Thursday, January 31, 2013

Recipe For Crock Pot Chicken That Does Not Involve Cream of Anything Soup

Elizabeth asked me to post a recipe for the dinner we had last night, so here it is =)!

The original recipe is called "Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings". I can't remember where I got it...possibly the red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I will put the original recipe first, then I will tell you what I actually did =).

4-6 potatoes, cut up
2 carrots, cut up
14 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 lbs. chicken

In crock pot, mix potatoes and carrots. In a medium bowl, combine broth, flour, and spices and blend well until smooth. Pour over vegetables in crock pot. Add chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Cook on high for 20 minutes while preparing dumplings.

Dumplings
In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 1 Tbls. Baking Powder, 1 tsp. salt. cut in 2 Tbls. of butter until crumbly. Add 1 cup of milk. Mix just until combined. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot chicken mixture in crock pot. Cook on high for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a dumpling comes out clean.

I have made the recipe this way, and it was good! I remember being impressed that the dumplings would actually cook in the crock pot in 20 minutes.
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This is what I did for dinner yesterday:

2 cups of uncooked brown rice
7 red potatoes, washed and stabbed once with a knife
5 carrots, washed and cut in half
2 cans of chicken broth
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. onion powder
4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 lbs. chicken thighs (on sale for $0.50 per pound!!)

Put the rice in the bottom of the crock pot. In a medium bowl, mixed broth, flour, and spices and blended until smooth. Poured that mixture over the rice. Placed potatoes and carrots in a lovely artistic design on top of the rice. Placed chicken on top of vegetables. Sprinkled garlic salt and celery salt on top. Cooked on high for 5 hours. (Next time I will try cooking on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours.)

Results: It was delicious! However. I cooked it on high for 5 hours because of when I had made it home from grocery shopping and was able to get everything in the crock pot. While I was watching it cook, it looked like I had put in too much liquid, and when we sat down to eat, the rice wasn't quite done and the carrots were firmer than usual. (The potatoes were EXCELLENT! Perhaps they had such a delicious flavor because they were from a new crop?) I left the crock pot on for another hour and then let it sit for an hour after I turned it off, and when I checked on it, the rice was perfect because the extra liquid had cooked in to it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Example of a Crappy Day Package #16

It seems so strange to write a regular post, to find joy in anything after such intense sorrow, but life keeps happening whether we are ready or not. Beloved Friend would have liked this post because she loved books too, so it seemed like a good one to post tonight.
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A Lovely, Lovely Person* surprised me with this fun box months some time ago!

It is always nice to receive a surprise CDP, and the fun decorations cheered me up before I even opened it!


When I opened this mysterious package, I found:

A CDP built around a book!! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!

Just like the book, *squee*!


The inside of the box
Sparkly stars! I wanted to sprinkle the stars all over my room so I could fully enjoy them, but I didn't want them to get vacuumed up...so I'm still trying to think of something fun to do with them.

I liked everything in the box when I opened it, but I LOOOOOOVED everything once I had finished the book because it all went together so PERFECTLY! I enjoyed the book (but if you generally like the same books Jonna likes, you may not like this one ;-) ) and LOVED that this Lovely Person was able to execute this wonderful idea! Thank you again, Lovely Person!! You were right: this IS an excellent escape =).
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This box made me think how much fun it could be to do a book-themed CDP exchange...but then I wasn't sure how well that would work...what do you think? When you think of your favorite book, can you see any potential for a CDP built around it? It could be SO FUN or it could NOT WORK, but I don't have the brain capacity, at the moment, to figure it out, so speak up in the comments if you have an opinion!
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I will be keeping Crappy Day Present senders anonymous so that the sender doesn't have to worry that Person Q is going to see what they (the sender) sent me and possibly feel bad that their (Person Q's) package was not as fabulous as mine ;-). But if you don't worry as much as I do aren't worried about that, you are welcome to claim your package in the comments!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Say Goodbye

Ever since I found out that my Beloved Friend died, I have wished over and over again that I could have said goodbye to her and that she would have said goodbye to me.

It makes me think: why do we write a last will and testament, make arrangements for our children and possessions to be taken care of, but we don't say goodbye to the people who are the most important to us? We don't leave them with something to hold onto to bring them comfort...we don't leave an unmistakable "I loved you and you were important to me!"

I guess it's because we'd like to think that it will be a loooooong time before something like that would be needed and/or it's just another of the too-many-things we need to do.

I remember writing some goodbye letters when I was a teenager, just in case. Ironically, one of those was to my Beloved Friend. I'm going to update my goodbye letters. I do my best to let the important people in my life know that they are important to me, but do they really know? Have they believed me when I've told or tried to show them?

There are many some days when I feel like I spend the entire day correcting children's behavior and reminding people to do their chores. I rarely hear them say or see them do the kind, loving things they've heard me say or seen me do. I'm afraid that if I died, they wouldn't remember all of the times I told them I loved them, or took them on a special date, or gave them a fun surprise. I want to spell it out for them; I don't think it needs to be a long letter, but I want to make sure there is no question in their minds about how much I loved them.

Because I would give almost anything to be reminded by my friend that she loved me and knew how much I loved her.