I just got back from spending the weekend with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and sweet nephew. It was a multi-purpose trip; Saturday was spent organizing Jill's kitchen and Sunday we celebrated her new little guy on the way with a baby shower.
Some of you might think that organizing a kitchen sounds horrible. I am not one of those people. I LOVE to organize and make things look nice, and when it's someone else - it's much easier! Jill has a gorgeous kitchen with a pantry, tall cupboards, and bottom cabinets with pull out drawers. We needed to go through all of the spaces and (1) make space for the upcoming baby bottles and accessories and (2) keep things in zones that make sense for them. The boys were away at the Husker game (um, Hail Mary pass for the win - GBR!) so we had the whole house to ourselves.
A few things we did to make things more functional...
- For the tall-deep corner cabinets, we placed items in plastic totes so they can easily access all the items.
- In the pantry, we put all of the breakfast bars and snacks in a larger plastic bin so Isaac can grab a snack and grab items for his lunches. It's amazing how much space all the packaging take up.
- Jill lined the cabinets with shelf liner to help keep dishes in place. Protects the dishes too.
- We kept all of the dishes in one area, and close to the dishwasher, for easy access.
- All of Jill's baking ingredients are supplies are all in the same cupboard; when she's ready to bake - it's all right there.
- We moved some of Jill's nice decorative plates and serving dishes to the higher shelves or to her basement storage to free up space.
- We cleared almost a whole cupboard for the baby supplies, also right by the sink for easy access.
But there's one problem. Now I really want to do the same thing to MY kitchen!! Oh, and my office.
And, of course, the baby shower was lovely. She has some amazing friends surrounding her with love, friendship, and support. It was so fun to see. We came home with a car full of the sweetest baby clothes, blankets, toys, and cards with warm wishes. It was a great way to wrap up the weekend.
So today I'm taking a day off from work to relax, catch up on laundry, clean up the house, and prepare my recipes posts for all of you. I've got some goods ones coming your way!
To start, we are into soup season and as I get older I tend to like soup even more and more. Jacob requested chicken and dumplings and this one was a hit! The use of cornmeal in the dumplings was amazing - I love cornbread so I knew that addition was a winner. Oh, and a little apple cider just adds a little something something. Plus this is a Pioneer Woman recipe to there's that.
I made the soup even easier for you by using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Last time we were at Costco we timed it JUST right and grabbed a chicken as it was coming out of the oven. Perfect.
Easy Chicken and Dumpling Soup
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
1/4 teaspoons turmeric
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider (I used a packet I had on hand, and mixed with water.)
½ cup heavy cream
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed (I love Costco rotisserie chickens, but most grocery stores sell read-to-eat chickens by the deil.)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon (heaping) baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups half-and-half (more/less depending on consistency of batter)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Place butter and oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric. Pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine.
Add in prepared cooked chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While soup base is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings - Whisk together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Dough should be thicker, like a biscuit consistency. If too runny add extra corn meal; if too thick add extra half-and-half. Set aside.
After the soup base has simmered for 20 minutes, pour in heavy cream and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
Drop tablespoons (I used my cookie scooper) of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Printer Friendly Recipe