There’s that glorious period of about a week after a major grocery run where I am pretty sure of what the daily menu will look like. I have a good handle on what we have in the house and a decent idea of what is or is not expired. It’s always a mix of cool new recipes I’m wanting to try, and the routine family favorites.
After those sevenish days it gets tricky. I *could* go to the store, but ugh. Then we start running out of easy meal options and the fresh veggies dwindle. I rough it for as long as I can, maybe picking up some milk here, some bread there, eventually stretching that big grocery run for two weeks.
And then… it’s the dregs. The grocery dregs.
This is where planning dinner becomes a major challenge and I get stubborn about not wanting to do another big grocery run.
Turning to the great Google god for help, I pick three or four major ingredients I have on hand that I think *might* work harmoniously for a meal for the four grown adults in my household. Usually it’s onions, [some kind of meat], [pasta/rice/legume], [frozen or canned veggie]. Sometimes I’ll throw in a wild card like “coconut milk” or “shelled walnuts.”
Thankfully, as I’ve become better and better at spotting good recipes online, these Google adventures turn out pretty well. I usually blend several of the recipes that pop up (taking from the best of the comments sections).
This time it was “onions,” “sage sausage,” “white beans,” and “crushed tomatoes.”
I ended up hitting pay dirt – the resulting stew is hearty, filling, and really delicious. I was completely out of bread and wanted something doughy to dip in the stew, so I paired it with my first-ever attempt at focaccia bread (carmelized (charred?) onion).
As luck would have it, I somehow managed to get a cold right before needing to start my new semester of classes.
All I’ve wanted to do is lay in bed, watch Friends on Netflix, and eat soup (without having to get up and make it for myself). These things being the exact opposite of everything productive that needed to happen this weekend, I figured I would do a quick roundup of Qwerty’s delicious soups.
These recipes are perfect for the cold, or if like me, you’ve got one.
Apparently it’s soup weather here in the Bay Area, seeing as Brie just posted this delish beef stew recipe on Monday. It rained a ton last week (everything is so lovely and green!) and even more rain is predicted for Thursday/Friday. So – hearty soups, comfort food, and hot chocolate are in the forecast in this Qwerty household for the next few weeks at least.
I’m also so thrilled to announce that I’m full time freelancing again. After a short stint with a great group of people at Jelly Belly Candy Company, I am back working from home (it’s a good thing). This means more time and emotional energy to make food and publish recipes for you lovely folks. Also – puppy snuggles.
I missed her like mad while I was away. I mean, just look at this face.
I call that picture, “our lady of noms.”
Anyhoo, I finally had it in me to do some recipe exploring AND real cooking, so allow me to present to you this slow cooker chicken noodle soup.
Prep your crockpot with a liner and fill it with 8 cups of water.
Add in the chopped onion, bag of mixed veggies, chopped celery, and bay leaf.
Mix your salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley flakes in a small bowl.
Now prepare to spend some quality time with the chicken - pat it dry, rub it all over with oil, then pat the mixed spices all over it.
Place a sprig of thyme on top of the chicken, and place the rest inside the chest cavity.
Lay that chicken down on the bed of veggies and water, set your crockpot to high, and cook for 5½-6 hours.
Carefully pull the chicken out and place on a large pan. Allow to cool enough to pick off the chicken meat (separate it from cartilage, skin, and bone), and put the shredded meat back into the crockpot.
In a medium bowl, whisk together ⅓ cup corn starch and 1½ cups of broth grabbed from the crockpot until thickened. Pour back into the crock pot.
One of my favorite memories as a kid is from a family trip up to the Heavenly ski resort in Lake Tahoe. I spent a long and exhausting day exploring the intermediate slopes with a group ski instructor and eventually met up with my dad for food and fun.
We stomped into the resort’s restaurant, (as I recall it, we’re still wearing ski boots, but typing that out now it doesn’t seem likely), and my dad sauntered up to the woman taking orders and got us hot chocolate (he’s a smart man) and big, steaming bread bowls filled with corn chowder.
It was probably a mix of exhaustion and nostalgia, but that was the best damn soup I’d ever had.
Since then I often find myself craving corn chowder when I’m in a need of a little TLC. The following recipe is a combination of several found online, plus a whole lot of tweaking. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
We created this space in 2013 as a home for recipes, reviews, and entertaining tips for those on the nerdier end of the spectrum. We're on vacation at the moment, but there are usually new posts every Thursday. Sometimes more, if you're lucky.
With our powers combined, we represent a culinary school grad, an aspiring astronaut, a culinary school dropout, social nerds, gamers, cinephiles, bibliophiles, laqueristas, food fanatics, social anxiety disorders, and more. It’s fun stuff. Oh! And Brandie is wife to Adam who is brother to Brie who is cousin to Cat! Clearly nerdiness runs in this family.
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