Chicken Noodle Soup from Scratch

19 Feb

Here’s the chicken noodle soup where I used my chicken stock made from scratch. Yeah, that’s a lot of work. But you can skip making stock from scratch if you want, and just use some high-quality store-bought stuff.  We both thought the soup tasted delicious! Can’t wait to make it again!

chicken noodle soup

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chicken
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots, cut ½ inch thick
  • 2 ribs celery, cut ½ inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 8 oz. extra wide egg noodles
  • salt, pepper, fresh parsley to taste

 

Directions

  1. Cook chicken, put in separate bowl
  2. Brown onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, about 6 minutesdsc05967
  3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil
  4. Add noodles, simmer until tender, about 5 minutes
  5. Add chicken back into soup
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste
  7. Serve, sprinkle with parsley if desired

 

Easy Chicken Stock

12 Feb

When hubby came down with a cold, I woman’d up and made chicken soup from scratch! Literally, from scratch. I deboned whole chickens, and made a chicken stock. Here’s the chicken stock recipe I used, from a class I took at the Whole Foods Cooking School in Lincoln Park. I’ll post the recipe to my chicken noodle soup, which uses this stock, next week.

I used filtered water for my stock, because well, if you’re going to all this trouble to make stock from scratch, why would you skimp on the water?

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs chicken carcasses, including necks and backs (I used the bones from 2 chickens)
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 4 carrots, chopped largely
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped largely
  • 2 leeks, white parts only
  • 8-12 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 8-12 black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 gallons (32 quarts) cold water 

 

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients into a large stock pot, adding the water last.dsc05966
  2. Cook on high and bring to a boil.
  3. When the water boils, turn heat to Low and create a simmer.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours. Add hot water as needed to keep ingredients submerged.
  5. When needed, skim the fat from the broth with the edge of a spoon.
  6. Strain the stock with a fine mesh strainer into another pot.
  7. Cool completely and place in refrigerator overnight.
  8. Remove solidified fat from surface of stock and dispose.

The stock is good in the fridge for 5 – 7 days. You can portion out the stock for freezing – it will keep for 3 months in the freezer.

 

Using Up Overripe Cherries: Toaster Oven Cobbler

7 Jan

Has a cold snap hit your town this weekend? Then it’s a good time to stay in and whip up a sweet, hot dessert (or breakfast)! This is also a great way to use up overripe berries in the summer months. You’ll need 4 ramekins or other small, oven-proof dishes for the cobbler. I used mostly all-purpose flour but replaced a tablespoon’s worth with coconut flour, just for kicks.

Cherry cobbler

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup cherries, pitted
  • 2 ½ Tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • ¼cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat toaster oven (or regular oven) to 350°F  
  2. Toss cherries in 1 ½ Tbsp sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and a dash of vanilla or almond extract.dsc05884
  3. Divide evenly into 4 ramekins.dsc05886
  4. Place ramekins into oven for 10 minutes, while you prep the batter.
  5. For the batter: combine flour, remainder of sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, and butter.
  6. Spoon into ramekins on top of the cherries.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes.
  8. Broil for 2-3 minutes, to brown the tops.
  9. Enjoy on its own or with ice cream!

Grand Rapids Brewsader Tour

1 Jan

It took me a while to getting around to writing this post – Hubby and I did our own Beer City Brewsader Tour of Grand Rapids, Michigan, over a weekend in the Fall. We mostly walked between breweries (gotta earn our beers!), with a couple of Uber rides thrown in. Since winter is a great time to hang out indoors while tasting craft beers, hopefully this post is still relevant.

Kick off the morning with brunch at Grand Rapids Brewing (1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Have a pint, a beer sampler, or hit the Bloody Mary bar.

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Hubby had the breakfast platter – it’s a good amount of food with eggs, a sausage, potatoes, and toast.
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For smaller appetites (since you’ll have to pace your eating for the day), there are several brunch appetizers. I had a salad and a Scotch egg – I have a weak spot for Scotch eggs…The sausage was good, but the egg was fully cooked, without the soft-centered yolk I had hoped for.

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Don’t forget to ask your server for a Brewsader passport – collect stamps at 8 or more participating Grand Rapids area breweries, then submit your “passport” to receive a free t-shirt (to advertise your love of alcohol, or you can use it as pajamas since it’s very comfy and soft). All of the breweries I mention here are part of the Brewsader program. And if you use the Untapped beer app on your phone, you’ll also get the Brewsader badge (more incentives to drink).

Just a couple doors down you’ll find HopCat ( 25 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Grab a seat at the bar for a drink or two. The beer list is great, the bartenders are fantastic, and so is the decor. 

If you need a break from beer, head to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market for a bite to eat – you’ll find soups, tacos, Thai food, pizza, and fantastic ice cream at Love’s. From there, it’s a 1 mile (20 minute) walk along Wealthy Street to ELK Brewing (700 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503). Though ELK’s brews weren’t really my style – I found the flavors too obvious and overpowering – there were a lot of local regulars who came in to refill their growlers.

Then it’s another 20 minute walk (or short cab ride) to Brewery Vivant (925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506), a brewery in a former historical funeral home. Once inside, under the vaulted ceiling, you’ll feel as if you might be in a small Belgian town. My photos don’t do it justice.
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I recommend trying the charcuterie plate at Brewery Vivant:

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But save room for dinner, because you’ll want to head to Harmony Brewing Company (1551 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506) to enjoy some good beer, and some of the best pizza in town (I forgot to take photos because I was too busy devouring that  pizza!)

Finally, finish off the night at Founders Brewing Co. (235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503), with its large beer hall, fantastic patio, and beer shop. 

Founders

Mitten Brewing
If you have room in your belly for one more brewery, kick off Day Two at Mitten Brewing Company (527 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). It’s a bit further afield from the others, but it’s a cool place – in a restored Victorian-era firehouse, decorated with a baseball theme. This place is kid friendly – we saw many families enjoying pizza together. We opted to snack on the trout dip, which is absolutely delicious!!
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Happy new year, and happy brewsading!!

Grand Rapids Brewing Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Brewery Vivant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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