Tag Archives: supper

Chicken and Dumplings and Aunt Mary

As children, my brothers and I stayed with my Great Aunt Mary during the summer and after school while my mom worked long hours at a local law firm.

Summers were so much longer back then and there was always so much to do.  Never a boring moment.  Aunt Mary would keep us busy, either by helping her or by letting us do a craft.  We made beautiful flowers out of colorful layers of toilet tissue (you could buy pale pink and baby blue toilet paper back then :)), colored on paper towels or paper plates, or made small trash cans using egg cartons, yarn, and a tin pie pan.

Sometimes we even sat out on the swing and guessed what color the next car would be.  We couldn’t do that today; too many cars fly up and down that road now.

On beautiful warm days, we played outside.  We might even help Aunt Mary hang the freshly washed laundry out on the line or maybe work in her garden.  Oh, how I remember the goodness that came from that little vegetable garden out in the back yard behind the chicken coop and shed.

Fresh green beans with baby whole new potatoes fried up in an iron skillet and seasoned with bacon grease.  Ripe, red tomatoes, peeled because Aunt Mary couldn’t chew the peeling, and cut into thick slices.  Slimey boiled okra, fried summer squash, green onions, purple hull peas, and in the fall,  roasted sweet potatoes.

That woman had a green thumb and was always working at canning fresh snapped green beans and red tomato relish.

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Lunch was her main meal of the day and in the evenings she usually had a few leftovers or some cornbread and gravy and sat at the table writing in her journal as the evening grew darker.

I remember as a child loving my Aunt Mary’s Chicken & Dumplings.  It was always a treat when we had Chicken & Dumplings.   Thanks for the memories, Aunt Mary.  You will forever live on in our hearts and minds.

Learn more about my Great Aunt Mary.

This is not her exact recipe, but very similar.

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This just happens to be my daughters’ favorite dish.  Rarely ever do I have any leftovers.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 (3 pound) whole chicken

salt and pepper to taste

3 cups water

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

Directions:

In a heavy pot with a lid, or a crock pot,  place the chicken, salt, pepper and water.   Simmer all over low heat until tender, about 1 hour, or if using a crock pot, cook on low until done, maybe 3-4 hours.  (My crock pot low is like medium, it’s pretty hot)

Let chicken cool slightly in pot, then remove and take the meat off of the bones. Discard the bones and skin and skim excess fat off the broth if desired. Return broth and chicken pieces to the pot. Simmer over low heat while making the dumplings.

To Make Dumplings: In a medium mixing bowl, cut shortening into the flour and salt. Stir in 1/4 cup water (more if needed) to form a soft dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface, with a rolling-pin, until thin. Cut into 1 inch wide strips using a pizza cutter or knife. Tear off 1 -2  inch long pieces from these strips and drop into simmering broth.  Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on.  Serve immediately.

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On this cold winter day, I’m partying over at

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Simple Suppers

Sometimes some of the best suppers come from the hands of friends and family.

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Fried Pork Tenderloin, fresh from the H Farms in Kentucky and courtesy of my dear sister-in-law, Dorothy.  We never leave Dorothy’s without a cooler packed with meat and jars of home-canned greenbeans and vegetable soup. 

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Longing for simplicity and lacking in time, I decided to fry the fresh pork tenderloin for supper.  It’s supper in the South, you know.  Dinner is at noon.  😀

The tomatoes are from my father’s garden.  He delivered those to me at work, along with a large bag of sweet bell peppers.  I will slice and freeze most of those for future use. 

To complete the simple meal, I threw together some drop biscuits using a pre-made baking mix.  My girls seem to think that drop biscuits are a gourmet treat.   Gone are the days of actually rolling the dough.  Those are just plain biscuits!  Whatever they want to think.  Drop biscuits are so easy, I don’t think I’ll explain the difference to them just yet.

Grilled Burgers and Spicy Fries

My Grillmaster lights the grill once again! 

It was a weeknight and I was wanting a simple supper, something that didn’t involve messing up a bunch of mixing bowls, pots and pans, and dinner plates.  I didn’t feel like the clean-up. 

So I picked up some burgers, already pre-formed!  I was looking for easy, too.   I glanced at the prices of the french fries in the freezer section and remembered the half bag of whole potatoes I had at home just waiting to be turned into delicious homemade fries.

As I went through my mental list at the grocery, I picked up some buns, a Vidalia onion, some iceburg lettuce (I know), and some hamburger sliced dill pickles, our favorite. 

When we arrived home, my Grillmaster set about preparing the grill…charcoal only for him.   I prepared the condiments for the burgers and my youngest daughter scrubbed and helped slice the potatoes for the fries.

What a meal!  I took my mom (who is fighting cancer, on a bunch of meds, and nothing tastes good) a burger.  She ate half of it and declared it was the tenderest grilled burger she’d ever had.

burger

I know the cheese is not melted.  Poor fellow, I forgot to give it to him and it never entered his mind to put some cheese on the burgers those last few seconds on the grill.  So when he brought them in, I took a few of the hottest ones and threw some cheese on them.  

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TIP: When we light the grill, we usually do enough meat and veggies for more than one meal.  This night we grilled a huge pack of barbequed chicken legs and some deer tenderloin wrapped with bacon to have another time.  Leftover grilled goodies make for a quick and easy lunch!

Chicken Broccoli Fettucine Alfredo

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What else to do on a cold snowy Sunday than cook?!

My oldest daughter loves “white” sauce on her pasta.  She loves to go to CiCi’s Pizza, not for the pizza but for the pasta and Alfredo Sauce.  She loves this dish, without the broccoli, of course.

Chicken Broccoli Fettucine Alfredo (Low Carb)

4-6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, stewed & cut into small pieces
1 small package frozen broccoli, steamed until tender
1/2  lb fettucine pasta, boiled, drained (I used Dreamfields linguine)
Alfredo sauce (see recipe below)

In a large pan on medium-high heat, stew the chicken thighs until done, 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove from pan to cool. Add fettucine to broth and cook until done, about 12 minutes.  In the meantime, chop the chicken into bite size pieces.  Using a colander, strain pasta.

Mix together the chicken, steamed  broccoli, fettucine pasta, and the Alfredo Sauce.  Spoon into beautiful pasta dish and top with grated Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Alfredo Sauce

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground white pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg

Place butter and cream in large skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook and stir until butter melts and mixture bubbles; cook and stir two minutes more. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in cheese until thoroughly blended and smooth. Return briefly to low heat to completely blend cheese, stirring constantly.  Sauce recipe makes four servings; 1.9 grams of carbohydrate per serving.

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COOK’S NOTE: You can also serve this dish without the pasta.  Cauliflower “rice” would be tasty as a pasta substitute.

DISCLAIMER: If you purchase from the links in this post you are helping support Heart of a Country Home at no extra charge to yourself.  Thanks for your kindness!

Vegetable Beef Soup with Southern Cornbread

soup

This soup began as a Pot Roast with baby carrots and baby whole potatoes

baked in the oven for 6 hours at 275º.  That wasn’t long enough or the temp wasn’t high enough.  It was supposed to cooked in the crockpot while I was at work until I discovered my crockpot was missing in action and left at the church after the last dinner.

My cupboard was nearly bare of soup ingredients except for the 2 home-canned jars of mixed veggies sent back home with us from a trip to Aunt D’s house in Kentucky. I also had a small can of tomato sauce, but no diced or whole tomatoes which I normally use in soup.

The soup turned out to be the best I’ve made in a while… it was delicious!  Very hearty and full of flavor.   Only from memory, since I didn’t write anything down; it goes something like this…

Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

Small portion of leftover pot roast
Whole new potatoes, from leftover roast
Onions, from leftover roast
2 cans mixed veggies
1 small tomato sauce
2 bouillon cubes
2-3 Tbs Flour or cornstarch for thickening
1-2 cups of water

Put all in a large pot or dutch oven and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes and until broth is thickened.  Serve with cornbread, breadsticks, or saltines.

Pacify your kids when they come asking for more, by informing them that soup’s all gone but homemade Pecan Pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream is coming up!