Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wintery Cold Day

It has been unseasonably cold and we have had temperatures lower than we normally get any year, and yes, we have had snow that stayed around more than a few hours....and yes, my children are loving it!

The boys decided that they wanted to create a snow mountain so they filled an old garbage can with snow and then the next day dumped it out to create a huge mountain.
I really have had to keep a close eye on them as the wind chills have been below zero, yikes!

So, of course when they come in, they are cold and need to thaw themselves out in front of the crackling fire.

One of our family favorites when the weather is like this is called Chicken Tortellini Soup. Here is the recipe.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

6 cups chicken broth
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or whatever you have to equal 1 cup, diced)
1 cup (or more) thinly sliced carrots
1 large onion, diced
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 cups Barilla Cheese Tortellini (dry)

Boil the chicken in 6 cups water til cooked. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Discard bones if any. I use my Bosch to thinly slice all my vegetables, all in the same bowl. Dice chicken into bite size pieces. Place chicken back in pot with broth. Add vegetables and spices, cooking til tender about 15-20 minutes. Add dry tortellini and cook 10 more minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve with fresh biscuits.

You can also dump all these ingredients (except the tortellini) in a gallon ziplock bag and freeze for a future meal. Its just as easy to make 2 as it is to make one. The second one I usually cook as a crockpot dinner, 4-5 hours on high, adding the tortellini the last 45 minutes or so.

For the biscuits, I often use Pillsbury Grands if I have them on hand. I only buy them if I can get them for $.50 cents a can or less. We have had many cans around here lately as I got a great deal on them a few weeks ago, at a BOGO sale. But if I don't have Pillsbury, I bake them from scratch. This biscuit recipe makes 2 dozen, so I refrigerate half of the dough for another time. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Angel Biscuits

5 cups unsifted flour (I usually use half unbleached white and half wheat)
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp warm water
2 cups buttermilk
1 stick butter

Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter til pea sized. Place wet/warm ingredients in Bosch bowl. Add dry ingredients and mix. For Bosch users, do not overmix. The mixture will be more wet than what you may be used to, that is ok. Don't get it too dry or your biscuits will be like rocks and too dry and crumbly. Turn onto floured surface and press to 1/4 inch thick. Place on well oiled baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Dough may be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes 2 dozen biscuits.

I hope your family enjoys this meal as much as mine does. It is warm and healthy.

Blessings, Suzie