Monthly Archives: December 2018

No Fail Chicken Noodle Soup: A Great Recipe for Both Beginner Cooks AND Experienced Foodies!

This is some ‘soup-er’ tasty soup!

My very sweet mother-in-law has been staying with us for a few weeks, to spend some time with her new grandbaby. Unfortunately she isn’t in the best health, so I’ve been trying to make nourishing meals that also pique her appetite. One day she really wasn’t feeling well, due to the side effects of the drugs that she is on, so I decided to make some chicken noodle soup. I mean, that’s the ultimate food to feed someone who is ill, right? And that’s why I came up with the recipe for my No Fail Chicken Noodle Soup!

It’s such an easy recipe, that you can make it while caring for a newborn. You can be a beginner cook or an experienced foodie and either way, you’ll love the recipe! Usually I serve soups with different types of quick breads. Case in point, the day I wrote this post I served an Irish Soda Bread with the Lentil and Bean Soup that I made for dinner. But this No Fail Chicken Noodle Soup doesn’t need an addition, since it has such a lovely flavoured broth, combined with shredded pieces of real chicken, chunks of carrots and celery, and delicious egg noodles.

After I served this soup to my mother-in-law, she perked up! She told my husband that it “brought her back”, and indeed she no longer had to lie on the sofa as she had all day, but was able to sit up and interact with the baby. Warm, comforting, nourishing, and easy to make — what else can you ask from a soup?

So, shall we make a batch?

 

No Fail Chicken Noodle Soup

This nutritious soup is full of flavour, and bonus, easy to make!

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken thighs (or equivalent in chicken meat)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 c. celery, chopped (I used frozen)
  • 2 c. carrots, chopped into coins (I used frozen)
  • 2 tbsp parsley, dried
  • 3 cubes bouillon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 c. egg noodles, uncooked
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, fry chicken in butter until golden brown on the outside.

  2. Add all other ingredients, except for egg noodles, and bring to a boil. 

  3. Reduce heat, but keep at a low boil, for 30 minutes. 

  4. Remove chicken, shred using two forks, and add back into soup. 

  5. Add noodles, reduce heat to medium low, and boil for 10 more minutes, or until noodles are tender. Serve and enjoy! 

 

The soup freezes well so you can make a large batch, eat some for dinner, and then freeze the rest for another day or the next time you come down with a nasty cold. Or give some away! I mean, who isn’t impressed with homemade chicken noodle soup? I won’t tell anyone how easy it is to make, if you don’t! 🙂

Next Post: I’ve been toying with the idea of making a tofu version of the Lemon Chicken Schnitzel that I grew up with. What do you guys think? Would you be interested in that? Or maybe Tex-Mex Potato Wedges? 

Linking up at The Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

Shortbread Crumble Apple Pie, a Bonus Vegan Version, and my Christmas Baking Plans

I want this pie…now! *drools*

A few weeks ago it was my father’s birthday, and as he always requests an apple pie instead of cake, that’s what I baked. But I love trying new things in the kitchen (plus one of my sisters is dairy-free) so I baked a Shortbread Crumble Apple Pie, instead of my Ultimate Caramel Crumb Apple Pie. I’ll share the recipe for a version of the pie with butter, but if you’re vegan (or dairy-free), just replace the butter with shortening, like I did for my dad’s birthday pie.

I always prefer a crust make with shortening AND butter, as shortening gives it that flaky texture (as does vinegar or vodka), but butter gives it that flavour that I love. But like I said, either fat is fine — you do you, boo!

Now, let’s get into the recipe, and then I’ll tell you all about my Christmas/holiday baking plans! (Oh, funny story, one of my sisters has been coming over to our place a lot to help with the baby recently, and has taken to sticking her head in the fridge to see what yummy things I’ve been making. I’ve had to warn her off certain things: “Don’t eat the fruitcake, I’m aging it for Christmas. And don’t eat the candy cane bark, that’s for some hostess gifts. Oh, and the butter cookies are for baby’s pediatrician, and the chocolate-covered oreos are for my cookie tins….” She deliberately doesn’t keep a lot of sweets at her place, so it’s temptation city when she comes over to my place. I ended up giving her a bag of Danish butter cookies. They did not last 12 hours. Is she my sister or what?)

So, pie. Let’s!

 

Apple Pie with Shortbread Crumble

This apple pie can be made vegan or not, as you can use butter or vegetable shortening in the crust. I like the butter version best, but the vegan version is also sure to be a hit! I mean...pie! 

Servings 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • pinch clove and nutmeg, each
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 10 apples
  • 1 pie crust recipe (link in recipe notes)

Instructions

  1. Mix first three ingredients together to form the shortbread crumble. The mixture should be slightly crumby. You can mix it together with a fork, a pie crust mixer, or your fingers (I've done all three). 

  2. Peel, core, and slice the apples, and mix with the remaining ingredients together (except for the dough, obvs). 

  3. Roll out the dough to line a pie plate. I like to crimp the edges, but you can also use the tines on a fork to make an impression on the edges. 

  4. Pour the seasoned apple mixture into the pie plate, mounding in the middle. 

  5. Sprinkle the shortbread crumble mixture on top. 

  6. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 60 minutes. The pie is done when the apples are forkably soft, and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes

I always recommend this pie crust recipe -- you can replace the vodka with vinegar if you want, but...why? 🙂

Welp, it’s that time of year, when my baking ramps up along with my waistline, as I think of and try to bake All The (Yummy) Things. This year my baking is a little scaled back, what with a new baby and all, but I’m still managing to get in some delicious things. I made my usual White Chocolate Candy Cane Bark, several iterations of Ginger Cookies (vegan and low-gluten), plus Fruitcake, and Danish Butter Cookies. I still have lots of candy canes left, so I might try baking a batch of Candy Cane Redux Cookies. And I’m thinking of making some Lemon Meringue Tartlets to celebrate the New Year with. And possibly some Chocolate Chunk Whipped Shortbread to go with it. But this is all assuming baby develops a napping schedule and lets me get some baking in! Because this new mummy wants to get some eating in! Actually, just like last week, I’m typing this while baby is napping on me. Parent life, amirite?

p.s. – I was just googling some of my past Christmas/holiday-themed recipes, and came across my Peppermint Patties recipe. OMG, I totally have to make that one soon! I recommend it HIGHLY! Much easier than you’d think!

Next Post: I’m thinking I’ll share my Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. I’ve made it into a super-easy version, so that even a beginner cook can make it. 

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!

Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies: The Perfect Cookie Mouthful

These cookies are special, as they have both a fresh gingery bite, and a chocolate caramel kiss!

Last year I made Gingersnap Cookies, and used both powdered ginger and fresh ginger in the recipe — it had a delicious bite to it! This year I decided to up the ante, and added chocolate kisses. But I used caramel filled chocolate kisses, just to make it that much more special! The result? Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies!

The cookies themselves have no refined sugars, as the recipe calls for molasses and maple syrup as sweeteners, so the chocolate caramel kisses add just the perfect amount of sweetness to make the cookies a treat as opposed to an everyday sort of cookie. I used black strap molasses as that is what I had in the house, plus it’s higher in iron than regular molasses, so why not?

Want to make some yourself? Let’s!

5 from 1 vote
Print

Chocolate Caramel Ginger Cookies

These cookies take a spicy gingersnap cookie and up the ante by adding in chocolate caramel kisses to make them even more special!

Servings 30 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking poweder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves, each
  • 3/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 tbsp. blackstrap molasses
  • 3 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 30 chocolate caramel kisses

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients together, and then add to dry ingredients and stir until fully mixed. 

  2. Roll into small balls and place on a silicone sheet on a baking tray. Press an unwrapped chocolate caramel kiss in the centre of the cookie dough. 

  3. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is lightly golden. 

  4. Remove to a cooling rack, let cool, and enjoy! 

I baked these cookies to give away in cookie tins as Christmas gifts and/or hostess gifts, but after giving away a few tins…I have to confess I ate the rest, in the wee hours of the morning when the baby was particularly fussy and I wanted some sugar. Actually, as I type this, the baby is sleeping on my chest (and I’m slightly contorted trying to type and keep the baby balanced. New motherhood, eh?). Given that the only refined sugar is in the chocolate kisses, and the rest of the cookie is pretty healthy, I’m ok with eating a few cookies during the witching hour!

When do you crave cookies the most? Let me know in the comments!

Next Post: Shortbread Crumble Apple Pie, or Easy Peasy Chicken Noodle Soup. One or the other!

Linking Up at Full Plate Thursday!

Super-Easy Alphabet Soup

Seriously easy to make, seriously delicious to eat!

This week’s recipe is Super-Easy Alphabet Soup! I made a batch a few days before I went into labour, so you know it had to be easy to make as I was all out of energy at that point. It was so super easy, and also super delicious! Even the DH, who is somewhat souped-out at this point, really enjoyed it. And did I mention that it’s super nutritious too? Basically, it’s all the things. The easiness of making it totally belies how tasty it is. So you totally should make it!

I came up with it after looking at other alphabet soups, and just from knowing how to make a soup. For most soups, you want to make a nice base of sautéed garlic and onion, and then you add in your other items. So, that’s what I did! It’s fun to experiment in the kitchen!

I put in more alphabet pasta than most alphabet soups call for, but then I like my letters in pasta form. You can put in less, or the same amount. Make it your own! You can also toss leftover veggies in here too; it’s a very forgiving soup. But if you want to make it exactly as I did, here’s the recipe!

 

Super-Easy Alphabet Soup

This super-easy soup is also super-tasty! You can amp up the veg factor by tossing in leftover veggies, or just make as is. Also freezes well! 

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 c. white beans soaked overnight, and rinsed
  • 4 c. water
  • 1 cube veggie bouillon
  • 28 oz canned tomatoes
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 c. alphabet pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. oil

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the carrots into coins. Chop the onion, and mince the garlic. 

  2. Saute the carrots, onion, and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent and golden.

  3. Add the water, bouillon cube, and (rinsed) soaked beans. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. 

  4. Add in canned tomatoes (roughly chopped), peas, and corn. 

  5. Cook on medium heat until beans are done. When beans are almost soft, add in pasta and cook until beans are totally done, and pasta is soft. 

I have to say, I made the recipe a teensy tiny bit differently — I cooked the whole soup, but left out the pasta. Then, I turned off the heat, added the pasta, and left to run errands for a few hours. When I came home, soup was done! In other words, it really is a forgiving soup. It’s sort of like a minestrone, but with alphabet pasta. And that’s just plain fun, yes?

The soup stays well, and leftovers the next day are yummy. The pasta was fine and didn’t dissolve or over-absorb liquid. It really was an easy and delish soup to make. Highly recommend!

Next Post: I’m thinking Apple Pie with Shortbread Crumble. Sounds yum, yes?