Friday, October 25, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul

Chicken Soup. It is known throughout the world for its healing powers. Tummy troubles, a touch of the flu, a broken arm, or just a really bad day - all ailments that can be cured with a steamy bowl of chicken-y, vegetable-y broth. If you are stuck in bed, add some Club crackers or Saltines, and an episode of I Love Lucy or The Dick Van Dyke Show. If you are up to eating at the table, add a crusty loaf of French bread and some homemade butter on the side, maybe a glass of red wine, if you are feeling indulgent.

I have a pot of soup on the stove now. I was inspired to make it because the weather is chilly and it just seems like the perfect fall day to eat chicken soup on the porch for dinner, bundled up in a scarf and hat, getting warmed up from the inside out. And yes, I realize that to most of my family, the New Yorkers and New Hampshirites, the Wisconsinites and Iowans and Nebraskans, 58 degrees is not scarf and hat worthy weather for you. But it goes from blazing hot summer to frosty cold winter around here, and my skin is just not thick enough to handle anything colder than 68 degrees without some sort of jacket or coverup.

Everyone seems to have their own recipe for chicken soup. They make it how their mom, or their mom's mom, or their great-grandad made it and that is the absolute, only, authentic way to make it. My recipe is not an old family recipe, it is just a simple technique. And in the case of foods like chicken soup, I think simple is always better.

The plus side to cooking something simple is that I can multi-task while I cook. And I don't mean send texts, or get something else crossed off my ever expanding to do list. I mean I can pray while I cook.

Do you pray over your food? I don't mean the right-before-you-eat, "God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food" type of praying, I mean while you are cooking. I've started doing this recently and I think it makes a difference in the end product.

Here is how it went today while I got the soup ready to go.

Olive oil in the pot, then sliced onions and garlic. Bless the people who are going to eat this soup.

Let cook until fragrant, then add some water. Allow this soup to bring them comfort.

Half-moon carrots and diagonally-sliced celery go in next. Let the nutrients from these vegetables be what their body needs to feel better.

Then come the chicken thighs. Let the protein from this chicken give them strength.

Cover with water and bring to a boil, then add salt, ground pepper, oregano, basil, and fresh rosemary. Bring them peace.

Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken pulls off the bone and the vegetables are cooked through. Thank you, Lord, for all you have already done in our lives, all your are doing, and all you will do.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Such A Big Miracle In Such A Little Boy

I am excited that I can finally show you all my latest piece.

I made this for Matty. It is a watercolor rainbow with an ink inscription. When I first saw this quote, I knew immediately that I had to use it for Matty.

He is our monkey. He is our miracle. We are so lucky to still have him with us and to get to see this smile.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sausage Cheese Dip

This seems like a silly recipe to even post, because it is so simple and made with stuff I already had in my fridge and pantry. It comes together in about 10 minutes. The thing is, maybe that's why it IS a good recipe to post - because you probably have all of this at your house and maybe you need something to feed a crowd of people who are coming over to watch football, or play Cards Against Humanity, or maybe even sing a few worship songs.

Anyway, so, here it is. The easiest recipe you will read today.

Sausage Cheese Dip

  • 16 oz. Pork Sausage (Breakfast Sausage)
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained (15 oz.)
  • Black Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Garlic Powder

Brown the sausage. Drain the excess fat. Put sausage in a large bowl.

Add grated cheese and mix until it melts a little bit. Add the cream cheese and smoosh it all together. Add the tomatoes and spices (just sprinkle some on - I never measure spices in stuff like this) and mix until combined.

Serve warm with Ritz crackers, saltines, tortilla chip scoops, or a spoon.

I think this would be equally as good made with ground turkey and a different kind of cheese. Do what you want. Make it your own. Or don't, follow this exactly, and you will be happy and full.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I'm With The Band

Oh, Buzzfeed. Sometimes, you are so disappointing with your lists of completely useless trivia and GIFs, but then you give us something like this and I am SO in love with you:

Isolated Vocal Tracks. Listening to these almost makes me feel voyeuristic. It's like I walked in on Eminem or Paul McCartney rehearsing with earbuds in - they can hear the backup track, but I can't - and it is so personal, like I'm invading their space, or like I'm with the band.

At the link, you'll find videos featuring Michael Jackson during the Jackson 5 days, Whitney Houston singing "How Will I Know?", and Kurt Cobain singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit." My personal favorite is "Under Pressure" with David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. That one gave me chills.

And it led me down a rabbit hole of videos that are nothing but the isolated vocal tracks of Queen, mostly featuring Freddie. "Somebody To Love" always gets an emotional reaction from me, but take away the instrumentals and you have this:

I made it all the way to 2:11 and then, that's it, I'm crying. Freddie's voice has this way of getting into my chest and making me feel all warm and squishy.

I can't believe that these videos have been on YouTube this whole time and no one told me! I feel like I've just discovered The Internet.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pinterest Win!: The Sock Bun

I haven't had much luck with hairstyles I find on Pinterest, but this...this, I can handle.

Sock Bun, where have you been all of my life?

You make me feel like a ballerina, like I am more graceful just because there is a sock rolled up in my hair.

You also make me not give a rip about the gray hairs that are slowly overtaking my entire head. When I look at you, all I see are dainty, girly visions of myself gliding down a busy city street with shopping bags on my arms, while I wear a simple, yet elegant outfit, and cotton candy pink silk shoes.

Thank you, Sock Bun. Let's hang out again real soon!