Who’s that motorcycle mama racing into my blog post? Show off. Just because she’s got a bigger bike than most guys. And a BMW at that.
Why, it’s my favorite sister-in-law. And let me tell you, not only can Mary Ellen ride with the best of ’em, she can cook with them too. Her chicken soup recipe is the best I’ve ever tasted. And I’m going to share it with you. Shhh…. Don’t tell MEB.
You’re going to need:
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5-6 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4-5 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 1 quart vegetable broth (or use 3 chicken)
- 2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1-2 dashes red pepper flakes (more if you’re battling a cold)
- l large bay leaf (optional)
- 3-4 cubes (or equivalent) chicken bouillon
- 1 package Kluski or Bohemian noodles
Brown the diced chicken in a large pot with olive oil, garlic, and onion. (Looks kind of anemic, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, by the time we’re done, this chicken will be the belle of the ball.)
Add the broths, seasonings, bouillon, and…. Uh-oh, I think I need a bigger pot.
Much better. Now I have room for the veggies.
Stir to mix. Simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
This is a good time to check your seasonings. Mary Ellen’s recipe doesn’t call for any salt, but some people might need a dash or two. Sample and adjust to taste. And don’t be afraid of those red pepper flakes. You won’t even notice a dash or two. However, if your nose is stopped up, a few more dashes is just what the doctor ordered.
WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR A NOODLE MOMENT – According to Mary Ellen, egg noodles aren’t the best option for this recipe. Seems they get a little mushy. She recommends Kluski noodles. Says they have a better consistency and won’t go to mush.
In case you’re wondering, like I was, Kluski is a style of noodle, not a brand.
Here’s one brand, but there are many others.
Add noodles to the simmering soup about 20-30 minutes before serving, and continue to simmer.
This chicken soup is so flavorful and low in fat. And aren’t we all looking to cut out the fat? Yes, it makes a lot, plenty to feed a large family. Or delve out to your friends. Talk about spreading the love.
Goodness in a bowl, made by YOU.
What do you turn to when the weather outside is frightful and the flu is dreadfully spiteful?
Anyone notice we’re in the midst of a severe flu season?
Of course, you do. How could you not? It’s all over the news and there are signs telling us to “Get Your Flu Shot” almost every where you go.
So what can you do to help prevent the flu on the homefront?
- First, wash your hands–A LOT. Unless you’re a germophobe, we sometimes don’t stop to think that we can pick up germs from shopping carts, door handles, even the money we handle (and do we really want to think about what the kiddos are bringing home from school?). Then we touch our nose, our eyes, our mouth in the most innocent of ways and voila!
- Next, take the time to disinfect the things everyone touches around your home. You can use disinfecting wipes, Lysol, bleach…whatever will get the job done. Wipe down counters, faucets, door knobs, the flush handle on the toilet, light switches, refrigerator/over/dishwasher handles, remote controls, computer keyboards…any hard surface those germs like to latch onto and take up residence.
- Cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
- Eat healthy and get plenty of rest. Your body needs these basic things to keep your immune system operating at peak performance.
Speaking of eating well, tomorrow I’ll be sharing the perfect recipe for cold, flu, or any other season. After all, chicken soup is good for more than just the soul.
Have you had your flu shot? What steps are you taking to keep the flu at bay?
Ever feel overwhelmed? Like if one thing more gets dumped on your plate you might lose it?
You’re not alone. No matter what phase of life you find yourself in, finding the balance in today’s busy world can be a challenge.
From the first-time mom struggling to balance her attention between the newborn that needs her and the husband who suddenly feels neglected to the empty-nester who was looking forward to her freedom, only to find herself caring for an aging parent.
At this point in my life, I have three adult daughters, five grandkids, and two teenage boys. The latter of which are determined to eat me out of house and home. Then there’s my elderly mother. She still lives on her own, but requires my assistance as chauffeur, shopper, and care-taker.
Yes, life is definitely a balance. But, like our diet, it can be managed.
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the buffet of life:
- Pray – This is first and foremost. You can do it anywhere, anytime. Ask God to guide your choices. Tell Him your struggles. After all, He already knows.
- Prioritize – The baby’s doctor appointment and the parent/teacher conference can’t be put off, but maybe the laundry can wait until tomorrow. Make a list of those things that HAVE to be done. If your family is in danger of going to work/school naked the next day then, yes, laundry can go on the have-to list. But do yourself a favor, only wash exactly what they’ll need for the next day and do the rest when your time isn’t at a premium (I know, it’s always at a premium, but work with me here). **Note: If you are one of those uber organized people who stays on top of their laundry, I applaud you. Please feel free to ignore the aforementioned comments about laundry.
- Learn to say NO – I love PTA, but it can be one of those things that once you get your foot in the door, they grab you by the ankle, knock you down, and drag you into their lair. Before you know it, they’ve sucked the joy of serving right out of you. And without that joy, what good are you doing to anyone. I hate to say it, but the same holds true for teaching Sunday School and VBS. Don’t let someone guilt you into doing something God never intended you to do.
- Find time for you – Okay, this one is the hardest of all. Especially if you’re chasing toddlers all day and you barely have time to use the bathroom. Wake up thirty minutes early, sit in your favorite chair, alone, and enjoy your coffee/tea in peace. Or maybe at naptime, whenever you can slink away from the chaos. Once the kids are down for the night, put hubby on-call and treat yourself to a bubble bath. How can you carve out ten minutes of your day just for you?
Is your world a little caddywampus? What steps can you take to find your balance?