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OMG! Everyone I know is getting sick! Betsy's Chicken Noodle Soup to the rescue!!! Posted on 08 Feb 09:47 , 0 comments

I'm not one to brag but a lot of people tell me I make the best Chicken Noodle soup and since everyone I know is getting sick, I figured it was time to share my recipe with all of you but first here's a little info on why it's so good for you!

Studies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken soup may help you to clear nasal congestion and have a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can help ease cold symptoms. Chicken noodle soup makes a great fallback for the cold winter days because of all its wonderful nutrients.

Ok, here we go!

First get a whole chicken and put it in your pot. I know not very sexy...it gets better I promise!

Next cut up 1 onion, a couple of carrots, a couple stalks of celery and smash 2-3 whole cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of pink sea salt (or whatever you have on hand) and 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp of poultry seasoning (this is a game changer that makes my soup taste amazing!) These can be a very rough cut! And if you don't have whole cloves of garlic use 1 tsp. of garlic powder.

 

 

Put everything in the pot including the onion skin. Hey, Martha Stewart says this give the broth a beautiful golden color. If it's good enough for Martha, it's good enough for me!! And fill with water.

Next put a lid on it and put it in the oven for 2-3 hours at 350 degrees.

Now go put your feet up and watch "This is Us" (if you're not watching this you should! It's an amazing show. Start from the beginning it is on "On Demand" NBC) or do your favorite activity while this is cooking! After 2-3 hours take out the pot and it will look like this...

It's all golden brown and smells heavenly!! Now you have to let it cool for about 1/2 to 1 hour.

While you're waiting for the chicken to cool you can cut new vegetables. I use 1 diced onion, 5 sliced carrots, 2 sliced stalks of celery, and 1/2 cup of corn. The corn gives it a nice little crunch. You can also add a chopped up potato if you want. Sit these aside.

At this point I also make my homemade noodles! You don't have to, you can use some nice bow ties or egg noodles and skip the noodle making section!  But I love making my homemade noodles! They are sooooo good! Here's the way I make the noodles... You need 2 eggs (beaten), 1/2 tsp salt. 1 1/2 cups flour (1 cup for the noodles and 1/2 cup for coat the rolling pin and bread board)  and 1 egg shell full of milk.

Put all those ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands and kneed for a couple minutes until you have a nice dough that looks like this. And wrap with saran wrap and let sit at least 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes cut the dough in half, flour your bread board and rolling pin and get busy rolling out that beautiful dough out to a nice thin sheet. I know old school! Flip it over as you go and sprinkle with more flour. Don't skimp on the flour.

Roll out very thin until it looks like this...

Spread flour on the top and roll up like a jelly roll and cut like this...

Then I unroll my noodles and cut it to my desired size, I like my noodles on the wide side and about 4 inches long. Do what ever you want! These are your creation!! Make sure they are covered with flour or they stick together!!!

Continue until all cut and then do the rest of the dough. I stack my noodles and let them dry a little bit! Sit aside.

 Now back to the soup...

After it's cooled enough for you to handle, remove the chicken and strain the broth into another pot!

Now at this point I remove the chicken meat from the bones. My family is kind of picky so I only use the white meat for my soup. But don't worry I don't waste the rest, I remove the bones from the rest of the chicken and let my parents dogs eat the dark meat and the skin. They love it!

At this point I add 1 quart of organic chicken stock to the broth.  Now take your broth and add all the veggies and bring to a boil and let boil for about 15-20 minutes

After 20 minutes add the noodles. Now the person I got the noodle recipe from said her grandma added the noodles and scraped the board and added the remaining flour also. Do that if you make the noodles! It makes the soup a little bit thick and sooo tasty!

Bring down to a simmer and let simmer for another 15 minutes! Add additional salt and pepper if you need!

At this point I add in the shredded chicken just to heat it up not to cook it any more.

Now here is your finished soup! Impressive right?? You can eat it all or share it with your friends and family. And you can put the hot leftovers in mason jars, let cool on counter. Then put in fridge. It will keep a week or so. And it's nice to have something easy to heat up right in the fridge!

Now go make a big pot of Chicken Noodle Soup and Enjoy!!

p.s. this is also my granddaughter Irie's favorite meal! No kidding! She always requests it for her birthday dinner! She's the cutest!!

 

 

 

 


My obsession with cabbage continues... Posted on 22 Jan 20:20 , 0 comments

As you all know I'm obsessed with cabbage. I love it so much and it's so good for you! It's full of vitamins and minerals. Anyways, one of the things I like to make with cabbage is cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage or Golumpki as some people call it. It's a little time consuming but soooo worth it.

Here's we go...

First get a couple of nice heads of cabbage and wash. Put whole head 

into a pot of boiling water and cover with lid. (I use a steamer basket). Let cook for about 10 minutes. When done remove from pot and put onto a towel to drain.

While that is cooking, add 2 lbs of ground beef, 3 eggs (beaten) a sleeve of saltines (crushed) 1 cup of cooked rice (luckily we had Chinese Food the night before and had some left over rice),  1/2 cup ketchup, one diced onion, salt and pepper to your bowl and mix well with your hands. Don't be a scaredy cat! It's fun! Just make sure you wash your hand when your done!

Should look like this...

Next line your pan or pot with 3-4 pieces of bacon.

Now your cabbage is probably ready to come out of the pot, use tongs, don't be a hero! This baby is hot!! Put on a towel or paper towels. The leaves on the outside should be soft enough to peel off and try to keep in one piece. I like to take the core out, it makes it easier to peel.

Once you have your leaf ready fold in half and cut out the core, it's tough and stringy.

Then cut your leaf in half. I like a lot of cabbage so I make my Cabbage Rolls on the small side.

Now you want them all a similar size so I channel my inner Martha Stewart and use a small ice cream scooper to add the meat. It's about a heaping tablespoon.

Then roll it like a burrito! And place in your pan or pot. I use my LeCreuset Dutch oven because I make a ton so I can share with everyone in my family. You can use a pyrex baking dish too!

Once you've your first layer done, I like to add extra cabbage leaves and add 4 more slices of bacon.

Now do your next layer the exact same way. Keep going until your pan is full and your meat is gone which ever comes first. You might have to steam another head of cabbage if you run out. I always use 2 heads.

Now take your tomato sauce and add 2 Tbs. of sugar and 1 Tbs. of Vinegar and mix well and pour over your rolls.

Put on lid or cover with foil and put in oven at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on how much you make. I do 2 hours for the amount I made. If you make less and use a Pyrex baking dish 1 1/2 hours should do it and don't forget to cover with foil if you don't have a lid.

Here's what it looks like when it's done. These are some melt in your mouth Cabbage Rolls. You can serve with mashed potatoes. Delish!!

p.s. the left overs are out of this world....

 

 

 

 

 


Pilgrims and Cornstalks and Crows! Oh my! Posted on 03 Nov 10:41 , 0 comments

Well the Halloween decorations are put away and the Thanksgiving/Harvest decorations are in full swing! Now I used to call my Thanksgiving decorations weak, you know not my strong point. Well this year that all changed.  I'm having a brunch on Saturday at my house for a bunch of girls I went to high school with. So I had to step up my game!! I had most of the stuff but I needed to jazz it up a little more. So I went to Hobby Lobby!! OMG!! That place is awesome! It's like Home Goods meets JoAnn's. Any ways that's where I got this adorable picture.

So I thought it would be fun to show you my Harvest/Thanksgiving decorations. So here we go. Here is my fireplace. I really got my "crow" on this year!

I found this picture. Isn't it perfect! Looks so 70's!

Then I brought in all my pumpkins from outside and decorated the mantel and added some cute little crows! Put some fall foliage around and a few sunflowers.  I think it turned out so cute!

Then I added a few more crows to the stairs! Thanks Martha Stewart!

I even have a crow weathervane!

Now here come the turkeys and the pilgrims!

 And I got those plates from, wait for it...Hobby Lobby!

I put these little vintage Gurley pilgrim candles out every year! I love their little faces!

This is also where I put one of my favorite turkeys! It's from my grandson Jacob from when he was in Kindergarden. It's made from a pinecone and a walnut. It's one I truly treasure! Oh and that's me and my brother at Knott's Berry Farm in the black and white picture.

On my coffee table I put a real pumpkin and scatter some fall leaves around.

On the shelf below I put my vintage nut bowl that my friend Sandy gave me. Sandy passed away in 2013. Hi Sandy I miss you and think about you every day!

On my shelf I put some paper pilgrims, a vintage plate and some vintage turkeys.

Then on my piano my cute turkey, some real pumpkins and my pilgrims. I also have some vintage turkeys too!

I found this book! How could I resist? It's so me!! Who knew the Bobbsey Twins went to Pilgrim Rock?

Here I have a cornucopia, more vintage turkeys!

Every year I hang this picture my great Aunt Tressie made. She's up there with Sandy. Hi Aunt Tressie, I love you and miss you!

Then in the kitchen I have to keep it simple because I'm always in there making stuff. But I did find this cute pumpkin tureen at Cost Plus.

 

For my table I got this green gingham table cloth and these cute place mats! Oh and that's the pumpkin I grew in my garden!

I thought these were super cute, I got them at Walmart!

Now for the family room! My mom gave that Happy Thanksgiving picture and it fits perfectly!

I printed this out and put it in a frame, I couldn't resist it was so cute!

And this is a watercolor my grand daughter Rosie made for me. That girl has talent!

and here's my darling pillow... which I got at....Hobby Lobby!

And this is one of my favorite turkeys of all time. Made for me by my grand daughter Iris.  She did a good job! What a treasure!

Even the bathroom got a little makeover...

I even put little pumpkins in all my little red chairs. I know I'm getting carried away! But I can't help it.

I

Now lets go out front..

I love my cornstalks.  And take a look at the crows I added...

They look real!! Watch out Tippi Hedren!

And here is my new welcome mat...from Hobby Lobby! I warned you everything there was really cute!

Oh here's one of my favorite Thanksgiving pictures.

I want you to know that I'm thankful for you and hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,

Betsy

p.s. I hope the girls at the brunch like it!

 


Fun With Flags!! Posted on 26 Jun 12:50 , 2 comments

It's almost 4th of July and around here I like to decorate with anything that is vintage and patriotic and of course I use a ton of American Flags! Anyone who knows me knows I'm very patriotic and I love to fly the flag all year round!

When we moved into this house 16 years ago, I had Perry install a flag pole in the front yard. This flag even has it's own spotlight!

When it's nice outside I like to sit on the porch swing in the evening and watch the flag!

I put this vintage flag holder up a few years ago and every summer I fill it with flags. It looks so cute!

On the inside I decorate the fireplace with a flag banner my friend Carolyn gave me. It looks vintage but it's new! And it's totally right up my alley!!

I also put my vintage red, white & blue tin cans and paper doll book out! It's so perfect!!

Then a few years ago I made this hanging cone at my friend Carolyn's craft party! I think it came out pretty cute!

I also love to put out my little vintage American flag clock I found on Ebay! I mean how could I resist?  Isn't she a beaut!

On the coffee table I put my old 1942 McCall's Magazine and Child Life 4th of July edition! I love that picture on the cover of McCall's!

I place little vintage patriotic books and cans all over the house! In the heart frame is my friend Sandy who passed away in 2013. Everyone say Hi to Sandy! We miss you!!

 I

 I found this gem in my Mom & Dad's attic. I have it up year round (except when the other holidays are happening) Isn't it amazing.

And I have this patriotic display up all year as well!

The flag on this Statue of Liberty clock waves back and fourth all day. Not bad for 75 years old! I talk to her and call her Libby and when it stops I have to give her a little pep talk and tell her she can do it. I know I'm a little crazy, but it works! She's still going strong!

I also have this picture of my Great Aunt Tressie and my Uncle Tim from 1940's. They're both gone now. I love this picture so much and it helps me think of them every day.

I have the piano decorated with flags and old vintage post cards from WW2 that I've collected over the years.

The art work and the colors are amazing!

In the piano room I also have this little darling calendar! It's one of my favorite things because I guess I can relate to being the annoying little sister and loving every minute of it!

The year is 1941!

Even the kitchen gets a few flags...

And I put out all my red, white and blue knick knacks! Yes even my straws get changed out!!

Everyone gets a flag at my house! Mickey and his buddy...

Even my husband Perry!!! He's such a good sport!

Remember saying this is school every day?

I am so grateful to live is this amazing country. Now everyone go have a safe and happy 4th of July and God Bless America!!! Love you guys!!

 

 


Naturally Betsy wins as best tasting product!! Who knew!! Posted on 16 Jun 12:05 , 0 comments


Dry Canning! It's super cool and so simple! Posted on 14 Jun 20:06 , 1 comment

I don't know about you but I love Costco and their great deals. One of the great deals is this delicious rice. The problem is it only comes in 25 lb. bags. In my house there are only 2 of us that actually live here and 25 lbs. of rice is going to last us a couple years. So to make sure the rice stays fresh, safe from pests and easier to store, I decided to "dry can" it.

It's super simple and very effective. All you need is about 14 quart size mason jars and lids.

First, fill the jars with the rice.

I put the jars on a tray in case I spill any...

Then put the jars into the oven, set the temperature to 200 degrees.

 

Then set your timer for 60 minutes...

After 60 minutes take the jars out of the oven and put the metal lids and bands on.

Let them cool and pretty soon you'll start hearing them "Ping."

Write the date on them and put in your panty. They will last at least 2-3 years!

 Isn't that so cool! And so easy!!  You can "dry can" rice, oats, grains, beans, lentils, flour and spices. Everything else has to be either pressure canned or water bathed.

Now next time you have lots of rice you'll know what to do with it!!

Good Luck!!

 


Betsy's Busy Summer! Posted on 06 Jun 17:26 , 0 comments

Hi Guys!

It's been a few months since I posted on my blog. I have been so busy with work and my latest product Claude's Calm Balm All Natural Pain Reliever and of course all my Naturally Betsy products!  I am finally off work and can catch my breath!

Summer is finally here!!!! I LOVE Summer! I am lucky enough to get the whole summer off work!  I get to catch up on all the things I don't do during the year. I've been off 1 1/2 weeks so far this summer.

 I put my new bedspread on the bed (kind of like my old one but no holes).

It's been in the closet for 6 months  (I told you I've been busy!)

I cleaned out and planted succulents in my front planter and around the bird bath!

Got my front porch cushions all cleaned up and summer decorations set out! I love to sit out on my porch swing at night and watch my flag and listen to music!

I've gotten the craft room cleaned up. It's got to be re-designed, but I had to be able to walk into it first!

I've gotten my patio all ready for visitors and those beautiful summer nights!

I've gotten my party table all set up and ready for the tons of parties coming up!

And I got my birthday present from Perry, two fruit trees (Pluot & Apricot) planted in the chicken coop!

The chickens just love them and so do I!!

I hope you get to enjoy your summer! I'll be posting as I do more fun things!

p.s. my list is still a mile long...

 

 


"V" is for Valentines Day! Posted on 04 Feb 20:32 , 1 comment

It's almost Valentines Day. It's one of my favorite holidays!  I mean, who doesn't love pink and red hearts? They look so cute in my house, so of course you know I'm gonna love it. I have hearts all over my house year round. On my mantle I have this vintage picture of two children holding a Valentine! It couldn't be more perfect!

And my friend Carolyn gave me the "sugar cookie" garland. Finished off by my grandkids pictures in little red frames!

I like to add in a few more red books to the mix. Sing Me A Love Song is perfect for Valentine's Day!

I found this cute punch-out book of Valentines on line at Amazon last year.

The valentines are even flocked! HOW CUTE is that!!!

I especially love the vintage valentines and have been collecting them for years. Here are some valentines and their original envelopes scattered on my living room coffee table. Of course I have my "I LOVE LUCY" book on the shelf beneath, it fits right in.

In the red heart frame  are my beautiful daughters. In the little green heart is my best friend Sandy. She passed away 2 years ago. I always keep her picture close by. She was like a sister to me. I miss her so much. Happy Valentine's Day Sandy!  The vintage candy box was given to me by Drue Madrid. It belonged to her mother and she knew I would treasure it always.

More vintage cards and my Valentine, my husband Perry!

More vintage Valentines from my collection on my piano...

 A cute Valentines plate I propped up...

My mom brought this over last night! Isn't it the cutest thing ever! "B" is for Betsy!!! I even looked like that when I was little. This is staying out all year for sure!!

My family room! Even Mickey gets a Valentine.

I filled this jar with Conversation hearts and added a heart scoop! 

This jar used to contain pink, white and red M&M's. It looked super cute but I had to throw them away because I couldn't stop eating them. They were sooooo good! It will have to remain empty until I can learn to control my self.

Cute little picture with red hearts...

In my bathroom. I actually keep this up most of the year. My friend made it for me and I love the saying!

A paper mache heart the grandkids made for me, of course one of my treasured pieces!

Red heart carved stone candle holder...

I had to have this soap! So perfect for Valentines Day!

These are part of my collection of heart shaped rocks.

I hope you all have a heart-filled Happy Valentine's Day and get to be with the ones you love.

Love from the bottom of my heart!

Betsy

 


When Life Gives You Lemons...do a puzzle!! Posted on 25 Jan 19:24 , 0 comments

I Love January! Christmas is over, the chickens aren't laying eggs yet, the garden is dead. I make no plans and have nothing to do except puzzles, laying in bed, watching corny movies on tv, going to sleep early.  I'm in my pj's all weekend! It's my favorite! 

Now let's talk about doing puzzles! When I do a puzzle that's all I want to do. I will work on a puzzle all day. I get nothing else done. I become a crazy, obsessed puzzle fanatic! That's why I can only do them certain times of the year. I found a great puzzle website called White Mountain Puzzles and their puzzles are awesome! Needless to say everyone in my family and lots of my friends got puzzles for Christmas!  I also invested in a puzzle mat this year. It makes a huge difference. Last year we were eating breakfast on the puzzle

And Dinner

Now with the puzzle mat I can move the puzzle with ease.

 I figured doing a puzzle is good for your brain so I researched it and this is what I found out...

Why Jigsaw Puzzles Are Good For The Brain

Human mind has two separate hemispheres or lobes called right and left-brain with each one dealing in different functions. Right brain deals with emotions and performs tasks holistically while the left-brain functions in linear fashion. When you are able to use both the sides of the brain, you will find that your mind power is harnessed to its best and gets better. Jigsaw puzzle helps you exercise both the parts of your brain.

Left-brain thinks logically and follows sequence while the right brain is creative, intuitive and emotional. When you try to put together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both the brainpowers.

While working on jigsaw puzzles, it has been studied that there exists continuous activity thought the brain involving all the cells and parts of the brain. This intense activity works to exercise the brain cells and thereby activate them and increase their efficiency and capacity too.

There have been several studies like the MacArthur Study, that has found that people who have been used to doing jigsaw puzzles as well as cross word and were fully active stood to gain a longer life span and also lesser chances of falling prey to Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia and other old age problems.

Brain produces a chemical known as dopamine that is chiefly responsible for learning and memory. The production of this chemical increases in the brain at the time when it is engaged in solving the jigsaw puzzle.

Working on puzzles and solving them provides us with very many helpful benefits. First of all it makes us alert, increases our concentration, expands our creativity. On the other hand, looking at the images constantly helps us practice visualization, which is again good aid for any physical activity that succeeds mental activity. It also affects our physical health by lowering our breath rate, reducing heart rate and blood pressure too.

Working on jigsaw puzzles and focusing on the same image for longer periods can actually turn out more like meditations and induce a certain calmness and peace in the mind. Mind will now be focused only visualizing the image in front and will concentrate on this alone in exclusion to everything else around him. Thereby he arrives at a meditative and peaceful stage where no other thoughts occur to disturb his tranquility.

You get immense and long lasting benefits out of doing puzzles on daily basis. It not only sharpens your memory, improves your brain function, but the clarity of mind and thought helps you clear out the clutter in your mind and the cobwebs accumulating over years. You then begin to see things around you in new light are able to appreciate your life a lot better. You not only start finding solutions to your problems, but also begin to look forward to everyday in your life.

YES!! This is great news! Doing puzzles is not a waste of time, its good for our brains! So go get or borrow a puzzle and exercise that brain!!


Delicious and Dreamy Cream of Cauliflower Soup with no cream! Posted on 17 Jan 13:07 , 2 comments

I've been thinking about trying to make a cauliflower soup. Last weekend I was laying in bed and I watched an episode of America's Test Kitchen and guess what they were making...yep! Cream of Cauliflower soup! I couldn't stand it, I had to get up and try it and man o man, it was worth it.  This soup is so delicious and creamy you have to try it,  after every bite my husband says, Ummmm!  It's low carb and it's super easy.

Here we go!

Here are your ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

1 stick butter cut in half

2 tsp. bacon drippings (optional)

1 leek

1 small onion

Salt & Pepper

4 1/2 to 5 cups water or chicken broth

Melt 1/2 stick butter in your pot. Dice one onion and one leek add it to the pot. Add 1 1/2 tsp. salt. (Make sure you clean the leek completely they can be dirty. I cut mine in half and rinse well). (Now the first time I made this I didn't have a leek, I just used a large onion and I'm not sure if I could tell the difference, but if you have one use it)! I also add about 2 teaspoons of bacon drippings. It gives it a nice smoky flavor. Cook until the onion is soft. This takes about 7-10 minutes.

In the meantime... Clean cauliflower and cut up into pieces. Save all the little crumbs because we're going to use that for our garnish. Also you can crush up a few florets to make more garnish pieces.

When the onion and leeks are soft and ready...

 Add 1/2 of the cauliflower pieces, Chicken stock (or water). Put lid on and bring to a simmer. This takes about 10 minutes.

Let simmer for 15 minutes.

While that is simmering we're going to make the garnish. You don't want to skip this part it is worth it and so delicious.

In a frying pan melt 1/2 stick of butter. ( I also add a tsp of bacon drippings, I can't help it I like the way it tastes!)

Add your small cauliflower pieces and let brown.

When they are brown, remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Put the brown butter in a separate bowl and set aside. This is our garnish.

After 15 minutes is up, add the second 1/2 of the cauliflower and let simmer for 20 minutes.

When that is done get your blender out. If you have a Vitamix you could probably do this is one batch. My Vitamix is buried somewhere so I'm using my little blender and I have to do a couple batches.

Fill the blender 2/3 full, remove the middle piece and put a cloth on top. It lets the steam escape. Pulse a couple of times then blend for about one minute and put into a bowl. Continue until everything is pureed.

When you're done pour back into your pot and adjust the thickness. You can add a little more water if it's too thick.

Now serve yourself a bowl of the most delicious, creamy, hearty, amazing cream of cauliflower soup you've ever tasted and don't forget to add the browned cauliflower and a drizzle of brown butter.

Ummm, ummmm good!

 p.s. I have a feeling I'm going to be making this soup a lot, going to have to go dig out that Vitamix!