How To Make Chicken Broth In A Crock Pot

I have a confession to make (I wonder how many blog posts I’ve started with that statement–I always feel like I’m confessing something here).

I haven’t always made good use of my leftover chicken bones.

In fact, I used to let my cat eat them (I think at least a hundred of you just unsubscribed from my blog–Uh oh). Well, not the actual bones, but the carcass. In college, my cat and I used to split a rotisserie chicken. This explanation isn’t making things any better is it? I feel like there is no way that I can not sound like a decidedly gross cat lady. To be fair, I was nineteen and lived alone with a slightly bossy (and always hungry) feline roommate. This isn’t making anything better. At all. I should probably erase this entire paragraph, but I shall leave it in the spirit of truth telling and friendship. […]

Mom’s Super Healing Chicken Stew

Fact: There are times in life when you need your Mama-Bear, no matter how old you are.

Fact: Yes, I sometimes refer to my Mom as Mama-Bear. No one should look surprised. Does she call me Baby-Bear in return? Maybe. Am I nearly thirty years old? Affirmative. Just go with it.

Fact: Mama-Bears are really good at making ordinary food taste like liquid gold.

For example, while I was under the weather this past weekend my Mom whipped me up a chicken stew that tasted like fifty billion liquid hugs. I’m not kidding. It tasted like growing up, and all the times I had the sniffles. It smelled like my grandmother’s kitchen on a wintry day. Through the scent of it bubbling on the stove came the memories, through the memories came the feelings of familiarity and warmth, and through that warmth came a deep feeling of love. Who ever thinks love is not a legit ingredient in cooking is wrong. Or, maybe they’ve just never tasted a Mama-Bear’s chicken stew. That’s okay. I’ll show you how it’s done. […]

Fiesta Chicken Soup {Gluten-Free & Paleo Option}

Sometimes you have a day where you make exactly two pans of failed brownies. This happens. It’s a hazard of the trade. It’s my job to fail at these things so y’all don’t have to. I get it. It can just be kind of heart-breaking to pull a freshly baked batch of brownies out of the oven, cut yourself a slice, put the fork into your mouth and then… *gag*.  Maybe squash was a bad choice. I admit it. Chocolate + Squash isn’t the brownie dream team. Lesson learned.

After my squash-tastrophe, I really needed a recipe WIN!  I set aside the remnants of Browniegate and started making some soup. Soup is comforting. Soup is kind. Soup will warm you up and hug you on the inside. I needed an inside hug. Sounds creepy, but I stand by my statement.  This Fiesta Soup is a total inside liquid tummy hug. The spices are warming, the chicken is tender. The soup gains a little thickness with the aid of some corn tortillas. If you are Paleo, feel free to leave them out. The flavor of the soup will still be just as good, you will just lose a little bit of the heft. Top it off with some avocado, sour cream, raw cheddar and scallions! Heck to the yes. Par-tay in a bowl!! So. Much. Better. Than. Squash. Brownies. […]

Lentil Soup With Lemon Yogurt Cream

As long as I can remember I have been a fan of lentil soup.

When I was younger I would heat up a can of Progresso, cook pasta shells in it, and then proceed to dump at least a quarter-bottle of grated Parmesan into the mix. This is not an exaggeration. You know how the bottle has two settings? One of them is the sensible trio of holes that will simply dust your food with a socially acceptable amount of cheese, the other is one gaping hole that is intended for quick and sudden evacuation for large amounts of cheese. I used the gaping hole side. This dish is what my Italian father dubbed “Pasta Fazool.” It was simple and tasty and I am sure that our Great Italian Grandmother is rolling over in her grave somewhere at the thought of us using canned soup and buckets of pre-grated Parm.

For a long time this satisfied me. Opening up cans, dumping the contents, saturating the finished product with buckets of gritty cheese. This got me through most of college… along with a suspicious amount of turkey sandwiches and vodka. Then, one year I got bit by the soup bug. I am sure this was during the first year that I started teaching. I was constantly sick. I started making soup from scratch and it was a revelation. I experimented with everything from chicken noodle, beef stew, chicken and rice, spicy sausage soup with spinach and of course lentil. […]