Few things taste more comforting than homemade chicken noodle soup on a chilly autumn day. I followed my mom's recipe to make this delicious soup for dinner with friends last week. Soup is great for get togethers because it is convenient to keep warm, easy to eat and almost universally loved. Here's how I made it:
Begin by placing a whole chicken (insides removed) in a large stock pot with some halved carrots and celery stalks, quartered onions, garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, sprigs of thyme basil, oregano and salt. Cover just barely with water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface for any impurities floating around. Reduce the heat to med-low, cover and allow to simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours depending on the size of your bird.
For the noodles, start with a couple cups of flour. I used cake flour because I was out of all purpose, which is normally what you would use. Cake flour worked well, though! I suspect the fineness of the flour prevented the dough from rising, which is great because puffy noodles are weird, unless that's what you're going for. Next, mix a teaspoon of salt into the flour mixture.
Make a well (dig out a hole in the middle of the bowl, piling spoonfuls of flour mixture along the sides of the bowl until a nice well forms in the middle) and crack three eggs into it. Beat the eggs with a fork and then start incorporating the flour mixture. Do this gradually. At some point, you will need to use your hands to mix/knead. Keep adding flour until it won't take anymore. You can knead it in the bowl or on a floured surface, about five minutes. Let the dough rest for a few minutes before rolling it out.
Cut the ball of dough in half and roll each section out separately- this helps with getting it as thin as possible.
Roll the noodle dough up like a jelly roll.
Cut off pieces of any width you like and unroll them to make long noodle strands.
Dry them on a tea towel for a few hours and then they're ready to boil! Some of my noodles had funny shapes like zig zags because I didn't roll my dough into a perfect rectangle (or a rectangle at all, let's be honest) so if that bothers you, roll your dough out to have four right angles and you'll be good to go.
By now, the chicken should be done, so remove it and let it cool. Strain the broth with a fine sieve and reserve the strained liquid. Once the chicken is cool, shred it into pieces using two forks, removing skin and bones. Set aside.
Add fresh chopped carrots, celery, onion and herbs to a pan and saute in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for about 6 minutes until vegetables start to soften but are still crunchy.
Add the strained broth to the vegetables and bring to a boil, then drop in the noodles a couple at a time. Keep tasting the noodles to see when they're ready- mine took about eight minutes. Reduce the heat when the noodles are done and add the chicken. Adjust seasoning to your liking- I added a generous about of Lawry's seasoning to mine. Warm and serve!
|My Lydia Deetz costume|
|Candy for the trick-or-treaters. We had about 140 this year!|
|Candy corn painted cream cheese wedges|
I used a paintbrush to make orange and yellow stripes on these laughing cow cheese wedges. The sugar cookies are made with this recipe, but I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose.
|Pumpkin Eclair Cake|
It's super easy to make and really good:
Mix two boxes of vanilla pudding mix with three cups of milk
Add half a can of pumpkin puree
Fold in a container of whipped topping
Layer graham crackers, slightly overlapping, on the bottom of a serving dish, to form the first layer.
Spoon a layer of pumpkin mixture on top of the graham crackers, then repeat the process until the pan is full. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.
Finally, cut out leaf stencils and lay them on the cake. Dust a mixture of cocoa and hot cocoa mix over the stencils and then peel them off to reveal the leaf pattern.