Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kenny's White Bean Chili

Last night I had my first ever "Drums Alive" class and Mindfulness Women's group. So, being in quite a hurry but not wanting to leave Ron starving after his tax class I quick put this soup together in the crock pot. I like this recipe, because it uses white beans and picky picky Ron will not eat kidney beans. This is a recipe my dear old dad gave me, and perfect for a cozy weeknight meal. Here's what you do:

Kenny's White Bean Chili

1 roasted chicken, shredded ( I purchased an already roasted chicken in our deli to speed things along. You may also cook some chicken breasts and shred them.)
2 jars of salsa
2 cans of white beans
2 small cans of diced chili peppers

Cook on low heat either on the stove top or in a crock pot. If serving for a crowd, you can just keep adding salsa, beans, and chili peppers as needed.

Serve warm with sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, and chips.

Yum! Very easy, quick, and efficient for a weeknight meal!

Bon Appetite!

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

I asked Ron to think of some of his favorite childhood meals so that I could make them and make him feel at home. He said he'd like to have Chicken and Dumpling soup. I asked his mother Louise for the recipe.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup

1 whole fryer chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cups water
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
1 cup green beans
3 tablespoons flour
Fluffy Dumplings

In a large dutch oven, brown chicken in hot butter. Add celery, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt, bouillon, and water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until just about tender. Add carrots and simmer 15 minutes. Then, dissolve 3 tablespoons flour in a 1/2 cup cold water. Stir into chicken mixture and bring to a boil. Spoon fluffy dumpling mixture over top of chicken mixture. Cook , covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until dumplings are no longer doughy underneath.
Fluffy Dumplings
1 1/2 cups unsifted flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons oil or melted shortening

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add milk, egg, and oil. Stir only until dry ingredients are moistened.

Bon Appetite!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chicken Taco Pasta Bake

My mom asked me about this recipe, and so I'm going to post it for her. Ron loves this dish, as he loves all casseroles aka: "hot dishes."
Chicken Taco Pasta Bake

Recipe Courtesy of: Nancy Bird.

2 pounds chicken
1 package of penne pasta
1 chopped onion
3/4 cup water
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 cans corn
1 cup olives
2 cups salsa
2 cans green chile peppers
1 large can green enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
optional: chopped cilantro
1 can black beans

Cook pasta and chicken. Mix taco seasoning into chicken with water and simmer. Then, mix all the rest of the ingredients into a large casserole dish. Top with cheese. Cover with foil. Cook for 45 minutes in 350 degree oven. Enjoy with sour cream, salsa, chopped tomotoes, guacamole, and chips.

Bon Appetite!

Cleaning the House for the Weekend!

Friday is usually my cleaning day. I love to have the house clean for the upcoming weekend. I lit a brand new Green Tea candle which smells so nice and springy and am getting to work!
The Order of Clean:
~From the book "Simple Country Wisdom" by Susan Waggoner.

1) Remove anything that doesn't belong in the room.
2) Put away objects that belong in the room, but are out of place. Hang up clothes, return books to shelves, put away toys and craft projects.
3) Gather up rugs, slipcovers, throws, tablecloths, and anything else in the room that needs washing. If you don't have a second set of linens for the room, get a load of laundry going.
4) Start at the top. Dust overhead lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, coffers, and open beams, drapery rods, and cornices.
5) Unless they are too heavy to handle, take art work, mirrors, pictures, and other ornaments off of the walls. Put them in the center of the room and drape a sheet over them.
6) Dust the window frames, door frames, and doors.
7) Dust the walls, from top to bottom.
8) By this time, your load of washing should be done. Transfer it to the dryer.
9) Return mirrors and pictures to the wall, dusting each one as you do.
10) Dust the furniture, lamps, countertops, and electronics in the room. As you go, straighten any areas that need tidying-bookshelves, knick-knack shelves, and so on.
11) Pick one thing to do in the room that isn't absolutely necessary, such as straightening drawers, washing the windows, or sorting through a stack of old magazines.
12) Dust the baseboards if they need it.
14) Vacuum the floor.
15) Open a window to air out the room. If it's cold out, close the door to keep the rest of the house warm.
16) Finish the room's laundry, and return anything that's dry to the room.
17) Close the window and leave the door open.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tribute to Grandma Dolly

My Grandma Dolly passed away yesterday. I'd like to take some time to remember her beautiful life. I am picturing her young, vibrant, and happy in heaven today reminiscing with her dear dad and her best friend Louise and her mother Tootsie.

I remember my Grandma's cheerful personality, her vibrant smile, her smell of Red perfume, her lipstick, her rosy cheeks, and her deep belly laugh (in which she often snorted.) I remember she was always dressed to the nine's, smelled nice, and had her hair styled perfectly and nails manicured. My mom jokes that whenever the door bell rang, Dolly would run and put on lipstick before she answered it. My mom told me she dressed like Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn.

I have so many happy memories of weekends at Grandma Dolly's house. She would take us to Smith's and we'd get Spaghetti ingredients or Chicken Cordon Blue ingredients. She'd also buy us pretzels and orange candies--her favorites that she kept in little jars around her home. She loved the color yellow. We would watch musicals and sing along. She loved to sing, and she had a pretty voice. She loved the music of the 1930's and 1940's.

One time, my took Erin and I to the mall. We were in the perfume section, and I said "Hey! Grandma Dolly's here!"

One summer weekend, all of the Young family got together for a family weekend together. We went swimming in Grandma Dolly's pool at Old Farm. Erin forgot her swimsuit, and so my mom said "Oh just wear one of Grandma's!" So...Erin pouted but she wore the over-sized orange swimsuit! We all laugh at that memory. That same weekend, we had a picnic. My dad started a food fight with dear Uncle Mike. He smeared brownies all over Uncle Mike's short white shorts. (It was the 80's!) Then, Grandma Dolly got so mad at stood there with brooms yelling at them to clean it up, and yelled "what will the neighbors think!" Then, I think my dad put some watermelon in her hair, and she hooted and laughed and got in on the fun.

It must have been Thanksgiving of 1993, the Young clan spent the week snowed in at a cabin in Montana. It was so cold but so much fun! My dad made a big turkey dinner, and my Aunt Stephanie made homemade hot fudge cake.

Grandma Dolly and Grandma Joyce were good friends. They shared the same birthday. They would always send each other a bouquet of flowers on their special day. Grandma Dolly and Grandpa Harry sang together in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church. I know they were all so happy when Kenny and Patty got married, because Dolly loved Kenny.

Grandma Dolly was a kind and loving person. She'd do anything for anybody. I love you so much, until we meet again.

From the book 'The Wednesday Letters,' "Now I know why the Lord takes his day off on Sunday. That must be the day he personally greets his favorites." ~Jason F. Wright.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

30 Before 30

Many thanks to my dear friend and Kappa Sister Cat for this idea!

1) Grow my hair long. You can only have it long when you're young, right?
2) Start playing the piano again.
3) Take Jewel cross-country skiing or snow shoeing. She would love it!
4) Go back to school--for interior design.
5) Open my own interior design consulting company from my home office.
6) Build our dream home (in Millcreek area, or Bountiful where Ron will work).
7) Decorate dream home!!
8) Put nursery in dream home! (For little Elsie Jean or Patrick Jacob)
9) Run 5 miles.
10) Become a Zumba regular.
11) Start writing my cookbook (Soup Sunday) and have it published.
12) Get many followers on my blog--and get advertisers.
13) Blog at least 4 times a week.
14) Get a facial and a manicure.
15) Make quilts for my nearest and dearest.
16) Get family pictures taken outside in the fall leaves.
17) Go on annual family vacation to the Strawberry Cabin with the Hulce and McFarlane crew.
18) Have Ruthie teach me a thing or two about quilting and make her a quilt.
19) Embroider something.
20) Renew wedding vows on St. Pete beach at the Don Cesar Resort.
21) Take a Disney cruise!
22) Open an Etsy shop with my designs.
23) Hold Peter and Elizabeth's baby and make him or her a quilt.
24) Polish up my floral design skills.
25) Come up with a new soup recipe for Soup Sunday.
26) Make whole wheat bread from scratch.
27) Learn to ice skate. (that's where Ron comes in!)
28) Start work of fiction based on my life! (It already has a title, to be disclosed).
29) Get an Airedale puppy!! And name her Nutmeg.
30) Start a family!

Busy Weekend..Busy Busy Bee

To Do:

Wash Bedding
Vacuum House
Do Dishes
Mop Floors
Organize Bills
Organize File Cabinet
Cut Coupons
Grocery Shop
Bake Banana Bread
Iron Fabric for Quilt
Sew Quilt
Decorate House in Packer Memorabilia for the Big Game
Make Ron a nice Sunday Brunch

Check, check, check, check, check!