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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Granny's Chicken Soup

I got this lovely recipe online and made it last night. Don't expect it to taste like chicken noodle soup but more like a garden vegetable soup. The flavor is lovely. After it's done just de-bone the chicken and use for other recipes. The flavor of the chicken when it's done is fantastic!

Here's the actual article that I copied and pasted from another online site.
Down through the ages, home-made chicken soup has been valued and appreciated for it’s soothing and healing qualities when it comes to colds and the flu. I decided to investigate what it is about chicken soup that makes the ailing patient feel better. Here’s what I came up with-
‘All research agrees that chicken soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. Many say it also inhibits white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm.) Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine- released when you make the soup. This amino acid thins mucus in the lungs, aiding in the healing process.’
When combined with nutrient rich veggies, home-made chicken soup can definitely help the healing process in those who fall prey to colds or the flu !

1- 5 pound organic stewing chicken
3 large onions
4 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato
3 parsnips
2 turnips
10 large carrots
6 stalks of celery
1 bunch parsley
Hot pepper flakes- a few
1 teaspoon celery seed

Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot, and cover with cold water- about 3 - 4 quarts. Bring to a boil.

Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, and carrots. Boil about 1 1/2 hours.

Add the parsley celery and hot pepper flakes. Cook about 45 min longer.

Remove the chicken (not used further for the soup- only for the stock).

Add Sea Salt or Crystal Salt and black pepper to taste.

Healing benefits of ingredients:
1. Onions - contain protein, calcium, sulfur, vitamin A, B complex, C and E. They contain sulfur compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects. Like garlic, onions have the antibiotic oil- allicin, which gives them their pungent flavor.
2. Garlic - has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties . Is being used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, assisting in treatment of heart disease, and cancer and lowering cholesterol.
3. Sweet potato - excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C ,manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Having significant antioxidant capacities, they stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.
4. Parsnips - a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, which help to boost the immune system, plus they’re a good source of fibre, which protects against colon cancer and helps maintain healthy bowels. Parsnips are a good to reduce high blood pressure, because they have a high potassium content.
5. Turnips - are rich in beta-carotene and protect mucous membranes (especially in the lungs and intestinal tract) from cancer and free-radical damage. Also high in vitamin C, indoles, calcium and other minerals.
6. Carrots - Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene. The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.
7. Celery - carminative, diuretic, tonic, nervine. Used to promote restfulness and sleep, celery is also excellent for relieving rheumatism and gout. Its high magnesium and iron content is invaluable as a food for blood cells. Because of its anitspasmodic properties, celery is good for all lund conditions, including asthma and bronchitis.
8. Parsley - contains two components that provide unique health benefits - 1. volatile oils-including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. 2. flavonoids- including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food- a food that can neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like benzopyrenes from cigarette and charcoal grill smoke).
9. Sea Salt - natural balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium- helps to lower blood pressure and promote good health. Mineral salts create electrolytes, the sparks of life- carry electrical currents to cells throughout the body. Electrolytes are necessary for enzyme production. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, muscle function, hormone production, etc. Electrolytes and enzymes are linked to healthy immune function, proper regulation of bodily fluids, and adrenal health.
10. Black pepper - contains volatile oils, alkaloids, proteins and minerals. It has the following healing actions: circulatory stimulant, diuretic, cerebral stimulant, reduces infection, diaphoretic (induces sweating), astringent (tightens mucous membranes) and stimulates sinuses to drain.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baked Apples

What a perfect way to ring in fall. It's even healthy!


8 large rome apples, washed & cored
1/3 cup granola cereal - I didn't use this with mine.
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup slivered almond
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 fresh lemon rind, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cup apple juice or cider
4 tablespoons butter
whipping cream, chilled or softly whipped

1.Peel off one strip around the center of each apple.
2.Slice a thin piece off the bottom of each and place them almost touching in an oven proof dish.
3.Combine the granola,raisins, nuts,cinnamon nutmeg and lemon peel.
4.Toss to mix well.
5.Divide the filling among the centers of the apples, pack the filling down lightly.
6.In a saucepan combine the lemon juice, honey, apple juice& butter.
7.Bring to a bubbly simmer about 5 minutes.
8.Pour over the apples.
9.Cover with foil and bake 350F degrees for 30 minutes.
10.Uncover the apples and continue baking for about another 30 minutes, basting frequently with the juice.
11.Cool to almost room temp serve with the cream

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I had this growing up at home as well as at my aunts when I lived with her a short time. I fused the two together and came up with this. Tuna haters even like this one. This makes a large amount and will need to be made in a large pan. I would estimate this will feed 8 people well if you have a salad and bread on the side.

1 16oz box macaroni noodles
2-3 cans tuna - depending on how much you want in there.
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (optional if you want to salt after it's done)
freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 package seasoned croutons
1 small package frozen peas

1. Cook noodles according to the directions on the package.
2. When noodles are almost entirely cooked, add in the frozen peas and heat through.
3. Drain noodles and peas.
4. Put noodles and peas back in pan and add in mushroom soup, milk, butter, and seasonings.
5. Pour this mixture into a greased casserole dish.
6. Top with croutons and cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is a cold bean dip. It's very nutritious, especially if you soak your beans and don't cook them. They'll still have a lovely texture but won't have a lot of the nutrients cooked out. This is a dip that orginated in the middle east and you can still find it in middle eastern restaurants all over the U.S. There are many recipes for hummus - this is just one we use. Another we like omits the roasted red pepper, adds a bit more lemon and some cumin. We like to dip pita's, vegetables and kashi crackers in our hummus. We experimented a bit with what we liked in our hummus. Here's what Lyshie and I came up with.

1 can garbanzo beans - drained - reserve juice if desired
1 1/2 - 2 lemons cut in half
1-2 garlic cloves
2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 roasted red pepper - or one large piece of it from a jar
salt to taste

In food processor, process beans well.

Add in freshly squeezed juice from lemons, garlic, tahini and roasted red pepper. Blend well.

Add olive oil to desired consistency - you might want to add a bit of water or reserved garbanzo bean juice.

Lastly, slowly salt till desired flavor.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Basil Chicken Dumpling Casserole

While still living at my parents home and still in high school, I received the Taste of Home magazines. This is one of the first recipes I made from it. The basil totally makes the dish. Anytime I make this for someone, I get raving compliments. This is a wonderful fall/winter comfort food. As you can see in the pix above, I didn't just have peas - I had mixed veggies so that's what I used. Everyone loved it:)


* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup butter or margarine
* 1/2 cup flour
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas
* 4 cups cubed cooked chicken


* 2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix
* 2 teaspoons dried basil
* 2/3 cup milk


1.In a large saucepan, saute onion,selery and garlic in butter until tender.
2.Add flour, sugar, salt, basil, pepper and broth.
3.Bring to a boil, stirring.
4.Cook and stir for 1 minute.
5.Reduce heat.
6.Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
7.Stir in chicken.
8.Pour into a greased 13 in X 9 in X 2 in baking dish.
9.For dumplings combine biscuit mix and basil in a bowl.
10.Stir in milk with a fork until moistened.
11.Drop by TBS onto hot casserole.
12.(12 dumplings) Bake, uncovered, at 350*F for 30 minutes.
13. Cover and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until dumplings are done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Greek Chicken and Potatoes

While this dish is not very colorful - it was incredibly yummy. So very simple to make to.

1 package chicken - 3-4lbs?
4-5 pealed and cut potatoes (not too thick)
4-6 tablespoons butter
olive oil
1 lemon quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of casserole dish, then lay potatoes and chicken on the bottom - making sure chicken is in a single layer.

Cut butter into pieces and place all around chicken.

Drizzle chicken with freshly squeezed lemon - then place lemons in the baking dish.

Sprinkle liberally with oregano and then season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1 hour or till chicken runs clear and potatoes are tender.

A big thanks to Stephenie on for this yummy recipe!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

These are yummy! Dh wanted his with ice cream on the top.

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups baking chips

Beat butter, sugars and vanilla till well creamed - about 4 minutes.

Add in peanut butter and mix till blended.

Add eggs and mix till blended.

Next add oats, flour and baking soda, a little at a time till combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 13x9 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 mins or till just set.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup

I modified this recipe from one that was online. The one I made it after did not call for the tomato paste or the bullion - both of which give this soup it's flavor. I totally forgot to precook barley and add it in. I will definately do that next time. I would recommend salting individual bowls once this is finished cooking as the vegetables can really soak up the salt. Also, this makes a lot. I would guess you could serve 8 people with this recipe. Just make sure to have some good bread and butter and maybe even some homemade applesauce on the side:)

1-2lbs ground beef
2 quarts water or tomato juice
4 diced potatoes
1/2 head cabbage - thinly chopped
1 diced onion
1/2 pound frozen green beans
1/2 pound frozen peas
1 can corn - drained
1 can tomatoes
6oz tomato paste
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon beef bullion

Cook beef and onions. Drain any excess grease.

Add rest of ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Shredded Italian Beef Sandwiches and Fried Sweet Potatoes

I made some honey wheat rolls for the beef sandwiches. Big mistake. They need something less sweet and dense. The rolls on their own are amazing as is the beef. Next time I'll need a lighter, non-sweetened bun. We used monterey jack cheese slices on the beef which was oh so yummy! Sorry about the blurry picture - I was in a hurry to eat. lol.

Honey What Rolls

1 cup warm milk
1 beaten egg - preferably at room temp
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine and start dough setting. This usually takes 1-2 hours depending on the bread machine.

When dough cycled is finished, divide up into as many balls as you like.

Place them on a baking stone and flatten down a bit. Let rise covered till doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Fried Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes
coconut oil - I used refined since I was frying
sea salt

Cook sweet potatoes till slightly tender but still a little hard.

Warm up oil in pan and fry sliced, partially cooked potatoes. Make sure to get them nice and golden.

Remove and place on paper towels to remove excess grease.

Season with sea salt.

**Note** The thinner you slices these, the more like fries they'll be. Mine were pretty thick so they were very soft in the middle. Still very good though.

Italian Shredded Beef

5lbs roast
1 package italian dressing mix
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon onion powder (I didn't have so I didn't use it)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

Mix water and seasonings together. Place roast in crockpot and dumb mixture over meat. Cook in crockpot over low for 8 hours if thawed or on high for 8 hours if frozen.

Take meat out and shred. Place back in crockpot for about 15 minutes.

Spoon with a slotted spoon onto buns.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Bundles

These are very yummy! My mom told me how she ate them at my sil's house. I"m not sure if this recipe is exact, but this is how I make them. Very easy, especially if you have leftover chicken.

3 oz cream cheese
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1 8oz can refrigerated crescent rolls

Place all ingredients except crescent rolls into a mixer (I use the kitchenaid) and mix well.

Open up the rolls and spoon mixture into 2 triangles - don't separate into triangles. Instead, pinch the creases together before placing the filling in the middle. Pull up top left corner, then bottom right and pinch together. Do the same with the two remaining corners and try to pinch all together so no filling oozes out.

Bake on un-greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

I got this lovely recipe as well as the pix off of recipezaar and tweaked it a bit. There are a few things I would/did change. First of all, it needs some garlic. Salt needs to be added after cooking for each individual taste. I'm thinking a great alternative would be to add some diced tomatoes and cut down on the water a bit. All in all this is a good vegetable soup. Oh yes, I would also add some kind of bullion or broth powder. If not, it lacks flavor.

3/4 cup pearl barley
11 cups vegetable (or beef) stock - divided
2 tablespoons oil
1-2 chopped onions
1/2 - 1 chopped large zucchini
2-3 chopped carrots
1-2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1-2 stalks chopped celery (I didn't use this time)
fresh ground pepper

Place 3 cups of the stock and the barley in a saucepan. Bring to boil then cover and simmer for 1 hour - or till liquid is absorbed.

Approx. 1/2 hour after barley has simmered, place oil and chopped veggies in skillet. Cook till mushrooms are nicely cooked and shrunken. Add remaining stock and pepper - simmer for at least 30 minutes uncovered.

Add in the barley and simmer for about 5 minutes longer (I skipped this step).

Let each person salt to their taste.