Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

I thought now is the perfect time with all this flu talk to whip out my Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe.  It's my kids absolute favorite soup.  It lasts for about 2 1/2 days in the refrigerator and I never have enough to freeze because it is eaten in my house so quickly.  I like basics and this recipe is certainly back to the basics.  It's healing powers are the best there is to offer and it tastes delicious.  How can you go wrong?  We make this when any member of the family falls ill, and we make it when we are healthy because it just tastes so darn good plus it's comforting.  Everyone can certainly use a little comforting!

Let's start off with the ingredients for the recipe.  Remember I said basics!  I prefer to get as much organic as I can.

whole chicken 
6 stalks of celery (I clean my veggies with GSE grapefruit seed extract, rinsed and chopped.)
1/2 of a white onion (chopped)
1 big clove of garlic (minced)
salt (I prefer sea salt.)
poultry seasoning
hot sauce
flour (I use unbleached all-purpose flour.)
4 eggs

First gather all ingredients.  I like to have everything sitting on the counter together in a group before I begin.


Rinse the chicken.  I pull out the bag of innards to boil for my husband.  It's all his...he can have it.  Then rinse outside and inside of chicken well.  Clip off the dangling lower part of the chicken that my Grandma used to call the stoots and throw it away.  Place chicken inside of the empty stockpot.  Pour water over the chicken until it is mostly submersed.  I usually go about a little more than half full.  

Now dump in the chopped celery and chopped onions and 1 big clove of minced garlic.  Sprinkle in all of your seasonings.  I do not have measurements here I simply go by what feels good to me.  I use very little salt like a few dashes and then once I serve the soup everyone is allowed to sprinkle in a little extra salt on their own for taste.  Salt (very little), pepper, paprika and poultry seasoning.  I love Penzeys brand of poultry seasoning.  If you have a Penzeys near you I highly recommend their seasonings.  It's such a fun shop to visit.  If you don't have one near you then you can always order online.  To go to their website click on Penzeys Spices.  Best spices ever!  Also add parsley and about 3 to 5 drops of hot sauce.  If you are ill these spices all together plus the combination of celery and onion will provide such healing powers and get that nose running which is a good thing people!

Now, askew the lid and let steam come out. Get it to a high and let it get to a boil.  Then turn it down to medium low heat.  You want it to bubble a little and cook for 30 minutes.  Then turn of the burner and take the stockpot off the burner and put the lid on real tight.  Let it cook in the hot water for another 30 minutes in the broth.

While this is cooking it is time to make the noodles.  I use 4 eggs.  Beat eggs in a bowl and add flour gradually until it gets to a perfect place for kneading.  You'll get a nice round ball.  Roll out on a floured surface to however thin you like your noodles and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips about 2 1/2 inches long.  It's however you like your noodles.  I like mine to be thinner strips but some people like big thick noodles.  Eye it and with practice you'll eventually get your desired noodles.

Take chicken out and place in a large bowl and be really careful with the bones.  I always take a large spoon and search for anything that may have dropped into the soup.  Cover the chicken with a plate and let it cool before deboning.  Now you have your broth.  Turn back on the heat and set at a low boil and drop in your noodles for about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add all of the seasonings again to taste.  Cut up chicken meat remove all bones.  Be careful to not let any bones into the soup.  Gently stir in the cut up chicken meat after the noodles are cooked.  Cover and set aside.  Ready to eat!  Ready to heal!


On a side note with the other half of the onion I put it face up in a bowl and put in the room where the sickies are.  The onion honest to goodness just sitting in the room absorbs infection floating in the air.  I'm a believer.

Hope you are all staying very healthy and well!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thank you Rachael Ray!

Where to begin?  Well it's a long story that happened 12 years ago so I'll make it as quick as I can.  I rescued this dog you see here one evening on a dirt road out in the country.  She was lying flat on her belly with her head resting on the grass and the rest of her body on the road.  I thought she was dead but something told me to get out of the car and see if she was still alive.  I've never been good about just driving on by.  I saw that she was breathing and decided to pick her up and put her in the car.  She lifted her head up to give a faint growl and then she passed out.  It was too late at night to take her anywhere so I took her home.  She was too weak to chew so I took some dog food and soaked it in water to make it a little easier.  She lapped it up like crazy.  On her skeletal body she had nearly 500 ticks and was covered in fleas.  

In the morning she was gaining strength and she spent some time trying to walk again.  We helped her and encouraged her but didn't push her.  I knew in time she'd recover.  At the vet I was told that had I not found her that night on the road she would have just died there.  She only had about three hours left to live judging by what the vet could see of her condition.  The vet also told me that she was going to be a good dog for a very lucky family.  I could sense that about her.  She was so loving even after you could see all of the neglect she had previously endured.  I was very active in rescue and fostering back then and believed I'd find a good home for her.  They did lab work on her and I took her home to continue the rehabilitation process.

A week after her first veterinary appointment  I received a very sad phone call from the vet.  She tested positive for breast cancer and had rapidly growing cancer cells inside of her body.  They told me she only had three months to live if that.  I sat on the floor and sobbed.  I decided I would keep her because how could I give a good family a sweet dying dog.  I decided to love her and take care of her for however long time would allow.  Well..here we are 12 years later!

Her name is Kaya and she is believed to be a German Shepherd/Chow mix.  Whatever she is she has proven to be the most loyal, kind, caring, loving dog I have ever known.  I had her before I met my husband and way before children came along.  She is loving to every single member of our family and she protects us.  If two people were ever arguing in a room that she was in she would place her body in between the two people.  To this day she still kisses my hand when I feed her a meal.  That makes me tear up.  She's thanking me and has been showing me her gratitude for every meal of every day since the day I rescued her on that dark lonely dirt road.

Okay so now to explain the title of my post which reads... Thank you Rachael Ray!  A year ago Kaya started getting sick on us.  She had skin around her eye that made it swollen and was always draining and red.  She had itchy skin and it was miserable.  Miserable for her and miserable for us.  Miserable watching her suffer.  Watching and hearing the constant scratching.  We took her to a vet but for Kaya everything they were giving her would only help for a short time.  We decided to work on her diet.  We tried everything.  We went to all the best pet stores and bought the most expensive and best dog foods and nothing was helping.  Scratching, scratching and more scratching.  So much scratching she was making herself bald.  

Three months ago I told my husband to go to the store and get Kaya some food.  Instead of going to the usual pet store he went to our local Kroger grocery store and as he was walking down the aisle reading labels he found Rachael Ray's Nutrish Just 6 dog food.  He called me up and read the label to me and I said quote, "Just get it.  What do we have to lose?"  Well we had everything to gain.  I'm so happy to report that after a few months our Kaya has all the hair back on her body that she previously had scratched off.  She has hair on her rump again, on her tail and on her legs.  As for the skin around her eye there are hardly any problems there.  If I feel she is having any problems in that area I give her a few tablets of Benadryl.  She scratches now and then but it is nothing like what we went through for a year.  

I was so relieved.  I am so grateful.  A year ago I was devastated thinking this beautiful dog who gave our family so many great years is going to suffer at the very end of her life.  She deserves better than that.  She's old.  She's tired.  Every now and then she'll run around the house chasing the kids like she's five years old and then plops down to recover because she's reminded that she's not a spring chicken anymore.  We see the gray in her face that's around her eyes and around her muzzle, and we know we don't have much longer with her.  I will say it again.... Thank you Rachael Ray and thank you to all of the people behind the scenes who have helped create Nutrish Just 6.  Thank you for creating a dog food that will give our dog a pleasant and comfortable existence until the day we have to say goodbye.  You've given us a true gift.

The dog food we feed Kaya is Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 Limited Ingredient Recipe Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Recipe.  The 6 ingredients are lamb meal, brown rice, ground rice, beet pulp, poultry fat and natural chicken flavor plus added vitamins and minerals.  To check out all of Rachael Ray's Nutrish products please click here.  Also proceeds go to an organization called Rachael's Rescue.  The proceeds from Nutrish will go to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals.  To learn more about that click on Rachael's Rescue.

Just a side note here this may not heal your animal with a similar condition and may not work for you like it did for us.  I am simply sharing our success story and certainly hope that our experience could potentially help others.  Consultation with your vet is still very much advised and trusting your own gut on this issue.  If you have tried everything and nothing has worked and you feel like it's hopeless...What have you got to lose?            

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Murder Mystery Toile

For those of you who love a good mystery this week's contest at Spoonflower is the Murder Mystery Toile.  Toile de Jouy is a type of textile design popularized in the 18th century that usually depicts a complex scene.  It is often times pastoral and arranged in a repeating pattern that has a white or off-white background printed in dark blue, black or red. 

My design is called Clue in the Garden.  It is a spin off of the famous Clue game.  The characters in my piece are Miss Scarlet Fly, Mr. Green Frog, Mrs. Ladybug White, Colonel Mustard Bee, Mrs. Peacock Butterfly and Professor Plum Snail.  In my not so complex scene the answer to this mystery is revealed that it was indeed Miss Scarlet Fly in the garden with the knife!!  The Venus Fly Trap never saw it coming!  If you would like to see details of this design please click here


If you would like to vote in this week's contest please click here.  You do not have to be a member to vote and you can vote for as many as you like.

I love Clue the movie and the board game.  If you somehow missed the movie you've got to check it out!  It was made in 1985 with some very talented actors like Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd and Madeline Kahn just to name a few.  Hilarious fun!        

Thursday, January 10, 2013


After a bit of a break from the Spoonflower Contests I am back in with a design for the Zodiac Contest.  This design features all 12 of the Zodiac signs.  I titled this piece Sew My Sign.  

I'm a Pisces and so my sign in every way.  They say we are dreamers and I would have to agree with that.  The past couple of weeks have been me dreaming about more designs and books to create and even performing on stage again.  Dreaming is fine and dandy but now it's time to get to work.  It is the New Year and it's time to make things happen.  I wrote my list of the top ten things I want to see happen for me in the year, and a friend also told me about choosing one word for the year and focusing on that.  I really liked that idea.  It is kind of a different take on the whole New Year resolution thing.  It does feel good to be back into the swing of things.  I hope that all of you had a wonderful time over the holidays.  Oh and I have to ask because it's just so much fun saying it....What's your sign? ;-)  To all the signs of the Zodiac I wish you much success and happiness in the New Year!