Vegetable Chicken Soup

I’m finally back writing an entry on the blog! I can’t believe that it has been about 3 weeks since I last posted. It is partly because we have been enjoying a wonderful spring this winter! Seriously! I know that the groundhog saw his shadow, and thus said that we would have 6 more weeks of winter, but he totally forgot to tell the birds, the bees, and the flowering trees! The song birds have been serenading us every morning for weeks now, and all our fruit trees are blooming! The last time we had such an early spring was in 2007. That ended disastrously when we had 3 nights of killer frost in mid-April. We lost all our fruits that year!

My sweet little grand girl has been practicing to be flower girl at her Opal Gen’s (Uncle Ben’s) wedding in July.

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And sweet Little Man has learned to sit up all by himself!

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Now about that recipe… Many people here in my area of the south have been sick lately. Thankfully, the sickness has not found my house! One of my friends was sick last week, so I decided to make her some chicken soup. Since I had some extra veggies in the fridge, I added them to the mix as well. A few spices added in made it a very tasty soup!

1 quart chicken broth

1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1/2 medium onion, diced

4-5 medium sized mushrooms, cut in fourths

1 c. or so of cut green beans (I used fresh ones, but canned would be fine)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp. each  turmeric, chili powder, garlic powder (use whatever spices you desire!)

Combine everything except the chicken in a large pot and bring the broth to a boil. Simmer until the veggies are tender. Add the chicken and heat through. Check flavor for spices and adjust to your own desires.

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Chicken and Broccoli in the Slow Cooker

I’ve not had an opportunity to do much cooking this week, even though my cadet is home.  He has been busy seeing friends, sleeping, working for the hubs, sleeping, seeing friends…I think you get the idea.  He’s been home, but not really home!

Anyway, my niece over at My Blessed Life shared this recipe today.  I’ve made a very similar recipe without using a crock pot, and my family loved it, so I know you all will enjoy this one!  Set it up in the morning, and forget about it until it is nearly dinner time!  You can’t beat the slow cooker for easy meals!

 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

As I was reading through my blog the other day I realized that I am just 9 posts away from 200!  I also just need 593 more views to reach 7000!  These facts just amaze me! I’d love to reach 200 and 7000 by the end of 2012!   When Barbi started us on this cookbook journey about 2-1/2 years ago, I never dreamed that I would actually make it this far.  I am not really a writer. However, I do love baking and cooking, and in order to keep the blog going, I do need to write.  It has been a fun project!  I also can’t believe the wide variety of readers that I have…many different countries are represented by you, my faithful readers!  While North America claims the majority of you, most of the other continents are represented, too.   I humbly thank you for taking your time to read my posts!

Now to the recipe for today’s dinner.  I have never made stuffed chicken breasts before and assumed that they are difficult to make.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they are quite easy.  You can use a variety of fillings…whatever flavor you want to achieve…spinach and cream cheese; shredded cheddar; broccoli, etc.  I decided to use stuffing, Parmesan cheese, and dried cranberries.  Yummy! By the time they were cooked, my kitchen smelled like Christmas!

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 box stuffing mix

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Place chicken breasts in a self-sealing plastic bag and pound with a meat mallet until thin.  Cook stuffing according to package directions.  Place about 1-2 tbsp. of stuffing on each chicken breast and sprinkle with about 1 tsp. of parmesan cheese.  Roll each breast and place seam-side down in a greased baking pan.  Spread remaining stuffing mix in pan in between each of the rolled chicken breasts.  Sprinkle dried cranberries and remaining parmesan cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until chicken is tender.  Remove foil for the last few minutes of cooking so that the meat can turn golden brown.  Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and a side of green beans!  Enjoy!

Thai Grilled Chicken

We are approaching mid-August and already the hot and  hazy lazy days of summer are beginning to taper off.  We have had a few cooler mornings here lately which let me know that fall will be here before I realize it! A lot of schools are back in session already; others will start next week.  Sam and I began our 20th and final year of home schooling last Thursday. I can’t believe that my baby is a senior in high school!!  Like his brothers, he wants to go into the military….sigh.

With the slightly cooler temperatures comes a greater desire to cook out on the grill.  I know that lots of you grill outside all summer long, but here in the South, it is just too hot to stand over a grill!  This recipe for Thai Grilled Chicken is taken from a grilling cookbook that I picked up at the Aldi grocery store a few summers ago.  If you have never shopped at Aldi, you need to make a trip there if you desire to save on your grocery bill and don’t mind using off-brand foods.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. either ground red pepper or red pepper flakes

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Place chicken in shallow baking dish. Combine soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Pour over chicken; turn to coat. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Heat in microwave about 20 seconds to soften honey.

Spray cold grill with cooking spray. Prepare grill for direct cooking. Drain chicken and reserve marinade. Place chicken on grill over medium heat; brush with marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill, covered, about 6 minutes. Brush both sides of chicken with honey mixture. Grill 6-8 minutes more or until chicken is not pink in center and juices run clear.  Serve with rice and stir-fried broccoli pieces.

If it is still too hot at your house to grill outside, this chicken also makes up great in a skillet on the stove!

Marinade for Pork or Chicken

Here is a quick and easy marinade that I saw in the newest Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.  It is written to use with pork chops, but I used it for boneless chicken breast since I had no pork chops.  The guys all loved it!  Sorry, but no picture this time!

1/2 c. red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. honey

4 boneless chicken breasts or pork chops

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and oregano. Whisk in the olive oil and honey.  Pour into a resealable plastic bag and add the meat.  Seal and massage mixture into meat.  Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes up to several hours.  I refrigerated mine for about 40 minutes.   Cook meat on a grill just until cooked through.