Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chicken Soup with Rice, Mint, and Lemon

Now before you disregard this post completely, let me say that this turned out to be one of my favorite soups. I was pleasantly surprised by it's flavor. I'm not a mint person and neither is Shane. And anyone who knows him, knows he DOES NOT like fruit with his meats. But this was VERY good and amazingly filling. I' will make it again.

Prep time - 20 min.
Cook time - 50 min.

2 quarts canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 whole chicken breast
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
4 - 2 x 1/2 inch strips of lemon zest
3 sprigs fresh mint
2 sprigs parsley
1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crumpled)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup cooked long-grain rice
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Optional garnishes (but highly recommended for color and a gourmet touch):

lemon slices
mint sprigs

1. In a 4-quart saucepan over high heat, bring stock, chicken breast, onion, zest, mint, parsley, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until chicken is tender (about 30 to 35 minutes.)

2. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken breast to a cutting board to cool. Strain soup into a large bowl, discarding all solids.

3. Return soup to the pan, set over high heat, and boil, uncovered, until the soup has reduced slightly - about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, shred the chicken. Add to soup along with rice, lemon juice, salt, and chopped mint. Heat about 2 minutes more, ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with lemon slices and mint if desired. (The lemon and mint garnish add color and are a nice touch.)

Makes 4 servings.

1 Serving: Calories 237; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Protein 21 g; Sodium 641 mg; Cholesterol 60 mg

Monday, December 27, 2010

Donut Recipe

Note: As I had never made donuts before, I did some research first. If you'd like, The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog has a great step-by-step guide of how-to-make donuts you may find helpful. I did. Her recipe is different, but it will give you a general idea of what to do and what to expect!
Also, my friend told me that you should glaze all the donuts, even if you plan to dip them in chocolate or something. The glaze will help lock in the moisture and help them stay fresh longer!

An Aside: I didn't have a biscuit cutter or donut cutter so I used a drinking glass and a medicine cup. :)

1 T yeast
1/4 C hot water
1 t salt
3/4 C luke warm water
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C soft shortening
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 C flour

Soften yeast in hot water and a little of the sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients including half of the flour and mix. Knead in the rest of the flour. (Dough should be soft but not overly sticky.) Place in a greased bowl and let rise until double. Punch down and let rise until double again. Roll out dough 1/3" thick and cut out donuts. Let rise for 40 minutes on a floured surface (in a draft free place.) Heat oil to 375 degrees. Gently place 4 to 5 donuts in oil at a time for about 40 seconds. Flip over and fry on other side. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain excess oil. Immediately immerse in glaze and cool. Makes 18

1lb powdered sugar
1/2 C hot water
1/2 C butter

Heat over medium high heat and stir until melted and combined. If it's too runny and hot, cool slightly before dipping donuts. This recipe will allow you to dip 18 donuts.
Enjoy! They are DELICIOUS!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Leah and Dean's Amazing Goop

Okay, so "goop" is probably not a great word for this dish, and neither is this a great picture.  Leah and I found a recipe last night that we didn't have all the ingredients for, so we sort of improvised.  This is what we came up with, and it was GOOD!  It was healthy and tasted like something from a restaurant.  I think this might even be a kid-friendly recipe.

1 small bunch asparagus
3 oz. bacon, cooked, cut into chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
10 oz. uncooked wheat penne
1/4 cup parmesan 

1. Trim ends of asparagus.  Steam in steamer and keep warm.
2. Cook penne (at the same time as asparagus).  
3. Put bacon, tomatoes, garlic, seasoning salt and pepper into saucepan.  Heat until boiling.  Keep at a boil so that sauce thickens.  Add asparagus and penne.  Cook until sauce is thick and meal is heated through.
4. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve!

Yupp, it's that easy.  It's also really fast and tastes great!