Runaway October

Delving into the crazy world of crafts, cooking and kids…

Chicken and Dumplings February 8, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 9:22 am

I think I’ve had true Chicken and Dumplings once before in my life. If I’m remembering correctly, I was young and well, at that age I could care less if my soup had dumplings in it.

A lot of people I know consider chicken and dumplings to be an ultimate comfort food. I decided to give it a shot when I saw this recipe pop up on Smitten Kitchen. I’ve lately been on the hunt for recipes that were both filling and relatively cheap. I also look for meal that are relatively simple to make. While it meets the first two criteria, the third… not so much.

It is officially a “weekend” meal. It basically took me all day to make it, though it was done before 8pm when Lost came on. ๐Ÿ˜€ For someone who can go through the whole recipe at once it wouldn’t be so bad, but between all the joys associated with two toddlers and a newborn I’m glad I started at 9am.

But it’s mouthwatering as can be.

Chicken and Dumplings with Leeks and Fresh Tarragon, from Smitten Kitchen.

Notes: Donโ€™t use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe. Start the dumpling dough only when youโ€™re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.


  • 5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (more…)

Meatball Soup February 6, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 11:12 am

We’re all still sick here. As a matter of fact, my migraine is making me feel extremely nauseous and I want to crawl back in bed.

BUT – I thought I should post some stuff. Not much new is happening and no good pictures, as I’m really beginning to detest the loaner. Maybe it’s me but I can’t get it to work for nothing.

Meatball Soup
Source: Adapted from BH&G Cookbook

Ingredients (more…)


Ugh February 2, 2008

Filed under: Cooking,Life,Parenting — Katie @ 1:20 pm

Everyone is sick here.

I feel like I have arthritis in every joint and marshmallows stuffed in my sinus cavities. My whole face hurts.

Rowan is leaking from everywhere – his eyes, his nose, his nose. I think he might have an eye infection and I praying his not teething, but he’s drooling up a storm. Listening to a body this little cough is just heart-wrenching. He’s been very mellow but just wants to be held. And he has this tiny little pathetic mew, like a newborn kitten.

Declan is same old Declan – just add a scratchy voice, tons of boogies and a hacking cough. Doesn’t he know you’re supposed to chill out on the couch all day when you’re sick? Seriously.

Matt says he feels yucky too, but I don’t have any yummy specifics to share with you guys.

That said I managed to make some meatball soup last night. It was a low-fat recipe and turned out kinda bland, but it was good and made a ton. I’ll probably end up freezing some even, which is a feat in this house. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a couple craft projects that I’d like to start soon, including menu magnets for the fridge and a clothespin hanger bag thingy. I’m getting tired of the cold and drear so I’ve got lots of brights and prints dancing in my head.ย  I’m trying to work it into the budget as well, but it’s tight. Once again, if you know anyone who needs daycare in my neck of the woods, can you send them this way?


Pork and Hominy Stew January 29, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 9:11 pm

To be honest, I’m not even sure what Hominy is. To me it’s kinda like corn but more of a grain. It was hard to try and explain it to Matt. Actually I just looked it up and it is corn, it’s just been treated in a certain fashion. Check it out. It actually sounds kinda… scary?

Anyway I made this up tonight and it’s got a few of my favorite things, such as cilantro and hominy. The Cumin is really what makes it though. Matt would like me to try it with chicken but I think pork is part of the magic and it goes much better with Cumin. We served it tonight along with my Light Oat Bread which came out lighter and fluffier than normal – must be because of the cold humid air tonight. Either way, they were both delicious. ๐Ÿ˜€

Matt states that I may add it to the rotation.

Pork and Hominy Stew (more…)


Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches January 26, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 8:30 pm

Okay, so there’s not much to say about this recipe. There’s not much you can say because well, your mouth fills up with drool too quickly.

My mom got an awesome deal on a huge pork shoulder so we decided to cook it up on her birthday weekend. We used an 8 pound roast and doubled this recipe. Sadly there was little to no leftovers. Again, no pictures. I’m getting really frustrated with the loaner camera I have borrowed hence the lack of pictures. Sorry Guys. I should start a donation fund for a new camera, huh? (more…)


Stuffed Bell Peppers January 25, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 8:47 pm

One of my little brothers talked about going to culinary school at one point. Since then he’s kinda dropped the dream, but I think he would be awesome at it and I’m trying to stoke up that dream again. I asked him recently if there was anything he would like to try and cook and he responded with Stuffed Bell Peppers. Awesome! We all love stuffed peppers here.

I came across this recipe at Simply Recipes and it sounded like just the ticket. We took pictures, as they turned out beautifully, but somehow Mom’s camera ATE them – that’s how good they were. ๐Ÿ˜€ We doubled the recipe easily, but should have quadrupled it for leftovers!

I think one of the things that made it so good was not cooking the hamburger ahead of time. In essence you’re just cooking the meat twice which dries it out. These needed nothing but a side of garlic bread.

Dad’s Stuffed Bell Peppers, from Simply Recipes.


  • 4 green or red bell peppers
  • Salt
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cup of cooked rice or 3/4 cup of raw instant rice
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut top off peppers 1 inch from the stem end, and remove seeds. Add several generous pinches of salt to boiling water, then add peppers and boil, using a spoon to keep peppers completely submerged, until brilliant green (or red if red peppers) and their flesh slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Drizzle remaining 1 tbsp. Oil inside peppers, arrange cut side up in a baking dish, then stuff peppers with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl, then spoon over filling. Add 1/4 cup of water to the baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the internal temperature of the stuffed pepper is 150-160ยฐF.

Serves 4.


Crock o’ Brats January 24, 2008

Filed under: Cooking — Katie @ 10:46 am

Matt will eat just about anything that has to do with bratwursts, even sauerkraut, which he normally wont touch. I, on the other hand, love it. Declan’s little taste buds are still so fresh that sauerkraut is overpowering for him and he can’t eat it fresh. We were eager to try this recipe because it had a couple things we all enjoyed.

The first attempt I left in our cantankerous crock pot for too long – it burnt.
The second attempt was just off.
The third attempt was a double batch and there wasn’t room for the potatoes, so it was off as well.
Finally on our fourth attempt it turned out really good – we all agreed.

While I’m not sure it’s the greatest meal nutritionally, it’s good comfort food. Especially for those of us who love sauerkraut and bratwurst. It’s a nice blend of tangy and sweet. I add mustard to mine. ๐Ÿ˜€ (more…)