a hiatus leads to excuses

Lots has happened since I’ve posted anything on here. I won’t bore anyone with measly excuses on why I haven’t been posting anything, but here is the highlight reel.

I got married.

I got a new job.

These two things have kept me really, really busy. Marriage is wonderful and exciting (I know, such a boring answer, but ’tis true). My new job (which is almost a year old, now) is fantastic, yet challenging.

What has suffered through all of this? home-cooked meals. I will admit, I have not been cooking and baking like I have been used to in previous years. There has been an alarming, but steady fast food and take-out diet here in the Trentham household.

I live 0.5 miles from a Sonic.

You’d gain 15 pounds in 6 months, too. Trust me. 

The only things you really need to know are:

  1. I am now into craft beer. My world feels like it expanded overnight.
  2. I have discovered Aldi. It is revolutionizing the way I shop, and I’ve fallen so deep in love that I may be considering buying a franchise.
  3. Making a roux no longer intimidates me. This is monumental.

So, I think that catches us up enough for now.

So I’ve decided the trade off for not giving any real excuse to why I haven’t posted on almost a year, I’ll leave you with a favorite new recipe from one of my favorite food blogs. Her recipes have helped me overcome many kitchen anxieties, including making dumplings AND making a roux.

Yes, its a crockpot recipe. And I don’t care. All hail the crockpot.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings


You’ll need:

1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon flour
56 oz (2 boxes) low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup half and half

1 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk (whole, 2% or 1%)


how to: 

In the bottom of your crockpot, layer onions, carrots and garlic. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper then lay them on top.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes to create a roux, until it’s golden in color. Add in 2 cups of chicken stock and mix well, bringing to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add remaining chicken stock, put the lid on and cook on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, turn the crockpot heat onto high. Using forks or kitchen tongs, lightly shred the chicken breasts. (This should be easy since they have cooked so long.) Stir half and half into the crockpot, then recover while you make the dumplings. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Crumble in butter with your fingers and rub into the flour until evenly dispersed and coarse crumbs form. Add in milk, stirring well just until a sticky dough forms. Use a tablespoon measure and add small scoops of the dough into the crockpot, starting by placing them around the outside first, then the inside. Cover and cook for another 1-1.5 hours, until dumplings are cooked but soft and not longer raw in the middle. Taste and season additionally, if desired.

Serve immediately!


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