kerry’s chicken gnocchi soup

Mar 25, 2012 by

So delish. I am in love with this soup. My friend, Kerry, made it for us a few days ago and I swear, I could eat it every day. I can’t wait till I can be up and working in my own kitchen so I can make it myself.

I wrote to Kerry while I was eating my first bowl to ask her for the recipe and here are her directions so you can make it for you and yours. Enjoy!

I used this recipe but changed a few things. I sautéed the carrots with the other vegtables, and I think I put more of all the vegetables than what the recipe calls for, but I didn’t measure. I added more chicken, because 1 cup seemed like a very small amount. I used cream instead of half and half. Anywho, it is pretty easy to make. I am glad you enjoyed it. By the way, I have only been able to find gnocchi in the Smiths pasta section. I buy the cheaper brand. Recipes to make your own gnocchi can be found on the internet, but I think they are a lot of work.
 
Love,
 
Kerry
 

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  •  

  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  •   

  • 2 14 ounce cans of chicken broth if you enjoy thick soup, use one can
  •  

  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked (you can find these in gourmet/pasta section of the grocery store – you may want to cut the gnocchi in half if it is large, or purchase the mini size if available)
  • 1 cup of fresh spinach coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

Instructions

Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about a minute before adding 1 quart of half and half.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

Into the roux, add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning; simmer until soup is heated through. Before serving season to taste by adding additional salt.

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chocolate yumminess

Jan 23, 2012 by

I love chocolate peanut-butter combinations.

Love them.

It is a small problem in my life.

When I was a teenager I would buy a case of Reese’s eggs at Easter time and eat them all.

Yes, all of them.

Well, supposedly this chocolate shake is yummy. I am counting on it. As soon as I feel like eating again I am going to make it. I’ve heard this is 180 calories of deliciousness.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • 1/8 cup of oats (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup of plain almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
  • Ice
  • Blender it all together

Must buy me some cocoa today! Well, maybe tomorrow since I don’t feel like going out just yet. Not even for cocoa do I want to go out…and that is saying a lot!

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sourdough bread, oh yes you can

Nov 14, 2011 by

sourdough bread, oh yes you can

I have wanted to learn to make sourdough bread for years. Literally, years. About five years ago, Blythe wanted to start a bread company, so she and I learned to bake bread. Our friends, the Kendell family, taught us how and we became a pretty good little bread-baking team. We sold bread to our neighbors and friends and had a great time doing it. When I became pregnant with Annesley, I cut out a lot of the extras, and baking 16 loaves of bread a week was one of the first things to go. The whole time we were making our delicious whole wheat bread, I yearned to make a whole wheat sourdough, but I had heard it was difficult and always turned out brick-like, so I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the whole process.

Around that same time, I organized a nutrition class with Kim Simmerman and she came up to our area and wowed us with her amazing ideas about food. This only strengthened my resolve to learn to make sourdough bread. Then, about three years ago, I bought her Granola to Green cookbook and promptly devoured it. Not really, but I did make most of the recipes in the book…except the sourdough. I read and re-read the instructions over and over again and still allowed myself to be intimidated.

And I haven’t baked bread since.

I didn’t want to bake bread that wasn’t sourdough and I just knew I could never figure out how to make sourdough, so I didn’t make anything at all.

Each week I would buy Harper’s Homemade Whole Wheat bread for $2.16 and think to myself, I can make this for cheaper…but this, THIS, is SO convenient and I am not using up my food storage of wheat and olive oil and honey, so it is worth it. See how justification works?

Fast forward to now.

Carol Jensen taught a sourdough class at Make It For Maggie and she graciously gave me a start! Nervously Scared out of my mind, I determined to not let her gift go to waste and I read and re-read her instructions. Then I read and re-read Kim’s instructions. Then I called Kat. Then I called Carol. Then I called Kat again. Then I read everything again.

And then I got to work.

And you know what? It worked.

My bread turned out delicious. By some miracle, it actually was light and fluffy and had just a twang of sour. It was perfect.

I figured it was a miracle and would not be repeated.

But you know what? The next week I made more bread and it turned out pretty good.

And now it is Monday and my third batch of whole wheat sourdough is rising right this minute.

I think it is time to share the recipe with all of you so you can jump in and get to work without all the fear and trepidation that I have been through for the last ump-teen years!

The day before you want to bake bread, take your start out of the fridge (this recipe is using 4 C. of sourdough start) and mix in 5 C. whole wheat flour and 5 C. water. Mix well.

Cover bowl with a cloth and allow it to rest in a warm place (hard to find in my house!) for 12-24 hours.

In the morning, or when ready to make bread, mix the bowl of sourdough again as separation may have occurred.

Take out 1 C. of start and place in a clean glass bowl or jar. Feed this with 2 C. whole wheat flour and 2 C. cool water. This is your new start. Place your container, loosely covered, in a warm place for 8 – 12 hours and ignore it.

Pour your remaining sourdough into your mixing bowl and add 2 1/2 C. cold water, 2 TB. salt (opt.), 1/4 C. honey (opt.), and 5 C. whole wheat flour. Mix to blend.

Slowly add in more flour to a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. You should be able to stick your finger into the dough and pull it out without sticky residue on it.

Continue kneading for a total of 10 minutes, including the time it took to get your dough to the right consistency.

Place the dough on your counter and divide into fourths. Shape each quarter and place in oiled loaf pans. I use these and LOVE them.

Let loaves rest in a warm place until doubled in size. Rising time depends on temperature and humidity, plan about 4-7 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Take out loaves and brush tops with butter, if desired. Place on cooling rack. Then eat them…and be amazed at yourself.

At the end of the day or after 8-12 hours from when you started this whole process, find the start you set aside and ignored, put a tight lid on your container and place it in the refrigerator for up to a week. When you are ready to make bread again, take your start out the day before you want to bake and start back up there at the beginning.

Now, I have to say, if I can do this, ANYONE can do this. I promise. I am NOT a baker and I swear I could win a gazillion bucks if I just kept a video camera in my kitchen at all times to catch the ridiculous things I do.

But this? It is SO not hard. It is easy. It has four measly ingredients…no yeast, no oil, no gluten-enhancer, no citric acid, no potato water, no nothing…and it turns out delicious!

Here is a picture of my first batch:

Last night I had three sunny-side up eggs and two pieces of sourdough toast and I thought to myself, “This is amazing. After all this time of being intimidated, I am now eating my very own scrumptious whole-wheat sourdough bread.”

And then I thought, “What else have I let intimidate me? What else could I be learning and doing and enjoying if only I wouldn’t let myself be intimidated by it?”

For more information, check out this sourdough page and of course, the folks over at The Fresh Loaf are full of knowledge about all things bread-y.

p.s. We are now feasting on our warm, fresh from the oven bread…and I think this third batch is the best yet!

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Tami’s Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup

Nov 5, 2011 by

Tami…my 2nd cousin and dear, dear friend since the summer we were twelve…has allowed me to post her amazing soup recipe on here.

Trust me…this is scrumptious…make it just like she says and then invite over some company and share it with them. Everyone will love it. We have eaten this at every Cousin Reunion, camping trip, family dinner, or anything else that Tami has attended for the past 5 years or so. I LOVE it!

Ingredients

2 Quarts of water
3-5 Chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tb. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Dried Cilantro (I like this a lot so usually add a bunch of fresh)
3 tsp. Chicken Boullion Powder (or 3 cubes…)
1 tsp. Ground White Pepper

Directions

Boil all together for at least 30 mins… maybe an hour. It gets nice and tender.

Let it cool at bit and dice (shred) the chicken – return to the broth.

Saute 2 tsp. garlic (2 cloves) and 1 chopped onion in a bit of olive oil. Add to the broth.

At this point, I put it all in a big crockpot, but you can still have it on the stove if you want. (this is also the point where I freeze it to take it camping or just to use later)

Add

2 15 oz Cans Corn – drained
1 10 oz Can Tomato Soup
1 14 oz Can Diced Tomatoes
16 oz Chunky Salsa
2-3 16oz Cans of Beans – can be kidney, black or chili (I drain the kidney and black, but not the chili beans.)
1-3 Tb. Chili Powder (optional – you can just have it on the side for those who want some heat)

Dump it all in – let it simmer for a while. As soon as it heats up it’s ready to eat, but it’s good when it’s been simmering on low for hours too.

Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

I saw a great tip the other day for shredding chicken. After cooking chicken breasts, put them in your mixer and turn on high for about 20 seconds and you will have instant restaurant-style shredded chicken.

Thank you for making it so often for me Tami…and for sharing it with my readers!

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pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Nov 5, 2011 by

So, last night after teaching gymnastics for six hours, I remembered I needed to bring a dozen cookies to our ward’s Green and Gold Ball. Now, I could have just bought a package of 12 measly cookies for 98 cents. I saw a package of minty things at Winco for that very price. But, nooooo, I have to make things difficult for myself. I thought, “I don’t want to eat cookies with garbage ingredients and so I cannot in good conscience take some of those chemical-laden cookies to feed to other people.”

The problem is, I am not a baker and I am not a whip-something-up-at-moments-notice-person either. I have anxiety in two areas of my life…cooking and sewing…and it is almost incapacitating! I made a decision a few years ago to conquer these two areas and I am on the fifty year plan to do so.

I called up my mom and got some advice. Then I called Kat and got some more advice and then she sent me this recipe. I ran to Winco to get mini-chocolate chips, demerara raw sugar (never bought it before as I am a honey girl, but Kat swore I would want to use it), and allspice and then rushed home to make them.

I quickly decided to double the recipe since it called for 16 oz. of pumpkin and my can was 30 oz. Soon I had a mixer full of dough, the ovens preheating, and everyone getting ready for the ball…a lil’ bit of chaos!

Before the ball, I had time to cook about 2 dozen cookies. This morning I got up and made the rest…dozens and dozens of cookies later, I am done and they are cooling and being snatched up by children right and left. My plan was to freeze them and take a few to iFamily each week. I don’t know how many are going to make it into the freezer though!

Here is Katie’s recipe (from Kitchenstewardship.com) with what I did in parentheses:

Ingredients

2 cups butter or coconut oil or palm shortening (I used 2 C. butter and 2 C. coconut oil)
1 1/2 c. sucanat (2 C. demerara and 1 C. honey)
16 oz. can pumpkin or 2 c. pumpkin puree (30 oz. can pumpkin)
2 eggs (4 eggs)
2 tsp. vanilla ( 4 tsp. vanilla)
4 c. white whole wheat flour (8 C. of whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking powder (4 tsp. baking powder)
2 tsp. cinnamon (4 tsp. cinnamon)
1 tsp. baking soda (2 tsp. baking soda)
1 tsp.nutmeg (2 tsp. nutmeg)
½ tsp. allspice (1 tsp. allspice)
1 tsp. salt (2 tsp. salt)
2 c. chocolate chips or raisins (4 C. mini chocolate chips)
1 c. chopped nuts

Directions

Cream fat and sweetener. Add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour and next 6 dry ingredients. Add to batter; mix well. Stir in choc chips and nuts. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Katie, the author of that recipe, nailed it…they are delicious! The aftertaste is even better than the first bite! I think I could eat them all day long.

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mega manic muffin mix

Oct 24, 2011 by

mega manic muffin mix

I don’t think I have posted a recipe for awhile and thanks to my recent cleaning of the dining room I found one of my favorite recipe books that was buried behind a gazillion other books in my magazine-style bookshelf (you should see it now…it is super-duper clean!).

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This recipe makes the base for 120 muffins and then you add your liquids when you are ready to whip them up. Once for our homeschool swim camp week I actually made 120 muffins at once with this mix. It was just a lil’ bit crazy to have that many muffins in my kitchen at one time.

IMG_1731

I wonder how well muffins freeze and thaw? If they do freeze well, maybe it would be a good idea to do again and then we could have some ready for the days we are out of the house.

Anyway, here is the base:

10 C. whole wheat pastry flour
5 C. kamut flour
5 C. sucanat (I use honey and add more dry stuff)
2 C. buttermilk, dried
2 C. oats, pulverized
6 TB. baking powder
2 TB. baking soda
2 TB. salt (I use Real Salt)

Mix all ingredients well and keep in a sealed container.

To make a batch of 24 basic muffins, use 5 1/2 C. of muffin mix and add the following:

2 eggs
2 egg whites
3 tsp. vanilla
2 C. water
1/2 C. oil

Mix together and pour into muffin tins. Bake at 400 F for 18-20 minutes.

Variations: There are 800 variations on this theme, made possible by you, the muffin-maker-extraordinaire. I have made pumpkin chocolate chip, apple pie and jam muffins.

Here are some variations from the book:

Apple Pie Muffins
2 1/2 C. grated apple
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Gingerbread-Style Muffins
1/4 blackstrap molasses
2 TB. ground ginger

Jam Muffins
Add a teaspoon of jam to the middle by filling in half your muffin tin, plopping on some jam, and then filling the tin the rest of the way.

Maple Pecan Muffins
6 TB pure maple syrup
Use only 1 1/2 C. water up above instead of the 2 C. listed
1 C. chopped pecans

I don’t remember what I did when I made the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but they were the favorite of everyone at swim camp. I am in the mood for them right now, so if someone has some suggestions for how to make them, let me know and I’ll see if I can pull myself into the kitchen to actually bake some!

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kale chips

Mar 7, 2011 by

If I can make it to the grocery store this week, I am going to buy some kale and try out this recipe! Have you ever had kale chips? If so, how do you make them?

“Smoked” Kale Chips
by: Chef Tom- www.cookwithtom.com
Prep time 5 min Cook Time 10 min

* 1 bunch of Kale
* 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
* 1 Tbs fine sea salt
* 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Wash kale thoroughly, let dry.

With a knife or kitchen scissors, remove the thick stem in the middle of each Kale leaf. Tear the remaining leaf into chip size pieces.

Drizzle kale with Olive Oil, sea salt and smoked paprika

Load sheet tray with one layer of Kale and cook in 350 oven for 10-15 minutes / until edges are slightly brown.

I’ll let you know how they turn out. My guess is that we will love them!

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black bean chili

Oct 21, 2010 by

While making this yummy recipe for supper tonight, I realized I had not shared it with all of you. We love this recipe…the kids love it because it is delicious. I love it because it is delicious AND fast AND easy. I am all about fast and easy and I have a really hard time eating food that is not delicious, so this recipe is perfect on all counts.

1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 15 oz. cans black beans
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 TB. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
Dash cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes.

We serve ours with chips, cheese, and sour cream when we have it. I always double it and rarely add in the cayenne pepper.

I always make this when we are camping because it is so easy-peasy and it comes in perfect on days when I forget to start dinner till the children are complaining of starvation.

By the way, this recipe comes from the absolutely essential cookbook Boarding the Ark by Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland. This treasure trove of a cookbook has many of our favorite recipes in it, including Applesauce Cake, Rice-n-Apple Breakfast, Sweet and Sour Rice, Barley, Rice, and Lentil Soup, and Very Veggie Wraps. It also has a great substitution chart, lots of valuable food storage info, healing remedies from the past, and an equivalent measure chart that I use all the time.

Enjoy!

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debbie’s caramel popcorn

Jun 29, 2010 by

My dear friend, Debbie, makes this popcorn every Sunday afternoon. It is delish! Keziah has been making it lately for us and we are loving it.

1/2 c. popcorn – pop it
1 stick butter
1 c. honey

Boil butter & honey together for a couple
of minutes.

In a big bowl, drizzle on to the popcorn while stirring. It shouldn’t crunch. If it crunches you need more liquid.

Butter a cookie sheet really well.

Spread the popcorn on the cookie sheet.

Cook at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes. It should be light-medium brown.

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