Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

We LOVED this soup!  Once again, I found it on I made a few small changes but made "as is" it would be just as good!


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
1 pound cooked, cubed chicken breast
4 cups chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) package mini potato gnocchi
1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
2 tablespoons cold water (optional)
2 cups half-and-half cream
salt and ground black pepper to taste

1.Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, garlic, and carrots in the hot oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in cubed chicken and chicken broth; bring to a simmer.

2.Stir gnocchi into the simmering soup and cook until they begin to float, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook until wilted, about 3 additional minutes.

3.Whisk cornstarch into cold water until smooth. Stir cornstarch mixture and half-and-half into simmering soup. Cook until soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

**I couldn't find mini gnocchi, so I just cut each one in half and they were perfect.  I also forgot the spinach - but I did add some the next day to my serving at lunch and it was delicious but the soup was just as tasty without it.  (and I didn't add the cornstarch - I was out - but the soup did thicken a bit without it and just with the cream.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Bread

*This recipe made 3 loaves for our family.  I found it on

So YUMMY and SO moist!

3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (16 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup water

1.In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water. Pour into two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack; cool completely.

Creamy Angel Food Frosting

1 3/4 heavy whipping cream
1 box instant french vanilla pudding
1 cup milk

Be sure cake has cooled completely before making frosting. Then cut the cake into two layers. Chill beaters and bowl before whipping 1 3/4 pints of whipping cream. Beat until stiff and return to the refrigerator. (be careful you don't over beat)

Beat 1 small box of instant French vanilla pudding and 1 cup cold milk until creamy, just enough to fold into whipping cream. Fold pudding into whipping cream at once, frosting cake right away, as frosting sets quickly. (the frosting won't get stiff though, it will be creamy but firm.)

Store in refrigerator. Add fruit of your choice at last minute. (Example: slice strawberries in half and press into frosting all around.)
 *We added the strawberries right away, somehow I missed that last detail.  But it was just fine and the strawberries stayed in place perfectly.

**I found this recipe on and I cut the recipe in half.  We definitely had enough frosting for two cakes and I packed tons of frosting in the middle and all around.