Chicken and Dumplings

You can’t get more Southern or more Dixie than Chicken and Dumplings. Just saying the words brings a sense of comfort to me. Chicken and dumplings have been a favorite of mine since I was a young child.  I grew up eating them at my Maw Maw’s house and they were wonderful pillowy clouds of dough swimming in a creamy chicken broth.  I was intimated about trying them on my own and never attempted it until a few years ago.  My mother in law makes a fabulous version as well, so I asked for her recipe and discovered that making them isn’t scary OR difficult! As with anything I cook, I put my own spin on it and usually change a few steps.  Here’s my rendition of chicken and dumplings:

  •      I start by boiling a whole chicken.  I add lots of salt, pepper, and thyme to the water.  Once the chicken has cooked through, I remove the skin and pull the meat from the bones.  We eat both white and dark meat, but if you prefer only white, simply cook white meat only.  Reserve the broth for the dumplings.

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  • Mix 2 cups plain flour, ¾ cup self-rising flour , ½ cup oil, and a ½ cup cold water, and salt to taste in a bowl. Cover with a towel and refrigerate until chilled, usually 10 minutes or so.
  • Place the broth back onto the stove and turn to medium-high heat.  Bring to a very low boil.
  • Roll out dough on a floured surface.  The thickness of the dough determines how thick your dumplings will be.  I’ve found that rolling the dough to about a ¼ inch thickness works well for us.
  • Cut the dough into individual dumplings and carefully drop into broth.


  • Once all of the dumplings have been added to the broth and are floating, carefully add chicken.  Continue to simmer until thoroughly cooked.
  • Enjoy!


Our Visit to the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center

I recently took the boys north, across the Choctawhatchee Bay, to Freeport, to visit The E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center.  The center was started in 2009 by a Walton County resident who wanted to educate others about the importance of conserving the world’s biodiversity.  The term biophilia means the love of all living things.  That philosophy is brought to life at the Biophilia Center.  The center is located on the Nokuse Plantation, which, at almost 54,000 acres, is the largest privately owned nature preserve in the Southeastern United States.

There is a large area for parking with a short walk to the main building.  img_1221img_1223img_1222img_1225

Upon entering the open and spacious front foyer, you are greeted by a large bird and a large ant.  The boys immediately began giggling and couldn’t wait to run ahead to the Exhibit Hall.


Henry walked up to the wooden ducks in the display case and began talking to them and pointing out the ones that were angry, sad, happy…


One of the first interactive displays was this turtle tunnel that allows you to crawl through and experience life as a sea turtle.  This had such a big impact on Henry, he was awake the next morning telling me all about an exciting dream he had just had where he was a sea turtle! img_1233img_1234

The boys were amazed by the Honey Bee Exhibit which shows bees in action!img_1235img_1236

There’s an exhibit that allows you to put your hands into a dark hole and feel things such as alligator heads and tortoise shells. I passed on that one, but Massey loved it!


Henry stood and talked to the snakes for a while.

There are scheduled exhibits throughout the day, many involving up close and personal experiences with the animals.  Henry and Massey weren’t interested in sitting and listening to any kind of educational talk, so we skipped those, but if you have children who are older or who have an attention span greater than 60 seconds, definitely plan on taking part in those experiences!

After passing through a side porch, complete with a water table, a chalk table, and a sand table, you can climb Native American mounds and walk through a Florida Cracker House.


While outdoors, you can tour the Biophilia Garden and see the Birds of Prey exhibit.



We highly recommend visiting the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center! We plan on going back very soon!

Check out their website for more information, including hours and how to support them annually in their efforts to create and nurture a more biodiverse environment!