Archive | November, 2011

Grandma Lil’s Famous Chicken Soup

7 Nov


What could possibly be more cozy than a big bowl of chicken soup on a chilly fall afternoon? My thoughts exactly, which is why I decided to make my Grandma’s “famous” chicken soup this weekend. Why is it famous, you ask? Because when we were kids, my cousins, brother, sister and I loved this soup so much that we thought she should sell it and make millions of dollars and become famous. Like, more famous than the Campbell’s people. Grandma never sold her recipe, but we  still always referred to it as “Grandma’s Famous Soup.” Nothing evokes stronger memories of childhood than the smell of this soup simmering away on the stove. She even used these special noodles which were really like teeny tiny dumplings that I’m sure were made by hand by the little old Hungarian ladies at her church and you can’t find in any store. Thanks to a little searching, I found some! Thank you, internet!! I did not have these on hand when I made the soup this weekend, but will definitely be making it with these noodles in the future. So, if you want the full “Grandma’s Famous Soup” experience, you can buy them online here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LRFZYI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=A10LQTPLUW9LRL  *One of these days I will figure out how to insert a hyperlink into my post!

Clearly I need a bigger pot! Chicken and veggies are working their magic. See all that foam? That’s the fat that you want to skim away every now and then.

I skimmed off the fat and added carrots and parsley. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 5 hours or more. I flipped the chicken over halfway through because my water didn’t exactly cover the chicken and I wanted to make sure that the whole chicken was cooked through. (Tip:  if you buy carrots with the tops still on them, just throw those greens in. They are very similar to parsley, and you don’t have to make an extra purchase!)

The hubs is helping shred the chicken to put back in the soup and Bella is very interested in getting her paws on some! She’s a greedy kitty.

After taking out the peppers, onion, kohlrabi, tomato, cabbage, and parsley, I put it in a strainer over a measuring cup or directly over the soup so I can pour the liquid back in the soup. Don’t throw it away before doing this! It adds so much flavor back in the soup!

Obviously nothing can compare to my Grandma’s soup, but I’m proud to say that I came pretty darn close! Enjoy! 🙂

My Grandma Lillian’s Famous Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • 3-4 quarts of water (depending on the size of the pot you have. Use the biggest you’ve got!)
  • 5-6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Parsley greens
  • 1 onion, cut in half
  • wedge of cabbage
  • 1 green pepper, cut in half
  • 2-3 pieces of chopped celery
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 Kohlrabi bulb (when in season)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb of noodles (any kind you like! I used an egg noodle called Kluska noodles.)

Directions

  1. Put chicken in pot and cover with water. Skim the fat off the top 2-3 times when starting to boil.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and veggies. My grandma doesn’t add the parsley and carrots until the end so they aren’t too mushy, but I threw it all in and thought it was fine.
  3. Simmer the soup on medium-low heat for about 5 hours, or as long as you can stand it. The longer it cooks, the better it will be!
  4. Continue to skim the fat off the top of the soup occasionally.
  5. After about 5 hours, using a slotted spoon, take all of the veggies out of the soup except the carrots and celery and set aside. Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Take off the skin, and shred the white meat into bite size pieces and put back into the soup. I only use the white meat, but feel free to add the dark if you want.
  6. Put the veggies in a strainer over the soup and get the remaining liquid back into the pot. You don’t want to lose any of that flavor! Taste the broth with a spoon at this point for seasoning.
  7. Cook your noodles separately and don’t add them to the pot or else the noodles will soak up all the liquid like a sponge. (Learned that one the hard way!)
  8. Ladle yourself a big bowl and enjoy! 🙂
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Green Eggs and Ham Cups

1 Nov

Oh Pinterest. You got me good again. If those of you aren’t on Pinterest, you are seriously missing out. It is a virtual pinboard that allows you to share and organize things that you find on the internet. I have found so many amazing recipes, crafts, style and home ideas on Pinterest and have become aware of a ton of great blogs! It has armed me with an arsenal of new recipes to try every week! My poor cookbooks are totally collecting dust now that Pinterest has come into my life. If you are unfamiliar with Pinterst, click on the link under my Blogroll and check it out! Be aware that it is seriously addicting!

I found this recipe which I’m calling “Green Eggs and Ham Cups” on Pinterest. I pinned it awhile ago, and when I went back to find it under my “Good Eats” board, it wasn’t there anymore! I was seriously bummed, because now I have no idea who to give credit to for this recipe. I googled “Ham cup recipes” and found a few others out there so that I would know how long to bake them. Luckily, I remembered the basic ingredients so I was able to recreate them as best as I could remember.

I am planning on making these for dinner for Matt and I something this week, but since I didn’t get a subbing job today, I decided to do a little test run. I think it’s safe to say Matt is going to love them. They. are. so. easy. Easy enough to make for a quick weeknight meal, an elegant Sunday brunch, or anytime you want!

What’s awesome about these is that you can virtually make them anyway you like. I made mine with pesto, grape tomatoes, and mozzerella cheese. Next time, I might add some chopped chives on top for a burst of green color and slight oniony flavor. No matter how you decide to make them, these ham cups are going to impress anyone you make them for, including yourself!

Green Eggs and Ham Cups

Ingredients

  • Deli ham (you want it to be on the thicker side to hold all the ingredients. If you have thin ham slices, I would double up.)
  • Pesto
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cheese (any type! I used Mozzarella because we had some on hand. Gruyere would also be amazing in this!)
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped chives, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place ham in the muffin cups. Add about a teaspoon of pesto in the bottom of the ham cup. Place 1-2 grape tomatoes on top. Add a small amount of cheese on top. Crack an egg on top of that. You may need to move the ham around a little so that the egg stays in the cup. Add a little salt (the ham is salty enough, so I added just a slight amount) and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until eggs are set.
  5. Sprinkle some chopped chives on top and enjoy by itself or with some toast to sop up all of the yolky goodness!

Ingredients

Press ham into muffin cups. Try to do this gently so it doesn’t tear. I did have a small tear in the bottom of one of the cups, and it turned out fine. The pesto will act as a glue so the egg doesn’t seep through.

Add the pesto, cheese, and tomato into the cups. Side note: next time, I will add another tomato. I didn’t want to overcrowd the cup my first time making it.

Crack your egg on top of the tomato, cheese, and pesto.

Add a little salt and cracked black pepper and put into a 400 degree oven to bake for about 12 minutes.

When the egg is set and the whites are firm, they are done!

2 Green Eggs and Ham cups were the perfect amount for me. I’m sure I’ll have to make Matt at least 4 when I make this again later this week. Make as many as you think you will need!

Absolute heaven on a plate.

Go make this and let me know how you like it! If you have any suggestions of things you would add to your ham cups, what would they be??