Sunday, August 13, 2017

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

So, yes, I know that this is totally NOT the time of year to be sharing soup recipes. 

However, this is the only new thing I have made, and one of the few things I want to eat, so therefore this is the only thing I have to share with you!

Growing up my whole life, we never had chicken noodle soup all that much, and I was totally fine with that, because I just never really liked it. 
At all.
Not really sure why, but I think it was the lack of flavor sometimes, sometimes they are super watery and I hate that. Sometimes people would use rice instead of pasta, which I really, really, really didn't like! 

However, since being pregnant, I have craved chicken noodle soup a lot, for some reason. 
I could totally eat it Every.Single.Day. 

I don't want some exotic chicken noodle soup with weird things and flavors. I just want normal, flavorful yet subtle, chicken noodle soup. And not watery/brothy.....I want creamy.

I just realized I'm turning into a very picky person. 
Good grief. 

Anyways, turns out there is a million and one recipes for chicken noodle soup. The only thing I learned from all of them, is that it can literally take alllllllllllll day 
to make one pot of soup. 
No thank you. 
But I do realize to get a good, good soup, it just simply does take a while. So I picked apart a few recipes I found, and came up with this one! It usually takes me about an hour from start to finish....still seems long, but it's better than 8 hours, right?!

To me, it's the perfect combination of 
flavorful, creamy, comfort food. 
And it makes a TON, but it keeps in the fridge really well, and I eat on it all week long. I'm sure it probably freezes good too, but I haven't technically tried that yet. 

So whether you're feeling a little under the weather, or just in the mood for some good comfort food, I hope you give this a try!

6 cups low sodium chicken broth (make sure it's GF)
6 cups water
3-4 skinless chicken breasts or thighs (with or without bone)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups diced or sliced baby carrots
2 medium celery stalks, diced
2 heaping cups dry, gluten-free Rotini Pasta 
1 heaping cup fresh or frozen corn
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup milk 

Place water and chicken broth in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, and add chicken. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and any nasty little things that may be floating in the broth. Allow chicken to cool slightly, discard bones, if there is any, and shred meat with two forks (keep the broth covered and at a low boil).
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil slightly over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Saute until slightly tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the shredded chicken, sauteed vegetables, pasta and corn to the chicken broth. Cover and cook over medium heat for 12 minutes. 
Meanwhile, in the same skillet that you cooked the veggies in, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in cornstarch and Italian seasoning until smooth. Ladle in about one cup of the chicken broth from the soup pot. Whisk until smooth and thick. Add milk and mix well. Once the pasta is cooked, add the creamy mixture to the soup pot...very gently!! Stir to combine. 
Serve with muffins, garlic toast, grilled cheese, biscuits, good ole' bread and butter......anything you want!!! 

-Honesty moment: My chicken is generally frozen when I put it in the boiling water. Still works perfect. 
-Obviously, being gluten-free, I don't add crackers to my soup. But if crackers are you're thing, there is lots of different gluten-free crackers available out there. OR, if you are not a gluten-free eater, go crazy with saltines or oyster crackers or anything else, that will make all of us gluten-free eaters a little jealous of you!!!
-Also, if you are not a gluten-free eater, you can certainly use regular pasta.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Second Trimester

Just so everyone knows, I did have good intentions of posting like at least monthly updates or something.

It's the thought that counts, right?!

I'm almost to my third trimester already, which is SO wonderful, and amazing, and scary and awesome!

Here's my second trimester in a nut shell, pretty much!


I was excited and anxious to get to 15/16 weeks, because people kept telling me that the morning sickness would probably go away, and I would start feeling much, much better.

Well, that never happened, but that's okay.
It's gonna be totally worth it, right? That's what I always tell myself, anyways!

I do have some good days, and even some days that start out good and end bad, or whatever! Either way, I generally experience multiple good hours, at least, at this point!

Craving less and less, but somehow getting so fat!! 
Some foods don't sound as terrible anymore, but mostly I view food as a necessity...I HAVE to eat, so it sort of takes the fun out of it!

Thankfully my bread craving has come to a minimum, praise the Lord!!!
I still eat it, but not nearly as much, and I also eat other things now too...vegetables, for instance, which is wonderful!
However, carbs are still definitely my number one friend and companion!

Very rarely crave anything sweet, mostly just salty.
Love just about any kind of chip, pretzels, trail mix, etc.
I am able to eat a small amount of ice cream, sometimes. But once I've had a few bites, I'm done.
My sister introduced me to fudge popcicles to help with acid reflux, which has honestly been so helpful! Not really healthful, but I'm wondering if there is one thing that can be both!

I had the glucose test last week, so lots of prayers that comes back clear!
It wasn't as bad as I was afraid of. Well, I mean, I didn't throw-up in the doctors' office, anyways, so that was my goal!
It's one of those things you hear horror stories about, so I was kinda worried!
That being said, though, I do understand why some people say they will never drink an Orange Crush ever again!!!

Oh, and we also found out the gender at week 20, so check out my last post, if you haven't seen it yet!

Pretty frustrated and uncomfortable in most of my clothes now.
I was never a huge fan of dresses in the past, but I found a few t-shirt dresses on Amazon, and I basically live in them! I can't stand to wear a fitted shirt, or a heavy-material skirt, so the dresses are super thin, super comfy, and that makes me super happy!

Added to the list of things I have failed in this summer, bump shots are one them!!
I do not have one for every week, but the ones I do have, I add to the bottom of this post.
Throughout the month of June and some of July, I felt like the bump was bigger at times, and smaller other times. In the mornings, it was like it wasn't even there!
Now, it's all out there, all the time!

I think I was feel baby movement a little bit here and there throughout June, but I wasn't really sure.
In July, I started to feel movement a lot, and it's just continually gotten stronger and stronger!
It can be really uncomfortable at times, but at the same time, it's so wonderful and such an amazing reminder that there is a miraculous, tiny life in there!!!! 
Daddy finally got to feel a couple of kicks around week 24, so that was very exciting!! Normally, whenever there is lots of movement, as soon as he puts his hand on my belly, all is calm!!!!

17 weeks

18 weeks

18 weeks, 4 days

19 weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

25 Weeks

26 Weeks

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gender Reveal!!!

We are SUPER, DUPER, thrilled, and excited to announce, that we are having a.....


(This post is pretty late, and probably everyone already knows by now, but oh well!!!)

I think Bradley was pretty sure the ultrasound day was never going to come! He wanted to know SO bad!!
Honestly, we were both very shocked it was a girl. For some reason, we both thought it was a boy, and neither of us have any clue why we thought that!!
It wasn't like we wanted a boy and not a girl or anything. We would have been thrilled, no matter what!
And we definitely were!!!

It was so very special to me, because my mom and 3 of my sisters drove down just to go with us to the appointment. Bradley's mom was also able to be there, so it was just a wonderful moment made even better, because of family!

Heading into the Doctor's Office!

She's already like her daddy....SO not a morning person, and the tech was having a hard time getting her to move around enough to see her face!
She's also like mommy, and LOVES to sleep with her hands over her face, evidently!!

I was so sad at first, because when we got there, they told us only three people, including the daddy, could be back in the room with me. I had wanted my sisters there, but they said there wasn't enough room. But there was tons of room, and mom told the tech that they were sisters who drove 500+ miles to be with me today. Thankfully, I think we got the sweetest tech in the world, and she let the girls come right back!!!

(We all totally forgot to take a picture with all of us, so I have no picture of our moms being there, which makes me super upset. But they were there!!!)

We were planning on doing a gender reveal party with the rest of Bradley's family, but there was a death in my family that weekend, so we had to change plans, and I actually went back to Maryland with mom and the girls immediately after the doctors appointment, for the funeral.
But it probably worked out for the best, because I don't think Bradley would have been able to keep it a secret for even one day! About an hour after the appointment, he had already told like 14 people!!
But I have to admit that I would have had a hard time too!

So it's all things pink now, and we couldn't be happier!!!
It's been so fun working on baby registries, thinking about the nursery, and looking through baby clothes at the store!

Little Miss already has her daddy wrapped tightly around her finger!
He just wants to buy stuff for her all the time!!
He's so sweet, and he's going to be such a great dad!

"Mommy and Daddy can not wait to meet you, little girl!!!!"