Sunday, March 10, 2013

Springing Forward by being a little lazy...

I've always said that I don't really get the "daylight savings" time change. I mean I do for the farming aspects and energy saving supposedly it does but all it leaves is this girl and my Lucy Lu a little sleepy and in need of a nap. Perhaps it was the staying out late with some great friends and losing track of time last night? I'll stick with the former because the later proves that I am indeed getting older and my 9-10 p.m. bed time is a necessity to function properly. Yikes!

With all the changes going on at the air base, deployments and it's "that time" where people are PCSing away to different bases, I feel like the last month has been a long string of "goodbyes," "see you laters," and of course, "we WILL have to visit each other soon!" It's a bitter sweet time.  Last night was saying see you later to my sweet friend Kathryn, hanging out with old friends and meeting new friends! It's a funny cycle to be in because you watch your little groups dwindle away... only to know that you are going to be the next at some point in the near future.

Our day in the Roe house was just LAZY! But sometimes it is nice to just "be." And given the rainy weather for most of the day, it just seemed like the right thing to do. I read the news, drank some coffee and house and builder hunted online for our upcoming move. There are just so many houses... it is truly overwhelming but the beautiful mountain views that I will be seeing out my backdoor makes looking pretty fun. God has already been at work for our upcoming move! In the last month, he has provided clarity that we are headed exactly where He has called us to be, He has put several people in our path to take us through the journey to getting to Davis Monthan (DM) and a couple to enjoy our time there! Now everyone knows what an OCD planner I am. It's a good and bad quality to have because I know our move will smoother because I will have it planned down to the "T" as much as possible but also I sometimes lay awake at night just wondering how I am going to go about it. When we initially had considered DM, I knew that my dental hygiene license was not good in the state of Arizona and the thought of taking another clinical board sickened me. Aside from the large cost, the stress that I held from my SRTA for Arkansas... I never wish to feel that again. I began to wonder and worry about the "how" and "what" about my future. Would I ever do what I love again? Is God trying to pull me away from something that I put literal blood, sweat and tears into? I trusted but in a timid and confused way. Well, as God has done in the past with me... he always makes it undeniably clear what he wants for me. Just days after I blogged our big news, I was searching online for dental educator jobs and master's programs and I happened upon something that truly stunned me. I had to read the posting probably 5 times before I said anything out loud to Jon. There on my screen was a posting on usajobs for multiple vacancies for civilian dental hygienists at several USAF bases... including DM! The applying period is open for one year too. Just to know that such a door is opened, is truly a blessing and I have no doubt that God will put me to work or show me that he has other plans. He is good... all the time. As we wait for our training dates, Jon and I have been diligent to remember it.

Okay! Now that I have updated! What is the best thing on a rainy day?! Nap time! I am lucky that my dog loves to nap just like her Momma! But besides nap time, what else?! Soup. Just good ole comfort food soup. I have been searching for a homemade chicken noodle soup recipe for quite sometime as many of my pinterest followers have seen... I have pinned quite a few! Not seeing one that just really had everything I enjoy in a good chicken noodle soup, I decided to just take some notes from other recipes I had found and form what I hoped would be an EPIC chicken noodle soup!

My family knows that I am a 1. slow cook, 2. OCD cook and 3. a messy cook. My mother is laughing right now, I am sure of it. I know the last two really do not go hand in hand but let me explain... I'm OCD in the sense that my food has to be "perfect" in taste and look or I am throughly disappointed because (refer back to point one) I take a lot of time when I cook. I always read the prepare times and cook times (if cooked on a stove top, which is where most of my cooking takes place) and I chuckle as I tack on oh about 30 minutes to each. I think the prep time is slower too because I am clumsy and my fingers happen to be precious commodities (and insured ones). Needless to say, if you come to my house for dinner, it's not a joke when Jon says I "slaved away all day" because I did. But the thing is... I truly love cooking and it is therapeutic to the point where Jon and I have this unspoken rule that he just leaves me in "my zone," as I prepare our food! Okay, so I'm messy but I like to think of myself as a less glamorous Rachel Ray. I like to use all my utensils... literally ALL of my Calphalon utensils get love...all my bowls have scars of love and no one is left out. I'm proud actually when I have a huge mess, I feel like I created greatness. Okay, maybe not but I made some pretty great food! Am I perfect, no! I have made some "pintrosities" and "oopsies" but my poor husband still smiles and says I think it's great. You are a great man... a great great man, Jon Roe. Again, my mother is laughing because I drive her NUTS in the kitchen and I am her version of kitchen nightmares.

So, are you ready to see my master piece and maybe try it for yourself? Alright... here we go! I'll let you determine your own prep and cook time... Haha. But before I do, I have to just say I was trying to upload the picture of the soup and I thought I just deleted this whole blog... I died a little inside but luckily... my computer saved it for me!! Woo... Ok, we shall move on!

Looks all cozy, doesn't it! I was really worried about it being too salty or possibly not enough flavoring but somehow, it turned out great. You may feel you need to adjust the flavoring to your liking but I thought this had a good balance. It had just enough flavoring with the right amount of thickness and creaminess to really make it stick to your ribs! Enjoy!

For the base:
1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts/tenders cut into small chunks (I used tenders rather than breasts because they were on sale!)
1 cup yellow onion diced
2 tbsp. olive oil (Yay! Finally I get to use my olive oil from Sedona!)
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
3 cups wide egg noodles
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. parsley leaves chopped
1 tsp Bona-petite Seasoning Salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 qts. chicken broth (I use the free-range, low sodium kind... again Kroger had awesome sale)

For the cream sauce:
1/2 cup butter (I feel like Paula Dean... for shame)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp garlic salt

First, I brought 2 qts of water to a boil and began cooking the egg noodles.

While, the noodles were cooking, I heated the olive oil over medium/high heat in a dutch oven. Once warm, I threw in the chicken chunks. I cooked them until they were cooked on all sides and just ever slightly brown. I let them finish cooking in the boiling base later on.

Add in the veggies, salts, garlic powder and parsley to the chicken and mix to coat. Then add in all the liquids with the bay leaf and bring to a medium/high heat to boil. Check the noodles. If they are al dente, drain and set the aside. My noodles were not quite finished when I added the veggies. But when they finished, drained and put to the side, I moved the veggie/liquid mix to the large soup pot to finish boiling. Boil for 30 minutes and move onto creating your creamy sauce!

For the cream sauce, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium/low heat. When fully melted, add the flour, stirring constantly to form a roux. Combine the milk and heavy cream and mix them together before adding to the roux. I found it helped thicken everything out fairly quick. Add all the cream mixture in spurts, stirring after each addition until the sauce has formed into a nice creamy mixture. Add in the salts and stir yet again. I told Jon that I was getting a good arm work out. Haha!

Turn down the heat to the boiling pot of veggies/stock and remove it from the heat. Slowly add in the cream mixture and stir to combine. Now, I did find that mine was a little more runny than I wanted still. So, I cheated. Yes, I did it. I did a little corn start mixture and added that in and it became just the right creamy thickness. I'll probably just adjust down the stock by 2 cups or so next time.

Now, chow down! I hope you enjoy it as much as Jon and I did!

I hope everyone is ready to face Monday! But for now, I will watch The Bible series on the History Channel... check it out! It is fantastic!

Until next time!

Live. Laugh. Love!