Friday, September 29, 2017

Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings

This week in "Friday in the Kitchen" I'm sharing my recipe for Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings.

This was delicious! We all enjoyed it so much. And it was super easy to make.

I started by putting carrots, celery, onions and boneless, skinless chicken thighs (chicken breasts would work too). My chicken was still mostly frozen. I added water, and seasonings. I don't use store bought chicken broth because my hubby has reactions to MSG. I did not have any homemade broth, so just used water and extra salt and it was perfect. 


I cooked the chicken & veggies for 15 minutes on “manual”. When it was done I let the pressure release on its own for about 10 minutes and then did a quick release.

When I opened the lid I shredded the chicken added some milk and butter. 

I then made the dumplings using Bisquick. It was quick and simple. Dumplings are basically drop biscuits, so you can also make them from scratch. 


I turned the IP on “saute” and let the chicken & veggies come to a boil. I then dropped spoonfuls of the dough into the pot. I left the lid off, and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. 


As I said, this was delicious and will be on my menu again this fall! 


Instant Pot Chicken & Dumplings

2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
2 cups water or chicken stock
1 cup sliced carrots
¾ cup sliced celery
1 small onion, cut up
2t salt, you can use less if you are using chicken broth (taste and add to your own liking)
½ t pepper
1t granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1 cup whole milk
2T butter

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk

Put chicken, water, veggies and seasonings in the Instant Pot. Put the lid on, set the knob on the top to “Sealing”. Press “Manual” and set the time for 15 minutes. When the time is up, press “Cancel” and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then turn the knob to “Vent” and release the rest of the pressure. Remove the lid, and shred the chicken. Add the milk and butter and stir to mix and let the butter melt.

While your chicken is cooking combine the Bisquick and milk. When the chicken is done cooking and the milk and butter have been added press “Saute” and allow it to come to a boil.

Drop the biscuit mix by spoonfuls into the chicken and let them simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
It's been a quiet week. I've been working on going through stuff and getting rid of stuff. Where does it all come from? We've lived here for 21 years now and I find there are places I just have not dealt with, like a big filing cabinet that still has homeschooling records that I no longer need and bank statements that are years old. Time to purge a lot.

My daughter Sierra had an extra day off and came and spent the afternoon with me. We had such a great time. Talked non stop and enjoyed our time together very much.

On My To-Do List
Just basic housework... and more going through things. Hubby and I have plans for later in the day.

Projects I'm Working On
Aside from my cleaning I finally made soap! I was pretty happy about this. We were running low and I can't use store bought soap, dries out my skin horribly. I made 7 pounds. It does not look real pretty at this point.. but after it's cut it looks more like soap..

Today's Weather
Shaping up to be a lovely day...

High, 81   Low 57

The View from my Deck (or window)

What I'm Reading
I'm halfway through Ezekiel. And almost done with Dracula. I'm liking the book more then I thought I would.

What I'm Listening To
Hubby making coffee, clocks ticking, birds chirping

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Stayed home.. for some weeks this works better then others, this was a simple week. Being 45 minutes from town means that I really have to think about how often I need to go into town. It makes sense to combine my errands and shopping into 1 day. Hubby and I typically do this together, it was a habit we got into years ago as a way to have a date day. We still enjoy the time together and he likes grocery shopping :) So we make a day of it. That saves not only time, but gas money.

Fitness and Health for the Week
I just got my new FitBit! I LOVE it! :) After looking at them all I chose the Alta. It's been a nice upgrade from my Flex. And has a few more options then the Flex. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm more inspired to start getting my steps on and get back to where I was.   

(affiliate link)

That is all for this week!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Menu Monday!

Cooler mornings and evenings are just saying “comfort food” to me. This weeks menu reflects that.

Tonight I'm making chicken & dumplings (speaks comfort food to me :). I'll be making it in my Instant Pot. And I'll make it even simpler by using Bisquick for the dumplings. I plan to serve broccoli and cornbread muffins on the side.

The rest of the week is looking like this...

Brats & Macaroni Salad
I have a package of brats in the freezer and figured I'd cook them in my IP and make a macaroni salad and a green salad on the side.

Salmon & Rice
I plan on loosely using THIS recipe. I'll make my own Italian dressing and use white Jasmine rice instead. I'll serve this with acorn squash and green beans.

Green Chile Chicken Casserole
I found THIS recipe and it look good and fit my need for another comfort food meal. I'll serve chips and salsa and a salad on the side.

That should do it for the week!

Friday, September 22, 2017

French Dip Sandwiches and Corn & Sweet Potato Salad

This week in Friday in the Kitchen I'll be sharing a couple recipes I've this week that we really enjoyed.

French Dip Sandwiches

I tried THIS recipe and it was so good. I did make a couple changes due to the fact that my hubby has MSG sensitivities and I can't use store bought beef or chicken stock. Any time I do, he has a reaction. So I only use homemade. Unfortunately I did not have any homemade beef stock. I replaced the beef stock with water and added 1 ½ teaspoons of salt.

The other change I made was to put all ingredients in the Instant Pot. I did not saute the onions first. I put them in, added the water, salt, and seasonings and then added my cut up beef roast. This made the meal extremely quick to put together. 

 My broth was not as dark colored as the original recipe shows, but the taste was fantastic.

Corn & Sweet Potato Salad

I mentioned this recipe on my Wednesday post. So easy and very tasty.

You will need a sweet potato, a can of corn, a can of mandarin oranges, a can of olives and a can of red beans. You can substitute any type of beans that you prefer. 


I cooked a sweet potato first. I cooked it in my IP but you could also bake or boil it. When it has cooled peel and cut it up.

Then I drained the canned veggies. I poured all the cans except the olives into a large strainer and let them drain while I prepared my sweet potato.

When you have all the ingredients ready to go, simply mix them together. Slice the olives and set them aside to put on top of the salad. 


To make the salad put a large amount of green leafy veggies on a plate...

You can add extra salad veggies on top if you want, but that is optional..

Top the greens with a few spoonfuls of the salad mix and top with sliced olives...

Add a dressing of your choice and enjoy!

If you want to turn this into a main dish you can also top with cooked, cubed chicken.

That is all for this week!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
The best part of the week so far is .. RAIN! I'm not a fan of rainy weather, but right now I'm loving the rain as it has been putting out all the fires in our area. People are returning to their homes and the threat is gone. Unfortunately the new threat is with burned out mountains and lots of rain, there have been mudslides and potential for more of them. What a difficult summer it has been around here.

My son Jacob came to visit over the weekend. We had a lot of wonderful conversations for the couple days he was here. He has grown into such an incredible young man. Makes a mom proud.

On My To-Do List
I had originally planned to grocery shop on Monday, but something came up and hubby and I took care of other things. So today is grocery shopping day.

I hope to get some vacuuming done and laundry folded when I get home.

Then dinner. We'll be having french dip sandwiches tonight for dinner.

Projects I'm Working On
Cleaning. I've started some fall cleaning. I'm tackling one room at a time and going at my own pace. But the dust and cobwebs need my attention. A summer of windows open and the dust blowing in can be seen.

Today's Weather
Last week we had temps in the 80's and 90's, this week things have been cooling down a lot.  I'm thankful for the change due to the forest fires but I'm hoping summer like weather is not over (even though we are only a couple days from fall :)

High 59,  Low 49   Clouds and rain for the day

The View from my Deck (or window)
This morning there has been a pause in the rain.  More is in the forecast for today.  You can really see the blackened hills across from me caused by the fire.  

What I'm Reading
I finished Jeremiah and Lamentations and have moved on to Ezekiel.

I made a little more progress through Dracula this week, but not as much as I had hoped.

What I'm Listening To
The wind is blowing this morning and my wind chime is making it's pretty sound.   And I hear my hubby getting his morning cup of coffee. 

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
My hubby is currently fixing my dishwasher. It started leaking last year and I told him, no rush, he has a lot of projects to take care of and washing dishes for just the 3 of us is no problem. I've wondered what is more frugal, washing by hand or using a dishwasher. I've come to the conclusion that it really depends on the dishwasher.

Our dishwasher does not have a drying heat cycle. That alone can use a lot of electricity. It does heat the water up to a temperature to sanitize the dishes so of course that costs. My dishwasher also has a short wash cycle/water saving cycle. I think the difference between the two options, for me, is a... wash.. ha, ha.

Do you wash your dishes by hand or use a dishwasher? What do you think is more frugal?

Fitness and Health for the Week
I've had my FitBit for a little over 2 years now. I'm finding I have to charge it every 3 days now instead of 7 or 8 days. I'm thinking it's time for a new one. Due to my recent health issues, I've not been walking like I was, but I do like to push myself each day to get as many steps in as I can. And I'd like to get back to those 10,000 steps or more a day again.

I tried a new salad this week. It was a mixture of corn, sweet potatoes (cooked), mandarin oranges and small red beans. I liked it a lot. I would fill my bowl with lots of green leafy veggies and top with the salad mix. Salads don't have to be boring and routine. There are a lot of ways to jazz them up.

That is all for this week! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Menu Monday!

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a good start.

Today I'll be doing a little grocery shopping so yesterday I cooked up a pot of Asian Chicken Noodle Soup. I have soup for tonight and enough to pack for a couple meals for my hubby's work lunch. I'll freeze his portions for use later in the week.

The rest of the week is looking like this:

French Dip Sandwiches
Last week I had a couple things pop up that changed the menu plans so I have this on my menu again. You can find the recipe I'm going to try HERE.

BBQ Pork Chops
I'll probably make these in my IP (Instant Pot), but I also want to make a loaded potato casserole and cooking the potatoes in the IP is much easier. If I plan well, I can do both but if I'm going to have a busy day I'll probably start the pork chops in crockpot earlier in the day. I'll serve a big salad made with lots of fresh leafy greens.

Skillet Beef & Broccoli
I came across THIS recipe for beef & broccoli that looks fairly simple to make. I'll serve this with sliced fresh fruit.

That should do it for the week!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday in the Kitchen - Meals Preps for the Work Week

Meal Preps for the Work Week

No matter if it's for your work week, your husband's or lunches for the children doing a little prep work each week can save time. And of course, packing your own lunches is not only much healthier but also very frugal.

For more then 30 years I've packed lunch for my hubby to take to work. He works 4 – 10 hour shifts each week. Between the long days and commuting time he is gone for almost 12 hours. So he eats a lot of food at work. He spreads his meals times out between his breaks and lunch.

Over time I became more efficient in the process of preparing his food. Typically he takes to work with him: 2 wraps & chips, a main dish, salad, fruit and a bottle of homemade lemonade.

When his work weeks begins I assemble all his food. It takes me a little over and hour to put it altogether. Having it all ready to go saves me a lot of time and means no matter what I'm doing or what's going on packing the daily lunch is a quick process.

Here is what I do to get him ready for his work week...

I start the process by making 8 wraps at once. My hubby is pretty simplistic in what he likes to eat and does not mind repetition. So I make the same thing weekly.

I start by pulling out all the ingredients. I cut up a few tomatoes and slice some cabbage. I use cabbage in the wraps because it stays fresh for the whole week. Lettuce can sometimes start to deteriorate when it is sitting with cut up veggies such as tomatoes. 

I spread the tortillas with mustard (Dijon is his favorite), and then put lunch meat, tomatoes and cheese on them...

Then I drizzle a bit of ranch dressing on and top with the cabbage..

Finally I roll them up and place 2 of them in a container.

Next I move on to the salads. I put salad dressing in 2 of them and add the dressing to other 2 in the middle of the week, again I do this so the lettuce does not get soggy and fall apart. I put dressing and cut up veggies at the bottom of the container. Then I pile the salad greens on top. When he goes to eat it he shakes up the container to distribute the dressing and veggies. 

After the salads are made I pack 4 containers of chips. Typically it is a combo of regular chips and tortilla chips...

Finally there is the main dish. During the week as I cook dinner for us I will set aside enough for him for his work week and freeze it if needed. This week I had leftover chicken biscuit bake (a change on my menu due to a busy day). I divided what I had leftover into 2 containers. I already had 2 containers of black bean chicken chili in the freezer. 

Now the work week's food prep is complete!

It's nice not to have to pull all the ingredients out of the fridge, chop and cut up and prep the same things each work day.