Sunday, October 21

Remember my love of lemons?  I am not talking about making lemonade, but rather, my cousin's yummy lemon poppy bread, and using a fabulous, lemon cream lotion that smells scrumptious and it makes my hands feel AMAZING.  I am constantly washing my hands (since having a child with severe food allergies makes me paranoid about germs and any cross contamination.)  My hands feel like they have been through winter, even in the summer time.  J.R. Watkins hand & body lotions to the rescue!  They are pure heaven to my hands:  Lemon Cream, Mango, Vanilla, Lavender, Grapefruit and more.
 
Well, I like I said before, I must be living under a rock.  I am thrilled to have discovered these lotions and you can buy them directly from J.R. Watkins online.  They are on the OCTOBER SPECIALs for $8.99 USD each.  Just click on the J.R. Watkins button on the right and use my id#397395 when ordering.  These products are wonderfully yummy folks. The natural body care smells divine and the natural extracts & gourmet spices are fantastic.  My ultimate favorite: Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.   I use it in just about everything I bake...including my pancakes :) 
Be sure to click on the Monthly Specials to take advantage of the other goodies before Halloween! 
Sale ends October 31st.  NO TRICKS!  JUST TREATS!

Wednesday, October 10

It's Fall and Gluten-Free Soup's On!

We just returned from a much needed, sunny, warm vacation by the sea and came home to cooler weather that reminded me of how much I love Fall.  The chilly air urged me to dust off my huge IKEA kettle (actually, it's not that dusty because I love it and use it alot) to get rockin' and cookin'!

Since mini-me has picked up yet another bug from kindergarten, I chose to whip up a batch of my chunky-chicken-noodle soup from scratch.   I don't have soup recipes, I always just wing it and it they always come out to be the most delicious soups (so I'm told.) There is NO skimping going on here with my ingredients.
 
I first start by baking skinless chicken breast tenders in a bath of organic milk (soy or cow cream, whatever you fancy) and Earth Balance (or regular butter) to keep them from drying out.  It only takes about 30 minutes at 350 degrees F, so while they are in the oven, my kettle heats just enough olive oil to cover the bottom on medium/high heat.  Add a chopped onion, some chopped carrots (a small bag of large ones or baby ones), and a bunch of celery with leaves (or celery seeds if you don't have any).  Once these veggies soften a bit, I add a bag of frozen cut green beans (and sometimes 1/2 a bag of frozen peas & carrots).  Then I like to sprinkle on dried basil, parsley, salt, and sometimes oregano.  Again, no measuring...I just eyeball it and it looks to be about a tablespoon...I just sprinkle enough to dust everything in the pot.  After a few minutes I add 1 quart of chicken stock (be sure it is gluten-free.)  I let it bubble, and then add another quart, bring to bubble, and then add another.  So, I use about 3.  Once it bubbles again, the chicken may be almost done, so take it out of the oven.  Keep a large cutting board nearby with a fork and a nice large chopping knife.  So, when the broth is most likely bubbling, I add a 1/2 box of GLUTEN FREE pasta and cook per directions.  I LOVE Trader Joe's corn spiral pasta.  It is awesome, and tastes like regular wheat pasta.  Now, if you don't need to go Gluten-Free, just stick to whatever you have in your pantry then.  While the noodles cook, time to chop up the chicken into small chunks on the cutting board (I like small bite size for little ones.) When the noodles are done, add the chicken.  Finally, I like to add 2-4 cups of cold filtered water to help cool down the soup.  Before serving anyone bowls of my soup, I always have to add a few ice cubes to the bowls, and then fill with soup before serving, so it cools nicely.  


My kettle is HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!
 
I make such a big batch, that I always have enough to freeze in small containers to have on hand for quick and easy kid-size meals.
 
See?  NO SKIMPING!  Yummy, chunky, chicken noodle soup!
 
I like top my soup with fresh Romano or Parmasean cheese. 
Whatever you fancy.  Enjoy!