Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

My husband likes to watch the cooking channel sometimes. One of the shows that he likes is Tyler Florence. He makes some yummy stuff. The other day he said to me, "I'm going to make Chicken Noodle Soup."  I stopped and said okay, but I thought to myself, this may not be so great. However I was quite wrong. It was very good, and it was fresh, without all of the processed junk in it. It was at a good time too, because I felt like I was coming down with a cold, so it hit the spot. Please forgive me though, I tried to get as many pics as I could of this, but my husband is very fast, so I missed a few.  Here is what you need to make it.
Chicken Stock
-1 whole free range Chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds) rinsed, giblets discarded.
-2 Carrots, cut in large chunks
-3 Celery stalks, cut in large chunks
-2 large Onions, quartered
-1 head of Garlic, halved
-1 Turnip, halved
-1/4 bunch of fresh Thyme
-2 Bay leaves
-1 Teaspoon whole Black Peppercorns
Soup
-2 Tablespoons EVOO
-1 medium Onion
-3 Garlic Cloves
-2 medium Carrots (cut diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices)
-2 Celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
-4 fresh Thyme leaves
-1 Bay leaf
-2 quarts Chicken Stock (recipe above)
-8 ounces dried wide Egg Noodles
-1 1/2 cups shredded cooked Chicken
-Kosher salt and fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 Handful fresh leaf Parsley, finely chopped.
Phewww (wiping forehead, that was a lot)
Okay, so lets get started.
Place your Chicken in the pot, and start filling it up. Pour in only enough cold water to cover, to much and the broth will taste weak. Place pot on medium heat.
 Cut up your Carrots, Celery, Onion, Garlic, and Thyme. Place them all in your pot.

 Put in your Black Pepper.
Add in your Thyme.
 Next, put in your Bay leaf.
 Mix, and let it come to a boil.
 It's starts to smell really good at this point! Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done.
 As it cooks, skim out any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water to keep the Chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the Chicken to a cutting board. It will fall apart as your lift it, so be gentle. When it is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones. Hand shred the meat into a storage container.
 Steiner wanted to have some! It was so tender, and it smelled so good!
 Next, get rid of all the veggies/discards in your broth, you only want the liquid at this point.
Side Note: The recipe says to use the stock right away. If you don't use it right then, it says to put the pot in a sink full of ice water, and stir to cool it down. Cover and refrigerate it. It can be in the fridge for a week, or freeze.
 You should only have this left.
Clean out your pot at this point, you will be using it again. Once clean, put on medium heat, and coat it with your EVOO.

 Add your Onion, Garlic, Carrots, Celery, Thyme, and Bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the veggies are soft but not browned.
Pour in the Chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil.
Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender.
Fold in the Chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with Salt and Pepper.
 Sprinkle with Chopped Parsley before serving.
 Mix in.
Yummy yummy in my tummy!
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
 Enjoy!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries with Milk Chocolate

I came across this recipe the other day on StumbleUpon. If you haven't been to that site yet, go right now! Well, not right now, stay on my blog for awhile. Then, go right away to StumbleUpon. I am an addict, and my sister is to blame. She will tell you that our brother is to blame. It's a family addiction, but we are okay with it. Anyway, I found a recipe for Cheesecake stuffed Strawberries. Oh my goodness, I thought to myself. Soon you will be in my belly. Anywho, I printed this one out as I read it, and bought the items right away.  All you need is the following;
 -Strawberries (I used 3 16oz cartons)
-1 Box of Jello No Bake Cheesecake
-1 1/2 cups of Milk
-Graham Crackers
-Milk Chocolate (if you want it with Chocolate drizzle)
First you are going to wash all of the berries. I would place them in the fridge afterwards while you do the next step so that they stay stiff. This will make it easier to hollow out the centers.
 Next, prepare your Jello No Bake mixture. Place the mix and your milk in the mixer.

Mix for 30 seconds on low speed. Then, mix on medium for 3 minutes. The mixture should be thick at this time. I placed this in the fridge.
Take your Strawberries out of the fridge, and begin to hollow them out. I used a peeler becaue it had a sharp tip and side. Be careful not to puncture a hole in the Strawberry.
video
 I took 4 squares of my Grahamn crackers and placed them in a grinder. I didn't make them dusty, I just made them so they were little pieces.
 Here is the end result.
 Next, I took my Cheesecake filling and put it in a Ziplock bag. I cut a small hole in the edge.
 I then squeezed the filling into my Strawberries.
 Then I dipped them into my Graham powder.
 I then melted a little bit of chocolate on the stove, using the double broiler method. I always have trouble with this, it never seems to go my way. So, instead of drizzling the chocolate, I dipped half the strawberry. These are the end results.

They were very good. I would, however, put a little something into the cheescake mix next time to give it a liitle more flavor. I did look for the Kraft cheesecake that comes in the tub, but my market didn't have it. I don't know if that one has a little more flavor or not.  Just food for thought...
Recipe courtesy of
Delicious Meliscious
Enjoy!

Geocache!

A few months ago, I was searching for something in my IPhone. I was checking out some new apps to see what they had added, since it seems like every week there is something new. I kept spotting all of these apps that said "Geocache" on them.  Over the last few months I have been trying to "Go Green" as much as I could. I figured that it might be somethng to do with that. I got distracted however, and moved on.  Then I noticed a girl at work had posted a comment about it on her facebook, so I decided to go back and check in on it. So, I downloaded a free app on my phone to see what the fuss was all about. Basically Geocaching is a treasure hunt.  People from all over the world hide "Geocaches" which are basically containers with objects in them. You find them by using a GPS and track the item, then open it to see what you found.  Upon digging some more I found out that you can hide things called "Trackables." You can go online and enter in the trackable you found, and you can bring it to new places. I like a good treasure hunt as much as the next person, so off I went. I found out that one of the locations was right next to my house. So excited!! So off I went with my phone, hubby, and dog in tow. We were gonna go find us a cache! How did it go you ask? It didn't go well. I was a bit frustrated being that I had no idea what I was doing, what to look for or where the exact spot was. Not a great first expedition. So I gave up for the night, and did some more research. I went back on-line to check out some more info.  Here is the site that I went to for my info. http://www.geocaching.com/
After learning a little more I realized that I could send the exact cordinates to my phone, and I could look at a satelite image of the area that it is hidden in. Yes, I agree, it is awesome. So I found a new spot yesterday that was actualy at a grocery store that I needed to go to for some items. "Lets do this" I said to my hubby. So off we went. My hubby is not really into this type of thing, so why do I drag him along you ask? Well, I noticed that a lot of these places are in trees or behind buildings. I will be the first one to tell you that I'm kind of a chicken. In my head, going off into the woods, or lurking behind buildings/warehouses by myself seems a lot like the making for a horror/kidnapping thriller. I do not want to be the star of that, so I bring backup.  Anyway off we went down the street to our local market. We parked behind the building. The name of this cache was "Stairway to Heaven." There was only one stairway so off I went to search.
 At first I looked under all the beams and around the edges. The hint that I got was to look for a hide-a-key.
 Success!!! I had found my first geocache!!!
 I opened it up to find a small log with a bunch of names on it. I added my name to the list! Packed it up tight and placed it back where it belonged for the next Geocacher to find.
Here I am with my first Geocache!! Yea!!
So get out there and start looking. I plan on looking for a lot more in other places. If you find one, go on the website and log your finding, and send in a pic! Have fun and remember, safety first!
Enjoy!
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