Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup/Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 recipe chicken and broth(see other post)
2 medium carrots chopped
2 medium stalks celery chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
chopped fresh parsley
1 cup medium noodles or 1/2 cup uncooked rice

prepare chicken and broth according to previous recipe
heat broth, carrots, celery, onion and bouillon to boiling in large pot. reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until carrots are tender. add chicken.
stir in noodles or rice. simmer uncovered 7-10 minutes for noodles or 15 minutes for rice.
sprinkle with parsley.

Chicken and Broth

I find this to be easy to make, and freeze for later. it can be the base for chicken pot pie or chicken soup, I think the chicken also makes a nice chicken salad. I like to make a double batch, then I always have some on hand. I shred the chicken and freeze it separate from the broth. you can freeze the broth in 1 or 2 cup containers for easy use later.

Chicken and Broth

3 to 3 1/2 cut up chicken (I like to use breasts with the bones, or thighs)
4 1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium stalk celery, cut into large chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 small onion, cut up
1 sprig parsley

Place the chicken in a large stockpot, add everything and heat to boiling. skim foam from broth, and reduce the heat to low. cover and simmer about 45 minutes. remove the chicken from the broth and cool on a plate until its cool enough to handle. strain broth and discard vegetables. if you chill the broth in the fridge the fat will form a disk and be easy to discard.
remove skin and bones from chicken and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 package frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth (1 can) (I posted a recipe for your own broth as well)
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked chicken
pastry for two crust pie

heat oven to 425 degrees.
melt margarine in saucepan over medium heat, stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper. stir constantly until it bubbles then remove from heat. stir in the broth and milk. return to heat and heat to boiling, for 1 minute. stir in the chicken, peas and carrots.
roll out 2/3 of the pastry for the bottom crust. put it in a 9x9 pan, add chicken mixture to the crust. roll out the remaining dough, cut into shapes and put on top of the pie. bake about 35 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

Pie crust

one crust pie
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

two crust pie
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

use a pastry cutter to cut shortening into flour and salt. until it resembles coarse crumbs. sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the flour is moistened. up to 2 tlbl of additional water can be added, depending on humidity. the dough should NOT get sticky.
gather it into a ball, or 2 if 2 crust pie, wrap in plastic wrap and form into a disc. I like to refrigerate the dough for up to a day. its easier to work with it when it has chilled.
roll it out and follow your pie recipe.

Fried Wontons

my kids love hamburger anything, so they loved these! we served them with fried rice.

1 package wontons

1 lb hamburger
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 egg

we cooked the veggies, then the hamburger, mixed it with the seasonings, and let it cool a bit and added the egg. then we stuffed the wontons with about a teaspoon filling each, formed them into triangles and fried them. be careful when filling them all to not let them dry out, you can just put a wet paper towel over them as you go. we served them with soy sauce for dipping and fried rice.

I let my kids put the filling in the wontons, they had fun, I did have to seal the edges of all of them when I fried them. they did a good job overall though, a fun way for them to help with dinner.

Lemon sauce

We love this sauce.

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon corn starch
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoon stick margarine or butter

mix the sugar and cornstarch, add the water and cook over medium heat. stir constantly, until it thickens and boils. boil 1 min and remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. serve warm over angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake

This is from the Americas Test Kitchen Cookbook. I love everything I have baked from it, but have found its important to follow it exactly.

3/4 cup cake flour (can use 7/8 cup all purpose flour with 2 tbl cornstarch, but not quite same lift)
1 1/2 cup sugar
12 egg whites room temp
1 tea cream of tarter
1/4 tea salt
1 1/2 tea fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tea vanilla extract
1/2 tea almond extract (you can omit this if your allergy needs require it)

heat oven to 325 degrees, whisk the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar together, and set aside. whip the egg whites in your mixer until foamy. then add the cream of tarter and salt until it forms soft billowy mounds. Increase speed to med and add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time until the whites are shiny. and starts to form soft peaks. add the lemon juice and extracts.
slowly fold in the flour mixture, about 1/5 cup at a time. it should take 6 or 7 times to add and fold.
pour into angel food cake pan, and smooth. bake aprox 50 to 60 minutes. rotating the pan halfway through baking.
if your pan has legs, invert it. if it doesn't have legs, use a soda bottle in the hole of the pan to invert it while cooling. cool completely, 2 or 3 hrs.
run a knife around the edge and center to loosen the cake, and flip it onto a platter.

can be served with berries and cream, or lemon sauce. (see other post)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shar's Monkey Bread

We hadn't had this until we visited our friends in New Jersey this year. I know some of you have probably made it but I told Sarah I'd send her the recipe. We didn't put nuts or raisins in ours and I found this on

Monkey Bread

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt® pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Shar's Cake Balls

Thanks Shar for sending this one through. She found it on a Dave Ramsey Forum. YUM!! I've also seen where they use a sucker stick to attach the ball to and then dip holding the stick. Too Cute!

Last year for Christmas, I made these for teachers and friends. Quick and easy, and the kids can help!

1) Bake a boxed cake mix.
2) Let it cool.
3) Scrape the whole thing into a big bowl. Really. Just smash it in.
4) Add an entire container of frosting.
5) Mix.
6) Using a cookie baller/scoop, place "balls" of cake and frosting on wax paper, then in the freezer to set.
7) Melt chocolate. We used cheap chocolate chips (more wax in them).
8) Pull the scooped cake from the freezer, and roll in your hand to get a more perfect ball. Dunk in chocolate, then place on wax paper again.

Ta da!

We got the best compliments on these combinations:
Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate coating. Yum!
White cake, vanilla frosting, some crushed candy canes in the mix, dipped in white chocolate.
Spice cake mixed with cream cheese frosting, dipped in white chocolate.
Lemon cake mixed with lemon frosting, dipped in dark chocolate.

It looks so much nicer than it sounds. Kinda like a cross between a petit four and truffle, but fast and easy. And we don't tell other people that we call them "cake balls"... we just say something like, "Oh, they're just a sweet little treat." LOL

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken with artichokes

For dishes that I cook often I almost never measure things out. I just sort of cook. So this recipe is a guide for you to follow. If you are asking yourself "is she nuts??" then adjust to what you think would work for you and your family.

1 lb (or so) boneless chicken breasts

artichoke hearts Drain any liquid. If you are using marinated I rinse them off with water in a strainer since I don't like all the oil in my food. I also pick off any tough leaves.

can of stewed tomatoes (or two, depends on my mood. LOL). Drain these too. Then chop up the tomatoes. I usually have a pack of the italian stewed in the pantry.

white wine 1/2 to 3/4 cup?? use the larger amount if you like the flavor to be strong. I NEVER cook with "cooking wine", I use the real stuff. The cooking wine tastes off to me. Cheap wine is fine for cooking and it will last a while in the fridge if you don't normally drink it!!

chicken stock or chicken broth about 2 cups. I've been using chicken stock by Swanson or Pacific organic broth from Costco. Yeah I could make my own but that would require pre planning and organization.

garlic 2-3 cloves minced

Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces. Brown in skillet with olive oil. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until liquid is reduced by about half. Check chicken to make sure it is cooked all the way!!

We love this over thin spaghetti. If you like capers I'm sure they would be great in there too. I hate them so I've never tried it. I sometimes add the juice of 1/2 lemon for a little zing.

This is really fast and easy to whip up for dinner. We almost always have a salad with it as well.