Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

I didn’t really have much appreciation for homemade chicken noodle soup, until my niece, Lindsie, asked me to make it for her wedding.  I don’t know what changed, but ever since then it has been one of my favorite soups to make, maybe because it reminds me of her and that special day.  Now, there’s nothing more comforting to me than a big, steaming bowl, freshly made from (mostly) scratch. 
For convenience sake, I’ve opted to use canned broth and a hot & ready rotisserie chicken from the grocer.  Rotisserie chickens also (generally) happen to be cheaper than buying a whole, fresh chicken, so not only are you saving time, you’re saving money.  Of course, you can roast your own chicken and make your own chicken stock, but that’s another recipe in itself.  ~Joanie

Ingredients:

4 cans of chicken or vegetable broth
5 or 6 sprigs EACH of fresh rosemary, sage, & thyme, OR 1 pack fresh Poultry Medley herbs (usually found in your grocer’s refrigerated produce section.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
4 large carrots, chopped
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
1 whole rotisserie chicken, or 1 lb cooked chicken of your choice
8 oz Egg Noodles
Salt & Pepper
Large stock pot

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Directions:
In a large stock pot, add broth and herbs.  Let herbs simmer on med heat for about 20 minutes or until they’re limp and have given up their flavor.  Fish out the herbs and discard.

Add onion and garlic and salt.  Let simmer while you chop carrots and celery.  Add remaining vegetables and turn heat to low.

Next, deconstruct your chicken.  Start by removing the breast meat, then the legs & thighs and last, the wings and any remaining meat sticking to the bones.  Don’t let any go to waste!  Chop up any large pieces and add all meat to the pot.  Add meat to the stock pot.  (Save the bones and skin for making chicken stock.)   

In a separate pot, cook egg noodles using package directions, until texture is al dente (slightly firm).  Add cooked noodles to the soup.  If needed, add salt/pepper to taste and garnish with chopped green onions.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

**This soup freezes really well and is perfect for lunch on the go!

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Thyme for Frittata

As Janna mentioned in her Easy Cheesy recipe, our sweet friend, Caty, asked for ideas for some throw together meals. Since Janna went the pasta route, I decided to go a different direction and make a Frittata.

Frittata is a very simple but elegant dish. The only thing you absolutely need is eggs, and a little imagination. For this dish, I used what I had on hand, but also highlighted some substitutes that would go equally well. After making it, the only thing I would change about this dish is the addition of some feta cheese. That would have brought it all together, but I didn’t have any in the fridge. It was delicious, none the less.
~Joanie

Ingredients:
1 lb +/- of sausage (Subs: diced ham, chopped bacon, chicken, or meat of choice. You can also completely omit meat from this dish and it’s just as good!)
2 Cups Asparagus, chopped into 1 in. pieces (Subs: broccoli, spinach)
1 Cup sliced mushrooms (Subs: chilies, jalepenos)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS butter
6 eggs
2 Cups shredded hashbrown style potatoes (Subs: diced potato, sweet potato)
1/2 Cup shredded sharp white cheddar (Subs: any cheddar variety, parmesan, feta, or none at all)
1 Shallot, chopped (Subs: 1/4 cup any onion variety)
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/3 tsp ground thyme (Subs: Parsley, cilantro, basil)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
In a large skillet, brown meat (skip this step if you’re using pre-cooked meat). Drain excess grease. Add garlic, veggies, and butter to the meat skillet and saute until veggies are heated through but still crisp (this will vary depending on the veggies you use, 5-10 minutes).

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, potatoes, cheese, shallots and spices. Set aside.

Spray and oven-safe dish with non-stick spray and transfer meat and veggies into it (skip this step if using an oven safe skillet or cast iron pan).
Pour egg mixture over the meat mixture. Use a spatula to help the egg soak into the dish. The goal is for the egg to bind all the other ingredients together.

Place dish in a 450 degree oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. If the top is not golden, you can broil it for a bit at the end, but watch it very carefully! Let it sit a minute or two, then cut and serve! Serves about 8.