Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When Ingredients Ask for Recipes

Have you ever wondered down the aisle at your nearest grocery store of choice and noticed an item on the shelf you had to have? I'm not talking about junk food, though an impulse buy of Con Queso (or as my friends call it "cheesy crack") is not unheard of I'm talking about something that can't be consumed straight from the box in front of the TV. On my last trip, a small tub of ricotta called to me. I haven't actually used ricotta in a while and I didn't really have any plans on making lasagna, but I just had to have it, I'd figure out why later.

The answer came two days later when I ran across this recipe and it clicked. Cheese and Chocolate, and not a cheesecake, worthy of not just a fling, but a "relationship". I knew I had to try it. I happened to have everything on hand and it flew together really fast. Now I just need to figure out who to share it with.

Ricotta Chocolate Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Ricotta, Rum, and Orange Zest
Adapted from Gourmet via Orangette

Ricotta mixture:
1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbs dark rum
1 tsp finely grated clementine zest
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
A pinch of salt

Cupcake batter:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbs distilled white vinegar (surprising, but it works)
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp orange-flower water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 12-well muffin tins with 18 paper liners. You may not need them all, you may need more. I got 19 cupcakes, but the original said 12, so use your own judgment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ricotta mixture ingredients. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill.

Place a good-sized sieve over a large bowl, and put the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and sugar into the sieve. Shake the sieve to filter the dry ingredients through into the bowl. Whisk to combine them thoroughly.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg, vinegar, vanilla, and orange-flower water; then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl, stirring to just combine. Do not overmix.

Spoon a generous heaping tablespoon of the chocolate batter into each muffin cup. Top the chocolate batter with a rounded tablespoon of the ricotta mixture, followed by another rounded tablespoon of the chocolate batter. The instructions say that there will be enough for 12 cupcakes and too much ricotta, but I ended up with 19 cupcakes and just barely enough ricotta. Swirl each cupcake with a toothpick to marble the batter.

Bake the cupcakes in the middle of the oven until a toothpick or thin knife inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool them in the pan on a rack; then gently unmold and serve. Or pick the cupcakes out while they're still piping hot like I did and eat with a hot cup of tea. Or if you like your fingers, you can wait till they're cool.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winner and an Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup 2
It's been so wonderful to hear from all of you and there were so many wonderful ideas and suggestions, I got hungry just reading your comments. There were lots and lots of different cheesecakes, red velvet cakes, pies, cobblers, a few others that I've never heard of before (Pretzel Jello?) and lots and lots of strawberries and apples. Lindsey, your mom's orange crunch cake sounds fabulous! I also learned that the berries I used to climb trees for as a child, the ones that stained all my dresses and got me into so much trouble, those sweet childhood memory berries, do have an American counterpart: huckleberries! Thank you ikkinlala, I'll be keeping an eye out for them this summer.

While I wish I could give something to each of you for stopping by and sharing your favorites with me there is just one gift, and according to Random.org the prize goes to comment #69:
Bev, I'll be sending you an email to get your mailing info and for the rest of you, thank you for participating. I appreciate all of you stopping by and sharing your favorites with me. It has been fun and I do hope that you guys come by and visit me again some time. As a consolation prize, I give you my latest recipe find.

As I've been trying to figure out the direction of this little blog, I've been doing a lot of research. I've been going through all my favorite blogs, trying to figure out what it is that keeps me coming back and I found myself thinking that I was out of my league. But then, I thought, no one starts out fabulous, right? So I picked a few of my favorites and I started going through their first posts, hoping I'd learn from their experiences. Right now, I'm looking through Orangette's blog. I loved her book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, which I purchased a few months ago and her blog has been much of the same. She talks as if to old friends and really draws you in with her stories. And what's more, she offers countless simple and delicious recipes that are so simple and straight forward that I find myself thinking of my pantry and wondering why I haven't tried making this stuff yet. That's just how I felt when I read her post about this soup. I didn't have everything, but I did have enough to give it a go anyways, and it came out awesome! This soup is easy, healthy, yummy, comforting, filling and you should go make some right now.

Butternut Squash Soup
Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
adapted from Orangette

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 2-lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 flavorful apples, I used Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne red pepper
3/4 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup good-quality apple cider
1 quart chicken stock (vegetable works fine as well)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 freshly ground pepper, preferably white

- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the squash, apples, and onion, and stir to coat with oil.
- Sauté uncovered, stirring occasionally, for ten to fifteen minutes, or until onion is transparent.
- Stir in the mace, chili, cayenne, and cardamom, and continue cooking until the onion begins to brown.
- Add the cider. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for three minutes. Add the stock, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer the mixture, partially covered, for another 35 minutes, or until squash is tender.
- If you have an immersion blender you can just use that to puree everything in the pot. If not, you can blend the mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth, working in batches being careful to not overfill, as hot liquid could expand when machine is switched on, making a huge, burning-hot mess. Return soup to the stockpot and reduce the soup, mostly uncovered, stirring over medium-low heat until the consistency looks right to you or until you're tired of ducking from the tiny specks of boiling hot soup that will bubble up and fly all over. Stir in salt and pepper, and serve hot with or without a small dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cauliflower Love

I was told that my post about boiling an egg was lame, and I admit that it wasn't very special. I loved how the picture of the egg came out and I formed the post around it, but I'm hoping at least one of you will do the same the next time you see fresh farm eggs. You see, I've been trying to cook more recently. More importantly, I've been trying to cook healthier and I'm finding that in cooking, simple is best. I still love super complicated, many layered, dozen-dirty-bowls-minimum type cake recipes and I am still not intimidated by baking recipes that span 3 or more pages, but I know that I'd never be able to keep it up if it wasn't quick and easy, and while there's a great sense of achievement when the huge monster is complete, I'm usually wiped for at least the day or two. So I've been trying to keep things simple in the hopes that I could do this, well, forever. I was perfectly happy with the soft boiled egg, a small salad, and the gussied up Greek yogurt for dinner last night. Yummy, quick, and easily repeatable, so why not keep this up?

Mark Twain was quoted when he said that a cauliflower is just a cabbage with a college education. This quote has nothing to do with anything else that I'm going to say, but it's an awesome quote, don't you think? Okay, I'm weird, just keep going...nothing to see here.

I never gave cauliflower much thought and it was never really in my repertoire until I read and old post from the fabulous Orangette and I don't know...it just looked perfect. I picked one up at the grocery store and whipped it up for dinner tonight. The recipe couldn't have been simpler, and I only tweaked it a tiny bit. I definitely recommend you pick some up the next time you see one and give it a try. And don't be afraid of the colorful ones either. I already had mine in the fridge when I saw beautiful green and vivid purple ones at the French market today.

Cauliflower Closeup
Caramelized Cauliflower
Adapted from Orangette

1 head of cauliflower, white or green or purple
Olive oil
Fine sea salt
garlic powder (everything is better with garlic)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, and slice it top-down into ¼-inch slices, some of which will crumble. Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with plenty of olive oil and a bit of salt and a few good shakes of the garlic powder, spread it in a single layer on a heavy sheet pan (or two, if one looks crowded), and roast until golden brown and caramelized, turning bits and slices once or twice, about 25 minutes. Pile onto a plate and don't forget to share...or not :D

Oh, and don't forget, there's still the Giveaway going on, so go go go and enter. There are some wonderful desserts people are coming up with :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Boil an Egg - 101

Soft Boiled Egg

I am a little bit ashamed to admit this, but despite the fact that I love them, I don't think I've ever actually made soft boiled eggs. I know it's considered Cooking 101 (notice my casual reference to this being my 101st post), but I've never really had to do it. I think I've ever only made hard boiled eggs once, and that was almost two years ago. My mom used to make them whenever she was making deviled eggs. She'd just fish one out early, clean half of it off and wait until one of us came by, sniffing out possible treats. You know the saying about the early bird and the worm? For us it was the soft boiled egg. Still warm, and oozy inside. Yum. And its the simplest thing to make too. Just put an egg into a pot, cover with water and put on the stove. Once the water gets to a boil, wait 4 minutes (7 min if you want hard boiled), drain and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. It doesn't even warrant a recipe, it's that easy. Plus, I had these gorgeous eggs in the fridge and the cute egg cups...the time was right to boil an egg. But you know what? Even though it was delicious, it wasn't as good as the one I used to pilfer from my mom. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it's different. I'll just have to wake up really early, pop in and hope that I'm the first.

And since today was the day for laziness, dessert was almost as simple as that egg, but much more satisfying. I bought a small tub of Greek yogurt last week and it's been waiting for me to pay it some attention. Greek yogurt is not as tangy as the plain kind and is much thicker, so it was the perfect treat, topped with a sprinkle of Trader Joe's Pecan Granola, a handful of blueberries, and a drizzle of honey. Try some, it's delicious!

Greek Yogurt

Oh, and don't forget to enter the Giveaway! The competition is light, you just might win :D

Monday, February 15, 2010

Milestone, Carrots and a Giveaway

It was slow going at first. Awkward, not terribly inviting, but willing to try, explore, and bake bake bake. That was what this blog was like in the beginning and while it's no where near where it could be, I think it has grown quite a bit since the first post over a year ago and I'm always trying to improve. But today, I'm marking a milestone for Blondie's Cakes: the 100th post! Whew! It truly has been a learning experience, I've learned a ton about myself, about food, and about those of you that visited me every once in a while and left encouraging comments, thank you. I'd like to celebrate this milestone, and maybe lure some of you silent lurkers out, by having a little giveaway, but business first and treats later.

I am not a morning person and there are very few things that will get me out of bed before 10am on a weekend, but this past Saturday I had errands to run and so I got up at a very reasonable 7:30. What this meant was that I'd finally make it to the Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which is awesome! A ton of farmers and vendors set up booths every Saturday morning and you can get anything from fresh apple cider to these lovely French Cannelles, which made for a lovely breakfast:


to fresh farm raised eggs with rich orange yolks:

Fresh Eggs

to these cool looking purple carrots and beautiful shallots:

Purple Carrots

I have to admit, I've never seen purple carrots and I was drawn to them purely because of their color, but if they were even half as yummy as I thought they'd be I knew they'd make a yummy carrot salad.

My mom has been making this salad on a pretty regular basis for as far back as I can remember and I have often found myself in the kitchen next to her shredding the carrots and chatting about what's going on in my life, discussing various family news or just listening to her tell stories of her past. Sometimes I'm sad that so many eloquent phrases that come up in our conversations cannot be translated from Russian to English. The poetic qualities get lost and fall flat. But the salad needs no translations, it's quick and it's the simplest thing in the world to make:

5-6 good sized carrots
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup raisins

Wash and shred the carrots to smithereens, sprinkle with sugar and fold in the sour cream. Once everything is evenly distributed, fold in the raisins and dig in. See? I told you it was easy.

I was a little sad that the carrots weren't purple on the inside, but the salad was yummy so who cares?

Now back to the giveaway. It's my first one, and I don't have fancy shmancy kitchen gadgets to give out, but I do have a pair of these cute sundae dishes which I promise to fill with all sorts of goodies, so trust me, you will want them.

Sundae Dishes

There will be candy, cookies, tea, and jam and anything else that I'm inspired to add. I might even throw in a bottle of my limoncello if you live in a place where I'm allowed to ship it and if you are old enough.

How to win: In order to be entered into this giveaway you must leave a comment telling me what your favorite dessert is and why. It's that easy, just remember to either include a link to your site or an email address, so that I have a way to contact you if you win. I'm going to take all the comments on Friday night and pick the winner using some sort of random generation method. I might throw bones, ask strangers to pick numbers or maybe even use darts, but you can be sure that it will be totally random. Good luck, I can't wait to hear what you guys come up with!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is it too late for a resolution?

I know that it is almost two months since everyone was supposed to make life changing resolutions, but what can I say, I'm a slacker. My theory has always been: make no resolutions and you won't feel guilty when you break them, and that has worked for me in the past. Today though I found myself thinking that changes were in order. Nothing specific mind you, a person can't change overnight, but I have decided to be nicer to myself. That might seem obvious to you, but I've come to realize that about 90% of the time I put myself last. Over the years this has meant that I have barely gotten enough sleep because I was up making something or doing something for someone else. Sometimes the "tasks" were requested and I couldn't say no, but a lot of the time they were just things I thought people would like or appreciate. I planned my weeks around these projects and as a result I left me waiting on a bench miles behind, patiently waiting to be remembered and for my turn to come. Today I took the first step in that direction. It was all about me and what I wanted to do. After hitting the snooze button a few extra times I had a small bowl of cereal from this pretty box as I checked my email:


I drove to Chinatown for the parade, but stopped at the beach on the way because it just looked too pretty in the sunlight not to stop and take a few pictures:

Lake Michigan Icebergs
Snow Drifts

It was still over an hour before the parade was to start, but Chinatown was packed to the gills, so I scoped out the shops for good photo ops and popped into a bakery for a sausage bun and a winter melon moon cake:

Sausage Bun 2
Winter Mellon Moon Cake

It was too cold to just stand there and wait for the parade, so I walked around and took pictures of the tiger/dragon dancers, the drummers, the people and the floats because it'd be hard to do that once the parade started and a throng of people blocked the view:

The Red Balloons

I met up with a friend and her family right as the parade was starting and spent an hour chatting and cooing at her daughter, who was all bundled up against the cold and looked like a pouffy marshmallow:

Julia the Pink Marshmallow

The street filled up quickly and where a moment ago I had staked claim to prime curb real estate, when the drums signaled the parade was coming I found that a throng of people packed the space right in front of us. To get any shots at all I had to hoist my camera over my head and hope for the best. This one reminds me of something straight from an old karate movie(if you ignore that cell phone that is):

Chinese Dragon

My friend left after the parade, but I stayed behind for a while longer, trying to get some bubble tea, but there were too many people absolutely everywhere and since I really didn't feel like standing in line, I just walked around and watched people as they packed every space to the gills. Still not ready to call it a day I headed to downtown Evanston (where parking would be much easier) and had a late lunch at Mount Everest. I've lived here for several years now and despite hearing great things about this place, I still have never been there, which is too bad because it was lovely. I ordered a tiny cup of Turkish coffee, almost chocolatey in it's richness and full of cardamom, and a chicken kafta pita, which came perfectly moist and steamy with a subtle spicy heat that lingered. Yum! I would have taken pictures, but the pita required two hands and it was gone before I even thought of my camera.

I walked around window shopping for a while and then ducked into Argo Tea and settled into one of their cushy armchairs with a cup of tea and the book I'm currently reading: Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. This is a fabulous book for an afternoon like this, but it's probably best not to read it in public. I kept giggling and letting out loud bursts of laughter as I read, which is acceptable when you're chatting with a group of people, but makes you look a bit loony when you're all by yourself.

On my way home I picked up a small pint of ice cream and a bunch of tulips. I curled up on the couch, put on the new Bitter:Sweet - Drama CD I had just pilfered from my sister's car a few days ago (a wonderful way to seduce someone, or put yourself in a romantically inclined mood) and finished my book. I'm looking forward to more days like today.

Stay tuned, I also had time yesterday to swing by a winter market and I will be making something tomorrow from the loot.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Favorite Valentines

Being single, I was resolved to completely ignore the very existence of Valentine's Day this year. There would be no frilly valentines made or sent. There would be no cute cookies sent out to friends and handed out to strangers. I would celebrate the Lunar New Year instead. I mean, it involves explosives (fireworks), a parade of brightly dressed people carrying elaborate dragons, and once everyone is good and frozen there are freshly steamed buns and the bakery two steps away and paper cups of hot jasmine tea. Yes, there will be no sappy poetry and overpriced roses for me this year, I was content to just ignore all of it.

Instead I learned that while I might still be single, I will always have two awesome valentines. The kind that when properly fed and fortified with a glass or two of a good wine, will dissolve in giggles over a word or a gesture. The kind that are just as mesmerized by the giant wheel of Parmisiano-Reggiano into which the waiter dumps our freshly made pasta to toss, and the kind that sigh over that amazing dish of Tagliatelle as they devour it. The kind that break down into another fit of giggles when they learn that the cheese tub gets washed out with wine before being put to bed in the fridge for the night, and then contemplate other things that can/should be washed in wine for way longer then is strictly necessary. The kind that can talk about anyone and anything long enough to close down a restaurant, outlasting even the cooing couples filling the tables around them. The kind that insist on dessert even though breathing has become optional at least 20 minutes ago, and then unabashedly stare at other diner's desserts, sighing over missed opportunities. The kind that don't mind wedging themselves between two car seats and agreeing to tea and macaroons after dinner, just to be able to keep talking. The kind you can laugh with until you cry, every time. And of course, the kind that will raid your shelves and cabinets for goodies to "borrow" or steal. My valentines are my sisters and I'll pick them over a heart shaped box of chocolates every time.

Valentine Macaroons

But back to the macaroons. It could very well be that I've been reading way too much of what some might call foodie porn, but my food memory and sense of taste have been extremely sensitive as of late and I now have a slew of sensory adjectives to describe the flavors I encounter. It might also be that my house has been devoid of chocolate for too long, who knows, but a few days ago a thoughtful coworker brought back some lovely almond caramel macaroons from lunch to share with "the girls" and I'm pretty sure my eyes rolled back into my head as I tasted mine. Normally, my eyes are much better behaved then that, but the smooth shells were perfectly crisp yet tender and the filling was still cool but melted instantly like a rich ice cream on the palate. Nirvana in miniature.

Being the nice sister I am, I went back to Delightful Pastries and I bought a little over a dozen more of these cookies to share with my sisters. And while I don't have a recipe to share with you, I did want to say that I will be trying to replicate these perfect bits of heaven, but until I do, you must make your way to the French Market in Chicago and try them for yourself or share them with your Valentine. Just remember to leave some for me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Easiest Way to Deal with Extra Walnuts

No matter what interests you may have, the internet is never short on inspiration. I tried to put baking on a bit of a hiatus for a while and concentrate on other things, but when I saw this recipe, I thought it was too simple and intriguing to pass up, so I whipped it up, in literally less than an hour. It's the most unassuming looking cake I've ever made. There's no elaborate frostings, just a smear of jam (I used the plum jam I made a few months ago), and a super simple sweetened sour cream cloud on top. I took one to my parent's house for brunch to find out how it came out and both my parents asked for seconds. The cake was perfectly moist and very flavorful, with the jam adding the sweetness and the topping adding a cool, tangy contrast to the cake. Yum! I had to make it again. This time I took it to work to try out on my co-workers. Success yet again! This is definitely a keeper. Thank you Smitten Kitchen.

Walnut Cake

I did start another little experiment this weekend. Only a day or so after reading this post about these cute little miniature watermelon looking Mexican gherkins, I found them at a European grocery store next to my parent's house and decided to give them a try. I only bought enough for two jars to see how it would come out. I gave one jar to my parents and the other one I'm holding in my fridge and I should know the results in a few days. In the mean time, I've copied the two recipes for you to try below. Try them and let me know what you think.

Mexican Pickles

Walnut Jam Cake
taken from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted (in a shallow baking pan at 350°F for 10 minutes) and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup jam or preserves (Almost anything will work, I used plum)
2/3 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan, I used the flour-spiked Pam. Less messy and super easy.
- Pulse cooled walnuts and sugar in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter and process until combined, then add eggs and vanilla and process until combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and pulse just until incorporated. Spread batter in cake pan. See? I told you it was easy.
- Bake until cake is just firm to the touch and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.
- Spoon jam over cake.
- Beat heavy cream with sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until it holds soft peaks, then spoon over jam.

Basic Pickling Recipe
taken from Tea&Cookies

1 quarts water

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup canning or pickling salt (I used sea salt, hopefully that was okay)

- In a large enough saucepan, add the ingredients and bring to a strong simmer, stirring until the salt has all dissolved
- Thoroughly wash the gherkins. One of the sites I saw suggested slicing off a tiny sliver from each end of the gherkin, so I did that too. It's up to you if you want to do that as well.
- Place vegetables in an impeccably clean glass container (submerge in a pot of boiling water, or run through a dishwasher and remove hot). Add any garlic or herbs, as desired. I added a 1/4 tsp coriander to each jar along with three large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced. You can add whatever you like to yours.
- Add hot brine until it covers the vegetable entirely. No bit should break the surface of the brine.
- Cover tightly and allow to cool. I waited until the jars were room temp and the lids popped inwards and then I put the jars into fridge. You’ll want to wait a few days for the to flavor develop before eating, so that's what I'm doing now.
- Can be kept in fridge for a few months—so long as no mold, scum, spoiling occurs. Monitor regularly and discard if there is any cause for concern.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Self Medication

I don't like doctors. It's nothing I can exactly put my finger on, but I just don't like going to see one. For anything. When I get sick, which luckily isn't very often, I shuffle my sniffly self to the drug store and stare at the medicine aisle until I find something that seems to cover all my symptoms, I toss in some vitamins, make lots of tea and hope for the best. Oh yeah, I also make what my mom calls "Jewish Tylenol", also known as chicken soup. Now normally, the "make" part of that last sentence involves heating up a can of soup, because who has the energy to cook when they're truly sick? Usually not me. But yesterday I felt too sick to leave the house, so I had to figure something out on my own. Especially since all I had for lunch was a few clementines and an avocado, and soup was all that was on my mind. Don't get me wrong, I love avocado. I don't even need anything on it other then salt and pepper, see?


But that just doesn't cut it when you're sick and you want something hot and comforting. It just so happens that I had a freezer full of chicken soup makin's, and what I didn't have I could figure out a substitution for. I'm not writing this out in a recipe format because I was basically tossing stuff into the pot and hoping for the best. Pre-chopped and frozen celery, carrots, and onions I had left over from a cooking frenzy a while ago, along with two chicken quarters and I had everything I needed. I defrosted the chicken and then browned it on both sides in a large pot with a bit of olive oil. Then I filled the pot with 3/4 full of water, tossed in a tablespoon of minced garlic (it's good for you, right?), about a cup of each veggie, about a teaspoon of salt and some pepper...and then realized that there was too much stuff in the pot and it will boil over. Damn. Okay, I can fix this. I poured off about two cups of the liquid into a bowl and cranked the heat on high. Once the pot started to boil, I lowered the heat to a simmer and left the kitchen. About an hour later I remembered that there was soup on the stove and ran back. A lot of the liquid had cooked off, and the chicken was done, but otherwise everything looked good. I pulled the chicken out and poured back in the liquid I poured off earlier, adjusted the seasoning and let the soup simmer for another half hour, while I de-boned and shredded the chicken.

Chicken soup needs noodles though, right? But looking through the cupboard all I could find were udon noodles and lasagna...hmm. If you just break up the lasagna sheets, that's almost like soup noodles, right? It'll do. I tossed that into the soup and cooked it for another 20 min to make sure the thicker than normal pasta noodles cooked all the way through. I dumped the chicken back in and poured myself a bowl.

Chicken Soup

Not too bad for my first stab at chicken soup. A little slap-shod in the making, but what do you want? I was sick.

As for the curative properties, it may have been the meds or it may have been the many naps, but I'd like to think it was the soup that cured me in the end.