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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Banana Bread & Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Comfort food is always appreciated but more so when you aren't feeling well. That usually means a nice homemade bread and homemade soup here.

Banana Bread
This is the banana bread recipe I have been using almost from the time we were wed. It is a nice breakfast, desert or snack bread just perfect for using up a couple of well ripened bananas. While the original recipe calls for white flour, I've made a few modifications. Whole wheat flour gives good results so be sure to read the notes section for this recipe.
Banana Bread
source: unknown but TNT using modifications in notes section after the recipe

1 3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 c mashed bananas

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, beating after each one. And bananas and blend. Add flour mixture a bit at a time blending after each addition. Pour into a well greased loaf pan and bake at 350ºF (325ºF, convection) for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre is clean.

My notes: I use whole wheat flour, Member's Mark® Organic Sugar and add 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract.

There is nothing like homemade chicken noodle soup when you are feeling under the weather or suffering from a cold. It is packed full of nutrition and it's soothing warmth will have you feeling fit as a fiddle in no time. My homemade chicken noodle soup is made from scratch and like most of my soups there is no set recipe. The list of ingredients for the most part remains the same as does the method as it it meant to pack in a lot of nutrition. This soup does freeze nicely even with the noodles added. If you want to can this soup do not add the noodles. Essentially this soup is made in two steps. Note, I use a 15 or 20 quart stock pot depending on how much soup I want to make. Once the noodles are cooked, that will leave about two or three inches headspace in the pot.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

While this method looks complicated it really isn't. What you end up with is a wonderful homemade chicken noodle soup that will sooth both the spirit and body. Make enough to last you until you are feeling a better as it will keep a few days in the fridge. For little ones, instead of using broad egg noodles try alphabet noodles. It will be a big hit and make them feel very pampered!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
recipe by Garden Gnome

Stage 1:
2 - 4 chicken legs with backs attached
1 medium unpeeled onion, washed with both ends cut off
2 stalks celery, washed with ends lightly trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 celery heart, washed with end removed (about 4 small stalks with leaves)
2 large carrots, washed, unpeeled, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 parsnip, washed, unpeeled, cut into 2 inch pieces
two pinches coarse sea salt
water to cover

Bring these ingredients to a boil, reduce to simmer and allow to simmer and hour or more. Cool then defatted. Remove the vegetables and meat and place on burner for stock to reheat. Remove the skin from the chicken and cut the meat from the bone. Cut meat into bite size pieces and return to stock. Place the bones and vegetables (optional) into a smaller sauce pan with just enough water to cover and bring to a rolling boil. Strain. Add this liquid to your stock. Repeat if desired or add one quart of homemade stock from your freezer or canning shelf to the chicken stock and meat.

Stage 2:
2 green onions, washed and sliced thinnly (or one medium onion, chopped fine)
fresh ground pepper to taste
a pinch of coarse sea salt to taste
3 - 4 splashes of Maggi (see note!)
1 package broad egg noodles
fresh or frozen chives, chopped

Add all the ingredients tasting stock except the noodles and chives as you go. Adjust any seasoning then bring the stock and meat to a boil and stir in the noodles. I just estimate so some batches will take the full package of noodles while others won't. When noodles are cooked, ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with a dash of Maggi, a bit of fresh grated pepper and a sprinkling of chopped chives.

My Notes: Maggi contains both peanut and corn protein so do not use this if you or anyone in your family is allergic to these products. Instead substitute your favourite soy sauce. I like Kikkoman but other soy sauces will work fine. It might sound like there is a lot of onions in this soup but really their is not. The first onion adds a nice flavour, nutrients and natural colour to the stock. The second addition adds flavour and colour.

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