Having a bowl of hot soup on a cold day feeds the soul as well as the stomach. Not only is soup soul food, it also can be a very healthy and satisfying alternative to salads. Studies have shown that in people who were trying to lose weight, those who ate hot soup lost more weight than those who ate salads. Ironically, a bowl soup more often has fewer calories than a salad due to the fact people load salad with creamy dressings and other fatty toppings. The protein in the soup as well as the heat, signals the brain faster that the stomach is "full." Having a small cup of soup before a meal as an appetizer can also curb food intake. So, if you are trying to cut back on the calories, you may want to think soup instead of salad.
Grandma's chicken soup for colds is not an old wives' tale. According to scientific research, chicken soup is packed full of anti-inflammatory properties. Eating soup when you are sick can help to unclog your nose by thinning the mucus and it will also aid in breaking up congestion in the chest. But, science aside, chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food for healing the cold weary.
I learned how to make chicken soup from my Alabama grandmother. Whenever I had a cold as a child, she would immediately start making a pot of delicious chicken soup. The delicious aroma would fill the old farmhouse as I snuggled under handmade quilts and anticipated that steaming hot bowl of golden broth. I must admit that having chicken soup made by my grandmother was the ultimate in treating a cold, but alas, I grew up and my grandmother passed away. Now it is my turn to make the chicken soup when a member of my family is ill from a cold.
Making chicken soup from scratch is easy. It is also perfect to freeze for future use. The absolute secret for making the ultimate homemade chicken soup is using chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are full of fat to make a good stock. It is what makes chicken soup, chicken soup. These are relatively cheap to buy in any grocery store. So start your soup with about six to ten chicken thighs in a big pot of hot water. Let the water reach a slow , low, rolling boil, and let them cook for about a 45 minutes. Once they are cooked, let the water cool a bit, remove the thighs and strain the broth into another bowl. After the thighs cool, you can remove the skin and shred the meat to put into your broth. Put the strained broth and the thigh meat back into the cooking pot. Sample the broth. If you used enough thighs, your broth should not need any chicken bullion. But, just in case, do keep a few cubes of bullion handy in case you need to kick the flavor up.
In another cooking pot make your rice. This way, you can control the amount of rice you want in your soup. Once the rice is ready, just scoop out the amount you want into a bowl and ladle in the broth. Of course, if you are sick you are not going to feel like making chicken broth. The secret is to do it ahead of time and freeze it. If you don't feel like making soup, then have at least six cans of store bought chicken soup on your shelf for seasonal cold emergencies. Of course, nothing beats the flavor of the real thing but when in a pinch a can of soup will do nicely.
Remember your friends as well as your family. Taking homemade chicken soup to a sick friend will definitely speed their recovery and make you feel like a million bucks for doing so. Life is good
.Article written by Linda Morgan Smith
Halloween is right around the corner and maybe you have an idea of what you would like to wear, but do you have a Halloween canine costume picked out for your dog? There are so many ideas for costumes for pets. A dog is the best pet to dress up because like us, they don't mind looking silly.
The possibilities are endless. When my dog Shiloh was alive (shepherd/lab mix) he used to go trick or treating with me and the kids. Of course he was in costume; he was the hit of the neighborhood.
One year he was Catdog from the cartoon of the same name. We just found the largest size stuffed animal of a cat at a thrift store and tied it to his backside. That costume, because the show was so popular was the talk of the town for a week.
Another year we dressed Shiloh up as a nanny. He wore an apron and a dust cap. That was a big hit and very easy to do. He looked like the dog Nanna from Peter Pan.
Now we have a Dachshund and he is so much fun to dress up. Chewy loves wearing clothes, I think it's a Doxie thing. He was Spiderman one year, a costume we bought online. There are many sites for dog costumes online. It makes things very easy.
The next year I made his a costume. The party we were having was a Super hero theme so, I just sewed a piece of material to one of his sweaters with Super Sausage written on it. It was a super hit.
The possibilities are endless. If you can't make it just order it. The pet costumes do not cost a lot. But you can always make one. If you have a white dog put black spots on him and he is a Dalmatian. Tie a baseball cap on his head and put a jersey on him. Put a karate outfit on him and tell everyone he is taking lessons.
Whatever you do on Halloween don't forget mans/woman's best friend. You will have a spectacular party and have a doggone good time. Do it right and your dog can win the best Halloween costume award this year!
Article written by the Halloween Host
Within the constantly trending world of super-foods, many of them come and go, but, turmeric is here to stay. Turmeric is a spice derived from the root of the curcuma longa plant which is primarily grown in India. It has long been a highly prized ingredient in both ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Tumeric contains "curcumin" which is a powerful plant compound that increases health and vitality by boosting the immune system and eliminating gut bacteria. According to a study at Boston-Tufts University, one of the most incredible aspects of curcumin is that it zaps fat by causing the fat cells to self-destruct in a process called apoptosis, a type of healthy cellar disintegration. The curcumin attaches itself to the fat cells and the cells react by shrinking and contracting and are eventually broken down completely by the process.
Long term studies in mice have shown that the mice who were fed tumeric showed nearly 50 percent less fat despite eating a high fat diet. Studies have also shown that tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties, increases metabolism, detoxifies the liver and guards against Cancer, primarily, in breasts, lungs, and colon. The effects of cucumin on the liver is very beneficial because the liver reduces waste in the body and helps to curtail sickness form inflammation. Approximately one teaspoon daily of tumeric should result in a steady weight-loss for over-weight individuals. According to many medical experts, this amount will also prevent weight gain in people who are already at a healthy weight. Studies have also shown that taking tumeric can aid in physical exercise by reducing joint pain from inflammation.
One of the best things about the curcumin in tumeric is that it has no toxicity level. This allows for people to eat as much as they want and as often as they like. Tumeric has traditionally been used as a cooking spice known for its rich russet color and peppery taste. Another wonderful benefit is that it is also very affordable as an eight to ten ounce bottle averages around five dollars and available in most super-markets. If you are not into cooking with tumeric, no worries, the supplements are available at health-food stores and online.
Drinking a tumeric infused smoothie in the morning will boost your metabolism throughout the day. You can also add it into shakes, and freshly squeezed juices. Sprinkle tumeric on whole wheat toast with honey or sprinkle on scrambled eggs to boost their nutritional value. Any way you use tumeric, you will benefit from its outstanding properties to your overall health and well being.
Article written by Linda Morgan Smith
Make your own pumpkin spice latte' or coffee
My easy peasy "pumpkin spice" coffee recipe is here! The secret ingredient is what else but pumpkin spice which you can buy at any grocery store in the spice section. Just add about a teaspoon (more if you like) to your coffee, add sugar, half and half ( milk is fine too) and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top for color. It not only tastes great but it will impress your guests for any gathering. -- Happy Halloween - Linda Morgan Smith - www.rayafineart.com
Linda Morgan Smith
Sister Raya Art - New Orleans Louisiana - Daily Blog for the creative ideas in southern and Cajun recipes, folk art and fine art, current events in New Orleans and much more! .