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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Homemade Chicken & Dumplins

The HF (that's right!  that handsome boyfriend has now become the handsome FIANCE!...more on that later) and I have been going without chicken for a while...and he hasn't been a happy camper.  While I try and keep us on a strict grocery budget of $200 a month, he has no problem with buying whatever he wants for food.  Needless to say, I keep up with all the grocery buying.

A guy that the HF works with passed on to him a flyer for whole organic chickens from an Amish farm for a pretty decent price so we ordered 10 of them (6 for us, 4 for some friends).  Yesterday I spent the day cutting up all of the chickens and dividing them up into bags for later meals and last night I made our first chicken dish in over a month!

Here's the recipe for the best chicken and dumplins you'll ever eat:

1 1/2 quarts homemade chicken stock
3 chicken legs, shredded
3 chicken thighs, shredded
Dumplins (recipe below for those)
1 can evaporated milk
lots of black pepper and some salt

Pour your chicken broth into your pot and bring it to a boil, drop in your cut up dumplins (about 1/3 of them) into the boiling water and wait til they set, then throw in a handful of chicken.  Repeat with the dumplins and chicken until it's all gone then pour in the can of evaporated milk, turn the heat down to simmer, and pop the lid on it.  Let simmer for an hour then they're ready to eat!

Dumplin recipe:
2 cups self rising flour
pinch of baking powder
pinch of baking soda
3 tbls olive oil

Mix together your dry ingredients then mix in enough buttermilk til the mixture is moist but not sticky.  I don't measure my buttermilk so use your best judgement.  This is a recipe that my step mom passed on to me and it is also her biscuit recipe!

No picture for this recipe because we ate them faster than the time I could grab my camera...maybe next time!

Bragging Rights--Canning Tally 2013

In the past year or so I've really gotten into canning.  I happened to stumble on a couple of blogs through Pinterest and they changed my life forever.  Canning has been the most rewarding hobby I've ever picked up.  I guess I didn't realize it when I was younger, but everybody around me canned food.  It's amazing being able to go down to my basement and grab a jar of beans to go with supper that night, or grab a jar of homemade chicken broth to make homemade chicken and dumplins'.  Does canning take a while to get the hang of? Yes.  But it is SO worth it in the end.  You may spend a little more money upfront by buying fresh veggies (you could grow your own garden to lower costs) but your family will be eating much healthier foods than the MSG loaded stuff you buy in the stores!  Don't be scared, give it a try!

So far this year I've canned:

6 pints purple hull peas
40 quarts, 2 pints, & 2 One & a half pints of green beans
7 pints pickled okra
9 pints dill relish
4 half pints pickled pepper rings
12 half pints of hot Tabasco pepper sauce
14 pints rotel
5 pints jalapeno salsa
8 pints tomato juice
5 quarts, 2 pints, 3 one & a half pints of chicken broth
3 quarts, 4 one & a half pints smoked pork broth
3 pints pintos
3 pints zipper cream peas
4 pints butter beans
2 half pints Chile sauce
8 pints peaches--Thanks Karie!

To add to what I have left over from 2012:

9 pints dill pickles
4 pints bread and butter pickles
4 pints squash pickles
2 pints dill relish
3 pints, 1 half pint applesauce
2 quarts apple cider
3 half pints pear jam
3 half pints jalapeno jelly
5 one & a half pints red pepper relish
4 quarts smoked turkey broth
2 quarts deer broth
2 half pints apple glaze

De-Waxing Candle Jars

Recently I came across these super cute candles in mason jars at Dollar General for $1.50.  They were fall scents and I immediately had multiple craft ideas for the jar pop in my head when I saw them...and you can't beat $1.50 for a cute candle AND a mason jar, right?! I'm left with  burnt out wicks and 4 candle jars with wax in them.  I looked online and several websites gave me the same way to do this.  You simply grab your jar with wax, pour boiling water over them and let them sit for a few hours!  I got impatient and had to do this twice but all in all it only took about 3 hours.