Category Archives: FOOD

Chicken (Spaetzle) Noodle Soup

What do you do when you don’t have traditional egg noodles, but  you’re craving Chicken Noodle soup?   You throw in Spaetzle, “farmer style” egg pasta.  Or buy some at any grocery store.

It’s so worth it.img_1688

I think I wolfed down my bowl in under five minutes.  That good.  That simple.

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I made it for my children, but those little stinkers didn’t even try it.   That’s ok, that’s what mason jars are for…

I only make chicken noodle soup when I have a leftover roasted chicken and I’m feeling a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Mom, (Caroline).  When you use every bit of something after it’s main purpose is gone, you kind of feel like you’ve stepped into the real world of using what you have, as a cook.  And it costs very little.

New Year’s has a lot to do with that.  I love that we get the do-over each year. We need it.

So here’s what I do…

The Recipe

First…the broth…

  • Fill a large soup pot about half way with water
  • Add the chicken carcass.  Just put in it there.  All of it.  The water should cover at least half the chicken.
  • Throw in some roughly chopped carrots (2), celery (1) and onion (quartered).  You’ll toss this out later…just adds flavor to the broth.
  • The spices:  whole peppercorns, two bay leaves, a pinch of thyme (I only had ground thyme), sea salt.
  • Bring everything to a boil.  Let it boil for about five minutes before simmering with lid partial on.  Simmer for about an hour.  Already smells good. 🙂
  • Remove the chicken as much as you can into a large bowl and let it cool.  Drain the soup with a mesh colander to catch the veggies and bits and pieces of chicken.

Next…The Chicken…

  • When the chicken is cool enough to touch, start separating the good stuff from the bad stuff.   You should have about two cups of cooked chicken.

Finally, the SPAETZLE…!

  • Return the broth to the pot, add new carrots, celery.  I keep it simple, but you might like to add onion or another veggie.
  • Bring to boil again and then simmer again for about fifteen minutes.
  • Add chicken, couple dashes of fresh pepper and sea salt.
  • Then, finally, toss in about a cup of spaetzle.  It needs to cook for about 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes.

Voila!img_1689

The texture of the spaetzle feels homemade.  I love how it tastes, too, but especially how it’s a little thicker than thin strips of  egg noodles I’ve used in the past. Spaetzle  wraps around the chicken and broth like a big bear hug.

Comforts the soul.  And your appetite.

Aufessen!  🙂

 

Not Your Average Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Camp calls for cookies.

Ok, actually, I’ve never mailed my daughters homemade cookies in their camp care packages.  This is the first time I’ve done it.  And it’s mostly because I had some guilt after I dropped her off last weekend without one.

So I finally got it together…grabbed her brother’s care package box from last week and dropped off this little surprise at camp yesterday.

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The box that just keeps on giving. Operation Care Package is ready to depart.

Mother guilt can turn into some real fun care packages.  Here, take your powerful antioxidants dear, while you eat some vanilla frosting out of the jar.

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Homemade cookies and a Glamour mag. What more could a 16-year old counselor want?

The whole reason for the different cookie recipe?  My daughter.  She’s a vegetarian now and is considering the vegan thing.  I know cookies aren’t exactly a concern for vegetarians, but she’s really experimenting with all kinds of healthy alternatives so I thought I’d give it a go and make these gluten-free cookies.

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seriously delish

HOLY COW!!  They are so good!

The recipe called for a cup of chocolate chips.  I only had about 2/3 cup, so I tossed in these mini m&ms that I found in the pantry.

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Here’s the recipe.  Yep, right on the back of the coconut flour.

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The recipe
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Hot out of the oven.
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You’d never know…

Grape Nuts Bread: Still A Favorite

The crunch in each bite.  The slight hint of sweetness. And then those grape nuts.

Do you like that steak knife I used to cut through bread?   I’m not know for my patience.   That bread was getting sliced by the closest, sharpest object.

I soaked those little grape nuts for 20 minutes in buttermilk. They swelled and softened. There seemed little chance that the crunch could remain.  Those crunchy nuts are practically indestructible.

img_5479Hands down, this is my favorite bread.  It’s one of the most viewed posts from the blog, too.   I thought it deserved an honorary mention for remaining so popular.

Also, I haven’t baked it in a couple of years.  Fairly sure my children are tired of banana bread.

Baking was not on my list today, but sometimes lists need a swift kick in the butt. img_5476

Unless it’s in a recipe.

Here’s it is from Mast Store Cooks and Kitty Rominger.

Valentines

Potatoes  +

Leeks


=

Potato Leek Soup. ❤


❤ True Love Forever ❤

It’s a simple, healthy recipe from Julia Child.

Message of Love

Yogi Teas are giving you more than a nice cup of tea these days.   I know they are not the first to capitalize on messages to consumers, but their theme brings a whole new meaning to a soothing cup of tea.  Each time I choose one now, I’m kind of excited about the message.  Kind of like looking at a fortune cookie.

Here’s my favorite green tea at the moment.  Everything about Yogi teas makes me feel good.  Love the packaging, taste, message and variety.

Love this in the afternoon when I’m starting to drag.

And this is coming from a girl who started her day with black tea and a very generous dose of half and half and a not so generous teaspoon of sugar for the past 20 years.  I never thought I’d see the day I could be satisfied with anything else, but now I realize I just want to drink something hot in the morning.

This is what I’ve been drinking: It’s less than $2 for a box of 20.

Last month and even lingering into February, everyone in my family was hit hard with a virus.  Normally, I pick up something.  Not this round.  That has NEVER happened.  Ever.  Luckily, my good health allowed me to take care of everyone without feeling run down.  Not sure if it’s the tea, but I’m thinking this daily extra does of Vitamin C cannot hurt.

Yerba Mate Tea

This is something of a breakthrough.  Stephielou steps out of her tea comfort zone and has a cup of mate.  Yerba mate.

It’s all about turning 50.  There’s stuff to try.  And it’s time to start eating and drinking more things that promote energy and vitality.

Like this tea.

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I first found out about Yerba Mate from Alicia Silverstone.  Not directly.  She wrote this cookbook and I bought it.  Back in the vegan days.  I wasn’t so crazy about it, but I think it was the brand.  You’re never too old to try again.  So I tried and I liked. 🙂

Yerba mate tea comes from the yerba mate plant, which originates from South America.  I did a little digging and decided it’s worth getting to know.  This stuff is really good for you!  According to fitday.com  there are are six  very good reasons to drink the tea:

“1. Rich in Antioxidants

Yerba mate tea is very high in antioxidants; it’s got about 90% more antioxidants than green tea. Yerba mate has significant immune boosting properties. It can slow the signs of aging, detoxify the blood and prevent many types of cancer. Yerba mate also helps reduce stress and insomnia.

2. Enhances Your Ability to Focus

Proponents of yerba mate tea say that the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, animo acids and polphenols found in this beverage have a balancing effect on the caffeine it contains. Users report increased mental energy, clarity and focus, but they also say that yerba mate doesn’t cause any of the uncomfortable side effects associated with drinking caffeinated beverages, such as headaches, stomachaches and jitters.

3. Enhances Physical Endurance

The chemical compounds and nutrients in yerba mate tea affect your metabolism to make your body use carbohydrates more efficiently. This means you’ll get more energy from the food you eat. You’ll also burn more of the calories your body has stored in fat cells as fuel when you drink yerba mate tea regularly. Regular yerba mate consumption also helps keep lactic acid from building up in your muscles so you can decrease post workout soreness and cut your recovery time.

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4. Aids Digestion

The native peoples of South America have long used yerba mate tea as a traditional herbal remedy against digestive ailments. Yerba mate aids digestion by stimulating increased production of bile and other gastric acids. Yerba mate helps keep your colon clean for effective and efficient waste elimination, and helps reduce the stomach bacteria that can contribute to bad breath.

5. Helps You Control Your Weight

Native South American peoples have traditionally used yerba mate as part of a lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Yerba mate has stimulant qualities to help you feel full sooner after you begin eating, and it slows your digestion so that your stomach stays full longer. Combining yerba mate with a healthy diet and regular exercise can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories, and it can help you eat less by curbing your appetite slightly.

6. Supports Cardiovascular Health

The antioxidants and amino acids present in yerba mate help fat and cholesterol move through your bloodstream so that they don’t accumulate on artery walls. Yerba mate also helps prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke.”

Ok, those are six really good reasons to drink the stuff.  I’m sold.

And it’s really nice to have a cool teacup from Anthropologie.   You can see more of them here. My daughter bought me this one for my birthday.  It’s my favorite.   Just sets the tone.

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Cheese!

I’ve had this cheese grater for 20 years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it smile.