11 April 2011

Friends and good ol' comfort cures

I just got back from a week out of LA. It was great, it was needed and even though I've come back a little sick (I think OR it's allergies) it was awesome.

We road tripped to San Francisco for my birthday and for Rory's CD recording. We stopped in Monterey, had a birthday beer.

Checked into our hotel, rested and relaxed and went out to celebrate my 30th birthday. Went to the Elbo Room in the Mission, a bar that has arcade games and a photo booth plus great cocktails. This is where Rory surprised me with one of my birthday presents.
Then we went to Delfina, a lovely Italian (DUH!) restaurant in the Mission. We had a lamb ragu, a spicy cauliflower pasta, roast chicken and a buttermilk panna cotta with balsamic strawberries. Yum. Yum. Yum. We also had a lesson in determining if our wine was good or not.  We got a bad bottle, thought it was okay and the sommelier wasn't so sure, so she tried it and brought us a different bottle. We were thankful that she was so honest. I enjoy San Francisco, a lot.  Rory had two awesome shows and I'm pretty sure he's going to be happy with his album. 

Then I drove 9 hours to Vegas - long long trip but I drove through San Luis Reservoir and it was gorgeous. Had birthday dinner with my family. 30 candles!
Hung out with this guy, Aadi. He's pretty adorable.
Got to hug my super pregnant friend, Tiff, while hanging out with a ton of friends.
And now, I'm home and a little under the weather, so, I made chicken soup. Easy and delicious. 

Old Fashion Chicken Soup 
slightly adapted from here
serves 12 or more

16 cups chicken stock (low sodium or not)
1 4lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon lemon juice (I forgot this step!)
2 leeks, sliced
8 oz dried wide egg noodles (I poured the whole bag in...oops!)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Break down your chicken. I demolished my chicken...not the way I was supposed to I don't think. You can always buy pre-brokendown chicken or you can goggle breaking down a chicken and follow someones steps.

Combine chicken stock and chicken in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes. Take the chicken out, let it cool. Let broth cool and skim the fat off the top. Discard the skin and bones (you can keep the bones for your own stock! I forgot and put the bones into a freshly bleached sink), tear chicken into bite-size pieces and reserve.

Return the broth to a simmer, add onion, carrots and celery.  Simmer about 8 minutes.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet, add the mushrooms and leeks, saute until the mushrooms are a little brown.  Add to the broth, stir in the noodles, parsley and chicken.  Simmer until noodles are tender, season with pepper and salt if you need it. And enjoy. 


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