The simplest recipe for the perfect soup

There was a time when I thought making anything homemade was more complicated and expensive than simple.  Recently, I have discovered the easiest recipe to make a heart warming soup.  Which I find a perfect comfort food for those not so perfect wintry days.   The biggest plus is that it is free.  No new groceries are required.

You will have every ingredient  needed in your refrigerator or pantry to make it.  This is the way most soups were made decades ago.  Whatever leftovers in your kitchen and what you have in your pantry can become the most delicious soup.

Here is one example of what I have used recently.  I had a chicken breast left over, some carrots, onions, a potato and enough egg noodles to make a wonderful soup.  I added water and the seasonings I like and created a very hearty,  chicken noodle soup.  Paired with any bread or crackers is very nice.

It took hardly any time at all to throw the ingredients together and I just let it simmer on the stove a bit so the flavours could develop.

I found it quite refreshing to follow my own instincts and not a written recipe.

Occasionally, I have to remind myself that sometimes the simplest of ingredients can create a perfect meal.

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First coffee chat of this year: thoughts & favourites

Happy New Year!  Let’s begin with that.  I am so excited to begin another year here on the blog.   Also, I can’t believe it is 2018.  Maybe since I was born in a year beginning with 19– I still have a hard time wrapping my head around saying 2000’s for the past well… 17 years.  Anyways, trudging on….

Yes, I have been a bit scarce here lately.  I will be posting more regularly very soon.  There seemed to be an urgent need to re-organize the kitchen, move some furniture, clean out old receipts (from yes, 2014) and de-clutter my little office area and make it my own.  I have done that and even shabby-chic’d an old desk!

I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts from over the years for you to enjoy or re-enjoy until I get things cooking and baking again in my kitchen.

The best peanut butter cookie ever!

Delicious baked camembert &  old Leipzig Gastronomy

Delicious, light, creamy and vintage Butter Cream frosting.

 

Asparagus, Basil & Parmesan Pasta

I hope you enjoy them & see you soon!

 

Coffee Chat: Dealing with Time Zones and Jet Lag

Happily…. I am back or am I?  Haha.  I just have two words for you.  “Jet Lag.”  I know better too.  I learned  from a few decades  of travel how to deal with jet lag, but did I follow my own advice this time?  Nope!  I gave in to that sweet temptation after being awake for over 24 hours  of travel and fell into an incoherent sleep too soon after arriving home.

I find, the best thing to do is not to go to sleep until your regular bedtime.  This really does work.  As hard as it is to not fall into an exhausted heap when you walk through your door.  Don’t do it!.

Of course, quality time with Kitty comes first.  Then the phone calls to let loved ones know that we arrived safely.  Next, I usually have a dinner ready to heat up.  Then comes that urge to sleep.  I work through that by cleaning up the kitchen and immediately unpacking.  By then you usually find a second wind and I personally, do not want to wake up to tripping over open suitcases on the floor and sleepily digging around to find my toothbrush or hairdryer.

Once, the unpacking is done, and items are in their right place. It is finally getting close to bedtime.  Time to take a hot shower to get rid of two days of travel grime, a hot cup of tea and finally…. the welcoming feeling of being back in your own bed.  Slumber time.

That is how I normally deal with international travel and it works when I actually do it.  I would love to know if you have a secret for dealing with  jet lag when travelling in different time zones.

It’s good to be back.  There is so much to catch up with.   So much I want to share and of course am very excited to get to our Christkindlemarkt, cookies to bake, parties to attend and my favorite thing to do, decorate our home for Christmas.    I think next time I may need to plan a bit better if we travel so close to this Holiday.

 

Out of the Office…

I don’t know when I have been so busy before.  Travel, house guests, home projects and work to name a few.  I thought it was high time I finally take some time to write this post for you.

There is no better way to say it other than… I will be Out of the Office for a while.  I have quite a bit of local and not so local travel planned and big trip too.  House guests in between.  It is a busy time for us and I feel so blessed.

I still have a delicious cake recipe to share with you from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, travel tips and a trip to the Northern Part of Germany.  Later this week I will be visiting a country I have never been to before.  Very excited for that!  Then soon, some International travel which includes yet another place I have never visited before.

This year I have gone back to journaling while traveling.  Something my Dad taught me to do as a child and of course something I did not continue doing as I grew older, unfortunately.  What a great way to save experiences as they happen and reminisce about special places.

I love taking a camera and a small journal with me lately to capture those special moments and places.

With that said, I don’t want to throw a quick post up sporadically.  I have great plans for this little space of mine on the Internet and will be back in December, ready to put those plans to fruition  and blog regularly.

Until then…

xo

Welcoming Autumn – Our Weekend

This weekend we spent quite a bit of time bicycling.  Thirty-eight kilometers, to be exact.

Here is a little peek as to how we spent our weekend.  Saturday we visited some family which live a little distance from us.  It never seems so far going there and it is mostly along bike paths,over farmland and through a quaint village.  It takes 17 km there and only a few hills to tackle in the beginning.  Although, I always forget we have to trek another 17 to get home until I hop back on my bike.  But it is still worth being able to spend time with family and every time we go, it doesn’t seem quite so far.

Yesterday when we woke up, the weather was unseasonably warm for us.  As the sun was shining so bright we hopped on the bikes again and headed to a nearby town to check out a new subdivision that is being built.

Luckily, we have amazing bike paths along little creeks.

That is actually corn ready to be harvested on the right side there.

Here is a little peek at a nearby village along the way.

I enjoy these leisurely sunday rides.  The air is so fresh, town fairly quiet as everything is closed this one day of the week.  Just like the old days in America.  People are out walking or biking like us.  There is just a nice relaxing pace to end the last day of the week.  Or here, Sunday is considered the first day of the week, but I will always think of it as the last.

As we got closer to home, I stopped to photograph and share my favorite part of our town.  This area is practically in my back yard.

A lovely place to enjoy the sounds of the birds chirping and the occasional rooster crowing.  They just harvested the corn a few days ago.  This same photo would have looked totally different then.

 

The local train even came by.  I have never gotten a photo of it before…

Finally, Happily Mr. and I.  Sitting on a little bench, soaking up the sunshine.  Sometimes we sit here and have great conversation but usually we just hold hands, listen to the simple sounds around us and just enjoy being together.

xo

 

Merken

Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out – Shortbread fail

I wanted to share one of my fails with you today because it’s just real life as I see it.  Not everything turns out perfect all the time, at least not for me.  I have begun my looming task of sifting  through my haphazardly stored hand written recipes and saw one for shortbread  I just don’t remember but it was in my handwriting.  I suspected right off the bat that there was something not quite right about it.  It required vegetable oil instead of butter.  Oh well,  I tried it anyway.  It looked okay although I do not have the correct size pan but found one that was similar.  See they look okay, they are quite flaky and do melt in your mouth ….

That is where the problem came, what an awful taste!! OMG  where did I get this recipe? Or did I write it down incorrectly?  I honestly don’t remember, I have so many!

I happily tossed this piece of paper in the recycling.  From now on, I think I will stick with shortbread recipes that require butter.

Does anyone else have a recipe fail they would like to share?  I would love to know that I’m not the only one this happens to!  🙂

A Quickie….

Ok, minds out of the gutter!   😉  I just wanted to hop on to say hello.  Today is the first day back to school after summer break here in Southern Germany.  Autumn has also arrived.  The mornings are crisp and cool, leaves are beginning to change and I am feeling quite refreshed.

Finally, I am back in the kitchen after a too hot summer.  Happily, I am replacing my tank tops and shorts for sweaters and jeans.  Well, we are not quite there yet, but soon will be and I want to be prepared.

This cooler season of Autumn feels like a fresh new start.  More so to me, than New Years.  It is my favorite time of the year, since moving overseas.

There is much planned for the upcoming months.  Travel, family visiting, baseball playoffs, hockey games, fall cleaning, a bit more simplifying, a little organizing and back to work part-time.  Don’t worry, now that I have gotten my “life” organized, I have found time to blog a bit more, finally!

It is amazing once you develop very simple routines how much time one finds to do things that make them happy and relax.  It took me a while to finally develop a routine that seems to work.  (It also helped not to be so anal and obsessive about cleaning…(my deep, dark, secret),)  Oh, and limiting tv, surfing (online, not the ocean) and much social networking, opened up a huge window of time.

A few months back, I decided to track how I spend my time.  I had taken a time-management course a long, long time ago when I was a secretary and I applied the same idea.  All I can say is, Wow!   What an eye opener.  That seemed to get me back on the right track.

This doesn’t seem like such a “Quickie” post anymore so I think I will end it here.

I enjoy beginning this new, fresh season with much new content to share with you.

 

 

Merken

Merken

Simple things – new kitchen stuff & snack cake

It obviously does not take very much to make me happy.  Case in point – Saturday I came home from TK Maxx with 2 brand new Cuisinart dish towels and a cookie sheet.

In fact, it was Happily Mr. that saw the dish towels, which were on sale for only 3€!  He actually noticed that my dish towel supply was quite sad and diminishing.

The cookie sheet – well, it’s quite an amazing story.  I did not bring any kitchen things with me when I moved overseas and they just don’t sell or use cookie sheets here.  I have been looking for an “American Style” cookie sheet for six years!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to bake my White Chocolate Chip cookie recipe for you all tomorrow using this new cookie sheet.

I am really glad they put in a TK Maxx in our small town.  Oh, in case those of you who live in America are thinking I misspelled the store name, I didn’t.  For some reason TJ Maxx is called TK Maxx over here.  I wonder what it’s called in Canada?

My other simple pleasure this past week was enjoying a slice (okay… 2) of this delicious chocolately and easy snack cake.

It so quick to make and also does not require eggs, if you prefer eggless recipes.  I found the recipe years ago here at BettyCrocker.Com.  

I was really craving something chocolate and don’t keep much in the way of snack or junk food in the house.  It was the perfect addition to a little coffee break!

Sometimes the simplest of things are just so satisfying and make a day, perfect!

Merken