Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cooking Thursday

This is the best chicken noodle soup ever!  I've shared it here before, but I made it last week and was reminded how very good it i, and thought I should share it again.  It makes a big pot, enough for a few meals and some to share!
Give it a try, and see if you don't agree with me.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

approx. 2# whole chicken
4 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
one onion quartered
3 teaspoons chicken stock
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 bay leaves
Add all ingredients to a large soup or stock pot.  Cook until chicken is cooked through - about 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool. Pour broth through strainer to remove onions, bay leaves and any sediment. Return stock to pot.
Remove chicken from bones - discard bones and skin, and set chicken aside.

2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
2 cups uncooked frozen egg noodles*
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh rosemary
1/3 cup cooking sherry
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream

Bring stock back to a boil. Add carrots and cook for about 3 minutes, then add celery and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add egg noodles and cook as directed on package.
When noodles are done, stir in chicken, parsley, rosemary and sherry.  Then stir in parmesan and cream.
Cook for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper as desired.
*The frozen egg noodles make a big difference in the end result.  I used Reames, I'm told Granny's are also good.  If these are not available, regular noodles will also work

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

(Collecting sap for maple syrup.  Spring is coming!)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Girlie weekend

We had the girls overnight Friday night.  We didn't have anything special planned, but they are happy to just be over and play.

They love sitting with Grandpa.  Here they were watching a video about elephants.

They loved stacking these cups and knocking them down.

I got them new toothbrushes that light up.  It made brushing their teeth so fun!

 Saturday morning, Bob had to go to work, but the girls and I had fun painting and decorating rocks.  Ruby insisted she could do it by herself!  Good thing the paint washed off skin and the table.  :)

Alaina is very careful and wants to get it just right.

Here are the finished creations.

They were pretty happy with what they made.

After this we went to McDonalds for lunch, we made a few other stops and then I took them home.  They had fun and so did we!

We had one other visitor staying with us this weekend.

Heather and Andrew went away to celebrate their anniversary, so Oliver hung out with us.  He sleeps in this crazy position - all curled up with his head twisted to face up. He enjoys Bob and I, but is not a fan of Alaina and Ruby, which is very sad for them.  They just want to pet him!  When they are sleeping, he comes out to play.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Under water!

We've had a week of much warmer than usual temps, and lots of rain. This has resulted in the snow melting suddenly and the waters levels rising quickly.  In 2013 our area was hit by water levels higher than they had been in 100 years.  They are predicting levels near that height this year.
Here's a few photos taken around my area to show you some of the water.

 Here's the Grand River near our house.  The water is usually far beyond the big tree on the left.

Roads are flooded and closed.

The next 4 photos are not mine, but were posted by the city of Grand Rapids of the Grand River downtown.
The water is very high near the bridges.

 Some bridges have been closed.

 The building in the center of this picture is the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.  The water usually only goes to the midway point of what you see now.

The river runs through the center of the city and is now right against some of the buildings. There is a stairway and a path that goes along the river, next to the building on the right that is now completely under water.

Here are a few photos my SIL Aaron took that really show the amount of water in the area.

 This is a golf course!

No one is driving down this road anytime soon.

I took the girls to a park near us on Saturday.  It's incredible to see how far the river has flooded beyond it's banks.

This covered bridge is a favorite spot for photos, but no one is getting out there right now!

Here's a photo I took of Heather and Andrew at the bridge this Fall...

and here it is now!

Hopefully the river will crest without too much damage.  Our home is about a mile from the river, but is far enough away and high enough that we have never been damaged by flooding.  I feel for those who are dealing with it now.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Friday Funny!

Are you enjoying the Olympics?  This is the closest I would ever come to winning any medal!
Thanks to Linda from Simply Linda for posting this one on FB.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cooking Thursday

I'm sharing another instantpot recipe with you.  This one is a dessert, to show you that the instantpot isn't just for main dishes.  This cheesecake is so easy to make, and it's so good - a perfect creamy texture!  It's made in a little 6 inch push pan, so it's not very big - makes about 6 slices, which is enough for the two of us! This recipe is from This Old Gal.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake
  • 3/4 cup Sandwich Cookies  
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter melted
  • 1 pound Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Tiny pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 large Eggs room temperature
  • 1 large Egg Yolk room temperature
  • 8-10 Sandwich Cookies  (I used Oreo thins, you can use mint or regular)
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 Sandwich Cookies

  1. Add Sandwich Cookies and sugar to the bowl of food processor and pulse until small crumbs form.  Melt butter and add to cookie mixture. Pulse until just combined.
  2. Pour crust mixture into bottom of greased 6-inch cheesecake pan and press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Place pan with crust in freezer for 15 minutes.
  1. Blend together cream cheese, sugar, salt, heavy cream and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, until just combined. Do not over mix the eggs.
  3. Pour half the filling into the pan and top with cookies and then pour the rest of the filling into the pan.
  1. Add 1.5 cups of water to the bottom of your pressure cooker and place a trivet inside the pot.
  2. Cover the cheesecake first with a paper towel and then with a piece of aluminum foil and secure it around the sides.  Place cheesecake into pressure cooker using a sling. (Fold a strip of foil into thirds, place it under the pan and use it to lift the cheesecake in and out of the pot)
  3. Lock lid in place and close the Pressure Cooker Valve.  Cook at High Pressure for 35 minutes.
  4. When Beep sounds, allow a 12 minute natural release.
  5. After all pressure has been released, open pressure cooker and gently remove the pan.
  6. Remove the foil and paper towel and dab off any liquid that may have accumulated.
  7. The center will be a bit jiggly, but don't worry. The heat that is trapped inside will continue to cook the center while the cheesecake cools.
  1. Whisk the sour cream and sugar and spread on hot cheesecake.
  2. Cool for one hour, cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  3. Top with whole or crumbled cookies prior to serving.