Tuesday, January 31, 2012


today I'm watching this little one for a friend, to see if this is something that Noah and I would like to do on a long-term, regular, part-time basis.  Noah is being so gentle with this sweet little girl, so much more than I expected!  he spent over an hour perched above her, waving at her and patting her gently.  so sweet!  he is going to be a great big brother one day!  it has been fun having another girl around, especially of the sweet, small, snuggly, variety.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I am still a very amateur baker, but I am enjoying slowly learning bit by bit about baking bread.  I'm ever so slowly conquering my fear of yeast.  The art of baking bread appeals to me.  It's rustic, romantic, slow, contemplative.  Freshly baked bread is so much better than what can be bought in the store, not to mention SO much cheaper.  Plus, I love the act of making things to nourish my family.

I decided to give this one good loaf recipe a try.  I love that this recipe bakes only 1 loaf, which is perfect for our small family.  I used all whole wheat flour (which, from my research can make the bread more difficult to rise), to meet our preference.  Other than that I followed the recipe as is, but in the future I think I'd like to substitute olive oil for the shortening.

As I worked my way through the bread making process, listening to my favorite worship cd (Fike and Dana), I couldn't help but think about the many references in Scripture to yeast and baking bread.  There's so much profound truth to be found and learned through this ancient act of baking bread.

Matthew 13:33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Austrian Goulash Soup

I made this Austrian Goulash Soup for dinner tonight.  I thought it was pretty good, but Jeremy and Noah both really seemed to like it.  The few changes I made were to add 2-3 Tbsp sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and eliminated the beef shin (although I do think it would add great flavor!).  This would be great over whole wheat egg noodles, or served with homemade bread for dipping.

new favorite cookbook

I just got a new-to-me copy of Deceptively Delicious.  I have only made one recipe so far (which was delicious!), but I am just enamored with this book.  Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry Seinfeld's wife) has a great concept of getting kids to eat veggies, and of making meals more nutritious, by slipping vegetable purees into everything from scrambled eggs, to meatballs, to baked goods.  If you have picky eater kids, or know grown ups who aren't big fans of vegetables then buy this book!  We all like vegetables here, but I always love anyway to make food more nutritious, and still tasty.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

memory game

I made this memory game to send to a little boy for his birthday.  It was super simple, quick, and cheap (using supplies that I already had).  I printed out some fun clip art images, modge podged them onto wood, and modge podged scrapbook paper to the other side of the wood.  This could also be really fun by personalizing with pictures of family members, favorite toys, or whatever your little one is into.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Broccoli, Cheese and Rice Casserole

Broccoli, Cheese and Rice Casserole

You could also stir in chopped cooked chicken prior to baking to make this a one dish meal to please meat eaters.

-2 c uncooked brown rice, cooked according to package directions
-4 c broccoli, chopped, and steamed for 5 minutes
-2 Tbsp butter
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1/4 c all-purpose flour
-2 c skim milk
-1/3 c light sour cream
-1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp salt

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, saute 5 minutes.  Add flour, cook 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.  Add milk, cook stirring constantly until sauce bubbles and thickens.  Remove from heat, stir in 1 c cheese, and sour cream.  Stir garlic powder, salt and pepper into sauce.  Stir broccoli and rice into sauce.  Spread mixture into a greased 13x9 pan.  Top with remaining 1/2 c cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

learning from Noah

here are a few things that I'm learning right now from this little man;

  • to enjoy the journey, and not be so focused on the destination that I forget to enjoy the present... he never worries about where we are going, but enjoys exactly where we are to the best of his ability, living in the moment
  • to delight in simple things... he played for 1 hour the other day with a scrub brush and a spoon
  • to play, laugh, and not take myself too seriously
  • that if my imperfect human heart is so full of so much unconditional love for this little man, how much more full and perfect is the love of my Heavenly Father for me
Mark 10:14-15  “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Thank you Lord for this child.  Thank you for the ways that you use him to speak to me.

15 months

Here is what is going on with Noah this month according to babycenter.com;

Whirlwind. It's a word that aptly describes a typical 15-month-old, and life with a toddler this age is never dull. His attention is equally divided between his toys and you. Children thrive on their parents' attention, and if you happen to leave the area where he's playing, he'll come looking for you within a few minutes because he wants to know that you're paying attention to him. "See! See!" is probably a common refrain in your house as your child tries to balance his drive to be more independent with his need to know he can depend on you.

Until now, your toddler has been preoccupied with checking out his surroundings and the objects in his world. Now he's just as curious about the effects of his behavior on other people, and his connection with you is vital to his confidence. During this period of social exploration you may see him trying to get your attention anyway he can. He'll shout, imitate gestures he sees you and other adults making, pinch, poke, shove, whine, and cry, all in an attempt to see how you react, and what it takes for him to get what he wants. He will quickly realize that various behaviors get different results from the adults who surround him. He may learn that he gets what he wants faster if he laughs instead of whines. Or that whining will get him what he wants from his grandfather, but not from his mom or dad. This experimentation is all part of socialization, and if you are consistent with enforcing limits, he'll soon learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't.

The wilder things your child does to maintain his connection with you and your attention on him may be more annoying and frustrating for you than for your toddler. Really listening when your toddler is trying to tell you something and giving him as much attention as you can may head off a great deal of whining and screaming, but when you've reached your limit you may simply need to remove yourself from the room. Put your toddler in his crib or playpen and step out for a few minutes, take a few deep breaths, and take a moment to remind yourself that he's going through a phase.

Consider getting involved in a playgroup that includes some children who are slightly older than yours. Preschool-age children are capable of engaging their younger friends in pretend play, and yours may enjoy being with kids who are willing to take a "leadership" role in play. Playing with a mixed-age group can also be a great way for the younger ones to learn about cooperation.  If your child is reluctant to let you out of his sight, a small group of two or three children who are your child's same age will probably suit your toddler best, and once he's gotten used to "playing" with one or two other children his own age, it will be easier for him to be away from you.

Everyone loves a clown, and your 15-month-old already realizes this. Once he recognizes that a certain behavior — dancing, crawling like a baby, doing somersaults — gets a positive response from you, he'll do it over and over not just because he can, but because he loves to be the center of attention. After a silly dance performance, for instance, he'll look around the room just to see what kind of effect his moves have had on the audience, and if he has everyone's attention, he'll offer an encore.
Don't be surprised if your toddler already seems to treat you and your spouse differently. Whichever parent he spends the most time with will be the one he demands more of and is hardest on. If Mom's around more, Dad will be treated like someone special, and vice versa. While this may make one of you feel jealous, know that it's normal and is your child's way of testing out his relationship with each of you. Family dynamics, and your child's shifting loyalties, will be more and more evident during the next few months as he becomes increasingly independent.

Finally, as toddlers begin to experiment with imaginative play, they also sometimes start to have nightmares. A 15-month-old is reaching an age where he can start to think on a symbolic level and is able to transform reality into fantasy (not that he could explain this to you!). It will be several years before your child can distinguish between dreams and reality. Since he probably can't use words to tell you about his dreams, you'll have to rely on unusual behaviors to alert you. Children who are stressed or anxious (usually related to tension in the family or problems with daycare or preschool) are prone to nightmares. If your usually sound sleeper awakens crying in the night and can't tell you why he's upset, try talking to him in a soothing voice and rubbing his back until he settles down.
  At this age, all you can do is comfort your child and perhaps establish some sort of routine to banish the "monsters" from his room. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests reading your toddler some stories about dreams and sleep, such as In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak, to help him understand that they're nothing to be afraid of.

This is such a fun age!  Noah's vocabulary is growing each week.  His most recent new words are shirt, hug, cheese, cheerios, and toast.  If we ask him for a hug he will run across the room to come give us a hug and a kiss.  He's learning an increasing number of body parts and can point to his head, hear, ear, mouth, nose, eyes, arm, hand, leg, foot, and belly when asked.  He can count to five, normally leaving out the 2 and/ or 3.

He still loves to read, and will sit on our laps for as long as an hour reading the same book over and over.  He loves to play with toys, especially blocks, trucks, cars, and balls.  He'll play by himself some, and occasionally with another kid, but it seems that he most prefers to have mom or dad playing with him.

He was weaned this month, and is now drinking whole milk.  I initiated it, but he didn't seem to mind too much at all.  In fact, I think he even goes to sleep better now without his before bed nursing.  It definitely hurt me more than him that we have moved past our nursing stage.  I guess my baby is growing up!

Most of his back molars have come in now, and he was a trooper through all of it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

food for my soul

This morning Psalm 51 has been feeling like food for my soul...

Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.

Hutspot (Dutch Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions)

I made this Hutspot to use up some potatoes and carrots that I had on hand.  It was delicious, and probably a great way to get kids who don't like carrots to eat them.  I doubled the curry powder, but the flavor was still mild and subtle, not overpowering.  Noah and I really liked this dish, and I'm sure we'll eat it again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

felt food

I made this felt food to send to a special little girl for her birthday.  It was a really fun process.  I didn't realize how much I like working with felt and embroidery thread, and the act of hand sewing/ embroidering.  There was something soothing and meditative about it.

things I'm LOVING right now

  • this moment... my little boy snuggled up on my lap wearing his daddy's hat
  • that this little boy's newest favorite activity is going and grabbing one of daddy's hats and wearing them for hours
  • that said hats, naturally turn and sit sideways on his little head making him look like a mini thug
  • that this little boy has a new found love for snuggling, and will sit on my lap for as long as an hour reading, or while we are just silly with each other
  • those chubby little cheeks!
  • those bright blue eyes!
  • that Jeremy has been playing the guitar very regularly lately
  • that Noah loves his daddy playing the guitar
  • being neighborly... recently being able to share our extra leftovers with neighbors, and also borrow crafting supplies
  • a 30 day break from facebook
  • a slow pace of life now that the holidays are over
  • having some time to be creative and craft with this slower pace
  • a new pair of running shoes, courtesy of wellness dollar from Jeremy's work
  • a new pair of TOMS, courtesy of some Christmas money
  • skinny jeans... so comfy!
  • perusing a new-to-me cookbook
  • teaching Noah how to color with crayons
  • a fun evening last night with friends and neighbors enjoying yummy 2/$2 tacos from the bar down the street
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Thank you Lord for all of your good gifts!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mardis Gras Wreath

I used a wreath form that I had lying around to make a festive wreath for Mardis Gras.  It was quick, easy, and free (by borrowing beads and feathers from friends).  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Corn Grits

There is a local casual dining chain restaurant named Zea's.  They have THE most amazing corn grits!  Recently I realized that the recipe is posted on their website.  I was able to make the same corn grits that I love, but with a lot less fat.  The few changes that I made were to use fat-free half and half instead of the heavy cream, used regular (rather than yellow) grits because that's what I had, doubled the corn (although I don't think I'd do that again next time), added 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and I reduced the butter by half.  These turned out a little more thin than I would like.  Next time I think I'll reduce the fat-free half and half by 1/2 cup to correct this.  But in all, the flavor was great!  Use veggie broth instead of the chicken to make this a vegetarian recipe if you like.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

clinging to Jesus

I've been struggling in my faith a little this weekend.

This happens to me from time to time.  Anytime that I begin to pursue something more than I am pursuing Christ... even (and ESPECIALLY) when what I am pursuing is religious or spiritual.

A few months ago, this happened when I was trying to learn about Calvinism and Armenianism.  I got so caught up in the pursuit of having answers and clear understanding.  I saw points to each side.  I had so many questions.  And no answers.  And then confusion set in.  And in that confusion I was drowning, desperately grasping to any little bit of faith and truth within me to cling to, to hold to, so that my faith as a whole didn't come crashing down.  And I realized that it was no longer healthy for me to pursue studying about these doctrines.  That my pursuit was becoming a hindrance, rather than a help to my walk with Christ.  That I was pursuing answers more than I was pursuing Him.

Now, two months later, I find myself in this same desperate state again.  I've been doing a lot of studying, learning, and pursuing experiences of the supernatural... of gifts of the Spirit, of the power of God and manifestations of that power, and of spiritual warfare.  I've become so caught up in the pursuit of knowledge and experience that I lost sight of Christ, that I allowed pursuing these things to become more important to me than Him.  And in that I find myself overwhelmed.  With more questions.  Grasping for a small life raft of truth to cling to.

And so I cling to Christ.  To His life, death, and resurrection.  And I resolve to make His Kingdom my primary concern, rather than the other things.  Things that good.  Things that I will still pursue, but things that I will NOT pursue before Him.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

And so I seek Him.  His voice.  His presence.  And humbly ask Him to increase my faith.  To help in my unbelief.  To guard me with His truth.  And I KNOW, that He will get me through this.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Thank you Jesus.  For your faithfulness.  Thank you!

(p.s. I am in no way saying that people shouldn't pursue these things, or that all people who do will fall in the same way that I have, I am just saying that these pursuits have been a problem for ME)


today we met friends at City Park to have a picnic for lunch, and gave Noah a chance to enjoy the huge playground there.  it was perfect... the weather was amazing, Noah had a great time, and the food and fellowship were great! 

Thank you Jesus for your wonderful gifts to us!

(I got to steal a bunch of snuggles from this precious little one)

Friday, January 20, 2012

{love these two}

after a month of not watching Luke, today was my first day keeping him again, and now we'll be doing once a week through May.  Noah and I missed Luke SO much!  these two boys are so good for each other!  for the most part, Noah doesn't play much with other kids, and kinda does his own thing and watches others.  but with Luke, Noah spends the entire day playing directly with him.  I love watching them play, and laugh, and be silly... even if it does wreck every.single. room of my house!

today I'm so blessed by getting to watch these two enjoy each other.  I pray for them every day.  that they both will come to know the Lord at a young age, and serve Him all of their days, making disciples of the nations for His glory.  I'm thankful for and humbled by the role that I get to play in shepherding them along the way. 

Thank you Jesus!  Use me to lavish these two with your love, with your Truth.  Use me to teach them to seek Your presence.  Protect them Jesus, draw them to Yourself..

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

I love this soup with the addition of curry powder, but it is also great without it.  Try garnishing with fresh chives or parsley, and a dollop of sour cream.  This soup is even better when made a day in advance.

-2 Tbsp butter, divided

-1 onion, diced
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-1 tsp curry powder
-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
-1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
-3 1/2 c water
-3 c chicken or veggie broth
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-1/2 c fat-free half-and-half

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and curry powder.  Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute or until butter begins to brown. Add sweet potatoes, carrots water, broth, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat, puree using a blender or immersion blender.  Stir half-and-half into pureed mixture and serve.

Friday, January 13, 2012


we have several playgrounds and parks within a few block radius of us.  over the past few weeks Noah and I have started favoring one particular playground because it's the only one that is fenced in, so he can roam free without fear of running in the street.  Noah doesn't care for the swings too much, but he loves the slides.  we love this little spot, and the fact that we get to visit so often.

today I'm thankful for...

-such a mild December and January... beautiful weather, allowing lots of time outdoors
-some cooler weather moving in
-a good cup of Chai tea
-cozy warm boots (fake uggs)
-so many assorted parks and playgrounds within walking distance
-the chance to spend all day, every day with Noah, and to visit these fun parks
-a slower pace of life now that the holidays are over
-some slow time, not watching any other kids, and being able to devote my full attention to Noah and enjoying this age and stage of his life
-nap times, and the chance to use that time this week to create some gifts for loved ones
-the blessing and gift of a newly discovered pregnancy for our friends, and knowing that Noah will have another playmate in 8 months
-paperbackswap.com... receiving several "new to me" books from them recently, especially The Discipline Book, which I am enjoying reading right now
-the way the Lord is teaching and growing Jeremy and I right now, and that He's uniting us through it
-the smells of cumin, paprika, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and bay filling my house in anticipation of spicy chicken enchiladas and Cuban black beans for dinner tonight
-being "neighborly"... being able to pick up groceries from the store for our neighbors, and being able to borrow some salt when I ran out yesterday

1 Thessalonians 5:18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread

Made this Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread from Cooking Light.  I think this has to be my favorite pumpkin bread ever, and the fact that it's light doesn't hurt either.  Here are the changes I made;

-used 2 c all purpose flour and 1 1/3 c whole wheat flour for extra nutrition
-left out allspice cause I didn't have it
-used 2 extra eggs instead of the egg substitute

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower

I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for a friend from our community group. I decided that a Dr. Seuss theme would be super fun, and also perfect for the mom-to-be. Here's a recap of the shower...

I started by designing some invitations that fit the theme.... these are VERY basic, as I'm not good with computers at all.  I used MS Word, found some clip art images, came up with a rhyming poem for the details, and printed on plain white cardstock.

For the decorations, I used some onesies that I appliqued, a bunch of Dr. Seuss books doubling as gifts, and I made some bunting banners by copying pages of books onto cardstock, and then cutting into triangles and stringing on yarn.

the only request of the mom-to-be for her shower was to have a pinata... so I made one... I modeled him after the fish from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

And for a Dr. Seuss themed shower, I came up with some quick and easy bookmarks (ribbon on large paperclips) for party favors

And of course all of the food was themed after phrases and characters in Dr. Seuss books

Here's a closeup of the onesies that I appliqued as gifts, and doubling as decorations.  This is the state of Louisiana, with a heart for New Orleans.  I printed a google search image for the state, traced onto fabric backed with wonder under, ironed onto the onesie, and then stitched around the border.

This is Thing 1, from The Cat in the Hat.  I printed the logo onto iron on transfer paper, ironed onto white fabric, cut out, and sewed onto the red onesie.

Here are the links for the recipes I used;

Passion Tea Lemonade for "Pink Yink Ink" (I did not add simple syrup)
(Dyed Green) Devilled Eggs and Onion Poppyseed Ham and Cheese Sliders for "Green Eggs and Ham" (from Green Eggs and Ham) (I used less than half the butter that the recipe calls for)
Salted Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies for "Yertle the Turtle" (from Yertle the Turtle)
Berry Blue Jello Jigglers for "Blue Goo" (from Fox in Socks)
Assorted Cheese Platter for "Trees Cheese" (from Fox in Socks)
Swedish Fish and Colored Goldfish Crackers for "Red Fish and Blue Fish" (from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish)
Chocolate Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes with Vanilla Almond Frosting for "Thing 1 and Thing 2"  (from Cat in the Hat)
Curried Chicken Pasta Salad for "Oodles of Poodle Noddles" (from Fox in Socks)
Plus some veggies to round out the nutrition, and some swedish fish and colored goldfish (for One Fish Two Fish...)

It was a great time... so sweet, special and fun!  We ate, chatted, played a Dr. Seuss trivia game, prayed over the mom-to-be and baby, swung at the pinata, and opened gifts.  And all the decorations, favors, and most of the gifts were all from stuff that I already had on hand, so it was easy to do a fun shower on a small budget.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

My current drink of choice is a Starbucks Non-fat, No whip, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.  (plus or minus a  shot of espresso depending on the time of day).  The pairing of salt and caramel seems to be my current flavor obsession, especially when combined with chocolate.  I decided that I needed to learn to make this myself so that I can enjoy it more often, and for a fraction of the cost.  After some research, it seems that Starbucks adds Toffee Nut syrup to their version (which I don't have).  But my local Starbucks tells me they add vanilla.  So what I did, was to start with Pioneer Woman's basic hot chocolate recipe (using non-fat milk, and fat-free half and half, and no sugar).  I added 2 tsp of vanilla while stirring the chocolate.  I poured the hot chocolate into my mug, drizzled each mug with 1 Tbsp caramel sauce (you can use store bought or make your own), and sprinkled each mug with 1/8 tsp sea salt.  (Starbucks uses fancy gourmet smoked sea salt, but I don't have that).  You could top with whipped cream if you're not watching calories, but I do, and this tastes delicious without the whipped cream!  Then curl up and enjoy.  This is seriously the best thing I've ever drank!

Monday, January 2, 2012

BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce

Today Jeremy smoked his first brisket, which was delicious!  We have tried several BBQ sauce recipes to enjoy with the meat that he has smoked to date, and we have had a few flops.  So I thought I'd record our favorite, and now go to sauce recipe here, to save for the future.  The recipe below will usually get us through one large piece of meat, so halve or double the recipe as needed.  This sauce will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

-1 c ketchup
-2/3 c apple cider vinegar
-6 Tbsp sugar
-2 tsp salt
-2 tsp chili powder
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-2 tsp hot sauce

Whisk together all ingredients.  Chill for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Turkey Noodle Soup

Turkey Noodle Soup

Chicken could easily be used here to make this Chicken Noodle Soup, but this was my way of using up the meat and broth from our Christmas turkey.  Jeremy smoked our turkey this year, so my soup has a complex smoke flavor to it.  If you don't already have cooked chicken and broth on hand, the easiest and cheapest way to have homemade ingredients for this soup would be to boil a chicken in water for an hour, shred the meat, cool the broth and skim the fat off, then use. 

-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-4 carrots, diced
-2 ribs celery, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tsp dried thyme
-2 bay leaves
-3 quarts stock
-1 bag whole wheat egg noodles
-1 bag frozen peas
-2 c cooked turkey, shredded or chopped
-salt and pepper to taste (I think I used about 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper, but my broth wasn't already salted)
-(optional) fresh parsley for garnish

Heat oil in large stock pot, over medium heat.  Saute onion, carrots, and celery 5 minutes.  Add garlic, thyme, and bay, saute 1 additional minute.  Add stock, and bring to a boil.  Add noodles, and peas.  Simmer 6 minutes.  Stir in turkey, salt, and pepper, remove from heat.  Sprinkle with chopped, fresh parsley and serve.