Milestone reached: my children made dinner tonight! Nate, with sous chef Theo, requested they make pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, and orange julius (I helped with the beverage). They did a fabulous job! So any of you moms out there in the trenches with just little tiny people, take hope! Someday your kids, too, will make dinner whilst you (sorta, kinda, maybe) relax.
And following on the heels of Jules' soup post, I thought I would share a newly discovered soup favorite too! Everyone in my family loves it (no small thing) and it is super affordable and healthful (double yay). I got the original recipe from All Recipes.
But here's how it all starts:
1. Buy yourself a nice whole chicken (I usually get a 5-6 pounder). Now you have a choice on cooking it--either find a good crockpot chicken recipe, or oven roast it. I prefer the taste of an oven-baked chicken personally.
2. Serve your family a great chicken dinner--but make sure they save all their bones! When all the children are tucked into their beds, scrape the pan you cooked the chicken in and put ALL the leftover chicken parts into the crockpot. (If you have lots of meat left on the chicken, remove it first for sandwiches!).
3. Into the crockpot, throw in a halved onion, some carrot, some celery (if you have any). Then fill the whole crockpot to the near-top with water. Season with whatever you like your stock to taste like--salt, pepper, celery seed, bay leaf, etc.
4. Put on low overnight. In the morning, you've got yourself a beautiful chicken stock, and base for the soup you will make tonight!
Now, time to get your Wedding Soup* on! All you need are the following ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 package thawed spinach
small noodles (mini shells or small elbows work well)
1. Make your meatballs. This takes the longest time because they have to be cute-sized (3/4 inch). Mix the ground beef with 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, 2 T Parm cheese, 1 tsp dried basil, 2 tsp onion powder.
2. Chop some carrots into rounds.
3. Thinly slice spinach.
4. Strain your chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Season it liberally to taste--it always needs more salt!
5. Add in meatballs, carrots, spinach, and noodles (however many you like, usually 1-2 cups). Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes.
6. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top and of course, with homemade bread!
*Recipe adapted from Mama's Italian Wedding Soup submitted by Lalena on All Recipes.com.
Here's a picture, but it's not that great of one. It's taken the next day, and noodles have puffed up to obscene proportions. But you can get the idea. DELICIOUS!
Easy Rule #1098: Winter + Soup= Comfort
Easy Rule #1294: Allow your kids some kitchen freedom. They may be future chefs! Or at least will be able to make more than Ramen noodles.