Saturday, October 22, 2011

oh boy.

This little guy is always into something. He's very curious and he loves to you can see :-D

Thursday, October 20, 2011

cell phone.

I wonder how many precious moments I would miss if I didn't have my cell phone. I take more pics with my phone than anything. Right now it has 1,180 pictures on it. Can't bring myself to delete any.

Here's some from the past few months. They're fuzzy, they're not perfect. But, I love them....all of them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dump and Pray (today's recipe)

Well, I regularly make "Dump and Pray" around here. I love soup and one pot meals, so I find myself experimenting regularly. I dump stuff in the pot and pray it tastes good! I've had some hits and many misses - today was a hit! So, I decided to share it here.

Cheddar Bacon Cheese Soup

1 can cream of potato
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cheese soup
1 can chicken broth
4 slices bacon
1 medium yellow or white onion
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp chives (I used dry chives, feel free to use fresh)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 lb cooked chicken breast
1 can corn kernals or 1 cup frozen corn

Chop bacon into small pieces and sautee. Add chopped onion and cook until onions are slightly translucent. Set aside. Chop chicken breast into small bite sized chunks and cook in the bacon/onion residue. In a large pot add the three cans of soup, one can of broth and two cans of water. Stir until blended and bubbling. Add the thyme, salt, pepper and chives, mix together. Add the bacon/onion and cooked chicken. Bring to a boil and then let simmer 10-15 mins, stirring frequently. Add the corn the last five mins. Serve plain or add shredded cheddar, bacon and fresh chives.

I had no toppings, but the soup was delicious! A hearty fall meal soup.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let me first start by saying that this soup was tasty and easy to prepare. But it is not good unless you add fresh avocado, cilantro, fresh squeezed lime and crushed tortillas. The soup is sort of a base and needs these toppings. This recipe calls for freshly made tortillas, but I just used good old fashioned Tostitos and it was delish. I served it with fresh home made guacamole and chips too :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

8 cupsChicken Stock

2 wholeOnions; diced

3 clovesGarlic; crushed

1 1/2 tablespoonChili Powder

1 large canCrushed Tomatoes

1 wholeLime

1 teaspoonCumin

Salt; to taste

Pepper; to taste

1/4 teaspoonCayenne; or more to taste

1 cupVegetable oil

12 wholeCorn tortillas

2 cupsChicken; cooked and torn or cubed into 1/2" cubes

-- Optional Add-Ons --


Sour cream

Corn kernels

Black beans


In a large stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium-high heat. Add crushed garlic and chopped onions, and stir until onions just start to brown. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, cumin, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, pepper, and half of the lime juice. Turn up the heat until it bubbles, stirring constantly, then gradually stir in chicken stock. Turn down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add diced chicken. (Optionally add black beans or fresh corn kernels).

To make the tortilla crisps, julienne 12 corn tortillas into narrow, uniform strips. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of vegetable oil up to medium-high heat (takes about 5 minutes to come up to temperature -- be sure to test the heat of the oil by placing a corn tortilla bit into the oil -- it should bubble immediately). Deep-fry these tortilla strips in batches (2 mins or so -- do not let them turn a dark brown) -- transfer to paper towel to dry. They should be crispy.

When ready to serve, plate the soup, then top with a mound of the tortilla strips. Optionally add avocado, sour cream, cheese, fresh corn kernels.

Squeeze fresh lime juice into each bowl at the table.

Soup itself can be made ahead, but make the corn tortilla strips fresh, just prior to serving... it's worth it.