Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February Favorites: Winter Weeknight Meal

I love cooking.  And I love soup.  I love cooking soup!  And after a shitty, long-ass day at work, there is nothing better than straight up comfort chow.

BUT.  Its not always practical to cook some amazing, totally from scratch soup on a weeknight...we don't get home until around 5:30...we wouldn't be eating until 9 pm!  What follows is my version of sorta homemade chicken noodle soup that satisfies all the cravings with only about an hour of cooking...hello normal 6:30 dinner time!!  (And it tastes and smells WAY better than stuff out of a can.  Trust me.)

(Katie!  This is the soup we talked about this weekend.  !!  xoxo)

Sorta Homemade Chicken and Noodles

1 Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  (I've also used a rotisserie turkey breast-YUM- left over home roasted chicken also works, of course, if you are one of THOSE people.)
1-2 tbs. olive oil
1 Onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 carrots, chopped (I like bigger, rustic pieces of carrot but that's just me)
2-3 celery stalks, chopped  (Opposite on this- I like little, tender pieces of celery)
2 tsp. basil
black pepper to taste
lots of chicken broth (8 cups or so?  I usually use (2) 32 oz. boxes of store bought broth)
6 oz. or so of dry egg noodles

 First, rip that chicken apart!  Its good for getting out any end of day frustrations.  Collect bit sized chicken pieces in a bowl and set aside.  (Some days, to speed things up, I'll do this on the weekend or at lunch and just refrigerate the chicken until I need it.  Time saver!!)
Heat the olive oil up in a heavy bottomed soup pot, medium to medium-high heat.  Add the onion and salt to the pan and saute for 5 minutes or so.  Add the carrots, celery, basil and black pepper.  Put a lid on it, turn the heat down to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid, add the chicken broth and the chicken pieces.  Bring it up to a simmer and cook until the veggies are almost tender (10 min or so?).
Bring the soup up to a boil and add the noodles.  Cook until done. 

Devour with crusty french bread and salad.  Cozy up with a book or in front of a movie.  No judging.

Chase with something chocolaty.

Our little family of 3 usually gets dinner and lunch out of this recipe.  Score!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February Favorites: (Alcoholic) Beverages

I did a favorites post on my favorite non-boozy bevs, so its only right that I talk about the good stuff too, right?

I'm a beer/wine kinda girl, generally, rarely foraging into the (to me) mysterious world of hard liquor.  As far as beer goes, my absolute favorite would have to be Guinness, with a "black and tan" coming in a close second.  

If on a budget, however, I genuinely love Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Or as we call it, PEEber.   (Get it?  PBR...Peeber?)  I know, I know.  I think its more nostalgia than actual taste, since we drank gallons of the stuff during my punk rock days. 

Wine-wise, I prefer red over white regardless of what's on the menu (scandalous, I know!)  I especially love a good Malbec .  I go by what I like, not how much the bottle costs and as a result, some of my favorite wines are super affordable.  Which is good, as I enjoy a glass several times a week.  Ahem.

If pressed to drink something with more bite, I always order a whiskey (Pendleton if they've got it, but I also like Crown Royal as an old, familiar standby.) on the rocks with a splash of water.  I've learned from experience that fancy, sugary drinks spell NASTY hangovers, so I steer clear of the "girly" stuff.

If pressed to order a mixed drink, however, it would have to be a Moscow Mule.  But just one.  :)

As you can see, pretty simple, if not the most sophisticated tastes.   What am I missing out there??

Monday, February 6, 2012

February Favorites: Family

Yeah.  Duh.  I love my family.  But, truly they are my favorites (as I am forever reminding them) and I had to include them.  I mean, really.

The handsomeness!!!  (is that a word??)
This picture was taken yesterday, after a family trip to snowshoe/ski.  It was a crystal clear, sunshiny day...you know, one of those days where the snow looks all glittery?  No wind, not too cold.  Bliss.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Favorites: (Non-alcoholic) Beverages

Ha!  I love me some beverages, people.  I drink water all day long and feel kinda naked without access to a water bottle at all times.  (A related favorite:  my favorite water bottle is a big, wide-mouthed Nalgene bottle with a little sip-guard thingy in the top to keep me from spilling it allover myself.)  Water helps me feel good, my skin glow and generally keeps my body running on all cylinders.   I carry water with me on any runs over an hour long and always glug several ounces after any workout.

Aside from H2O, my day usually involves some coffee with organic half n' half in the morning, a cup of tea at lunch (black or green depending on mood) and another cup of tea (herbal- chamomile is my fave) at bedtime.

Treat-wise, I've recently begun drinking Almond Milk.  Holy shit, people!  How did I not know about this before?!?  It is SO GOOD.  Otto loves it too and we've been known to argue over who gets the last bit in the carton. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February: A Month of Favorites

You guys know how I like to make a list of favorite things to cheer myself up?  Let's do it all month!!  I'm a'gonna post a favorite thing as often as I can this month (every day would be ideal but...you know.)


My favorite book:  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I've read this book several times, seen numerous screen adaptations and I love it more and more.  Jane!  Mr. Rochester!  I love it that Jane has real problems i.e., dead parents, a super shitty guardian (Mrs. Reid), suffers abuse, the death of friends, etc. and comes through it intact with a strong sense of self.  She fucking rocks.

I saw the most recent film version of Jane Eyre and completely loved it.  Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska were pitch perfect and I loved the emphasis on light, heat, and the consuming possibilities of both.  So good.   Oh! And Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax totally clenched it.