Chicken Soup - 'Make It' Mondays

Monday, 27 February 2012

I've got a poorly husband home sick from work and for dinner I've made him some Chicken's my Lithuanian, maternal grandmother's recipe that I grew up with.  Every time I make it, it reminds me of her.  It is a great comfort food, especially in the winter, and is good for when we're sick with colds too!  My sister called up yesterday asking how to make it, as she said she was still feeling the effects of a nasty cold...I texted the details to her, she made it successfully and I am hoping she feels better now!

Everyone has their own way of making chicken soup and this is mine (well, my grandmother's!) that I will be sharing with you today, on 'Make It' Monday :)  I cook mine in a pressure cooker, because we want our chicken soup fast!  You will have to cook the chicken according to the times given on your own pressure cooker.  Mine takes about half an hour. If using a regular pan, you will need to cook the chicken for at least an hour - or until the juices run clear.

I took pics on my iPhone as it was a last minute decision to blog about it :D

My Grandmother's Chicken Soup

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 6-8 regular tomatoes - cut in half
  • 3 medium onions - cut in quarters
  • 4 - 6 dried bay leaves
  • Salt
  • handful of spaghetti or small pasta shapes

I have a very specific way of laying everything in the pan ^_^ I put a layer of tomatoes, onions and bay leaves in the bottom first with a splash of water.

I place the chicken on top and add the rest of the onions, tomatoes and bay leaves.  I've used more than the 4 - 6 I said in the ingredients list, because they were tiny leaves.  I then sprinkle with a little salt and add water that I fill to about ½ inch from the top of the pan.

I then bring the water to the boil - if I was doing this in a regular saucepan, then I would boil the chicken for at least an hour, if not longer, depending on the size of the chicken.  Whichever way, make sure that the chicken is cooked through and that the juices run clear.

As it happens, I cook my chicken soup in the pressure cooker, because, quite frankly, we can't wait over an hour for soup!  So on with the lid, and with the little pressure knob thing (it probably has an official name, but I don't know what it is!)  I then leave it to whistle away for about half an hour - but check your pressure cooker instructions for how long to cook a whole chicken.

After the cooking time has ended, I take the pressure cooker off the hob and run it under a cold tap to cool it down quickly so I can remove the lid (my dad taught me that trick).  On opening, you can see that the water has gone down a fair bit and the chicken is starting to fall from the bone.

I pour the chicken, herbs and veggies into a colander over a bowl to save the soup, which then gets poured back into the pan.  The chicken is then passed over to my husband for him to de-bone and shred up ^_^  I always discard the tomatoes, onions and bay leaves.

I always add more water to make more soup, and on occasion, have to add a stock cube to bump up the flavour again - it's all to taste really.

Taking a handful of spaghetti, I break it up into small pieces and throw into the soup, which I then have to bring back to the boil (without the pressure lid) and cook the spaghetti until tender...or you could use small pasta shapes, or vermicelli.  Whatever pasta I have to hand goes in.

Once the pasta is cooked, the soup gets ladled into bowls and the shredded chicken added on top.  This particular chicken was a little bit on the fatty side, so I should have removed some of the skin...

But it's a firm family favourite and got nommed up no problem!

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Mario Kart Tournament - Nintendo Party!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Couldn't have a Nintendo themed birthday party without playing Nintendo now could we?!

I decided that we would have a Mario Kart Tournament...for ease we played on the Wii and to pick who was versus who, I placed every one's names in a hat which my son then picked out.

It was some serious competition!  We are a family of gamers, so it was going to be a tough slog!

Sure, it all starts off as fun and games...

But then it becomes serious business!

After some intense karting, the winner was declared!  And it just so happened to be the birthday boy!

*Proud*  I taught him well!

4th with the booby prize - the Waluigi figurine >_>

We eventually broke out the N64 for some retro gaming action...

With the Nintendo themed party food and decorations, along with an awesome Mario Kart Tournament, lots of fun and laughter all round, my son said it was the best birthday party ever...and that makes me one happy mum!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my Nintendo themed party as much as I have enjoyed creating it and blogging about it!

Oh, and if you're wondering where I came in the tournament, I was 5th...I was 1st all the way through in my heat but had a run of bad luck with blue shells and bombs >_< and was pipped to the post!
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Nintendo Themed Birthday Party Decor

Here's how I decorated the room for my son's Nintendo themed birthday party...

I had a bunch of little plastic figurines of Nintendo characters - Donkey Kong, Mario and all his gang and a shed load of Pok√©mon.  So wherever I could find a suitable place for them to go...they went!

I had some heart shaped napkins left over from Valentine's Day, that I stuck to the front of the TV unit which became a health meter from Zelda games ^_^

I lucked out and found some Mario party ware in a local supermarket, table cloth, napkins, cups and plates.

And they also sold a chequered flag banner which went around the door frame and was fab because we were having a Mario Kart Tournament!

You can see the little trophies that I bought that I sat atop star shaped podiums (the stars were leftover from my Starman Hangers).  I wrote on the front of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  Just a silly bit of fun!

And finally, making use of a Donkey Kong plush we have and the bongo drums from a DK game on the Gamecube...

Plus there was all the things that I made...

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