Friday, October 10, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

It's cold today. Where I live, it's gonna get even colder this weekend. Go make your family some of this good warm soup. I made some of this chicken noodle soup last night with some homemade bread. I can't lie, it's incredibly satisfying to me to have my family sit down to that dinner. It just seems so wholesome and traditional and healthy.

My soup experiment: I made one batch creamy and one batch brothy.

This is easy, but I don't have exact measurements. Sorry. Add more or less of an ingredient depending on your personal taste I guess. I got the recipe from someone else, and that is how it was given to me. I put my measurements in parenthesis if that helps.

Boil chopped carrots (1o large carrots), chopped celery (about half of a large bunch), and chopped onion (1 whole onion) in a pot with just enough bouillon to cover them. (I used 5 cups of water and 10 bouillon cubes.)

Boil 1 package of Mrs. Weiss' Kluski Enriched Egg Dumpling Noodles (red and blue package) according to package directions. Drain noodles and add to vegetables.

For creamy soup: Stir in 2 cans cream of chicken soup, and milk until it is the right consistency.

For brothy soup: Omit the cream of chicken soup. Add more chicken broth to the right consistency.

Add cooked cubed chicken. (I used 2 1/2 chicken breasts because that's what I had. You could do just 2 chicken breasts.) Let it simmer together for a little while before serving, mostly to be sure the chicken is nice and tender when you serve it.

My husband liked the creamy version better. I liked them both.

Originally posted 9/24/07 with a picture that didn't do this recipe justice. I think this comes from or is close to the Lion House recipe.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Another recipe from Kaye. My dad says this whole wheat bread tastes better than the stuff from Great Harvest. My mom and I felt like real pioneer women after making this bread for the first time. Kevin says this makes the best toast.

Kaye makes 4 loaves at a time in her Bosch. My Kitchen Aid will only fit the dough for 2 loaves, which is about the right amount for my family anyway.

Learning to make bread has been a process for me. It has always tasted good, but I had a hard time making it look pretty. I finally got a loaf I'm not embarrassed to post a picture of. I've decided the key for me is to not let it rise too long in the bread pan. I fold the dough before I put it in the pan, and then I have to tuck and roll under a little bit more to get the top nice and tight.

My most recent batch, the loaf I thought was going to look the best when I put them into the oven rose a little too much over the top of the pan, so that when it came out of the oven it was hanging over the edge just a little bit. This loaf I took a picture of didn't look as good when I put it in the pan. In fact, it didn't even fill the ends of the pan. But it filled out as it rose and baked and ended up looking the prettiest. I'd love to have you post your bread making tips and tricks in the comments.

Warning: Before you start making this bread, set out a stick of butter so it will be soft when the bread comes out of the oven. Because there's nothing better than some soft butter spread on a slice of bread hot out of the oven and you will be sad if you don't have any.

Into the Kitchen Aid (with the dough hook attachment):

2 3/4 c. warm water
2 Tbl. yeast
1/8 c. sugar (about - depending on your sweet tooth!)


1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. honey
1/4 loosely packed brown sugar
1 Tbl. salt
1 1/2 Tbl. lecithin (optional - powdered or liquid)
3 to 3 1/2 c. red wheat flour (2 c. wheat into the wheat grinder yields me 3 c. wheat flour)
3 c. white flour (or until the sides of the bowl are clean)

I use 7 - 7 1/2 c. of flour total.

Remove bowl and let rise 1 hour. Scrape down the sides and turn onto oiled counter.

Cut dough in half with sharp knife. Form into loaves and place in greased pans. Allow dough to rise 1 inch above bread pan.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.

Originally posted 1/15/07 without picture

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My Favorite Omelet Combo

This is my favorite omelet combo. We'll even have them for dinner or lunch sometimes.

2 eggs, or 1 egg and 1 egg white
pico de gallo

I have a small 6 inch fry pan that works perfect for omelets. I turn the heat to 7 (medium high heat), spray with PAM and cook the ham, mushrooms, and pico de gallo until the mushrooms are soft. Transfer this mixture to a bowl.

Whip up your eggs in a separate bowl, spray the pan with PAM non stick cooking spray again, and when your pan is hot add your egg mixture and evenly distribute eggs around the pan. You may have to scrape down the edges.

When the eggs are mostly cooked through, add cheese, ham, mushrooms, pico de gallo, and salsa.

Fold the omelet in half and let it gel together for a few seconds before transferring to a plate.

Bon appetit, omelette du fromage.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Scrambled Eggs

So I know scrambled eggs are probably one of those things where YOU DON'T NEED A RECIPE...

so why is it that everyone' scrambled eggs turn out so differently?

My dad makes some mighty fine tasting breakfasts. He is famous for them. I learned how to make scrambled eggs from him.

In my opinion and per my dad's instructions, there are 3 things you need for great tasting scrambled eggs. I have learned from my own experience when I left one of the 3 out.

1. water
2. salt
3. cheese

I've been taught you add water to eggs, milk to french toast.

The tricky part is figuring out the amounts of each. I never measure, I've just gotten a feel. You will too.

1. Whip up your eggs in a bowl. Add a shot or two of water from the tap. (shot meaning a real precise measurement of turning the water on and off again really quickly). If you add too little water, the eggs won't be very fluffy. If you add too much, once the eggs are done cooking you'll have some water leftover in the pan. Not a big deal. Whip the water into the egg mixture.

2. I like my pan on a medium high heat. That's a 7 on my stovetop. Spray your pan with non stick cooking spray if you think you'll need it.

3. When your pan is hot, dump the eggs into the frypan.

4. Salt to taste. My taste, eggs need a fair amount of salt. Eggs without salt taste nasty. I salt the pan as I would if it was vegetables on my plate at the dinner table, but like I said, I like salt, especially with my veggies. BUT: My husband, who is not an over-salter like me, approves.

5. Add cheese, also to taste. Last time I made 10 eggs for my family, I used between 1 cup and a cup and half of colby jack cheese.

6. Stir until eggs are cooked through and not slimy. Serve with ketchup or salsa if you like. My best batches? They're so good they don't even NEED ketchup or salsa.

Our favorite stir ins while the eggs are cooking:

leftover taco meat (even with the kidney beans in it)