Cooking Extravaganza…use up those veggies!


I decided I needed to just stay home today and stay in my jammies.  It seemed like a really great idea.   I have been pushing myself lately and I have learned that if I don’t attend to some rest time I will pay the price.   And, I had some things in the fridge I wanted to used up.

I started my cooking with this great sandwich I had seen on Pinterest.  This is such a yummy decadant over the top Sunday afternoon football type of sandwich!!!  I do not typically eat such gastronomical concoctions, but I had all the ingredients and it just sounded good.  I get bacon at Cartwright’s Meats in Grants Pass.  Apples were picked off the tree here.  Some local sourdough bread I got at the William’s Growers Market.   I didn’t need, nor would I have been able to eat, anything more.  The sandwich is plenty!!!  I also really liked Jam Hands website.  I will be visiting it again for certain.

I had roasted a whole chicken the other night and deboned it and made stock.  This was going to be the basis for my cooking today.  I wanted to make a chicken chili and a chicken and mushroom soup.

I found a recipe for chili on Allrecipes.  Cha Cha’s White Bean and Chicken Chili.  I did not have jalepeno peppers, but did have 3 bell peppers (red, green and yellow) that needed to be used.  So they were substituted in.  This is a SPICY chili.  Even without the Jalepeno’s.    Personally I don’t mind spicy, but if I make this again I will cut back on some of the pepper.  The spiciness overwhelms the mellow white beans.  But it is good and will be a nice heat help when we have cold rainy days through the next few months.  This is going in the freezer in small individual portions.

The next thing I found that I wanted to use was some mushrooms.  Then I found 2 carrots that looked lonely.  And a fennel bulb.  I started thinking and came up with a delicious NON CREAMY chicken and mushroom soup!!!

This is how it came together.

I sliced and diced 1/2 of a red onion.  I cut up the fennel bulb into small bite size pieces.  I cut the carrots into 1/4’s and then sliced, so they were small pieces.  I sauteed all of these in 2 tbspoon butter on medium heat.  I cooked them about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then I added 1 large clove garlic that had been finely diced.  I cooked them all together for another 2 minutes.

I then added another tablespoon of butter and threw in about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms.  I wasn’t careful with them.  I grabbed them and if some of them got broken that was fine.  Then I added my diced 2 cups of chicken and 4 cups of broth.  I decided a little bit of potato sounded good, and so I cut into small pieces about 6 small yukon golds.  They were small taters and Icut them into 12 pieces each.  I didn’t want them to have to cook too long since all the other roots were pretty much done.

1 teaspoon dill weed, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 chicken bouillon cube (sodium free), and the juice of a 1/3 of a lemon.  I cooked it about 20 minutes on a slow boil.

This was exactly what I wanted.  I wanted a chicken soup for if I got a cold.  I wanted a chicken soup that was mild.  I wanted to use the mushrooms.  The fennel really added a nice touch.  I am so happy how all the flavors melded into this really scrumptious delicate mushroom soup.  I will be sharing this with my immediate neighbors and asking for feedback.

Now it is after 9.  I have cleaned all the dishes.  The soups are cooling so I can put them in containers for the freezer.  I ate well through the day.  I don’t have any more vegetables that I am concerned will go to waste.

One last note:  I should have taken a picture.  I threw out the cooked chicken pieces(minus the bones) from making the stock and my girls went to town.  Almost viciously.  I don’t think I will give them chicken anything anymore.  It just seemed odd.

It was a good day.  I stayed in my jammies all day.  I didn’t see anyone.  I watched a movie in the late afternoon.  I cooked and ate great food.  There are many ways to be good to ourselves.  This was how I took care of me today.  What did you do to take care of you?

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