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Debra Caffrey is the Education E-newsletter Editor for FredParent. She also writes, blogs, and assists with events. She is the proud mom of 8-year-old Aidan. She is passionate about cooking, meal planning, and smart grocery shopping, and is excited to share her ‘Practical Pantry’ with you.


Practical Pantry


Playdates are invaluable for children but they can also be a precious source of solace and friendship for moms, too. One cold winter day last year, my son got together at a friend’s house while the moms socialized in the kitchen. My friend who was gracious enough to host a bunch of children at her house was also nice enough to feed us all a wonderfully warm and inviting lunch. As the kids ran throughout the house and hollered down in the basement, we cozied up to hot chicken noodle soup and rosemary bread with butter. My friend had just gone shopping and raved about the delicious chicken noodle soup that her wholesale club sold. It was simply the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had - tender slices of carrots, comforting noodles, and succulent hunks of rotisserie chicken all held together in perfectly salty broth.

It was also a game changer for me, as I had never thought to use such large pieces of rotisserie chicken for this type of soup. I remember my mother boiling a whole chicken on the stovetop when she was trying to get the meat for soups and stews, and the smell of it always turned me off. I had never really attempted to make homemade chicken noodle soup before but once I had this amazing lunch at the playdate, I realized I could use my favorite go-to method to make rotisserie chicken at home for it. I was determined to try to replicate this wonderful soup as best I could and though I didn’t get it quite the same, I’ve come to love my version just as much. To me, nothing says comfort like egg noodles, and I’ve added some unexpected creaminess by using evaporated milk as a finishing touch to the broth. Best of all, it’s super simple to whip together and the perfect meal for a cold night. As fall ends and winter sets in, nothing gets better than a bowl of this cozy and comforting chicken noodle soup! Try my recipe and see how easy it can be!


Debra’s Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped or sliced carrots
  • ½ cup-1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken meat (see here for my easy method for making it at home)
  • 2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles
  • 1 cup evaporated milk



  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in the flour, oregano, thyme, and poultry seasoning until blended, sauté about one minute longer. Gradually add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.




2. Stir in the chicken and noodles, simmer for about 10 minutes or until noodles are cooked. Reduce heat. Stir in the evaporated milk and heat through. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.  


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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.