Friday, September 22, 2017

Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch

Happy first day of fall!  While I'd love to start wearing my flannel shirts, Charleston thinks it's still summer with temperatures in the 80s expected all weekend.  However, I've been dreaming about fall cooking for weeks now, so I decided to crank up the A/C and just go for it last weekend.  During the fall, I love slow cooker recipes and meals that take hours to cook over the stove that have tons of flavor.  My mom has made homemade soup my whole life, but I've never tried it.  When we bought a rotisserie chicken last weekend to use for buffalo chicken dip and chicken lasagna, I had a bunch of meat left over.  Mike suggested soup, and not only did I make the broth from scratch, but I also tried homemade egg noodles for the first time.  Let me tell you, while it's time-intensive, they're so worth it!
For the soup:
- rotisserie chicken (at least one breast of meat intact)
- 3-4 quarts of water (enough to cover the chicken in the pot)
- 1 yellow onion
- 4-5 peeled and sliced carrots
- 3 sliced stalks of celery
- 4 diced cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoons rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper (have a couple tablespoons on hand to divide and use throughout cooking)

For the noodles:
- 3 cups flour (separated into 2 cups and 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1/3 cup water

1. Place the rotisserie chicken (including all bones and skin) and 1 tablespoon of each salt and pepper in a large pot and cover with water.
2. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for one and a half hours.
3. While the soup is cooking, begin to make the noodles by combining the flour (2 cups) and salt.
4. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the egg yolks and egg.
5. Mix together the dough, by hand, until it is combined evenly (it will be very dry).
6. Add water to the dough mixture 1-2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough sticks together to form one ball.
7. Use some of the reserved flour on a flat surface to roll out the dough.  Make it as thin as possible, and use a pizza cutter to slice noodles to be 1/2 inch wide by 3-4 inches long (depending on preference).  Place the cut noodles in a bowl that is well-floured so they do not stick together.
8. After the soup broth cooks for an hour and a half, remove all bones and chicken.
9. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, an additional teaspoon of salt, and an additional tablespoon of pepper into the broth.  I choose to cut my onion in large pieces and fish it out (along with the bay leaves) at the end of cooking.
10. Bring the broth back to a boil.  When it's boiling, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for an additional 20 minutes.
11. While you're waiting, shred the chicken.
12. When the vegetables are tender, bring the soup back to a boil.  Add in the shredded chicken and start to cook the noodles by dropping them into the soup a few at a time.  Make sure to shake off excess flour before doing this.
13. Stir to make sure no noodles stick together, and allow them to cook for 4-5 minutes in the boiling soup.
14. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.
From start to finish, this recipe takes about two and a half hours, but if you're watching football and looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon, trust me, this soup is amazing.  It made enough for us (2 people) to enjoy that night as well as bring to work each day for the next week.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Anniversary Reflections: Year Three

Happy third anniversary to my love!  I cannot it's been three years since my favorite day ever.  The last year can be summed up in three ways: traveling, making our house a home, and with kickball.
In addition to making our few trips a year back home to New England to see family, we went to Oahu in January, a trip we've been dreaming out since we met, as well as took weekend trips to Sacramento, Daytona Beach, Augusta, GA, Milwaukee, Atlanta, St. Augustine, FL, Cooperstown, NY, Cleveland, and Chicago.
We worked on so many little house projects like our porch swing, a stone patio, and lots of wall art.  We even took a few anniversary photos with our neighbor, Ashleigh, earlier this month, and our home was the perfect backdrop.  I can't wait to share more of these fun photos soon!
And lastly, kickball.  It's kept us active this year, in addition to golf and tennis, and it seems fitting that we'll be playing tonight, albeit against each other.  We play on two teams on Wednesday nights, so we had to choose sides for our first round of playoffs against each other.  We did most of our celebrating on Monday night with dinner at our favorite place in Charleston, Hall's, and a spin around the neighborhood to celebrate the leather anniversary.
Mike, thank you for being my forever love.  I treasure each and every adventure together, and I cannot wait to see what the next year holds for us.  I love you, guy!

Reflections of year one ||| year two

Monday, September 18, 2017

Third Anniversary Gifts: Leather

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  We started our anniversary celebrations early (3 years this Wednesday!) with Friday night Mexican dinner, some golf on Saturday, and kickball, brunch, and football-watching on Sunday.  Every year, I love sharing inspiration for traditional wedding gifts.  
Here are my links to year one (paper) and year two (cotton).  Year three is leather, and we stretched this one a little bit with our new driveway addition of a golf cart.  It has leather seats, right?!  Well, we decided that was our gift to each other for the year (even though I had already bought Mike a little something else), and I'm so glad we did!  So because we already did gifts, I don't have to worry about spoiling mine to him (yes, he reads my blog - haha!), I thought I'd share my ideas ahead of our anniversary.
1. Coasters: We collect leather coasters from different breweries we travel to.  A fun idea would be to stash one away each time you go to a different brewery and tie them all together for one gift on your anniversary.

2. Anchor bracelet: I love gray leather!  You could go with something cheesy about being the "anchor" in your life ;)

3. Earrings: Every lady loves some jewelry, and how unique is this rose gold leather?!

4. Trinket tray: These are so versatile and we can personalized with your wedding vows.  Perfect mix of sentimental and practical.

5. His and hers watches: I gave Mike a watch as a wedding gift, but if I hadn't (and honestly I almost forgot I did), I would have gone with a watch as a gift.  I love that many can be engraved on the back, too.

6. Passport cover: This would be a great little gift to go with the traditional theme, then you could go over the top and surprise your significant with tickets somewhere awesome inside!

7. Luggage tag: Same idea as above!  Why not plan a fun trip for the two of you.

8. La-Z-Boy recliner: When Mike first said he wanted a La-Z-Boy, I seriously rolled my eyes because I thought they were all old man-looking chair.  Well, we got an awesome navy blue leather chair with a brushed nickel handle, and it's SO comfortable!

9. Golf scorecard holder: Like 6 months ago, I actually bought Mike one of these to save for our anniversary, so I did give him something other than our golf cart.  This Etsy shop is fantastic and can personalize the scorecard holders with different colors and/or embossing the leather with names or initials.  I guess he liked it because he shared it on Insta, and he never posts on social media - haha!

10. Coffee sleeve duo: Gifts you buy for someone else where you also get something for yourself are the best!  This would be awesome to keep in my purse, along with my beer koozie.

There you have it!  Anyone else have leather ideas for me to add to my list?

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