Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

by Nancy on October 25, 2011

in Main Dish,Soups

It turned cold and rainy here this week so I made a big pot of chicken noodle soup. I could cut the recipe down but I freeze the leftovers in 2 cup (single serving) microwaveable containers. I can pull one out of the freezer and heat it for a quick lunch later.

Like all of my soups, this one takes less than an hour to make from start to bowl. I like my vegetables to be firm and the individual flavors of the ingredients to be discernable. Long cooking times probably destroy some of the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients too.

You can easily substitute meats in this recipe. Cooked chicken or turkey from that holiday bird coming up work well. I’ve occasionally made this with beef and then substituted beef bouillon for the chicken bouillon also.

The noodles are added just before serving and boiled for 10 minutes or as recommended on package. They absorb liquid as they cook and will double in size. If you put leftover soup in the refrigerator the noodles will continue to grow to about  3 times their original size. They still taste good but there won’t be much broth left in the dish. You may want to add more chicken bouillon prepared according to package directions.

Chunky Chicken Noodle Soup

Makes 4 quarts.


  • 4 cups chicken in 1″ slices
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 cup celery coursely diced
  • 2 cups baby carrots or sliced carrots
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes or 4 tablespoons chicken bouillon base
  • 5 small bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 ounces wide noodles
  1. In 4 quart pot saute chicken and onion in olive oil.
  2. Add remainder of ingredients except noodles and simmer until carrots are tender.
  3. Ten to fifteen minutes before serving add noodles and boil 10 minutes.


Fried Rice

by Nancy on June 14, 2011

in Main Dish

I’ve heard a story that a Chinese king was traveling and stopped unexpectedly at a peasant’s house for the evening. The peasant made a dish of leftovers to serve the king, the king loved it, and thus fried rice was invented. Now this story has multiple problems if you stop to think about it but for a cooking blog the idea of fried rice using up a variety of leftovers is at least plausible. Unless you live in my house. I rarely have enough of even one leftover to add to fried rice much less 5 or 6.

Although I have a basic recipe for fried rice, I vary it according to what meat I have on hand or what vegetables are in season. In spring I might add snow peas, in summer zucchini or in winter frozen corn. I’m even more likely to vary the ingredients depending on which child is eating with us. One doesn’t like peas, another doesn’t like mushrooms, etc. I always add carrots and a green vegetable like bell pepper or celery for color appeal. And I might even add some leftovers if I have them. All ingredients should be cut into bite sized pieces. I use peanut oil to fry my fried rice although any vegetable oil can be used. Peanut oil adds some flavor of its own which isn’t bad in fried rice but I use it because you can fry foods hotter in peanut oil without the oil smoking or the food burning.

For a vegetarian dish, double or triple the mushrooms and omit the meat.

Fried Rice

  • 3 cups steamed rice
  • 2 cups shrimp, chicken or pork
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 bell pepper or 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup corn, peas or snow peas
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Serves 4.

  1. Clean shrimp or cut chicken or pork into bite sized pieces.
  2. Cut onion, carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper, celery and other fresh vegetables into bite sized pieces. Mince garlic.
  3. In large skillet or wok, saute meat and garlic in oil until cooked through. If using shrimp, remove shrimp from skillet.
  4. Add onion, mushrooms, carrots, snow peas, bell pepper and celery (and other vegetables except frozen or canned) and saute.
  5. Move food away from center of skillet and pour in beaten egg. Scramble egg breaking it into bite sized pieces.
  6. Add frozen or canned corn or peas and other frozen, canned or precooked vegetables. Heat through.
  7. Add rice and soy sauce. Heat through stirring frequently. Serve.


Sweet and Sour Chicken

by Carrie on March 1, 2011

in Main Dish

This is a really quick and easy recipe that all the picky eaters in my family love. I asked them what they like about it so much and they said that it’s flavorful but mild with easy flavors like honey and soy sauce and you can spice it up to taste. It’s also easy to prepare any vegetables (which neither my fiance nor my sister like) separately — I like to have this dish with a green salad or sauteed red pepper strips, onions, or snap peas.

Sweet and Sour Chicken (inspired by Everyday Food magazine)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • garlic powder
  • ginger powder
  1. Dice raw chicken into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat skillet to medium high and add vegetable oil.
  3. Saute chicken until cooked on the outside.
  4. Whisk together honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic and ginger powder to taste. Pour over chicken in skillet.
  5. Simmer in the sauce until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve with rice and veggies as desired.


Chicken Quesadillas

by Nancy on February 1, 2011

in Main Dish

I make these chicken quesadillas for lunch during half time of the Super Bowl (I’m on the west coast here). They are filling enough for a meal but can easily be eaten with fingers in front of the TV.

I didn’t use to be very fond of quesadillas. I had had them at restaurants served as a side to a Mexican entree. By the time they got to the table, they were cold and the cheese rubbery. Then one day I was meeting a friend at a conference for a late dinner. The restaurant in the hotel was closed but the bar was serving a limited menu. Without much choice, we ordered chicken quesadillas. They were the best quesadillas I had ever had. They were hot and the cheese still melted. The tortillas were crisp. Cold sour cream and salsa added nice contrasting flavors. I was in love but it wasn’t like I was going to have these quesadillas again anytime soon, if ever, as the conference was in a different state!

I experimented making my own chicken quesadillas at home and came up with this recipe that is really easy and just as good as those quesadillas hundreds of miles away. The key is to bake the quesadillas in a hot oven so the tortillas crisp as the cheese melts. I use a pizza stone to bake the quesadillas on but if you don’t have one, you can use a thin cookie sheet (not one of those insulated ones). Serve immediately!

Chicken Quesadillas

  • 8 eight inch tortillas
  • 8 ounces grated Mexican four cheese
  • 1 1/3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup salsa

Makes four.

  1. Heat oven with pizza stone in place to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cut chicken into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Place one tortilla on small pizza peel.
  4. Distribute 1/3 cup Mexican four cheese evenly over tortilla spreading it out to within 1/2 inch of edge.
  5. Add 1/3 cup of chicken pieces on top of cheese to within 1 inch of edge.
  6. Place second tortilla on top.
  7. Slide quesadilla off of peel onto pizza stone.
  8. Bake about 5 minutes until tortilla starts to brown on edges.
  9. Slide quesadilla back onto peel, lift and pull the front edge of the tortilla onto peel if necessary to get peel under bottom tortilla.
  10. In a smooth continuous motion, place free hand on top of quesadilla. Flip hand, quesadilla and peel over. Turn peel back over, slide quesadilla back onto peel. You won’t burn your hand if you don’t linger along the way.
  11. Return quesadilla to oven for about 5 more minutes until top tortilla starts to brown on edges. Remove from oven with peel.
  12. Place quesadilla on plate. Cut into wedges with kitchen shears. Top each wedge with 2 tsp. of your favorite salsa and 1 tsp. of sour cream.