Monday, November 28, 2011

Chicken Soup- For What Ails You

Last year I made a recipe for Turkey Noodle Soup (recipe is on the blog) with all the turkey we had leftover from Thanksgiving and it was good but this recipe for Chicken Soup is great! I needed to whip up something to cure this nasty cold that Billy was so nice to share with me and since I had a little chicken from McDowell Family Farm in the freezer I thought why not whip up some chicken soup- it can't hurt! We don't eat a lot of meat, mostly just what I can get local but thanks to the McDowell family and their wonderful chicken I might just out smart what's ailing me! Enjoy!
Here's how to start:

In a large soup pot add-

1 whole chicken w/most of the skin removed (my chicken was local, organic and weighed under 3lbs)
1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, chopped in big pieces
4-5 stalks celery, cut in half
1 whole head of garlic, remove the outside skins
2 tsp. peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 gallon water

Simmer at medium heat for 1 hour. Turn off the heat, remove the chicken and place him or her on a plate to cool (when cool, pick off as much meat as you can, reserve for the soup). Strain the cooking liquid and the vegetables through a strainer- reserve the cooking liquid and the garlic. Set those two things aside and discard the rest.

-Chicken Soup-

4 carrots, diced
8 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
herb bundle (1 medium sprig rosemary, thyme and sage. Tie together w/kitchen twine)
olive oil
salt and pepper
reserved cooking liquid
reserved garlic
chicken meat
*optional- cooked pasta of your choosing (Billy request tiny little pasta called Stellette)

1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat, when you can smell the oil add the carrots, celery and onions. Saute until the veggies start to soften (about 10 minutes), season with salt and pepper. Next add the reserved garlic and stir to combine.

2. Next add the reserved cooking liquid, and the herb bundle. Turn the heat up just a bit. When the soup begins to boil turn heat back down to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. When the 30 minutes is up add the chicken meat and the fresh garlic, stir to combine. Check flavor to see if you need more salt and pepper. Take out the herb bundle and discard.

4. Serve hot just like it is or w/a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and if using, your pasta of choice.

Serve it Cordray style: 1/2 c. Stellette pasta, ladle over warm chicken soup, squeeze a slice of lemon over soup and pasta, top w/huge handful of arugula and sprinkle on some Pecorino Romano. VIOLA!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gluten Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

 These are Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
These are Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

I have been making both of these cookies a lot lately, I don't have a gluten intolerance nor do we eat vegan all the time but I love having these in my arsenal of recipes for a healthier treat, or for the friends in our lives that have special needs in the food department. I got these recipes for Elana's Pantry, a food blog that I like to follow. Check her out! Enjoy!

Vegetable Minestrone

I LOVE SOUP! I think soup is the perfect meal for lunch, well really anytime but especially during the cold months when you need just a little hug of warm soup in the middle of the day. Last week I made Lentil Stew (recipe is on the blog) but this week I went for Vegetable Minestrone. I appreciate the protein coming from the white beans (that I made instead of buying canned... I swear their easy) and the abundance of vegetables, also bean and veggie soups are good to your waistline, at this time of year that's a blessing in my book. Enjoy!

-Vegetable Minestrone-

1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1/2 c. leafy celery tops, chopped
3-4 c. cooked white beans (you can use 2 14oz. cans of cannellini beans, making your own is an extra step but worth it)
1 jar of my canned tomatoes, crushed up with your hands (you can use 28oz can of whole tomatoes, I like the Eden brand)
1 bunch of kale, chopped
2-3 c. savoy cabbage, chopped (savoy cabbage is milder in flavor and texture than your traditional green cabbage)
1 quart veggie stock
1 1/2 c. water
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
*optional- Parmesan or Romano cheese rind


1. Start by heating some olive oil in a big soup pot over medium heat, when you can smell the oil add the onions and start to saute. Saute for just a few minutes and add the carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for just another few minutes (maybe 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
2. Next add the zucchini and season well with salt and pepper, toss around and saute until the zucchini starts to soften just a bit, maybe another 5 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, broth, beans and rind if using, bring this mixture to a boil and reduce back to medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. The last 5 minutes add the kale and cabbage, stir in until it starts to wilt, add the water and top with the lid and let simmer for those last few minutes. Remove the lid and taste for salt and pepper- add more if needed.
4. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil, grated cheese and a slice of bread, or divide into lunch containers for the week.