Tuesday, December 31, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013









 Place the chicken pieces in a large pot. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes.


 Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and cool
  
 

 Strain the broth into a clean pot and skim off the excess fat. Discard the parsley and all vegetables except the carrots.
  
 
 Chop the carrots into bite size pieces. Remove chicken from bone and chop.
 


 Return the chicken pieces and carrot to the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat
 
 
 
Add the noodles and continue boiling for about 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Combine the water and flour in a small covered container and shake to mix. Slowly stir in as much of the mixture as needed to thicken, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Boil for 1 minute more and serve.



We rated Soup #52 Homemade Chicken and Noodles on a scale of 1 - 5:  4.65

What a great comfort food! We added lovage, extra carrots, celery and chicken broth and absolutely love this good, hearty recipe. Perfect soup to end our 52 Soups/Salads in 2013!

Homemade Chicken and Noodles
(recipe from The Kansas Cookbook)

2 chicken breast halves
4 chicken thighs
1 14-ounce can chicken broth (we used 2 cans)
3 cups water
1 celery stalk with leaves (we used 2 stalks)
1 onion, sliced in half
2 medium carrots, peeled (we used 3 carrots)
1 sprig fresh parsley
1 1/2 t. dried lovage (we added)
1 T. chicken base (we added)
1/2 t. salt (if needed as the broth and chicken base add salt to the recipe)
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste

Homemade noodles (or you can use packaged noodles or ask Chuck for his pasta recipe that we used)
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 egg, beaten
2 T. milk
1/2 t. salt

Place the chicken pieces in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and cool. Remove the meat, discarding the skin and bones. Cover and refrigerate the chicken pieces until ready to use.

Strain the broth into a clean pot and skim off the excess fat. Discard the parsley and all vegetables except the carrots. Chop the carrots into bit-size pieces and set aside.

Homemade noodles:  Sift the flour and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the egg, milk and salt. Add as much of the flour as needed to make s stiff dough, stirring with a fork until it can be handled. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and roll out one portion to 1/16-inch thickness on a generously floured surface. Roll the dough up loosely and cut into slices about 1/2 inch wide. Unroll and separate the noodles. Repeat the procedure with the other portion of dough.

Return the chicken pieces and carrot to the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and continue boiling for about 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Combine the water and flour in a small covered container. Shake to mix. Slowly stir in as much of the mixture as needed to thicken the broth slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Boil for 1 minute more and serve.




Happy New Year to friends and family near and far!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013

 
 
 
 




 Saute beef in a large skillet and drain off fat
 
 
 
 Saute onions, celery and carrots until slightly soft
 
 
 
 Melt butter in a soup pot and blend in flour to make a smooth paste
 
 
 
 Add hot water, a little at a time and simmer until smooth
 
 
 
 Add vegetables
 
 
 
 Add tomatoes
 
 
 
 Add beef
 
 
 
 Add seasonings
 
 
 
 Add mushrooms and simmer until vegetables are cooked
 
 
 
 Add parsley before serving, if desired
 
 
 

We rated Soup #51 Plaza III Steak Soup on a scale of 1 - 5:  4.50
 
Very, very good soup and extremely easy to make. The only change we made to this soup was to add mushrooms and parsley. It might have been better if we had used ground steak instead of ground beef, but who has leftover steak like Plaza III. We'll definitely make this soup many more times this winter.
 
Plaza III Steak Soup
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
8 cups hot water
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 T. beef bouillon granules
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, sliced
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (our addition to soup)
1 t. pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (our addition to soup)
 

Saute beef in a large skillet and drain off fat. Saute onion, celery and carrots until slightly soft and set aside. Melt butter in a soup pot. Blend in flour to make a smooth paste. Add hot water, a little at a time. Simmer until smooth.  Add meat, bouillon, all vegetables and seasonings to butter/flour/water mixture. Simmer until vegetables are cooked. Add parsley before serving, if desired.



 

 
 



Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Dinner x 2

 On Christmas Day we were joined by family and friends



 Dinner #1 menu:  Beef stroganoff served over mashed potatoes, green beans, fresh green salad and homemade crusty bread
 
 
For dessert: poppy seed cake, pumpkin pie, cherry pie and apple pie 
 
 
 
 Dinner was followed by a Catch Phrase marathon
 
 
 








 On Friday after Christmas more family gathered in Pittsburg
 
 
 
Dinner #2 menu: Homemade ravioli with marinara sauce, fresh green salad, homemade crusty bread and peach cobbler with vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert
 
 








 Traditional after-dinner walk
 
 
 

What a great Christmas week!
 
 
 

Monday, December 23, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013









 Put an appropriate amount of spinach in a bowl and cover with water to crisp. Set aside.



 Chop the onion (and red pepper, if desired) and quickly sauté in olive oil


 
 Place the onion in a bowl and add a decent amount of red wine vinegar. Put in the fridge.


 
 Chop the beets


 
 Chop the carrots and celery


 
 Steam the beets (and green beans, carrots and celery, if desired)


 
 Add the steamed veggies to the onion mixture and return to the fridge


 
 Add chopped "green stuff" (dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.), salt and pepper to the veggies


 
 Strain the spinach and chop. Chop the feta cheese and nuts (pine nuts or walnuts). We only had pecans so we used what we had.

 
 Add everything together and toss


 






We rated Salad #50 Megan's Magic Salad on a scale of 1 - 5:  4.65

We loved this salad when we ate it in Australia and enjoyed it just as much this time. It was even a little better the next day. Thanks, Megan!

Megan's Magic Salad
(recipe from Megan)

Necessary ingredients:
·         Beetroot
·         Feta cheese
·         Small red onion
·         Olive oil
·         Red wine vinegar
·         Green stuff (dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
·         Salt
·         Pepper
·         Baby spinach

Optional, but recommended ingredients:
·         Red capsicum (red pepper)
·         Cucumber
·         Mushroom
·         Green beans
·         Carrots
·         Celery
·          Nuts (pine nuts or walnuts)
Put an appropriate amount of spinach in a bowl and cover with water to crisp. Set aside.

Chop the onion (and red pepper, if desired) and quickly sauté in olive oil, salt and pepper (feel free to be liberal with the latter three ingredients). The onion will be done just as it begins to be translucent, but retaining a nice crunch.

Dump the onion in a bowl and add a decent amount of red wine vinegar. Put in the fridge.

Chop and steam the beetroot (and green beans, carrots and celery, if desired). Like before, don’t over-steam, make sure the veggies have a little crunch to ‘em. Add to the onion mixture and return to the fridge.

Chop the cucumber and mushrooms (if desired) and add to the vegetable mix and return to the fridge.

This is your base, and will remain pretty awesome for three or four days.

When it is time to chow down. Strain the spinach and chop.

Chop the feta cheese into little cubes.

Add everything together and toss.

EAT THAT




Sunday, December 22, 2013

Flashlights, Candlelight and Good Cheer


 Yesterday we were hit with a Midwestern ice storm
 
 
 
Ice coated the trees but the streets remained unglazed so we headed to our annual Christmas party at Linda and Gertrude's house


 Surprise. . .Linda and Gertrude had no electricity
 
 
 
 Breezy didn't seem to mind
 
 
 
 Thank goodness for gas stove tops and flashlights
 
 
 
 Gertrude made her fabulous gravy via flashlight
 
 
 
 Linda mashed the potatoes in the dark
 
 
 
 The first course. . .cappelletti soup
 
 
 
 The lights came on. . .wine was poured. . .cheers!
 
 
 




 The main course -- German Rouladen
 
 
 
 Mashed potatoes with gravy, red cabbage, green bean salad and rouladen. . .great meal!



 And for dessert the crème brulee was amazing!
 
 
 

Great meal, good friends, good cheer!
Thanks, Linda and Gertrude!
 
Merry Christmas!