Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chatelaine's early cooking days

We thought it would be fun to share some early pictures of Chatelaine cooking!
Here she was making her "famous" pancakes.

Here, she'd baked her entire class some miniature cupcakes and decorated them.
she was tired when she was

"Healthy-er" Twice Baked Potatoes

This is another recipe I played around with for years.
Finally, I settled on on these ingredients,
and these potatoes have converted lots of kids into broccoli-eaters!
large russet baking potatoes (1 per person)
butter (about 1 Tbsp. per potato)
cottage cheese (we use low-fat)
cheddar cheese (we use low-fat)
broccoli (steamed & chopped)
salt & pepper, to taste
Start with baking potatoes @ 350 degrees. Depending on the size of the potato, it will take 60-90 minutes to get them nice & soft inside. (the ones in the photo above took 95 minutes!!)
The skins need to be firm when you're done, so that they'll hold up as "boats" when you stuff them, so don't oil the skin or wrap in foil when you bake them.
Once the potatoes are baked, let the cool a few minutes, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the inside of the potatoes, leaving "boats" to stuff.
Add butter, salt & pepper (to taste) & cottage cheese (roughly 1/4 cup per potato) and mash together.
Chop the broccoli "trees" into super tiny bits, so that they appear more like a spice in the filling than a vegetable.
Add the chopped broccoli to the potato/cottage cheese mixture.
Add some grated cheese. Mix well.
Time to stuff your potato shells!
Fill all the potato boats till their stuffed nice and full.
You may have some left over mixture. Chatelaine likes to take the leftovers to lunch the next day! It's still super yummy, even when not stuffed in the skin.
Place in a baking dish sprayed with little cooking spray. Cover with more grated cheese.
Sometimes we sprinkle paprika on top, for color.
Serve with a yummy side salad and a smile.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beth's Special Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup

Years ago, before the internet was the everyday "go to", I searched and searched for a good chicken noodle soup recipe. You know...the kind of chicken noodle soup that's going to make you feel better when you're sick.

I just couldn't find a good one that I loved,
I made up my own by combining what I felt were the "best bits" of a couple different ones.
this is my own, original recipe!!!
We make huge pots of this every time there's a string of sickness,
and we deliver it to all the sickies. :-)
Chatelaine and I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as our family does!1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
olive oil
4 large carrots, sliced
1 large onion, diced
4 celery stalks, sliced
2-3 small zucchini, sliced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
salt, pepper & basil to taste
chicken broth *
3/4 cup dry, white wine
2-3 oz. (dry) orzo pasta **
1 - 1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh, baby spinach (optional)

* we prefer to use the 32 oz. packages of chicken broth,
(you'll need 3 for this recipe).
Of course, if you are fortunate enough to be handy at making your own,
and have some on hand, by all means, use THAT!
** you can use ANY miniature pasta, really.
Our pictures show some of the different ones we've used in this soup Start by poaching the chicken.

In a medium sauce pan, pour 1-32oz. pkg of the chicken broth (or use 4 cups of your own). Bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, then TURN OFF the heat and let chicken poach in broth for about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the poaching broth (reserve broth). Let the chicken rest/cool on a plate for shredding later.

While the chicken is poaching, start slicing your vegetables! Then, in a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, and saute until they start to soften. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, shallot & seasonings (to taste). Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are nice and soft. Add the broth used to poach the chicken, remaining 2 packages of chicken broth (or 8 cups more of your own), wine and pasta.

Increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, boiling according to directions on package for the pasta, stirring occassionally. (the boiling not only cooks the pasta, but cooks out the alcohol and concentrates the flavor of the wine....yummy!)
While the pot is boiling, shred your cooled chicken breasts.
Reduce heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken, and if you've chose to use the baby spinach, add it now also.
Serve immediately or keep on low heat. I've also transferred it to a crock pot and kept it on the warm setting until ready to serve.
We served ours with garlic toast.
Yummy! Yummy!