Saturday, January 25, 2014

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I cannot tell a lie...I rarely measure anything when I cook.  The only time measurements are close to "spot on" is when I'm baking.  When I'm cooking I throw things into a pot or pan and hope for the best.  On most occasions this works out quite well for me, there is the rare occasion that I'm filled with regret.  This recipe, which I stole from my sister and she probably stole from someone else is an excellent example of amazing food with absolutely no measuring.  My instructions will be vague, mostly just telling you what you'll need, you can figure out the rest ;)

You will need:
2 (more or less) cooked chicken breasts (I season mine with salt and pepper)
Carrots (1-2), diced
Celery (1-2), diced
1/2 onion...or so
Chicken broth
1-2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 pkg of egg noodles

Cook your chicken breasts at 400 degrees or so w/salt and pepper seasoned on both sides.  While cooking chicken breasts I chop my carrots, celery, and onions and let them boil in the chicken broth (I usually use a whole carton of broth, I always end up with a bowl or two in the freezer, it thaws amazingly well).  Season with basil, salt and pepper to taste.  Once your chicken is cooked use two forks to tear it up into bit sized pieces and add to chicken broth mixture.  Approx half an hour before eating add your egg noodles and cream of chicken noodle soup.  By the time you're ready to eat the noodles will be cooked and the cream of chicken will add a nice creamy texture.  I LOVE this recipe.

GF/DF--Cook your noodles separately and add right before eating and do not use the cream of chicken noodle soup.  It well end up being a more traditional chicken noodle soup dish but still delicious...I promise!

And as always, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!!!  I hate to say I have no pic of this recipe, only because I'm always so anxious to dig in that I forget about the pic.

Megan S.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


The other night I received a text from a guy I had met (outside of work) on one occasion.  This text message came after I had gone to bed and it said "Hi.  Can I come over?"  Hmm...let me think about that, no, you can't.  What the hell?  I understand my generation has made the booty call and friend with benefits a popular concept but what happened to taking a girl out for dinner, or even a drink for that matter?  Do I have "booty call" written across my forehead and I just don't know it?  Does something about me scream out "friend with benefits?" Or is this simply the way people my age behave?  But, if this is how people my age behave than I would much rather spend my nights at home, with my dog, working on recipes for this blog.

You will need:
Your favorite pizza crust (I used Pillsbury's GF, I didn't love it)
Your favorite pizza sauce (I use tomato sauce and simmer it with minced garlic and italian seasoning)
Diced ham
Cooked sausage
Cooked red peppers
Goat cheese
Fresh tomatoes

Prepare your crust according to package instructions.  I parbaked mine so it would be crispier.  Once parbaked I drizzled it with olive oil and added my sauce.  I did a layer of pepperoni, ham, sausage, peppers and then the mozzarella.  I used about a cup of cheese but this was a standard sized pizza, if you're doing a smaller one I would recommend less, it really doesn't take much.  I sprinkled crumbled goat cheese on top and baked till things were melty and delicious looking and my crust edges looked crispy.  Once it had cooled for a few minutes I threw on some fresh, diced tomatoes.  I think the goat cheese and peppers really make this pizza delicious!  Pour some wine and enjoy!!

Megan S.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Garlic Salmon Pasta

I really hate the kitchen in the house I currently live, I mean I REALLY hate it.  I hate it so much that I rarely cook anymore.  There's hardly any counter space, it always looks dirty (even when it's clean) and there's not much storage space either.  It's not my house so I don't have my kitchen stuff here, which means all my favorite pans, knives, and cooking utensils aren't available for use.  I find myself making things work with old pans, dull knives and one spatula.  Fortunately, I am in the process of buying a small but wonderful house that happens to have a pretty awesome kitchen.  I can't wait to move in and make use of the stainless steel appliances, the counter space, and finally have all my favorite kitchen things with me.  For now, I have forced myself to do a little cooking in this dreadful kitchen so that our readers can have something new to cook.  

You Will Need:

Salmon filet
Olive Oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
Lemon Juice (fresh or bottled will work)

Cook your spaghetti according to package directions.  Sautee 1-2 garlic cloves in olive oil, add the salmon filet, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Cook salmon filet in olive oil, a few minutes on each side, until cooked through.  When the spaghetti is done cooking toss in olive oil and 1-2 minced garlic cloves, season with salt, pepper, and basil, and add a few squirts of lemon juice.  When salmon is done serve on top of the spaghetti and enjoy!  Quick, easy, and delicious...and great with wine!

Megan S.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mom's Potato Salad

I realize that it has been an unfortunately long period of time since your favorite spinsters have written a new post.  Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you, unfortunately we now live in different towns and coordinating our delicious posts has gotten a bit...complicated.  On top of that we have both fairly recently started new jobs, my partner has moved up with her company and I moved towns and started something completely new.  Not only did I start a new position but I've had my heart hurt a few times in my new town, got a new dog, and am now in the process of buying a house.  When I say we have been busy I'm really not lying, I will let Megan J. elaborate on all of her exciting times.  Hopefully we will be able to post more regularly, I know when I get into my new house with it's beautiful kitchen and stainless steel appliances I will be spending much more time toying with new recipes.  Today, in honor of the holiday I'm posting my mother's recipe for potato salad.  Megan J hates potato salad and it took me a long time to come around to it but this recipe helped me with that.

You Will Need:

An equal # of eggs
Onions (optional)
Pickle juice
Lawry's seasoned salt

You will notice I didn't give you any measurements...this is one of the issues with a family recipe, my mom and sister have never measured when making this so when I requested the recipe I didn't get any measurements either.  Boil your potatoes in the skin, I cut mine in half so they will cook a bit quicker.  Boil your eggs until hard-boiled, pretty much EVERYBODY has a different "right" way to do so.  Just don't do what my mom has done on more than one occasion; she forgets she's boiling eggs, the water boils out and the eggs explode, it's not pretty but it smells even worse.  When your eggs and potatoes are cooked cool them down with cold water.  Peel the potatoes, I use a butter knife, the skin comes off easily once cooked.  Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and put in a serving bowl.  Peel your eggs and dice them up into the potatoes.  Dice up your pickles, I usually just mix them up and cut enough so it looks balanced.  If you like onions dice them up in there as well, personally I don't like onions in my potato salad, I never know if I'm crunching a pickle or an onion and I'm not big on that kind of uncertainty :).  In a separate bowl combine a few spoonfuls of mayo, a squirt of mustard and pour in a bit of pickle juice.  Use a rubber spatula and mix them together.  The color should look similar to what is in my picture.  Pour the mixture into the bowl w/the potatoes and mix until everything is well coated.  My sister, Jessie, doesn't like too much of the "dressing", so don't go overboard, make sure you make enough to coat your potatoes and eggs but not so much that it just sits there.  Salt and pepper to taste, I've never liked a lot of salt in my recipes.  After everything is mixed and beautiful sprinkle Lawry's seasoned salt on top-oh so pretty.  MMMMM, delicious.  In the kind of heat we've been having here in MT I suggest always having a beer nearby, drink up, eat up and enjoy!!

Megan S.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

salad with a heavy heart

It is with a heavy heart that I post this entry.  Dinner for Spinsters lost it's most faithful follower last week to a long and hard battle with cancer.  Tommy T had a good long fight but sometimes you just can't win.  He was a lovely man with a warm and loving heart.  Truthfully, the world is a sadder place without him in it.  Although we spinsters didn't know him well we both feel incredibly sad to hear of him passing.  We will forever remember his funny stories and inviting him out to trivia in hopes that he could help us with sports questions only to find he was no help in that department.  Ha!

It feels a little sacrilegious to post a recipe at such times but I know he would have wanted it this way.  RIP Tommy T.  We spinsters will think of you every time we post.

You will need:

spinach (enough to fill a bowl)
5-6 fresh strawberries (sliced)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup goat cheese
a dash of your fave dressing (I chose raspberry lime)

Add olive oil to a skillet.  Get it warm.  Add almonds and brown sugar.  Toast until golden, maybe like 4 mins.  Make sure you toss it frequently.  Once done set aside to cool.  In a bowl place the following:  spinach, strawberries and goat cheese.  Add the almonds on top (once cool).  Top with your fave dressing and enjoy.

Best served with a glass of wine.  Be sure to give Tommy a cheers when you do!

Megan J

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Basic Baked Potato

 At some point in life most of us decide that it is time to take on the task of cooking at home.  Maybe we decide that the cost of eating out isn't worth it or maybe we decide that the health benefits are worth the trouble or maybe we just can't find our favorite foods at our local restaurants.  I remember when I decided it was time to save money and eat healthy and that meant tackling this cooking thing that I had spent so long avoiding.  I quickly realized that I knew very little about cooking, I could heat up a can of soup, scramble some eggs, boil pasta and that was pretty much it.  Even seemingly simple tasks like making hard boiled eggs, steaming veggies, and yes, baking potatoes seemed completely daunting to me.  How long did I boil the eggs, how did I know if the veggies were done, I was sure that I would never get even the smallest things right.  Now several years and plenty of experimenting later I sometimes feel confident in the kitchen, I know I can make a few things really well and most other things are at the very least edible.  I have been thinking of my first attempts in the kitchen and for those of you who still find those simple tasks scary I have decided to share my way of doing one of those basic tasks.

You Will Need:

Russet Potato
Olive Oil
Your favorite baked potato toppings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush your potato clean under cold water, dry off.  Place potato on a baking sheet, cut holes in the top and bottom so it won't explode in your oven.  Drizzle it with olive oil on all sides, sprinkle salt all over the potato, I used sea salt.  Bake for about 45-50 minutes.  When the potato is done baking you will have a deliciously crunchy skin and the inside will be fluffy and soft.  Add all your favorite toppings-butter, sour cream, bacon, cheese, whatever you like and enjoy!

Megan S.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Potato, Leek, and Ham Soup

When you move to a new town you start exploring the place, finding your new favorite places to eat, drink, and just have a good time.  After a period of time spent doing this you start to realize that none of these new places have been able to replace favorite places from back home.  There are a few of those places for me now that I have gotten settled into Missoula.  I miss my favorite Chinese place, China Wall, I haven't found any Chinese worth eating here, partly because I usually make my own and partly because I haven't tried.  I also miss having a grilled chicken sandwich from Frugal's with french fries dipped in fry sauce.  But most of all I miss the "soup shack" which is what I affectionately called Cafe Max Soup.  I worked about three block from the place and I ate there several times a week.  After spending a day craving some of their creations I decided it was time to make some soup for myself.  After creating this delicious dish and getting the seal of approval from my brother I have decided it's time to share it with you.

You Will Need:
Olive oil
2 leeks chopped (white and light green parts only)
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 russet potatoes diced
diced ham
1 small carton heavy whipping cream
corn starch

Heat your olive oil in the bottom of your pot, add the leeks, sautee about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken broth and half of your diced potatoes.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.  You can use a blender to blend the mixture, I didn't have one so I used a potato masher on the concoction.  I then added the remaining potatoes allowing them to cook through (I wanted actual potato chunks to bite into, if you don't care you can cook them all at the same time).  Add the ham and cream.  Allow soup to simmer.  If your soup isn't as thick as you would like you can use corn starch to thicken it.  I used about 1 T. and mixed it with a bit of the broth in a small bowl before adding it to the pot.  Salt and pepper to taste.  I then garnished mine with parsley but that part's up to you.  If you're like me you'll pour a glass of wine to enjoy this with, if you're like my brother you'll stick to beer, either way it's tasty!

For a GF/DF option you can omit the whipping cream and corn starch.  Instead after sauteeing the leeks and boiling potatoes in chicken broth put them in a blender and liquefy them (you may need to use more potatoes).  Reheat the blended mixture in a pot on the stove and add the remaining ingredients.  

Megan S.