One of the things that gets me through winter... is food. When the weather is cold - I turn into a corny, June Cleaver-ish, cooking and baking freak.
I'm not a cold weather person. The chapped lips, cloudy skies, and freezing cold temperatures don't exactly do it for me. I need some sunshine. Some warmth. Some life, please.
While I'm cooped up inside with two antsy children all season - I turn to Jesus. And then I turn to my stove.
Throughout the winter months - I make my Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup at least once a week. It's a great way to get some veggies into our bellies. It's not loaded with junk. (Like bouillon cubes, for example. Those things might be totally safe - I have some sitting in my cupboard. But seriously, what's in those 'chicken flavored' little squares? Kinda scares me.) It's not super expensive. And I read somewhere that chicken soup really is good for your immune system. I'm up for anything that will fight off a virus or two. Sign me up, please!
You want to sign up, too? You got it. Here's the recipe:
Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup - from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook - 14th Edition
1 3-4 pound chicken, cut up, or 2.5 pounds meaty chicken pieces
8 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1.5 cups dried egg noodles
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (I don't always add this.)
1) In a 6-8 quart Dutch oven combine chicken, water, onion, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 1.5 hours or until chicken is tender.
2) Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones. Discard bones and skin. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. Discard bay leaf. Skim fat from broth. (I don't always skim the fat.)
3) Bring broth to boiling. Stir in carrot and celery. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes. Stir in noodles. Simmer, covered, about 5 minutes more or until noodles are tender but still firm. Stir in chicken and parsley; heat through. (I let it simmer for a bit after I've added all the ingredients. Maybe 15-20 minutes.)
It's so good. While it warms up our bellies - it warms up our hearts. I told you the cold makes me corny :)