Hey ya’ll! Wow has it been a long week! And it’s only Wednesday! I got two new clients and I have two closings at the beginning of next week that I’m gearing up for! I know everyone thinks being in real estate is just easy, fast money; but, it’s a lot of work and a lot of stress! I love being my own boss though and I absolutely LOVE my Front Gate Realty team. Another reason that it’s been a busy week is because my poor, sweet mama has been sick! She’s been having severe pain in her abdomen and had to be taken to the ER for testing on Monday night. We didn’t get in until 2:30 a.m. and then I was up early the next morning for a vet’s appointment and an office meeting. Tuesday was also the day that my family and I got to share big BIG news with the world! Our big, crazy, Southern family will be growing! My brother and sister-in-law will be having baby number 3 in February! They sure do make some gorgeous little ones and I for one could not be more excited for a new little niece or nephew to spoil! Aren’t they gorgeous?!?!

announcement!

So! Since my mama has been sick and poor Lauren has been sick from her pregnancy, I decided that big pot of my famous Chicken Noodle Soup was in order! And since I’ve been so busy and needing some serious down home comfort time this week, I decided to make a family favorite, Mama’s Goulash! Here’s the downside… I was in such a big hurry, running off to my next appointment, that while I was cooking, I forgot to take process pictures! I only have the finished product! Sorry folks! Buuuuttttttt, they’re super duper easy and you can make each one in about 30 minutes so, no process pictures are really needed!

When I was a kid, I didn’t know that goulash wasn’t something my mom just made up. I didn’t realize that goulash was an actual thing… I thought my mom was just a genius 😉 Now, I realize that many people have a similar recipe for this. However, most recipes for goulash are soupy. Since my mom is super weird and the only person I know that likes burnt steak and dry chicken, she likes dry food in general, she makes it more like a casserole. You can make it either way and I’ll explain how later in the post; but, this is my family’s favorite way to make it. It’s easy, fast, cheap, and most of all delicious. You can make it ahead and freeze it for later, make a big batch and freeze half or take half to a friend, you can also easily cut the recipe in half and make a smaller dish! This recipe does make a large baking dish and will feed a family of 4 to 6.

Goulash:

2 lbs. hamburger meat,

1 small onion,

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes,

1 can golden sweet corn,

1 can black olives,

1 pkg. macaroni or egg noodles,

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese,

Garlic powder, salt, and black pepper to taste.

First things first, chop that onion. Now, my nephews HATE onion, they know I use it in everything I cook so they’ve learned to just eat around it, but I chop it up into really teeny tiny little pieces in this. I also dump the hamburger meat and onions into a large skillet and brown the meat and the onions together, adding the seasonings to the mixture. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain it, and put it back in the skillet. Now open the tomatoes, the corn, and the black olives and drain the juices off of them and add them to the mixture; allow this to cook in the skillet until the noodles are ready, or about 5 to 7 minutes. You can chop up the olives if you’d like but I leave them whole; you can also buy them sliced. If I slice them myself I usually drain the juice, find a small steak knife, and run the knife around in the can. I go in an “x” shape and a “t” shape a couple times to get most of them cut up. Boil the noodles and drain the water off, I like to put a little dab of butter and a little sprinkle of salt into the water while the noodles are boiling. It gives the noodles flavor and with a dish the simple, it adds an extra layer! Now add the noodles into the skillet and stir. Then pour all of this into a baking dish, cover with cheese, and put into a 360 degree oven for about 15 minutes. That’s it! Simple and easy, quick and delicious! I do think that the next time I make it I will try it with either ground turkey or ground sausage just to change things up a bit though! My nephews absolutely love it and it’s hard to please these growing boys! Plus, since its so cheap and makes so much, it will definitely stick to their bones and feed the bottomless pits they call stomachs! As you can see from my picture below, Judd just couldn’t help himself. He thought he was done, I started cleaning the kitchen and putting up leftovers, and he snuck another bite!

goulash  judd eating goulash

You can make this a little more soupy by adding the juice from the cans and keeping some of the water from the noodles, adding a can of tomato sauce, and instead of putting everything into the skillet, then the casserole dish; add everything to the pot that you boiled the noodles in. Of course, you can use cheese as a garnish instead of putting it on top. You can also use green olives, I just LOVE black olives! My mom made this with macaroni noodles my whole life; but, one day I was making it and I didn’t have macaroni noodles, so I substituted egg noodles. My mom LOVED the change and I use them now. But sometimes I still use macaroni. I also like to add a little Velveeta cheese sometimes too. This is kind of a kitchen sink meal! You can add anything you like! We’ve added black beans, garbanzo beans, cream cheese, taco seasoning. It’s really good with taco seasoning on the meat and allowing the cream cheese to melt and mix with the meat. Then add a dollop of sour cream or salsa on the serving plate! Yummy!

Chicken Noodle Soup is the easiest chicken dish in the world to make. Seriously, easiest ever. My mom and sister-in-law absolutely love it and I try to make it every time someone is sick… funny, no one ever makes it for me 🙂 Anyway, Chicken Noodle Soup is so easy and so healthy and it’s a ONE POT MEAL!! AHHHH!! Also, you can freeze it too! I don’t know why anyone ever buys the canned kind. It’s not the same to me anymore… plus this is much better for you and once you add up the cost of everything and divide it by the number of people you feed, the canned kind is actually more expensive and if you freeze the left over’s, it’s super convenient! This is what you’ll need!

Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,

12 oz. pkg egg noodles,

1 stick butter,

1 bunch celery,

4 large carrots OR 1 bag sliced carrot chips,

14 oz, low sodium, no MSG, Swanson’s Chicken broth,

2 garlic cloves,

1 small onion,

ground black pepper, garlic salt to taste,

Parsley and Chives.

Put the chicken breasts in a large boiler, dutch oven, or stew pot. Cover with water and add butter. You can use bone in chicken if you like, some say it adds more flavor, and that’s all up to you. But you have to pull the skin of the chicken and the chicken off the bone and frankly that’s just too much unnecessary work for my tastes! I got things to do! This is much easier and the flavor is still outta this world! While this chicken is boiling, wash and peel the carrots. Wash the celery and chop the bottom off of it. Now chop all the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, and chives. I didn’t put amounts on the parsley and chives because I usually just pull a bunch out of what I bought and chop it up. Last year I grew my on and unfortunately I didn’t do a very good job at keeping it alive. But I would say it’s a handful of each. The parsley and the chives are also the last to go in, you don’t want it to cook too much! Once the chicken is done, place the chopped onion, carrots, garlic, and celery in a separate bowl, pull the chicken onto your cutting board and allow it to cool for a minute. While it’s cooling off, look at the broth that you just made! Make sure there are no little pieces of fat floating around in it and skim any foam off the top. Allow it to come to a boil and pour in the package of egg noodles. You don’t have to use the whole package if you like your soup more broth-y. While the noodles are boiling, chop all that chicken, and add it in with the veggies. Once the noodles are done, pour in the Swanson’s broth, add the chicken, and add all the veggies (except the parsley and chives.) Add the garlic salt and black pepper. Allow that to SIMMER long enough for the veggies to get soft and add the parsley and chives. You can put the top on the pot and just let it sit on low or simmer for a while. You don’t want it to BOIL! Just allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes. The noodles will get too starchy and mushy if it boils and that does not make for a good soup. You can also use ramen noodles or thin spaghetti noodles. If you don’t want to use the store bough broth, boil about 16 oz. of water with a few chicken flavored bouillon cubes. You can also use Swanson’s brand chicken stock that comes in the gel form. Whatever you like! You can serve this up into large soup bowls or allow it to cool and put it in small freezer bags, freeze it up and just take it out when you’re sick! It makes a huge pot and everyone will love it. Now, my mom HATES celery in soup and my sister HATES carrots but they both don’t mind them in this. You can also add some frozen peas or green beans, even broccoli! This is just a classic chicken noodle soup that I absolutely adore!

chicken noodle soup

Whatever ails you, I can guarantee that you’ll feel better after a nice big bowl of this yummy-ness! This is comfort food at it’s finest ya’ll!! Easy, cheesy, and cheap!! Ya’ll let me know how you like it and if ya’ll have any ideas or suggestions for recipes, please comment below or email me at calah.notsogourmet@gmail.com! I, for one, am hosting Bunco at my house in a couple of weeks and need some ideas on what to cook! Give me some ideas ya’ll! And have an awesome night!