Chicken Tetrazzini


This meal is sure to please even the pickiest of dinner guests – easy to take along as well to any holiday pot luck.


As I sit in front of a crackling fire with my precious Lucy at my feet (my Dog) slowly sipping an apple brandy I write this.  Christmas jazz plays in the background and all is right with the world for a moment or two, so I ponder the day.  With Christmas upon us I was reviewing my gift list, checking it twice actually.  I still have a few gifts to buy and recipes to test before the big day.  The season of baking and cooking is now in full swing and my thoughts turn to sherry, not cream sherry but crisp clear dry sherry.  I love the way some wines will actually coax a hunger from deep within, something that makes you want savory delectables.  So I searched my recipes and behold, I have plucked this one from deep within the archives.I am most proud of how the chicken tetrazzini came together as a beautiful meld of sherry, cream and buttery goodness.  I used a very old, about 40 year old, family recipe from our New England kin and followed it to the letter.


I started with a young tender whole chicken.  The house filled with it’s calming aromas throughout the afternoon.  Boil this slowly to extract every ounce of essence from it.    After slightly cooling in the broth, remove the chicken and shred the meat, adding the skin and bone back to the broth.  This practice gives abundant flavor to the dish.  Cook broth down to about 2 cups of liquid when strained.  It should have a nice full bodied aroma and be very dense in color.  Sauté mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of sherry for 2 to 3 minutes, set aside.  Once the bottle of dry sherry had been opened things began to “warm” up a bit.




So, Back to the recipe.  Strain your broth well in a fine sieve.  Cook and strain your pasta of choice.  Melt 3 more tablespoons of butter and blend in 3 tablespoons of flour, once mixed well add this to broth whisking over low heat until smooth and thick. While stirring the sauce this would be a perfect opportunity to ensure your choice of dry sherry was a good one, taste test thoroughly.  Add heavy cream and sherry to your broth and incorporate well.  Divide the sauce in two parts, add the shredded chicken to one part and the pasta and mushrooms to the other.  Choose a baking dish that has a round or oval shape as it will be most appealing, I did however use my rectangular one which worked out fine.  Coat our dish with butter then add your spaghetti with mushrooms, arrange in the dish with a “bowl” in the center for the chicken and sauce.  Once this is constructed sprinkle with cheese of your choice, I took several slices of smoked gouda cheese and julienned it.  The smoked cheese gave way to joyous marriage with the sherry in this recipe.  Bake this at 350 degrees until browned, about 20-25 minutes.



The rest of sherry is for the evening of delightful eating and merry making you should have.  The best sherry is a chilled sherry, served in a small glass to sip and enjoy the aromas.  It is perfect with a little something to eat.


PREP TIME 30 mins

COOK TIME 2.5 hours

TOTAL TIME 3 hours

Serves: 8


  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 1/2 pound Pasta of your choice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons dry sherry



  1. Prep chicken, place in heavy stock pot, cover with water and 1 Tablespoon salt.  Summer until tender.
  2. Cool in broth until able to handle.
  3. Remove chicken from broth, spread meat, adding skin and bones back into the broth.
  4. Cook broth down to 2 cups after straining.
  5. meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in 3 tablespoons of butter for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  6. Boil pasta to desired tenderness and drain.
  7. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter, blend in flour until incorporated and add to the broth stirring over low heat until smooth and thick.
  8. Add the cream and sherry to the sauce and mix well.
  9. Divide sauce in two parts.
  10. Add one part to shredded chicken, add the second part to pasta and mushrooms.
  11. Pour pasta mixture into casserole dish, making an area in the middle adding the chicken and sauce there.
  12. Sprinkle with desired cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until brown.

Warm woolen socks, soft mittens and Norwegian printed tights.  The cold weather has finally arrived and I have brought out my favorite attire.  My Daughter and I went shopping yesterday and found knit hats and sweaters, tights and leg warmers. We wanted to buy them all, we settled on our favorites and then went to lunch a quaint little Italian place nearby.

It has been a busy week of taking down holiday decor, preparing the den for remodeling and replacing our water heater which decided to start leaking on Christmas morning, of course.  The den is now down to minimum contents, the water heater has be replaced by my wonderfully handy husband and oldest son and all is right with the world once more.

The den I fear will have to wait for spring along with the other rooms to be remodeled, the weather it too cold at the moment to air our when painting as we will need to use Killz on some of the darker shades of red, yes the previous owner had, lets just say, a bright color palette. I love the cranberry red in our bedroom and plan to decorate using that as my base but, some of the other colors I want to soften through the house.

This chilly weather always initiates my seasonal crochet addiction.  I completed a lovely infinity scarf, in a soft lavender double half crochet.  I wanted the thickness for warmth.  I am just not warm unless my neck and feet are.  I have now embarked on crocheting several potholders for myself and family.  I’ve found a wonderful pattern that is simple and minimal.  I purchased some sturdy wool yarn for this task.  I will update including pictures when they are complete.

On to the topic at hand, Chicken and Dumpling.  There are several variations of this tried and true dish, the one we have settled on in our family is the large fluffy dumplings that cover the top of the pot soaking up the fragrant flavors within.  I have made the flat noodle style Southern dumplings for many years which were fathers absolute favorite.  He had to have a pot at least once a week, especially this time of year.  I do like them very much and I have my fathers favorite recipe and I will make and share in a future article.  But last evening was a perfect marriage of chicken, vegetables, spices and dough that would be a shame to keep to myself.

Begin by browning the chicken thighs in a large dutch over in grape seed oil, while they are browning and seasoning the pot chop the celery, onion, garlic, carrots and fresh thyme.  After removing the chicken sauté the vegetables and spices until they began to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes. Then add the chicken, 10 cups of water, 2 bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste.  Here I added a teaspoon of “Better than Bullion” just to add a bit of extra flavor to the dish. Let this simmer for about 30 minutes.

Then remove bay leaves and chicken, for the chicken let cool, then remove the skin and bone, shred meat with a fork and add back to the simmering pot.  Next, thicken the broth by using about 2 cups of the soup stock and 3 heaping tablespoons of flour, whisk thoroughly and incorporate  back into the pot of broth.

For the dumplings, whisk together the remaining flour baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add milk, buttermilk is also and option here, butter and parsley until a dough forms.  Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish and serve.  This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.


The fire has dwindled to sparkling orange embers and I must take a trip to the market to gather ingredients for my next great cooking adventure.  Hoping everyone has an amazing day.



Hearty Chicken and Dumplings



1 Tbsp grape seed oil

6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (about 2 lbs)

Salt and pepper

4 stalks of celery

4 carrots

2 small onions

2 Tbsp fresh thyme

2 cloves of garlic

2 bay leaves

2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup milk (buttermilk can be used also)

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, plus more for garnish



In a dutch oven heat oil over medium heat.  Add chicken and let brown turning once.  Remove chicken from pot and add chopped celery, onions, carrots and garlic to the pot.  sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes.  Add the chicken bayleaves, 10 cups of water and “Better than Bullion”, let simmer on until chicken is cooked thoroughly, about 30 minutes.

Remove chicken and bay leaves from pot, remove bone and skin from the chicken and shred with a fork, add back to pot.

Remove 2 cups of liquid from pot and add 3 Tablespoons of flour, whisk until smooth then incorporate back into pot to thicken.

In a large bowl mix Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.  Add milk butter and parsley mixing until dough forms.  Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish and serve.  This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.

(adapted from

I’ve decided it’s time to brush off my dusty blog, stretch my fingers and get back to baking, cooking and blogging. I have gathered many wonderful recipe ideas over the past several months. during my hyatius I’ve found renewed inspiration and a plethra of new projects that I am so eager to share with you. As I sitting in fromt of a cracling fire with the warm glow of the christmas tree lights splashings light from between the trees branches illuminating the room setting the mood for my return blog so, lets jump right into it.

This evening while the buzz of my family discussing their days buzzed around the Kitchen I whipped up some deliciously tender chicken cutlets. I Llightly sprinklied the cutlets with flour, paprika, yellow curry, a pinch of salt and pepper and a dash or two of Tarragon. lightly frying them in Grape seed oil then topping them off with capers. Accompanying the chicken this evening were homemade garlic mashed potatoes and saute`d spinach.

My younger son has declared every night this week that we should all sit down and watch a Christmas Movie so tonight we did just that. We’ve started our yearly Christmas Movie Marrathon off with “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carry. Of course popcorn was made, pillows and assorted blankets were strewn around the family room making a perfectly cozy evening in our home.
My daughter brought up decadent recipe she found on facebook for “crockpot hot cocoa” we will be making in the very near future with some personal modifications I’m sure.

Taco chili

It’s time for flannel shirts and fuzzy socks again. Sitting curled up on the sofa with a warm blanket and a delicious bowl of chili. I’ve been in the mood for a hearty one dish meal so as I perused the grocery store on Sunday looking for something to beckon me to cook it for dinner I came across a perfect recipe idea.
There is nothing like a generous pot of chili simmering on the stove, filling your home with its sweet spicy essence. This recipe combines not only the traditional chili seasonings but also introduces a taco base, blending both to create a mouthwatering yet mildly spicy one dish meal. Dress this with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream and chips of your choice and not only will your tummy be satisfied but clean-up won’t be time consuming. You’ll be able to get cozy and enjoy the evening with loved ones.
This recipe has been added to “popular weeknight recipes” in my home not only because it is delicious but also easy. I hope you all Enjoy!

1 ½ lb ground beef (I did a mixture of ground chuck and pork)
2 (10-oz) cans diced tomatoes with chiles, undrained
1 can chili beans in sauce (15–16 oz), undrained
1 can red kidney beans (15–16 oz), undrained
1 (15.25-oz) can Southwestern corn with peppers, drained
1 (15.5-oz) can hominy, drained
1 (10-oz) can mild enchilada sauce
1 packet taco seasoning mix or 1 oz. of homemade taco seasoning

Preheat large, Dutch oven on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place beef in pan (wash hands); brown 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, or until no pink remains. Stir in taco seasoning;
Combine remaining ingredients in Dutch oven; stir to blend well. Cover and cook on medium low simmering for 30 minutes.
**You can also make this in the slow cooker with the following instructions.
Slow Cooker Steps
Preheat large, nonstick sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Place beef in pan (wash hands); brown 5–7 minutes, stirring to crumble meat, or until no pink remains. Stir in taco seasoning; remove meat from pan.
Combine remaining ingredients in slow cooker; stir in meat. Cover and cook on HIGH 3–4 hours or LOW 6–8 hours. Serve.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

This morning my dog Lucy woke me just in time to receive one of our Thanksgiving guests.  My Brother and Sister-in-law brought their dog Jack over to stay with us for the weekend while they travel south to see family.  He is such a sweet boy.  It is a pleasure to have him visit us for the holiday.

After the pets settled down I went into the kitchen to begin preparations for dinner as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade murmured in the background.  But first, Breakfast!  As Mild sausage sizzled in the pan I mixed up a batch of fluffy buttermilk pancakes.  We had a lovely breakfast and discussed the orchestration of the days cooking.  My husband was in charge of the smoker and the turkey so after breakfast he headed outside to prep and prime the smoker.  The smell of apple wood soon filled the chilly morning air and the turkey was soaking up that delicious smoky flavor.  I then began preparing the rest of our menu which consisted of aromatic smoked turkey which I stuffed with onions and celery and rubbed with sea salt and sage. Next we had moist Bread and sausage stuffing, bourbon sweet potatoes with a crisp brown sugar and pecan crust, roasted acorn squash with an orange and brown sugar glaze, traditional green bean casserole, creamy mashed potatoes with giblet gravy and amazingly buttery dinner rolls. The morning went by rather quickly and soon everything was prepped and ready for cooking.  Our menu was very traditional this year so for dessert my son joined me in the kitchen making his famous chess pie while I whipped up my blue ribbon pumpkin pie.  With both pies we used an amazing pie crust recipe I had originally learned of on an NPR cooking segment, foolproof pie dough made using an infusion of vodka and chilled water that turns so light and flaky it never fails to make perfect pies.  

During our down time from the kitchen throughout the day we watched movies to compliment the season.  The first we watched was a classic John Hughes movie, “Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) which captures the essence of holiday traveling.  The next movie, also a John Hughes production, Dutch (1991) is another tale of holiday travel and the awkward but eventually heartwarming relationship that builds between a mother’s son and her new boyfriend.  After dinner we entertained one last movie that revolves around Thanksgiving, “Home for the Holidays” (1995) directed by Jodie Foster that lays out the framework of the American dysfunctional family.

As the sun fell behind the horizon and the sky faded to a blue blanket of stars we settled around the table to give thanks and enjoy the bountiful meal we had prepared as a family.  Missing those family and friends who could not be with us this year and being very thankful for all that we have been blessed with.  Afterwards we retired to the family room this a glass of wine to watch one last movie before my son headed home and we retired for the evening tummies full and hearts warm.

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Smoked Turkey rubbed with Sage and stuffed with onion and celery

Buttermilk mashed potatoes with butter and chives

Homemade giblet gravy

Creamy green bean casserole

Bourbon sweet potato casserole with a buttery brown sugar and pecan crust

Traditional bread and sausage stuffing

Dinner Rolls

Blue Ribbon Pumpkin Pie

Chess pie

Autumn’s Bounty

As I sit here comfortable in my overstuffed chair in the living room, fireplace crackling with the best cedar logs, I begin to compose my holiday menu.  The chilly wind is whipping outside and we’ve already had a few flurries.  It is at this time of year more than any other that we pine for the warmth of home cooked meals, loving family and most of all the comfort of home.  Sundays are still in my home a day for family to come together.  We gather to discuss our week, weather it has been good or bad, share new movies shows and music we’ve discovered ask for advise or give it, talk and listen but most importantly love ,support and encourage one another. This week will be no different so while I design next weeks Thanksgiving dinner menu I also want to have a delicious meal prepared for this Sunday.  

I want to do something warm and comforting but not too intricate since the following Thursday is Thanksgiving.  I have settled, I think, on ham and beans with skillet cornbread.  This will be digging down to my southern roots as this was a weekly staple in our home when I was growing up.  And My oldest son’s favorite comfort food.  He has had a difficult week so anything a mother can do to make her child feel better will be done.  

I use to love when my mother would break out that big avocado green Rival crockpot.   I knew the house would soon be filled with the smell of ham and beans or a hearty stew.  She also made ham and beans in a dutch oven but for this Sunday I am using the crock pot.

Ham and Beans

1 – 16oz. package of baby lima beans (soaked overnight and rinsed)

3-4 meaty ham hocks or a ham bone with trimmings cubed

1 small onion diced

¼ to 1/3 cup of light brown sugar

Salt & White Pepper to taste

5 cups of water (enough to cover beans)

The night before, pick through beans for any that look discolored or shriveled and remove them.  Rinse the good beans thoroughly then cover with water to soak overnight.

In the morning drain the beans, rinse them once more then add them to the crock pot.  Add your ham cubed, diced onion, salt, white pepper, brown sugar and water to cover ingredients about 2 inches over.  

Cook in crockpot for 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

As we all know you simply mustn’t have ham and beans without cornbread.  Every family has their favorite weather it be white or yellow sweet or salty they all compliment this meal so very well.  Here I will share our family favorite.  Although this recipe has you add the honey to the batter my granny use to warm the honey slightly and brush it on top.  Both variations are moist and delicious.

Honey Corn Bread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

12 cup granulated sugar

1 cup whole milk

 2 large eggs lightly beaten

12 stick butter, melted

14 cup honey

For this recipe you will need to season a cast iron skillet with oil or shortening and put it in the oven to preheat.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with pan inside.  In a large bowl stir together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and set aside.  

In a separate bowl whisk together milk, eggs, butter and honey.

Add the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon just until combined (do not overmix).  

Carefully remove your cast iron skillet from the oven and add your batter. Place your skillet back in the oven and bake to a golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Now that I have planned a simple but wholesome meal for Sundays family dinner what should I do for dessert?  I suppose this is to be continued…..