Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup and Love Me Do Muffins!

Greetings and salutations fellow internet cooks!  My first post - and it's delicious!  Had a half day at work and was looking forward to coming home and igniting the fires in the kitchen!  I stopped at the local produce store to pick up some things I needed for my meals today!

I started by making a broth for homemade chicken noodle soup... Had a little fryer to do the job... and I screwed it up.. Note to those who try this - RINSE OUT THE POT COMPLETELY WHEN YOU WASH IT... An hour into my broth making, I lifted the lid to my pot and realized it smell horribly of chicken ala dawn apple wash.. Into the trash it all went...

Plan B? I had some containers of chicken stock stashed.. broke those out along with some chicken breasts I had frozen last night.. The recipe went as follows:

chicken broth - about 49 oz
 4 boneless chicken breasts cut in half - raw
Put into a stock pot and let simmer for about  45 min (until the chicken floats)
Remove the chicken.  Let the chicken cool, it will be easier to cut into bite size pieces.

To the pot add:
- about 6-7 carrots, cut about a 1/8-1/4in thick
- 3-4 celery stalks, cut 1/8in thick - leave the leaves for flavor!
- One medium onion, diced into small pieces
- salt, pepper and parsley to taste.(remember the veggies (especially the carrots) will soak up some of the salt.. so be sure to test the broth regularly to make sure there is enough for flavor!)

When the chicken is cooled, cut into pieces.. I like mine kind of small so I get a little bit of everything on my spoon ;-)

Once the veggies have simmered for a while and are tender, add the chicken.. Let it sit a while so all the amazing flavors can mix together...
Cook up some pasta - I always use bowtie with chicken noodle.. these were the tiny ones.. Do not add the pasta to the soup itself.  The noodles WILL GET SOGGY and no one likes soggy noodles... Keep them separate until you are ready to devour...place a handful of noodles into a bowl and ladle your soup on top. The soup is hot enough to warm the noodles.


For dessert, I took a recipe I found online and MAJORLY tweaked it.  And it was a win! Remember, baking is more of a science.  Things need to be exact otherwise there will be some sort of implosion, hard baked good or other catastrophe.

Love Me Do Muffins!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups peeled and grated apple (Granny Smith are great to cook with)
1/2 cup of crasins
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup of plain rolled Oats
2 tbsp packed brown sugar

Preheat your over to 375 degrees F (190 celscius).  Prepare your muffin pans - either coat with a nonstick spray or put liners in.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a second bowl, combine carrots, apples, and craisins. Stir in eggs, oil and vanilla.  (If you have lemon or an orange, squeeze into the bowl.  The acid of the citrus fruit will keep the apple from turning brown.  I used a clementine I had in the fridge)
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients; stir until smooth.

Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Combine the oats and brown sugar in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture on top of the muffins.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 
If you decide to use the tiny muffin tins, as I sometimes love to do, always cut a few minutes off the baking time, otherwise you'll end up with tiny little bricks. 

Finished product...

Questions? Comments? Enjoy!!

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