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Recipes: Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Fri, 02/19/2016 - 8:33AM by Conversation Pieces 0 Comments -

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It was 90 degrees just 2 days ago, then we had a cold rainy, dreary 2 days. Absolutely confusing weather. Meanwhile, I am in the process of giving 3 different business entities better focus. It is a little confusing and I considered it for a long time. After 13 years of having all the adventures under one roof, it is time to separate them so that we will gain a more focused audience and collaborate better with others.

I was also nursing a cold and 3 days of high fever. It was the kind of week that just screamed for chicken noodle soup, but without the noodles, or rice, or potatoes, it's just chicken soup, and not nearly as satisfying.

The rain had brought with it some fallen lemons on the ground. The parsley patch that Bunny likes to hide in was flourishing so how about lemon chicken orzo soup?  The light version; a bright, lemony broth that's comforting with just enough orzo to satisfy.

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We ended up having this chicken soup 2 nights in a row, and a cold that got significantly better. Sometimes, you've got to listen to your body, slow down and pay attention to what mother nature and Bunny is telling you. Ha! Pick some lemons and parsley!

This is the simplified 5-ingredient version. You may add celery, pasta or even corn to it. Whatever you fancy.

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Ingredients
1 chicken breast
Vegetables. Carrots, celery, potatoes, corn. Anything you fancy.
1/3 cup of orzo or pasta.
Water or chicken stock.

Simply,
In a soup pot, bring to boil chicken breast, carrots, orzo and water or chicken broth.
Remove chicken breast. Shred and return to pot.
Add lemon slices, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with chopped parsley.

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Recipes: Have A Berry Sweet Valentine's Day!

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 9:00PM by Conversation Pieces 0 Comments -

TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's 

<span style="font-size: small;">Puff pastry.... it's like a god send when you're trying to make something really effortless yet beautiful.  I love using them for fast chicken curry or tuna salad puffs.  When I have a dinner party at short notice, I roll cubes of beef with sauteed garlic and mushrooms with a layer of puff pastry over it all. Put that in the oven and I get lots of time to make a salad and drinks.

With Valentine's around the corner, what better way than to make dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake pastry hearts?  Chocolate and raspberries are irresistible together! There are various ways to do this. I've made this with just the chocolate and raspberries. I've melted the chocolate and mixed it all up in a mixer.  This gives you more of a molten lava cake feel. But for this recipe, I'm assuming not all of us have a mixer, so we'll layer ingredients.instead.</span>

TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's

Ingredients
Puff pastry (follow instructions)
Cream cheese
Sugar
Yogurt  (Chobani has dark chocolate raspberry flavor yogurt!)
Dark Chocolate
Raspberries
Egg Yolk

TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's
In a bowl, using a fork or whisk, mix cream cheese and yogurt until blended. (You can melt chocolate and add to this mixture... or layer chocolate chips in next step.)

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Spread cream cheese mixture over puff pastry.
Layer with dark chocolate chips and raspberries.
If the raspberries are tart, you may sprinkle extra sugar.

TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's
Cover with another sheet of puff pastry. Seal edges. 
Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 40 mins or until golden brown.
Let cool and then use a cookie cutter to cut into it.

TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's TheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine'sTheBellyGoodLife.com - Dark Chocolate Valentine's
Drizzle with chocolate syrup if desired.

Off you go, this might win the heart of your valentine's, if you can resist eating it on your own.

Have a berry sweet valentine's, darling! xoxo



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Recipe: Ginger Carrot Orange Juice

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:51AM by Conversation Pieces 0 Comments -

The Belly Good Life - Ginger Carrot Orange Juice

California finally got some much needed rain yesterday and of course I had let my rain boots out, take a walk in the rain and jump in puddles. Then today I felt a cold coming!  So I turned to my favorite cold remedy.

This is my go-to recipe when I feel a cold coming on.   It's pretty and it's good for you and best of all,  you are likely to find most of the ingredients in your own kitchen cabinets.  Common spices like ginger, pepper, cinnamon and turmeric have a warming effect on the body.  They are literally able to knock out a cold.  They warm your body which is just what you need when you are all achy and struggling to keep warm while fighting germs.  Both ginger and turmeric have potent antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti inflammatory properties.  They help provide immune system support.

The Belly Good Life - Ginger Carrot Orange Juice

Start by gathering up all things orange and yellow.  We had oranges and lemons on the ground after the storm.  I had bananas, pineapple, carrots, ginger in the fridge.  And all we need is some honey and tumeric.  The most common item in your pantry is also the most powerful - pepper.  Pepper helps loosen phlegm and relieve a stuffy nose, so you are able to breathe again. I LOOOOVE garlic pepper chicken soup too when a cold hits.

Lemon: High in vitamin C, which keeps the immune system strong and neutralizes the free radicals in your body. This reduced the inflammation and swelling.

Ginger: Helps you sweat out the toxins in your body, which is helpful when you have a cold or flu. Ginger is also helpful for settling upset stomachs, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats.

Honey: Soothes a sore throat, making it an effective and natural cough suppressant. This improves the body's ability to fight infection and decreases the risk of fevers. The natural sweetness of honey also balances the tartness of the lemon and the ginger's spice, giving honey, lemon and ginger tea its soothing flavor.

The Belly Good Life - Ginger Carrot Orange Juice

I get excited seeing specks of carrots and orange pulp in your juice, so I simply blend it all up.  The resulting juice color is always so pretty.

The Belly Good Life - Ginger Carrot Orange Juice

Now, let's get over this cold.  :)

xoxo



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Tex Mex Egg Benedict with Greek Yoghurt Guacamole

Tue, 01/05/2016 - 9:00AM by Conversation Pieces 0 Comments -
Happy Holidays!  I hope you're enjoying time with family and friends, have on your stretchy pants for days and cozying up on the couch by the fireplace with hot chocolate.... I have a working weekend but know that is what I'll try to do a few times before the weekend is over. Savor every moment creating memories with people you love.  Family is all we've got. Would you believe we got so carried away with our beautiful rib eye roast that we forgot to get a picture?  :O    I'll show you what we made for breakfast instead.... a Tex Mex inspired Egg Benedict using leftover roast. It's leaning towards Tex Mex with the help of leftover roast, a lime tree bursting with fruit, cups of key lime Chobani yoghurt in my refrigerator and we want breakfast right?  So eggs, it is.  I've been swarmed with Christmas activities at the shop and haven't been creative in the kitchen until this morning when a light bulb went off in my head! </p>

Why not just combine fresh avocados, key lime Chobani Greek yoghurt, lime and cilantro into a Greek yoghurt guacamole?  Give it a blast in my little smoothie blender and tah-dah! DUH!  Don't the simplest ideas come when you're most relaxed?

For the base, I used items we already have at home;
- store bought hash browns or shredded potatoes, cooked in some butter.  :p
- bell pepper, corn and beans. I let these cook in the hash brown pan so they would get a little flavor without adding more grease.  (Opened a whole can of beans and corn but part 2 of leftover roast is Beef Barley Veggie Soup for dinner so that's ok.)
- limes and cilantro from the garden.

Topped one plate with omelette, the other with poached egg, Don't forget the shredded rib eye roast, and of course the Greek yoghurt guacamole.
To make the Greek Yoghurt Guacamole, I used key lime Chobani Greek yoghurt, a whole avocado, lime juice, cilantro, some salt to taste.  I like my dressings ultra light but you can throw in other spices to give yours a kick.  Just pulse or mash the ingredients by hand if you like it chunky.


And that's it!  A quick little assembly of available items most of us have on hand.

Thank you all for supporting us this year.  I can't wait to share a little more of what's coming up in the new year.  :)
Happy Holidays! xoxo

Audrey + Mimi + Bunny


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Recipes: Cranberry-Grapefruit Shortbread Bars

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 3:02PM by Conversation Pieces 0 Comments -

Do you have random small quantities of ingredients left from Thanksgiving? I woke up this morning with a plan for my half package of cranberries from Friendsgiving and decided to make Cranberry Shortbread!

This super simple shortbread recipe gets festive thanks to the cranberry-grapefruit compote.  I had grapefruit sitting around but you can use any citrus fruit.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar + 1/2 cup sugar
1 stick of chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1-2 cups of cranberries
1/4 cup grapefruit or orange juice
Grated zest from grapefruit or orange

Preheat oven to 350 deg.  Line your choice of pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2" overhang on each side.
Whisk flour, 1/4 cup sugar, butter cubes and a pinch of salt in your mixer until it resembles dry bread crumbs.
Transfer to your prepared pan and press evenly onto bottom of pan.
Prick dough all over with a fork.

<span style="font-size: 13px;"><span style="font-family: verdana,geneva,sans-serif;"><span>Bake shortbread for about 30mins until a light golden brown.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool.


For compote,
In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar, cranberries and fruit juice to a simmer.
Stir occassionally until cranberries burst and the mixture becomes like a syrupy jam.
Let compote cool.



Then it is time to assemble!
Spread cooled cranberry topping over shortbread.
Using paper overhang, lift shortbread out of pan onto a cutting board.
With a sharp knife, slice shortbread into bars.



And there you have it!
And don't forget to brew a fresh pot of coffee or tea.

Enjoy!</span></span></span>



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