Jac o' lyn Murphy

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Farm Fresh Chicken Ramen - The new comfort food

I am all about comfort,
In my home, in my wardrobe and especially in my food.
There is nothing better than cozying up to a meal that makes you feel nostalgic, happy and loved.
Now more than ever, we are comforted to know where our food comes from 
and how it was raised or cultivated.
When it's fresh, local and vibrant it always makes for a festive meal...

I recently attended a beautiful lunch hosted by Foster Farms, where we discussed
the New Comfort Food Movement, and how the way we eat, and what we eat has changed.
Traditionally comfort food meant heavier meals like lasagna and fried chicken.
Now we want simple, visual, more health minded meals,
that you feel good making, eating and even admiring.
(food selfies, anyone?)

The flavors we crave have also changed.
They are now bolder, influenced by international flavors
or may be created to be paired with a craft beer or exotic wine.
Our lives have evolved and so has comfort food.

Almost everyone and every ethnic group eats chicken.  
More recipe pins on Pinterest contain the word chicken than eggs, peanut butter and beef combined.
Chicken is the key ingredient to many comfort meals.
 Foster Farm's Simply Raised Chicken
is antibiotic free, locally raised, fresh and natural.  
Since 1939, Foster Farms has been committed to producing only the highest-quality poultry.

I started to think about what is comforting to me, not only to eat but to cook.
I realized it is a combination of farm fresh food,  interesting flavors, 
locally grown vegetables and herbs and products I can buy at the grocery store that I can trust.

A trip to our local farmer's market is one of the highlights of my week.
Not only is everything fresh, seasonal and local
but the pride each farmer takes in their bounty always inspires me.

I love how pretty the produce is and I'm always anxious to try something new...

One of my favorite local farmers, is my teenage son! 
He has provided us with a plethora of tomatoes all summer long.  
There is nothing better than needing something for a meal and being able to go outside and pick it.

And snipping herbs from the garden always makes me smile...

I combined fresh vegetables, herbs, Simply Raised Chicken 
and ramen noodles 
for a comforting bowl of goodness.

All of the nostalgic flavors of chicken noodle soup, 
slightly modernized into a festive ramen dish...

I think every night should be new comfort food night!

Farm Fresh Chicken Ramen
Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • chopped spring onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 48 ounces of chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 packages of ramen noodles      

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, garlic and onion.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until veggies are fragrant and start to soften slightly.  Add stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Then lower heat and simmer, adding chicken and noodles and cooking 5-7 minutes until noodles are cooked. Divide into 4 bowls and top with herbs and tomatoes.

    For more New Comfort Food inspiration go to the Foster Farms Website here.

    Thank you to Foster Farms for sponsoring this post.  All opinions and content are my own. 

    Friday, August 26, 2016

    Summer Herb Popcorn & 5 shows to Binge Watch eating it

    There are 2 things that the end of summer always brings...
    an abundance of herbs in my garden and a total lack of programs on regular tv.
    My solution?  
    Make an amazing bowl of popcorn and binge watch a slew of streaming shows!

    Like many thrilling and addictive shows, 
    this fresh, tangy, crunchy snack has a secret.
    A secret ingredient that is...
    dijon mustard.
    Combined with melted butter, freshly snipped herbs and a pinch of salt,
     it is an Emmy Award winning bowl of delight.

    You just drizzle...


    and you're ready,

    for showtime...

    So, what have I been watching?

    (Season 1 steaming on Amazon Prime and Season 2 on USA)
    Dark, intriguing and thought provoking.  
    You'll question big business, cyber security, what reality is
     and view "hoodie clad" hackers in a whole new way.
    The cast is amazing 
    but Rami Malek and Christian Slater "steal" the show.

    (Season 1 streaming on Netflix)
    A mixture of ET, Goonies and Stand by Me.  
    You will never believe what happens in this small Indiana town in the early 1980's. 
    It's spooky, sweet and suspenseful. 
    You'll wish you had best friends like these kids and that the Hawkins police chief was on your side.
    You may even start eating Eggo Waffles right from the box.
    The only bad thing is that it makes me feel old...
    Winona Ryder is the wacky, middle aged mom!

    (Seasons 1 and 2 streaming on Netflix)
    After meeting the Rayburns, you will never think your family is dysfunctional again.  
    The black sheep brother returns to his family's Key West inn
    and the flood of lies, secrets, rivalries and scars come rushing out.
    I would watch anything with Kyle Chandler in it, 
    but believe me, this character is nothing like Coach Taylor. 
    (from Friday Night Lights... if you haven't watched it, add that to your binge watch list ASAP)

    (Seasons 1 and 2 on Starz.com)
    Lush, green Scotland is the setting for this tale of love, mystery, war and time travel. 
    World War II-era nurse Claire Randall, mysteriously travels to 18th century Scotland and finds adventure with the dashing Jamie Fraser.  
    It's loaded with kilts, history and family clans,
    but the heart of the story is Jamie and Claire's timeless romance.

    (all 7 seasons streaming on Netflix)
    "Treat yo self" and take a trip to Pawnee, Indiana.
    You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll love these nutty people and their quirky hometown.  
    So many one-liners and classic sayings, 
    you may want to have a notebook handy to write them all down.

    Herb Buttery Popcorn
    6 cups of popped corn
    1 stick of butter
    1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 tsp. fresh parsley leaves
    1 tsp. picked thyme leaves
    1 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
    Kosher salt to taste

    Melt butter over low heat on the stove then whisk in mustard.
    Drizzle over popped corn, stir to coat and top with herbs and salt.


    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Friends and Waffles... Wise words from Leslie Knope

    Yesterday was Nation Waffle Day, 
    and it got me thinking why I like waffles so much more than pancakes.
    Maybe because one of my favorite characters from Parks and Rec was obsessed with them, 
    maybe because they are sweet and comforting, 

    or maybe because they are syrup traps...

    Regardless, the gift of waffle mix and a fun bottle of syrup is always a treat.
    My friend Maureen, makes the best waffles around, 
    so I love to package the dry ingredients and then enclose the recipe so they can add the rest.

    4 Cups All Purpose Flour (sifted)
    1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
    1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
    1 Tbs. Sugar
    1/2 Tsp. Salt
    1 Qt. Buttermilk
    4 Tbs. melted Butter
    4 Eggs

    Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Separate the eggs and beat the whites to soft peaks in separate bowl.  Add the egg yolks and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix well with a hand beater.  Add the butter and fold in the egg whites.  If thew mixture is too thick you can thin it with a little milk or water.

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