Category Archives: RECIPES

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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

The recipe
Hot out of the oven.
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.


Potatoes  +



Potato Leek Soup. ❤

❤ True Love Forever ❤

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

S’mores Casserole in Under Five Minutes

It’s the first day of fall, but it’s not too late to create of little summer yum.  Just need an oven instead of a fire.

IMG 1317

I saw this on The Today Show and thought I’d give it a go.  It was even easier than they said.

First, you crush some  graham crackers until the bottom of the pie pan is completely covered.  It can be as fine or as chunky as you prefer.

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Now comes the chocolate.  Instead of Hershey’s chocolate bars, just use some chocolate chips.

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And again, pour enough to completely cover the graham crackers.  And then some.

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Next, add the marshmallows.  My OCD tendencies were satisfied with the arrangement.

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Next, put the pie pan in a preheated 450 degree oven and bake it for 5-7 minutes.  You want that chocolate to melt.

And you want those marshmallows to look toasty yummy.

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So good.  Grab some spoons and dig in!

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Good Intentions

Smoothies are awesome. They are easy to make and for the most part, a terrific, nutritious choice. That is how this smoothie started out.

Those little black specks are chia seeds. My daughter kept asking me to buy some for her. Super healthy, super hip.

Not exactly like the Chia pets I remember seeing on TV.
I tossed in my new favorite yogurt. I eat this right out of the container.

I also added a banana, some ice cubes, about a half cup of orange juice, and almond milk. I took a big gulp, enjoyed it, but felt it needed something more.
Then I remembered the other item my daughter chose at the store yesterday. The perfect topper:

It’s good to have an emergency can of instant joy in your frig.
Thanks Hal, delish!


Hattie Mae’s Tomato Pie

It’s got to be good when it’s made by Hattie Mae.

I’ll admit that’s why I decided to give it a go. It’s not like I’m a huge fan of tomatoes, but when it comes to pie and names like Hattie Mae, heck yeah, I’ll try it.

The key to making this pie delicious is making those tomatoes sweat.  Salt them generously, let them sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse and dry with a paper towel.  You don’t want a soggy pie.  Yuck.


I have to admit I got a kick out of seeing some sweaty tomatoes.  In a scientific kind of way.

Bake the pieshell first.  Then layer: Sliced tomatoes, diced onion, salt and pepper, basil and repeat.  Like lasagna.

This is just half of it:


All done layering.  Now it gets sinful.

IMG 6071    Hattie Mae says to add one cup of mayonnaise and one cup of cheddar cheese to the mix.  Well then.  It must be done.

It will look like this before it goes in the oven:

IMG 6072
Ready to pop in the oven. That’s a lot of mayonnaise and cheese.

Or it will look like this without all that mayonnaise.

My version without all that mayo.
My version without all that mayo.

I only had a 1/3 cup of mayo in the fridge.   I added onion and basil to stretch it over the top of those tomatoes. And cheese melts.

Put it in the oven until it looks like this:

IMG 6073
This is the “One Cup Mayo” version.

You can serve it hot, warm or cold.  I prefer it warm and actually, I prefer it with less mayo. It held together better and I can do without a cup of mayo.

So good either way.

Here’s the recipe from Grits and Groceries, a restaurant in Belton, South Carolina.  They are all about comfort food.  Oh yes.  I will go there one day.

Thanks, Grit and Groceries!
Thanks, Grit and Groceries!

The Ingredients:

  • 4 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, chilled
  • 1 c. finely diced onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (choose among oregano, parsley, basil.  I went with basil. )
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place tomatoes on a cookie sheet and season with salt. Allow to sit for a few minutes until some of their water is drawn out.  Rinse under cold water.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Lay one-third of the herbs and season with salt and pepper.  Add the remaining tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.  Combine the remaining herbs with mayonnaise and cheese in a small bowl.  Spread this mixture on top of the pie.  Bake until golden brown.