Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I don't care how hot it is, I wanted comfort food

There are dishes I put away at the end of each winter, but inevitably desire halfway through summer, no matter how hot the temperature.

I made one of those dishes this week. Chicken and dumplings are the ultimate comfort food, and they can be a quick and dirty dish for a busy working family. I am a person who is never afraid of taking a shortcut when I have the opportunity. Chicken and dumplings are RIPE for shortcuts.

For this dish, I melt butter in a stock pot with sliced carrots (SHORTCUT ALERT: BUY PRE-SLICED), chopped onions, celery and garlic. Cook the vegetables covered until the onions are translucent and the carrots and celery have very little bite left. Add four to five tablespoons of flour to the vegetables.

Add shredded chicken (SHORTCUT ALERT: BUY A ROTISSERIE CHICKEN AND SHRED BOTH DARK AND WHITE MEAT) and canned chicken stock. I usually add a large box or can of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil. The stock will thicken from the flour on the vegetables. After you add the stock and meat, mix in minced garlic, rosemary, sage, black pepper, a touch of salt, chopped parsley and thyme.

While the chicken and stock is heating up, it's time to make the dumplings. THIS IS A HUGE SHORTCUT ALERT: Instead of making dumplings, buy Grand's buttermilk biscuits (homestyle, not flaky) and quarter them. If you like a smaller dumpling, cut them into sixths or slice them. Either way, this is a huge shortcut and it tastes the same.

If you want your broth thicker (more like a gravy), mix your biscuit dumplings into flour. It will allow the broth to thicken even more.

The result: The ultimate comfort food. The depth of flavor that comes from the garlic and other herbs mixed with incredibly flavorful rotisserie chicken and vegetables is just warming. It really feels like a cold winter day (especially if you keep your home at 68 like we usually do!)

Enjoy this delicious dish, and don't forget to pin it if you love it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Crafting a great photo

It's been awhile since I had my last family photo session, but today, I remembered how much I LOVE taking great family photos.

I'm spending much of my day packing for my first week in KC, but I had to get a quick start on editing photos of the Kowalski family. I've known Keith for about three years and taking their family photos was so much fun. I don't have much to say about crafting a great photo because I'm really of the belief that those being photographed really make the photo. All I do is push a button to capture the image.

So I'll leave you with a sneak peak of the Kowalski family photos.