Stepping Out of My Zone

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m not afraid to try new things – new recipes in particular.  I’m also not afraid to mix it up and modify the recipe even if it is the first time I’ve ever made it.

I’m crazy that way.

Usually the results are tasty and we enjoy the experiments.

This week, I stepped way out of my comfort zone.

Tried something this good little Catholic girl never thought she’d make.

I made Matzo Ball Soup.

You see, I have this friend from work who has been telling me (whenever my kids get sick) that I need to make the girls some matzo ball soup.  He says it is great for what ails ya.  I would reply that I should do that, but I never did.

You see, I wasn’t sure I could.

Crazy.
Why would matzo ball soup scare me?

So, I grabbed the bull by the horns on Monday and whipped up a pot of soup.  I had planned to make some chicken noodle soup anyway so it wasn’t a stretch to make the matzo balls.

I have to say, I’m really glad I did.

They were SOOOOOOOO (is that enough o’s?!?) good.  Good enough that Big Girl went back (after the kitchen was cleaned and food put away) and ate a second bowl! We thoroughly enjoyed them.

I will most definitely make these again.

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(Thanks, Todd!)

Matzo Ball Soup

Make your chicken soup:

2-3 chicken breasts (bone in make a tastier broth, boneless are fine)
Dutch oven-sized pot filled about 3/4 full of water
2-3 chicken bullion cubes
1-2 stalks celery, sliced thin
2-3 carrot sticks, sliced thin (or diced)
~1 Tbsp minced onion
~1 Tbsp minced garlic
salt/pepper to taste

  1. Add all ingredients to pot.
  2. Bring to a boil – let sit on a low boil for 30-45 min or until chicken is falling off the bone (thoroughly cooked)
  3. Take the chicken out and shred/de-bone.  Add chicken back to pot.

Make your matzo balls:

I used Matzo Ball Mix and made according to the package directions.

1 Box Matzo Ball Mix
2 eggs
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Measure and mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, break the eggs.
  3. Add the oil into the eggs and stir gently with a fork until the yolks are broken and the oil is mixed. Todd says, “Do not  over mix!”
  4. Mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix with the fork. Again, do not over mix, or else they will be tough.
  5. Place it into the fridge for at least an hour.

Optional ingredients to the matzo balls are:
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or minced garlic.
1 tsp onion powder or freshly minced onion, if available.
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tsp baking powder for soft matzo balls
4 tablespoons water or broth for firmer matzo balls.
(Todd says, “I tend to like it medium, so I add a tablespoon of broth and 1 tsp baking powder” I didn’t do either because I used mazto ball MIX that had this already in it.).

Put it all together:

  1. After the matzo ball mix has set, take a teaspoon amount and roll it into 1-2” balls with your hands.
    Todd’s tips: “I find it best to make sure my hands are a little wet, or else the matzo ball mix will stick to my hands. Remember the matzo balls will expand a lot when they are cooked in the soup.”
  2. Gently drop the matzo balls into the boiling broth and leave it to boil until all the balls float to the top.
  3. When they float to the top, you can then lower the temperature to a rolling simmer for about 40 minutes. You shouldn’t have to stir the soup.

Serve and enjoy!

Here is a great blog post with step-by-step pictures for making the matzo balls.

Turkey & Rice Soup

I mentioned yesterday we had two turkeys this year for Thanksgiving. SuperMan felt if one was good, two was better. Smile Not really. We just couldn’t decide between smoked or fried, so we ended up doing both. I had gotten a free turkey, so it seemed like a good thing to do. Well, now I have a ton of turkey to deal with and so this will most definitely be on my list of things to make this week (maybe even today).

Turkey Rice Soup

It’s super quick, super easy and super good.

If you’ve got leftover turkey to deal with, you might want to give this a try. I’m betting you have most of the ingredients in your pantry already.

Turkey & Rice Soup

~1 pound cooked turkey (or chicken) diced into bite-sized pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 – 2 1/2 cups (cooked) rice
~ 1/2 cup celery, diced
~ 3/4 cup carrots, diced (I just used a handful of shredded carrots)
2-3 cups chicken broth (I used one box of broth)
Houston House Seasoning to taste

  1. In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients except rice.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30  minutes. (You could also do this in your crock pot on low for 2-3 hours)
  2. About 10 minutes before serving, drop the rice in and mix to combine.  Heat through.
  3. Serve.

Turkey Rice Soup