With the bitter cold continuing, and the snow falling, I've been keeping busy getting the Charmer organized. So far my vintage linens are organized, magazines cataloged, and almost done sorting through the tons of vintage dishes. I've separated out all my vintage dishes by season and color. My fall and Christmas dishes have been packed in boxes and are safely stashed in our two attics on either side of our master bedroom.
Our master bedroom sits in between two attics, one on each side. One attic holds all our seasonal cloths. The other one houses our fall and winter dishes, quilting material, lamp and other miscellaneous items. It's a good feeling to be getting organized before Spring comes, because when it does, I want to be outside.
One of my favorites meals is soup. So many different kinds you can make, are so filling, and a great way to use leftovers. I've even made leftover meat loaf soup! Especially during the cold weather I like to have soup every day, so for yesterday's lunch I stirred up some Chicken and Barley soup.
I love barley, but rarely eat it since I focus on being gluten free. But I had such a taste for it, and I didn't' want beef and barley. We eat very little beef, so little in fact we had it for the first time in over a year.
Isn't the towel in the background so pretty? A blogging friend, Penny @ A Home In English Valley gave it to me when we met last year.
I make all my chicken stock, we save all the bones from chicken meals, and freeze until we have about 6-8 pounds of bones. Then using my pressure cooker stock is made from them, bones make the best stock, and taste so much better than store bought.
But if store bought is all you have, take some chicken bones and toss them in the stock and simmer for an hour with some fresh herbs and you stock will taste soooooooooooooooo much better.
The chicken and barley soup was made using leftover chicken and frozen organic mixed veggies from Costco. So much quicker than chopping all those veggies up....but I always use a fresh onion and garlic.
I'm so excited to hear the weather forecast is going to break into the high forties next week! Spring really is coming....and a few days in the fifties! If you don't hear anything from me it's because I am out enjoying the weather after a very cold and snowy winter.
I'm so excited, you might not know this but getting Mr. C out of the house is no easy task. He does not like to go out, really he could sit in this house and never leave. Me, on the other hand, likes to get out. So it is with much exited we are going away for the weekend! This weekend Illinois and Wisconsin are having a Vintage Shop Hop going on, over 240 stores are participating. We headed up toward WI, staying overnight at a B&B and then shopping around there.
I'm going to be doing some serious vintagizing! I hope to find a cabinet for our bathroom remodel starting soon.
Enjoy your day, and make some soup! You'll be glad you did.
Chicken and Barley Soup
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups of organic frozen veggies ( or 1cup chopped carrots and 1/2 chopped celery)
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 1 1/4 pound of leftover chicken (or 1-1/2 lbs skinless bone-in chicken breast, baked or simmer in chicken stock till done)
7 cups homemade bone chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup dry barley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large pot or dutch oven heat the oil till hot, add the chopped onions and cook about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till onions are done and raw flavor is gone from garlic.
Add the frozen veggies, or add fresh carrot and celery. Cook till softened or tender.
Add the chicken stock, bay leaves fresh parsley and dry barley, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes.
Once barley is done, add chicken and heat through. Serve.
Note: is not using pre-cooked chicken, add chicken with stock bay leaves and parsley and simmer for 30 minutes. Then add barley and cook as above.