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!

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