Friday, October 30, 2009

sick, sick, sick

It started with Zach, he passed it onto Drew, who passed it on to me. The combination of sheer exhaustion from tending to sick children + sore throat and achy body + all day long morning sickness hasn't really helped my creative dinner juices flow. The only thing we're having over here is chicken broth or takeout! I'll be back when we are healthy again...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What's Better on a Cold Rainy Night Then...

Chicken Noodle Soup? Last week it rained almost every day, and it was COLD rain. Kate and I got out real early one morning in that pitch black very cold rain for her last 12 mile long run before Marine Corp this coming weekend. I say "her last run" because I have switched my bib to the 10K. We found out we are expecting again!!! I'll be 12 weeks the day of Marine Corp. So anyway, after a long cold run like that, what better way to warm your cockles then some homemade chicken noodle soup. This recipe is SUPER easy. I think I might make it for the many pregnant friends I have who all delivered this week, or are expecting to deliver next week!

In a soup pan saute in olive oil the following veggies (or any veggies you have on hand that you like in your chicken noodle soup). I used:
  • chopped carrots
  • chopped onions
  • chopped celery
  • mushrooms
  • chopped garlic

Secret Number 1: Chop up the greens on the celery - the part that almost looks like flat parsley? That part of the celery has more flavor then the celery itself! I could tell by adding it to the broth that it really brought out the celery flavor.

Now add a box of chicken stock. I think its like 32 ounces.

Secret number 2: Add 2 cubes of chicken bullion. This helped to make the broth more chickeny and rich. Add a dash of oregano and let the veggies and broth simmer, almost to a boil, for a bit.

Add pasta noodles of your choice right into the soup pot. I used fettuccine broken into thirds. A little pasta goes a long way - it soaks up the liquid. I used maybe 25 noodles broken into thirds maybe?

Once your pasta looks about ready add your already cooked chicken. I used a rotisserie chicken, but if you have some leftover chicken then shred that to use. It should already be cooked so you're really just heating it through.

Secret Number 3: What I thought really made the soup were these two ingredients... an entire freshly squeezed lemon. This gives the broth some zing. I also added ground cayenne pepper. Just add a dash if you're worried about it being spicy. It just makes the broth more interesting and complex. I added a lot because I actually wanted it to be spicy since I had a little cold and I wanted to kick it.

*Serve this relatively soon after its done, or the pasta will continue to absorb the liquid. If you're making it for someone, then cook the pasta noodles separately and have the person add the cooked noodles when reheating. I waited to eat a few hours until Kevin got home and although the flavors were on, that broth that I really wanted had been mostly absorbed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mom's Ice Cream Cake

Growing up, my mom made us this ice-cream cake for our birthday every year. I made it for Superman this weekend for his 4th birthday and all the kids loved it! I loved it too ... I might have had it for breakfast the next day :)
Layer One:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter (melted)
1/4 cup sugar
(I actually just kind of eyeball these measurements)
  • Mix and put in bottom of 9x13 pan - press down
Layer Two:

½ gallon ice cream softened (just let it sit on the counter for a while)
  • Slice ice cream in ½ in slices and place on top of crumbs. Mash it together with your fingers so its completely covered. Put this in the freezer while you make the chocolate sauce.

Layer Three:

1-1/2 cup chocolate chips
½ cup butter
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla

  • Mix above ingredients except for vanilla and cook till thick and creamy. Stir constantly.
  • This will take about 20 minutes or so over low heat.
  • Remove fom heat, let thicken, add vanilla and cool... for a WHILE. Don't want to melt the ice cream!
  • Once cooled, pour on top of the ice cream and stick it back in the freezer. This is the point where I go to bed and let it harden over night :)

Layer Four:

1 9oz tub of cool whip, refrigerated

  • Spread cool whip over chocolate layer and sprinkle with (optional) nuts and cherries. Freeze. Enjoy!
The birthday boy with the finished product!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Me So Love Miso

Lately I am addicited to Miso Soup. I've had it for lunch pretty much every day this week. My dad lived in Japan for several years when he was a strapping young Navy bachelor, so as kids it was often he'd take us to the local sushi joint and order us all kinds of crazy kinds of raw fish (eating with my dad is the greatest experience, the man will try anything!) I have very fond memories of miso soup, so maybe thats why I've been craving it everyday. This little soup and salad combo takes 20 seconds, is healthy, and can easily be brought to the office. I'm a super-fan of SOUP for lunch. Something about the fact that it's hot makes it seem so filling - especially on a chilly fall day!

This week I've been throwing together a salad of leafy spinach greens and finely sliced or grated carrots. I found a ginger dressing (similar to Otani's, yum) to top it off in the Asian section of Wegmans.
The miso soup comes 3 packs in 1 at most grocery stores in the Asian section. Simply heat up 2/3 cup of water and add the mix. Yum.. me so love miso.