Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


The basis for this soup came from a Pinterest post but I changed it significantly, especially by lightening it a lot.  This is a wonderful hearty chicken soup.  I have made it several times and absolutely adore it.  I made my own Gnocchi, which is no harder or time consuming than homemade noodles and so much better than the commercial which is OK in a pinch.  Get a good brand like Barilla.   The secret to Gnocchi being soft and not gummy is using dry potatoes and the microwave works the best.  If you want to bake in the oven wrap them in foil.  I made it once with leftover rotisserie chicken and it was good but I really like the meatballs.  This is a great versatile meatball which can be made with turkey or chicken and the spices can be changed according to what you want it for.  I have added sage and thyme for a mushroom sauce or chili powder for making bar-b-que meatballs.  

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
1 T. olive oil in a Dutch oven pan – Grate in 2 cloves of garlic and stir until browned.  Add 2 cups of rich chicken broth and 4 cups of water.  Add 2 grated carrots and 1 stalk of grated celery.  Throw away the strings.  Add 1-2 tsps. dry basil or 3-4 T. fresh chopped.  Add 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. (If you are using meatballs (2-3 Cups) add now if chicken add with the gnocchi.) Simmer for 20 minutes. 

Stir together 1/2 whipping cream  and 2 Cups milk with 6 T. flour.  Stir into the simmering soup until thickened.  Add 1 package of commercial gnocchi or 1 recipe of fresh gnocchi and 2 C. chicken.  Simmer for 5 min.  and enjoy!  It is good served with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled on it.

Fresh Gnocchi
Cook 4 medium potatoes about 3 min. each in the microwave until soft.  Let sit for 10 minutes and peel by hand.  Chop up in a bowl and mash with a hand masher or pastry blender until all the big pieces are broken up (don't whip). (You can also cut up and chop in a food processor)  Add ½ C. flour, 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese,  ½ tsp. salt, 1 egg…if it is extra large beat up a little and don’t add all.  Stir together and turn out on the counter and knead for a minute on a floured board.  Don’t overmix.   Cut into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ¾ inch snake on a flour covered board.  Cut into ¾ inch pieces and quickly round the edges with your fingers.  Bring a pot of water to boil and add the gnocchi one cut-up rope at a time and boil for 2 minutes or until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl until ready to add to the hot soup. 

Chicken Meatballs  These are good in spaghetti sauce or a mushroom sauce over rice or could be used as an appetizer with a bar-b-q sauce. 
1 lb. ground chicken breast or ground turkey
1/3 C. whipping cream
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
10 good grates of fresh pepper or ¼ tsp.
1 tsp. dry basil or  2 T. chopped fresh
¾ C. bread crumbs (I crush garlic croutons from Costco)
Or ½ C. quick oatmeal
½ C. coarse grated Parmesan cheese
Mush all together and roll into small balls.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and broil on high until browned.  No need to turn.  This is more meatballs than you need for the soup but they freeze well for another use.

For the soup I make the meatballs half this size.  I like to make a double recipe and keep some in the freezer for a quick meal.