Monday, December 6, 2010

Chicken Soup

This is the chicken soup I grew up with, the recipe my mother got from her mother (Annie Schine). The real thing--Jewish chicken soup. This soup really does make you feel better if you have a cold or the flu. When I make up a batch, I freeze a few containers, so I have some on hand when it's needed. It's probably even better if a person you love makes it specially for you, when you're sick.

When I was a sophomore in college, I came down with a serious case of mononucleosis, and wasn't eating. My mother flew to Chicago from New Haven to take care of me. (So it must have really been bad. This was the only time she or my dad came to Chicago until I graduated.) Before she even came to my apartment-dorm, she stopped at the grocery store to buy the fixings for chicken soup. I ate it, and I began to get better. Thanks Mom.

1 large chicken (4-5 lbs. is nice; if need be can use a smaller chicken & some pieces)
2 medium onions, cut in half
2-3 large parsnips, cut in thirds
4-6 carrots, cut in halves or thirds
4 stalks celery, with leaves
about 1 T. chicken bouillon crystals

Put chicken (and giblets, except liver) in very large soup pot. Cover with water. While bringing to boil, prepare vegetables and add to the pot. You can add more vegetables, as much as there is room for in your pot. Add bouillon crystals.  When boiling, skim foam off top.  Simmer until chicken is done enough that a drumstick pulls off easily. Let it cook a couple of hours to get a rich broth.

Remove the chicken from the pot, and cool until it can be handled. Take the chicken off the bones, discard the skin, and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. I discard the onion and celery. I either leave the carrots and parsnips in chunks, or mash them into the broth.

Serve with cut up chicken meat, carrots and parsnips.  Or strain out a clear broth and serve plain (or with matzoh balls).

For matzoh balls (adapted from recipe on the Manischewitz Matzo Meal box; makes about 8 matzoh balls):

2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 T. vegetable oil 
1/2 c. matzoh meal
1 T. soup stock or water

Blend eggs, oil, and matzoh meal together with a fork.  Add 1 T. stock or water.  Cover and put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes (or longer).  Bring a pot of water to boil.  When water is boiling, turn down the flame to medium.  Wet your hands and form matzoh mixture into balls about 1" in diameter.  (They will swell up in cooking).  Drop the balls as you form them into the boiling water.  Cover the pot and cook 30-40 minutes.  

Serve matzoh balls in the soup.  Extras can be frozen and used later.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

My friend Mary Beth reminds me of this tasty recipe that I sent her last year.  It's adapted from a recipe from Julie Haugland, owner of Vintages, a wine store in Galesburg that often has tastings.  This salsa is great as an appetizer with chips, as well as served with your turkey.

Cranberry Salsa
adapted from a recipe from Julie Haugland

1 package fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 cup crushed pineapple in juice (drain the juice, adding some if needed for consistency)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 seeded jalapeno, finely chopped (use less if you don't like the heat)
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1 t. salt
1/2 cup sugar (or more if you want sweeter)
juice of 1/2  lime

Process in a food processor in this order:  Put in the jalapeno and chop finely.  Then put in the cranberries, roughly chopped cilantro, chunks of onion and green pepper and process until finely chopped.  Add drained pineapple, salt, sugar, and lime juice and process a bit further.  Add some pineapple juice if needed for consistency.

Great for Thanksgiving--or any time.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Low-Fat Granola

I like the taste of granola, but I never used to buy or make it because of the high calorie/fat content.  Then a friend told me it could be made with very little oil.  I did a Google search on "low-fat granola" and sure enough, it can be done!  This recipe is now a staple in our kitchen.

makes nine half-cup servings
 adapted from

4-1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/3 c. sliced almonds
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 c. apple juice (or orange juice)
1 T. vegetable oil
1 cup mixed dried fruit (e.g., raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together oatmeal, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk maple syrup, juice, and oil; pour over oatmeal mixture and stir to coat thoroughly.

Spread mixture in an even layer onto a 15x12 baking pan.  Bake for 25 minutes, stirring twice during baking time.

Cool mixture in pan before adding dried fruit.  Store in airtight container.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My one original recipe

Inspired by Kathy Loomis, who has started a second blog about cooking, in addition to her blog about quilting, I've decided to do the same. I enjoy sharing recipes, so I'll try this out as another way of sending out recipes I've enjoyed.  I would be delighted to receive your recipes too. 

Here's the one recipe that is totally my own. I made it up one day from what I had in the vegetable bin. It's really tasty.

1/2 lb. cabbage (about 1/3 of a head), sliced and cut into confetti-like shapes (that is, like dicing, but flat)
1/2 lb. carrots (about 4), chopped small or grated in the food processor
4 scallions, sliced (or about 1/3 cup red onion, diced)
1 red pepper, diced
1/3 c. currants
3/8 c. lemon juice (I squeezed one lemon, and topped up with bottled; all bottled is fine too)
1 T. sugar
1 T. sesame oil
Mix everything together and enjoy!

To copy the recipe for yourself, the simplest thing to do is to select the text of the recipe, copy, and then paste it into a Word document.
I won't usually be including photos in this blog, but I was so happy with this recipe that I took a few snapshots some months back.