Chicken & Rice Soup

Last spring we had a bunch of friends over for soups and stews, and I wanted at least one option to be something kid-friendly. I searched around on the internet for recipes, combined some ideas, made a few changes, and here was our result. I know a lot of people enjoy a nice chicken noodle soup; I’ve always preferred the chicken and rice variety. This is easy to make and doesn’t take all day to cook.


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 – 5 carrots, bias cut about ½” thick
  • 4 – 5 celery heart ribs, bias cut about ½” thick
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs (or substitute with dry thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth (you could use chicken broth, we prefer veggie)
  • 1 to 1½ cups of white rice – use more or less depending on your preference. I use about 1¼ cups of rice.
  • 2 to 3 cups of water (double your selected rice amount)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Cooked shredded chicken – amount depends on your taste, see instructions below.

Shredded Chicken

You’ll want between ¾ pound to 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, depending on how much chicken you want in the soup. Boil some water and then add the chicken breasts to the boiling water. Continue to boil until chicken is cooked all the way through and no pink remains. I cooked the chicken about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken (make sure there is no pink!) and then let it cool. Shred the chicken using two forks.

To Make the Soup

Have a nice big pot (I use my dutch oven). Put your pot over medium heat and then add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Add the veggie broth and water, and bring to a boil. Add in the rice and chicken. Cover and reduce heat to a lower setting to allow the soup to simmer. Cook until the rice is done, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove the bay leaf, and enjoy!


Chicken Soup with Pasta

Magazine Purge #6! This one will be great in the fall, and one my boys will love on a cool evening. Rachael Ray, April 2013 (This is one of Rachael’s 30 minute meals, which means it will take me about an hour.)

Note from recipe: Freeze the rinds from parmigiano-reggiano and pecorino-romano – then toss them into soups and stews to add a delicious boost of salty, nutty, flavor.


  • Salt & Pepper
  • ½ pound mezze penne rigate or other small-cut pasta
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), plus more for drizzling
  • 6 cups chicken stock [I’ll probably use veggie broth]
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast.
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 5 – 6 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 rind parmigiano-reggiano (optional), plus grated parmigiano-reggiano, for topping
  • 1 cup frozen peas [I don’t like peas, I’ll probably sub frozen corn]
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small lemon, zested

Bring large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain; drizzle with EVOO to keep from sticking.

  1. While the pasta is cooking, in a small skillet, pour about 2 cups of chicken stock over the chicken to cover it. Add the wine and bay leaf; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Make sure the chicken does not stick to the pan by wiggling it with tongs. Lower the heat to low and gently poach until fully cooked, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium-high heat. Stir in the carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining stock and the cheese rind, if using; bring to a simmer.
  3. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid; cut into bite-size cubes and add to the soup. Strain in the poaching liquid. Stir in the peas and parsley; discard the bay leaf.
  4. Spoon the pasta into bowls. Ladle in the hot soup and top with the lemon zest and grated cheese.

Barbeque Chicken Salad

OK, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe. We have had a busy summer! The kids are back in school now and life is starting to get back to normal.

Barbeque Chicken Salad – a great way to use up leftover BBQ Chicken.

We had friends over last weekend and one of the things we cooked was BBQ chicken. I tend to over-buy (I am always worried there won’t be enough for everyone!), so we have a refrigerator full of BBQ chicken. Last night I decided to make a barbeque chicken salad. I’ve had these before at restaurants, and this turned out very tasty.


  • BBQ Chicken (roughly chopped, or cut in strips)
  • Lettuce (Use what you like – I used a butter lettuce blend)
  • Carrots (roughly cut)
  • Red Pepper (chopped)
  • Green Onion (chopped)
  • Corn (See my note in the directions)
  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Avocado (cubed)
  • Ranch Dressing (Anyone have a homemade recipe to share? I used a packet of Hidden Valley seasoning for this salad)
  • Extra BBQ Sauce


Add lettuce to salad bowl. Top with veggies. (Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand or you enjoy, this list is what we chose to use.)

If using leftover chicken, re-heat. Mix extra barbeque sauce with the warm chicken pieces for a nice coating. Add to salad. Top with ranch dressing and mix everything together. Enjoy!

Note: We used fresh corn-on-the-cob, so I had to cook it first. In case you need directions: Boil a pot of water, add the shucked corn, sprinkle in a little salt to bring out the sweetness, and boil for 11 minutes (my dad says that is perfection). Let the corn cool a bit and then cut off the kernels for the salad. I think grilled corn-on-the-cob would also have been tasty.

BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken with a side of watermelon.

It’s summertime and we love to grill! This chicken is so easy to make; marinating it in the sauce keeps it moist and flavorful.

We are eating this for dinner tonight, along with Greek Pasta Salad, Grilled Avocados, and fresh watermelon. Yum!


  • Chicken breasts
  • BBQ Sauce – if you have a recipe of your own, go for it! I take the easy way out and buy it. We have been using Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory & Brown Sugar


Put the chicken breasts in a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag. Pour in some BBQ sauce, zip the bag and then work the BBQ sauce to completely coat the chicken. Put in the refrigerator and marinate at least 30 minutes.

When you’re ready, fire up the grill. Put the chicken on the grill, and throw away the marinating bag. Grill the chicken until it is completely cooked. I actually don’t do the grilling around here, but I think it’s about 15 – 20 minutes. Flip the chicken over halfway through. You can baste each side with fresh BBQ sauce while it is cooking.

Chicken Fajitas

I love this recipe. We started making it last summer, and we ate it a lot! I scoured the internet for a fajita recipe that sounded good; I ended up combining a few together to get this one. The trick to this dish is getting everything to finish up at the same time. If the chicken or veggies are done much earlier than the other, wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm. Enjoy!


  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), divided
  • ¼ cup tequila
  • Worcestershire  Sauce, a few shakes (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 ½ pounds of chicken breast
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas (Or make your own!)



In a heavy-duty, resealable plastic bag, combine 2 tablespoons of EVOO, tequila, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, onion powder, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken breasts. Seal and then work the ingredients through to coat the chicken. Marinate in the refrigerator, at least 30 minutes.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven for 15 minutes, at 350°.

Grill chicken until cooked through on the grill (medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side). Slice chicken into strips.

While chicken cooks, heat up remaining EVOO (2 tablespoons) and cook the onions and bell peppers until crisp-tender with some salt and pepper.

Top tortillas with chicken strips and veggies; add toppings as desired.