14 May 2011

Chicken Broccoli Cheese Soup

Wanna get this on the blog before I forget how I did it, because it's just THAT good.

Tonight I threw together dinner real quick--I've been sick all week, and now that I'm starting to feel better, my husband is sick as all get out. :( So, soup was definitely on the menu!

I'd been craving broccoli cheese soup all week, but was too sick to go out to dinner, and the deli at the market didn't have any...and yeah, canned stuff is not good to eat by itself. LMBO! Not sure why I didn't think to just make it for myself sooner....I mean, I had all the ingredients and everything on hand....likely because I was sick, though.

I just threw this together with no real plan other than to reach broccoli cheese soup status by suppertime, so there are no photos...sorry!

Here are the ingredients I used, though:

1 small onion, chopped fine

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, or leftover rotisserie chicken or or or or....I won't judge ya)

1 1/2 pounds of frozen broccoli florets (You can use pieces if you'd like, or even a mix of broccoli and cauliflower would work)

1 lb cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 lb provolone (I ordered some from the deli the other night for sandwiches, and it was cut WAY too thick for sandwiches....so I wanted to use it up...you don't really HAVE to use provolone if you don't have it on hand)

4 cups of milk

4 cups of hot water (you could absolutely use stock if you've got it on hand....I haven't been shopping all week cuz I've been sick, so water it was tonight!)

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp oil

Tabasco sauce to taste (I think I used like 10-12 dashes for a 5 qt. pot of soup? I didn't count....)

1 packet of instant mashed potatoes--The packet I had made 2 cups of prepared mashed potatoes. I know this sounds REALLY weird, but it'll help thicken it up. You don't have to use the whole packet if you don't want to...stir it in a bit at a time, wait a few mins and see how it thickens up before adding more, etc.

Old bay, fresh cracked black pepper, etc. to taste (I used about 2 tbsp of Old Bay and about 30 cranks of really coarsely ground black pepper.)

That's really it. :)

Start by putting the oil into a pan to heat up over medium heat. Chop up the onion and garlic, throw it in the oil. Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces (I did mine in about 1/2" x 1/2" cubes this time) and toss it in. Dump in the broccoli, cover and let cook for about 10 mins, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the milk and water/stock, season to your liking with Old Bay, Tabasco and black pepper. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cover. Cook till the broccoli is tender to your liking.

Meanwhile, shred up the cheddar cheese. Mix the flour with the cheddar so it doesn't get clumpy when you add it to your soup. Break the provolone into bits.

Once the broccoli is tender to your liking, add the provolone, mixing after each slice. Once the provolone is all incorporated, add the cheddar a handful at a time, stirring to melt and combine after each addition, until the cheddar is all in the pot.

Bring it back to a simmer, and add the instant potatoes to desired thickness.

Voila! Big pot o' Chicken-Broccoli-Cheese Soup!

13 May 2011

Dear Nyquil

How do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways.....

I started this week with the worst cough I have experienced in recent memory and oh, my goodness how I have been married to this bottle for the last few days. But, today I am finding myself straying....see, as the cough has dwindled, a new set of symptoms has moved into town, and I'm finding myself in falling deeper and deeper for this pretty girl's equally pretty cousin....

So, I'm so in love with these girls that I may be considering becoming a lesbian and leaving my husband and children and moving to some polygamous colony in Utah with them...

...I *REALLY* hope I feel better soon, because I'm awfully fond of my husband and children, but right now these two girls are making me happier than my husband and children ever could have, especially since they've really been making my constant migraine from all the coughing worse....

07 May 2011

Tiny Backyards in the Springtime

I think it's safe to say that it's officially Springtime in my neck of the woods. The weather has been in the 60s-low 70s for the last couple weeks straight, and it is just gorgeous outside!

This year brings a new opportunity for our family. For the first time since having children, we live in a house with a small enough backyard where we can view every square inch of it from just about every part of the first floor and half of the second floor of our house. On top of that, our exceedingly tiny yard is 100% privacy fenced with a gate that is locked from the inside as well as from the outside, so it's safe--no one is coming in, and no children are escaping. What does that mean? That means that for the first time in my children's lives, they have ultimate freedom in our back yard. They can come and go as they please, as if it's simply another room in our home.

And my children LOVE their backyard! They have a swingset, lots of outside toys, and more patio space than they know what to do with. They can run and jump and swing and climb and slide and bounce balls and jump rope and draw with chalk and dig in the dirt and blow bubbles and and and and and and...till their hearts' content. And they do. All day long. Every single day.

They come in at the end of the day exhausted. They get a bath and go to bed without so much as an ounce of fussiness almost every night. Ahhhhh, I love Spring!!!

When I looked at this house, I have to admit that I was skeptical about the size of the backyard, but it's proving to be the BEST part of this house!!