Category Archives: food

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe & Ramblings

Well hello, it has been a while.

This summer was ridiculously busy. I worked, I went to school, I did a study abroad. I studied french in a desperate attempt to not fail 201. I picked up a side-gig filming weddings. I drank lots of coffee. I slept little.

But I have been taking pictures! Not many, it is true, but a few. I took a few photos of the First Manassas/Bull Run Reenactment in July for work, which you can see on PWC’s flickr. One of my photos was used by the New York Post.

Also, because several people have requested it, I wrote up my standard “Throw Things in a Pot” soup, and even took photos to demonstrate the process! What novelty!

But a forewarning – my laptop kicked it. I’m working on fixing up this monster (a turn of the century iMac) but it is a slow process. It has problems running multiple programs at once. As I said, it is a slow process (ba-dum-ch!). I’ve named it Dover, mostly so I can shout “Move your bloomin’ arse!” at it and feel cultured (start at 6:40, if you please). What this means, though, is that I don’t have a computer that really can handle photoshop (very well) at the moment. So all of the following photos are unedited. Oh my goodness! This all to say, please don’t judge the yellow tones of the photos. I shot these late at night.

So, without further ado, here is the recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup!

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Here is what you’ll definitely need: Onions. Bouillon of some kind or another (usually use chicken or vegetable). Frozen/unfrozen veggies. Not pictured – butter/olive oil and a very large pot.

Here are the optional/replaceable things: Potatoes. Garlic. Pasta of some kind of another. Mustard (mine is homemade – be jealous). Beer/Ale. The stuff in this picture is Blue Moon Pale Ale, because I happened to have some. If you want a darker soup, go for a darker beer. My general go to is Guinness, mostly because I usually have some lying around. You could probably even put hard cider in, though I’ve never tried it.

Finally, a whole roasted chicken. It is not hard to roast a chicken yourself, I’m just lazy. If you don’t want to get a whole roasted chicken, feel free to cook up some chicken breasts or something. Just make sure the chicken is cooked before you throw it in the pot. Safety first, please!

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Chop all the things! By all the things, I mean the onions. I chopped about three small red onions, but a single large vidalia onion will do.

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Mm. Garlic is wonderful. I usually put in about four cloves of minced garlic, but I like a lot of garlic. Modify to suit your personal taste.

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Put butter your large pot. This is about a tablespoon of butter. Turn the heat up to about 5. Let it melt, swirling the butter around the pan to coat the bottom. If you feel like being healthy (fah!) use olive oil.

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Next, put in all of your lovely chopped onions and garlic. Stir occasionally, so they all get cooked. In between stirs, start chopping your potatoes (which I forgot to photograph, but hopefully you know how to chop potatoes). I cut up five or six small red potatoes. Three large potatoes of any variety will do, though. When the onions are done, they should start going translucent and your entire kitchen should smell marvelously onion-and-garlic-y. Mm.

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Once you are done chopping potatoes, put four heaping teaspoons/cubes of bouillon in four cups of water. Microwave it for 1:30, then stir.

Ignore the stain on the counter.

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Pour your chicken broth and potatoes into the pot with the onions and garlic. It should look something like this (but more in focus, hopefully).

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Take a big heaping tablespoon of mustard and put it in the pot too. Stir in. Enjoy the smells. Turn the heat up to about 7-8. Then set a timer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the soup starts to bubble enthusiastically (it probably will), turn the heat down a few notches (like, 5 or 6). After 15 minutes, check to see the potatoes are cooked by poking them with a fork. The tongs should slide in easily. If they are done, yay! If not, set the timer for another 5 minutes, then check again. When they are done, turn the heat back down to 5 or 6 (if it isn’t already there).

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While the potatoes are cooking, start ripping into your roasted chicken. Pull out all of the meat, and put in a separate bowl. (Note – this is Damian’s hand, not mine. Thank you.)

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Next comes the fun part – pour in the beer! All two bottles. Or cans, if that’s what you’ve got. Your soup should be smelling pretty good by now.

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Next, put all of the chicken you salvaged in the pot.

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Stir it in, and be impressed with how much this is actually starting to look like soup.

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Now, grab your noodles and put them in the pot. Stir them in. Try to completely submerge them in the liquid.

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Now pour in all your frozen veggies. Stir them in.

At this point, if you feel like the soup is too stew-like for you, put in another cup or two of chicken broth.

Let your soup sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes, check to see if the noodles are cooked.

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When you are done, this is what you will have. Doesn’t this look tasty?

Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Note – this recipe is EXTREMELY flexible. I am not even kidding. You can modify the heck out of it to your little heart’s content. People will love you, and never realize your soup repertoire is one recipe. Yep, this recipe is a gold mine. So if there is anything you see in this recipe you don’t like – take it out! Substitute something else! Go crazy! (Not too crazy. Not The Shining Crazy. But you know what I mean.) This weekend, I made a variation of this with pork meat, no pasta, a dark beer, and barbecue sauce. It was delicious! So, I say, experiment. It is good for you!

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Au Pied de Cochon

The last time I was in Paris, I ate at Au Peid de Cochon and fell in love. This was the last restaurant Julia Child ate at before she left Paris for the United States, and was apparently a favorite of hers. After I ate there, I could definitely see why. I was determined to go back.

Upon arriving in Paris, though, I determined I would save Au Pied de Cochon for my last day. After all, I had no idea where it was! Also, I was feeling lightheaded from listening to everyone speaking french. Normally, when I’m in France, my mother can translate what is going on, and all that is required of me is to say basic phrases and listen. Here, I am one of the most fluent people in my group – a terrifying thought.

So imagine my surprise when I got off at the Les Halles stop and it was right near the exit! I determined that it was a sign and went in. What followed was a glorious abundance of delicious food.

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Outside, the building looks very french and unassuming.

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But look at this food! Duck confit with zucchini.

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Straight espresso with a meringue pig.

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Finally, I ended the evening with a cranberry tart. So delicious.

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European Food Pt.I – England

While we were in London, we went to a fantastic place in Covent Gardens called Masala Zone. If you are ever in the area, and you like Indian food, I’d highly recommend it. It was one of the best places we’ve eaten so far on this trip.

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After the Indian Restaurant, we decided we wanted to try something more traditional. I think the pub was called The Alfred but I’m not entirely sure.

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Then, after a tour of the judicial building in London, we decided to stop at the Bank for a pint (or, in my case, half a pint) of beer. I fell madly in love with the walls.

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Next was the Red Lion. Located only a block from Parliament, it was a lovely place, full of MPs and staff after their shift. I felt obligated to purchase sticky toffee pudding.

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The last day we went out for Thai. The drink is Maggie’s plum tea.

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Finally, I had curry in Greenwich.

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Cupcakes!

Several (read – two) of my friends had been talking about coming over to my place to bake for a while, and today they did! We made cupcakes – Guinness Cupcakes and Coffee Cupcakes. You can’t tell the difference between them in these photos because I, brilliantly, covered them all in the same icing and sprinkles mix when they were essentially the same color to begin with. But, rest assured, they were very tasty. Even if you don’t know if you’re getting a coffee cupcake or Guinness cupcake when you pick one up.

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Food and Flowers – Necessities of Life

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Imagine eating this with onion and poppy seed bread instead of a spoon, and ta da! You know what I am having for dinner tonight.

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This is dessert. My roomie’s aunt came to visit today, and brought her two bags of oranges. This was our solution.

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This is in downtown; that’s the church steeple behind the flowers. Kind of cheesy, but I like it anyway.

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And more flowers!

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A Day of Richmond Food

I haven’t done a food post in a while, have I? Well, time to remedy that!

Last weekend I went down to Richmond with my folks to visit family friends. While there, we went to the VMFA to see the Picasso exhibit and the Ife Art in Nigera exhibit. Both were quite excellent, but neither allowed photos. Clearly, you need to go see them for yourself! I am not a Picasso sort of person (Modern Art is very much not my thing) but I went from feeling vaguely disdainful of his work to appreciative. I also think that most Sci-Fi aliens are based off on his sculptures, but that is beside the point.

While we were there, we ate a lot of very good food. This just sort of happens when you travel with my parents and their friends. It is almost as if traveling is just an excuse to eat more fabulous food. Not that I am complaining!

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I had an appetizer before this, but I forgot to take a picture (opps!). This was salmon on a bed of chickpeas and spinach. So tasty. ❤

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This was my mother’s entre. Rockfish on a bed of beans, I think. I don’t remember what the bread tentacles are.

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My mom ordered this for dessert, and I may or may not have helped her eat it. They called it a ‘chocolate pate’ – it was basically hella rich chocolate mousse with mint, berries, and fresh cream. It was very tasty.

And now you know what I had for lunch on Saturday!

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Spring Break Pt. II – Snapshots

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I cut my hair! How exciting! I actually really like it, it is remarkably refreshing.

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I also went down to UVA to hang with this lovely lady. She is one of my best friends, but since she lives far away and goes to a different school, I don’t get to see her much. So any time we hang out, it is always really exciting. Moreover, no matter how long it has been since we’ve seen each other, we always seems to pick up like it’s been no time at all.

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In short – I am kind of in love with her. 🙂

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The boy came down too!

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While visiting, we made cupcakes! They were pomegranate & blood orange cupcakes – we used this recipe. I’d highly recommend it.

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And finally, as always, I took pictures of flowers – once again, with the lenses the boy got me.  I mean, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t take an inordinate amount of macro flower-photos. But with such shiny lenses to play with, it becomes increasingly hard to resist.

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