Okay, friends. I realize that I took a LONG hiatus from the blogging world and am quite embarrassed about it. But to be honest, I seriously have some pretty dang good excuses.
1. I became a vegetarian/almost vegan for a few months, shortly after my last post. I was very dedicated to this new lifestyle and was constantly researching it. I was trying new vegan and vegetarian recipes, some of which were very yummy, and others which were slightly less memorable! :) I felt like until I got the hang of this new lifestyle and got a good slew of recipes under my belt, that I wanted to avoid my blog, which consists of many recipes that are very far from being vegetarian.
2. A couple months into my attempted "veganism," I got pregnant. We are expecting our first baby, a baby girl, in two weeks from today! I could not be any more excited. But when that morning sickness struck me in the first trimester last summer, oh boy. I couldn't even think about eating... anything. My avid tries at successfully cooking vegan meals flopped- heck I probably stopped cooking ANYTHING for at least a month and a half due to being unable to walk in the kitchen without gagging. I think I survived on bagels & cream cheese and crackers. So nutritious; thank goodness for prenatals, right? As my morning sickness started to fade, something I feared would happen, happened: I wanted to eat meat. But this was very gradual. The thought of red meat and pork was still repulsive but I slowly warmed up to eating chicken again. As I started to cook again, I mostly cooked meatless but would include a chicken dinner perhaps once a week. Since then, I have gradually gone back to eating meat, however I still include many meatless meals for my husband and I and I still give props to anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan. It is HARD! I'm sure this is not the end of my venture into that daring world. This was actually the second time I ventured into vegetarianism, although this time lasted much longer than the first (which was only a couple weeks ha).
3. The last few months I finished my undergrad degree at Arizona State University. It was the toughest, busiest semester I've had in my college career, especially while being pregnant, but it was so worth it. I now have my degree in Dietetics! I am not a registered dietitian, however, as you must complete an internship and pass the national exam before receiving those credentials. Right now that is not on my agenda as I'm becoming a mom in 2 weeks! But I can see myself in the future pursuing something in the field of Nutrition. I LOVE nutrition. And I am a HUGE foodie (hence, this blog...). P.S. I loved my major and encourage everyone to study nutrition, it is so fascinating and there is a TON more to it than just studying food. In fact, you hardly study actual food at all. There is a ton of science involved, as well as a management/business, medical terminology, medical nutrition therapy, and more! It is amazing :)
Anyway, I will get on to the fabulous recipe I made last week! I found this Chicken soup recipe in a cookbook I got at our wedding, called "Bride and Groom: First and Forever Cookbook" by Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford.
Um, it is amazing! I had never made homemade chicken noodle before, but I think I found a new favorite! There is so much flavor here, mostly due to the roasted garlic. The recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of roasted garlic, the recipe of which is also included in the book, as I've included below. Don't sub regular garlic, it won't be the same! Roasted garlic has AMAZING flavor and the aroma that stems from the oven while it's roasting is incredible!
Roasted Garlic Chicken Noodle Soup
1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. powdered chicken bouillon, or 1 small chicken bouillon cube, plus more as needed
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup. white wine (I used water to sub)
6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 ounces egg noodles
1 T. roasted garlic, homemade or purchased (see below for recipe)
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Add the 1/2 tsp. powdered bouillon (is using cube, add after the stock) and the thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the wine (or water) and cook 2 minutes more. Add the stock, the bouillon cube, if using, the chicken, carrots and celery. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Add the egg noodles and cook until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the 1 T. roasted garlic and parsley. Just before serving, season with pepper to taste, and add more powdered bouillon and roasted garlic if necessary.
*This recipe is best made at least 1 day in advance. It will keep refrigerated for 3 days and freezes great! Allow the flavors to marry in the fridge for 1 day before serving. (I did not do this, but the cookbook suggests this).
Whole Roasted Garlic
makes 1/3 cup (I halved this recipe for the soup)
2 whole heads of garlic
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the top off each head of garlic, making a horizontal cut about 1 inch below the top. Place the bottom halves on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the tops on the bottom halves and fold the foil seal the garlic inside. Bake until the garlic is light brown and very soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let cool slightly.
To reserve garlic for later use, remove the cloves from the skins by squeezing the bottom of each clove. Place in a bowl and mash with the back of a spoon. The roasted garlic will keep, covered and refrigerated, for at least 2 weeks.
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