20 Minute Chicken And Dumpling Stew

Recently I decided I didn’t want to always be fussing with cooking raw chicken before I made everything, so I got some frozen pre-cooked chicken. I also got frozen veggies, because we need to eat more of them.

Ingredients:

  • half a bouillon cube
  • garlic
  • pepper
  • whatever other seasoning seems like a good idea
  • chicken
  • frozen peas and carrots
  • Bisquick
  • milk
  • water

Throw your broth basics, pre-cooked chicken pieces, and however many peas and carrots you want in a larger pot than you think you need. Add about a cup of water for every bowl of soup you want to end up with.

Put that on high and get out a bowl to mix your dumpling dough. Add a couple cups of Bisquick, salt and pepper if you want it, and enough milk to make a quite moist dough – think something like a Betty Crocker brownie mix that you pour into a pan. Mix that with a spoon.

Is the water boiling yet? If it is, drop spoonfuls of your dumpling mix in. Simmer that for the like ten minutes or until the dumplings are as done as you want them. Serve immediately!

Balsamic Chicken

I had peas from Thanksgiving that I’d thrown in the freezer, and I wanted to use those up while disguising the whole vegetable thing because to be honest I am not a fan of peas.

Marinade/sauce ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • honey
  • lemon juice
  • oregano
  • basil
  • Mrs. Dash Table Blend
  • garlic
  • pepper

Other Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Peas
  • pasta

Basically throw everything that smells vaguely like a spring garden into the marinade, then add chicken. Marinate then for about four hours in the fridge or a couple hours in the fridge and then in the freeIMG_1217zer for a couple days as you admit you’re a disaster who’s gonna be eating takeout and then in the fridge again as it thaws. Whatever works.

Cut the chicken and put it in a frying pan on medium with a little more olive oil and start water for pasta.

When the chicken’s mostly done, add the (thawed) peas. Maybe a little extra balsamic vinegar, too, so you have something approximating a sauce for your noodles.

Apple Turnovers

I should probably be embarrassed by how many of my recipes start with ‘and then this produce had been sitting around long enough that I really badly needed to find something to do with it,’ but I live a no-shame life, so nah.

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Apple Pie is a Wisconsin specialty

Ingredients:

  • apples
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • flour
  • Apple Pie liqueur
  • Pillsbury crescent rolls

Cut your apples into bits and throw them in a pot with some nutmeg and cinnamon and sugar. Douse it with Apple Pie and put it on medium – you want everything to turn all delicious and filling-like. When it’s close to done, start preheating your oven to 350°F and add a pinch of flour to the apple mix: it’ll help thicken it a bit so you end up with less apple filling all over your nonstick baking tray.

Unroll your tubes of pastry and add a bit of apple filling to each crescent roll before you roll it up. Bake for 12-15 minutes!

They make for delicious portable desserts, and any leftover apple filling can be handed over to a friend who can actually make pastry crust in order to eventually become pie.

Apple and Sausage Stuffing

Wow, this recipe sounds eerily similar to this recipe, doesn’t it? That is probably because I didn’t want to buy more pears.

Ingredients:

  • two things of sausage
  • two things of stuffing
  • a few apples
  • half a bag of dried cranberries
  • chicken stock or bouillon

This version doesn’t have butter because you’re cooking everything in one pot, so you have sausage fat to go use. Get out a fairly big pot with a lid.

Cook the sausage in it! While that’s cooking, slice up the apples. When the sausage is done, throw in the apples, cranberries, and however much chicken stock the back of your box of stuffing tells you to, or water plus bouillon. Bring that to a boil, add your stuffing, briefly mix (basically turn it over so you don’t get dry bits of stuffing), and remove from heat. Put a lid on and let it sit for five minutes. Ta-dah!

White Chocolate Caramel Fudge

I really love fudge.

Ingredients:

  • 20oz bag white chocolate chips
  • smallish bag of wrapped baking caramels
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • optional: sea salt

Throw everything in a pot on the stove! Turn it on very low and let it all melt, stirring every few minutes to makes sure you’re circulating from the bottom. It will smell amazing. While it’s doing that, put a sheet of parchment in a 9×13 pan.

When it’s all melted and smooth and tempting, you can either beat in some confectioner’s sugar until it’s pretty stiff, or just pour it directly in the pan and then stick that in the freezer for a couple hours. When it’s pretty solid, take it out, pop it out of the pan, and cut it into cubes.

Packaged Seasonings

I feel like Hamburger Helper gets a bad rep. I’ve been giving it some thought since it’s a lot of what we’ve been eating the past couple weeks – that and the Campbell’s skillet dinners things. They’re high-sodium, but instant dinner, just add protein is pretty awesome. The seasonings are all there, so no futzing or thinking, just cook your protein and, if you’re ambitious, throw in some frozen veggies.

Generally, if you’re including frozen veggies, you want to add them five-ish minutes before you take whatever it is off heat. Peas and carrots go well in pretty much everything, and they actually sell bags of mixed peas and sliced carrots to make acquiring vegetables even easier. I’m fond of the mix, because it takes even more thinking out of dinner.

Thinking is for research papers, convenience is for dinner.

Peanut Chicken

Ingredients:

  • soy sauce
  • lime juice
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • chili
  • brown sugar
  • water
  • chicken
  • peanut butter

So, step one of this is a sealable plastic bag. You stick in a fair amount of soy sauce, double that of lime juice, chili powder or paste, either fresh or ground ginger, whatever you have on hand, minced or powdered garlic, and brown sugar. Squish that together until it’s some better value of mixed.

Skip my next step, which was checking on a different thing and spilling half the marinade and swearing and then adding stuff again.

Add a whole bunch of chicken! I added something like five boneless skinless thighs. Add whatever fits comfortably, then add some water on top of that so everything’s comfortably covered but the marinade is still dark and concentrated. Seal it up and stick it somewhere to marinate – I threw it in the freezer because there are a bunch of leftovers in the fridge currently.

When you’re ready to make it, cut the chicken into a saucepan with your kitchen shears and let that cook on medium for a couple minutes while you set up your rice cooker. I was making enough for dinner for both of us plus lunch for a week, so I used a cup and a half of rice with three cups of water.

Add the rest of the marinade to the chicken, plus a couple great big spoonfuls of peanut butter. Like, a lot of peanut butter. Let that simmer until it’s all combined and the chicken is done, adding more chili to taste. Serve over rice!