Hello Friends,

Sometimes the best recipes stem from only what is stocked in the fridge at the moment. You know, when it gets bare and you can’t bring yourself to do another weekly shop. As my kids are growing it seems I am constantly running out of food! So we barely have leftovers, but I do have staple ingredients lying around. Garlic, ginger root, onions, carrots, celery, fresh herbs, always cilantro and basil. In the pantry, canned beans, tomatoes, chicken bone broth and veggie broth stock the shelves. That way when I am in a pinch, I can easily throw something in a pot and walk away, while I  to tend to the chaos of after school activities. Inspired by the classic the many leftovers in the fridge after hosting our first “classic” thanksgiving meal a beautiful hearty soup was born.

Leftover Chicken Soup Recipe


2 cooked Cornish Hens (or 1 fully roasted chicken)

2 sweet onions

4 celery stalks

2 carrots (I used my roasted carrots from the night before!)

2 cloves garlic

Fresh Ginger (about half the size of your pinky finger)

2 - 16 oz chicken bone broth (free range organic is my preference, I like Pacific Brand or you can make your own stock) White wine (you actually like to drink, I love Sauvignon blanc)

2 cans of cannellini beans (eden brand is great, they pressure cook and Soak them, so they are great on your digestive system)

2 -3 cups of fully cooked mixed potatoes, Japanese sweet, white, red… you get it! (roasted from night before, or boiled then add them to the pot, don’t add raw potatoes to your soup, it will soak up all your broth)


1 bay leaf

fennel leaves

fresh oregano, thyme leaves, sage, rosemary


Fresh ground pepper

Other things you may need:

Olive Oil, or avocado oil for frying your veg

1 large stock pot, with wide bottom (Dutch oven work great too)

1 wooden spoon

Chef’s knife

Cutting board


First chop all your onions, carrots, celery, place in one bowl set aside. Take two garlic cloves with the peel on, place one on your board and with your knife smash down, take off the peel and set aside the garlic. Repeat.

Place your stock pot on the stove, turn on the stove to medium-high heat add in your Avocado oil, when its good and hot add in your onion carrots and celery mixture to the stock pot. Then add in salt and pepper to taste, (small amounts at a time here if you aren’t experienced). Add in your whole garlic. Then Add in ½ cup of wine while the pot is good and hot, then bring the stove down to medium heat. Cook until the onions are clear, then add in both smashed garlic cloves. While that is making magic, roughly chop your herbs and add those to the pot. If things are good and cooked, turn the heat to low.

TIP: Be sure to stir your saute every few min so it will not burn, I like to feel things out when cooking, smell also helps so be sure to use your senses as a guide in the process!

Pull apart the chicken meat and bones, add them to the pot, and set aside the carcass for other use or discard altogether.

Open your cannellini beans, thoroughly rinse and drain beans and put them in the pot. Add in the fully cooked potatoes from last night's roast, ( or pre boiled potatoes). Cut about 1 inch long of fresh ginger root, toss this into the pot whole. Add in your Bay leaf as well.

Give everything a good stir, turn your heat up to high, now it’s time to to add in the bone broth to the stock pot. Let it boil for 5 min on high, when you see it bubbling, give it a good stir and bring your heat down to low and let simmer for min of 45 min - 12 hours depending on when you will be eating. The longer it sits the more time the flavors have to melt into each other. After the 45 min on low heat, you can taste if it needs more herbs, salt or pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and salad to make a glorious dinner!




Hello Friends, 

It’s good to remember you don’t need fancy food, or expensive kitchen tools to execute a good meal. A Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich will do  just fine indeed. We all have busy lives. What I love most about sandwiches, they are quick, easy, and i’d say nutritious. The thing is, it’s not just about the meal at the dinner table, but the memories we make around the table. Or it’s not about the “perfect” presentation, but letting the kids get in there and make something too, and heck it can be messy. Who cares?

Onward, go make a sandwich and hug someone close to you!



  • Loaf of bread

  • Your favorite jam / honey or fruit spread

  • Peanut butter (or other nut butter )

  • A knife 


  • DIRECTIONS:   Grab 2 pieces of bread. With your knife place an even layer jam on one half of bread. On the other spread an even coating of peanut butter. Then place one slice on top of the other. Bam you are finished. If you are daring make it open faced. To do that spread an even layer of nut butter on bread, then jam on top!

peanut butter toast recipe

peanut butter jelly sandwich recipe



I’ll sing you a story of a silly young king
Who played with the world at the end of a string,
But he only loved one single thing --
And that was just a peanut-butter sandwich.

His scepter and his royal gowns,
His regal throne and golden crowns
Were brown and sticky from the mounds
And drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich.

His subjects all were silly fools
For he had passed a royal rule
That all that they could learn in school
Was how to make a peanut-butter sandwich.

He would not eat his sovereign steak,
He scorned his soup and kingly cake,
And told his courtly cook to bake
An extra-sticky peanut-butter sandwich.

And then one day he took a bite
And started chewing with delight,
But found his mouth was stuck quite tight
From that last bite of peanut-butter sandwich.

His brother pulled, his sister pried,
The wizard pushed, his mother cried,
“My boy’s committed suicide
From eating his last peanut-butter sandwich!”

The dentist came, and the royal doc.
The royal plumber banged and knocked,
But still those jaws stayed tightly locked.
Oh darn that sticky peanut-butter sandwich!

The carpenter, he tried with pliers,
The telephone man tried with wires,
The firemen, they tried with fire,
But couldn’t melt that peanut-butter sandwich.

With ropes and pulleys, drills and coil,
With steam and lubricating oil --
For twenty years of tears and toil --
They fought that awful peanut-butter sandwich.

Then all his royal subjects came.
They hooked his jaws with grapplin’ chains
And pulled both ways with might and main
Against that stubborn peanut-butter sandwich.

Each man and woman, girl and boy
Put down their ploughs and pots and toys
And pulled until kerack! Oh, joy --
They broke right through that peanut-butter sandwich.

A puff of dust, a screech, a squeak --
The king’s jaw opened with a creak.
And then in voice so faint and weak --
The first words that they heard him speak
Were, “How about a peanut-butter sandwich?”

lifestyle portrait

    Cooking Basics : Chicken Soup Recipe

    Soups are by far the easiest and my most favorite thing to throw together. For entertaining, getting through the busy week or because it’s cold outside. I thought it would be good to start with the basics of cooking, with the foundation of a soup, simply because if you start every soup this way its very easy to build on. You can come up with any type of dish if you nail those basic principles. 

    Lets begin:

     In French cuisine there are soups, sauces, stocks. These are usually the bases for other dishes to build on. Which would consist of a tomato sauces to put over pasta, any soup or stew dish, or even a sauce to place over meat. The base is a Mirepoix (pronounced “meer-pwah”) it is a mix of chopped carrots celery and onions. Traditionally it’s about 50% onions, 25 % carrots and 25 % celery. But honestly if you like more of one, for instance more carrots less onion, or an even amount of all feel free to break French rules and do it the way you like best!

    Mirepoix is important because with this foundation your cooking magic can begin, the taste of these three alone are simply heavenly and can turn a bland anything into bursting taste! Also once you know how to start dishes you can then break the rule, that’s right friends. Nail the basics, and then break the rules. I would say that is true with a lot of things, being open to exploring the possibilities. Do you know what I am saying?

    Let me also mention ingredients, I have stressed this once and I will stress this again. Fresh ingredients so key in cooking. They aren’t expensive, in fact if you shop at the right places such as your local farmers market, Trader Joe’s and yes whole foods you would be surprised at what you could find for little to nothing. The reason I stress fresh or “the best” ingredients is not because they look pretty, but they taste the best, they have the best nutrients, which is key, and well its going to awake your taste buds! So lets just agree on this one? Lets move on…


    Starting your Soup:

     Ingredients/ Cooking Supplies:

    -Dutch Oven or large Stockpot

    -Wooden spoons for stirring and tasting

    -Strainer, Culinary Knife’s, Peeler, Cutting boards

    -Large mixing bowls, prep bowls

    -1 lb. Yukon Gold or Red Potatoes

    -2 16 oz. Chicken bone broth, or Kosher Chicken Stock   - or homemade

    - 2-4 carrots

    - 2-4 celery stalks

    -1-2 onions

    - 2-3 cloves of garlic

    - A whole chicken, either precooked from the grocery rotisserie, or made at home.

    - A bunch of fresh herbs and spices: thyme, oregano, and old bay seasoning salt, salt pepper

    - Loaf of fresh country bread (or gluten free for those with sensitivity)

    - Quality grade olive oil, or avocado oil (for high heat)


    (Note: Prepping ingredients first will cut your cooking time in half. So we will be prepping all the food first setting it aside, and then getting on with the cooking.)

    1. You can either roast your chicken at home or you could buy a precooked roast from the store. Leftovers of roast chicken make for great soups as well. This works if you are in a pinch for time! 

     2. Make your Mirepoix mix of carrots, celery and onions. Do your best here, its alright if it’s a rough chop, but just eye ball your cuts with the sizes being pretty even. Set aside in a bowl. Then finely chop your garlic cloves and herbs set aside. Quarter your potatoes, set in a large bowl of warm water, and let them soak for a good 15 – 20 min. When the chicken is finished roasting, break it down with knife, then pull apart the meat with fork or hands. (Set aside as well, you can keep the bones, and legs together).

    3. Once you are finished prepping your ingredients, set your Dutch oven on the stovetop and put the burner on medium to medium high. After about a min, add in the olive oil place a few onion’s in the pan to see if it sizzles, if so the pan is hot enough. Through in the MirePoix mix, let cook for 5-10 min. Letting the vegetables cook until the onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste, I would say about a pinch of each. Add in your garlic, sauté for another 3 min, and add in herbs and more salt and pepper if needed.

    4. While that cooks strain your potatoes, and add those into the mix (you could always boil your potatoes before hand as well then add them to the pot.) Let that cook for another 5 min, add in more salt and pepper if needed.

    5. Toss in the Chicken Stock and bring your heat up to high, you want this to boil for a good few min until you see a “rolling boil at the top of your soup”, then let that hang out for about 5 min. Then add in your cut up chicken, and bones. Reduce your heat to low and place a lid on the top, stirring your soup every 10 min, or to insure it doesn’t burn at the bottom. Cook for about 40 min to 1 hour. Then skim the top, and pull out the bones before serving.

    Then serve with beer, white wine, crusty bread and enjoy! 

    Works sited : 

    The Culinary Institute of America. The Professional Chef 9th Edition. USA: WILEY, 2011.Print.

    Dutch oven : LE  Cresuset 

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