Friday, January 24, 2014

Cure for Cabin Fever!

Will this winter ever end?  Hear on the eastern seaboard, the winter of 2013-2014 has been BRUTAL!!!  From major snow storms to bitterly cold days, it's just been rough!

Some nice, warm soup hits the spot in so many ways.  This is an Irish twist on Jewish Penicillin (Chicken Soup).  Gone are the Matzo Balls, replaced by vegetables and added is a little skim milk.  All in all, this is a great update that will bring some comfort for this cold, gray days.

Irish Chicken Soup

2 lbs. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Cups Slices and coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 Cups Baby Carrots cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 Cup Diced Onions
1 Cup Celery chopped
6 Cups Water
1 Tbs. Kosher Salt
1 Tbs. Fresh ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Cup Brown Minute Rice
2 Tbs. Fresh Basil chopped
2 Tbs. Fresh Parsley chopped
1 Sprig Rosemary, needles removed and chopped
1 Cup Skim Milk
1 Tbs. Corn Starch
2 Chicken Bouillon cubes


In a large dutch oven, place 6 cups of water and chicken breasts.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove chicken from water and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Remove 1 cup of water and place bouillon cubes in boiling water.  Allow cubes to soften for 5 minutes then crush with a fork and mix thoroughly.  Add bouillon water back into dutch oven with water from boiling chicken.  Add chicken cubes back in to water.  Add carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms and all spices and herbs in to pot and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.  In a large measuring cup, measure out milk and whisk in corn starch.  Add milk and corn starch to soup slowly while stirring it in.   Continue to simmer soup an additional 20 to 30 minutes.  

Serves 6 to 8.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

    • For cupcakes:
    • 6 oz. unsalted butter, melted (you can use salted butter if you really like a sweet/salty combination)
    • 1 c. + 2 tbs. cake flour
    • ½ c. + 2 tbs. sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
    • ¼ c. sour cream
    • 2 large eggs
    • Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
    • 8 tbs. butter, softened
    • 2 c. confectioners’ sugar
    • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
    • 1-2 tbs. milk
    • A few drops of food coloring of choice if desired

Melt butter and set aside to cool.  You want the butter pourable but not steaming hot.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
In a 12 cupcake pan, place cupcake papers.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together flower sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add Vanilla extract.  Slowly add sour cream and melted butter.  Add eggs one at a time.  Mix until just combined so that the cupcakes will be light and fluffy. 
Fill cupcake papers 2/3 full.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.  

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar.  Add Vanilla and milk.  Mix on a high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until very creamy and well blended. 
Ice cupcakes using spatula or a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12

Here's a way to transport your cupcakes:

This way they won't get crushed and the icing will stay in place. 

Friday, January 10, 2014 REVIEW

I haven't done a review in a very long time, but this website is one that really deserves a great review! 

I ordered my grandson a backpack for Christmas.  It is a firetruck with his name embroidered on it.  Well, after I ordered it and it was shipped, I realized that was a mistake!  He takes his backpack everywhere because he needs his Epi Pen and his inhaler with him at all times.  I never got things personalized for my kids when they were little because I didn't want a stranger to be able to call them by name.  Duh!  Grammy!  So, my daughter and son-in-law feel the same way about it. 

I wanted to get the same backpack without personalization, but that wasn't an option.  So I did a search for a firetruck backpack and I hit on the website.  Their prices are amazing!!! 

So I found this backpack:

Now, I paid $30 for the personalized backpack before shipping and I thought that was a very good price.  This one?  The price is $8.24!!!  With the shipping I think the total was $15!!!  I told you the prices were amazing!!! 

So, that was all great and I was patting myself on the back for finding such a bargain.  Well, you will never guess what happened next!  Nope!  You will absolutely not believe this one!  It arrived the next day!!!!  THE NEXT DAY!!!  I didn't pay for overnight shipping, it just came overnight.  Amazing!!! 

I have paid for expedited shipping before and not gotten something so quickly. 

Please, if you have kids, do yourself a favor and check out this website.