Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorite: Healing Chicken Soup

The weather in Texas has been crazier than ever lately. With the crazy temps and lots of sick students. This recipe has become one of my Favorites. I make this at the first sign of not feeling well. 
The reasons why Chicken soup is healing
  • Soup has anti-inflammatory properties that helped sore throats and helped stop the movement of neutrophils (white blood cells that encourage the flow of mucus that accumulates in the lungs and nose). 
  • steam is a real benefit. Sipping the hot soup and breathing in the steam helps clear up congestion.  This can also be said for many hot soups.
  • Spices that are often added to chicken soup, such as garlic and pepper(all ancient treatments for respiratory diseases), work the same way as modern cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier.
  • chicken soup contains drug-like agents similar to those in modern cold medicines. For example, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
  • Chicken Soup puts needed fluids back into the body.
According to food historians chicken soup was prescribed as a cure for the common cold in Ancient Egypt. The 10th century Persian physician Avicenna referred to the curative powers of chicken soup in his writings. In the 12th century the Jewish sage Maimonides wrote that chicken soup “has virtue in rectifying corrupted humours”, and recommended it as nutrition for convalescents; Maimonides also particularly recommended chicken soup for people suffering from hemorrhoids and the early stages of leprosy.
Modern research conducted by Dr. Stephen Rennard, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, and his colleagues at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha suggests that there might be some scientific basis for the belief in the curative powers of chicken soup. They found that the particular blend of nutrients and vitamins in traditional chicken soup can slow the activity of certain white blood cells. This may have an anti-inflammatory effect that could hypothetically lead to temporary ease from symptoms of illness. Their research was published in 2000 in the scientific journal Chest. This was not, however, an in vivo clinical trial, and did not demonstrate that chicken soup was the best foodstuff for this purpose.
Because it is simple to prepare, relatively cheap, nutritious, and easily digested, chicken soup is a good food for winter convalescents. Sipping warm soup can also clear the sinuses because of the steam ventilating into the nasal passages, serving as a natural decongestant, which also relieves cold and flu symptoms. Last, but not least, chicken soup can be beneficial due to the placebo effect of comfort foods.

Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Healing Directions

1. Stew your chicken. Most of the time I don't do this. I just buy chicken breast from the store. Add to 1 can of chicken broth 
2. Add to simmering broth:
2 large onion diced
3 celery ribs diced (seeds are good too)
3 carrots diced
1/2 stick of butter
3 cloves of chopped garlic
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper
If you want a really stronge /rich flavor:
Nows the time to add...
Add 3 or4 bouillon cubes
or 1 can of chicken stock.
(Note: if you are cooking this for someone who is already sick.... their taste buds may not be up to par and may need the soup to be stronger in flavor so they can taste it better.)  Getting them to eat it is the key to getting well.  It may be to strong for you but just right for them.  You can always add water to your own bowl if it's to strong for you personally.
3. Cut chicken up into large chunks.
Replace chicken back into simmering broth.
Add 1 cup of large diced potatoes
Cover with water
Cook for another 30 minutes
4.Last 10 minutes of cooking:
Important Healing Herbs
Add 1 bunch of chopped parsley to soup.
If you have tyme, add 1/2 teaspoon.
If you have sage, add 1/2 teaspoon.
If you have basil, add 1/2 teaspoon.
pinch of poultry seasoning
Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper!!
Cook for 10 more minutes
2rd  Day: Left overs
Re-warm the left over Chicken Soup
Add 4 ounces of egg noodles to the soup.
1 can of broth
1 cup of water
It's now Chicken Noodle Soup!
The Chicken Noodle Soup
will taste the best on this 2nd day!
3rd  Day: Left overs
Note: Changing the soup slightly each day will add variety to the soup so it doesn't seem so boreing while keeping the regiment of someone eating it. This soup is packed full of vitamins and minerals so the more they are willing to eat, the better.  If you go for a 3rd day, try adding a can of "Cream of celery soup"  to thicken it up and add a new feeling in the mouth.
And if you have been feeling under the weather.... 
by now you should be feeling the effects of healing soup.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: The Huguenot Sword

About The Book: In the time of Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu, when being a Protestant could mean death, The Huguenot Sword roamed the streets of Paris by night, defending those faithful to the young heretical religion. The nobility scorned them as ruffians. To the oppressed Protestants they were saviors, but to the Cardinal’s Guards they were a pestilence needing to be terminated.
The situation becomes desperate when those in power launch a bold plan to destroy the group. One wrong move can be fatal. But the ordeal of Paris pales in comparison to the possible annihilation of the faith and people at the Battle of La Rochelle.

My Review of the Book: 
I was first attracted to this book because I'm a fan of Shawn Lamb's work. I also recently found out that my mother's side of the family were Huguenots.This story gives life to the history of the Hugenots and well as their plight. The story reminded me of The Three Musketeers,  the Scarlet Pimpernel with a little bit of the Princess Bride thrown in.  Shawn Lamb does an excellent job of exploring how young adults view faith and how they ultimately must decide what they believe and how their beliefs will affect the rest of their lives. I'm thankful the author put a character list in the front of the book. I often got the names mixed up. 
Overall I think the Huguenot Sword is an excellent read! It's a great mix of action, adventure and faith! 

About the Author: 
Shawn Lamb has written for children's television and has won several screenwriting awards, including a Certificate of Merit from the American Screenwriters Association. She is active in various church ministries and has created her own curriculum based upon Proverbs 31. Shawn lives outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband of 25 years and their college-aged daughter.

Click here to watch a preview of the book on YouTube
Click here to read my reviews of her Allon series 
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Crafty or not so much

January is National Crafting month. If you're like me-every month is National Crafting month. If I had my way-every day would be national crafting day! Evil laugh. I love to craft! I just find it fun and to be honest-therapeutic. I have to be so logical , practical so left brained at work. Not so when I'm crafting! The right brain completely takes over! Yeah baby! Those of you know me-know that I am VERY Right brained! LOL 
Webster's dictionary defines crafting as an an arttrade, or occupation requiring special skill, especially manual skill. Crafting can be anything from knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, painting, making models  and so much more. My favorite is paper crafting and drawing. I could spend hours and hours making scrapbook pages or cards. Yes basically cards.  I love to look a names on our church's prayer list and send them cards. I believe it blesses me as much as it blesses them!  

If you haven't ever tried crafting I suggest you try it. It's such a great way to relax (unless you're extremely left brained like my hubby-in which it stresses him out-BIG TIME) and let your creative juices flow. 

Do you craft? If not is there some craft you'd like to try? 

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