Happy Healthy RD

Homemade Chicken Stock

Cold Weather Essentials

Homemade Chicken Stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

I make a lot of soup during the winter and the best soup always starts with homemade chicken stock. I swear you cannot mess this up and once you realize how easy it is, store bought stock will be a thing of the past. I never have followed a recipe and it always turns out just fine. It basically is just throwing veggie scraps and chicken bones in a crockpot and that’s all there is to it.

I keep a large Ziplock in the freezer to collect veggie scraps – usually kale and broccoli stems, onion ends, carrot peelings – you get the idea.Then anytime we roast a chicken I keep the bones and throw them in with the veggie scraps, cover with water, and call it a day. This time I put in about 64 ounces of water, a few large handfuls of veggies, a handful of salt and pepper, and chicken bones (not pictured due to their unappetizing nature). If I don’t have veggie scraps I’ll cut up a few onions, potatoes, carrots, etc and that works just fine. In the summer, I also throw in fresh herbs.

Cook on low overnight and wake up to a house that smells like chicken soup and delicious chicken stock. I usually put the majority of the stock in the freezer right away but you can refrigerate it and then skim off the fat if you prefer.


Cold Weather Essentials

The cold weather has arrived in Michigan. The leaves have dropped and last week it snowed – winter is definitely on its way. One of the things I love most about Michigan is the seasons but I really do not like being cold. You know that physical feeling of being cold – your shoulders are scrunched and your fingers and toes are icy to the touch. Luckily I’ve figured out some ways to stay toasty and comfortable when the temperatures are dropping. Here’s what worked for me last winter. (The words ‘Polar Vortex’ alone make me shiver.)

    1. A HEATED BLANKET! If you live somewhere cold, you have to get one of these. I typically have it on my bed and turn it on a few minutes before getting under the covers. There is nothing worse than getting into a cold bed and this warms up the sheets perfectly. I have also been known to use it on the couch on particularly cold days.
    2. Cozy layers and warm socks are absolute musts. I find that if my neck and feet are warm I’m much more comfortable. Scarves are pretty much part of my outfit every day in the winter and I love them! Last year I also discovered leg warmers. Perfect for wearing over leggings and skinny jeans. Warmth definitely trumps fashion most of the time.
    3. My skin does not agree with the cold. Dry patches, redness, and sometimes my face just hurts after being outside. My favorite skin savers are Aquaphor and Rose Salve. I’ll use these around my nose, on my lips, on my hands and nails, and on any dry patches I might have on my face.
    4. Tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or whatever your favorite hot drink is – now is the time to enjoy it. Nothing warms me up faster than a hot drink. This winter I’m really going to focus on enjoying the season and relishing those cozy nights in with candles, hot drinks, and my heated blanket. Have a great day!