Homemade Chicken Soup

This time of year is especially important to me, as it is when I am called upon to volunteer.  Although my husband and I are available throughout the year to volunteer, this time of year is very special to us. We started volunteering several years ago when we found ourselves without family to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. Over the years we’ve made ourselves available to cook, serve, put together care packages, deliver meals even hand out blankets and coats. Turns out we didn’t really need a reason to reach out and help people all those years ago. But we’re sure glad we did. Volunteering has been good for us. But having to balance work, full-time school, commutes, our household (including a pet with health problems) and volunteering takes some work. Organization is key along with nutrition, sleep, and overall good health.  Time and again I turn to homemade chicken soup as our go-to meal when we are busy and finding ourselves in need of a good hot, good for your health meal. Chicken soup really is good for the soul and I continuously tell people I believe it to be one of the reasons I haven’t been sick with a cold or sinus problem since 2006. I’ve tried several recipes for good soup but love Ina Garten’s recipe the best. I like everything Ina cooks and bakes, who am I kidding?

chicken soup


Chicken soup and volunteering, both good for the soul!



Fall baking

banana bread

cranberry muffin

Source -cranberry muffins

Happy 1st day of October friends.  Cooler temperatures call for fall baking. The first thing I want to bake is usually pumpkin something, anything. This past Saturday between hiking and golfing I baked both a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. I used homemade apple pie filling for the apple pie and then baked a cooking pumpkin up for the pumpkin pie. I found the recipe for the homemade pumpkin pie here. Around this time I do begin thinking about the holidays and the baking I will do for my volunteer work. I bake to give away a lot of banana and pumpkin bread. I use King Arthur Gluten-Free flour for baking my bread so that I can enjoy a piece or two.  The pumpkin bread recipe I use and have found great success with is here.  We stopped at an apple stand this past weekend and bought more apples and some cranberries. This weekend I plan on making some orange cranberry muffins. The cranberries keep the muffins so moist and are a perfect marriage to the orange. I plan on whipping up some orange glaze with orange peel and then drizzling it over them once they’ve cooled down.

I love the smell of oranges and I am giving serious consideration to having something made with oranges for my birthday dessert instead of pumpkin. But what? maybe some of these – Orange Sour Cream Muffins with Zesty Orange Glaze

orange glaze muffins


Until next time, happy first week of October and happy fall baking!