Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

Hello All!
Wasn't it a wonderful Wednesday? I just found out one of my good friend's is having a boy:) She and her hubby are excited but her daughter.. not so much. Lol! I am sure she will  get over it once she realizes she will have someone to boss around. Hee hee! Any hoo, I am very happy for them.

I have been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately and because of it I have been much more relaxed. That's always a good thing. I have decided for my birthday and Christmas I want many new cookbooks and baking pans for the kitchen. Until I get some new books I have been surfing the web, watching cooking shows and looking at my fellow blogger's website. I have been trying many new recipes that have been bookmarked for a long time. I will share some with you later but today I want to share my homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Since it finally is starting to cool off, I have been in the mood for soup. I thought to start soup season I would make a classic. I like to use a whole chicken and boil it in chicken stock along with some vegetables. To top it off I use egg noodles. The final product is very comforting and like mom used to make. This soup is perfect for someone who is feeling ill or just want something filling and warm. I hope you give it a try.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 whole chicken 4-5lbs
3 carrots diced
3 celery diced
1 onion diced 2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves minced
3 T olive oil
48 oz of chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper to taste
enough water to cover chicken
1 8oz bag of egg noodles

Warm stock pot  with olive oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.

 In the meantime clean the chicken and its cavity. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top the vegetables with the whole chicken and add the bay leaves.

Cover the whole chicken with the broth and top of with water until the chicken is covered. Boil on med heat for 1 hour. After the hour pull the chicken out and let cool. In the meantime cook the noodles in the chicken broth according to directions. Shred the chicken and add back to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

I hope you give this recipe a try. I enjoyed it. Now I am relaxing and waiting for my favorite show to start. American Horror Story here I come.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pork Tacos

Hello everyone!
I hope you are having a great day or at least a good one. My day was uneventful. I went to work and came home. Nothing exciting but I did however make a delicious and simple dinner. I have been craving pork tacos for the past week and decided today would be the day I would sate that craving. I wanted the recipe to be no fuss since I had to work during the day so therefore I made the pork in the crock pot. I kind of just threw things in there that I thought would make the pork tasty. I am happy to say it was a success. Dinner was yummy and very easy to make. I definitely will be making this again.

Pork Tacos
4 pork chops - seasoned with salt and pepper
1 package of taco seasoning
1 onion sliced
1 Sm can of green chilies
2 c of chicken broth

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray so it will be easy to clean. Place the pork chops on the bottom of the pot. Top with sliced onions and green chilies. Mix the taco seasoning with the chicken broth and pour all over the top. Cook for about 8 hours on low.

Shred pork and place in your favorite taco shells. I used soft flour. Fill with your favorite toppings. I used shredded cheese, lettuce, onion, black beans and salsa. Enjoy!

These are delicious and so easy to make. I hope you give this recipe a try. It is very easy and good for a week night dinner. I hope you have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicken Parmesan casserole

Happy Friday Everyone!
The weekend is finally here if that means anything to anyone. Ha ha! It doesn't to me because I have to work all weekend but that's okay. I can always use the dollars. I hope everyone is planning to do at least one thing that is relaxing. It's not good to be on the go all the time.

The other day I was cruising the blogs looking for an easy weeknight dinner and I came across one that looked very interesting. It was on the blog Running with the Deviled Eggs and the dish is called Chicken Parmesan Casserole. I liked it. I changed up her recipe a little bit so I can't really call it Chicken Parm because I did not use Parmesan cheese and I used chicken breast instead of thighs and whole wheat flour instead of spelt but I think her recipe is creative and good. My hubby liked it and had two helpings. If you are looking for something different to make for dinner I would give this a try.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
from Running with the Deviled Eggs
adapted by me

1 1/2 c bread flour
1/2 c spelt flour (I used whole wheat)
2 packs of quick rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 c warm water
3 T olive oil
2 cloves of chopped garlic

4 chicken thighs (I used chicken breast)
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T oregano (I used Italian Seasoning)
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 1/2 c spaghetti sauce (I used a jar of my favorite sauce)
1 roasted pepper (I did not have these)
1 c shredded cheese
1/4 c Parmesan cheese (I used 2 c of mozzarella cheese)

Put the chicken in a ziploc bag and mix with olive oil, oregano, and garlic and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 350F for about 20 - 30 minutes. Chop when cooled.
In the casserole dish spray it well or butter the sides well. Add all the base ingredients and stir. It will be sticky. (I used my food processor for this step and then spread it out with my fingers) make sure its even on the bottom.

Let it sit for about 5 - 10 minutes. I brushed it with olive oil. Meanwhile chop garlic and roasted pepper ( I used onion instead). Add the chicken to the base, top with onions,

then sauce, and finally with the cheese. Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning on top.

Bake for 35- 45 minutes. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

I really liked this recipe and will make it again. It helped to liven up a favorite dish. I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Tart

Hello everyone!
I hope today is a good day. It has been for me. I did not have to work and I was able to play around in the kitchen a bit. My favorite show comes on today. What is it? You ask. Well, if you haven't heard a show called American Horror Story on FX then you  are missing out. This is the 3rd episode and let me tell you. I am hooked. I love it! It is one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. I can't wait to see what happens tonight:)

Back to the cooking in the kitchen that occurred today. I saw on a fellow blogger's site a Caramel Apple Tart not too long ago. It looked so delicious I began to crave one for myself. The blogger, (I am sorry. I do not remember who's blog or I would give you credit) obtained the recipe from Bon Appetit. I changed it up just a little bit. I used different types of apples and did not make the caramel sauce from scratch but all in all it was good. It turned out to be really pretty and the ice cream with caramel sauce on top was a perfect touch. It was also easier than I thought it would be. My last pie effort did not turn out so well. Oh, well. It must mean I am getting a little better in the kitchen. Yay!! I probably will make this again during the holidays.

Caramel Apple Tart
from Bon Appetit


Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 c brown sugar packed
1 1/2 c of heavy whipping cream
6 T of unsalted butter

1 1/4 c all purpose flour
3/4 powder sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chilled unsalted butter, diced
2 large egg yolks

2 T sugar (I also added brown sugar)
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon  ( I used ground cloves)
1/2 tsp cardamom
6 L McIntosh apples or golden apples (I used Fuji and jonagold)

Caramel Sauce
Bring sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a heavy sauce pan over medium high heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves. Boil until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This should take about 10 minutes.

Blend powder sugar, flour, and salt in processor. Add butter and blend until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolks. Pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

whisk the first 4 ingredients in a bowl to blend. Add apples and coat evenly.

Preheat the oven to 375. Roll out the dough into a 13inch diameter. Transfer to a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Cut overhang off and press dough up 1/4 inch above sides of pan.

Place apples cut side down, in a circle around outer edge and fit them tightly.

Bake apple tart until tender, about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with caramel sauce.

Let cool to room temp and then serve.

 I did not brush with caramel sauce but put it on the ice cream that I topped my piece with.

This tart was awesome. I recommend this recipe. I hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Most Amazing Pork Chops

Hello Everyone!
I hope you have had a relatively stress free day. I had to work all day and I am glad to be home finally. The couch is mighty comfortable and it feels good to be off my feet. I have  been looking forward to this all day. I also have been looking forward to dinner. I wanted to make something easy with no fuss. I searched around and finally found a site I liked. Have you heard of the crock pot girls? My friend turned me on to them not long ago and I am very happy she did. They have some really simple but good recipes. Dinners do not always have to be time consuming or 4 star sometimes it is all about comfort and easy.

This week they had a recipe for pork chops and boy it looked good. I thought I would give it  a try. I am always on the lookout for new crock pot recipes. This recipe was easy and delicious.

Most Amazing Pork Chops
from Crock pot Girls - adapted by me

4 bone in pork chops ( I used boneless)
1 onion sliced
1 package of pork gravy
1 onion soup package
1 10 oz can of cream of chicken soup
2 c chicken broth
1 package of egg noodles cooked according to package

Place pork chops on the bottom of the crock pot. Add the onion on top. In a separate bowl mix together the gravy, onion soup, cream of chicken soup, and chicken broth. Pour over top of the pork chops and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve pork chops and sauce over noodles. Enjoy!

This meal was delicious and easy and I definitely will be making it again. I just made some broccoli on the side.The only change I will make is to not add any extra salt to the pork chops. They were a little salty.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Hello everyone!
It has been a long time since I have blogged. I must say I have missed it and will try not to let life get in the way of me writing again. I guess you can say I have been a little busy and also a little lazy. The sad thing is I have not stopped cooking new recipes while I have been absent but have been slacking in the sharing department. This I promise to change.  I know I am happiest experimenting in the kitchen and I also like to share my results with all of you guys. It is part of the learning process and also helps my to regulate my stress level. I definitely need all the help I can get in that department. Things have been a little crazy around here but hopefully it will settle down soon.

Who is looking forward to the holidays and of course all of the turkey? I know I am. I can't wait for Thanksgiving. Hopefully I will be back at home with the family to celebrate. I have not been home in 13 years for Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward to it. I just hope plane tickets do not rise up in price too drastically before I get the chance to buy them. I aiming for this weekend to purchase them. Keep your fingers crossed that things go well for me.:) Speaking of holidays Christmas is right around the corner. I have already started buying presents for Christmas and I want to be done shopping way before then. I hate the big crowds!

Anyway back to cooking and baking. Today I was in the mood for something delicious and sweet. I finally decided that I wanted red velvet cupcakes. Let's just say it was a good choice:) I found a recipe on a fellow blogger's site and bookmarked  it a while ago to try. I am glad I made these. They were so easy and good. My hubby devoured two of them right away and then told me the rest were in danger.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
from Joy the Baker but adapted from the Hummingbird

For Cupcakes:

4 T of unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 granulated sugar
1 egg
3 T cocoa powder
3 T red food coloring ( I used the paste and eyeballed it)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
1 c + 2 T all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp distilled vinegar

For Cream Cheese Frosting
4 T cream cheese at room temp
4 T unsalted butter at room temp
2 1/2 c powder sugar
1 T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners. On med-high speed beat butter and sugar for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer on high and add the egg. Scrape down the sides and mix well.In separate bowl mix together cocoa powder, food coloring, and vanilla. Add to batter and mix on medium speed until well incorporated.

Add have the buttermilk and mix until blended then add half the flour and mix until blended. Repeat this step and mix until well blended and smooth. Turn mixer on low and add salt and baking soda and vinegar. Mix until smooth.

Divide the batter into the 12 liners and bake about 15 - 18 minutes until done.

 Cool on wire rack.

Blend the cream cheese and butter for about 5 minutes with the whisk attachment. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Add the powder sugar and blend until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until well combined.

Frost the cupcakes and enjoy! I hope everyone is having a good Monday.