Saturday, February 23, 2013

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

Do you ever...or have you ever felt like there's a 'cloud' over your head and it just does not seem to want to leave?! I'm not talking about the Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage commercial with the actual dressed up person as a 'cloud' but a cloud that just does not seem to lift?...even if you live in S. Florida as I do.

For the last four months, one thing after another. My eye surgery, death, sciatica, the flu...and back again, feeling
'gloomy'! Not enough energy...not eating right, just plain tired, on-and-on. Valentine's Day did not help either...although I did get a beautiful bouquet of red roses from my precious and beloved children and grandchildren, so that really cheered me up. As for cooking and baking, I haven't done much...isn't it nice to have a wonderful daughter that cooks and bakes every day and shares, the 'love'?

Talk about sharing! My dear friend Marina, @Picnic at Marina offered to treat me to a nice bowl of her famous Chicken Broth, but of course she lives much too far. I did make a huge pot of almost the same identical broth, but I like to put more carrots and a sweet potato as's just me. You can make such awesome recipes with your fresh broth; all you have to do is just freeze them in ice cube trays, or portion sized plastic containers and pop them out of the freezer to have it ready when you need it for a recipe that calls for chicken broth.

For the actual recipe, click on Marina's beautiful blog for the Hot Water Soup...a.k.a. Chicken Broth and you can variate this amazing broth to make Easy Chicken Noodle Soup if you would like more vegetables and noodles, or as in my case, I added leftover broken up thin spaghetti pieces right into the boiling broth.
 Never under estimate the power of a great homemade chicken many different ways of making it from just by making a huge pot of chicken broth. I actually used up half of the entire large pot of the broth to make my simple Chicken Noodle Soup with my simple favorite vegetables.

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
inspired by Marina's Chicken Broth

2 1/2 quarts (80ozs.) (2 1/2 L.) homemade chicken broth, (for recipe click on the link at Marina's)
3 peeled sliced, or diced carrots
1/2 large onion or 1 small chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large, or 2 small bay leaves
Leftover pieces of chicken from the broth
2 med. red skinned potatoes (don't peel) diced
handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 Tbsp. canola, or vegetable oil
Leftover thin spaghetti about less then 1/4 lb. broken up in bite size pieces, or use noodles of course
adjust flavor by adding spices of your choice...I added
freshly ground pepper, and hot sauce, or red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. (optional)

You can use canned broth, or water, adding bullion cube if you're not using homemade broth.

Saute onion, carrots, and celery in the canola or vegetable oil, until onion gets glossy, and wilted. Add the potatoes, the chopped parsley, bay leaves, your seasonings, and add about 2 cups of the broth. Cover, and slowly simmer until all the vegetables are almost done. Add the rest of the broth the torn up chicken pieces, let the broth come to a boil, add the broken up spaghetti pieces or small amount of noodles right into the broth and boil gently until it's cooked completely. You can cook the broken up spaghetti pieces or as much noodles as you want separately, and add as you go along. You can sprinkle extra chopped parsley on top, and adjust seasoning
 Noodles or pasta tend to get soggy in the broth so do not cook a large amount in the broth itself.
Serves an entire family of 4-6 with this generous delicious for the GODS!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cavolfiore con Uovo-{Cauliflower in Egg Batter}

Hi Friends,
I've been wanting to do a blog post and go around commenting for the past two weeks now. I'm feeling much better now, no sciatica pain...battled a bad flu since that time as well. Your thoughtful comments have meant so much to me to know I have you as my friends...and not just 'readers' as quite a few bloggers refer to other bloggers, and I have actually discovered the reason 'why'!

 While I was checking sources for recipes on Pinterest, I have bookmarked several sights with the most amazing photos and recipes but unfortunately these bloggers have only a few commenters for their lovely posts...and it really is sad. Maybe they're not reaching out for more viewers or have their blog in the research engines or RSS feeds. Don't know and...just wondering!

Until now, I just haven't had the strength emotionally and spiritually; even though I made two amazing appetizer dishes in the one month anniversary of Rosario's passing.These two appetizers were his all time favorites which he made throughout the years and even for this last Christmas...which we are all still wondering how in the world he made it when he was so gravely ill.

I have missed you all, SO very much! Thank you for all your loving and caring condolences, your thoughts and prayers which helped tremendously. As far as my blog, all I have been doing all these weeks lately, is pinning on Pinterest for hours at a time (guilty!) Just can't resist finding beautiful fashions, colors, and of course FOODS! Especially now, with Valentine's day in a couple days.

Today is President Abraham Lincoln's Birthday...what a GREAT man HE was!  Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and Thursday is VALENTINE'S DAY! Oh, and I did forget...which you all know by now, Pope Benedict resigned?!

Our world sure is changing...hopefully for the better, although not so sure about our crazy weather in the north east with the famous NEMO snow blizzard. Hope that some of you that are living in the north east have been safe and been able to climb out of all the snow piles.

I am so happy to be back after near month break and promise to stay in touch and visit...visit...visit all you sweet, dear friends! Thank you for all you caring support from me and my children, Lora and Joe! xoxo

Cauliflower is one of my all-time favorite vegetables...even more than, broccoli. Love the mild flavor all it's own. Love the crunchy flavor raw, roasted, steamed, in soups especially. Also is so good 'pickled' and dipped in egg batter and fried in fresh canola oil...just can't resist eating only one. This recipe which is totally 'handed down' for years, and will stay a 'staple' holiday, or special occasion appetizer in our family.

Cavolfiore con Uovo
Cauliflower with Egg Batter
recipe; handed down from the Pregadio family, 
(with slight adaptation)

1 large cauliflower
2 cups flour
1 cup canola oil (for frying, or more if needed)
3 eggs well beaten
salt and pepper to taste
paprika, to sprinkle on (optional)
Cut cauliflower in half, and then in large chunks.
Boil until al not overcook.

When cooked strain in colander, rinse with cold water in kitchen sink.

Cut in portion size shown in photo.

In a large bowl, add the flower and the seasoning and add the cauliflower pieces. Incorporate the pieces real well so that they are all coated well.

With a tong, dip no more than three pieces at at time in the eggs. (if you need more eggs beat a couple more, just do not add water to the egg batter)

In a large cast iron, or heavy skillet, fry until golden...just do not crowd the pieces, or they will not fry properly.

Fry in hot oil until they're golden brown...

Drain on double folded paper towel, and assemble them unto a pretty serving platter.

You can serve them with your favorite dipping sauce, which I did not include in this recipe; there are so many amazing ones out there.

This is the most favorite appetizer of to the Eggplant appetizer (sneak preview) for next post! The Eggplant appetizer is a roasted eggplant cut up in chunks and scooped pieces with fresh garlic, crushed red pepperrs, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and capers. A re-created recipe by me from the original Caponata...minus the tomatoes, olives, and the celery.

As for my Pinterest mania...this is where the FUN comes in! You collect your favorite things on your pin board, and if you're lucky enough to find the source where it came from, you will also get the recipe. For Valentine's I have a special board called 'my funny Valentine' which really is a name of a song I love so much.

Have you ever seen such a gorgeous festive cake for Valentine?. Well, this tops them all!
I did not see this pinned on Pinterest...but the Valentine's wish was on Pinterest. Checked the source, and it came from;

Isn't Pinterest the greatest? You can get so hooked on it, and get lost for hours at a time! Hugs,

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