Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comfort Food to Start and End the Day

Two recipes tonight. Start your day with delicious scratch-made Lemon Poppyseed Muffins and end the evening with savory, comforting Chicken Noodle Soup!

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
You can use margarine in these muffins but I never do. Butter will moisten baked goods as they age, margarine will dry them. Plus why make delicious homemade food and put artificial bad-for-you stuff in it? Bleh. [steps off soapbox]

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease muffin pans or line with paper liners & set aside. Recipe will make about 12 regular muffins, 6 jumbo muffins or 18 mini muffins.

  • 1 Cup lowfat sour cream or vanilla or lemon yogurt
    zest and juice of 1 lemon
    (if using poppyseeds, soak 1 Tablespoon of them in the juice for a few minutes)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter (no substitute)
  • 3/4 C sugar
    Whisk briskly. Then add:
  • 1 C flour (I use unbleached) (you will need another cup in a minute)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    Stir until blended.
  • Then add 1 more cup flour.

    Stir until BARELY mixed in. Fill cups 2/3 full and bake 10 min. for mini, 12-14 for regular, about 20 for jumbo muffins. Loosen gently around edges from greased pans & turn out to cool. After cooling if you wish to glaze them, use juice and zest of another 1/2 lemon mixed with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze.

    Savory Chicken Noodle Soup
    If you have a leftover carcass from having baked or roast chicken, save it and the drippings for this soup. Otherwise one large chicken breast or a couple small dark meat pieces and a box of chicken broth will do! Ingredients given to suit family of 4, (larger in parentheses). This soup freezes well too!

  • Chicken carcass or pieces
  • saved drippings or 32-oz. carton of chicken broth
  • 10-oz box of frozen mixed vegetables (16oz bag for larger family)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped (whole onion)
  • 1 rib celery, sliced small (2 ribs)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (2 cloves)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage or finely crushed rosemary
  • 1 cup small pasta or tiny egg noodles (2 cups)

    Put chicken carcass & saved drippings (gel) and enough water to cover, (or chicken pieces and a 32-oz. box carton of chicken stock) in a stock pot or dutch oven & simmer (slow, tiny-bubble boil) a while.

    While chicken is simmering, chop onion, celery and mince or press garlic. Saute these in a small amount of butter, bacon or chicken drippings until soft.

    Remove chicken pieces from pot, place on plate or cutting board and shred meat off bones with 2 forks. Return meat to the pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot except the pasta. Bring back to a simmer. Once water is bubbling slightly, add the pasta. Let soup cook about 8 more minutes until pasta is tender.

    If you wish to thicken the soup, you can make a roux & add to the pot or mix 2Tablespoons cornstarch with 2tablespoons water & stir into pot.

    This is delicious served with toasted Italian bread or home-baked whole-grain bread & a mixed-green salad.