Sunday, November 13, 2016

Momma's Chicken -n - Dumplings

Bleak skies, nippy winds, and drippy rainy days are just the perfect time to settle in around the table to enjoy comfort food at its finest.


These Southern-Style Momma's Chicken -n- Dumplings are the most requested comfort dish known to my family.


This is the kind of food that sticks to your ribs, and hugs your soul too.


Can you believe that there was a time in my life that I existed without Southern Style Momma's Chicken -n- Dumplings?


Well, it's true.  You see, I married into a South Texan family, and they just so happened to call their favorite chicken dish "Chicken and Dumplings".  Well, I agreed with them, our family loved our chicken and dumplings too.

I had no idea, as a young newly-married wife, that there were different kinds of chicken and dumplings. Nope.  I was clueless.  So when my husband requested Chicken and Dumplings for dinner one evening, I should have been forewarned when he requested the dish and then said "like Momma makes it, you know".  But, I forged ahead in my desire to please my husband and presented him with the only version of chicken and dumplings I knew.

Dumplings
Credit
The above is a picture of what my dish looked like all those many years ago.  I followed Betty Crocker's recipe to a tee, and to me, it looked perfect.  I couldn't wait to serve it to my hungry newlywed husband.

I will never forget the confused and puzzled look that crossed my new husband's face when he said "But this doesn't look like Momma's chicken and dumplings".  And so I dutifully went and got my flour-stained Betty Crocker's cookbook.


I showed him the recipe Betty Crocker called "Dumplings".  And so I thought I had rested my case.  Not so.

"Momma's Chicken and Dumplings" were what he had his heart set on, and Betty's just weren't the same.  Never having had his Momma's dumplings,  a quick trip to his Momma's house that weekend was in order, and I took a crash course in learning how to make chicken and dumplings Momma's style.

And forevermore, Betty Crocker's dumplings have never been served on our family table.



This is a funny story that has been told many times through the years around our family table as we spoon mouthfuls of dumplings into our hungry bellies.  My daughter mentioned to me the other day that perhaps it is time I try to make Betty's dumplings again, just so they can decide which is better.  And maybe, just maybe, that is what I will do.

But for now... Momma's Chicken -n- Dumplings is the recipe that has stood the test of time at our family dinner table. {smiles}



The recipe for these Chicken -n- Dumplings is so simple... that I really don't have one!   Well, not really.  I have a method, but not exact amounts, so not technically a recipe.  I generally use between 3 and 4 cups of flour with about 1 tablespoon of salt and a good sprinkle of pepper mixed in.  I then begin to add COLD water a little at a time, tossing with a fork until it reaches the right consistency.  This is where a recipe does not work so well.  The consistency can change easily, depending on what flour you are using.  So you basically mix in enough water (maybe about a cup or so?) until you have a soft flexible dough that is not overly sticky, but not dry either.

See... I HAD to go to Momma's house to learn how to do it!  {smiles}

Then the dough is rolled out on a floured surface as thin as you can get it, and then scored in strips with a knife.  Each strip is then picked up and torn into smaller pieces, and dropped into the simmering pot of seasoned bone broth.



It takes about 15 minutes or so after the last flour strip has been added for the dumplings to finish cooking.  And then... you can add in a tablespoon or so of chicken bouillon if desired, and a sprinkle of chives, serving up heaping bowls of this tummy goodness, and delight in the satisfaction of happy bellies. 


And what is soup without bread?  It is like a hand without a glove, or a sea without sand, or a sky without clouds, and a man without a woman, that's what it is!


And what is homemade bread without homemade jam or jelly?  That is like life without chocolate, my friends!


So here you have it, our family's version of comfort food at its best, with Momma's Chicken -n- Dumplings, homemade bread smothered in butter and homemade jelly.  You won't find the exact recipe here, I'm sorry.  You might just need to take a trip to Momma's house first.  {smiles}

66 comments:

  1. Delicious, and I'm with your husband. Those are chicken and dumplings! lol
    However, to save time, sometimes I use store bought biscuit dough (in the rolls/refrigerator section)and just tear the raw biscuits up into small bits and drop them into the broth.

    Dh actually prefers this method. The one time I made them by hand as you do, he said he liked them better the other (store bought) way. He also likes them better than the store bought 'dumplings' you find in the freezer section, too.

    People are funny.

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    1. Everyone has different ideas about comfort food, don't they! I had no idea the wide variance that is associated with chicken -n- dumplings until that episode all those many years ago. I have since encountered many different versions, and they are as varied as can be. It is important though, whatever it is, to cook what your family loves, and that, is the most important thing I hope I've shared. Love on your family through the food you serve them, and that's what comfort food really is :)

      Hugs to you today Tammy, thank you so much for sharing what your family loves!

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  2. It looks delicious! Yummy!

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    1. Thanks Marie, appreciate your visit! Have a blessed day :)

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    1. It is. We've ate them all up, and its time to make some more, lol!

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  4. Being a native of the Deep South, I thought that was the only kind of chicken-n-dumplings! :-) It's a favorite dish here too. Yours looks great and so does the bread! I use a pizza cutter to cut my dumplings ~ it's a little easier. The whole Betty Crocker ~ Washburn Crosby ~ General Mills ~ is a northern thing anyway. No good Southern cooking there. :-) ♥

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    1. Yes, I was from the far north, and you are so right! There is a wide range of variance in cooking from the north to the south, and Betty's traditional recipes do seem to be more from the "north", lol!

      Thanks for sharing your tip on using the pizza cutter. I need to try that next time! Have a blessed day :)

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  5. Your story was funny, gave me the giggles. ;).

    I've never made chicken in dumplings before, as I've never really liked them. I had them one time as a kid and they were slimy and I just couldn't eat them after that. My MIL makes a great chicken soup with dumplings, now I don't mind that. Maybe I'll have to play around with your starter recipe and see where that takes me. It's so nice to do your own version. I have so many meals I've cooked, that taste different each time because I don't follow it on paper. Its all in memory!
    So, glad your mama in law taught you the secret recipe!
    Have a delightful week!

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    1. I think every wife that has a husband with a mother who is a good cook has probably experienced something similar, lol! I'm already talking to my son about never comparing me to his future wife, whoever she will be, lol!

      It too me a while to like the southern chicken and dumplings. It had to "grow" on me too, as I wasn't used to them. But, after a few times of eating them, I began to crave them. LOL!

      And yes, I am a little bit of this and that cook, and rarely does anything I make ever taste exactly as it did last time, lol! My sweet mother-in-love is a darling, I love her dearly, and I learned many things from her, and I learned so much from my mother and grandmothers too. I am just an eclectic mix of all the wonderful women who have been in my life!

      Hugs to you Amy.. have fun in the kitchen this week, I always love what you have to share :)

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  6. Your story was funny, gave me the giggles. ;).

    I've never made chicken in dumplings before, as I've never really liked them. I had them one time as a kid and they were slimy and I just couldn't eat them after that. My MIL makes a great chicken soup with dumplings, now I don't mind that. Maybe I'll have to play around with your starter recipe and see where that takes me. It's so nice to do your own version. I have so many meals I've cooked, that taste different each time because I don't follow it on paper. Its all in memory!
    So, glad your mama in law taught you the secret recipe!
    Have a delightful week!

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  7. Believe it or not, this Greek-Canadian made chicken and dumplings for her very patriotic Cretan husband when I first married, wanting to impress him with North American comfort food. It did not go well, partly because of the blandness of the dish, and partly because his palate was not used to such partnerships of ingredients. BUT, both of your versions look scrumptious! And yes, one really has to play around with the dough (hence, 'Playdough'!), as the consistency of flour does vary. Thanks for sharing!

    xx
    Poppy

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    1. Well, you and I both married "foreign" husbands, and we had to learn to adapt to what they like, lol! Being born and raised in PEI, drop biscuits dropped into chicken stew were called chicken and dumplings, and it was quite enlightening for me to realize that the name of dish does not necessarily dictate what it will be, and that it takes on different meanings in different places.

      Thanks for sharing your funny story about your husband and his take on American comfort food, lol! I remember it took me a time or two of having the dumplings before I began to crave them... funny isn't it!

      Yes, making the dough is a bit like making playdough, although of course, not as salty.

      Hugs to you today Poppy, big hugs, and hoping you get to see more pops of color this November :)

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  8. Unless I am baking it is hard for me to give a recipe because I am a little of this and a little of that kind of cook. In my home we agree with your hubby. Betty's not making a dumpling! :) A cool front is coming through here this weekend. It should be a good weekend for me to make a pot of chicken and dumplings.

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    1. LOL... ok, so we are agreed! It is going to be fun to see what part of the country Betty's dumplings turn up, and where "Momma's" are made! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I too am a little bit of this and that cook, and according to my family anyway, that is the best kind. Because of the variance in ingredients, following a recipe may not always produce the desired results, and so creativity joins in the fun.

      Hugs to you Wendi, appreciate your visit today! Enjoy the cool front, and your family's favorite comfort food. I love this season for that very reason :)

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    1. I've got a bowl waiting for you! :) And a cup of hot tea too!

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  10. Well, I'm another who has never tasted chicken and dumplings! I tried to make it once or twice and failed miserably. What I did was make my wonderful home made chicken soup and my home made dumplings. I plopped the dumplings on top of the hot soup and cooked them for twenty minutes. Well, it ruined my soup! Most of my recipes I make up out of my head and I was hoping that this would turn out and sadly, it didn't. Yours looks really good. I guess you have to be from the South to know how to really do it well. :-) Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Yes, there is a trick it seems to making Betty's dumplings so that they are cooked, and not doughy on the inside. I've seen quite a few recipes out there, and they are as varied as the many southern style dumplings too. Then you add in the chicken and noodle crowd, and it gets really fun, lol!

      Most important is that we make a meal that our family loves and craves when there is a need for comfort food... and cooler weather seems to do that. Your wonderful chicken soup sounds amazing! I would stick with what is good :) But yes, a visit to a "southerner's" kitchen might be almost imperative in getting a taste and idea of just how to make them, lol! I grew up in PEI, as you know, and I had to set aside my northern ways and learn from the best there is in the south, my dear mother-in-love :) And that's what makes a happy husband!

      Hugs to you today Sandi, so happy you stopped by for a visit! May the blessings of the Lord be rich with you today :)

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  11. Okay- so there is really no chicken in the chicken and dumplings recipe here? lol It is basically pasta in water with a bit of chicken bouillon added? I grew up with biscuit dumplings dropped on top of a chicken 'stew' and then covered tightly so they steamed until they were done.
    Here, in WI, I call their dumplings 'sinkers'. They are little balls of dough that they add to soup that sinks to the bottom and cooks there. So funny that there are so many different versions of chicken and dumplings. lol xo Diana

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    1. Yes, there is chicken in teh broth, sorry if I did not mention that. I cook chicken and debone it and add the chicken back in. So it sounds like you must have grown up eating "Betty's" dumplings, as I did! It is very good, just a completely different flavor and experience than the southern type dumplings. I've never heard of sinker dumplings, interesting! I've only eaten the ones that cook on top like biscuits. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Diana, and for your visit, so appreciated!

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  12. Oh, yummy!!! These look so wonderful! My Mom always used the refrigerator biscuit dough to make hers, so that is how I always make ours. :) She just always took the biscuits out and pinched off little pieces and dropped them into deboned chunks of chicken and broth. Every time I make them, I think of her and miss her SO. Eating what she made always brought such deep-down comfort and solace, no matter what was going on in life. I also like to add a can of cream of chicken soup near the end to make it thicker and richer. It is funny how you get used to things a certain way, and then when you eat them a different way, it is hard to get used to. I'm glad your mother-in-law was able and willing to show you the way your husband likes them, so you could adapt your method to make him smile! Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your kitchen, sweet friend! Sending you love and hugs!

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    1. Thank you for sharing how you make your chicken-n-dumplings! I think it is amazing how the recipes vary from family to family. I tried once using biscuits and my family rebelled, lol! I would love to get away without getting my hands all floury and flour everywhere to make them, but nope! And I do like your idea of adding in cream of chicken soup. I often add in a big splash of whipped cream. I forgot to mention that! Cream chicken soup would be awesome! Thank you for that tip! I agree, it is always so fun to get a peek into the kitchen's of people too :) Hugs to you dear friend, always a joy to read your comment! Have a blessed and abundant day in Him :)

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  13. Dumplings here are the same as the ones you made from the Betty C book, made with suet. They are usually made to go with a hearty beef stew...lovely!

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    1. I think it really must be a northern thing then, the more I hear from my readers, about the style of dumplings made in the north. I think they are very tasty, and yours made with suet sound lovely too. I've never had beef dumplings, now you've got me thinking! Appreciate your wonderful comment, hugs to you!

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  14. WOW, when's supper!! This looks so good and the perfect comfort food. Our dumplings are like the one from your BC book. I have the same book. I guess momma's is certainly a southern thing!! The bread looks so delicious too. Loved this story and thanks for sharing your family version of chicken and dumplings!! Have a great week. Blessings. xo

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    1. Come on over, supper's ready! Dear friend, I would love to have you visit :) Now, you are from the south, are you not? I think I read that you are in Texas. Interesting that you make Betty's dumplings! Most who have commented here that make Betty's dumplings hail from the north country. I love them both, but my family is staunchly Southern, lol!

      Indeed, The BC cookbook has been such a blessing to me through the years. So many helpful things for a cook of any style. Appreciate you stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Have a blessed day my dear friend!

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  15. I don't know if you have any close neighbors but if you do, the smells coming from your home would be divine!

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    1. I often invite my neighbors over for dinner or send goodies out of the oven to them. It is a delight to share with those who don't have a family to cook for, as my neighbors are both single ladies. Appreciate your visit Christine, appreciate your visit so much today :)

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  16. It looks delicious! My mom made it with a can of stewed chicken (with veggies I think) and then cooked the dumplings in the stew-ish stuff. I loved it!

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    1. Yum! It all sounds wonderful! Stew, soup, and biscuits/dumplings are just delightful. Have a blessed day my friend!

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  17. I like your attitude in responding on to your husband's demand. It's hard sometimes to meet expectations esp. from people we love, but you seem a very patient wife, willing to learn to please your loved ones. So much so, your preparation just looks great,fit for cold season.

    Hanging around!:)

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    1. Oh I'm so glad to meet you, and hope you will come back to visit, I dearly love and appreciate the friendships blogging has opened up. Yes, I love to please my loved ones, and it is such a joy to do so, don't you think! Comfort food cooking is one of the ways I love to love on my family. Appreciate your visit so very much, please do stop by again! Hugs to you today :)

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  18. I like your attitude in responding on to your husband's demand. It's hard sometimes to meet expectations esp. from people we love, but you seem a very patient wife, willing to learn to please your loved ones. So much so, your preparation just looks great,fit for cold season.

    Hanging around!:)

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  19. Your chicken-n-dumplings do look delicious. Better than Betty Crocker....who would've thought. Yes one must dunk fresh, crispy bread into soup and when finished slather a generous amount of home made jam onto homemade bread! I am salivating at the thought of all that delicious food! What a joy it would be to sup at your table and enjoy your fellowship.

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    1. Soup and homemade bread are comfort food delights for sure! I would love such a visit with you dear friend! Many hugs to you today :)

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  20. Love recipes from scratch! Thank you. I'll try it this way. Nice for cold days.

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    1. I think you'll like it :) Hugs to you today!

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  21. That looks like a yummy meal! I am sure I would have made the same mistake you did. We have been enjoying chicken soups around here too. Last night we had one with cheesy biscuits on the side. It was yummy. I made fresh bread today and we really enjoyed it.

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    1. Yum, cheesy biscuits are so yummy! Fresh bread hot out of the oven is pure joy. Hugs to you today Abbi! Have a lovely weekend :)

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  22. I am pinning!! Thank You!!
    I enjoyed the story as well. :-)

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    1. Awesome, glad you enjoyed the story behind our chicken and dumplings :) Have a blessed day!

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  23. Yes, please! This looks soooo good, my friend. And the perfect meal to enjoy on a cold evening. I'm definitely going to have to try this :) Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the cute story {{smiles}}

    I hope you are enjoying your week, lovely lady. Hugs to you!

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    1. It is definitely the perfect cold weather comfort food! Thank you so much for stopping by Stephanie, your visits are always so appreciated, and I hope you have had a lovely weekend, hard to believe this is Thanksgiving already! Hugs to you today :)

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  24. Awe...our family loves chicken and dumplings and I must say Mama's chicken and dumplings look yummy! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Thanks Cindy, chicken and dumplings are wonderful comfort food during these cold wet days! Hugs and blessings to you today, thank you for your visit :)

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  25. Oh my, what an amusing story about your first time making chicken and dumplings for your dear husband! Ha! It reminds me of a dish or two I made that were not quite what was expected. It's amazing how differently cooking can be from family to family. But in the end, what a blessing for the time you had with your mother-in-law in getting the crash course in making what now he loves...and how (surely) he admired your seeking her help. Many a daughter-in-law would have be hesitant (or perhaps indignant) to have to seek out help. Her version certain does look delicious, and who doesn't love homemade bread and preserves/jam. Thanks for visiting my blog, and it's been a joy to "visit" with you today! Hugs and many blessings!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Cheryl! I was blessed with a sweet mother-in-love whom I love dearly, and it was a joy for me to learn how to make something that my husband loved too. Appreciate your visit so very much, and pray you have a blessed and lovely day today :)

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  26. We love chicken and dumplings at our house. My daughter made some the other day and brought us a big bowl to enjoy....and we did enjoy them. Enjoyed visiting with you today.

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    1. Oh yummy! How sweet of your daughter to bring you some to enjoy! Many hugs to you today Mary :)

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  27. Hi Marilyn! I have tried making dumplings like yours, but it didn't come out too well. I think I didn't cook it enough. Your photos are so great though, I loved the part about filling the body, and hugging the soul too. Comfort foods are just that, bringing nourishment to all of us in such a happy way.
    Have a wonderful, comfort-filled day!
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, Ceil comfort food does its best work, I think, when the fall and winter season are upon us. Appreciate your kind visit, and pray you have a lovely and wonderful day today!

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  28. Hi Marilyn! My chicken and dumpling recipe is the fluffy kind from my Betty Crocker cookbook, which I've made for years upon years. I never knew about the noodle type of dumpling until later. I think both are good, but my family is used to the fluffy type. I loved your sweet story and how you learned to make them from momma!

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    1. I agree with you, I think both are good! I enjoy both of them, but since my family loves the southern style, that is what I make for them. It all depends on the food culture you grow up in, I think. I find it all quite fascinating though. Appreciate your visit so much, and pray you have a lovely day today!

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  29. I bet the aroma from cooking was lovely too ...
    Many thanks for sharing the recipe and story.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, the aroma is always wonderful when making chicken and dumplings, you are so right! Appreciate you stopping by and sharing such a lovely comment. Have a wonderful day!

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  30. I haven't made dumplings for years, they were always the necessary topping on beef stew growing up.

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    1. Yes, they biscuit dumplings are so good over beef stew too. I remember mostly making them with chicken, but they are so good both ways! Appreciate you visit, and hope you have a lovely day today :)

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  31. What a delightful post!
    The first dumplings I ever made were bisquick and looked just like BC, in fact I still make them on occasion.
    I enjoy making home made noodles and must try them in my chicken recipe instead of the bisquick next time.
    Yours looks delicious!
    I'm right there with you when it comes to bread. :-)

    Bless you, sweet lady~~

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    1. I find it so fascinating that such a delightful comfort food dish has so many variations, and all of them so good. I enjoyed hearing that you make the BC style ones as well. And yes, the bread, oh so good! Appreciate you dear friend, praying you have a blessed and lovely week ahead! Hugs to you :)

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  32. What a delightful post!
    The first dumplings I ever made were bisquick and looked just like BC, in fact I still make them on occasion.
    I enjoy making home made noodles and must try them in my chicken recipe instead of the bisquick next time.
    Yours looks delicious!
    I'm right there with you when it comes to bread. :-)

    Bless you, sweet lady~~

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  33. This sounds very tasty, especially in the cold grey days we're having around here right now.

    God bless.

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    1. It is the ultimate comfort food for those cold rainy wet days, for sure! Appreciate your visit :)

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    1. Yes indeed, agreed! Hugs to you today!

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