Weekly Menu Part 4 – Chicken and Dumplings

This is post is a little late… Just a little.

I have been insanely busy the past few days. I thought it would slow down after the field trips, but I was wrong.

All that doesn’t matter though, because I am here now. And I have a delicious Chicken and Dumpling recipe all ready to share with you.SKBchickenanddumplings1.png

Chicken and Dumplings Makes about 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 cups of chicken broth (ideally from the chicken boiled earlier in the week.)
  • 2 cups of celery, chopped
  • 2 cups of carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of shortening
  • Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

Directions:

  1. Begin by heating 8-10 cups of chicken broth in a large pot. If you don’t have chicken broth left over you can buy the boxed stuff. (A little secret though, I like to keep the big bones after I have cooked a chicken and put them in the freezer. If I need some broth, I can pop them out and boil them for about an hour. Voila! Chicken broth.)
  2. Once hot, almost boiling, add 5-7 bouillon cubes to the broth and dissolve.
  3. Remove 2 cups of broth from the pot and set aside.
  4. Put carrots, celery, and chicken into broth and bring to simmer.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, mix 4 cups all purpose flour with 1/2 cup of shortening. You can do this in a stand mixer or by hand. If you do it by hand, just rub the shortening between your fingers until its all incorporated and the flour looks like sand.
  6. Begin adding your chicken broth slowly. Keep adding until the flour mixture forms and smooth, not sticky, stiff dough. You may not need to use it all. You should be able to touch it without any coming off on your hands.
  7. You can now go one of two ways. You can pinch off bite sized pieces of the dough and drop it into the simmering broth, or you can quarter the dough, roll it out flat until its about 1/4 inch thick, slice it up, repeat with the other 3/4, and drop it in that way. The second way is a little more work but I kinda like it.
  8. Once all your dumplings are in the pot, let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will get. Don’t cook it too long though or it will get mushy.
  9. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

If you want to reheat your leftovers, you may find that all the liquid has been absorbed by the dumplings after it was refrigerated. Just add in a little more water and salt when you reheat it, and it will be fine. 🙂

According to MyFitnessPal, each serving contains approximately:

  • 355 calories
  • 39 grams of carbs
  • 10.9 grams of fat
  • 19 grams of protein

This is a hearty, belly warming, delicious meal that everyone loves! My mom asks me to make it for her all the time. It was also one of the first real foods I fed my eldest child after we moved on from all the pureed baby foods. She still loves dumplings! Serve this up with a pan of Easy Buttermilk Cornbread and you are all set!

Hope you guys enjoy! Thanks for reading.

Irice

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Weekly Menu Part 3 – Chicken and Dressing

Whew!

We just finished our last field trip today. We went to the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge in Springville and it was amazing! We got to go on a really fun and cute nature hike, the kids got to see some cool animals, learn all about bees and beekeeping, and tons more that I could go on and on about. It was awesome!

Now that I am done field trippin’, I can get back to posting all these recipes I promised you guys! First up is going to be my mother-in-law’s amazingly simple, but amazingly delicious, chicken and dressing.

If you have ever been to a holiday dinner in the south, especially around Thanksgiving, then you have probably been served chicken and dressing. This is a very traditional, simple version of the dish. Some people get all crazy with it, throwing in sausage, or even oysters!! We don’t do it that way here. This is the way her Mama taught her to make it and this is how she taught me. Most really good recipes seem to start that way. We don’t reserve this dish just for Thanksgiving though. We eat it all the time because it is so tasty and a great way to feed a crowd. It is also a dish that is easy on the budget too. 🙂

SKBdressing1Penny’s Chicken and Dressing: Makes about 20 servings.

Ingredients:

  • A doubled recipe of Easy Buttermilk Cornbread, baked in a 8-10″ skillet or pan
  • 1 onion, very finely diced. (I’m talking FINE y’all.)
  • 2 cups of very finely chopped celery (Not as fine as the onion but close. Real close.)
  • About 6 cups of chicken broth (Use the broth that came from cooking your chicken!)
  • 1& 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 heaping tbsp of ground/rubbed sage
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups of shredded/pulled chicken

Directions:

  1. Start by baking your doubled recipe of Easy Buttermilk Cornbread in an 8-10″ skillet or pan (preferably a cast iron skillet.)
  2. Allow cornbread to cool until you can comfortably handle it. I usually let mine sit for an hour or two. When my mom makes dressing, she actually makes it the day before. If you were doing this for Thanksgiving, making this part the day before could actually make your day of cooking go significantly quicker.
  3. When the cornbread is cooling, preheat your oven to 400. Then you are going to want to grease a 9×13 baking dish well.
  4. Take your three cups of shredded/pulled chicken and spread it out evenly along the bottom of the baking dish.
  5. If you haven’t chopped your onion and celery, do it now.
  6. In a REALLY big bowl, crumble your cornbread up into really small pieces. You don’t want any big chunks.
  7. Add in the chopped celery and onion.
  8. Pour in the chicken broth to make a big soupy mixture. Its going to look like too much, but you really want a lot of moisture in this dish. If you don’t use enough broth it will be dry and then your whole family will tell you you’re not allowed to make the dressing anymore and it will take YEARS for you to rid yourself of the shame. (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…)
  9. Add in your seasonings and do a quick taste test (I do this before I add the egg because I ain’t tryina play with no salmonella.) If it needs more salt, add a little more. You know what you like so just adjust it to your tastes!
  10. Quickly beat an egg in a separate bowl and mix well with the dressing mixture.
  11. Pour over the top of the chicken in the pan and bake at 400 degrees for about an hour. Sometimes this cooks quicker, and sometimes it takes a little longer. Just keep an eye on it, and when it starts too look nice and golden brown and isn’t jiggly anymore it is probably done. You can also do the ol’ toothpick test too if you really aren’t sure.
  12. Let it cool because you don’t wanna burn your tongue off and then not be able to taste any of the dressing. It’s hard, I know, because it smells so good, but this part is important. You’ll thank me later.

According to MyFitnessPal, one serving contains approximately:

  • 140 calories (Woo hoo, guilt free holiday food ftw!)
  • 14.4 grams of carbs
  • 2.4 grams of fat
  • 13.4 grams of protein

Whenever we have chicken and dressing, we usually do up a little more “Thanksgivingy” foods. I’m including my recipes for the EASIEST ever green beans and yummy, creamy mashed potatoes. I also served this with jelly cranberry sauce, which may be the easiest Thanskgiving food to make as you literally just dump it out of a can, and yeast rolls. I’m currently working on my recipe for rolls so I recommend Rhodes dinner rolls that you can find in the freezer section in the mean time. 🙂

I’m going to start with the green beans. I’m not even really sure that I could call this a recipe because it is so easy!!! You don’t even add any salt or pepper. (Unless you buy reduced sodium or sodium free. Then you will want to season to taste.) The secret trick to this recipe is to “cook em to death” as we like to say. Cooking these over low heat for a long time really allows the flavor to develop and get extra smoky and tender. I also really like to use french style rather than cut or Italian because of personal preference and also I think they fit more in the can.

SKBgreenbeans1Easiest Ever Southern Green Beans: (Makes about 8 generous servings)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of French Style Green Beans (I usually buy Del Monte.)
  • 2 small cubes of hog’s jowl. (I keep a bag of diced hog’s jowl in the freezer for seasoning dried beans and green beans. I cut it into one inch cubes and just pull them out when I need them. They don’t have to be thawed or anything.)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, drop in two pieces of hog’s jowl. Allow this to cook and render fat for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Pour in the 3 cans of green beans on top of the hog’s jowl. Be careful when you do this because the water hitting the hot fat from the hog’s jowl will cause a sizzle. I remove the pan from the heat when I do this part, and add the first can quickly.
  3. Return to heat, and bring the green beans to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and allow to cook for about two hours. You don’t want to stir around or anything until every bit of the water has cooked out of the pan.

If you are running a little low on time, you can cook this on a higher heat setting to cook the water out quicker but the flavor won’t be quite as developed as it will be if you cook it longer.

According to MyFitnessPal, each serving contains approximately:

  • 50 calories
  • 5.3 grams of carbs
  • 2.5 grams of fat
  • 1.5 grams of protein

There really isn’t much more to this recipe than opening cans and a little bit of time. These are so much better than just regular green beans. If you think you don’t like green beans, try them this way and see if it doesn’t change your mind.

Here is another quick little tip if you are really short on time. Put a beef bouillon cube in your green beans for a fast flavor boost.

Next we have the yummy mashed potatoes. This is a good basic mashed potato recipe that is great for lots of variations. You can add bacon, cheddar, sour cream, green onions, garlic, whatever kind of stuff you like. Do it up!

SKBmashedpotatoes1Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Makes about 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • About 8 small/medium red potatoes (or Idaho, russets, whatever you have on hand)
  • 3 tbsp of butter (My mom and mother-in-law will both tell you this is not enough. Feel free to add more, but this is how I do it and this is my blog so thppppp! *that was me sticking my tongue out*)
  • Around 1 to 1/2 cups of milk. Add more if you like it a little creamier, add less if you like them nice and thick. It’s your world!
  • About a teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper

Directions

  1. Peel and dice your potatoes into about 1″ cubes. Or smaller, just try to make sure that all your pieces are about the same size. You want them to cook evenly.
  2. Put in a large pot of water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil for about 30 minutes or until really fork tender.
  4. Drain, return to pot and return to heat for a few seconds just to dry out any water that is left in the potatoes.
  5. Pour into large mixing bowl and add butter, salt, and pepper,
  6. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, start to mix potatoes on a low-medium speed and add in a splash of milk at a time. Don’t add the milk all at once because you can’t take it back once its added in.
  7. Once the potatoes are smooth and relatively free of lumps, do a taste test to see if the seasoning is right. Add more if you think it needs it, and then you’re good to go!

According to MyFitnessPal, each serving contains approximately:

  • 106 calories
  • 16.4 grams of carbs
  • 3.6 grams of fat
  • 2.9 grams of protein

Like I said, this recipe is great as is, or you can dress it up anyway you like. Another thing I like about it is you can use the leftovers to make potato pancakes which are pretty much incredible. I will be sharing my recipe for that soon! Keep an eye out. 🙂

We finished this meal out with some basic yeast rolls, and I opened a can of jellied cranberry sauce. Voila! Thanksgiving in May. You’re welcome.

I really hope you enjoy these recipes! I’d love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! Leave me some love in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to keep seeing yummy recipes from me.

Thanks so much for reading!

Irice

Weekly Menu Part 2 – Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

Sorry about the delay! Life with 3 kids can get hectic sometimes and typing up this blog post just didn’t seem to fit in to the schedule last night.

SKBchickenpotpie4This Chicken Pot Pie is so simple and delicious that it is worth waiting for. Once you try it, this pie will definitely earn a place in your monthly meal rotations! Everything about it is so comforting. The filling is full of yummy vegetables and tender chicken in a delicious creamy sauce, and the crust. The crust is SO GOOD! It is rich, flaky, and soft. Everything that a good pie crust should be.

Another one of my favorite things about this pie is that the recipe makes TWO pies. That’s enough for a smaller family to eat on twice, or a larger family to have with a little left for lunch one day! It is also fairly inexpensive to make if you make the pie crust at home.  The pie crust recipe is my mom’s and she calls it her “Good Luck” Pie Crust because it is so easy to handle and it always turns out great.

I’m going to do the pie crust recipe first, and then tell you how to incorporate it into the chicken pot pie recipe directions.

Julie’s “Good Luck” Pie Crust: Makes 4 8″ pie crusts (Two Tops and Two Bottoms)

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups of plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 & 3/4 cup of shortening (You could also use lard. I actually ran out of shortening and had to substitute half a cup of lard to finish this out and it turned out fine.)
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Mix the flour and the sugar together. Add in the shortening and cut it into the flour using either a pastry cutter or by squeezing and rubbing it between your fingers until it is all incorporated into the flour/sugar and it looks kind of sandy and pebbly, like in this picture.SKBpiecrust1
  2. Add in the water to the flour mixture, and using either a dough hook in a stand mixer or a large paddle like spoon/spatula gently mix in the water. It will cause the flour mixture to kind of form large clumps but not totally come together.
  3. Mix the salt, vinegar, and egg in a small bowl and then add to the flour mixture. Continue mixing with dough hook or gently folding the dough with the paddle until it comes together to form a firm smooth ball of dough. I had to use my hands towards the end and actually knead it to get all the flour incorporated into the dough. Here is a picture of what it should look like.SKBpiecrust2
  4. Divide the dough ball into four equal portions. Form each portion into a ball and then flatten it out slightly into a circle shape
  5. Store the dough balls between two sheets of wax paper. If you need to use this dough soon (within the next 15 minutes) place the dough in the freezer to chill. This dough is much easier to work with if it is very cold. If you find yourself having a difficult time working with it, put it in the freezer or fridge to let it chill again for a bit. If you have a while before you need to use it, just put it in the fridge and it will get plenty cold in an hour or two.
  6. Using one dough ball at a time, place between two sheets of wax paper. Starting from the middle and rolling towards the edge, flatten out with a rolling pin, being careful not to roll over the edges of the dough. You want to go just up to the edge, not over. This will ensure that you have a nice, even layer of crust. I spin the dough in a circle while I am rolling it out so that it is more even and retains a circular shape. Keep rolling it out until it is about 1 & 1/2 -2 inches bigger than your 8″ pie pans and is about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Repeat for each dough ball. Place crusts back in the fridge for about 15 minutes before placing into pie pans.
  7. When you are ready to place into the pie pan, gently peel back one piece of wax paper. Center the dough crust side down over the pan and gently drop in. Remove the other layer of pie crust and carefully press into pie dish. Repeat with other bottom crust.
  8. Fill your pies with whatever filling you are using and then do the same thing for the top crusts as you did with the bottom. Gently remove one side of wax paper, center crust side down over pie, and then remove top layer of wax paper. Repeat for other pie.
  9. Using a knife and a gentle sawing motion, go around the edge of the pie dish and remove the excess dough. After that, crimp and seal edges with a fork and cut a small x in the center of the pie to create a vent.
  10. This dough bakes within about 50-60 minutes usually at 375. If your pie recipe needs this dough to be baked for a shorter amount of time, you can line the pie with a sheet of aluminum foil and fill with dried beans to weigh it down and partially bake the crust for the extra time it requires before adding your filling to the pie.

This crust is really easy to work with. If you don’t want to use wax paper you could lightly flour a surface and your rolling pin and roll it out that way. The wax paper just makes it all so much easier to me. You can also make this crust and stick it in the freezer to keep on hand until you need it. Just get it to the flattened circle dough ball stage, pop it in a ziploc bag, and freeze. It will stay good for a couple of months. Just put it in the fridge a day or two before you need it and pick up right where you left off. Easy as pie. (Pun intended. If you don’t like cheesy puns then I bid you good day.)

Okay, now on to the chicken pot pie recipe! This is the way my mother-in-law makes the filling for her chicken pot pies and it is my husband’s FAVORITE. After all, nobody makes it like Mama can. I want to clarify that you DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE YOUR CRUST FROM SCRATCH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO. This recipe works just fine with store bought crust and 90% of the time that is how it is when she makes it. She buys two packs of Pet-Ritz regular 8″ pie crusts and uses that. It does end up making the end product a little more expensive but if you are short on time or just plain don’t feel like it making a crust, this works fine. It is still absolutely delicious.

SKBchickenpotpie2

Penny’s Chicken Pot Pie: Makes 2 8″ Pies

Ingredients:

  • 3 small/medium potatoes (about 2 cups finely diced. about 1/4 of an inch)
  • 3-4 small/medium carrots, finely diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 can of sweet peas (or 2 cups of frozen green peas)
  • 2 cups of cooked chicken
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup (or 1 large can)
  • 1 batch of Julie’s Good Luck Pie crust, or 2 packs of frozen pie shells.

Directions:

  1. If you are making your pie from scratch, use Good Luck pie crust recipe and make until you reach the circle shaped dough ball stage. Place into fridge or freezer to chill while you work on the next step.
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes and carrots into very small pieces. Since this is a pie filling you don’t want huge chunks of veggies and meat falling out all over the place.
  3. Dice the celery into the same size and dice up your onion.
  4. Place into a large pot and barely cover the veggies with water. Add in about a teaspoon of salt to the water. Cover and boil until just tender, about 20-30 minutes or as long as it takes to roll out your pie crusts.
  5. While the veggies are cooking, roll out your pie crusts according to the Good Luck pie crust recipe and return to fridge for at least 15 minutes before putting in pie pans. If you are using frozen pie crusts, go look at Facebook on your phone or something. Also, preheat your oven to 375.
  6. When veggies are done, drain, and return to pot. Add in the drained peas, chicken, and two cans of cream of chicken soup. You can taste the mixture and see if it needs any salt or pepper. I usually add about 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and maybe 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt, and about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder because garlic makes everything taste better.
  7. Place pie crusts into pie pans, or just take out the frozen pie crust, and fill each pie with half of the chicken pot pie filling. Top with the other crusts, cut off excess dough, crimp and seal edges with a fork and cut an x in the top of the pies to allow steam to vent. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. (My pies actually look a bit pale but its because the top element in my oven is out.) If you find your edges are cooking too quickly, you can cover them with aluminum foil to keep them from burning. They also make these cool little aluminum things you can get at Walmart to cover the edges of your pies too.
  8. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing and eating because even though I know it is making your whole house smell like heaven it is LAVA FREAKING HOT and if you burn your tongue now you won’t be able to taste it when it is actually cool enough for human consumption and that would just be a damn shame.

If you make the pie with the Good Luck pie crust recipe then MyFitnessPal says each slice contains:

  • 35 grams of carbs
  • 25 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of protein
  • 419 calories

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This is comfort food at its finest y’all. You have to try this because you will love it!!

Let me know in the comments if you make this and what you think of it! I’m also available for any questions all the time. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!

Irice

Weekly Menu Part 1 – White Chicken Enchiladas

Hey y’all!

Boy, we had a busy weekend around here. Friday we had an impromptu pizza and wing party with our family, Saturday we celebrated my youngest nephew’s first birthday, and Sunday we spent the entire day working on getting our old house ready to sell. It seemed like we were going nonstop.

It is Monday now, and it is back to the grind. I have a plan here to help make your week easier, if you are like me and don’t seem to get much rest done on the weekends either. I’m going to share a menu using chicken that will feed your family all week long. I will have the recipes all right here. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

This menu is going to have:

  • White Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, and Refried Beans.
  • Chicken Pot Pies
  • Chicken and Dressing with Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce, and Mashed Potatoes.
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Corn Bread.

If you are a smaller family (3-4 people) this will feed you all week with plenty of left overs for lunch and a few extra dinners. If you have a larger family, (We have 7 people, 4 of which are adults) This will feed you for four nights along with some leftovers for lunch.

The first thing you need to do is boil a whole chicken in the biggest pot you have. I boil my chicken for at least 4 hours but usually more like 6-8 because I like for it to be SUPER tender. I usually throw in 2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes when it’s cooking to add a little extra flavor to the broth. Fill your pot up with as much water as you can fit in along with your chicken because you will be using your broth for the chicken and dumplings and the chicken and dressing. We are not letting anything go to waste!

When your chicken is done cooking, pull all the meat you can get off the bones and save the broth that your chicken cooked in. You will need to chop 2 and a half cups of cooked chicken for the enchiladas, 2 cups for the chicken pot pie, 3 cups for the chicken and dumplings, and then the rest for the dressing just needs to be “pulled” with two forks to loosen the strands of the meat. You won’t chop it or dice it, just pull it into slightly smaller pieces.

Meal 1: White Chicken Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, and Refried Beans 

SKBchickenenchiladas2White Chicken Enchiladas:

I use the Pioneer Woman’s White Chicken Enchiladas recipe. I do make a few small changes to it. I use flour tortillias instead of corn, just because my family prefers the flavor and texture of the flour. You can definitely use corn tortillias like she does (Its a little bit cheaper, honestly.) if that is what you and your family like! I buy one 8 ounce can of green chiles instead of three 4 ounce cans because I feel like that is plenty and it is a little bit cheaper that way. I also use whole milk instead of heavy cream because it is a little bit healthier and I always have whole milk on hand. I don’t use heavy cream that often so I don’t like buying an extra ingredient that I won’t end up using much of. I also like to use Pepper Jack cheese instead of Monterey Jack. We like a little extra spice and a lot of the grocery stores around here don’t carry Monterey Jack. I also leave out the picante sauce and the cilantro.

SKBchickenenchiladas3.png

I follow her directions, just skipping the steps for frying the corn tortillias in oil and substituting the milk for the heavy cream. Its delicious and the pan disappears in the blink of an eye!

Spanish Rice:

If I am making Mexican food, then I almost always make rice and beans to go with it. My family really loves Mexican food but sometimes it doesn’t go quite as far as I need it to so this is an easy, cheap, and tasty way to pad out the meal. I whip up this side dish in no time using things that I keep on hand in my pantry. If you have some extra bell peppers or jalepenos you could add them right in with the onion too! This makes about 8 servings of rice. You could easily double the recipe as well. Just double your ingredients!SKBspanishrice1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil (Olive, Canola, Vegetable, Whatever you have on hand is fine.)
  • Half a yellow onion, super finely diced.
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (I buy the little jars where its already chopped.)
  • 1 cup of long grain white rice
  • 2 cups of Chicken Broth (If I don’t have any broth in the freezer, I just use 2 chicken bouillon cubes and 2 cups of water.)
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions for 3-4 minutes or until transulcent and softened.
  2. Add in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in rice and saute for another minute or so, just to give it some color and extra flavor.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth (or water and bouillon cubes).
  5. Mix in the tomato paste.
  6. Bring to boil.
  7. Cover, and simmer over medium low heat about 15 – 20 minutes or until rice absorbs all the liquid. If it is not quite done, add about 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking until softened.

SKBspanishrice2

For the Refried Beans, I just buy a can of them already made and mix them with about 1/8-1/4 of a cup of water to thin them out just a little bit. I heat them over low heat in a small sauce pan and that is all there is to it!

This is definitely one of the more extravagant meals on this menu but I really don’t like Mondays and a dinner that is extra special and tasty just makes a nice ending for my least favorite day. I hope you guys enjoy this meal idea! Keep an eye out for tomorrow’s recipe! I’m going to post an awesome and easy comfort food classic, chicken pot pie!

Thanks for reading!

Irice

 

Creamy Coconut Sheet Cake for a Crowd

SKBcoconutcake1I have an incredible family recipe for you guys today! This coconut cake is pretty dang awesome. It is so moist it just about falls apart if you look at it too hard. It has a tangy sour cream frosting that takes it to a whole different level. Sweet shredded coconut flakes as far as the eye can see. It’s almost my favorite cake in the whole world. The only thing that would make it better is if it had crushed pineapple in it! (Totally doing that next time. I’ll let you know how it turns out.)

We made this cake at my sister-in-law, Whitney’s, house. It was her sister’s birthday and we wanted to make something special for her! We had quite the crowd for dinner that night and there was more than enough of this cake to go around.

SKBcoconutcake2We made this cake in some of Whitney’s awesome vintage Pyrex. She has an amazing collection! I just love how the pictures turned out with the cute pineapple table cloth and her pretty orange Pyrex dish with the little metal and wood carrier. The cake and everything else just made me miss summertime so much! My favorite picture is the one with my little nephew Benny’s hand poking his finger in the frosting. We are so blessed to have a whole bunch of the coolest kids running around and I feel like this picture was a shot of what life is actually like for us. We do it all for these babies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Duncan Hines Yellow (Or White, Like I used) Cake Mix, Baked according to box
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated (Or Fresh) Milk
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Flakes
  • 1 lb Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup of Sour Cream
  • About 1/2-1 cup more of coconut flakes for sprinkling on top of frosting.

Directions:

  1. Bake your cake mix according to the directions on the box. The actual recipe calls for a yellow cake mix, but I had white on hand so that is what I used. I think it actually looks a little prettier using white cake mix.
  2. After cake is done baking, mix the sugar, evaporated milk, and coconut flakes in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. This only takes a few minutes.
  3. Poke holes evenly over the cake with a fork, and then pour the sugar mixture over the top of the cake. It won’t cover every inch but just try to get it as evenly over the top of the cake as you can.
  4. Mix the sour cream and the powdered sugar until well combined. Pour this mixture over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the cake with more coconut flakes until it is well covered. You could do as much or as little as you like.
  5. Chill cake in fridge for at least 2 hours. This gives it plenty of time to get nice and cold while soaking up all the wonderful sugar mixture and frosting!

MyFitnessPal says each serving of this cake has approximately (About 16 squares):

  • 76 grams of carbs.
  • 11 grams of fat.
  • 4 grams of protein.
  • 407 calories.

SKBcoconutcake3This is a cake that comes together with very little effort, just a few ingredients, and tastes divine. It would be a great cake to make if you were wanting to impress someone or need a dessert to feed a lot of people!

I would love to know what you guys think of this recipe. Let me know down in the comments! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to SKB in order to get great recipes like this delivered straight to your email inbox. SKB has a very active Facebook & Instagram page so be sure to follow us on there for even more good stuff.

Thanks so much for reading! Have a great day.

Irice

 

Pantry Stocking Tips with Free Printable Check List!

One of the main goals I have for this blog is to teach people how to feed their families delicious meals every night while staying frugal. Feeding a big family means that grocery bill can sky rocket quickly. There are things you can do to alleviate some of that burden, however, and keeping a well stocked pantry is the first step!

If your pantry is stocked with things that you know you are going to use frequently, then it is going to cut down on the amount of food you need to buy each week. It’s going to make grocery shopping go quicker (If you have small children then you know what a blessing that is, amirite??) and it seriously ups the convenience factor of making most of your meals at home. It will definitely help with the cost of eating out all the time!

I have created a list of items that I like to keep stocked in my pantry. These are all the things that I use regularly. It is a big list, and unless you are sitting on a nice little pile of money, I don’t intend for you to look at this and go try to buy it all at once. I don’t buy it all at once either. The key to stocking a pantry is to buy a little bit at a time. I recommend spending an extra $5-10 a week on food that goes straight into the pantry. Keep an eye out for your local grocery store ads and circulars. There is almost always something on the list that is on sale or they have coupons for it. Use the “designated pantry money” each week to buy the stuff that is on sale and save even more money. Just that little bit of stocking each week will add up quickly and soon you will have a great pantry to work from.

Here is the link to the free printable checklist that I created. I made an additional custom column where you can write in some of your own favorite pantry items that I may not have included. Print it out as many times as you like!

 

Free Printable Pantry Checklist

I hope this check list is as helpful to y’all as it is me! If you plan to cook the recipes from my blog then this will definitely be beneficial to you. Let me know what you guys think and if there are any items I should add down in the comments!

Thanks so much for reading!

Irice

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

SKBdropbiscuits3Raise your hand if you could eat a biscuit at every meal and be happy! (I’m waving my hand with great enthusiasm right now.) Biscuits are probably one of my favorite foods on the planet. My number one way to eat a biscuit is swimming in country gravy. Oh man it is SO good. (I’ll share a recipe for gravy as soon as I can figure out how to take a picture of it where it looks good. Gravy is a hard food to photograph!) You can make a tenderloin biscuit (My husband’s favorite), sausage or bacon egg and cheese, as a side dish at dinner, or just covered in jelly or honey and butter as a sweet treat. There is no wrong way to eat a biscuit, except to not.

This is another one of my Mother-in-law’s recipes and its easy just like her cornbread. Just a few basic pantry staples and you have some delicious, crispy on the outside, fluffy and tender on the inside, buttermilk biscuits. There is no kneading, no flouring surfaces, or cutting out biscuits for a million years. This is a no fuss, mix it up, drop it in, bake it, and done kind of recipe. Low effort and HIGH reward! Work smart not hard, y’all.

SKBdropbiscuits4Ingredients: (Makes about 16 generously sized biscuits)

  • 4 cups of Martha White Self Rising Flour
  • 1/4 cup of lard (you could use softened butter or shortening instead)
  • 2 & 1/2 cups of Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of sweet milk (This is what my mother-in-law calls regular milk. Staying true to form.)
  • 2 tsps of lard for greasing pans, one for each pan.
  • 2 tbsp of bacon drippings for topping each pan of biscuits (You could use butter or whatever kind of drippings you have on hand for this. It’s not exactly necessary but it does add a little extra splash of yum!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease 2 8″ cake pans with a tsp each of lard making sure to get every spot.
  2. Cut the lard into the flour by using your fingertips to rub the lard and flour between them. You could also use a pastry cutter, or a fork but I find that my hands get the job done just as well. You want to do this until all the lard has been incorporated into the flour and the mixture looks sort of sandy and like pebbles.
  3. Add in your buttermilk and start gently stirring to moisten the flour. Add in your sweet milk and then keep stirring until a really loose dough has formed and all the flour is mixed in. You just want to stir until the flour is all mixed in, try not to overwork it. This dough will be really wet and sticky.
  4. Drop a heaping tablespoonful of the dough into the center of the pan, and then drop the next spoonfuls around the outside edge of the pan. There will be one drop in the middle and 7 around the edge. Do this in both pans. Drop more dough on the spoonfuls in the pan until all of the bowl is used up. Try to get an equal amount on each spoonful.
  5. Top each pan with a tablespoon of bacon drippings and then bake for around 40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

According to MyFitnessPal, each biscuit has approximately:

  • 25 grams of carbs
  • 5.7 grams of fat
  • 4.4 grams of protein
  • 176 calories

SKBdropbiscuits2

I make these biscuits very frequently. If we don’t have cornbread on the table, then we probably are going to have biscuits. Its a great way to pad out a meal for cheap. If you don’t use them all at once, you can put one pan in the freezer, pop it in the fridge the night before you need them, and then reheat in the oven for a few minutes. Cook once, eat twice.

I’d love to know what you guys think of these biscuits! If you make them, let me know in the comments or on Facebook! Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Irice