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Appetizers and Sides

Appetizers and Sides/ Main Course/ Recipes

Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

You know when you have a cold or it’s chilly out and chicken noodle soup just warms you from the inside out!? This Cuban style chicken noodle soup accomplishes all of that but it’s BETTER than any other chicken soup with more flavor and more substance!

My little ones Coco and Ash were both sick with bad colds this past week (it’s that time of year) so Cuban style chicken noodle soup is what was on the menu in our house. Growing up in a Cuban family, this soup is one of those dishes that brings me back to my childhood. The flavors of chicken, lemon, tomato and the heartiness that the potatoes add will have you making this soup over and over again!
Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Right off the bat I need to tell you that this recipe has Sazon in it. Don’t panic if you don’t know that that is or can’t find it. It has just a teensy bit of flavor but it gives your food that gorgeous golden color. The soup will still taste amazing without it so no need to worry or set out on a sazon hunt if your store doesn’t carry it  🙂 ok…now we can move on! Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Go ahead and chop your veggies before you get started. I have this little scraper thing and if you don’t have one, you NEED to get one! You can find it here. I don’t keep things around that I don’t need and I use this scraper all the time. You can smash garlic with it, and when you have to transfer a bunch of little things (like wet herbs) from your cutting board, this gets every last piece with no mess! Ok…moving on again. (I feel like I’m extra wordy on this post!) Maybe I’m just super excited about it!! Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Into your pot go the chicken thighs, sazon, salt, onion, potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and water. Stir this all together, cover and bring to a full boil. Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, remove the chicken (using tongs is easiest) and peel off the skin and throw that away. Pull the meat off the chicken and add that back into the pot. You can throw away the bones too.  Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Once you add your chicken back in, you can then also add in the oregano, lemon juice, and spaghetti noodles. I like to break my noodles up quite a bit so it’s easier to eat.  Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Bring back up to a full boil and then cook for another 10 minutes or until the noodles are soft.

I like to serve mine with cilantro and an extra lemon wedge but you can eat it as is and it’s still perfect!!  Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

5 from 2 votes
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Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup flavored with tomato and fresh lemon juice. Taste just like Abuela used to make!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 people
Author www.cocoandash.com

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs (with bone and skin on)
  • 2 cans of plain tomato sauce (8 ounce cans)
  • 2 packets sazon goya (This is a seasoning packet that mainly adds color and a tiny bit of flavor boost. If you can't find it, just skip it)
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 large carrots (chopped)
  • 1 large potato (cut into 1" squares)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Juice from 1/2 large lemon (about 2 tbsp)
  • 8 ounces dried spaghetti noodles (half a box)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for ganish (totally optional!)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add your chicken, onion, potato, carrots, tomato sauce, salt, and sazon packets, chicken broth, and water.

  2. Stir everything together, cover your pot, and bring to a heavy boil.

  3. After you get to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes (covered).

  4. After the 45 minutes, use tongs and remove the chicken from the pot. Throw away the skin (I can't think of any good use for it...sorry!) and using 2 forks, pull all the meat off of the bones and add the meat back to the pot. 

  5. Squeeze in your lemon juice and add in the oregano. 

  6. Break the spaghetti into small pieces and add to the pot.

  7. Bring everything back to a boil (medium-high heat) and cook for another 10 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender. 

  8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with an extra lemon wedge for a little extra flavor...not that it needs any more!! 🙂

Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Appetizers and Sides/ Recipes

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

This Greek yogurt ranch dip is one of those things that is a staple in our house. Everyone in my family loves ranch dressing but it’s not always the healthiest thing to be pouring over your food. This Greek yogurt ranch dip is the perfect substitute for that! It has that tangy greek yogurt kick but with that ranch flavor that we all love! And since it’s made with Greek yogurt, you can eat it without feeling like you ruined those veggies with extra fat! I hesitate to even call it a “recipe” because it’s only 2 ingredients but I think  you’ll definitely keep this one around!!

CLICK HERE TO PIN THIS RECIPE FOR LATER! 

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
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Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 plain greek yogurt (a 5.5 ounce container)
  • 1 tbsp ranch mix powder

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the greek yogurt and the ranch dip together. 

  2. Store in the fridge.

 

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Appetizers and Sides/ Recipes

Cream Cheese Garlic Butter

Cream Cheese Garlic Butter

Is there anything better than cream cheese?! I would normally say no but I found something better! This cream cheese garlic butter is perfection! It’s so creamy and full of flavor and it tastes amazing on so many things. It’s easy to pull together and I love to serve it instead of plain old butter when I have guests for dinner…plus then I have some left over for morning bagels or to spread on sandwiches. 🙂 Next time you serve some bread with dinner, whip this cream cheese garlic butter spread up and you’ll never go back to plain butter again!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 stick of softened butter (1/4 cup)
  • 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1 large clove of garlic minced finely
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Here’s the extent of the instructions:

Add everything to a bowl and mix together. DONE! I like to serve it at room temp so it’s nice and fluffy. Just store it in the fridge when you’re done 🙂  Cream Cheese Garlic Butter

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Cream Cheese Garlic Butter

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup stick of softened butter 1/4
  • 4 ounces of softened cream cheese
  • 1 clove large of garlic minced finely
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and serve at room temp. That's it!!
  2. Store in the fridge.

Cream Cheese Garlic Butter

Appetizers and Sides/ Breakfast/ Recipes/ Sweets

Sweet Cinnamon Applesauce

Sweet Cinnamon AppleSauce

This sweet cinnamon applesauce actually came about a couple of years ago. Around this time of year we took a family trip to Michigan and as you know, Fall in Michigan means APPLES everywhere! We went apple picking, bought apples at the grocery store, and came home with a so many apples!

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Sweet cinnamon applesauce

This was 2 years ago so “Coco” is a little older now and I was actually pregnant with “Ash”.

So what’s the perfect way to use up a bunch of apples…applesauce!! This applesauce is SO GOOD!! It almost tastes like an apple pie filling! It has brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and is really easy to pull together too!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 10 small apples (I use McIntosh)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

First go ahead and peel your apples and cut them into about 1″ chunks and set them aside just for a few minutes.  sweet cinnamon applesauce

 

Then using a pan large enough to hold all of your apples, add your brown sugar and water. Cook until the brown sugar has dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). sweet cinnamon applesauce

After dissolving the brown sugar, you can add in the rest of the applesauce ingredients (apples, cinnamon, juice, nutmeg). sweet cinnamon applesauce

Now you’re just going to let these simmer on medium heat, uncovered for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir them around every few minutes.  sweet cinnamon applesauce

Now after the 30 minutes, it’s time to get the applesauce texture how you like it. You can either blend it until completely smooth, leave it just how it is, or (and this is what I do) you can mash it down with either a potato masher or a pastry cutter. (Note: if you used larger apples and your sauce seems a little dry at the end, just add in some more apple juice) 🙂 sweet cinnamon applesauce

Now I like to eat this applesauce while it’s warm. I like to eat it on vanilla ice cream, I like to eat it on pancakes…I like to eat it on everything! It’s taste almost like an apple pie filling! I hope you enjoy it! sweet cinnamon applesauce

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Sweet Cinnamon Apple Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 10 small apples I use McIntosh
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Heat brown sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. (about 3-5 minutes)
  2. Add in the rest of your ingredients: apples, juice, cinnamon, nutmeg.
  3. Cook over medium heat, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Prepare according to the consistency of your preference. Either, leave extra chunky, mash with a potato masher or pastry cutter, or blend.
  5. Enjoy!
  6. I like to eat mine plain as a side dish, on pancakes, on vanilla ice cream. Let me know how you like to serve yours!

Recipe Notes

(Note: If you used larger apples and your applesauce seems a little bit dry at the end, just add in some apple juice) 🙂

sweet cinnamon applesauce

 

Appetizers and Sides/ Recipes

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade

If you’re looking for an alternative to cranberry sauce in a can…I have the answer for you and it’s almost just as easy! It tastes about 100 times better than canned cranberry sauce but it’s simple, doesn’t take a lot of time, and you can make it ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate it until Thanksgiving Day. And if you’ve read my post about Turkey Gravy, you know I’m all about making things ahead and freeing up some time on Thanksgiving Day. This cranberry sauce is tart yet sweet and has an orange flavor that really makes it unique and so flavorful!

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Here’s what you need: 

  • 2 (12 ounce) bags of fresh cranberries (I use Ocean Spray)
  • 1 (18 ounce) jar of orange marmalade (It’s about 1.5 cups)
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon

Here’s the entire recipe guys: (So easy!!)

Add everything to a pan, bring it to a boil for about 15 minutes (until the cranberries start to pop) and then reduce the heat to medium and reduce everything down for 15 minutes (uncovered). Let it cool completely. It will thicken as it cools.

Note: If you like your sauce smooth instead of chunky, just pop it in the blender or use an immersion blender to smooth it out. 

That’s it!  Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade

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Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade

Ingredients

  • 2 ounce bags of fresh cranberries 12, I use Ocean Spray
  • 1 ounce jar of orange marmalade 18, It's about 1.5 cups
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat on high while stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
  2. After the cranberries start to pop, reduce the heat to medium and reduce, uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool and either freeze or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. (I serve mine at room temp)

Easy Cranberry Sauce with Orange Marmalade