Another Snow Storm Expected In Michigan….Soups On!

The holidays are over I’m done with snow and cold weather, completely over it.  I’m ready for sunshine and warm weather. Unfortunately, living in Michigan means that I have roughly 75 days until the official first day of spring and 168 days until the first day of summer.  Our current forecast is calling for single digit temperatures and snow anticipated to start later tonight continuing into late Sunday night, early Monday morning leaving.  We’ve been told to expect an additional 6-10” of snow.  That’s 6-10” of snow on top of what we already have.  I’ll just have to suck it up and find ways to take my mind off the inevitable, the cold and snow are here for a while. 

In anticipation of the snow and cold I decided to make this a “foodie” weekend and try a couple of new recipes.  The first was “Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup” which I found through “The Country Cook” blog.  I have to say the house has smelled wonderful all afternoon as the soup simmered on the stove.  Of course I had to have a sample to make sure it was seasoned enough and Walt has been picking up the lid and peeking in commenting on how great it looks and smells.  I must say that I think this recipe may just replace my Dzia Dzia’s chicken soup!!

Of course I had to make a few changes, it wouldn’t be me cooking if I didn’t right?  The original recipe calls for 32 oz. of chicken stock or broth.  *I measured out 8 cups of water and then added three of the tubs of Knorr’s Homestyle Chicken Stock to the pot.  I brought that to a boil and then added the chicken and spices.

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 HEARTY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP 

What You’ll Need:

2 (32 oz.) cartons chicken stock  (*NOTE:  I used 8 cups of water and added three tubs of Knorr’s Homestyle Chicken Stock)

1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 lb. boneless chicken (breasts, thighs or tenderloins)

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (undiluted)

3 cups water

3 cups egg noodles, uncooked (I used Mrs. Millers Old fashioned Medium Homemade Egg Noodles)

salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

The rest of the recipe go to:  

http://www.thecountrycook.net/2013/11/one-pot-chicken-noodle-soup.html

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Another Mid-winter Monday

It’s Monday morning here in Michigan certainly not a warm one at 24 degrees but one that both makes you wish you could stay inside and not mind so much that it’s a work day. Joshua and Kaylee are on the last day of their mid-winter break while today is day one of Eric’s mid-winter break. We’re ticking down one more day till our next family birthday which will be Joshua’s in March followed by Dzia Dzia’s a few days later.

We’re counting down the days until spring which won’t bring extremely warm weather but it will bring life to my Lenten Roses that dot the ground under the pines around our patio. I’ve noticed that the days are getting longer; we really don’t need lights on until sometime around 6:00 p.m. instead of 5:00 p.m. These are a few of the little things that keep me from falling too deeply into those dreaded winter blues.

People have asked about my interview last week, so….an update on my interview last Wednesday. Although it went really, really well I know that I will not get a call for a second interview and this is why. The VP of Human Resources and I spent spent over an hour together and there was an instant rapport. She told me about the growth of the company and the plans for future growth, areas she hoped the HR Dept. could improve, the dynamic of the HR team. We talked about my background and what I was looking for. Before we wrapped it she very casually asked; “Have you ever thought about consulting?” “You have a great background; you’d make an excellent consultant.” BAMB!! This is the point I realize that she has already made up her mind that I am too over qualified for the role of Admin. Asst.  Oh well, I have an interview this afternoon with another company for a different type of position, we’ll see where this one leads.

Today I’m going to try and share with you my recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup.  I attempted to post it on Friday but WP hiccupped and coughed, sputtered and then spit out 99% of my post into cyber space somewhere leaving me only with the first two paragraphs.  Having learned from that experience I am now writing a word document that I’ll copy and paste when I am done.

After watching my busia and dzia dzia make chicken noodle soup (in the big silver pot) while I was growing up I quickly learned the mistake I made when I tried to make my own as an adult.  After my first attempt to make chicken soup as a newlywed, I was chatting with dzia dzia when I discovered that skinless chicken breasts weren’t the best pieces to use for a favorable chicken soup; you need pieces that have some fat.  As dzia dzia put it “You need the grease, the grease is what gives the soup its flavor, use the pieces with a little more fat, skin-on.”  Dzia dzia was right once I started using thighs in my soup it began to taste more like dzia dzia’s chicken soup.

My recipe has had a few transformations over the years, instead of using just water and chicken bouillon I now start my soup with a large can of chicken broth.  Instead of just skimming the “smetchaj” (so not spelled right, but it’s what we called the foam and stuff that boiled to the top of the soup), I not only skim the “smetchaj” from the top of soup as it simmers for the first hour I also stain the broth before for I return the broth to the pot and add my veggies for another hour of simmering.

Today’s recipe is my version of Chicken Noodle Soup.  There is nothing like a bowl of hot soup and a slice of fresh bread on a cold winter’s night.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Chicken Noodle Soup

What You’ll Need: 

4-6 Chicken Thighs

6 Cups of Chicken Broth (I use Swanson’s Low Sodium)

1/8 tsp. Poultry Seasoning

1-2 Cloves garlic – minced

1 large sliced onion

1 Cup carrots (sliced or chopped – more or less to taste)

½ Cup Celery (sliced or chopped –  more or less to taste)

Parsley

Directions:

  • Place chicken broth in a large pot
  • Add Chicken pieces (See “Note” below)
  • Add onion and poultry seasoning
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour skimming the foam off the top as it simmers
  • After an hour (or when chicken pieces are cooked through) remove chicken to a dish
  • Strain broth into another pot
  • Remove chicken from bone and return chicken pieces to the broth (you can let the chicken cool so you can handle it)
  • Add cut up veggies to the pot
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer an additional hour
  • Serve with noodles of your choice

NOTE:  I don’t care what anyone says about how chicken is processed these days.  Bone-in, skin on chicken is still “dirty.”  Anytime I use bone-in, skin on chicken I always soak the chicken for no less than 4 hours and usually overnight in a cold water mixture to draw out the dirt and blood.  I cover the chicken pieces with cold water the add 5 garlic cloves chopped, a large onion sliced and about a ¼ cup of salt (I just pour but it’s a lot).  I place it in the refrigerator and cannot believe how dirty the water is when I remove the pieces and rinse them off.