Chicken Noodle Soup, Blondies, FaceTime Dates

Greetings everyone. Just came back from a 3.5-miler. I used to listen to The Daily during my morning run, but in the interest of anxiety management, I’ve decided to give myself the 30 minutes to listen to music instead. Otherwise, I’m literally connected to the news cycle all day long. (Note: As hard as it is to listen to, I find The Daily, and the Times in general, crucial media consumption. I’ll listen to it on the couch with my dog and a cup of coffee.) What else did the DALS house do yesterday? I worked on a freelance story, played too many rounds of Ruzzle, tested a chilled asparagus soup for my book and it worked on the first try. (And made me hopeful for spring.) After dinner, the four of us watched City of God, which Phoebe studied in her high school film class, and which I have always meant to see. It was so good! (Definitely for the 15-and-older set.) Here are three things you might want to take on today….

Pantry: Chicken Noodle Soup

I wish I could make a big batch of this for all of you out there. It really is so comforting. To make vegetarian: Omit the chicken and swap in veg broth for chicken broth.

1/2 small onion (or about 3 tablespoons), chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped in to small pieces (as shown)
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (adjust accordingly based on the sodium level of your chicken broth)
6 cups chicken broth (1 48-ounce container)
1 large chicken breast, cut into small pieces (as shown)
2 1/2 cups extra fine egg noodles
Parm for garnish (optional)

In a medium soup pot, set over medium heat, add onions and carrots to oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add chicken and reduce to a simmer. After about 3 minutes, add noodles and simmer until cooked, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parm. As it sits, you’ll see the noodles get bigger and starchier, so you might have to thin out with a little water for seconds or leftovers.

Project: Blondies

For today’s episode of distractibaking: Phoebe has made these twice in three days and now I might have to put a moratorium on them because I can’t not eat ten of them in one sitting when they are in the kitchen. They’re from my friend Peter who adapted them from a Mark Bittman recipe.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
chocolate chips, to taste

Butter a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Beat melted butter with brown sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla. Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting and serving.

Purpose: Make a FaceTime Date

I know we’re all masters of Zoom right now for work calls, but don’t forget to make a FaceTime date for coffee or cocktails with your friends and family. Tonight I’m having a virtual glass of wine with my friend Jeni. I might even blow-dry my hair for the occasion!

Stay safe. xx

The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what you’re up to, and how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at

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Katie Larissa

I made pretzel buns from scratch yesterday for the first time! They were imperfect, but yummy… And wow, was kneading dough exactly what I needed to do. (Pun intended.)
I served them with homemade turkey burgers and we dipped the whole shebang in queso. It was a good dinner!


There are actually silver linings from the virus, and one is the increase in posts on DALS. I know that I can find your articles and posts on other sites, but this feels like the old days of DALS with frequent posts. Thank you for being a bright light during a time that feels so dark.


Thank YOU, Laura. Just so you know, it’s as therapeutic for me as it is for anyone else.


I made these when they were on SK with white chocolate and chipped cherries and LOVED them. Brown the butter!

Thanks for all the content – these are scary uncertain times and your writing is a rock for all of us. xoxo


and I made them again! 3/4 cup of chopped white chocolate, 1/2 cup of chopped dried cherries, 1/4 t of fine sea salt, brown the butter, and sprinkle with fleur de sel when they come out of the oven. AMAZING. Everyone was a skeptic in my house and they all love them!


Thank you, again, for these posts. They are one of the bright spots in these long days at home! It’s nice to have them to look forward to.

Mom of Boys

Agreed. Thank you. Every post should come under your “purpose” subtitle.

Tonight we are having empanadas. We purchased them frozen and they were delivered this afternoon. I’m taking a night off from cooking! We are looking forward to watching Hidden Figures tonight after another heated game of Risk.


I also really appreciate your posts and am glad that they are having a therapeutic effect for you and your readers alike. My kids are still too little for this time at home to include much in the way of movies or board games, but I have been getting my 4-year-old involved in baking, and it has been a bright spot for both of us. Zucchini bread, cottage cheese dill bread, plain whole wheat rolls, chocolate chip cookies.


Thank you for this series, Jenny. Your recipes are always a hit at my house. We’ve made the m&m cookies, the white bean soup, and the blondies. Loved them all!
Greetings from Germany.

Wendy R

Blondies look perfect! I’m trying to balance my urge to bake with my uncertainty about when I’ll be able to buy more flour, so a recipe that only calls for one cup is lovely.


The Blondie Recipe was amazing! Thank you for sharing recipes and sharing your day-to-day life, too. It’s so encouraging to read about how others are facing the reality of being home all day every day.


We just finished putting a pan of the blondies in the oven. My kid and I took a much-needed break and did some baking. They love helping me measure and pour the ingredients, and it’s calming for me in the middle of this chaos. Thanks for posting!


As a Nurse Practitioner in California, this is helping me so much right now! I’m going to be off (finally), tomorrow and will be making these with my kids. Yesterday’s project was Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese…that’ll be dinner tonight. Thanks and stay healthy!


I made this chicken soup for dinner last night. Probably the best chicken soup I’ve ever made and for sure the simplest, fastest and easiest. Thank you for a great recipe!


ok, probably a dumb question but I’m a novice – do you cook the chicken breast first?

Amanda S

I made the blondies and they were a huge hit- gone in less than 24 hours. So yummy!


Oh, the blondies… Been looking at the recipe since you posted it, finally made them today – easy on the choc chips, heavy on the chopped pecans. Heaven in a bite. Thanks!