Chicken broth for the soul

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Chicken broth and me have a thing. I’m not sure when it started but I’d say we’re pretty hot and heavy. Perhaps it began (cue dreamlike music) to the time when I went to Lima, Peru and helped in a local soup kitchen.

It was 2007, I was on a mission trip and one day our team went to a very poor village where, among other things, I chopped fresh herbs for the local ladies as they made chicken foot soup for the villagers. We were told not to try any food so I don’t know how it tasted but the local village men gobbled it down before they returned to work.

I am a fan of DIY chicken broth and I very much dislike canned soup. Now that I have mastered making my own chicken broth, the Hubs knows he skating on some very thin ice anytime he brings in a can of (HORRORS) soup!

Here are some reasons I like making my own chicken broth.

Healthy – I know what I put into it. Using local, in season vegetables I often get at the farmer’s market means I selected the ingredients my family is ingesting.

Easy – Basically I just dump a bunch of veggies, a chicken or a chicken carcass, garlic and spices into a pot of water, turn the heat up and just monitor their progress. I don’t measure anything and that’s something because I almost always use measuring spoons. You wash the veggies, cut off any yucky parts and let all the goodness cook and simmer together. Simply cut a head of garlic, cut the onions in half and leave the skin on, don’t peel the carrots and go on with your bad self! You will be popping your chicken broth collah in no time at all!

Cheap – Before I started making my own chicken stock, the Hubs would often have the dubious task of running to the store to get me chicken broth just as I was in the middle of cooking. Now I have frozen bags of chicken broth on hand, made from the scraps in my kitchen. I feel frugal!

Fun – It’s satisfying to create something good for my family. There have been times when I have gone a little overboard and the Hubs will say, “Hon, we have PLENTY of chicken broth!”

So here’s the recipe, if you can call it that. My OS love my chicken noodle soup and all the credit goes to the broth.

Yesterday I roasted two chickens and then put the chicken carcasses in a heavy pot. Other times I just put uncooked whole chickens into a heavy pot.

Then check your fridge and cupboards. Get some onions, a whole garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, turnips, parsnips, parsley, green peppers and onions (you don’t need all of these) and put whatever you have on hand into the pot.

Add enough water to cover all the ingredients inside. Generously add kosher salt or sea salt along with fresh ground pepper into the pot. Turn the heat to high and when it all starts to boil, turn the heat down and let the broth simmer until the veggies are nearly mushy.

Get either a large bowl or another large pot and with a colander, strain the solid ingredients from the broth. Once you have separated the liquid, you will see how rich and savory it is!

Once cooled, if you notice a layer of fat on top of the broth, simply remove it. You can freeze the broth to use later or immediately in soups, etc. The aroma of soup is permeating my house and I can’t wait to feed the Hubs and the OS tonight!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Recipe


Hi again!

I received a request for the marinated pork tenderloin recipe and am happy to oblige! If you have men in your house, they will love it! It creates a direct pathway to their heart and stomach!

One of the guys who came last night, called one of the BOBS and said, “Dude, you gotta get over here. They have MEAT! It’s amazing!” Shortly thereafter Tucker pulled up and got a plateful. I actually had to make him a plate or there wouldn’t have been any left for him!

Marinade Recipe

16 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I also use the squirty kind of ginger found in the produce aisle)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup Italian dressing

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place meat in a bowl or in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate and occasionally stir the contents. Discard marinade and place tenderloin on a hot grill. Cook until meat is done.

It’s that easy! Let me know if you try it and how it goes!

Angel food cake fun (recipe included)


p1060931Thanks to a pregnant sister who has some pretty serious food cravings these days, I made two killer birthday cakes, one for my husband, one for my mom. I have a reputation in my family for cheesecake. I don’t know what I do but my mom says that nobody can do cheesecake like me.

But for these March birthdays, Denise suggested angel food cake.

Last year I made an angel food cake and she didn’t forget how good it was. I learned a valuable lesson during my first angel food cake experience that I thought I’d share.

When you take the angel food cake out of the oven to cool, don’t, I repeat, don’t, suspend the angel food cake from a soda bottle. Trust me on this. If you do not heed my staunch warning, oh you’ll see that your beautiful angel food cake will fall in fluffy, white clumps onto your marble kitchen island. And that, my friends, is not pretty and quite shameful.

p1060928Last year, I scooped up the pieces of my destroyed dessert, placed them in a glass bowl and redeemed the whole thing with homemade whipping cream and strawberries.

I then sprinkled powdered sugar over each serving and the entire crowd was utterly silent devouring every last morsel of the crest-fallen creation.

You could have heard a pin drop last year. When no one is talking during a meal or a dessert, that’s when you know you done good.

p1060939This time, I wanted to achieve the same delicious flavor minus the flop.

Isaac was my trusty sous-chef and we made two, count em, two angel food cakes.

At first, it seemed we were going to have another problem. As Ike whipped the egg whites and such together on the first cake, nothing poofed up.

I ran upstairs and began googling “angel food cake problems” and that tasty guy kept at it. I was certain we were going to have to start all over again but to my amazement, Ike’s perseverance paid off.

My sweet OS had faithfully swirled the mixer around for almost 10 minutes, I’m not kidding, until the egg whites, cream of tartar, etc., decided to do their thing. I was thrilled!

p1060960Ike and I beheld our desserts and beamed with pride. They were purty, y’all.

As our family streamed into our house for dinner, I couldn’t wait to show them our angel food cakes.

My mom was definitely impressed to learn that 12 year old Ike was instrumental in the success of these tasty delights. Ike is going to be one fine catch some day! Ladies, watch out!

I placed the cakes on the table along with the beautiful roses I had purchased at Sam’s Club. We sang “Happy Birthday” and cut into the sticky, spongy white cake. Then I decorated each piece with fresh strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, a dollop of whipped cream and my signature dusting of powdered sugar.  I recall moments of silence and requests for another helping and Ike and I were satisfied in every way.

p1060976So you want the recipe? Here it is…


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cake flour (make sure it’s cake flour)
1 1/2 cups large egg whites (about 12) best if the eggs are room temperature
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. almond extract
1/4 t. salt

Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugar and flour, set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy.

Beat in granulated sugar, two tablespoons at a time, on high speed, adding vanilla, almond extract and salt with the last addition of sugar.

Continue beating until stiff and glossy meringue forms. Do not underbeat.

Sprinkle sugar-flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, over meringue, folding in just until sugar-flour disappears. Push batter into angel food cake pan. Cut gentle through the batter with metal spatula.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly.

Immediately turn pan upside down onto a baking rack. Let hang about two hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen side of cake with knife or long, metal spatula, remove from pan.