Crockpot Chicken n’ Dumplin’s

No those are not type-os, that’s exactly how you should say Chicken n’ dumplin’s. With everybody sick off their rears still and the weather starting to turn all Fall on us (go figure) it seemed like Chicken n’ Dumplin’s was the way to go. Again this recipe is easy and perfect for those of us who have to work all day especially when we are sick.

What you will need:

Crockpot that holds at least 6 quarts

3 Medium (or 2 large) Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts ( you can use on the bone, but you will need 1 additional breast, and prior to putting in the dumplings you will need to fish out any bone/cartilage/skin/fat chunks)

1/4 cup dried minced onion (which is about 1/2 fresh onion)

4 Tablespoons Paprika

3 Tablespoons Seasoned Salt

4 Tablespoons Dried Rosemary

2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup

1 Can Cream of Celery Soup (If you have people for whom this will be a deal-breaker ingredient, use 3 cans Cream of Chicken instead)

Water

4 small cans biscuits (the kind that often come with soda can style plastic rings around sets of 4)

Black Pepper (to taste)

To Begin: (start Crockpot the night before or in the morning of the day you plan to eat this for supper, either is fine. Just add 3 additional cups of water if you start this the night before)

Place in Crockpot Chicken and seasonings.

*Make sure to crush Rosemary*

Add all Cream of Soups

Fill each empty Cream of can with water twice (use spatula to get everything out of cans) and add to Crockpot.

Place lid on Crockpot and set to cook on low setting.

To Finish: (This part will take about 30 minutes to cook after it is all in the crockpot)

Use a slotted cooking spoon, remove Chicken Breasts and place them on cutting Bord.

Chicken will be fall apart tender and completely cooked at this time. Use two forks or a fork and a knife to make pieces of chicken very small (bite sized or smaller). Return chicken to Crockpot.

On a clean (and cool/room temp, so as not to start “cooking” the canned biscuits) cutting board open all 4 cans of biscuits.

Cut each biscuit in half.

Remove lid from Crockpot and add each 1/2 biscuit to pot, making sure each 1/2 is dunked at least once in broth.

*This part needs to be done very quickly. The biscuits will immediately start to swell and if you stir them too much they will just turn to mush, instead of fluffy dumplings. Use the slotted spoon from before to quickly drop them in one at a time while holding other dumplings out-of-the-way*

Replace lid. Turn setting to high. DO NOT stir for at least 10 minutes!

Now is when you get out plates/bowls/silverware and some raw carrots or some other veggie to go with this comfort dish.

After about 10 minutes, remove lid and, still not actually stirring, use slotted serving spoon to push dumplings down into crockpot (and break up ones that have fused into giant scary mass dumplings) and alow chicken pieces and broth to cover them.

* Make sure to get any stuck to sides off, they will burn if you leave them there.*

Replace lid and allow to finish cooking/thickening. This should take about 20 minutes.

*Dumplings are done when if you poke into one it looks like a pale cooked biscuit inside.*

Once Dumplings are done cut setting to warm (or off if you do not have a warm) and serve. Once everybody has gotten a serving, cut Crockpot off and allow to cool before placing leftovers in fridge.

Who here is psychic and knows that we are gonna be jazzing up these leftovers later in the week? Mmm Chicken Stew…

Anyway, enjoy both the soup and the dumplin’s and read this , when your  eyes aren’t watering, about why both of these recipes are great (but especially the soup) for sick folks.

Hope y’all stay well & we demolish the September Crud soon!

Homemade Repellent

 I found this recipe at an actual blog dedicated to natural repellents. There are other repellents and great info on this site. Click Here to check out the full site.

How to Use Lemon Grass oil as an Insecticide, natural mosquito repellents

Lemon Grass Oil has become one of the most known of all natural insecticides with its pleasing odor and effectiveness. Lemon Grass Oil, which is closely related to citronella, resist a huge variety of pests than the most natural oil mixes.

Complexity: Moderately Easy

Instructions

You will need:

-Lemon Grass Oil

-Distilled water or rubbing alcohol

-Spray bottle

-Candles or Lemon Grass oil lamps

-Different types of oils like lemon eucalyptus and rosemary oil.

-Liquid hand soap, shampoo, lotions.

-Lemon Grass plants

Step 1

Buy pure lemon grass oil to utilize as a natural, safe and pure insecticide. You can qualify the oil in distilled water or rubbing alcohol, and add the mixture into a spray bot for easy application. Concentrated lemon grass oil may be a cause for skin irritation if it is not thinned. You must test this formula on a small area of the skin before spraying it over your body.

Step 2

Warm up lemon grass oil in small lamps and candles to defend large outdoor areas from insects. Also can be used a large number of lemongrass products such as lanterns, large torches and tea lights. You can form a perimeter all around a BBQ or picnic area with lamps and candles and by this way you can defend a large area from insect activity.

Step 3

Use lemon grass oil with different types of natural oils in order to create an even stronger insecticide. Lemon grass oil can be mixed with lemon eucalyptus oil for an insecticide that will defend you for five to six hours per application. Rosemary oil can be made of the common rosemary plant and it can be mixed with lemon grass oil for more aromatic formula and after that will withstand a more greater number of insects.

Step 4

The more effective way in order to discourage insects from biting is to mix several drops of lemon grass oil with other cosmetics Lemon grass oil also can be added to sunscreens, moisturizing lotions, liquid hand soap and shampoos. You only need to add lemon grass oil until the odor of it starts to dominate the other scents.

Step 5

You can plant lemon grass in your orchard to have the permanent access to the oil. In many types of climates lemongrass grows quickly, and the very plant tends to activate as an insecticide. You can make the oil by tearing the lower stalks of it into small pieces, by grinding up its leaves, or by the way of rubbing its juice directly on your skin.

advice and Cautions

-Lemon Grass oil is used in quality of active ingredient in a huge number of DEET-based commercial insecticides.

When Mosquitoes Attack; and tote you away for their feeding & breeding frenzy…

On to our second installment of Fun in the Southern Summer Sun:

I’m going to go ahead and put it out there, mosquitoes are the original EVIL BITCHES. They have been around for about 30 million years and are still going strong. Kinda like cockroaches *shudder*, why can’t something nice be the things left over from 30 million years ago, you know like tiny butterflies or something? They get the bitches title because the ones don’t bite, they mate & die (typical), the ladies mate, bite, mate, bite for weeks before they die. They bite, inject that saliva *another shudder* that itches like hell, and then gone on to make baby evil bitches.  Sorry, being itchy makes me bitter…

I already mentioned that it was a mild winter so the little bastards are going to be swarming like crazy this summer (and already are). That’s not an old wives tale, it has to do with ground freezing and killing off mosquitoes over the winter, the fewer freezes, the more of them made it through. When I was researching for this I discovered that there are about 2,7000 species of mosquitoes all around the world (I was unaware, & Damn!). I will be discussing mosquito  generalities here and specifically the ones native to us here in the South. But first some brief facts that apply to mosquitoes all over:

    1. They lay eggs/larva develop in standing water (go outside RIGHT now & empty any buckets, etc in your yard!)
    2. They can make you sick (not just sick of them) this is the break down of the worst case scenarios:

So now that the scary is out there to give you nightmares, I can personally tell you I have been bitten millions of times this week in my lifetime and have never had any of the above, so there you go. *shrug* So what’s a girl to do? Stay inside during the long, hot summer nights? Absolutely not! That’s when I get my best drinking/dancing done! Wear pants and hoodies when it’s 95 degrees at 10pm? Hell no. That is why God gave us bug spray, citronella candles, etc. (Mostly cause He wants me to be happy, loving dude that he is, which involves me dancing barefoot in the moonlight) That is what this post is really about. (the spray & candles, not the drinking & dancing , that’ll be a later post)

Here in NC we tell “Skeeter Tales”, they are like “Fish Tales” except it’s

 “How big was that mosquito Jerry?” “Well it picked up Earl [the dog] an’ toted him near all the way to ole Fred’s place…” I myself have seen this happen (mostly small, slow, yippee dogs). 😉

These stories are told with immense amounts of pride, similar to the stories about a hurricane’s wind strength, or how deep the storm surge was. I can say I have personally been bit by a palm-sized mosquito which left a knee-sized whelp. (I’m itchy just describing it) So we know loads about mosquitoes, due to NC being an all night buffet from about April through October.

*Again these are products I use and purchase on my own and I’m still not actually a doctor… yeah I think that’s all the disclaimers out-of-the-way…*

I have done tons of personal experimentation with bug repellents (only human trials, no animals were harmed) and have discovered the repellents come in three main categories; Sunscreen combined with Bug Repellent, Bug Repellent, and “Natural Ingredient” Bug Repellent. These are my recommendations for each, keep in mind my sensitive skinned child & that I use all of this stuff on her & the boys unless otherwise specified.

Sun & Bug Repellent:

(sensitive skin/not as powerful bug repellent as my other recommendation)

(Standard Children’s skin)

Bug Repellent: (best I have ever found)

“Natural Ingredient” Bug Repellent: (Natural is in quotes because it contains more natural than the others & is marketed that way, but this stuff does not actually occur in nature)Also wins award for best smell of an effective Bug Repellent.

I will now list some things that allegedly keep mosquitoes away that I have not had much success with but if you Google “repel mosquitoes” these are some ideas you’ll see:

Lemon juice

Vanilla

Aloe

*All of these listed above are good for relieving the itch after you’ve been bitten, just not at preventing bites.*

Vitamin B1

Citronella plant (the oil from 1 growing plant isn’t concentrated enough to repel, you have to but lots of candles & ring yourself in the for them to work) But these to do work if you use enough at a time:

Best thing in the world to put on a bite: (No Sting!)

Rubbing Alcohol also works, but we all know how that burns!

So try not to get toted off this weekend and if you a have a minute whip up this Homemade Mosquito Repellent and check out the natural remedy site I found it at.

Happy Memorial Day weekend all!