Have you every heard of ‘grief bacon”? No? Me either. But I now know what it is. Because it is this month’s theme for LETS LUNCH What do you want when you feel down? Blue? Is there a special food?

I head for for the jar of Peanut Butter. Or the bag of M&Ms. I seldom make something for me when I am feeling blue. But if I just need something to ‘warm’ my soul I head for soup Not just any soup. Chicken Noodle Soup. Not decadent. Not soothing necessarily. But comforting. I remember sharing a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Mom. Cold days. Rainy days. Chicken Noodle Soup.


The recipe I used this time was based on a DASH recipe. Trying to eat a little better for our health brought me to this one. Comforting. Healthy. Delicious. And I served a nice hunk of Country Bread on the side. Bread = comfort food!

    1 chicken (about 3 pounds) skinned and seperated, or 4 chicken quarters, skinned
    8 cups water
    2 onions, halved, the inner layer of skin left on
    3 carrots, chopped
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 bouquet garni
    4 black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon salt
    4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
    1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1/2 cup barley
    1/3 cup yellow lentils
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

First make the stock. Put the chicken parts in a large, heavy-based stockpot or saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, then pour in about 8 cups cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface constantly until all gray scum is removed. {You could use store bought as long as it’s low sodium – even veggie stock}

Reduce the heat to low immediately after the liquid boils. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and I teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and simmer for I hour, skimming as necessary. Test the chicken joints after 30-40 minutes; remove them as soon as the juices run clear when the joints are pierced with the point of a knife. Set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large colander or sieve with dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl, then strain the stock through this. Discard the vegetables and flavoring ingredients. Return stock to the cleaned pan. Skim off any excess fat on the surface of the stock. Cool and freeze the leftover stock to use as a chicken .stock in other recipes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all the bones. Cut 112 pound meat into bite-size pieces for use in the soup. Reserve the remaining chicken for sandwiches or other recipes.

Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Add the spaghetti or linguine and the carrot, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the celery and corn, lentils, and continue cooking until the pasta and all the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. I cooked the barley separately because it takes about an hour to cook.

Stir in the chicken with seasoning to taste and heat through. Sprinkle in the parsley and thyme, and serve the soup at once.

I added the barley and lentils to the recipe. You could even add quinoa. And any nice other veggie would be nice, too. Broccoli, squash, navy beans.

I also find making my own pasta very comforting so I made whole wheat noodles for the soup.


I’ll post that recipe later.

What did the other members bring to lunch? You can find a round up on Rebecca’s blog. She was our host this month.

Here in the DEEP SOUTH some ingredients are difficult to find. Like Lamb. Or VEAL. While I love both of them I know the Hubs does not and since I couldn’t FIND any decent veal Donna’s Italian Baked VEAL became Italian Baked CHICKEN. Sorry Donna!

This was another simple to prepare but delicious to eat dish from Donna’s Modern Classics: Book 1 {page 96} and chosen for us this week by Kayte


This was good. First you make Donna’s Basic Tomato sauce (page 148) then you brown chicken breasts wrapped in bacon. Place the chicken on the sauce and cover with Mozzarella cheese. Bake. Devour! I mixed some rotini with the sauce and it made a really nice meal.


Definitely a repeat. Definitely!

Check with

And if you want to join us on Wednesdays just leave one of us a comment. We are using Donna’s online recipes and Modern Classics and Off the Shelf

Every once in a while a blog name really catches your attention. Usually because you just know it tells you something important about the blogger. So when I was assigned It’s Yummy to my Tummy I knew right away my blogger had children. Isn’t it obvious? How many times have I heard my granddaughter say…


    “There’s a party in my tummy. So yummy….”

and I imagine Heather’s two cuties say it a lot too. Especially if they get to eat her treats.

Like the ones I chose to make for Secret Recipe Club. and as usual it wasn’t easy making a choice.

The day I started reading through Heather’s blog is was chilly outside so soup sounded perfect.


    Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

What a delicious way to warm up. Creamy, full of flavor with all the garlic, parsley, and thyme. And so colorful.

    1 cup cooked chicken, diced
    4 tbsp butter
    4 tbsp flour
    1 quart half and half
    14 ounces chicken broth
    1/2 cup celery, finely diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup carrots, finely shredded
    1 cup onion, finely diced
    1 cup spinach, chopped
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp parsley
    1 lb gnocchi
    salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onion, garlic, and celery in the butter and olive oil, until onion becomes translucent. Add in your flour and make like a paste or a roux. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture for about a minute and then add in your half and half, seasonings, carrots, and chicken. Let mixture begin to simmer and thicken up.
In another pot, cook your gnocchi according to package directions or prepare your homemade gnocchi. Note, if preparing homemade gnocchi for this dish, I would do that before so you don’t have to worry about it at the same time as preparing your soup. As the soup mixture gets thicker, maybe a few minutes of simmering, add in your chicken broth, and let it reduce a few minutes again. Once the gnocchi is ready, add it to the simmering soup, along with your spinach.
Cook for a few additional minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Serve with a little parmesan cheese on top if you wish.

Afterward we needed a litle something sweet.


And this Peanut Butter Fudge was just perfect.
I have been making PB fudge for years. And I have used the same recipe for years. You know the one -with that Puffy White Stuff. Well I am here to tell you this is sooo much better and tons easier to make.

    5 ounces of unsalted butter
    2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

In a microwaveable bowl, place butter and peanut butter and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for about 1 1/2- 2 minutes. Next stir mixture and microwave another 2 minutes, mixture will be hot and bubbly!
Add in vanilla and salt
Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Note the mixture starts to get really thick here! So stir it with some muscle to incorporate the powdered sugar well.
Put the fudge into a 9 x 9 pan lined with parchment paper for easier removal. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until to cut into pieces and enjoy.

Microwave fudge!! This is way too dangerous a recipe to know about. Maybe I shouldn’t share it?

I don’t make biscuits very often (carbs!)(no self control!) but I decided to try Heather’s with the stew the other night. I needed something to soak up all the extra juices.


    Fabio's Cheese Bomb Biscuits
      2 cups of sifted flour
      2 tsp of baking powder
      1/2 tsp of salt
      4 tbsp shortening
      1 1/4 cups of half & half
      1 1/2 Asiago cheese

    Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the grated cheese. Next add in the shortening. After you incorporate the shortening, add in the half & half.
    Ordinarily one would drop 1/4 cup of dough onto a greased cookie sheet, but I decided to use a muffin pan which gave me a nice thick biscuit.
    Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

    Heather used Romano or Parmesan cheese. I used the Asiago instead. And you will need more than 1 1/2 cups if you want a stronger cheesy taste. They were perfect with the stew.

    If you want to find out what else was coming out of the SRC Member's kitchens you need to check out the postings below. I know you will find some great food.

    And just in case you aren't familiar with Secret Recipe Club it is a great group of bloggers who are assigned a blog. We then make something from their blog and all of us post, or reveal, on the same day. Nobody knows who got who until the reveal. Tons of fun.

Chicken. Pasta. Basil, Roasted Red Peppers. There s NO way you can go wrong with that. Which is why, when it came my turn to pick this week’s recipe, I had no choice.


Add some roasted tomatoes and you have a quick, tasty, fresh pasta dish.

Roasting the bell pepper and the tomatoes in the oven brings out all the flavor and makes the peppers sweeter. But what really makes this dish is the ‘vinaigrette’ with oil, vinegar, tomato paste, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and pepper which is mixed with the pasta and chicken. Oh, Yeah! Good Stuff!!

This recipe came from Donna’s Website. As a group we decided NOT to publish the recipes so go on over there for it.

And while you are traipsing around the web be sure and visit:

to see how they liked this pasta dish.

And if you would like to join us on Wednesdays just leave a comment below. We’d love to have you!!! No pressure. You get to pick a recipe for all of us to try.

My pantry looks a lot different than it did a couple of years ago. What is basic today would have been nowhere near my pantry yesterday. So when this week’s IHCC theme – PANTRY MAGIC!! – showed up I knew I had lots more choices of good things than I would have!! Now I keep more herbs and spices, several different types of flour (there are more than AP and Self-rising!), capers, BLACK RICE. And I grow more of my own veggies, too. Like Pumpkins. I decided to use some of those new goodies to make


    Pasta with Shredded Chicken and Fried Basil

Like most of Donna’s dishes this was very easy to put together. Cook pastas. Cook and shred some chicken. Toss with some basil – done! Easy AND tasty!!

    400g (14 oz) fresh pasta*
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3 chicken breast fillets, halved
    2 tablespoons olive oil, extra
    1/4 cup basil leaves
    125g (4 oz) fetta cheese, chopped
    cracked black pepper

Place the pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes or until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked through. Remove, cool slightly and shred the chicken.
Add the extra oil to the pan and heat. Add the basil and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp.
To serve, drain the pasta and toss with the chicken, fetta and pepper. Pour over the oil and fried basil and serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

I followed Donna’s recipe except I added some salt to the chicken before cooking it and I added some extra olive oil to the pasta after tossing everything together. It seemed a little dry.

This recipe came from Donna’s new food fast (page 30).

Check out I Heart Cooking Club for this week’s dishes from the other cooks/bakers of IHCC!

One of the cookbooks we are using for Wednesdays with Donna Hay is off the shelf: cooking from the pantry. The premise behind this book is how to fill your pantry with convenient and basic ingredients. Then you can whip together easy delicious meals EVERYDAY!! Okay. That’s fine, if you can actually FIND the ingredients to put IN the pantry!! And usually it is not a problem unless you live in a fairly small not very cuisine aware town. Like I do. I figured I just wouldn’t get to make this dish because I could not find Thai green curry paste. But as luck would have it, by the FOURTH store I found it. WooHoo!!



The recipe calls for coconut cream. I took that to mean cream of coconut and that is what I used. Maybe I should have used coconut milk instead. While Donna’s sauce looks rather white you can see mine is quite brown. That was due to the cream of coconut caramelizing as the chicken was cooking. It was delicious – sweet, spicy – but as it cooled it hardened a little. Still…it was very tasty. With the sweet potato and the jasmine rice it was quite filling. Definitely a repeat. But maybe with the milk rather than the cream.

The recipe is on page 134 of off the shelf: cooking from the pantry.

Check out how



liked this dish.

Last month we made Wonton Parcels filled with chocolate and apple. This meant we had wonton wrappers left over. I thought we would need to use them up so I chose dumplings for this week’s donna hay pick. I also thought it would be fun to make dumplings since I have never made them before. AND I do love Asian or Asian style food so it is definitely a win/win situation.


These were so easy to make. And they would have been lots easier if I had had all my ingredients. But I had the wrong recipe in mind so had to do with what I had. I thawed a chicken breast and ground up part of that. Didn’t have any Sweet Chilli sauce so I mixed my own (Honey with sriracha to taste and a touch of Rice wine vinegar). But they still came out just right. Simple ingredients – ground chicken, cilantro, Hoisin Sauce – in a wrapper and steamed.


It was fun making them. Just pinch the sides together and steam them for about 4 minutes. Then some dipping sauce – that same last minute chilli sauce – perfect with some fried rice.

You can find the recipe on page 124 of Donna’s off the shelf. And check out

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