Thursday, January 31, 2013

Crazy Weather


What a weather roller coaster we've been on! Phone calls from west of here kept us updated on the mid-week weather in Mommy's part of the country. Warm temps, bad storms and snow—all within 24 hours. Yesterday a powerful tornado hit the ground 60 miles north of Jessica. Our temperature yesterday was 70 degrees. 70 degrees. In January. And today I'm going to need my warm jacket and a scarf. Crazy.

For the first time in ages I planned my menus for the whole week. Found a free menu planner page online that I liked and printed it out. On Sunday afternoon I jotted down a plan. It has made the grocery shopping and the cooking easier this week. Last night's recipe was chosen because I could make it earlier in the day and it would be ready when I walked in from handbell practice about 7:30. But because of the stormy weather yesterday, most Wednesday church activities in the entire upstate were cancelled. So from mid-afternoon on, I was free. Supper was already done and I had no where to go. Finished reading a book last night, thanks to unexpected time at home.


Here is the recipe for the stew I made yesterday. Just a good basic recipe that was easy to make. It made  enough for supper with extra for the freezer (2 quarts). From only three chicken breasts.


CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE STEW

1 (32 oz.) box fat-free chicken broth
3 or 4 skinned, bone-in chicken breasts (about 2-1/4 lb)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (14-oz) package frozen white corn
1 (16-oz) package frozen baby lima beans
1 (14.5-oz) can crushed tomatoes (I used half a 28-oz can and froze the other half)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped country ham
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon dried marjoram

Bring broth to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add chicken, onion and celery and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from Dutch oven and let cool slightly.

Take chicken off the bones; discard the bones and shred the chicken.

Add the shredded chicken and remaining ingredients to the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until beans are tender.


My only quibble with this recipe was the "1/4 cup of country ham." I had to buy a package just to use that small amount. I'm not sure it was enough to taste. I know they only used a little to keep this recipe healthy, but I think another time I would either use more (since I had a whole package of ham) or just leave it out. Daddy-O will probably get ham biscuits soon since there is a lot of ham left. He'll like that.



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