Monday, January 30, 2023

Vanilla and Almond Granola and Chicken and Dumplings

It's true that I always have breakfast in bed. My late hubby and I started breakfast in bed when we became empty nesters.  I left my little tree up and decorated it with Valentine decor and have the lights on a timer for morning and evening.  It makes me smile!  The pictures on the wall are high school pictures of my four kids.

I made the vintage-like ornaments last year from my stash of fabric, and the tea cosy matches.  

This "Truly Tasteful" teacup came from a teacup exchange years ago.

Yield: About 8 cups
Author: Kitty, but adapted from The Best of Aggieland Cookbook and Stella's Southern Cafe'
Vanilla and Almond Granola

Vanilla and Almond Granola

This granola is so good, and maybe it's because the nuts are toasted by themselves and then again in the granola. I hope you try it if you love granola. I only made half, but am giving the full recipe.


  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 7 cups rolled oats (Old Fashioned)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups raisins (I used Montmorency dried cherries)


  1. Lay the pecan pieces and the almond slices onto a parchment lined baking tray and toast at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes, until they barely begin to turn color. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the raisins ( or dried cherries) in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Pour the mixture onto two sheet trays that are lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Place the granola back into the 350 degree oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned (I did mine a little longer because I prefer it extra toasty), stir this every 10 minutes to help for even browning. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Break up into chunks, toss in raisins (or cherries), and store into an airtight container for up to 1 month.


If you make half a recipe, half of 3/4 cup = 1/4 cup +2 tablespoons.

Chicken and Dumplings is one of my most favorite recipes, and this one starts with a rotisserie chicken.    If you love the fluffy type dumplings, this is for you!

Yield: 6
Author: Kitty
Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

I started making this when I was first married. The dumpling recipe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook. It's a family favorite! I use the thighs and drumsticks for a meal, and save the skin, bones and breast of the rotisserie chicken for the chicken and dumplings.


  • 1 leftover rotisserie chicken, with the skin and bones
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut up
  • 3 whole carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Leftover chicken breast, cut up from the chicken, or cook some extra (save for later)
  • Dumplings (the fluffy kind!)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk


  1. Place the rotisserie chicken bones, and skin into a large dutch oven, along with the celery, carrots, and onion, salt and pepper; add the broth and the water. Cover the pot and cook in a 250 degree oven for 5 hours or more. Remove the chicken, and strain the broth and return to the dutch oven. I discard the celery and the onion.
  2. Cut up the carrots and chicken breast that you saved, and set aside.
  3. Make a slurry in a covered jar with 1/2 cup flour and about 1-1/2 cups water.
  4. Bring the broth to a boil on the stove top, and then slowly add the slurry, while stirring. Bring to a boil again and turn to a simmer. You can add the carrots now if you wish, but wait to add the chicken until later as to not overcook it.
  5. Prepare the dough for the dumplings.
  6. Put flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl. ( I like to add a sprinkle of dried parsley for color.) Cut in shortening until the mixture looks like meal. Stir in milk.
  7. Turn up the broth until it comes to a boil, and then drop the dumplings by spoonfuls onto the hot chicken broth. Turn the temperature down to a low boil and cook uncovered for 10 minutes; cover and cook 20 minutes longer. Carefully add the cut up chicken breast in between the dumplings, and let warm up a bit. Sprinkle with some parsley, if desired.


I usually get 12-13 dumplings.

My daughter decided that it would be nice to get our family together at least four times a year to celebrate birthdays for the seasons.  Isn't that thoughtful?  She had a soup party with four different homemade soups, rolls, appetizer, and I brought our favorite dessert.  We celebrated daughter-in-law, Kristen's, son, Mike's, and my birthday.  Hayden wanted to be in the picture, too.

Here are my wonderful kids!

Here are my beautiful granddaughters!  Grandson, Caiden had to work.  Update on grandson Riley is that he graduated with his Combat Medic certification and will be headed to South Korea soon.  God bless him, Connor, and our military. 

Thank you for your visit!  xo


  1. Praying for your granson Riley! We have two gransons in the Air Force...youngest William 23, in Tucson, AZ... and oldest Tylar, 28 now, I PaPa, Hungray.
    We miss them something awful.
    Love all the photos!

  2. What a beautiful family and photos of you all Kitty! I think celebrating birthdays with family gatherings seasonally is a wonderful idea and a soup party sounds perfect this time of year. Love your adorable Valentine tree with your sweet vintage ornaments you made! Your granola and dumplings look and sound delicious. Prayers for Connor and Riley and our military men and women. ♥

  3. Chicken and dumplings sounds like a nice hearty meal Kitty! Congrats to Riley:@)

  4. Chicken and dumplings was a favorite of mine growing up, and I still enjoy it. I think it's so nice that you have breakfast in bed. When you originally told me, I thought it was so wonderful that it will stay with me forever :-) I'm guessing that you probably watch the Today Show. I like the idea of celebrating birthdays with family gatherings seasonally and a soup party is great for winter. I invited my girlfriends over for a soup party at the end of February. Your Valentine tree with vintage ornaments you made is so festive and brightens the room. Prayers for Connor and Riley and all military men and women. Have a good week Kitty!


  5. Yes, bless those who serve! I love your four diplomas on your bedroom wall. That's what a friend calls her children's graduation photos.

    I think I will try your chicken and dumplings because I already have the chicken and gravy. It will be delicious I'm sure.

    Your daughter had a great idea to have a family gathering for birthdays. Are all months of the year covered in your family?

  6. Aw, such sweet pictures of you and your family! Family gatherings are such precious events! The food sounds yummy, too, and I must try your homemade dumplings recipe! God bless you, sweet friend.

  7. I think your little tree is darling Kitty and I love the ornaments you made to hang for Valentine's Day. I always appreciate photos of children displayed in a home. The recipe for chicken and dumplings sounds so good, I should make them today since its raining and cold. Love how your family gathers and celebrates all the birthdays, so Happy Birthday to you. Beautiful family.......

  8. You have such a beautiful family!! These recipes both look delicious and I just love that you enjoy breakfast in bed each day. What a relaxing way to usher in a new day.

  9. Such delicious looking Chicken and Dumplings. Beautiful family Kitty! Great photos!

  10. Kitty, breakfast in bed sounds so nice. I love both recipes and you have the nicest family! I hope you enjoy the week Kitty.

  11. Great recipes and wonderful family photos!

  12. Praying for Riley dear Kitty. The pictures of you all are wonderful. Makes my heart just pitter patter! YES, I love the FAT dumplings. LOL! That's what I call them. The tree looks so adorable. I was going to do a Valentines tree this year and haven't done so. Mercy! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. Your vintage-style Valentine tree is adorable!

    The seasonal birthday celebration is a great idea! I loved that the winter babies had a soup-themed party.

    Congrats to Riley on his graduation!

  14. I enjoy reading about your sweet family! Also, thanks for posting your recipes. We love chicken and dumplings! :D

  15. Your family is beautiful, Kitty, in looks and in the love you all share. We combine birthday celebrations in our family, too. Granola is what my husband eats for breakfast 9 times out of 10, so I make big batches. I like the seasonings in yours - the almond flavoring and the nutmeg, and may add those the next time I make it.
    Thanks for sharing, Kitty, and I hope you have a great week.

  16. I have not made chicken and dumplings in looks so good. The Valentine Tree looks great.

  17. Darling family photos. Birthday celebration with family is the best. The chicken and dumplings is a favorite.I will be making it soon. Breakfast in bed is wonderful, lovely tradition you and your husband had. Your Valentine tree is so lovely decked out with your vintage ornaments. Happy February.

  18. I love that you treat yourself to breakfast in bed Kitty! The tree in your room is so pretty, I love seasonal themed trees. The granola sounds wonderful and do you know I’ve never had chicken and dumplings! Love the idea of seasonal family birthday celebrations, and what a cake you had! Always love your cute family photos. Happy February!

  19. Oh your post brings back luscious memories of my grandma's chicken and dumplings, Kitty. I haven't had them in years and just reading about them makes me long for those days in her kitchen. Thanks for taking me there. And your family is beautiful. What a gift to have the ones we love gather 'round! Enjoy the weekend.

  20. So special that you enjoy breakfast in bed, and I just love your darling Valentine tree on the sled! The pictures of your children, along with the sign is beautiful. I love chicken and dumplings, but I have to make them the "southern" way, which is really more chicken-n-noodles, as my MIL made them. My family doesn't care for the northern way of making them. I love eating it both ways! What a precious family you have, and such a sweet idea of your daughter, to keep your family gathering together! Families need to do this, what a blessing! Will pray for your grandchildren in the military. May the Lord keep His hand upon them! Love and hugs to you sweet Kitty!

  21. I know I commented on this post!
    Did it go into spam folder?

    All the best Jan


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