There Truly IS Comfort in Food!



This has been a very rough winter all over the country, (except maybe San Diego where is seems to always be 80 degrees and sunny, but who could afford to live there, anyway?)

When you are holed up in your house with kids that want to run around outside but can’t because of the Artic wind chill, what do you do but cook satisfying, warm, delicious food?

Spring WILL come, summer too, and we can save the fat and calories for then…Then we will make grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and light and easy suppers.

For now, our bodies (at least mine) are craving thick, hearty soups and stews, macaroni and cheese, creamy pastas, etc.

I thought I would share a wonderful recipe that is so delicious it has to be distributed amongst the many, many followers of this blog.

(All seven of you, are you ready?)

chicken and dumplings

This recipe is tweaked by me, but I cannot take the credit for it.  Instead it is the genius of someone named Mrs. Hering and dates back to 1890 and Marshall Field’s department store in the beautiful, wonderful city of Chicago.

The actual recipe is Mrs. Hering’s Famous Chicken Potpie

I found it in the magnificent “The Marshall Field’s Cookbook” which is chock full of outstanding recipes.  Seriously, run out and buy it now!  You can find it here.

Now I don’t do well with pie crust, so that is where I changed the recipe a little.


1 (3 1/2-pound) frying chicken

1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 small onion, halved

2 teaspoons of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, diced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

3 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup dry sherry

3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Combine chicken, carrot, celery, onion, and salt in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to cover and bring to boil over high heat.  Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.  Move the chicken to a plate and allow to cool.  Boil the broth for 20 minutes to concentrate.  Strain the broth and throw away the vegetables.  Pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred into bite-size pieces.

Over medium heat in a large saucepan, add the butter.  When melted, add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 10 minutes until the onion and vegetables are soft.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the milk and 2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth.  Decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring often for 10 minutes.  Add the chicken meat, thyme, sherry, peas, parsley, salt, and pepper and stir well.

At this point, I add dumplings!  I know it’s supposed to be a chicken pot-pie but the dumplings work very well, also! 

Serve in warmed bowls and watch it disappear.

My kids and husband INHALE this and it’s perfect for a cold, snowy day.

And, if you don’t have the ingredients and can’t plow your way through 3 feet of snow, here’s another good idea for you…



Dearest Mrs. Hering and Marshall Field’s,

Thank you for your genius and I hope many get as much culinary pleasure out of this recipe and I do! (please don’t be mad I shared your recipe.)






“LIVE in the past, the present & the

future”—-Charles Dickens



Today is the first day of spring and it is a balmy 17 degrees where I live.

Nonetheless, it is truly spring because I have begun cleaning and emptying out all the crap stuff that has accumulated.

I’m also planning a master bedroom re-do by painting, creating a new headboard for the bed, and refinishing our dressers that were my grandparents’.  Can’t do any of the fun stuff yet because it’s too darn cold out to work in my garage.  So stay tuned…

Meanwhile, while cleaning out my dresser drawer, I came across this…


It’s a charm bracelet that was my great aunt’s when she was a young lady.  I had forgotten I had been given this after she had passed away (which was almost 22 years ago…) I was very close to my aunt and she always had lots of treasures at her house to go through because she saved EVERYTHING!  She might have even been considered a hoarder in present day.  She was one of the very first Avon ladies and had hundreds of little tubes of lipstick, perfume samples, jewelry, eyeshadows, you name it, on her bedroom dresser.

I always admired this bracelet because the charms were so fascinating to me.


The buttons on this little one really push down and the roller really rolls!  I’m sure my aunt had this one because she wrote for the local newspaper.


This little teapot really opens!




It’s a jewelry box and when you open it up, there’s a tiny diamond ring in it!


I can’t help but wonder why she had this one because she never married.  It makes me sad to think she wanted to, but never found the right fellow. 

This one has is a tiny makeup compact complete with teeny, tiny mirror!



So Cute!




Look closely…

As you can see, there are some pretty special charms here.  There is a baby buggy, a rickshaw, dog house with dog in it, toaster that really pops up with bread, mini wine opener, and an ironing board that really folds.  And for the hockey mom in me, there is a cowbell!


The envelope they came in is from Marshall Field’s (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore) and these charms have to be post WWII.  I wish I could find out more information about them.

In the meantime, I am going to clean it up and wear it proudly!  Why should they be stashed away in the back of my drawer?

It’s funny how I hold on to things and don’t use them because they have special meaning to me and I don’t want to ruin them.  I need to share this specialness always.

Life is way too short not to.