Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back-to-School Dinner

"Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire." ~ William Butler Yeats

School started for our four this week, and excitement has been high. First-grader Emma burst through the door Monday afternoon to shout, "I love my teacher! I love my teacher!" So far, the other children have been just as enthusiastic, so I am relieved that this looks like it will be another great year.

Earlier this week I shared details of our PTO teacher-appreciation dinner. Learn more about that here.

I decided to carry a similar color scheme into our family's back-to-school dinner. I am always eager to gather around the table on the first day of school to hear the highlights of everyone's day. Monday night we enjoyed a simple menu of chicken and dumplings, fruit salad and dessert.

I prepared chicken and dumplings for the PTO dinner, and the house smelled so good while the crock pot simmered. Since we didn't sample the dish before I took it to school, I have been eager to make it again for the family. I found a chicken and dumplings recipe on Pinterest last year, and I have really enjoyed making it. This comfort dish is so easy to assemble, and the aroma really says welcome home. I found the original recipe here on Bubblecrumb. I have altered it a bit to suit our family. The recipe I follow is listed below.

Chicken and Dumplings
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 box chicken broth
1 onion diced
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
1 package Grands refrigerator biscuits
Place chicken breasts in the crock pot, and add the rest of the ingredients (except biscuits) on top. Cover the crock pot, and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. Use two forks to shred chicken. Then cut biscuits into bite-size pieces, drop the dough into the chicken mixture, and cover again to cook for 30 more minutes. Stir the chicken and dumplings, and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

I set the table with colors to match our tissue-paper bouquet and added a couple of treats to each child's  place. I found lollipops and 4-packs of spiral notepads at Wal-Mart. These favors were little tokens to let the children know I was thinking about them during their first day of school.

Here are my babies, ready to begin the 2012-13 school year: Carson, 8th grade; Christian, 5th grade; Mary Ashley, 3rd grade; and Emma, 1st grade. Away we go!

Please help me put heart into the holidays by voting for me in Taste of Home's search for Mrs. Holiday. After "liking" this page, you can find me by searching for my name. Thank you for your support and daily votes!



Val said...

How fun! And I love that you've created the meal for both the PTO and your family. Here's to a great year for you all. :)

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. I love all of the decorations and I am going to try to make those chicken and dumplings very soon. Sounds so easy.

I am still voting for you!


Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, how neat to have a celebration dinner for the first day of school. Bet that made your kiddos feel so special. The table is just too cute!!

I may have to give that recipe a try.

Happy weekend!

Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking said...

Oh they are all so adorable!!

Alinda Sikes said...

HI Melissa! I ran across your blog this week and drooled over this recipe(and the tablescape!). So, when both my daughters woke up this morning with colds I knew this would be the perfect comfort food for a sick day! We LOVED it and my husband told me to put it in the dinner rotation. The best part is that it made enough to share with a friend that needed some TLC. Love your blog! Thanks for sharing. BTW, my mother-in-law, Bonnie, is your neighbor! :)
Alinda Sikes

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