Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bacon, Broccoli, and Cauliflower Salad



This broccoli, bacon, and cauliflower salad is a nice change of pace from traditional salad. Its great for barbeques, and is a great side for holiday dinners.
 
Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad


2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
¼ cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
½ lb. cooked, crumbled bacon
½ cup ranch dressing
Dash of salt and pepper

 
Combine all ingredients, mix well and serve

(letting it sit for 6-12 hours just makes it better!)



Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

 
I have been on a soup making kick lately, and since chicken noodle soup is my favorite soup, I decided I would figure out how to make it. Being my first time I wanted to make it as easy as possible, so instead of using a whole chicken, I used chicken thighs instead. It turned out great and my husband isn't a huge fan of chicken noodle soup and he loved it, so I'll take that as a big compliment. 
 
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

8 bone- in chicken thighs
1 cup carrots
1 cup celery
1 cup yellow onion
½ cup frozen peas
2 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves
Dash of salt, pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning
2 cups extra wide egg noodles
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

 

Remove skin and fat from chicken thighs and rinse thoroughly

Dice carrots, celery, and onion into large pieces

Mince garlic

Add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil to a large soup pot or Dutch oven

Add vegetables and top with garlic and seasonings

Sauté about 3-5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften

Move vegetables to the side of the pot and add chicken thighs

Cook 3-5 minutes per side to get a golden brown (if you don’t have a lot of room in the pot and it doesn’t brown, it’s no biggie)

Add chicken stock

Add 1 bay leaf

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes or until chicken is ready to shred

Remove chicken from the pot and shred using 2 forks (discard any bones and fat)

Place shredded chicken back into the pot and simmer another 10-20 minutes

Meanwhile, cook egg noodles until al dente (tip: the noodles shouldn’t be crunchy, but they should have a firmness too them, unlike fully cooked noodles)

Add noodles to the soup and mix

Simmer another 10 minutes

Drain soup through a colander using a large bowl underneath to catch the broth

Set the colander containing the chicken and vegetables aside

Place the broth in the refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes

Taking a spoon skim the fat from the top of the broth

Combine all ingredients back together, heat and serve