Wednesday, January 2, 2013's blessing...

Even though Finners has been a little...ummmm....challenging (?!?!?!) lately, she has learned to say "I yub oo mommy," which of course, forgives everything and makes it all better.  Good thing because challenging is a delicate way to describe some of these behaviors!!!  ;)

Soup recipe of the day

Chicken Wild Rice

First...make your chicken stock...
I like to take a whole chicken and cover in with water in my stockpot
add a couple of bay leaves, 2 celery stalks (leaves etc included...just break it into a couple of pieces so it fits in the pot), a whole onion cut in half, and a 2 carrots halved or quartered (however they fit in there)

cook for an hour or so...until the chicken is done and should be falling off the bone

pull 3 cups of broth from the stockpot and set the rest aside.

boil 3 cups of broth and add 1.5 cups of wild rice, simmer for 45 mins until rice is tender (or follow the directions on your wild rice...some are different...the main point is to use the broth and DO NOT use instant wild rice)

while rice is simmering,strain broth in stock want to get rid of the celery, onions, carrots and bay leaves you put in there and any pieces of bone etc that happened while cooking chicken.  I don't strain it in any fancy kind of way, i just use a straining just fine but I suppose you could get all cheesecloth etc with it if you wanted.

you can also pull apart the chicken.  Get rid of bones and skin (yuck) and add meat back to stockpot broth.

Dice into small pieces
1 whole onion
2 celery stalks
2 cloves of garlic (or be like me and just use the minced kind in the jar...about 1 really big tsp)
you can also dice up a carrot or two if you want

melt 4 tbsp of butter in a pan and saute onion, celery, garlic (and carrot) until soft (about 1-10 mins)
add 3 tbsp of flour and whisk for 3 mins

add to stockpot broth and meat...stir rapidly so it is all mixed well

rice should be done now so you can add that to the pot too

now add some spices to taste...

I add salt (lots of salt)
some cayenne
and a splash of lemon juice (like a tbsp or a bit more)

get the soup up to a nice rolling simmer and add about 2 cups of cream (or half in half if you are watching your weight but really...add the heavy cream already)

do not let the soup boil after this (the cream will separate.  you can still eat it but it won't look creamy and nice)

ladle up into boils and serve with some garlic butter croutons or fresh homemade bread...Yummmy

when I first started making soup I was always buying campbells broth and using chicken breasts.  This whole chicken way is waaaaaaaaaay more cost effective, makes a muuuuuuuuuuuch better broth/stock and serves more.  I always make sure that my stock pot is about half full (I am not so big on super thick soups) but if you like thicker soups, just use less water.  just make sure your chicken is covered with water

also...the difference between stock and broth is not a very big one...stock is just a more condensed version of the longer you cook the chicken in the water with the veggies, the more flavorful it will become.

To this end, I usually take a day or afternoon to make my soup...I let the chicken cook with the herbs and veggies for at least a couple of hours and the stock is a golden color...more flavorful (you might need to add more water so check on it every so often).  You can also throw in whatever veggies you have and can even go veggie if you are a non meat-eater....the soup would just be wild rice and would be made the same only you would cook a pot of veggies (maybe add some leeks in there, more carrots and then you could add some mushrooms in with the sauteing portion)...then no chickens will have been harmed in the making of your soup.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 the dessert experiment failed...onto new things

So I tried to do this thing, where I made desserts and we celebrated by eating a new one every night...and it went all fine and dandy until the desserts weren't getting done until like 9 or 10pm and the kids were sleeping and Cori had to get to work

And...let's face it...

I cook but I am not Julia Childs and I am not living like that other Julia who wrote that cool Julia and Julia blog

I am a mom of two teenagers and 1 toddler
I am a teacher

and...well...I am tired.

My kids aren't all that adventurous and the grocery store around here barely carries anything more exotic than vanilla extract. 2013...I am changing the message...desserts and blessings!!!

It is my goal to find blessings every day...and throw some desserts in there too :)