Monday, January 30, 2012

Wanna be Cracker Barrel Chicken-n-Dumplings

I have a great love for Chicken-n-dumplings!  My husband has an even greater love for Chicken-n-Dumplings!  I recently decided that I shouldn't have to go to Cracker Barrel to get the Dumplings I love!  I was on a mission to making them myself.

Wanna know how I did it?  Okay, here we go!

Be sure you have an hour and a half or so to devote to this.  It's time consuming but so good.  I double this recipe so it will last a few days!  

Here's what you'll need:
I know this seems like a ton and it is.  I promise it's worth it!

Can't forget the milk.

Yes, it will take three pans!

Cube chicken.

Recipe For Dumplings:
4 Cups Flour
4 Tsp. Baking Powder
2 Cups Milk
8 Tbsp. Oil

16 Cups Water
8 Bouillon Cubes

16 Cups water with 8 bouillon cubes.
On high heat. begin to boil water for dumplings while
preparing dumpling dough.

Start by cubing your chicken.  I used 4-5 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast. 

Cover with water and boil!

Combine flour, baking powder, milk and oil to make dough.

mix until well blended.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead 7-8 times.

 Roll dough out very thin.
Using pizza slicer, cut 1inch by 1 inch squares.

 While waiting for the dumpling water to boil, start the sauce in another pan.

Sauce recipe:

1 stick of butter
8 Tbsp. flour
2 Cups Milk
4 crushed Bouillon cubes
1 packet of Splenda
2 or 2 1/2 cups of dumpling water

Begin by melting butter.
 Slowly add flour and stir until blended and thick.
Add milk, bouillon and splenda.  Stir well.  Turn burner off.  Add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of dumpling water. Stir.  Pepper to taste.

When dumpling water is at a full boil, gently drop a portion of dumpling squares one by one.  Dumplings will fall to bottom of pan.  When they float to the top they are done.
As each batch of dumplings finishes, use a slotted spoon to transfer them into a separate bowl.  Continue to add finished dumplings until you've used all your dough.
Drain water from chicken.  Add chicken to sauce mixture.

 Add dumplings to sauce and chicken. Stir well. If it still seems too thick add more dumpling water until it's appropriately thin.  If it's too thin, just add a little flour.
 Spoon into bowls and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!
Couldn't eat another bite if I tried!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

GiGi's Sweet Baby Boy

Two and a half weeks ago I became a Gigi.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with a "GiGi" it's what my grandson will be calling me.  You see, I'm only 34 years old and I don't feel like a "Grandma" or "Mamaw" or "Nana" or anything else.  I'm a "GiGi".

This baby boy is the light of my life.  I fell in love with him immediately and I can't stop looking at him and holding him.  He is a spitting of my daughter and I just can't stand it.

This past year has been hell.  My little family has suffered so much loss and heartache that we thought the pain was going to be a permanent fixture in our lives.

Looking back nearly one year ago to the day, I remember such heartache and fear for my daughter.  That heartache and fear is not gone, even now.  As a parent, I think it's normal to be afraid for the future's of our children.  It's only when truly heart-wrenching things happen that the reality of the fear sets in.

I cried when I was told that my daughter was pregnant.  I was in such despair on many levels.  I felt betrayed and abandoned, but, mostly, I felt helpless.  My heart was torn into pieces from a mother's perspective.  My heart was angry and confused as a woman dealing with infertility.  I was a mess.

I have never cried more for the life of my child than I have in the last 12 months.  Coming to terms with what has happened to us has been hard.  I have struggled to get through it all.  It is still a daily struggle and at times I feel that the battle will never be over.

BUT Two and a half weeks ago something happened.  This baby came into our lives.  I watched as my daughter gave birth to her son just as my mom watched as I gave birth to my daughter.  There was an immediate pride in my heart for what my daughter had just achieved.  It was unlike anything else I've ever experienced.  I could feel my husband weeping as he stood behind me and he heard the baby's first cry.    It was mind blowing.

It amazes me how God has designed things to happen.  Even in our sin He loves and blesses us.  This baby only proves that we cannot be separated from His everlasting love.  I won't lie, I struggle regularly from an infertility perspective.  It's not easy watching someone go through what you've been begging God to give you for many long years.  What I do know is that I adore this little guy and can't even remember what it was like when he wasn't here.

And my daughter?  She seems to have changed into another person.  You couldn't find a better mommy if you tried.   Watching her agonize over the future of her new baby makes me see the change in her heart.  Her tears for her son show that she is the mommy God planned for this little bundle.

The blessings of God are never-ending and forever overwhelming.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Ready, Set, GO!

Hey All,

If you know me at all, you know that I'm kind of a blog junkie.  I follow TONS of blogs and I've written at  least three.  My first blog was all about our Haitian adoption.  My second blog was called Plus Size and a Pretty Face.  It was all about life from a plus size fashionista perspective.  My sister, friend and I posted nearly every day and loved every minute of it!  My third blog was for my line of handmade hair accessories and my adventures with my daughter's hair.

This blog will be a bit of a "catch-all"!  I will probably talk about everything from being fat, to my daughters latest hairstyle, to my marriage, to infertility, to what God's doing in my life.  You name it, I'll probably talk about it.

Hopefully I will write a few things to inspire you!  We'll see!  Be sure to let me now what you think!