Happy Friday the 13th! Some people have a real fear of dating, but I think it’s a great day. My mom would have been 97 today and my friend and former ODR colleague Mel Schmitz’s birthday today – two great women!
Last Sunday I received a warm welcome at First Baptist Church where I played the piano. The experience was enhanced by the beautiful grand piano I played. I learned that it was donated to the church by the late Mary Kay Miller, a very gifted musician herself. Mary Kay could sit at any piano and give an afternoon concert without a sheet of music. She played mostly by ear, a talent that is rare and enviable. Throughout my years of lessons and beyond, I have always relied on printed music. It was an honor to play the same instrument she probably spent hours on.
It’s a bit of a dreary time of year, with the snow melted into gray piles and cloudy, cold days. It’s time to pull out the crockpot or slow cooker for homemade soup. In addition to music, delicious soup is also good for the soul. My mom loved Italian food and I’m sure she would enjoy the Chicken Parmesan Soup below.
Also check out: from website: bunsinmyoven.com Thick and hearty chicken and noodles – the ultimate comfort food. This recipe also cooks in a crockpot so it’s easy to throw together. Although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m sure my whole family will love it.
If you still need something to cheer you up, try Layers of Love Chocolate Brownies. Some people cut up Snickers bars for the middle layer or use other popular chocolate and caramel candies if you prefer. It will definitely lift your spirits.
Chicken Parmesan Soup in a Slow Cooker
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 package (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes with basil, unpeeled
1 carton (32 ounces) chicken stock
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup uncooked orzo or small bow tie pasta
1 cup Italian panko breadcrumbs
Fresh chopped basil or parsley, if desired
In a 5-quart slow cooker, add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chicken, crushed tomatoes, broth, salt, and pepper. Cover; cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Thirty minutes before serving, stir the pasta into the slow cooker. Cover; cook on high for about 30 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden.
Before serving, sprinkle the soup with grated cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. Garnish with chopped basil or parsley.