Chicken Soup – From Scratch

Western New York has seen some cold winter days. This year we have set records not only for snow accumulation but temperatures so low, that they haven’t been like this in over a hundred years. As I’m anxiously awaiting those warm sunny days, I figured since today was looking to be in the negatives, it’s time to warm up to a pot of soup.

This recipe is the first pot of soup I’ve ever tested. It was when my husband and I first moved into together about 6 years ago. I haven’t made it any other way since. Now you can add egg noodle’s or dumplings if you’d like, but for me, less is more. I like this soup as naked as possible. I want just chicken, vegetables and lots of broth, but don’t be mistaken, it by no means is bare of flavor!

This is my go-to pot of soup and I usually have some stashed in the freezer, it’s that good and extremely healthy and healing. Perfect for the dead of winter and cold days like today! To the recipe…

Chicken Soup – From Scratch

Serves: One large pot

Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

~5-6 lb. Chicken

~1 tablespoon whole Peppercorns

~2 tablespoons Course Kosher Salt plus more for taste

~Ground freshly cracked pepper to taste

~6-7 stalks of celery

~5 or so whole carrots ( you can add more or less depending on the size of carrots, there is no rule!)

~2 large white onions

~1 bay leaf

Instructions:

Remove bag of giblets from the cavity of the chicken and rinse inside and out with cold water. Place chicken in a large stock pot. Add 3-4 stalks of celery, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt, 2-3 whole carrots, and one onion, peeled and cut in half. Cover the entire chicken with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes or until meat is falling off the bone.

Meanwhile, chop remaining carrots, onions and celery.

When chicken is done, place a strainer over another large pot and strain the broth, cooked meat and vegetables through. Place new pot back on the stove. (If you don’t have another large pot, you can use an extra large bowl and put the broth back into the used pot).

Discard the cooked whole vegetables, bay leaf and peppercorns. Let the chicken cool enough to handle. Peel all the meat away from the bone and shred. Set aside.

Add the chopped vegetables to the pot of broth and bring to a low simmer, adjusting the flavor of broth with kosher salt and pepper.

When the vegetables have cooked through lightly, add the shredded chicken b ack to the pot and add freshly chopped parsley.

Note: I like my vegetables to have a bite to them, but you can cook them until your liking!

Hope you enjoy!!

logo Better Than S’more’s – S’mores
Hey there!!! It’s been a long time since my last post, I’ll fill you in. Now here in the fine state of New York, summer comes and goes quickly and boy is it enjoyed. I have been filling my schedule with out door festivities, get-together’s, soccer and dance classes for my little’s and all in between working! Although, I have to say Food Blogit has been on my mind, a lot! I miss it. You see, this is strictly fun for me. A true hobby that sometimes I wish I had so much more time for. I’ve learned however that, it’s ok to miss it because it will surely make it that much better when I get back. Anyway! Here is something so good and a classic American summer treat for sure. This is everything you expect from a s’more but a step above! And no, I didn’t add any fancy ingredients and or did I make the marshmallows, I just simply used the same ingredients that we all know and love and… Well here’s the recipe… ​ Ingredients: ~graham crackers ~chocolate bars ~marshmallows Instructions: Pre-heat the oven to Broil. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. assemble the s’mores, starting with half of the graham cracker first, then chocolate, then marshmallow. set the other halves of crackers on the baking sheet as well. The crackers get lightly toasted. (My favorite) Broil until Marshmallows are browned and the chocolate starts to melt. Remove from oven, top with remaining graham cracker, enjoy immediately!! When I do sneak in a so-sugary snack, it better be good and these are nothing short of that. Everything is warmed and toasted together which I think makes this S’more so great!! Hope you enjoy!!
Fresh Pasta Recipe – With Tips That Will Make It Easy
They say American’s consume almost 60 million pounds of chocolate on Valentine’s day! That’s nearly 400 million dollars worth. It’s safe to say that it is pretty much a must have for most Valentine’s celebrations. I, like many of us, am in love with chocolate. ( no pun intended.) Ha! This is the one day that we can all safely have some chocolate! As I’ve been trying to eat as “clean” as possible, I wanted to make sure the chocolate was as raw as possible. In this recipe, I not only used 70% cocoa chips and added only 3 more ingredients to make this a dessert. It has perfect textures, from the creamy chocolate to the crunchy amonds and juicy pomegranates. You can easily whip this fancy dessert up in no time! To the recipe… ​ Makes: 1 cup total Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients: ~1/2 cup 70% cocoa chips ~3/4 cup organic heavy whipping cream ~1 pomegranate, de-seeded ~1/4 cup raw-shelled almonds Instructions: Place chocolate chips in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside. Cut pomegranate into quarters and turn inside out, to remove seeds. Set aside. Roughly chop almonds and place in a small skillet over low heat to toast. This takes about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from heat to cool. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat until it just starts to come to a steady simmer. Remove from heat and slowly pour over chocolate chips, continually whisking until chocolate is smooth and glossy. Add in all, but one tablespoon of toasted almonds and all, but one tablespoon of pomegranates. Gently stir into the chocolate. Pour into ramekins and chill in the refrigerator for one hour. Top with remaining almonds and pomegranates to garnish. Happy Valentines Day! Hope you enjoy!!
Coconut & Dark Chocolate Chip Popcorn – A Healthy Snack
I’m a snacker. I always have been. I’ve always been that skinny girl, who ate everything. Thanks to a high metabolism, I’m hungry every few hours. As I’ve become more conscious of healthy eating, I’ve learned to be a bit more picky about what I’m chowing down. Coming up with healthy meals sort of comes easier for me to pull together.. Snacks on the other hand, not so much. Here is one of my favorite snacks of all time. The best part of this popcorn is the coconut oil! If you think butter was good on popcorn, you will soon be swept away by coconut oil. I never want popcorn any other way! As matter fact, if coconut oil goes good with anything in this life, it may just be popcorn! Even though coconut oil- covered popcorn would be just fine alone, the addition of chopped almonds and chocolate chips take it to popcorn heaven! That being said, I’ll stop here and just let you get to the recipe… ​ Serves- One BIG bowl! Ingredients: ~One bag of Organic Plain Popcorn or 3/4 cup of loose popcorn ~1/2 cup melted organic cold pressed coconut oil ~1 tablespoon cinnamon ~2 tablespoons unrefined coconut sugar ~1 teaspoon unrefined fine sea salt ~1/2 cup finely chopped almonds ~1/2 cup shaved organic coconut ~1/2 cup mini – dark chocolate chips ( semi- sweet ) Instructions: Pop the popcorn according to package. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Set aside. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Place popcorn in a large bowl, coat with melted coconut oil, and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Lastly, add coconut flakes, chocolate chips and almonds. Serve immediately. Hope you enjoy!!
5 Ways I Detox – Daily
While eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to good health, a proper cleansing or good habits for naturally detoxifying the body can really help you achieve amazing health benefits. From loosing weight, to a stronger immune system and an over-all better physical and mental well being. Its important to recharge your body everyday, just as it is to get a good night sleep daily. We live in a world filled with toxins that some are almost avoidable. Like the pollution that we breathe in on our drive to work, or the bi-product from the plastic of the bottle of water we drank. I find that I not only feel more rejuvenated everyday, but little things like clearer skin have also been a bonus. Here are 5 simple, daily detoxifying steps that I have integrated into my daily routine… 1.) Oil-Pulling Some of you may have heard of this, some not. I came across this ancient method about a year ago. At first I wasn’t too sure about it. I mean, just the sound of “Oil-Pulling” sounded a bit weird to me. I soon tried it, and never looked back. What is Oil-Pulling? The Concept is Incredibly simple. Basically, a person swishes a couple teaspoons of vegetable based oil (coconut, sesame or olive) in their mouth for 20 minutes and then spits it out and rinses. It is an age-old remedy that uses natural substances to clean a detoxify teeth and gums and removing harmful bacteria! It is said that the oil is able to remove plaque and toxins without disturbing the teeth, tongue or gums. I use Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil. It is a natural anti-biotic by nature and has been known to reduce the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay and gum disease. I have also noticed how much whiter my teeth are since adding this form of detox to my daily routine! Learn more about oil pulling with coconut oil here. The only warning I’d give for oil-pulling is that it does not replace your normal oral hygiene and teeth brushing routine. Just an added part of your daily oral hygiene regimen. How to use Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling– *Put 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil into the mouth. *Swish for 20 minutes. It’s important to do this for about this long so it can break through the plaque and bacteria but not long over this time to wear the body starts to re-absorb the toxins and bacteria. *Spit oil out. Do not swallow the oil, as it holds the bad bacteria and toxins that it has removed from your mouth. *Rinse well with warm water. Occasionally I will swish with warm salt water which seems more effective in removing the oil. *Brush well with toothpaste. Hope you enjoy the benefits of oil-pulling as much as I have! 2.) Drink Lemon and Cucumber Water- More than you think you should be drinking As we always have heard, 8 glasses of water a day is the recommended amount. However, this is just a minimum. I have dramatically increased the amount of water I drink to about a gallon and half per day! Water can help to flush out your system naturally. Proper water intake can lead to clearer skin, properly functioning organs, and a more effective circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system. This one simple substance can offer great benefits to our entire system and the way our body functions. Water is my main source of hydration. The first thing I do every morning is drink an 8oz. glass. I drink water with all of my meals, before and after. I carry a 24 0z. bottle with me every where I go that I constantly refill through the day. I have a glass at my bedside that I drink through the night as well. When I first challenged myself to literally take in at least a gallon a day, I am not over exaggerating when I say how much better I not only felt but the appearance of my skin was much more clear and brighter too! Now I drink almost a gallon and half of lemon and cucumber water per day, it not only improves the taste but it also adds vitamins and detoxifying properties to boost its effectiveness. How to make Lemon and Cucumber Water– *Simply slice lemons and cucumbers and add it to a glass pitcher of purified water. I use about a half lemon and a half cucumber per day, and just keep refilling until you have reached your desired amount of water for the day. 3.) Yoga Yes yoga. Now I am not a yoga expert but I do have a routine that I follow at least 4 days a week. Because I am a busy mom, its hard for me to find extra time to get to a gym or a yoga studio, so I follow a 1 and half hour video that I can do from home. When it comes to naturally cleansing the body, exercise can be a great option to turn to and I believe is so important. It can help the cleansing and detoxifying process dramatically. The perspiration, the breathing, and the movement all help the body to achieve fitness and to help get rid of potentially harmful substances that have built up over time. 4.) Epsom Salt Bath’s A detox bath is one of the easiest ways to naturally detoxify your system. Here are just some of the health benefits to an Epsom salt bath.. *Helps muscle and nervous system *Ease of stress and improves sleep and concentration *Improves blood flow, helps prevent blood clots *Reduces inflammation to relieve aches and pains *Eases migraines and headaches *Improves oxygen flow and of course flushes toxins These are just a few of the many benefits of this simple therapy. I take an Epsom salt bath at least 3 days a week. Here is how I draw a Detox bath– *Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, (I like eucalyptus, which promotes relaxation) to two cups of Epsom salt, then add to a standard tub full of water. Ideally you want the water to be quite hot as we are looking to create a sweat. *If your bath water is not filtered, add half cup of baking soda as it helps neutralize the chemicals, primarily chlorine. It also helps maximize the mineral absorption: Magnesium. *I like to soak for about 20 minutes. Make sure you use natural cleansers and chemical free lotions after, so that you are not exchanging one toxin for another. I also recommend an aluminum-free deodorant. I usually need a moisturizer after, a non-chemical, natural lotion or as I like to use, coconut oil. Drink a few glasses of lemon-cucumber water right after to re-hydrate. Please Note: Be careful getting out of the tub, you may feel a bit dizzy and relaxed. I like to take a cooler shower after and allow yourself some time to rest and rejuvenate. 5.) Drink 3 Cups of Tea Each day Morning– Organic Matcha Green Tea. It not Only provides a tremendous amount of anti-oxidants but also gives me a healthy and effective form of caffeine to get my day started. Here is how I make it. Afternoon– Yogi Skin Detox tea Evening– Caffeine Free-Green tea with 100% natural honey On the days I do yoga, which is usually at night when my children are asleep I will sometimes have another cup of Matcha Grean Tea for a boost of energy and added antioxidants to get me going before my workout! Disclaimer~ This information is just my educated opinions of what I personal do to detox. There are many forms of detoxifying out there. Please consult with your doctor before starting any form of detox or exercise regimen. I’d love to hear what forms or routines of detoxifying you do or even if you have any further questions about my routine! Hope You enjoy!!