Saturday, January 12, 2013

Have a Cold or the Flu? Bubbie's Soup Recipe To the Rescue!

Alright, I admit it.  I am not Jewish, I'm Irish, and I don't have a Bubbie.  However, I recently had a case of the flu that made me wish for the Bubbie I never had.  On top of having the flu which turned into a nasty case of Bronchitis/sinus infection which seems to always happen since I was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 26, I had two sets of company back to back right at the Holiday time.  Did I mention I had to travel 12 hours in a span of 3 days on top of it all?  With four kids?

All I wanted to do was go to bed, and instead I was up until past midnight every night and up again at 5 am.  To top it off, Dear husband (DH) worked 36 hours between Christmas eve and the night after Christmas.  It was torture, I tell you.

I had exactly one day after my side of the family left to clean my house, so I did what any good Irish girl would do:  I googled a recipe for the much talked about "penicillin" soup made my Jewish Grandmothers.

Here's my disclaimer:  I am positive mine isn't like your grandmothers; heck, who does make food just like Grandma used to?  Also, I couldn't find all the right products at my local food coop (I am a huge supporter of local products and companies), but I only had to substitute one product.

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So, if you have a better, more authentic recipe, I will welcome it!  Also, don't tell your Bubbie about my attempt at re-creating her soup, unless you are sending her over to my house to make it right and bring some Kugel!  Otherwise, I am claiming I was delirious with fever upon writing this!!

My soup looked absolutely nothing like the soup pictured in all the recipes I looked up, probably because I pay absolutely no attention to amounts when I tinker in the kitchen, but it was so good!  Honestly, I don't know if it was the ingredients, or if it was just that nourishing, but it is going to be my go to food to cook when someone is sick from now on.

Did it heal me immediately? No.  However, it did strengthen me, and I am convinced that all the vitamins in Bubbie's Soup helped promote healing in my body.  So whether you are sick, or not, this is just a yummy recipe to have on hand!

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My version of Bubbie's Chicken Soup

2 parsnips
2 bunches of carrots
1 large or 2 medium onions
2 large sweet potatoes
1 head of celery (I used the whole thing, just cutting off the root)
Anise greens (WHAT is this???), but I used a Fennel Bulb
6 large clothes of garlic, peeled and whole
Salt and pepper
6 chicken thighs, bone and skin on.  (I presume any part of the chicken would work fine here)
2 packages of Potstickers (I have no idea how to make Matza balls, and I wasn't in the mood to learn while sick)
LARGE Stock pot, or half the recipe!

STEPS

Bring 20 quarts of water and chicken thighs to boil.

Meanwhile peel and chop all the veggies into the same shape/size.  I cubed mine into one inch cubes, but whatever works for you is fine.

Add in all the veggies, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.

Cook for about 2 hours, or until broth has reduced to the consistency you like (some people like lots of broth while I prefer a "stoup")

Add in Potstickers and cook for 5-7 minutes, and enjoy!

So tell me, what are your go to tricks for feeling better when you are sick?  Do you have a special food, family recipe?  Feel free to share with us!




Friday, January 11, 2013

A Happy Period? Never, But it's now Better Than Ever and Green!

No matter what you call it:  Aunt Flo, Mother Nature, That time of the month, Period, or as I like to refer to it "Don't mess with Mama week" it seems to be an uncomfortable subject.  And don't even get me started on those stupid cute (we don't use the "s" word at our house, normally) commercials about having a happy period showing some teeny bopper frolicking around the beach in a white bikini.  I don't care how nice your period is, it isn't that happy.  EVER.

Why is this such a taboo subject?  I mean, it's something that happens every month of your life from the time you are 10 (if you are me) until you are done with menopause (if I understand my mother correctly)!  I say we should be able to be adults, and discuss this subject openly!   I read somewhere a while back that over a billion feminine products are disposed of yearly in our landfills, and I was devastated realizing my part in this gross number! 

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How about leaks?  Up until the last three months, I have never had a period where I didn't experience leaks. Of course, I am using products properly, but I have always had the heaviest and longest periods.  I can use a super tampon, backed up with a plus sized pad with wings, and still experience an embarrassing leak.  If the cramps, back pain, headache from Hades, and overall bloating/irritability weren't bad enough, a leak is definitely the straw that broke the camel's back, if you know what I mean!

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Oh, and did I mention I should own stock in the tampon/pad companies?  My period lasts between 7-13 days a month;  I spend a minimum of $20 on period supplies, and that is on a 7 day month!  I swear, Aunt Flo has gotten to be one costly unwanted relative, let me tell you!

I say no more!  I have officially purchased my last pad, tampon, and pantyliner ever!  You can take that one to the bank.  I have discovered a nifty product known as a menstrual cup which. has. been. a. lifesaver.  Period.  Yes, all puns intended.  I personally tried the Lunette Cynthia ,a medical-grade silicone "bell-shaped" cup that you insert in your vagina (or "pretty" as my girls call it) similar to a diaphragm.

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You can wear it for up to 12 hours without emptying it, and I haven't had one single leak!  Yes, I shouted that in relief.   

Now, if you haven't been near a vagina in a while, I am here to tell you, it's a slippery sucker for sure!  So, it might take you a minute to figure out just what fold and position for inserting the cup will work best for you.  I personally love the C-fold.

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 How do you get it out?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  For me, I put a little pressure on the bulb portion and the suction releases.  However, you can also, use the stem to help pull it out, or you can push it out the same way you do a baby, but with much less pain.  

I wash and boil mine every month after I am done using it to make sure it is perfectly clean for the next use.  The best part is for somewhere in the range of $40, you have a product that can last for years if you tend to it properly!  I can tell you I will never use another product.

Lastly, I want to mention that if you have a daughter that is nearing or at puberty age, Be Prepared Period is an invaluable source of real life information and experiences to help you have a healthier, better prepared, conversation and period!   As a matter of fact, BePreparedPeriod offers Tweet Chats, so check here to find the next chat session!  



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Almost Steak House Rolls-Best Buttery Potato Rolls you'll ever eat!

Over the past year I have shared a few roll recipes with you that I am absolutely in love with:  Chef Lynne Miller's Potato Bread (I made rolls), my quicker potato rolls, and .  While I love each recipe, I have recently landed on what Chef Guy Fieri calls a "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!"  I have combined the best attributes of several recipes to create the best "steak house" rolls.  My husband who doesn't like much of anything that I cook told me "This is it, baby, don't look any further!"  That is an official seal of approval in our home, so I thought I would share my recipe with you.  I guess since I played with the formulation of a bunch of recipes I can claim the recipe as mine, but either way, it's super yummy!


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Buttery Potato Bread/Rolls

1 largeWisconsin Potato
1 cupWhole Organic Milk
1/2 cupSugar
1 LargeFree Range Egg
3 3/4 cupsFlour
1 TspSalt
1/3 cupOrganic Butter (NOT margarine)
1/4 cupclarified organic butter
2 tbsinstant yeast (or two packs of Fleishman\'s yeast)

Steps

  1. Combine the Flour, Sugar, Salt, and Yeast in a bowl, whisking to mix. (note, if using regular yeast, bloom it according to the package instructions and add it with the wet ingredients later in the recipe)
  2. Heat the milk til Hot, not boiling about 115-120 degrees (too hot will kill the yeast, too low will take longer to rise)
  3. Melt the butter and mix in with the milk
  4. Whisk the egg to combine the yolk and white
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix and make a ball
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny
  7. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, oil the top and place plastic wrap directly on top of the dough to prevent drying and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour
  8. When dough has doubled in size, punch it down and shape into 12 equal balls.
  9. Place on a baking sheet covered in a Silpat or sprayed with cooking spray, cover, and place in warm place to rise for about an hour
  10. Brush the clarified butter over the tops of each roll and bake at 375 until golden brown, (my oven takes 15 minutes). Immediately brush each roll with the rest of the clarified butter and serve with homemade jam or apple butter!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wilton Essentials Giveaway!


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How would you like to win a great Wilton Essentials Baking set?  I know I use my Wilton pieces all the time, and it seems my collection keeps growing larger with every birthday/holiday that passes!  You can win the great set shown above just by entering here!