to order if you have a big appetite!

Blackened Prime Rib Sandwich.

Laura ordered the Smoked Salmon BLT Salad. Smoked salmon was served on top of a bed of mixed greens along with tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, and red onion. The dressing was a lemon dill ranch…oh my goodness was that dressing good. The salmon had tons of flavor (they really know how to cook salmon), the veggies were fresh, and coating it all in a delicious dressing couldn’t hurt.

Needless to say, we were all very happy with our dinners! We also loved our waitress who gave us great service. Thanks Fireside Tavern for a lovely dinner!

Smoked Salmon BLT Salad.

After leaving Fireside Tavern we headed to our home for the night. We stayed at Olde Stone Guesthouse which is a beautiful tranquil bed and breakfast in Atglen just a short drive from Strasburg. We were greeted by the inn keeper Florence who is so sweet and welcoming. She showed us to our rooms and we agreed on a time for breakfast the next morning. Good night everyone!

Old Stone Guesthouse

 

Olde Stone Guesthouse.

Fireside Tavern

1500 Historic Drive

Strasburg, PA 17579

http://www.dsfireside.com/