Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last call for soup

Who do you think this is???

I'll let you think about it while I share with you the very last of my soup recipes for, National soup month. This won't be the last of my soups, I promise, but I won't declare it.

You could call this a chicken taco soup, chicken fiesta soup, or chicken Mexican soup, but I call it......

Zesty chicken soup/with a twist

The thing I like most about this soup is the secret ingredient, although it's not really a secret because I will share it with you, but it's warm and very winter like. I make this at least once a month, and I love to change it up a bit by adding rice, a dollop of sour cream, or just simply eating as is.

The process

Chop! Chop!

Snip! Snip!

Put it all in.....

Stir, combine, and cook on low.

No doubt a flavorful, warm, cozy, winter soup.

Zesty chicken soup


3 chicken breasts diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 medium golden potatoes, diced(do not peel)
1 can green chilies
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup quality chicken stock
1 15 oz can petite-diced tomatoes w/liquid
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes w/liquid(I put these in the pot and use scissors to break them up)
1 lime zested, plus, 1/2 lime juiced
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp dried parsley 
dash red pepper flakes
dash chili powder
dash dried oregano
light sprinkle of cinnamon(secret ingredient)
cilantro for garnish


In slow cooker add all ingredients except cilantro. Season with salt and pepper; cook on low for 7-8 hours. 

Optional: You can make this vegetarian by using vegetable stock, and northern beans in place of chicken. Also, I serve this over brown rice with grated Parmesan, and chopped parsley.  

Point: Do what you like and what sounds good. Make it your own, and don't be afraid to try something different.

Any guesses??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I just needed a little something

I wasn't really that hungry today for some reason. Maybe the consumption of high fat, high sugar, high everything the last couple days has sent me feeling all sorts of bloated and tired.
I'm done with it all! For a little while anyway.

I needed a snack and realized I still had some spiced nuts I made for Thanksgiving. For myself, these were perfect in every way. Not to sweet, not to salty, not to spicy. The perfect Holiday nuts to set out for your guests.

Spiced nuts

The process

Two cups mixed nuts

Go ahead, pour in the maple syrup

Sprinkle with spices

Spread on sheet and roast

These crunchy little snacks are delightful, and with that hint of rosemary it sets them apart from the typical spiced nut.

Spiced nuts(inspired by Ellie Krieger)


2 cups quality salted mixed nuts(I use the Costco brand mixed nuts)
2 generous Tb pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper(or more for your liking)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp chili powder
Cooking spray

Heat oven to 325

In a medium size bowl add nuts, maple syrup, and spices; stir to coat. Spread out on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; roast for 15-18 minutes turning once. Remove from oven and transfer to a nice size piece of parchment paper; let cool.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Calling all leftovers!!!

There are a lot of leftovers in life. Leftover food, leftover clothes, leftover furniture. Even my wine was leftover from my bff for me to consume tonight.

I hate to say, it tastes like skunk, but it will do.

Today I needed to tackle some things that are always on my list a couple days after Thanksgiving.
1. Start Christmas decorating
2. Use some of my leftovers from the Holiday

As I was pulling everything out from last years decor, I was kind of thrilled that I probably wouldn't need to buy much more. I've been married for quite some time so accumulation is an understatement.

Let's just say........ I make due with my leftovers.

The "E" clearly has issues

Can you find the fault in these stocking hangers?

It's actually an invitation picture card

With no back, and no shield in front.

But I make due.

I called our friends last minute for none other than,
leftovers, but to my advantage, she was already preparing dinner and volunteered to bring it over.
Great! I said, I will make biscuits with leftover sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato biscuits
The hint of sweet potato is just enough and the texture of these are perfect.

The process

Use leftover sweet potatoes

Puree with a little water

Until nice and smooth

Add some milk and stir

Pulse dry ingredients with butter

Add wet to dry and mix until it resembles this

Kneed a few times and shape it in a ball

Flatten in a disk

Cut them into rounds

These really don't need more butter, but that's up to you.
Honey on the other hand, don't forget it!

These don't look like leftovers, these don't taste like leftovers, but I made due. Or let's just say......we made due.

Sweet potato biscuits


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tb light-brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tb chilled unsalted butter, cut in cubes
3/4 cup leftover sweet potatoes, pureed
1/3 cup non fat milk

Heat oven to 425

In small food processor puree cooked leftover sweet potatoes with 2-3 Tb water until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and combine milk. In large food processor add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; pulse a couple times until incorporated. Add the 6 Tb butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.(pea size lumps)

Add the potato puree to flour mixture and combine, but don't overmix.(mixture will seem kind of crumbly and loose)

Turn out on your work surface sprinkled with flour and kneed 6-7 times. Form into a ball, and press down into a disk; about 1 inch in thickness. Use a traditional size cookie cutter dipped in flour first, or if your like me, use a water glass. (It works just as well) Take the scraps you have leftover "no pun intended" and repeat with process until all the dough is used up. You should have about 8 biscuits. Transfer to a non greased baking sheet putting the biscuits close together; bake 18-20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

I don't mind leftovers as long as it works, and it tastes good.

I changed my mind, this, will not do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Maintaining Thankfulness

A Thankfulness rhyme:

After a long two days of hustle and bustle, making pies, and preparing for 20, my kitchen needs a touch up and I'm all out of money.

I will maintain thankfulness

With kids playing here, and folks standing there, food never ending, but we happily cheer.

I will maintain thankfulness

The nights come to an end, all has went home, my feet and back hurt, but still I may roam. What shall I eat? Some taters and a role, Nah I see pie, just give me a bowl.

I will maintain thankfulness

There is much to be thankful for, but lets not forget, all the families with needs, in hopes they'll be met. Thankfulness should run through each and everyday, not just once a year, when we want to say, Happy Thanksgiving, or how about Merry Christmas, try to be thankful, and do your everyday living. 

I will maintain thankfulness 

I will maintain thankfulness because I have nothing to loose. Life is to short but it's not without purpose. What we do here, makes all the difference there, It's all about the journey, for what he's prepared. I pray for your hearts, to those who may read, that you will maintain thankfulness, and plant many seeds.

Lets maintain thankfulness

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet heat!

I would be lying  if I said I love winter, all the snow, and settling in that one may do. I don't hate it, but 2 months, and I'm done. I'm already thinking about spring and all the changes that may come next year, but then Avery had a request last night. "Mommy can we have hot chocolate by the fire"? Somehow, winter doesn't seem so bad anymore, so I pulled out thee old stand by.

She was a little bit excited........just a little.

We set up picnic style......

And enjoyed two cups of brew.


Ovaltine is OK, and I appreciate the nutrition aspect, but lets face it, nothing is better than making your own hot coco, and smelling the rich chocolate tempt your taste buds. It's cold, it snowed a 16th of- an- inch today, so tonight, I'm making Sweet heat hot coco ; and asking Avery to sit by the fire.

The process

Heat the milk

Along with your spices

Pour in your chocolate

Whisk until smooth

Last in is sugar

But don't forget the vanilla

Now strain the coco

Heaven in a cup

Sweet Heat Hot Coco

Ingredients: (serves 3)

1 1/2 cups non fat milk
1 cup non fat half-and-half
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon(plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz quality bittersweet chocolate
2 oz quality milk chocolate
whipped cream(optional)


Heat milk and half-and-half over medium heat with Cinnamon stick and ground Cinnamon; bring to almost simmering. Pull off heat, add chocolate and whisk until melted; add sugar and vanilla; stir until dissolved. Pour hot chocolate mixture over a fine strainer into a bowl with spout. Add your favorite topping or drink this delicious, velvety, smooth indulgence just like it is.

Our cups were upgraded......

And our cinnamon sticks had purpose.

Now that's what I call Sweet heat!