Chicken and Dumplings in the Crock Pot

Feb 28, 2013 by

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted a recipe and I’m sorry.  I haven’t been cooking as much as I’ve been having some sinus issues that have prevented me from smelling and thus tasting and thus less cooking.  I’m working on getting the sinus stuff figured out, but I’ve had some better days than others and tried to cook when I could taste it and now I recommend these awesome recipes to you.  Enough talk about boring sinus issues, onto great and simple recipes you should make.

I’ve made some awesome chicken and dumplings in the dutch oven while camping, but this one is even easier in the crock pot.  It really doesn’t get much easier than this and it is oh so yummy.  Also check out these awesome red bowls I got my wife for Christmas.

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Here’s what you’ll need

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 Chicken bullion cube
  • Carrots – about 4 big ones
  • Celery – about 6-8 stalks
  • Onion (not pictured)
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Bisquick – 2 cups (not pictured)

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Bust out the crock pot and throw in the chicken breast

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dump in the cream of chicken soup

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and the chicken broth and bullion cube

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also parsley flakes and set the crockpot on high and cook for 2-3 hours.  After that, take a couple of forks and separate the chicken into pieces.  Sorry don’t have a picture for that.

Next up, the vegetables

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I like celery so I used a lot.  Chop them up into 1/2 inch chunks

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Same with the carrots

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I forgot an onion, but luckily my garden hooked me up.  I love shopping in my garden.

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chop it up in some thin slices

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Throw it all into the crock pot and let it cook for another hour

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Now time to add the dumplings part of the recipe.  Per the bos, add 2 cups Bisquick and 1 cup water and mix it up in a bowl with a fork.   Dump in small spoon-sized pieces into the crock pot and let it cook another 30 minutes to an hour until the veggies are cooked to your liking.  I don’t like them mushy, so I try not to overcook them.  Try is the key word for me sometimes.

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And voila.  Your house will smell like awesome homemade chicken and dumplings and you will get to eat awesome chicken and dumplings.   Both are awesome and you and your family will love it.

Ben…

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You aren’t doing anything good, just everything awful.

Feb 25, 2013 by

Stop and think about all the things you have to do today.  If it’s anything like me, its probably quite the list.  I have lots of things I want to do.  I also have a lot of things I need to get done.  My wants and needs of the things to get done is never ending, nor would I want it to be.  There are so many wonderful things I have yet to try or yet to accomplish in my life and I want to do them all.  So my list is long and my day is finite.  How do we accomplish them all?

One way we try to tackle this conundrum is to try to do more than one thing at a time.  We call it multitasking and we think we are good at it.  Modern technology enables us to do more than one thing at once and even makes it easy for us to try.  We can now check our work email on our phone while we shop.  We can listen to podcasts while we are out on a run.  We can text our friends while we drive.  And here in lies the problem.

We are not good at multitasking.  We are robbing ourselves of completing tasks to stop and start 4 other things at the same time.  We are ignoring the people sitting right in front of us at dinner while we reply to an email or worse check some social network to see what others are doing elsewhere.  We are sacrificing real connections with others for fake digital ones.   But its not our fault.  Our brains can’t tell the difference.  Our modern society throws a million digital distractions at us daily not to mention the analog ones that are injected into our daily lives.  Billboards, commercials, radio, TV,  podcasts, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc.  We have a million and one ways to have inputs come at us and evolutionally speaking we aren’t ready for it.

I heard a great quote on a podcast I was listening to while driving yesterday, which I’ll try to not screw up here.

If the entire human evolution was a book that was about 200 pages.  The last few centuries would be a couple of paragraphs and our current modern era that we live in would be the last sentence.
~Sam Sheridan

Our brains aren’t yet capable of filtering or understanding all these inputs to know what is real and what is not.  We now have access to immense amounts of information from billions of people from all around the world and we must take control of those inputs.

Now not all the things I mentioned above are bad things.  These are simply tools to be used how we wish to use them.   They can be used for good if we allow them to be, but we must control them and not allow them to control us.

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So from today we claim control and as always we start simple.  Your truly simple action of this week is turn off your phone when you are out with friends or family.  That’s it.  When you are hanging out with friends, turn off your phone.  The messages can wait.  When you are spending time with your family, the phone is off and away.  The tweets will still be there later.  Do not put it on silent so it just buzzes and vibrates beckoning you to respond to each new interruption as it comes in.  If turning it off is too scary for you, first you need to pause and think about why it is that scary for you, and second try the do not disturb function on the iPhone or equivalent app on your Android phone as a baby step. I turn off the vibrate function on my phone so from the outside switch I can easily turn this on and off to focus on the task at hand or those people around me.

All of these outside forces are fighting for your attention and our brain thinks they are all real.  We must not let them win.  We are the masters of our thoughts and our attention is ours and ours alone to give out to those we deem worthy.  Do not give up your power to outside forces.  Do no concede your time and attention to things that don’t matter.  Focus your attention to your dreams and work that YOU want to do.  Spend your time with friends and loved ones and let the messages, texts, emails and such wait for you.

Try this for a day or two this week and you notice a couple of things.  First this may be scary or hard for you.  This is a key indicator that you truly need to cut down and focus your inputs in your life.  Second, you’ll start to notice a peace and relaxation come over you as you spend time with the people in your life while not glued to your digital distractions.  Once you do this a few times you will want to do this more.  You will start to reclaim control over your life and focus on your intentions as to what you want to get done.  Your time will become yours and your attention focused on your goals and dreams.

Ben…

Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:

 

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Tell Someone You Love Them

Feb 18, 2013 by

It doesn’t get more simple than this.

Everyone loves to hear this and we need to say it more often.

So say it.  Email it.  Text it.  Write it out in a letter.  Hire a skywriter if you can afford it.

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I know we just got done with Valentines day and I hope you took the time to tell your loved ones that you do in fact love them in addition to the flowers, chocolates and romantic dates.  I had big plans to take my wife out to a fun date night, but instead my body decided to get sick and we stayed home recovering.  The good news is that when you buy flowers and chocolates after February 14th they are significantly discounted ;-) .

But as my Valentines day plans were thwarted, it should not be the only day we say and show our love toward those significant in our lives.  So do it again today.  Do it all week.  Pick out one person that is special to you  each day and write them a little note to let them know what they mean to you and that you are thinking about them.  Write a sticky note and put it on their computer.  Put it on Facebook for all to see.  Share something special with them in your own special way that is meaningful to you both.  Just take the time to do it.

My friend recently started a mass texting thread with myself and 9 other friends just saying he loved us.  It turned into a wonderful conversation of love and mutual admiration between the best group of friends ever.

So tell your friends.  Tell your family.  Tell your spouse.

If you are looking for inspiration, here’s a quick note I wrote to my beautiful wife.  Feel free to steal it.

You are amazing and I love you very much.  You are the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me.  If anyone ever asks me the secret to being happily married for as long as we have, I tell them it’s simple.  Marry someone who is smarter than you…and being gorgeous doesn’t hurt either.  You are so smart and so beautiful and I am the luckiest guy in the world to be near you.  I look forward to our future with a giant smile on my face knowing that I’ll be with you.  I love you.

Nothing will make you swell up with a great feeling like hearing that you are loved from a loved one.  Give that feeling to others this week and I bet you will feel a little something from doing it as well.

Ben…

Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing.

Previous TSA’s:

 

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Just Wash the Dishes

Feb 11, 2013 by

This post isn’t about washing dishes.  I wanted to get that clear up front before you ran away because you hate washing dishes.

This post is about mindfulness.  Being present.  Being aware of what’s going on around you.  Being aware of what’s going on inside of you.

We are all busy.  We are all rushing around looking for ways to save time only to use that time to squeeze in more stuff into our day.  I am the worst at this.  I talked a little bit about multitasking last week and how much I think I am good at it and yet how much I really suck at it.  This sort of ties into that.

I want to do everything.  I have a huge list inside of my head of things I am interested in and want to do.  I love to say yes to new ideas and I love exploring new things.  That said our time is finite here and we can only fit in so much.  This only compounds my problem.  I try to do way too much, and often I succeed.   But from time to time I try to remind myself to slow down.  Smell the roses.  Be still.  Stop trying to do so gosh darn much and enjoy the present moment a little.  Its a constant struggle I have, but I’m still struggling so that’s a good sign.

So in the spirit of that reminder to myself, your Truly Simple Action of this week is to slow down and be mindful.  That’s kind of a very vague goal, so lets try to break it down a little.

Zenhabits has an amazing guide on mindfulness and I encourage you to read it.  I’m going to borrow a couple of points here.

Do Less

This is number 3 on his list, but I think it has to be number 1 on mine.  We just have to do less.  We can’t do it all and we should probably stop trying so hard.  Cut some things out of your life that you don’t need.  Watching TV is a big time suck that I could always do less of.

Do One Thing at a Time

Back to the multitasking thing again and here comes the washing dishes part.  I love this quote by a monk named Thich Nhat Hanh

While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means the while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

For some reason that little story has stuck with me and I try to now practice this while washing dishes.  One thing I have noticed while doing this, is that I like washing dishes now.  I love doing that one thing and shutting out everything else.  I love taking something from a dirty or broken state and making it clean or whole again.  It’s a very clean contrast of states and its a nice way to finish a task.

So that is your Truly Simple Action of the week.  Be mindful.  Do less.  Do one thing at a time.

Let yourself slow down and enjoy the present moment.

Also here is a great video of on the subject of slowing down.

Ben…

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Now THAT’S a spice rack!

Feb 10, 2013 by

Now how’s this for a fresh spice rack in the kitchen?  I think this one beats my awesome spice rack.

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