Aside from photography, I was busy preparing for the Holiday Extravaganza and Christmas itself! I shared a little bit about the HE in my post about Christmas Stove-top Scents. In addition to making scents and printables, I made several gifts that can be made on a budget. These can be used at any time of the year for birthday gifts, teacher or employee appreciation or just an old fashioned thank you gift!
If you know me, you know that gift wrap is a big deal to me. Whether it's Christmas, birthday or a get well gift, I love spending time making sure each detail of the wrapping is perfect. I think it makes the gift even more special. For this year's gift wrap I just used Google Images to find my favorite Christmas chalkboard printable and hand copied the print onto a gift that was wrapped with butcher paper using a chalkboard marker. Pretty cute huh? I'm in love with it, so if you receive a gift from me in the near future you can guarantee it'll look similar!
Now for the good stuff.
I've made lots of yummy things recently but I blame poor lighting for not being able to take pictures to post them. Oh and also time. And sick babies. But yesterday I made a batch of homemade chicken stock that had so much flavor I had to make a soup right away and share it with you. For the stock I put celery (with the leafy greens), carrots, garlic, onion, parsley, bay leaves and thyme in a pot, placed 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts on top and covered with water and simmered for about an hour and a half. I do have to tell you that they weren't whole breasts. We had bought bone-in breasts a while back and cut the breasts off and I froze the remainder for the purpose of making broth. There wasn't a ton of chicken left on there, but just enough for a small batch of soup. If you use whole bone-in breasts, it may take longer. Because I didn't have very much chicken for my soup, I used farro to create a more hearty and satisfying soup.
You're probably thinking far-what? Farro. It's becoming more and more popular and is starting to appear on restaurant menus and on recipes around Pinterest. When I first read it on a menu I have to admit I thought it was a cheese. Haha! I quickly learned otherwise. It looks really similar to barley when cooked and is nutty in flavor. All you need to know is that, yes, it is delicious!
So from a random thought to make stock, this recipe was born. And it's delicious.
3 small carrots, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups of homemade chicken stock
1 cup of shredded chicken
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup uncooked farro
2 stocks of kale, chopped
1. In a dutch oven, saute onion and carrots in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add 1/2 cup of white cooking wine and simmer for 1 minute.
3. Add stock, chicken, farro and bay leaf.
4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until farro is finished
5. Cut the kale leaves away from the rib and chop. Add to soup and turn off heat and recover for 5-10 minutes or until kale is wilted.
This soup was delicious when I served it but had even more flavor the next day. The stock was incredible rich in flavor and adding the white wine only added to the incredible amounts of flavor that was happening. I didn't need to use many aromatics in the soup because I had already done so when making the stock. If you are using a box or canned stock or broth, you may want to add celery, garlic and thyme to your base before adding the broth.
Be happy. Be healthy. Enjoy!