Trying This Yet Again

Well, after another long break, I am back to trying to blog.  Since the last time I posted anything, things have gotten crazy.  So I think it is time for a reintroduction.  I am Emily, I am 25 years old, with a wonderful husband, and the biggest difference from the prior post we now have TWO wonderful little girls.  Alice is 3.5 and Wendy is 3 months.  My hands and heart have been very full!!  But once again I will try to do this.  And as it always seems to go, I will start with a recipe.  After a week long trip home, we arrived home at 1am Sunday-between getting the girls and ourselves ready for Mass (it was Easter!) I was to tired to grocery shop so I put together a meal from what I had on hand.  I found a recipe for chicken noodle casserole and started from there 🙂

 

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Prep Time:10 Min Cook Time:30 Min
Serves 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen peas and carrots*
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen corn*
  • 1 onion chopped and satueed*
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (10 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Instructions
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Boil egg noodles according to package directions. Drain water.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine all the other remaining ingredients except  2 tablespoons of butter and the breadcrumbs . Add cooked noodles to mixture. Gently stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and mix in the breadcrumbs and cheese.  Sprinkle on top of the noodle mix.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

*I did not have full bags of any of these frozen veggies so I pieced together veggies based on what I had in the freezer, that is also why I added onion-and on the onion vein:  I put the onion in raw, that left it less cooked than **I** prefer the onion to be which is why I suggest sautéing the onion first!

 

Original Post that I used as a starting point:

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Adventures In Soup-The Beginning

So.  I will admit.  As weird as this sounds I don’t like soup.  When it comes to meals, I don’t think of soup as an option.  That being said-I LOVE making soup, I love the IDEA of soup…and I am pretty good at making it.  Being that I don’t really like soup I am always on a quest to find new soup recipes.  One of the GREAT things about soup is that even a small recipe will make enough for dinner and leftovers.  It is generally an inexpensive thing to make, and when done correctly is hearty and something that makes both my other half and my mini me happy :-).  When it comes to soup I personally like thicker soups-purees or creamy type soups..one of my favorites is a corn chowder I make-but that is a recipe for another day!

Today I am tackling chicken soup.  Everyone knows the story-you’re a kid you stay home sick from school and your mom gives you chicken noodle soup. Be it homeade or Campbells-its often the same a broth based soup with chicken, noodles, carrots-there are always variations-my mom likes to put peas in hers.  This was never one of my favorites-I am not a fan of broth soups…so I decided to find a recipe for creamy chicken soup.  And this is what I found.  As always my personal notes are in bold type 🙂

**NOTE: this soup is not “friendly” it has meat, dairy gluten etc..and it is wonderful! LOL**

Creamy Chicken Penne Soup

3/4 cup Carrots

3/4 cup Celery

2 tbsp Fresh Parsley

4 springs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup onion

6oz. Boneless Chicken tenders

2 Tbsp Unsalter butter (I used salted bc I didnt have unsalted on hand)

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 1/2 cups Penne (I recommend measuring this out right away..I’ll expain why later!)

2 cups Chicken Stock (I always make sure to keep extra on hand just in case)

2/3 cup frozen peas

1/2 teaspoon Dried Sage

2 Tbsp Flour

2Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup Dry White Wine (I used a Savingion Blanc-it is the best bet if a recipe called for a dry white)

Salt and Pepper

Prep

  1. Cut an onion into 1/4 inch dice to measure the indicated amount.
  2. Peel carrots and cut into 1/4 inch pieces to measure the indicated amount. (I will admit I used some shredded carrots I had on hand) Add to the onions.
  3. Cut celery into 1/4 inch dice to measure the indicated amount. Add to carrots and onions.
  4. Smash the garlic under the side of your chef’s knife to remove the peel. Mince the garlic, then add to celery, carrots and onions.
  5. Trim parsley leaves from the stems and finely chop to measure the indicated amount

(I put all of this except the parsley into a big bowl so it was already mixed together)

Cook Steps

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch diced pieces, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and warm.
  3. Once oil is warm, add the chicken. Oil should sizzle when you add the chicken. Sear until golden brown and nicely caramelized, stirring as it cooks to brown evenly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate. Save the pot.
  4. Place the chicken pot back over medium heat. There should be enough oil to cover bottom of pot. If not, add more olive oil and warm.
  5. Once oil is warm, add garlic, onions, carrots, celery and dried sage. Crush the sage between your fingertips as you add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Stir often.
  6. Once onions are translucent, add butter and let melt. Then, add flour and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  7. Pour in white wine and use a spoon to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot. Add thyme sprigs, dried bay leaves, heavy cream and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  8. Place chicken back into the pot along with pasta  (Make sure to measure your pasta-I am a dope and dumped a whole box in-this meant I needed extra liquid so my soup was thin..then I had to make extra roux on the side, and add extra chicken stock and thicken the soup back up, then it was a bit to thick so I needed more stock to make it soup again…Just measure your pasta!!!!). Bring back to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook until pasta noodles are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Continue to stir often.
  9. Once pasta noodles are tender and chicken is cooked through, remove thyme sprigs and dried bay leaves. Check final seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Stir in parsley and peas. Place back over medium heat and simmer for another 3-5 minutes until peas are cooked through.
  10. Ladle creamy chicken pasta soup into bowls and serve warm!

I have been known to add just a pinch of sugar to a big pot of soup to help bring out the sweetness and counter act the salt and help give it an all around smoother and more developed flavor..

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Enjoy!!

Apples Abound Part 2

So, I am sad to say this apple season got away from me a bit. I did get to go apple picking with my darling and my peanut-but I didn’t get to make as much apple food as I had hoped, and obviously haven’t been doing as much as I had hoped with blogging. But oh well. Moving on, here is a new recipe I tried with our bounty of apples. I do reccomend making sure you have a full cup of BBQ sauce, I was low so I mixed in a little water and the whole thing came out VERY thin…we had it over rice and followed it up with apple crisp..and it was yummy!

Slow Cooker Bacon-Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken
INGREDIENTS
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• 1 cup BBQ sauce
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/8 cup lemon juice fresh or from a bottle
• 5 small apples peeled and chopped
• 8 slices bacon (I had chicken breasts that were rather large so I used 3 pieces per breast)
INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a small bowl, combine BBQ sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice and peeled/chopped apples.
2. Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of bacon and place in a greased slow cooker.
Pour BBQ-apple mixture over chicken and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is done.

Enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

This recipe is one I came across on Facebook and decide to use for a Crock Pot Night meal.  The first copy of the recipe is how I originally recieved it.  The second copy has my notes attached.  Anything written in BOLD type is a modification I made.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 Tbl. Butter

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1 onion, finely diced

2 (10 ounce) pkgs, refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

 1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.

2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is cooked through.

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Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings 

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, Cut into cubes

2 Tbl. Butter

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup

2 onion, finely diced

2 (10 ounce) pkgs, refrigerated biscuit dough (we used one can Grands Biscuts)

Corn Starch-Water Slurry

One Bag Frozen Mixed Veggies (we used the BirdsEye corn-carrot-peas-green bean mix)

Salt Pepper Garlic Powder

 

1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, slurry and onion in a slow cooker, season, and fill with enough water to cover.

2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High, keep your eye open, if it looks thin add a little extra corn starch.

3.  30 minutes before serving, add the veggies.  Bake biscuits according to package directions.

To Serve:  Split biscuit in half, scoop chicken “stew” over the biscuit and enjoy!

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This recipe came out AWESOME.  We tried both variations-we didn’t enjoy the version with the dumplings in the pot as much as we enjoyed the version that was more of a chicken stew over a biscuit.  This was a nice hearty and enjoyable meal! We will be making it again and again I am sure!

Enjoy!

Who am I?

So, for those of you who don’t know me, here is a post to help catch you up.

I am Emily.  I am 23 years old.  I have an assocaites degree in Culinary Arts, and an assocaites degree in Liberal Arts that was focused in Psychology.  I work as a hostess in a local restaurant, and have been working in restaurants off and on since I was about 16.  I love the feel of working in a restaurant-they energy and the insanity.  I also have a family.  A wonderful boyfriend, and a beautiful baby girl.  Andrew and Alice are the focus of my life.  I only work weekends and spend most of my time at home with Alice.  Andrew works, and goes to school.  He also loves to eat.  We are a match made in heaven.  I focus a lot of time into menu planning and seeing what to make for dinner.  We try to keep a schedule. Sunday is beef night, Monday we have Chicken, Tuesday is Pork, Wednesday we eat Fish, Thursday is Left Overs (if any have survived the lunch roulette) Friday is Crock pot night (since I work, I use the crock pot to make dinner so he has good food to eat even when I am not home) and Saturday is the one day he fends for himself.

Though I often stick to standard meals-steak on the grill, a roasted chicken, baked pork chops etc.  It is fast and easy, but I also like to try to be creative and branch out-take something standard and make it new and different.  I will share those recipes here.

I will also share some of the fun creative ideas I use around my house to have fun and be creative.

Hope everyone enjoys.