Grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings

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Grandma took the boys and I to the Georgia Aquarium this summer while Kris and Carter were at diabetes camp. We had a blast!

I learned a valuable lesson early in marriage: when your husband tells you his mom has the best version of his favorite dish, don’t try to outdo her! One night when we were newlyweds, I decided to surprise Kris with his favorite meal, chicken and dumplings, except I made a grave error in my execution. I didn’t call my mother-in-law to find out how to make her chicken and dumplings.

Instead, I relied upon a random internet recipe complete with peas and carrots (a BIG no, no in his book) and I made it in the crockpot. It was a disaster. It tasted like soupy chicken pot pie. He was sweet about it and ate his entire bowl, but I could tell it didn’t come close to measuring up.

I am proud to say that I didn’t make the same mistake twice. Since that disastrous first attempt, I have made his mother’s recipe countless times. And every time she comes to town to help out with the boys, I put her Chicken and Dumplings on the menu. The recipe is super easy, which means that she must throw in a little bit of love to make it so delicious. I know you will love it, too!

INGREDIENTS
Whole Chicken
3-4 Cups Water
1 Bouillon Cubes (or Better than Bouillon Base)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 gallon whole milk
2 cans biscuits (your preferred brand)
Your favorite herbs (we like a poultry blend)

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Place the chicken, salt, pepper, bouillon and herbs in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat such that the water is at a gentle boil. Cook until the chicken is falling off of the bone. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour for a 3-4 pound chicken.
2. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Shred your chicken and discard the skin and bones. Add the shredded chicken and broth back to the pot.
3. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Tear the biscuits into 1-inch pieces and add them to the pot. Continue to cook until the dumplings are cooked through (no longer stretchy).

ADD THIS TO THE GROCERY LIST
Whole Chicken
Milk
2 cans of biscuits
Check your kitchen staples

PREP-WORK TO DO AHEAD OF TIME
The chicken can be made and shredded early and kept in the refrigerator.

Weekly Meal Plan: Sept 19-25

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On Thursday night, I got home after 10pm. The boys were sleeping in my bed, so I snuggled up and tried to savor the moment!

My first full month of being on the wards has been eye-opening. I ain’t in Kansas (aka med school) anymore! By the time I finish this rotation next week, I will have worked 40 of the past 46 days.  And as I mentioned a few weeks ago, there is no way that we could manage this without the help of our amazing family.

The unrelenting schedule has caused me to evaluate and prioritize, and the blog didn’t make the list last week. I’ll try to catch up with some recipes this week because I’ve got a few of my childhood favorites that I need to share!

Also, this is a big week for our family with the Tracks4Max 5K on Saturday! We’d love your support as we continue to raise money for an alert dog for our son, Carter!.

MONDAY
Pippy’s Pot Roast (recipe to come)
English Peas

TUESDAY
Baked Potato Soup (recipe post to come)

WEDNESDAY
Crockpot BBQ Beef
Baked Sweet Potatoes

THURSDAY
Meatloaf (recipe to come)
Mashed Potatoes (recipe to come)
Green Beans

FRIDAY
Burgers
Baked Beans
Fruit

SATURDAY
Dinner out for the T4M 5K

SUNDAY
Grilled Pork Chops
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Simple Green Salad

Weekly Meal Plan: September 5-11

I put up this post on my personal facebook yesterday:

I am still blown away at the blessing of my family. We know that we have true gems in our supportive parents and siblings. And the words above don’t even begin to capture the generosity and sacrifice that they have given to us. My parents got in late last night, and I came home from work today to clean dishes, napping babies, a freshly cut lawn, and folded laundry. I could not ask for more. This is how we do what we do.

Since my mom is here, I am going to let beg her to make one of my childhood favorites for dinner tomorrow night. Tuna Casserole should be a part of every kid’s upbringing, and my mom’s is delicious. And of course, we are all enjoying a big pot of PipPop’s grits!

Also, last week we did A LOT of punting. And by a lot I mean 4 out of 7 nights, we punted. But I’m thankful that we had what we needed when we threw the meal plan out the window. Plus, that made this week’s meal plan easy to throw together!

MONDAY
Pippy’s Tuna Casserole (recipe to come)
Green Beans

TUESDAY
Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
Salad

WEDNESDAY
Knock-off Broughton Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

THURSDAY
Avocado BLT
Corn on the Cob

FRIDAY
Grilled Salmon Salad

SATURDAY
Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
Smashed Avocado

SUNDAY
Grilled Chicken
Spaghetti Squash
Brocolli

Weekly Meal Plan: August 29-September 4

My handsome oldest son– the one who loves Chicken Fettucine— is actually my bonus son. I don’t like the term stepson because of all of the baggage that can come with it. He truly is a bonus in every way. I tell him that his brothers grew in my belly and he grew in my heart. But let me be clear about something: there is no way on planet earth that I would enjoy a great relationship with him if not for his mom, Stacy. She trusts and believes in me, and even more importantly, she befriends me. She sees me as an extension of herself when Carter is with us, and that is a gift for which I cannot express adequate gratitude.

Here’s my soap box for this week: to any blended families, one of the greatest gifts that biological and step parents can give to their children is allowing God to redeem the past and shape your future. I was very fortunate to enter a situation where peace had already been made and an amicable relationship already existed. That made things exponentially easier for me. But Stacy continues to support and encourage me. She makes me feel like a partner, not an understudy. Stacy… thanks, you rock!

Stacy has recently taken her mom-awesomeness to a new level with school lunches! So of course, I have to give her a shoutout and acknowledge her for inspiring one of my meals this week. Carter has Type I Diabetes, and he has that pre-teen boy ravenous appetite, so packing his school lunches presents 3 key challenges:

  1. Making it healthy
  2. Making it filling
  3. Making it yummy

Stacy solved the dilemma by getting a Bento Box and providing Carter with a variety of awesome stuff for his lunch. Plus, the organization is amazing. Check this out…

Doesn’t that look fabulous? Those are ham mac n’cheese muffins in the big picture on the right. Aren’t you jealous?! Also, I love that his vitamin water matches his lunch box!

I was inspired by her creativity to add a meal to the plan for Monday that is versatile enough to use in Carter’s lunch. Added bonus: it meets all of the above criteria. And for busy moms, it’s great because dinner one night can be stored and re-used at lunch. I’m sure you’ll see more Stace-spiration in future posts!

MONDAY
Turkey Muffins
Rice
Green Beans

TUESDAY
Breakfast Sandwiches
Fruit

WEDNESDAY
Knock-off Broughton Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

THURSDAY
Avocado BLT
Corn on the Cob

FRIDAY
Spaghetti
Salad

SATURDAY
Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
Smashed Avocado

SUNDAY
Grilled Salmon Salad

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette Dressing

 

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I’d love to serve my salad dressings from a fancy bottle like this! Oh well… I guess a mason jar will have to do!

This versatile, simple, delicious, healthy dressing is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of salads, including the Broughton Cobb or a Simple Green Salad. But it has other uses, too! Dunk some carrots or cucumbers in it for a healthy snack. Marinate some chicken, fish, or pork in it for a great grilled dinner. It can even be tossed in some brown rice or quinoa to add a little personality to a side item!

The dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. This recipe is for 1 cup of dressing.

INGREDIENTS
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of 2-3 limes (enough to make 1/4 cup)
1/4 c Orange Juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic (more or less according to your taste)

INSTRUCTIONS
Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and well-incorporated.

ADD THIS TO THE GROCERY LIST
Cilantro
Orange Juice
Garlic
Check your Kitchen Staples

 

 

Knock-off Broughton Cobb Salad

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How gorgeous is this salad?!

One of my favorite lunch spots in Savannah is Kayak Kafe. Our city is not short on fantastic local restaurants, and I consider kayak kafe one of the best. In the past year, they opened a midtown location that is walking distance from the hospital. It has become my go-to restaurant for a lunch date. Their menu is simple, and you cannot go wrong with anything. A few of my top choices are the Southwestern Wild Shrimp Tacos, Lime Chicken & Goat Cheese Enchiladas, and the Roasted Pork Burrito. However, my friend, Kim, of Turning North, introduced me to an item that became my new favorite.

We were both completing our Whole30, and this item was prepared for us to be fully compliant with the program restrictions. And let me tell you, the Broughton Cobb Salad with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette Dressing was anything but “restrictive.” Check the above picture out… how could that mound of flavor make you feel remotely deprived?! It’s named for a well-known street in Savannah’s historic downtown district home to the flagship location of the restaurant. The mountainous salad is presented beautifully, and though it looks impossible to finish, I somehow always manage to clean my plate.

The salad is filling and loaded with healthy ingredients, and the dressing is out of this world. I have adapted the recipe to make at home with good success. It’s perfect for a quick, weeknight throw together dinner. It’s also a great way to re-purpose leftovers from other meals. I try to throw it in my meal plan at the end of the week when I know I’m grilling chicken and cooking bacon.

Here’s the knock-off Broughton Cobb Salad:

Note: the recipe below is enough to make 2 large salads (like dinner plate large). Adjust accordingly for number of desired servings.

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups of organic mixed greens
2 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
1 vidalia onion, chopped
2 Hardboiled eggs, chopped
3 slices thick bacon, we prefer this brand
1 breast grilled chicken, diced
4 oz good feta cheese (omit for Whole30)
1 Handful of alfalfa sprouts (these can be difficult to find, but I have had good luck with Lucky’s Market and Whole Foods)
1 Avocado, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pile greens onto plate/bowl.
2. Add tomatoes, onion, eggs, bacon, and chicken. Arrange according to your tastes. I like to just pile it all on at random!
3. Top with feta and alfalfa sprouts.
4. Drizzle desired dressing. I prefer Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.

ADD THIS TO THE GROCERY LIST
Organic mixed greens
Roma Tomatoes
Vidalia Onion
Bacon
Grilled Chicken
Alfalfa Sprouts
Check Kitchen Staples for other ingredients

PREP-WORK TO DO AHEAD OF TIME
Chop vegetables.
Cook Bacon.
Grill Chicken.

Weekly Meal Plan: August 22-28

MONDAY
Tacos

TUESDAY
Leftovers

WEDNESDAY
Grilled Chicken
Spaghetti Squash
Zucchini

THURSDAY
Dinner Out

FRIDAY
Jalapeno-Cheddar Turkey Burgers
Corn on the Cob
Smashed Avocados

SATURDAY
Grilled Flank Steak
Grilled Veggies
Baked Potato

SUNDAY
Brats
Pasta Salad
Fruit

Weekly Meal Plan: August 15-21

So, remember a few weeks ago when I was praising the ease with which residency started?! Well, suffice it to say, those days are long gone. Between moving this weekend, and starting night float this week, I am a little tardy on the meal plan. And let’s not even talk about how long it’s been since I’ve put up a new recipe!

The good news is that the meal blog is working exactly as I was hoping. It is streamlining our meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking, and it’s making life slightly less crazy. Now, if I could just get all of those boxes unpacked!

MONDAY:
Breakfast for Supper

TUESDAY:
Burgers
Sweet Potato Fries
Fruit

WEDNESDAY:
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Simple Green Salad

THURSDAY:
Meatloaf
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans

FRIDAY:
Dinner Out

SATURDAY:
Grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings

SUNDAY:
Grilled Pork Chops
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Green Salad