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Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Well, cold and flu season is upon us and we are feeling it hard in our household. My toddler has been sick off and on for weeks. She has a runny nose and a cough that will come and go every other week. I kind of expected her to be sick more often after starting daycare in the fall, but not this much! I’ve had a cold a couple times over the past couple months, but sometimes I don’t know if it’s a cold or just the typical congestion that comes with being pregnant. But this weekend, my husband really went down for the count. He’s congested and has completely lost his voice. He was working 14 hour days for a few days there and didn’t see our daughter for awhile. The first night when he came home in time to see her before bedtime, he tried talking to her and she lost her mind! She was so scared of his raspy voice!

I wanted to make a really healthy soup to help the whole family feel better. My toddler is still napping 2-3 hours in the middle of the day, so that gave me plenty of time to make this to enjoy for lunch and dinner that same day. There was a lot leftover so I also took some for lunch today, and I’m sure my husband will be eating some for lunch at home today as well since he’s still off sick.

If you watched my Instagram stories yesterday, I did document how I made this. One of the things I talked about was cleaning my chicken breasts. My mom does this with all of her meat, especially if she’s using it in a stew, soup or braised dish. Have you ever noticed that when you boil meat, you get impurities that rise to the top in the form of scum or foam that you have to skim off? If you clean your meat before cooking it, you won’t have as much (or any) of these impurities to skim off. What I did with my chicken breasts was give them a healthy sprinkle of salt on both sides. I have a cheap box of Windsor table salt that I use purely for this purpose. Then using my hands, I scrub the salt well into the chicken. It’s like you’re exfoliating the chicken! Then rinse the chicken well under cold water to get rid of all the salt. After doing this step, I did not have any impurities to skim off my broth at all. The chicken boiled nice and cleanly. My mom does this all the time with pork, chicken, beef, fish, etc. I must admit, that I don’t do it all the time, but I will now that I see how nice and clean and pure my broth was!

There’s also a step in this recipe to make a roux with butter, flour and a little bit of cream to make it into a creamy chicken noodle soup. I love all types of creamy soups, so I added this step. If you’re just a broth-soup type of person, just omit this step!

Give this recipe a try to kick any of your winter colds and flus!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 6-8 Cooking Time: 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 small chicken breasts (you can also use boneless chicken thighs)
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots: 2 grated and 1 sliced into half circles
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of rotini
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Clean your chicken breasts by giving them a healthy sprinkle of household table salt on both sides and scrubbing with your hands. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

2

In a large soup pot, combine 6 cups chicken broth, 5 cups water, and 1/2 tbsp of salt. Bring to a boil and add your chicken breasts. Boil uncovered for 20 minutes. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top (you shouldn't have anything thing to skim off if you've cleaned your chicken well).

3

While chicken is cooking, place a large pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp butter. Add chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add grated carrots and chopped celery and saute for another 5 minutes.

4

Remove chicken from the pot. Add the sauteed vegetables to the pot and continue to let boil gently.

5

Using two forks, shred the chicken and return to the pot.

6

Add 2 cups of dried rotini, sliced carrot, and the frozen corn to the soup pot and continue cooking at a low boil for 15 minutes.

7

(You can skip this step if you just want a broth soup, instead of a creamy soup). In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp butter. Whisk in 1/3 cup of flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add in 1 cup of the hot broth from the soup pot into the flour mixture and whisk until well blended. Add in 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and whisk until well blended. Transfer to soup pot and stir until well blended.

8

Add in 2 tbsp of dill and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook at a low boil for another 5 minutes.

9

Enjoy!!!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Weeknight Chicken Stirfry

Once a week, usually on a Thursday before I do my weekly grocery haul the next day, I go through my fridge and stirfry everything in sight. I have a habit of buying carrots, broccoli, and peppers every single week, convincing myself that I’ll make a crudite platter to snack on or that I’ll bring fresh veggies for lunch..but inevitably,  at the end of every week they are still there in the crisper, begging to be eaten. I almost always have frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, since I like to buy them in bulk from Costco or Safeway and then freeze them in bags of 3. All you need to remember is to put some chicken breasts to defrost in the fridge the night before and you can whip up this stirfry in under 30 minutes.

You can basically use any vegetable you want in this stirfry (except for cucumbers, zucchini, mushrooms or tomatoes – those have too high of a water content). I consistently use onions, peppers and carrots, and for the green vegetable I’ve used broccoli before and I used asparagus in the pictures you see in this post. You could substitute snow peas as well for the green vegetable.

Served with some hot jasmine rice, it makes for a filling and satisfying meal. My husband and I devour this stirfry and there are never any leftovers so I’m going to say that this recipe makes enough for 2 hungry people, maybe 3 people.

Give this recipe a try the next time you are looking for a quick weeknight meal!

Weeknight Chicken Stirfry

Print Recipe
Serves: 2-3 Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (on the diagonal if you're feeling fancy)
  • small broccoli crown, chopped into small florets (or substitute any hearty green vegetable - in my pics, I used asparagus)
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 sweet pepper (any colour), sliced into strips
  • a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or mirin)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions

1

In a wok or a deep frying pan over high heat, add a small amount of oil and brown the chicken in batches, sprinkling with a little soy sauce as they brown. Remove each batch of brown chicken from the wok and set aside.

2

Add a bit more oil to the wok and saute the ginger, carrots, broccoli (or asparagus), and onion for 3 minutes. Add the pepper strips, spinach leaves and chicken (along with any chicken juices).

3

In a measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Pour over the vegetables.

4

Add the oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

5

Sprinkle the sesame oil over top.

6

Serve over hot jasmine rice and enjoy!

 

Featured/ Frugal Tips/ Life & Motherhood

Christmas Shopping 2018

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I am addicted to online shopping. This addiction started during my first mat leave when it was just easier to order things online and have them delivered to my door, instead of bundling up the baby and heading out to the stores or to the mall. I started off ordering books, baby items and household items from Chapters Indigo; then I graduated to ordering household items off The Bay; and then after a few trial and errors when it came to proper sizing, I’ve now started ordering clothes and shoes off of The Bay, Banana Republic, The Gap and J.Crew.

I’ve been back at work for over a year now and I am downtown 4-5 days a week so I’ll sometimes walk to the mall during my lunch hour. However, I find that there are better deals to be found online. Also, I hate trying things on in stores. I’d rather order clothes online, and then return them if they don’t fit! Most stores (like Banana Republic or The Bay) have really easy return policies where you can just send the clothes back or even return it in person in the store.

So with the Christmas shopping season upon us, 90% of my shopping has been done online. I mean, there are always a few items that you can’t easily buy online, like wine, but for the most part, I’ve scored some amazing deals on great presents online. The majority of the purchases were made on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so if you’re on my Christmas gift list, you’re getting amazing, quality presents that I managed to get a great deal on!

Another reason why I love online shopping – Ebates!!! I mean, you guys have probably all seen Ebates commercials on TV where the actors say “get paid to shop online” or whatever, right? I know I’ve seen that commercial a million times and I’ve always just written it off and never looked into it. But then my sister told me all about it and she started getting cheques back from Ebates, so I signed up as well. I mean, you all know how I love Checkout 51 and getting cheques from that, so I thought I’d give this Ebates a try.

It’s really easy – you just sign up for an account at Ebates. And then before you shop online, go to the Ebates site first, and then click through to the online vendor that you want to shop at. Most of the online vendors that I frequent are linked on Ebates (Chapters, The Bay, Sephora, Banana Republic, etc). Then you just proceed to shop as normal, and once your order is confirmed, the vendor sends a confirmation to Ebates and you’ll get an email telling you how much cashback you’ve earned on your purchase! The cashback percentage will vary, but I’ve gotten up to 8% cashback on my purchases before. And when you spend hundreds of dollars at Sephora or Banana Republic like I do, that 8% really adds up! The cash accumulates in your Ebates account and every quarter, they’ll send you a cheque for the amount in your account! The last cheque I got was for about $35!

It is so easy. Honestly, the hardest part is to remember to go to the Ebates site first before you start shopping. I know I’ve forgotten a couple times, and I kick myself whenever I calculate the cashback that I could have earned!

If you’re ready to earn cashback on your online purchases, use my referral code below to sign up!

Click here to sign up for Ebates! 

 

(Cover photo: Free Stock Photo courtesy of picxclicx.com)