Feeling the chill, heating the pot

Many thanks go out to the cold front that came crashing through and provided constant thunder from 4:12 - 4:48 AM. I didn't really need to sleep anymore, really.
But making lemon out of cranky and sleepy lemonade, I will say that I love the drop in temperatures that we're feeling here today. There are many reasons, but mostly because I get to dig out the sweaters that all smell like the cedar chest and pretty much live on soup and stew from now until March.
I love soup. It's genetic. My grandfather says he could eat it every day, and I agree. It is comforting for the mind and body, and who doesn't eating out of a giant bowl?
Today in the spirit of the chilly and blustery air, I'm sharing two things. For one, a family favorite of Chicken Stew with pasta, that even my picky kids eat. It is simple to make and already comes cut up for little people. I usually double the recipe because it goes fast, and it makes terrific leftovers for lunch the next day.
Chicken Stew with Pasta

1 Tbl cornstarch
1 Tbl cold water
1 pound chicken breast (boneless) cut into small cubes
2 cups frozen mixed veggies of your choice (carrots, peas, beans, corn, etc)
3/4 cup chopped onion
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked small pasta
Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat a bit of oil in a big pot over med-hi heat and add chicken, cooking until browned. Remove chicken, set aside.
Add a bit more oil if necessary and add veggies and onion. Cook until crisp tender.
Deglaze pot with the broth, and then heat to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender, time depending on your pasta directions. Return chicken to the pot and heat through.
Stir the cornstarch slurry into the pot. Cook and stir until it boils and thickens.

Serve this with a fat hunk of crusty bread and some sliced apples. One dish to cook in, one dish to eat out of. I love those minimal dish dinners!
And secondly...
I crafted it up this weekend and thought this came out better than I expected. I can't claim this idea-- I saw it somewhere on line that I can't remember, so apologies to whomever came up with this festive decoration:

Very simple. Just some templates from clipart and stiff foam. A lot of cutting, and then I let my kids put them "in order" while I sewed straight across. I gave them the rule that no two colors or shapes could touch, and they did a great job. Best part? We can pack it away and hang it again next year, when the temperatures drop and the soup pot finds its semi-permanent home on the stove top.


Unknown said…
Okay. I am trying the soup. I really am. The craft? Don't think I can do it because I can't sew. BUT you are inspiring me to get something Fall going......we will see what I come up with.

Happy Monday!
you used a sewing machine, right?
melia asked for soup all summer long, even when it was 107 degrees.
wanna come over this weekend? i'll be making chicken tortilla soup.

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