Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup

We were all battling head colds here recently so we needed some healing Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup. The day we were at our worst, at around lunch time, I set up the slow cooker, dumped in all the ingredients, and all afternoon we enjoyed the delicious aroma of chicken soup filling the house.  We had bought a yummy loaf of Panna de Casa bread for the occasion and were all looking forward to the warm crustiness it promised.

I’m sure you all probably make this soup at home.  It’s super easy and not much effort, even when you are feeling pretty rough. I did actually struggle to the supermarket to buy the chicken and fresh spring onions, but you could skip the spring onions if you had to – not the chicken though!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast (500g), cut into four large chunks
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger (use fresh ginger if you have it)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 420g can creamed corn
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 pkt chicken noodle soup mix (optional)
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients on top of the chicken (except the egg).
  3. Turn slow cooker on HIGH for 4-6 hours.
  4. Just prior to serving, use two forks to shred the chicken.
  5. Then beat the egg lightly and gradually stir in the egg in a thin, steady stream.
  6. You can garnish with extra spring onion.
  7. Serve with warm, crusty bread.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/slow-cooker-chicken-sweet-corn-soup/

There’s really not much to this recipe.  It’s super easy, tastes delicious and is good for your body when you are feeling unwell.

The ingredients here are minimal and so very cost-effective. This slow cooker chicken and sweet corn soup recipe can feed a crowd. You could add extra stock and another can of creamed corn (+ extra chicken) to make it feed lots and lots of people.

This soup is very filling and makes a great meal when paired with bread.

Slow cooker chicken and corn soup meal

 

Stick the ingredients in your slow cooker and enjoy this healing chicken and corn soup at your place tonight. This is so good for a busy day, letting your slow cooker do the work.  It’s also a good one to make for family and friends who might need a meal. It freezes well and can be reheated whenever you feel like delicious comfort food.

Let me know if you make a soup like this one. Do you have a go-to soup for when you feel under the weather?

Trina xx

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“Kisses From Katie” by Katie Davis

I have just finished reading “Kisses from Katie” by Katie Davis.  This book belongs to one of my daughters and she enjoyed it so I thought I’d read it too.

Kisses From Katie book review

I found “Kisses From Katie” to be so inspiring and easy to read.

Katie Davis

Katie is a young American woman from a comfortable  home in Tennesee who feels an undeniable call to the people of Uganda.  She feels God leading her to this place of poverty, sickness, death and devastating living conditions. Yet the people of Uganda capture Katie’s heart.

After Katie finishes High School, in December 2006, she embarks on a short trip to Uganda with her mother to volunteer in an orphanage. She falls in love with the children she encounters and finds it difficult to leave when her time is up. Once back in America, Katie quickly organises her return to Uganda.

As “Kisses From Katie” progresses, Katie tells of how she comes to live permanently in Uganda, establishes a charity called Amazima Ministries and adopts 14 little girls!  Her house is chaotic, yet full of love and laughter.  She nurses countless people back to health and in the process shows them Jesus.  This is the part that means the most to Katie.  Her Christian faith is at the forefront of everything she does. Through prayer and praise to God, Katie brings joy to people’s lives. She reads them the Bible and teaches them about the awesome love of God by showing them love like they have never experienced before. She also established a charity called Amazima to help fund her work with the children and families.

I wondered how Katie’s life is going now, as it has been over ten years since first embarking on her Ugandan journey.  I found out that she is now married and has had a baby son.  Her name is now Katie Major and you can read about her in her new blog over here.

I found Katie’s story so inspiring because she changed so many people’s lives at such a young age.  At the age of eighteen, I would not have had the self-confidence to do what she did. I wouldn’t have had the courage or the faith.  Faith that God knows best.  God has my life in the palm of His hand and God will guide me to great things if I just let him.  That’s what Katie did.

Trina xx

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Tasty Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is for a very Tasty Shepherd’s Pie. I was visiting one of our neighbours a while ago and she shared a recipe for Shepherd’s Pie that she had found in her study, hand-written on a scrap of paper. I copied out the recipe on my own piece of scrap paper and took it home, vowing to “give it a go”. It was delicious! I kept the flavours essentially the same, but varied the method to make it simpler, quicker and using less dishes. I also added more vegetables to boost the nutritional content of the dish.

Normal Shepherd’s Pie is delicious but THIS Shepherd’s Pie has delicious flavours.  My children absolutely love this when they see it baking in the oven. It exudes a wonderful aroma throughout the house. This recipe is definately one on permanent rotation at our house.

Tasty Shepherd’s Pie

Yield: 4

Tasty Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 Tbsp mustard pickles
  • 1 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 potatoes + 1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups tasty cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place an oven-proof pot on medium heat and add the oil. Then add the onion and saute for 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the beef mince and brown, breaking it up as it cooks.
  4. Once the mince has browned, add the remaining sauces and flavourings.
  5. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and arrange the potato and sweet potato slices on top of mince mixture.
  7. Top with grated cheese.
  8. Cover the pot with a lid (or aluminuim foil) and place in the oven for 50 minutes.
  9. Remove the lid and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbling.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/tasty-shepherds-pie/

What I love most about this meal is that all the ingredients are always in my pantry. It is easy to make and I’ve managed to turn it into a one-pot wonder.

One thing to keep in mind when making this recipe: it makes enough to serve 4 but without leftovers.  If you want to make extras to serve more people or to have enough for lunch the next day, either double the recipe or bulk it out with more vegetables. Grated zucchini and spinach leaves are good ones to add.

Tasty Shepherd's Pie in dish

Also: your mince mixture should be a “wet” mixture, and not have a really runny sauce. If your mince mixture is too runny, you can thicken it with Gravox or a cornflour and water slurry.

I hope you will give this Tasty Shepherd’s Pie a try at your house. It really is very tasty and has flavours that make you want to eat it again and again.

Trina xx

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“Past Secrets” by Cathy Kelly book review

I haven’t done a book review in a while.  I have just finished reading “Past Secrets” by Cathy Kelly after it was recommended to me.  This book is an older book, published in 2006.  As usual, I’m slow off the mark! This is the first of Cathy Kelly’s books I have read.  Will I read another one?  Maybe……

Set in Ireland, “Past Secrets” is a story about a handful of characters who all live in Summer Street, and have been there for years and years.  How well do you know your neighbours? These ladies all knew each other but not well….until their circumstances brought them together.

"Past Secrets" by Cathy Kelly

Each character in the book has her own story that runs alongside the others.  It’s one of those books! The ladies do end up crossing paths as the stories evolve, which is good!  Cathy Kelly doesn’t make us wait until the end to do this like some others I have read.

What did I enjoy about this book?: it was an easy read, and the characters had me intrigued.  Although diverse in age and life situations, I found the characters to be interesting and they all managed to suck me into their little life situations they had going on.  I also enjoyed the supporting characters who featured in the lives of the main characters.

What didn’t I enjoy about this book?: some aspects of the characters seemed hard to believe and so did some twists and turns in the plot. It was also a little clich`ed, particularly towards the end of the book.  I liked that this story is set in Ireland, although it really could have been anywhere. The Irishness wasn’t emphasised, which was disappointing.

Summer Street

There is an underlying message to “Past Secrets” and that is that secrets always catch up on you. The longer secrets of the past are kept, the more difficult they can make your life. When secrets do finally emerge, they can have devastating effects.  They can also have healing and restoring effects. This book made me think about this.

Overall, I’m glad I read “Past Secrets” by Cathy Kelly. And I might even read another one of her books one day.

Trina xx

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Freezer hacks

I really need some good freezer hacks. Wouldn’t you think that the person writing this blog would have that area of her life sorted?  No, she doesn’t I’m afraid. My freezer has been in a constant state of “what’s in there?” for…..forever. In my post about how I meal plan (you can read it over here), I mention that I do a freezer inventory before I plan my meals. This helps me to use what I have in the freezer instead of buying more meat when I may already have something that needs to be used up.

Freezer meat drawer

When I take my freezer inventory, it involves me standing with the freezer door wide open while I jot down on my page each meat item and roughly where it is in the freezer. This wastes precious energy as I stand with the freezer door open, but once it’s done, I can plan my meals for the week and I know exactly what I have stashed away. Lately though, I have been thinking that there must be a better way to keep track of what is in my freezer.

Freezer contents

I needed something that I could just constantly update when I use something up or put something new in. This would save me standing with the door open while I write it down each week. An app.  That’s what I need!

Well, I searched and tried a few apps that I thought would be good.  It took a while for me to find one that I’m happy with, but I did find one! The app is called “Items In My Freezer” (android).  I’m sure there is the same one available for you apple people out there. (No, this post is NOT sponsored by an app.  I just like it and decided to share it with you.)

Freezer App

Basically, this app is really simple to use and update.  You can customise it to suit your freezer shelves and compartments because you get to name the shelves.  I have included the freezer at the bottom of my fridge by simply naming the shelves “under fridge – top shelf”, etc. The app allows you to input the name of the item and also include it’s weight (I use this box to note how many of this item there are on that shelf). When you use something from the freezer you just go into the app, select the item on the shelf and delete it.  To add items you just put the item details in and assign it to whichever shelf you like.

Here is a screenshot of mine:

Items in my Freezer App

Note that I don’t list every single item in my freezer.  I just note down the main things that are in there to use for meals or for when unexpected guests arrive. In time I may add in more items but for now this is how I use the app.

Confession Time!

Of course other freezer hacks like labeling meals, storing food flat in ziplock bags, using ice cube trays for lemon juice or herbs in oil or butter are all great ideas and I wish I used these hacks all the time.  But I don’t. I do sometimes use the lemon juice in ice cube trays one, but labeling freezer items is not my strong point! I just assume I will remember (it’s obvious that there is pasta bake in that container, isn’t it?). No, it’s not usually obvious two months later. I have been known to thaw out “meatloaf” for guests, even reheat it in the oven and go to serve it with vegetables, only to discover as I removed the layers of foil that it was actually a fruit cake cooked in the loaf tin I also use for meatloaf! Label Trina, label!

For example, I assume this is pastry?  Who knows!

Is this pastry?

What on earth is this??!!

What is this?

Anyway, if you also struggle to remember what is in your freezer, check out this great app or try a different one (there are heaps of them out there). Also, if you have any amazing freezer hacks, I’d love to hear them! I need them!

Trina xx

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