kitchen

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the fall season change, we get cooler temperatures and football.  We also get cold and flu season.  At some point in your life, I’ll bet you’ve heard chicken soup is the popular choice when a cold or flu comes home with you. Turns out there are health benefits to this comfort food that can help you recover. Cozy plush warm robeI recommend making your own and stocking it in the freezer. As my husband is both diabetic and on a low salt diet, it’s easier to control the ingredients.  It’s great on a just a winter evening or battling a bug. So here is my favorite recipe.AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue  by AmazonBasics  AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue

by AmazonBasics

Homemade Chicken Soup

2-3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs

2 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 tsp grated ginger
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
2 cups uncooked egg noodles (use low carb options here if prefer)

Optional ingredients are 1 cup mushrooms, 16 oz fresh spinach, 2 cleaned and chopped leeks, 2 tsp turmeric, and 16 oz white beans.  I only add some or all if making a more hearty main dish. Stick with less if using for cold and flu.

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a Dutch oven add 2 tsp olive oil and chopped chicken.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is seared.  (I like mine golden color for flavor).
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add carrots, Italian seasoning, celery, and both black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer on low heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Add cooked pasta. Cover. Let simmer 10 minutes.
If freezing put in yogurt cups or red solo cups on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen remove cups and put in a gallon freezer bag. Now it’s perfectly portioned for single servings.Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups' worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.  Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups’ worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.
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October 18, Chocolate Cupcake Day

National Chocolate Cupcake Day - October 18

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY

National Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18th annually celebrates the sweetness of small chocolate cakes. With a dollop of frosting, one sweet serving satisfying chocolate and dessert lovers!

Cupcakes have also been known to be called:

  • Fairy Cakes
  • Patty Cakes
  • Cup Cakes (different from Cupcakes (one-word))

Cupcakes can be traced back to 1796 when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons. The earliest known documentation of the term cupcake was in 1828 in Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook.

Bakers initially baked their cupcakes in heavy pottery cups. Today, some still use individual ramekins, small coffee mugs, large teacups, or other small ovenproof pottery-type dishes for baking their cupcakes.

Chocolate cupcakes come in a variety of flavors, too. Of course, there’s always the standard chocolate cupcake. But why stop there on a holiday?

  • Chocolate caramel cupcakes satisfy that extra cry for sweetness.
  • Peanut butter chocolate cupcakes are the snackers delight.
  • Get devilishly good cupcakes with Devil’s Food.
  • Cool things off a bit with chocolate mint recipes, too.
  • And you can’t forget chocolate orange cupcakes. Citrus brightens the flavor of any chocolate recipe.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateCupcakeDay

Celebrate by trying one of the following tempting recipes while watching an episode of the Food Network reality-based competition show, Cupcake Wars. Remember to invite friends or family over to share. That’s how we like to #CelebrateEveryDay!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Super Easy, Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Use #ChocolateCupcakeDay to post on social media.

AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Muffin and Cupcake, Pack of 24

by AmazonBasics
AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Muffin and Cupcake, Pack of 24

by AmazonBasics

LetGoShop Silicone Cupcake Liners Reusable Baking Cups Nonstick Easy Clean Pastry Muffin Molds 4 Shapes Round, Stars, Heart, Flowers, 24 Pieces Colorful

by LetGoShop
LetGoShop Silicone Cupcake Liners Reusable Baking Cups Nonstick Easy Clean Pastry Muffin Molds 4 Shapes Round, Stars, Heart, Flowers, 24 Pieces Colorful

by LetGoShop

NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY – October 8

National Pierogi Day October 8

NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY

National Pierogi Day is observed annually on October 8. This is a day to enjoy this delicious side dish.

Pierogi is the plural form of the rarely used Polish word pierog. The word Pierogi can be found spelled several ways including perogi and pierogy. However you choose to spell it, pierogi are dumplings made up of unleavened dough that are first boiled then sometimes baked or fried in butter. Usually semicircular in shape, they are traditionally stuffed with a mashed potato filling, potato and cheese, potato and onion, cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushroom, spinach or fruit.

Pierogi love cookbook

Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food Hardcover – July 1, 2015

by Casey Barber  (Autho

Pierogi are often served with melted butter, sour cream, fried bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and onions and/or green onion. The dessert variety, those filled with a fruit filling, can be enjoyed topped with applesauce, maple syrup, chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.

There are other similar types of dumpling-like dishes in other ethnic cuisines. 

It was the Eastern European immigrants that popularized pierogi in the United States.  At first, pierogi were a family food among the immigrants and were also found in ethnic restaurants; Freshly cooked pierogi became a staple fundraiser for ethnic churches in the post-World War II era.  By the 1960s, pierogi were being marketed for the frozen food aisles of grocery stores in many parts of the United States.

While pierogi are eaten as a main dish in other countries, Americans typically consider them to be a side dish.

  • The Pittsburgh Pirates hold a pierogi race at every home game.  Six pierogi costume-wearing runners (Potato Pete, Jalapeño Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul, Oliver Onion, and Bacon Burt) race to the finish line between innings. 
  • Whiting, Indiana celebrates an annual Pierogi Fest each July.
  • Glendon, Alberta, Canada is home to a 6000-pound pierogi which stands 25 feet tall and is made of sturdy fiberglass and steel. Piercing the giant pierogi, which was build in 1991, is an equally giant fork.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Have some pierogi and use #NationalPierogiDay to post on social media.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!

Mushroom Swiss Chicken

3 chicken breasts
1 pint mushrooms (sliced if available)
1/2 medium onion
4 Tbsp Butter
Cream of mushroom soup
Swiss cheese
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
3 – 5 Tbsp flour to thicken sauce
1 cup white wine (we like a good pinot gregio.  Usually have a glass with this dinner.)Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray  by Circulon  Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray
by Circulon

  1. Pound chicken into 1/4 in thick.
  2. Add butter to medium skillet and heat on medium-high. 
  3. Sear chicken to golden color. Set aside.
  4. Add 2 tbsp more butter to the pan.
  5. Add chopped mushrooms and onions. Cook until onions are translucent.  About 7 minutes.
  6. Add Tbsps flour to butter until thick paste forms.
  7. Add white wine and cream soup. Stir until well combined and thickens.
  8. Layer chicken with swiss cheese then mushrooms and onion sauce mixture.
  9. Serve warm.

This mixture is really good as skillet dinner.  I like a good wild rice blend or egg noodles with it.  For an extra easy treat, you can make it as a casserole with noodles or rice. For low-carb and keto, switch the rice to riced cauliflower. Just cook chicken thoroughly before adding other ingredients.   Save cheese till the last 5 minutes of baking. Add a green vegetable like spinach, asparagus, green beans, brussel sprout halves, or broccoli. We like broccoli, to have a great all in one dish dinner. If recognizing, or feeding a crowd use chicken thighs and cut into bite-size pieces.

Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set (8-Piece, BPA-free)  by Pyrex  Pyrex Easy Grab Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set (8-Piece, BPA-free)

by Pyrex

Beef Pepper Steak

Ingredients

2 lbs sirloin steak sliced ultra thin
2 medium bell peppers
1/2 onion cut into strips
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
4 cups cooked rice
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in waterCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black  by Calphalon  Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black

by Calphalon

Directions

  1. Once steak and veggies are sliced heat medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add steak. Cook 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and onions. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and beef broth.
  5. Add cornstarch and reduce heat to low.
  6. When sauce thickens serve warm or cool and freeze for an easy weeknight meal.  We serve over rice. Or cauliflower rice for a low carb, keto, option.

Jen’s Tres Leche Cake

1 Yellow or White cake mix ( I usually use a Duncan Hines)

Butter, eggs and oil or water as directed.
1 lg container of cool whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup milk or heavy cream
Cinnamon to sprinkle on top.


  1. Mix batter according to direction.
  2. Pour into pan. I like a 9″ x 13″ pan myself.
  3. Bake as directed. 
  4. Cool completely
  5. In separate bowl mix your 3 milks or tres leche, 1 can sweetened condensed, 1 can evaporated, and 1 cup regular milk or heavy cream with a wisk.  Set aside.
  6. Once cake is completely cool use a large wooden spoon handle to pole holes through out cake.
  7. Gently pour milk mixture over the back of your spoon to ensure you don’t make a crater in your cake.
  8. Let rest till all milk mixture is absorbed.  Yes it will all disappear below the surface.
  9. Spread on lg container cool whip, in even layer on top of cake.
  10. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.


Enjoy this moist, delicious cake any time.  I even made it for my husbands birthday cake. Just be careful with candles.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lbs ground beef
1 can cream or mushroom soup
1 8 oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 pkg Beef Stroganoff seasoning mix
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
Golden egg noodles

Freezer meal directions


Brown ground beef, drain
Let cool.  In gallon freezer bag add mushrooms, cream soup, onions, seasoning mix, and cooled ground beef.  Remove air from bag and flatten to conserve space. Keeps in freezer for 60 – 90 days.Glad Zipper Food Storage Freezer Bags - Gallon - 40 Count - 4 Pack   by Glad  Glad Zipper Food Storage Freezer Bags – Gallon – 40 Count – 4 Pack 

by Glad


  • To prepare simply defrost and heat. 
  • Add 1 cup sour cream. 
  • Serve over fresh golden egg noodles.
Takes less than 30 minutes to put a healthy family favorite on the table

Stovetop directions

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray

by Circulon

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray

by Circulon

  1. Brown ground beef, drain.
  2. Add onions. Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Add cream of mushroom soup.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream.
  5. Add seasoning mix, and drained mushrooms.
  6. Simmer with cover 10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm over golden egg noodles.
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