Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days, Matters of the Heart, Warm the Soul

Dumping Dinner: Chicken and Rice Soup

thepartysinthekitchen.me

I received this text this morning from my daughter, Charity—

Hey, Mom, we all got sick last night and were wondering if you could go to the store for us.

When my daughter says all, she is talking about a lot of people. You see, she has six children, age 10 and under. The flu at her house is serious business especially when she has it, too. So, I did what any mama/grandma would do. I brought her requested items of chicken soup, saltine crackers, and ginger ale to her front door, peeked in, hugged the one non-sick child, and said a quick prayer for their recovery on my way back to my car. Oh, man, it’s gonna be a long day over there.

I wish I had been more prepared. It would have been much more comforting to have some homemade chicken soup to take, but I didn’t have what I needed so I bought the canned instead. Now that I’m back home, I have come up with a Chicken and Rice Soup that can quickly be cooked up on the stove-top or in the crockpot. I have included directions for freezing as well. That way, when you or someone you love comes down sick, in a very short time you can have some comfort simmering away.


Chicken and Rice Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 8.5 ounce pouch shelf-stable rice or rice-mixture of your choice or 1 ½ cooked rice.

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except rice into a 6-quart crock pot then cook on low for 4 hours or until chicken breasts are cooked through. If using stove-top, simmer everything except rice until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken and shred. Stir back into soup along with rice.
  3. Serve.
  4. Enjoy!

For freezing:

Dump all ingredients except chicken broth and rice into 1 gallon freezer bag, close, label and freeze. To cook follow directions above adding 2 hours to your cooking time.

Extra:

This soup can be easily transformed into what you crave or adjusted to what you have in your pantry. Experiment and let me know how it turns out.

 

 

 

Posted in Easy Recipes for Busy Days

Dumping Dinner: Southwest Chili

thepartysinthekitchen.me

Life has been a whirlwind around my house these past few weeks with deadlines and travel.

I must apologize for neglecting you all in keeping up with my commitment to post some yummy dump dinners every week. With all the activity around here, I have depleted my own supply. So, it’s time to stock up, but before I do, here is one recipe you can dump in your crock pot right now. There is a little chopping involved, but at supper time, you will have a pot full of yumminess.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 16-ounce jars of mild salsa
  • 1 14.5- ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 14.5- ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 14.5- ounce can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 7-ounce can green chilies drained

For serving

  • Fresh grated cheddar cheese
  • Green sliced onions
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients except those for serving in a crock pot. Leave the ground beef in a chunk to cook.
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.
  3. Before serving use potato masher to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces.
  4. Serve with suggested toppings or cornbread would be delish, too.
  5. Enjoy!

To freeze before cooking.

  1. Dump all ingredients except those for serving.
  2. Label and freeze.
  3. When time to cook dump frozen meal in crock pot and cook 8-10 hours.

Don’t ever miss a post. Be sure to sign up to receive the latest recipes directly to your email. Or connect with me on Facebook at The Party’s in the Kitchen.

Tell me what you have been cooking up in your kitchen? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.

 

 

Posted in eating well, soup, Warm the Soul

Ahhh. . . Soup’s On

“But since soup mainly involves tossing everything in a pot and waiting, it’s one of my better dishes.” ― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

The signal to begin the rush has sounded. With Halloween behind us, the holidays are in sight. Posts of things we are thankful for have started hitting individual’s Facebook pages, and winter wonderlands have sprung up where the garden centers used to be. Ready, set, go! Let the busyness begin.

Perfect time to get the crock pot out and have something simmering for those days when activities and the demands of the season overwhelm us.  A pot full of deliciousness wafting its aroma all the way to the front door will be the perfect Welcome Home after a hectic day. Couple it with some good bread and a sigh just might occur.

This recipe is from my daughter, Genevieve. You won’t need your crock pot for this one because you can have it on the table in thirty minutes if you like. But there is something to be said for a soup that has been allowed to mingle for a few hours. So, either way, it will be a warm finish to your day.


Italian White Bean Soupthepartysinthekitchen.me

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper. Seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Italian seasoned turkey sausage
  • 3 cans Cannoli beans, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

In Dutch oven, sauté onion, red pepper, and carrot 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add in turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink. Add chicken stock, white beans, tomatoes, and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes.

This delicious soup is one of those recipes you can alter to what’s in your pantry. Try one of the following ideas. If you come up with other ideas, please don’t keep them a secret. Be sure to share.

Additional ideas—

Substitute ham for sausage. Omit the tomatoes and oregano. Add 1 teaspoon thyme.

Substitute chicken breast for sausage. Add a spoonful of pesto to each bowl when serving.

Omit sausage. Replace chicken stock with vegetable stock. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning.


This recipe along with a couple of other soup recipes for Creamy Potato and Roasted Tomato plus my sister’s flatbread recipe can be found in the food column, Corner Bistro, of this month’s issue of Broken But Priceless: The Magazine. I have the privilege of being the food columnist for this beautiful online magazine that brings information and encouragement to those who live with chronic illness and their caregivers. Take a peek, and pass it along to others. I learn something new from each issue.

 

Posted in The Party's in the Kitchen

The Party’s in the Kitchen

Our guests stood around the kitchen chatting. Although there were more comfortable seats elsewhere in the house, it was where they wanted to be. That’s saying something because our kitchen is small according to today’s standards. Not much space to turn around let alone gather for a meal.  Yet, here they were bowls of soup in hand enjoying each other’s company.

There is something quite endearing about that room in our homes that seems to have a heartbeat.  Things that are created within its walls are meant to nourish. In this age of so much interest of health and fitness, most of us know exactly what the word nourish means.  The idea is a pretty straight forward–To sustain with food or nutriment. Something we expect to come from a kitchen. But if we continue to read down through the remaining definitions we find that it goes way beyond providing good food.

    nour ish

  1. To supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth
  2. To cherish, foster, keep alive
  3. To strengthen, build up or promote.

These descriptions stir up in me a spiritual perspective on kitchen activity.  My sink becomes a prayer altar as I stand hands deep in soapy water while my heart reaches high up into the heavens to the One who can watch over my family. My fridge and pantry hold ingredients that will become offerings of hope in the form of a casserole to a family in crisis. And from my stove celebration meals find their way to my table (or in this case, to the hands of friends) bringing with them a festival of thanksgiving.

Life, health, growth. Cherished activity that strengthens and builds up speaks to something special cooked up here. Nourishment of all kinds is blended into whatever is created in this room.  It’s no surprise that people tend to linger where such activity takes place. I love that friends and strangers alike find it a comfortable space to gather.

So. . .Welcome to the party!  Step into my kitchen.

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
William Shakespeare


Fresh fixins to go into a pot of soup.
Fresh fixins to go into a pot of soup.

Once a month, I hold a dinner in my home. On SOUPer Friday, we share a simple meal that does indeed include soup along with bread and dessert. The food is delicious (Yes, I am boasting a bit.) but what is extraordinary about this gathering is what happens around the table.  We are friends, who have become family, as we have shared what is important to our hearts.  In our case, there is much lively conversation about ministries and missions we are involved with.  We often have someone new come to add to the conversation by sharing what is happening in their world.  It is a simple way to encourage and be encouraged through the stories of good–maybe we could even call them super— things happening in our communities and around the planet.


This is a recipe from Taste of Home that has become a favorite at our SOUPer dinners–

Tomato Basil Soup Recipe

  • 4 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 can (49 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth or 6 cups of vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 can (29 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • 5 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook carrots and onion in butter over medium low heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. In a blender, place 1/2 broth and the cooled vegetables; cover and process until blended.  Return to the Dutch oven. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and remaining broth.
  3. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for thirty minutes.  Reduce to low. Gradually stir in evaporated milk; heat through (do not boil).  Yield: 6 servings (2 1/4 quarts)
  4. Enjoy!