Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup. Listening To The Kooks.

I’ve been listening to talk radio host Todd Schnitt since 1996 when I moved to Tampa and he hosted a popular morning drive time show there. His current afternoon show, The Schnitt Show, is nationally syndicated so I was able to continue listening even after I moved to Vermont in 2004. Schnitt’s so funny and entertaining. He’s also a foodie who can be counted on to document his adventures in tracking down the best pizza…here and abroad. My kind of guy.

This past August, Schnitt developed kidney stones and chronicled his struggle on the air. I’ve been following his show for so long it felt like listening to a friend. I had some insider insight on the topic, too, since my husband is a urologist.

Then, early this fall, my aforementioned husband attended a medical meeting. He usually brings me back a canvas bag or other novelty with the meeting’s logo on it. But this time he brought back a cookbook.

Seriously, it’s crazy that I listened to kidney stone stories throughout August and then this book drops into my lap shortly after. And the recipes are really good! Described as “an educational recipe book designed to help prevent kidney stones with nutrition and diet”, it contains easy to make soups, salads, sides and mains. You can download the cookbook here.

Today’s Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup is a no frills, classic version that gets a flavor pop from some chopped dill. It’s what the doctor orders for a warming, delicious meal.

Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup


2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp fresh dill
8 ounces egg noodles, cooked 1 minute less than package directions


1. In a stockpot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and sauté until softened. Add carrots, celery and pepper and cook another 4 minutes.

2. Add the chicken broth and chicken. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, add dill and simmer for about 20 minutes

3. Stir in the noodles and serve.

Serves 6

Recipe from Urology Care Foundation

Stir that soup. Turn up the stereo. Dig that hook that cooks.

“I don’t drink alone (I never drink alone)
I got a big fine mamma at home (I can’t get enough)
She calls me chicken bone…”

Check out The Kooks on Facebook and the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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Top 5 Posts In 2019

Lemonies top the list. They have been in the top 5, three times at number 1, since I posted the recipe in 2014.

There are a ton of comments to attest to how delicious the Lemonies are, so give them a try if you’re wanting a yummy, lemon flavored dessert.

Coming in at Number 2 is Detroit-Style Pizza. Since I first tried the recipe in 2017, I’ve made it a few times and it is always fantastic. To quote myself “The dough is super easy to work with and bakes up crisp with a buttery flavor. The Jack cheese melts like a dream and any bits that touch the edges of the pan transform into crunchy, caramelized bits. The herbed tomato sauce in its trademark stripey pattern gives the pie a fun look.”

Scottish Tablet debuted on the Top 5 list in 2017. It was Number 5 for 2017 and 2018. Last year it moved up to Number 3. Sweet melt in your mouth perfection.

Yep. We’ve got ourselves some new kids on the block.

The Number 4 top post of 2019 was Jello Custard Bears At The Beach. Very cute and so easy.

Finally, more gummy bears are coming in at Number 5. Specifically, Drunken Gummy Bears. Hic!

I adore today’s song, but let’s hope it never comes to this. :)

Seriously though, I sincerely wish frontman Mark Christopher Lee all of the best as he faces his challenges. xx

“If I Have Another Drink It Will Kill Me” is new from English Indie band The Pocket Gods. It’s upbeat and catchy even if the subject isn’t.

Check out The Pocket Gods on Facebook. You can buy their music here.


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Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake. ISITK Is 9 Today!

I’ve got myself a tween blog.

Gingerbread is, of course, on the menu as it is January 6th aka the 12th day of Christmas aka Nollaigna mBan.

Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake looks as good as it tastes. Stem ginger ups the spicy game and the crunchy pomegranate seeds lend some texture along with their lovely visual pop.

Sticky Gingerbread Bundt Cake


200g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
300g (1 1/2 cups) dark muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
200g (a little less than 2/3 cup) black treacle (or molasses)
4 balls stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
200g (about 1 1/2 cups) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
225ml plain yogurt
Topping: 75g confectioners’ sugar and fresh pomegranate seeds


1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350℉. Grease a 1.5 liter bundt pan.

2. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan over low heat until the butter and sugar have melted. Beat in the stem ginger and eggs with a whisk.

3. Sift the flour, baking soda and spices into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar-butter mixture then add yogurt and whisk until combined. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.

4. Bake for 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the topping, in a bowl, gradually whisk a little warm water into the confectioners’ sugar until a thick icing forms.

6. Drizzle the icing over the cake, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. The cake will keep, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 days in a cool place or it can be frozen, wrapped well, for up to 3 months.

Serves 16

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Birthdays can be a combination of sadness and hope…sort of like this lovely new tune from Indiana-based band Hoops.

“It’s blinding me
but I can get by
If I try”

Check out Hoops on Bandcamp where you can learn of an upcoming show in Chicago and buy their music.


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Baked Camembert. New Music From Big Cheese.

I was looking for a cheese meme when I came across this gem.

I don’t know why I find those Real Housewives/Cat memes so funny. They really made my day when I was scrolling through social media last month and would come across them. Ridiculous…but you know that’s how I roll.

I also roll with super easy starters that are ready in a flash.

Baked Camembert, while so simple, makes for an elegant and tasty hors d’oeuvre. I love how it is baked in its box. Looks cool on a serving platter.

Baked Camembert


250g boxed Camembert or Brie
1 Tbs vermouth or dry white wine or kirsch
2 thyme sprigs
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Crackers or crusty bread, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 200℃/400℉.

2. Unwrap Camembert from its packaging then place back into its box.

3. Make a few slash marks on top of the cheese and top with the vermouth, thyme and pepper flakes.

4. Bake on a baking tray for 20 minutes until gooey. Serve with bread or crackers.

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine

Here’s some Big Cheese to shake you out of your cheese coma.

“Golden” is from Brooklyn-based Big Cheese’s third album ‘Wild To Be Born’. It’s loud and proud.

Check out Big Cheese on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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Short And Sweet. Hanukkah Gelt Cookies.

These are the easiest cookies.

Slice and bake sugar cookies then press a chocolate coin in the center of each. I love the contrast of the crisp chocolate and the cookie. Really good.

Hanukkah Gelt Cookies


1 roll (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookies
16 pieces foil-covered chocolate coins (Hanukkah gelt), unwrapped


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut dough evenly into 16 slices. Place the slices 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Flatten each slice until it measures about 2 inches in diameter.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.

4. Remove cookies from the oven and immediately place 1 piece of gelt on center of each slice.

5. Cool 5 to 10 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cookies will stay fresh up to five days in an airtight container.

Makes 16 cookies

Recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

Time for a short song….and it’s a recipe!

And a metal rock out sweet song. :)

“And while we were singing the candles were burning low
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago,
one for each night as they shed a sweet light,
they remind us of years long ago…”

Sweet, right?

Check out Dan Bern on his Website where you can learn of upcoming US and Canada tour dates and buy his music.

Learn more about Gods Of Fire on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.


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Neapolitan Holiday Cookies. New Music From The Hollow Ends.

If you’ve got some cat fights erupting this holiday season, pull out a platter of these Neapolitan Holiday Cookies and you’re guaranteed some peace and quiet…at least while they are being eaten.

Neapolitan Holiday Cookies, also called Rainbow Cookies, are popular in Jewish and Italian communities. The festive colors and mingling flavors of almond, apricot, raspberry and chocolate make them as fun as they are delicious.

Neapolitan Holiday Cookies


8 ounces almond paste
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups flour
20 drops red food coloring
12 drops green food coloring
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot preserves
6 ounces dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Coat three 13 x 9 x 2-inch jelly roll pans with cooking spray. Line each pan with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.

2. Place the almond paste in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and add the butter and sugar to the bowl. Beat the mixture on high speed until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add the egg yolks, and beat until well combined. Stir in the flour with a spoon until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

3. Thoroughly clean the mixer bowl and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

4. Fold the egg whites into the almond paste batter until thoroughly blended.

5. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the batter to a medium bowl, then transfer another 1 1/2 cups of the batter to a second medium bowl.

6. Add the red food coloring to one of the bowls and stir until the batter is tinted throughout.

7. Add the green food coloring to the second bowl and stir until the batter is tinted throughout.

8. Spread the red, green and untinted batters into each of the prepared pans. Use a spatula to spread the batter to the edges.

9, Bake, rotating and switching the positions of the pans halfway through, until the edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes.

10. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes then invert onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

11. To assemble, place the green layer on a large cutting board lined with wax paper. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the top. Place the yellow layer on top and spread with the apricot preserves. (Remove any large chunks of apricot). Top with the red layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place a heavy cutting board or large pan on top to weight it down. Refrigerate overnight.

12. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave on low power about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.

13. Spread the chocolate on top of the cake and let dry slightly.

14. Trim the rim of the cake with a serrated knife to make clean edges. Cut the cake crosswise into twelve 1-inch-wide strips, then cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch strips. The cookies will keep, covered, up to 1 week.

Makes 7 dozen cookies

Recipe from One Dish at a Time by Valerie Bertinelli

One of my favorite albums of 2018 was ‘Bears In Mind’ by The Hollow Ends. Good news is they have another album out and it is just as good.

St Louis-based songwriter, and the band’s frontman, Zachary Schwartz knocks it out of the park once again with the 5 song, newly released ‘EP II’. While all of the folksy, toe tapping tunes melt my heart, I am especially riveted by “Annie Pardami”.

“Is there any part of me that I can control anymore?”

…..and it’s got “Whoas”….swoon.

Check out The Hollow Ends on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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No-Boil Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese. New Music From Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes.

I looked at this pan and thought to myself “There is no way this is going to work.”

But, I kept the faith, followed the baking instructions and, Voilà….this came out of the oven.

My youngest son is particularly fond of mac and cheese with a crisp crumb topping. This recipe has tons of that topping spread over the creamy, cheesy span of the pan. A really good version of mac and cheese, for sure.

No-Boil Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus 2 tablespoons melted
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 cups whole milk
15 ounces evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (preferably orange)
8 ounces shredded fontina cheese
16 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked


1. Position oven rack in center and preheat oven to 375℉.

2. Grease a rimmed 11 x 17-inch sheet pan with the softened butter and set aside.

3. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and set aside.

4. Whisk the whole milk, evaporated milk, cream, onion, garlic powder, salt, and the cheddar and fontina cheeses in a large bowl. Add the uncooked macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it in an even layer. Cover the sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil. Crimp around the edges to seal otherwise the pasta won’t cook.

5. Bake for 25 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and stir the macaroni. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.

7. Turn the broiler to high and broil the macaroni and cheese until it is golden brown on top and bubbling, about 1 minutes (I didn’t do this as mine was golden enough to my liking).

8. Remove from the oven and let the macaroni and cheese stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from Food Network

Today marks my 5th post featuring Steve Mahoney and Emily Moment of Mahoney & The Moment. If this was Saturday Night Live they would be getting robes. :)

This time round the song is from Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes, a side project of Mahoney & The Moment. “Evelina (Queen of Costa)” is the first single from their second album ‘The Second Referendum’ due out in April of 2020.

To quote the band “It’s a ‘slice of life’ ballad about an attractive and mysterious barista.”

It’s no wonder why I dig these artists so much. All of their music is eminently perfect pop.

Check out Steve Mahoney & The Milkshakes on the Website where you can link to buy their music.


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