HOMEMADE Creamy Chicken and Dumpling Soup in the Crock Pot! (it’s possible?!)

Today, I was looking online for a nice recipe for creamy chicken and dumpling soup to make in the crock pot…. yeah right. You know what I found? “Mix 2 cans of creamy chicken soup and water, then add in pop-n-fresh biscuits, broken into pieces and cook for an hour or two” WHAT THE CRAP?! I was pissed. Like, thanks guys, I’m so glad that’s a recipe. Now, if that’s how you cook, that’s totally cool… but that’s just not what I was expecting when I searched for an actual recipe. I’m talking from scratch, mothereffers, FROM SCRATCH. What’s good about this is that it is relatively low-carb (you can leave out the roux and make it not creamy and it would still be delicious).

So here it is… I actually made this recipe up! It’s totes mine and I love it. Even my hubby said it’s some the the best soup he’s ever had. (it’s a lot easier than it looks, I REALLY didn’t want to leave anyone stranded not knowing what to do, so I spelled it all out.) Make this and you will never love another soup like this one again…. never. ever.

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken and Dumpling Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 – 2 lbs chicken (I used the leg quarters because they are so tender in soup and fall right off the bone – and they’re usually cheap)
  • 62.5 oz chicken broth + 14.5 oz water (1- 48oz College In Low sodium chicken broth + 1 – 14.5 oz can of chicken broth + 1 can full of water. Feel free to chance this up, but make sure you cover the chicken with liquid in the crock pot!)
  • 2 large (3 small) carrots, diced medium
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced medium – large (you want the onions to still be onions after sitting in the crock pot all day!)
  • Spices! Try thyme, sage, parsley, oregano, rosemary, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and a little salt.
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup milk

For the dumplings:

  • 2 Cups flower
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 – 1 Cup COLD water 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place Chicken quarters, broth, water, veggies, and spices in the crock pot and turn to high.
  • Cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Turn the crock pot down to low and let it cook for another 1 – 1.5 hours, or until the chicken in cooked and falling off the bone. (You can also leave this on low for about 6 hours or so, instead of starting it off at high)
  • Take the chicken out of the crock pot and separate all the bones out. You can also shred up the chicken and cut pieces that are a little big.
  • In a saucepan, combine the butter and flour together, and stir the whole time (this ensures you cook the flower without burning it)
  • Add in the cup of milk and STIR, STIR, STIR! (you will end up with something that kind of looks like mashed potatoes)
  • Add some of the chicken broth from the crock pot to the roux (this is called tempering) until it is nice and creamy, then add the whole thing into the crock pot and stir it around.
  • Let this cook on high while you mix up the dumplings.
  • To prepare the dumplings: Mix the flour, salt, and spices together in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Slowly add in a little bit of the water, mix, and then a little more, mix, then the rest of it. (Don’t kid yourselves here; you need to be using those hands for this!) Finally knead the dough out on a clean, floured surface. Let the dough rest for a few minutes so it can breathe and get ready to be yummy. Finally grab little, 1 inch pieces and roll them into a ball-like shape and you’re good to go!
  • Drop the dumplings into the soup but MAKE SURE you stir the soup up before you add the dumplings because if you do it after ,you will just break them up into mush.
  • Let this whole thing cook for about another 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the dumplings)
  • Serve
  • Happy dance.

Please do me a solid and if you post this someplace else, let me know or link back to me. It would be awesome. 🙂

A not-so-great picture of my soup!

A not-so-great picture of my soup!

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You NEED To Plan Your Meals. Like, Really.

Cheap-o tips:

  1. plan your meals.
  2. Plan them around the sales.
  3. But what you need.
  4. Don’t forget lunch and breakfast.
  5. Probably get a snack or plan that out, too.

But really though. I grocery shopped for my family for $72.40 this week AND I have delicious stuff planned for these guys.

BREAKFAST is easy. Bars, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt… those things are easy and at least one of them is almost always on sale somewhere.

LUNCH is a tough one. If there is extra money int he food budget, I’ll pick myself up some Lean Cuisines. Otherwise, almost any combo of yogurt, those pouches I make (also good for breakfast!), cheese, fruit, veggies, or some chicken nuggets/hot dogs even (don’t lie, you know you do it) will work.

DINNER has gotten so much easier for me. Here’s why (I know it’s a little blurry):

better menu

 

The point is, it’s a menu. Not only do I not have to think about what’s for dinner, answer any questions about what we’re having, stand there like an ass in the grocery store, figuring out what I’m gonna use some obscure thing for, but I also sound fancy. Who doesn’t want to be organized AND fancy? I know you are tiling your head (maybe even raising an eyebrow) in agreement. Exactly.

How did I come up with all that awesomeness? Well, I looked to see what was on sale and what I had in the freezer, and went for recipes with included those things. Usually, I start with the protein, since meat is usually the most expensive part of a dish, then go from there. I get a lot of recipes online and from other people. This week alone, 3 of the dinners on my menu are either new or something I’ve only had once, at someone else’s house. You can pull recipes from diabetic sites, too. Doing that will hopefully help to curb junk dinners because not only do you make things that are healthier, but you also don’t pick on crappy food or order pizza because you don’t want to deal with the whole “what’s for dinner” pain in the butt discussion.

Some of the things on there, like the roast and stew, are going to use the same piece of meat. I spent 10 dollars on the roast. That seems like a lot until you realize that I’m using it for 2 night’s meals. The chicken (though this time I happen to have leg quarters in the freezer for soup) can be made using one family pack of chicken, split into 2 portions.

The other thing I started doing, which has little to do with saving money and more to do with saving time, is prepping my veggies and stuff ahead of time and freezing it. I know a lot of people don’t like to freeze fresh veggies, but I’m all for it. I have never noticed anything off about them afterwards. Today, I went shopping, came home, put the baby down for a nap, and while she was sleeping, cut all the veggies that I needed for dinner for the week up and bagged them (I labeled the bags with what was in there, the date, and what it was for – you don’t need to). This saves me from messing up my kitchen (even more) when I make dinner and it stops me from having to cut veggies more than once because, really, who wants to prep veggies all the time?

 

Impossible Pie Recipe

Impossible pie is impossibly easy, versatile, and delicious.

The recipe came from my aunt Helen, who got it from a Bisquick box! Here are a bunch of impossibly easy pie recipes from Betty Crocker!

Here’s my recipe for Impossible Pie (as we call it) made with turkey, broccoli, and cheese:

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg (a little over a pound) of ground turkey
1 -2 cloves or 1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bag of steamable broccoli with cheese sauce
1/2 C. Bisquick dry mix
1 C. milk
2 eggs
Salt, and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the minced garlic for a minute or two, to open the flavors
  • Add the ground turkey, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you want the meat to have (you can also hold the S&P until the egg part if you want.
  • While the turkey is cooking, throw the bag of broccoli in the microwave, as per the directions on the bag
  • Drain the turkey, toss the cheesy broccoli in the pan, and toss everything around to mix it well.
  • Spray a 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray and put the turkey, broccoli, cheese mix in there.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the Bisquick mix, the milk, eggs, and the S&P if you were waiting until this stage to add them, and mix it well
  • Pour the mix over the turkey and broccoli (you can sprinkle some extra shredded cheese in top, f you have it lying around…. I didn’t)
  • Bake at 400° for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean from the center.

Enjoy!

Veggies: Cruel and Unusual Nourishment.

If your kid is anything like mine, dinnertime can prove itself to be…. challenging, monotonous, even.Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, spaghetti (with butter only, of course), pizza… you know the deal. If it looks like a vegetable, smells like a vegetable, or even sounds like it could be named after a vegetable, it’s out of the question.

I don’t know about other moms, but I have found only a few ways to sneak veggies into my kid without a meltdown. I rely on Fruitables (made by Apple & Eve) and any other food/drink that has some kind of sneaky vegetable juice or something. (Shoulda had a V8! *smack*)

I recently took a stand and decided that this kid was going to eat her vegetables or she wasn’t leaving the table, because, ya know, that worked so well in the past. I made her some spaghetti with a little bit of tomato sauce that I had in the fridge, and I mixed in a bag of steamed veggies, trying to be sneaky. When (as expected) she detected the infiltrators, which was immediately, she started in with the whole “I’m not hungry” bit. When that didn’t work, she went to crying, then to yelling, then to throwing the fork. All of those things just led her to a standoff with me at the table.

I made her eat them, yeah that’s right I MADE her. I sat there with her and actually fed her those stupid vegetables for 45 minutes until they were all cold and gross. Then, when she told me she was full, I asked again, and threw the contents of the bowl out. 15 minutes later, she asked me for a snack and I said NO. She looked at me like I just killed a puppy in front of her. She went to bed that night with no snack, no nothing and I felt accomplished, crappy, but accomplished.

The next night I served chicken nuggets.

The veggie thing has really got me stopped up. I mean, it’s not like I’m strapping her down and gagging her with carrots or anything. Any ideas for getting  toddlers to eat their veggies? I’m pretty much just sticking to mac and cheese for the time being, counting potatoes and corn as veggies, and praying this just fixes itself because I am SO OVER the Guantanamo Bay of dinner tables thing.