Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup and Hot Buttered Pretzels...Or, How I Spent My Snow Day

On Friday we had a big snow storm (6-plus inches, or some such ridiculousness).  Since it had been forcast earlier in the week, I was prepared.  I knew we'd be stuck at home and it would be cold.  What better to make for dinner that night than an old favorite, my mother-in-law's fabulous chicken noodle soup.  And since Evan tried Auntie Anne's Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Nuggets for the first time last weekend, I'd been itching to try making my own pretzels as well.

The soup was tasty as always, and although the pretzels weren't exactly pretty, despite a YouTube lesson on how to twist them, they tasted phenomenal.  And now the details on how I made both...

Judy's Chicken Noodle Soup

12 cups water
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
9 cubes chicken bouillon
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup barley
1 cup frozen corn
12 oz. bag Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles

In a large stockpot, place chicken in water along with peppercorns, bay leaf, and cloves.  Allow to slowly boil for 60-75 minutes.  Remove chicken from stock and place in the refrigerator to cool.  Remove bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns from stock with a spoon.  Discard.  Add bouillon cubes.  Add celery, carrots, and onion and allow to slowly boil for about 1 hour.  Cut up or shred cooled chicken and return to stock.  Add barley and corn.  Allow to cook for 1 hour.  Add egg noodles and allow soup to cook an additional 20 minutes before serving.  Makes 8-10 generous 2 cup servings.  Freeze leftovers in individual containers for a quick meal later on!

Calories:  Depends on weight of chicken used.  Approximately 240 calories per serving.

I found the recipe for Hot Buttered Pretzels at (the lightly greased work surface really is key in rolling them, although I didn't employ that until I was almost finished).  The recipe makes eight pretzels, and I made four that were salted and four that were topped with Penzey's Cinnamon Sugar.  The Cinnamon Sugar pretzels were Evan's favorite!  To save a few calories on the pretzels, I used Land O' Lakes Light Butter instead of regular butter, which cuts the calories from butter in half.  Calories:  Approximately 160 per pretzel.
Salted Hot Buttered Pretzel

Cinnamon and Sugar Hot Buttered Pretzel
And since my dear hubby got his car stuck coming up our very short driveway, I went outside to help him shovel it out.  It was great to come in from the cold to the aromas of dinner and an excellent, hot meal!

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