Grandma Barbra’s Drop Dumplings

I love homemade chicken and dumplings. I have recipes for the rolled variety and the drop version. Both are delicious. This drop version is a staple in my Grandma Barbra’s kitchen and a personal, and easy, favorite.

Grandma Barbra’s Drop Dumplings

2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
64 oz chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Start by combining the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and melted unsalted butter until a dough forms.

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the diced cooked chicken, chicken broth, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil.

Once at a boil, drop tablespoon size amounts of the dough into the boiling broth. Continuously stir, gently, until the dumplings are puffed and cooked throughout, which will take about 25 minutes.

Taste for additional seasonings.

Serve hot and enjoy!

CHEW THIS! Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 17th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Inspiration is key in recipe development…
Blaise Doubman

I have always had a fascination with family reunions, pot lucks, pitch-ins and Church dinners. Not just because of the familiar faces that usually greet you at these functions, and the good times that usually ensue, but because of the delicious food that is shared. I can’t remember one function that I’ve been to, that didn’t have tables and tables of food. I love those times, because it gives me a chance to taste familiar dishes, as well as give me ideas and inspiration in making and creating my own.

I am fascinated by people sharing their recipes and the history and stories behind them. Usually a recipe is “invented” through necessity, greed, or mistake. Let me give some examples. Years ago, in war time rations, cakes needed to be made without eggs and oil so mayonnaise was used. This is a good example of a recipe developed through necessity. I, on the other hand, when developing recipes, fall more into the category of greed. What is it that I would like to eat? Why haven’t there been a peanut butter, white chocolate and pretzel cheesecake invented? Sounds absolutely delicious to me! Recipes made my mistake are often one of the most popular methods in recipe development. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been making a recipe, and forget to add this, or add a little pinch of that, and it takes the recipe to a whole other level.

This recipe was inspired by a dessert that I had at a Graduation open house years ago. It was good…but I knew I could make it even better. I changed the recipe by using crescent roll dough instead of puff pastry, changed the type of apple, left out the raisins, added more cinnamon and used Sprite instead of 7-Up. I also changed some of the measurements to find that perfect constancy in the glaze. I find it to be the perfect combination of sweet, tart, citrus and cinnamon all at the same time. This is so much better than your typical baked apple dumplings that you may be familiar with. A recipe developed by inspiration through something I had had before, but wanted to change and make better. I love recipes like this…

Crescent Roll Apple Dumplings

Using “Granny Smith” apples for this recipe is really the best choice because it gives a perfect tartness that is needed to cut through the sweetness of this dish. Also make sure you use regular “Sprite” – not the “Diet” variety – it will not result in the same flavor.

2 cans crescent rolls
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 8 slices per apple
2 (4 oz.) sticks salted butter
1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup white all-purpose flour
1 (12 oz.) can of Sprite

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add white granulated sugar and cinnamon to the melted butter and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

After 2 minutes, stir in the white all-purpose flour and cook another 2 minutes.

Wrap each apple slice in a single crescent roll and place in prepared baking pan.

Next, pour the melted butter mixture evenly over the rolls.

Pour the can of Sprite over everything and place in preheated oven and bake for 38 minutes exactly.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

CHEW THIS! Old-Fashioned Homemade Dumplings

Old-Fashioned Homemade Dumplings

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, November 16th 2014 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Thanksgiving Traditions…and Dumplings
Blaise Doubman

I love hearing what food traditions people have for the approaching Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve known people who don’t really care for turkey – so they have spaghetti instead. I’ve heard about family pitch-ins, dessert only traditions (I openly invited myself to this meal) and even “healthy tofu turkey” traditions, (which brings to mind a particular episode of a famous comedy show that used to run on CBS.) Tradition around my house centers on family, food, thankfulness and did I already say food!? Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays throughout the year filled with family traditions.

One of my favorite traditions involves my Mom, Darla, my Grandma Deloris and I, all making homemade dumplings from scratch. We have been making the family dumplings for years, still using the same six-generation old recipe – which is considered a “top secret recipe”…until now. It’s a very simple recipe that is old fashioned and very memorable for me. Clear off a large area where you can flour and roll out the dough, bring in your children, spouse and friends, and help create a memory with them like my Mom and Grandma Deloris did with me. I was seven when I first started helping with this recipe, and I still get excited when it’s time to make them. This recipe has been a tradition with my family for years – and I hope they soon will be at yours…

Old-Fashioned Homemade Dumplings

These are delicious with chicken and homemade chicken broth, but just as good with chicken broth in a box that you can buy in the grocery store. This recipe is also perfect to make ahead! My family makes these ahead of time and freezes them and it couldn’t be easier. Do all of the steps below, but when you are finished, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, place the cut dumplings on the parchment paper, place another layer of parchment paper on top of the dumplings, and continue stacking. When you have finished layering and stacking, wrap the entire baking sheet, twice, with aluminum foil. Freeze until ready to serve. When ready to serve, take out and use – no need to unthaw. This recipe can also easily be doubled or tripled for large groups.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon lard or shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
¾ cup ice water
4 cups (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed cream of chicken soup
Cooked and diced chicken (optional – about 3 cups)

Start by adding the 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup to a large heavy bottom pot and place over medium heat.

Mix together the flour, lard or shortening, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Slowly add the ice water to the mixture, stirring until you have formed a dough. (You may need more or less of the ¾ cup water. You don’t want the dough to be sticky or too firm – the dough will be elastic and pale when it’s perfect).

Flour a large work surface and place the dough in the middle.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about the thickness of a nickel.

Using a floured and sharp knife cut the dough into strips vertically and then again horizontally – making each dumpling about 5 inches long. (Don’t worry about measuring – just eyeball it. It doesn’t have to be perfect).

Once the chicken broth is at a medium boil, add the cooked chicken (optional) and then add the strips of dough one at a time, stirring constantly so they won’t stick together.

Continue stirring gently and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper if desired.

Serve immediately.