Chicken Noodle Soup using leftovers

Who does not love using leftovers to create a completely different meal? I’ll put my hand up for that.

In this day and age we live in a time where there is hardly any. Work hours are getting longer and with the power of connecting to the internet from just about anywhere in the world, work is no longer from 9 – 5pm. So in saying all of this using leftovers to not have the same meal two nights in a row is a win.

A few posts back I found a recipe to make delicious and easy mexican chicken (https://becconquest.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/shredded-chicken-for-burritos/), I have since made it again and the last time had a fair bit left over, so this is where my latest creation came from.

This recipe is literally just ingredients thrown into a pot and surprisingly it worked and tasted delicious. Next time I would suggest adding sweetcorn, mushrooms or spring onions using either all or separately to mix the flavour up.

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NOTE: If chicken is not in juice place it in 500ml chicken stock.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 2 – 3

Leftover Shredded Chicken in Juices (about 500g)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Packet of Chicken Noodle Soup
100g Rice Noodles

Saute chopped onions in olive oil until soft.

Add chicken in juices to large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Add chicken noodle soup mix followed by the rice noodles.

Stir through until noodles are soft.

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Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

There was some turkey mince in the freezer so I decided to make some meatballs. I haven’t used turkey before I always use sausage mince in a simple recipe my Nanny uses which I also love to make. It uses three ingredients and is great for a quick meal to pull out of the freezer.

I found a recipe using the turkey I thought looked nice using breadcrumbs and apple. It was quiet easy to make especially since I made use of the food processor and chopped the onions and apples in it. What a time saver, why haven’t I used it before?

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When frying the meatballs they seemed to fall apart, they tasted delicious although just didn’t look right. When making again I will add an egg so they bind together (I’ve added this to the recipe).

I also made a simple tomato sauce to go with them. I served it with rice and the kids enjoyed it. When making it again I would serve it with a brown rice (or for me zucchini pasta) though for some more flavour and to make it a little more healthy.

Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce 
Serves 3 – 4

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Onion, chopped
80g White Breadcrumbs
100ml Milk
500g Turkey Mince
2 small Apples, peeled and grated
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
Tsp Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Flour, for dusting

For the tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
800g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
200ml Water
1 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper

Put all of the chopped onions (for meatball and sauce) in a frying pan and soften for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 10 minutes in a small bowl.

When onions are done, take out 1/3 and place in a bowl. With the remaining onions add crushed garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add all other sauce ingredients to the pan and bring to the boil and then simmer, cover for a further 10 minutes.

Continue with the meatballs by adding the turkey mince, apple, thyme, egg yolk, salt, pepper and soaked breadcrumbs to the onions and mix together.

Using floured hands roll the mixture to form balls.

Heat up olive oil and begin to fry meatballs on a medium heat turning around after 3 – 5 minutes. Make sure they are completely cooked through and transfer to a bowl that has absorbent paper underneath.

Cook rice or pasta according to packet instructions.

Either add meatballs to sauce or serve over the top.

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Easy Pancakes

The other night I decided to treat the kids for dinner. A couple of nights before I said if they were good we can have a treat. Surprise Surprise they were and we had pancakes.

I don’t have a set pancake recipe so I went to the internet and researched. Some of the recipes are on there are so ridiculously complicated and some are so simple. I went for one that I found had ingredients that I thought would of come perfectly together.

I ended up making two batches as there wasn’t enough. I decided to use a second recipe to try out and liked that one a lot better. They were extra fluffy and a lot more simpler to make.

Pancakes 
Makes about 10

1 Egg
1 Tbsp Sugar
100g Self Raising Sugar
150ml Milk

Whisk all ingredients together and put into pouring jug.

Preheat a pan with butter.

Pour out batter into pan and wait until pancake turns bubbly and flip.

Repeat process until all batter is used.

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Juicy Roast Chicken & Gravy

I have always wanted to cook a chicken from scratch ever since reading through my Donna Hay cookbook I received for Christmas last year. She had recipe after recipe of mouth watering roasted chicken with a decadent range of flavours. It was always on my cooking to do list although I do have to admit the reason why I’ve slacked off and haven’t is the fact that a BBQ chicken and a uncooked chicken from my local supermarket are pretty much the same price. Time, convenience and money are to blame I have to say.

So when Vix brought home a chicken I was actually quiet excited to be able to cross another cooking experience off my to-do list.

Unfortunately I didn’t have my extremely large Dnna Hay cookbook with me so I turned to google to research and find a recipe. I was firstly drawn into a Jamie Oliver one that was cooked in milk and cinnamon, although sounding strange it had rave reviews but I thought for my first time working with a chicken I should keep it simple.

Hence the recipe I found and used. It didn’t sound to boring and still included rosemary and lemon which I know gives a lovely flavouring. It also included a gravy recipe which I wanted to make as well.

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All in all it was delicious. Moist and juicy with a crispy skin and a mouth watering gravy to accompany it.

A few notes: Next time I would add more carrots and possibly celery. I ended up eating them when they were removed when sieving the gravy. They were possibly the most flavoursome carrots I have ever tasted. I also had to skim out some of the visible butter which can be seen as a film onto of the gravy, if possible I would remove it gradually when making it.

 Juicy Roast Chicken & Gravy 
Serves 2 – 4

1 Onion, chopped
2 – 4 Carrots, chopped
1 Chicken, about 1½ kg
1 Lemon, quartered
Small Bunch Thyme
100 – 120g Butter, softened

For the gravy
1 Tbsp Plain Flour
250ml Chicken Stock

Preheat oven to 170 degrees (have a shelf ready in the middle of the oven without any shelves above it).

Roughly cut and scatter onion and carrots in roasting tin.

Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper then stuff with the lemon halves and thyme. Tie legs together.

Place the chicken on the vegetables and cover the chicken (i used my hands) all over with butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven (undisturbed) for 1 hour and 20 mins.

To check if cooked pierce the thigh with a skewer and juices should run clear.

Using a pair of tongs (shaking off and leaving excess juices in pan), lift the chicken to a plate to rest for 15-20 minutes.

While the chicken is resting, make the gravy.

Place the roasting tin on the stove top over a low heat.

Stir in flour and let sizzle until it turns a light brown with the consistency of a sandy paste.

Gradually stir in the stock until thickened. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and let simmer. Season to taste.

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My ‘famous’ French Vanilla Butter Cream Icing

SInce posting my last two recipes (Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes & Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes) I feel obliged to post my buttercream recipe. This recipe is actually the most delicious buttercream you will EVER taste. I developed it from a lot of trial and error when first starting to become the passionate baker I am today. I have the recipe right down to a T and if ever (when) I open up my own little bakery this frosting will be used on everything and anything that requires it.

Back at home I used it on all my cake and cupcake orders. I had people order from me multiple times because the icing was so scrumptious. This recipe is the bees knees, it is seriously extraordinary and I honestly haven’t tasted anything like it.

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I have also used this recipe as a base to make white chocolate, dark chocolate, lemon flavoured and several other types of frostings.

I have decided to just post the main ingredients and leaving one a secret, this recipe is honestly so valuable to me to reveal to the world just yet.

My ‘famous’ French Vanilla Butter Cream Icing
one batch (16 cupcakes, a 7″ layered cake etc)

7 Cups Icing Sugar
425g Butter
2 Tbsp Vanilla
8 Tbsp Milk
1/2 Tsp Salt (only if using unsalted butter)
5 – 8 Squirts of my mystery ingredient

Below are just a few example of some cakes and cupcakes using my “French Vanilla Buttercream’ back at home.

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Chocolate French Vanilla Butter Cream

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Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

Following my previous post of my Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes I also made these Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes.

Again I don’t have a go to chocolate cupcake recipe. I have an amazing chocolate mud cake recipe though, that is to die for but would be to heavy for a cupcake and with a strong coffee flavour it would be to rich as well.

So I compared and researched and found this recipe. I personally am not a fan of a light and fluffy chocolate cupcake that has been flavoured only with cocoa. I want a rich, dense, moist and fudgy cupcake. When comparing the ingredients and reading the reviews this one seemed to tick all my boxes.

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The house smelt delicious and they cam out perfectly, upon tasting they obtained all the qualities I wanted. They only thing I would change though is using a dark cupcake case, I believe it gives off a more professional look.

I topped the cupcakes with the French Vanilla Buttercream and chocolate shavings.

(Unfortunately they didn’t sell as well as my Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes although this recipe is a keeper and will be my chocolate cupcake recipe to go to).

Dark Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
Makes 12

115g Butter
60g Dark Chocolate
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp salt
2 Eggs, (room temperature)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.

Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool.

In a medium sized bowl combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together until smooth.

Add the cooled butter/chocolate mixture and mix.

With a wooden spoon stir in half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Repeat process and stir until combined (do not over mix, the batter should be thick like pudding).

Divide the batter between and place in oven for 18 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

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Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes

I have been baking over the last couple of Fridays making goodies that have been sold with all proceeds going to a charity in South Africa. Skye one of the children I nanny is going next year for a hockey tour with her school. When they are over there as well as competing in hockey tournaments they are visiting orphanages and are raising money to buy items for the children. I think it is a great idea and was exciting by the fact they were doing this by having a bake sale every saturday at the kids sporting matches.

I couldn’t wait to get baking. I was asked for the first week to bake cupcakes. I did a rich chocolate fudge as well as the sour cream vanilla cupcakes I am posting the recipe for.

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I haven’t really got a set vanilla cupcake recipe so I got on Pinterest and compared many, reading reviews and comparing ingredients. I liked the sound of this one as all the reviews claimed it was moist, light and fluffy. All the aspects of what a excellent vanilla cupcake should possess.

I have since made this recipe again for the fundraising as they were a hit. The cupcakes stayed moist and topped with my French Vanilla Butter Cream Icing were a winner.

The first time I made them I didn’t fill the cupcake cases up enough and the cases overnight seemed to breakaway from the cupcake, so making them the second time around I did. They were perfect.

I have to make note of the appearance of the cupcakes, although they tasted amazing I didn’t have my equipment needed to make them look of a professional quality.

Sour Cream Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12

1 2/3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder
170g Cup Butter, room temperature
3 Egg Whites
3 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup (120ml) Sour Cream
1/2 cup (120ml) Milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

Add butter, egg whites, vanilla, sour cream and milk and mix on medium speed just until smooth. (Do not over
mix).

Fill cupcake liners a little more than half way.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

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