Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring Break Pictures

We took some time off Monday and played at the playground

WooHoo! B-Ball!

Stephen, getting his game on!

Um, Mama isn't so good at this (lol, look how interested he looks when I have the ball)

After playtime, daddy has to go to the shop to finish up something. Stephen "helps"  ;-)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Capri Pants

Fashion Do or Don't?
At the mall, I overheard someone say, "Well, everybody knows that women over the age of 35 should never, ever wear capri pants!"
Is this true?
I shopped for my summer wardrobe last fall. You know me, always going for the stuff on the clearance racks. I bought some capri pants. I love, love, love wearing them! I seriously thought they were age appropriate. I mean, after all, I've seen women older than me wear them and I never thought, Ew, how tacky! I'll be the first one to tell you that I hate to see women my age try to hold on to that shred of youth by raiding their college-age daughters closets. I don't care HOW good your body looks; Chances are, your face doesn't look like a twenty year old. And, for Heaven's sake, Stay away from the Hanna Montana (or whatever she's calling herself now days) section!  
Common sense (and my spider veins) tells me that my mini-skirt-wearing days are over. Shorts? You won't even catch me at Walmart, in the garden department wearing shorts. That's why I love capris and sun dresses in the summer. Sun dresses that are at the knee or below, that is.
Must I wear long pants just because I'm over 35? How do you ladies feel about this? What will you be wearing this summer?
Just curious

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Mama Mia's Chicken and Dumplings

I added this recipe to Kitchen Chatter but also added here for those of you who are not subscribers there. But check it out! We are a group of foodies who always have something good cooking!


After a night of stormy weather, our temperature is expected to drop throughout the day, today. To me, that means dumplings. My daddy found a good sale on chicken last Saturday and he bought enough to split with us. Mama is also making her dumpling recipe today. Which is a less lazy recipe than mine. I use Bisquick and mama uses flour mixed with one egg and instead of milk, she uses some of the chicken broth. This makes a very interesting flavor that you don't find in most dumplings. But, one day as I was feeling too lazy to make her recipe (and mine is never as good as her's anyway), I reached for the box of bisquick. Since that day, I've used their recipe for biscuits, only I use a little less milk so it's easier to roll out. And sometimes, I use buttermilk instead of regular milk. You could probably even do like mom and use some of the hot  broth in place of the milk. She says using hot broth prevents the dough from rising too much. But, that's just a matter of taste. I like dumplings both ways.

So let's get on with the recipe.
Mama Mia's Chicken and Dumplings
* One whole chicken or Chicken pieces with bone-in (I use chicken with the bone because the bone marrow is healthy for you. Especially during cold and flu season)   
* Two or three stalks of celery (With the leaves; they're full of flavor)
* A whole onion, quartered
* Sometimes, I slice some carrots
* Salt and Pepper to taste
* Bisquick
* Milk and/or buttermilk
Cook the chicken and vegetables for a couple of hours (if you're adding carrots, wait until the last 30 minutes to add them) and let cool enough for you to touch without burning yourself. While the Chicken is cooling, make your dough. You can either roll it out on a floured surface and cut into strips or you can make drop biscuits. Depends on your preference. For me, it depends on how much time I have.  
Strain the stock to make sure you don't have bones in it and remove the wilted celery and onions. Reserve the carrots to add back later, if you'd like - along with the chicken.   
Return the broth to a low, steady boil and drop your dumplings one at a time, trying not to stir too much or your dumplings will become a thick soup. Work quickly. Turn down the heat some and let cook on low for about 10 minutes. I add my chicken meat during this time. Turn heat down some more and put a lid on it. Simmer for about 10 more minutes without removing the lid till time is up. I like to add a little bit of buttermilk to mine before serving. I like the flavor of buttermilk. Again, this is a matter of taste.
This is Stephen's favorite.
NOTE: When you're really, really pressed for time, you can always use boneless chicken breast and canned or boxed broth, which is pretty salty so be sure to use the low sodium kind and add salt according to your taste.
EDIT: Lori gave me a yummy idea to add some sage or poultry seasoning to the dumpling dough. That sounds like a great idea to me!