Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Souper 2.0

Today was another soup kind of day...and now that I am getting into this making soup thing! I decided to try out another recipe.

Disclaimer - to my dear friend Jessica: don't be offended I didn't yet try your Tortilla Soup Recipe! I was trying to find one today that was similar to Avila's El Ranchito soup that I love! Next time, will be your recipe's turn! Thank you for all your awesome recipes!! More to be posted soon!

Thank You Food section??....and thank you Google for helping me find this easy recipe!

Found here: and slightly altered.

Basically it is: open cans, pour in pot, simmer, serve! SO easy and delicious!

Chicken Tortilla Soup


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lime, or about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice ( I used 3oz. of tomato paste instead, since I strongly disike tomatoes)
  • 1 can mild green chiles, undrained (4 ounces)
  • 1/2 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, optional (I skipped this, because I think mild salsa is spicy, but Joe said the soup lacked a ZING, so it appears next time I should add this to his bowl, and it'd turn out better!)
  • 2 green onions, with most of the green, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, diced ( I used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, frozen, fresh, or canned drained ( I used a blended frozen mix with peas, green beans, and corn) aka...all the vegetables Kylie will eat!
  • 1 cup cooked chopped chicken ( I used canned all white meat, in water - sue me)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or a shredded Mexican blend
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • Serve with tortilla chips, rice/beans, sour cream (brown rice is really good added into the rice, when serving! that is what we did. refried or black beans on the side)


Simmer chicken stock with tomatoes, lime juice, jalapeno, green chiles, cilantro, green onion, carrots, and corn for 45 minutes (or as long as you have!...I probably only did 20 max...I think it was fine Enough time to thaw frozen veggies, heat thoroughly, and blend flavors); add chicken about 10 minutes before done.
Top each bowl of soup with tortilla chips, sour cream, and shredded cheese, and rice, or serve on the side.
Serves 4.

Ta da!
Perhaps red bowl, red soup wasn't the best option for the photoshoot...BUT they are CUTE bowls from Anthropologie! I love them - check them out here: bowls and the mini ones latte bowls are soooo adorable!! They actually are really reasonably priced, which is rare for the amazing Anthropologie. The big ones are $5 each and the mini are $2.50 each. (some math for you: I got 4 bowls and 2 mini bowls for $25. Not bad at all!) Plus, they look much fancier than the Ikea and Albertsons bowls that join them in our cabinet!

Last night, I also tried out one of the apple cobbler recipes I posted from yesterday's entry!
Recipe found at: Apple Cobbler Food again?!

Well, I actually followed the recipe exactly this time, except I halved it, and made it in a little bread loaf pan, because I figured we didn't need cobbler leftover for days. (Especially because SOMEONE, known as my boyfriend, doesn't LIKE pie, cobbler, cinnamon, or any fruit dessert.'d just be me eating it. But, Kylie loved it!! Hooray!
It was super easy to make, and I actually had all the ingredients on hand already, except the 3 apples I bought. Try it out! Except, don't forget to get the vanilla ice cream at the store, like me, or you will be one sad panda...roaming around the kitchen trying to find a replacement to no avail.

So there.

Opt to add the jalapeno pepper to the soup...I added it to Joe's soup, night 1 of leftovers, and he said it made all the difference in the world. I also added a bit more salt, pepper, and garlic powder. That gave it the "zing" he was looking for ;)
So there.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scarflace Narf

I just got this adorably awesome "scarf" !
I use the term loosely because it's more like a fabric necklace, and more to make me look cooler than keep me warm.

Check it out!
AND it is only $10 right should probably get one, too! From here:
I love it!

One crafty thing about it: It has a little TINY pewter silver feather charm at the very back of the scarf...WHY is it SO SMALL and SO CUTE?! AND COMPLETELY HIDDEN?! sad day.
So, I clipped the thread it was hanging by, and sewed it....(ok, ok, I am GOING TO sew it)...(I swear! I will!).....(soon!)...down toward the main part of the scarf, off to one side.  I want to check out the craft store for more little pewter colored charms to add, as well!.....but too many and I may end up looking like a Monopoly gameboard.
So there.

The apple of my eye

One thing I LOVE about fall is apple season! Yes, you can get pretty good apples year-round, but there is something about the fall months rolling in, that leads to that extra shiny, crisp, and juicy apple that i love!
There are more varieties than ever in the stores (Grapples...huh?!), and all the displays are so lovely.

We like the Fuji apples best around here; tried Gala, but they are not as crisp.

Now, you might think I am going to go all Martha Stewart on your ass and post lovely, fancy apple recipes...well. That's not the case.
In fact, I usually end up enjoying my apples quickly sliced with some huge steak knife, while buttering toast and pouring orange juice, then thrown in a plastic bag to be eaten at work later once sufficiently browned...YET still tasting great!
BUT...if I were to give you my favorite ways to use apples, these would be them!

*Thinly sliced or diced in a salad with mixed greens, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. (This works well with pears or roasted beets, too, but this is a post about...APPLES!)

*Baked in a yummy apple crisp or cobbler (ie: easier than a pie because these have no bottom crust. Just a super-easy layer of any variety of crumb topping on top of sliced apples)
Such as these:
Apple Cobbler Recipe
Apple Crisp Recipe

(PS Who knows the difference between a cobbler and a crisp! Not important.)
*Or, Kylie's favorite (and Joe's!) wedges dipped in peanut butter.

And here are some pretty apple pictures for you to drool over now.

So there. Happy Appling.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuffed Peppers!

I made stuffed peppers last night - they were so good! And really simple to make! And the boyfriend actually liked them! Success all around.
Please oooh and aaah over the photos below :)

And, as for the Recipe below, enjoy my lengthy commentary on each item, which will make it nearly impossible to print out this recipe as a nice compact little list. HA!

Stuffed Peppers with Couscous, Ground Turkey, and Goat Cheese

Serves 2 (well I took it upon myself to use HUGE peppers, so it served 4, aka leftovers tonight!)

Total Bake time – 50 minutes (Don’t forget to allow this baking time, or your boyfriend will be very impatient and hungry…like when I tried to make that soup…)

Total additional Prep. Time – I dunno, how fast do you chop onions and wash peppers?!


2 bell peppers – I used red, but you can use whichever color you like the best. Pick nicely shaped ones with no blemishes, as this will be the main attraction

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or brown rice, or couscous) – I had intended on using quinoa, but APPARENTLY Albertsons doesn’t have it – more of a Trader Joe’s thing, I suppose. So I used whole wheat couscous, which was great.

onion - (chopped finely) I had half of a shallot lying around, so I used that. Some onion tears may have been baked into this dish. Ack.

garlic (chopped) I used 2 cloves

6 oz ground turkey – those packages at the store are 20oz I think, so just guesstimate how much. It doesn’t really matter too much.

4 oz turkey breakfast sausage – same guesstimate on these – I sliced up about 4 raw links

salt, pepper, Italian dried seasoning (basil, oregano, etc)

8 oz.  tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes if you actually like tomatoes, which I don’t! so I used sauce)

1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves – that’d be 1 gigantic handful of the raw leaves from the pre-washed salad bag.

4 oz. crumbled goat cheese – I found a package of pre-crumbled goat cheese (exactly 4 ounces, ThankYouVeryMuch) in the fancy cheese section of the grocery store. If you can’t find that, have fun tearing the soft cheese into tiny pieces…muahaha ;)

(OK ready?!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees 

1) Slice tops off peppers just below the crown. Pull out seeds then rinse peppers quickly under running water to remove all remaining seeds. (Cut out that gross white part by the seeds too with a paring knife, ok?) Cut in half lengthwise (so they are little cups, see photo so you don’t screw this up!) and put in a casserole dish with a lid (or foil worked fine!...who has lids?!)  Put the dish in the oven with the lid on. 

Bake for 30 minutes then remove from oven. Set aside, leaving the lid on the dish. Keep the oven on. (I didn’t write this part of the recipe…kind of amusingly redundant – don’t worry, I don’t think you’re an idiot)

2) While peppers are in the oven, Cook quinoa, or couscous, or rice, or whatever as package directs in a medium saucepan. (Make so you are using a ½ cup of the grain, and then however much water it says to use – each grain is a different ratio). When it was done cooking, I fluffed with a fork, and added about a tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil. Come on the rest of it is sooo healthy…why not? ;)

3) While peppers and grain are cooking, Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil.  Sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until translucent. Careful not to burn the garlic. I said careful!!!

Add ground turkey and sausage. Using a spatula or large spoon, continually break ground turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add a sprinkle or two of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. When turkey is no longer pink and just begins to brown, add tomato sauce and spinach. Mix well into turkey. (Try to mix the spinach under the other hot ingredients, so it wilts more quickly) Cook 1 more minute then turn off heat.

4) Add turkey mixture to quinoa (or vice versa, whichever pan is bigger!). 

5) Add crumbled goat cheese. Mix well. 

6) Pull dish with peppers out of the oven. A little water will have collected in the bottom of each pepper. This is fine. (So they said, but I drained a bit. Sue me. Mixture ends up plenty moist in keeping that lid/foil on…I didn’t see the need for water.)

Scoop quinoa-turkey mixture into the peppers, packing the peppers full. Spoon remaining quinoa around the sides of the peppers. (That is a cop out – pack it all in!) With the lid on the casserole dish, Bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit five minutes before serving.

I served with a mixed green and cucumber salad.
And milk.
Pretty fancy, eh??

Give it a try!
Despite this lengthy novel, it is super yummy and easy!

So there.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have always been lucky enough to work for companies with a casual dress code.  I am really not a business suit and heels kind of girl.  Don't get me wrong, I kind of admire these people, aka my sister and lots of my friends...but I am a comfy flats, jeans, and cardigan kind of person.
When I say casual, I don't mean no suit jacket required. I mean I rock my skinny jeans and t-shirts, and try to look somewhat acceptable with cute jewelry, sweaters, and in toning down my bright wonderfully clashing style just a bit.
Which is why I can't live without these! Nordstrom Frenchi® Boyfriend Tee (Juniors)

They are sooo comfy and soft, come in every amazing color (of which I have 4+), and are juuuuust a little nicer than a regular t-shirt. (Shut up, they totally are!) Therefore, I fully consider them work attire under a cute cardigan.
Go buy one today!! Or four.

So there!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...Halloween!

These little guys are the CUTEST!! 

I love, love, love Sur La Table (Even though I always forget how to pronounce it...guess "Sir Luh TABLE" doesn't sound as fancy ;) Sheesh.)

AND these adorable little festive glass markers are on SALE right now, too!
Check 'em out!

Here is the link to all their other fun Halloween decor and baking items, too!
I want Everything!

So there. BOO!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Everyone likes free Sh!t

I belong to way too many discount coupon sites that email me everyday. While I quickly skim and delete most of them, occasionally a good one comes up, whether it be a $10 sweater at Target or a coupon for a restaurant I go to all the time.
This time Quiznos is giving away a FREE COOKIE, with no other purchase necessary, if you complete this short survey:

Who doesn't eye those giant, soft baked cookies at the cashier counter at Quiznos and Subway?! So today, one of those giant cookies is yours! Treat yourself. It's Monday. (haha, is that a good enough reason?! It is for doesn't take much.)

So there.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So, I made soup for the first time on Tuesday evening, and it turned out pretty well!
Well, the first time not dumping the congealed contents of a can into a pan and warming them up, that is....

I combined two recipes, plus improvised a bit, and made a low fat creamy potato, cauliflower and broccoli pureed soup!

It ended up pretty thick and too bland - all those potatoes, once pureed, sucked up all the liquid; and adding so much unseasoned (duh) milk, plus all the veggies turned the soup base pretty bland.

It also made a ton, even though I tried to half the recipes, so we have had soup two nights in a row for dinner, and tonight, you guessed it, I am having soup! (I will make the boyfriend something else for dinner, though, since he so nicely ate my soup experiment for two days) And there STILL will be more leftover after tonight...oops.
BUT, it was pretty good and I want to make soup again soon!!

These are the two recipes I looked at, but I am not going to post my own Recipe, per se, since the quantities/measurements of everything weren't the best ;)

But, I basically:
Sauteed half a shallot and a garlic clove (finely chopped) and sliced celery in a big pot with a bit of olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn, then added flour to create a roux for thickening. (It needed more oil at this point to absorb all the flour. And this ended up making it TOO thick) Then I added 2% milk and chicken stock and brought to a boil.
Then I added fresh thyme, broccoli and cauliflower, cut into small florets, and salt/pepper into the soup, turned down the heat to a simmer, put a lid on, and let cook for about 25 minutes, until the veggies were cooked.

Meanwhile (omg, is this the worst typed up recipe ever or what?! ;) ) I cleaned and pricked with a fork 2 big baking potatoes...or 3...I forget...yeah, I think 3. And that was too many!
But I baked them in the microwave, wrapped in a paper towel, for 8 minutes. Be sure to poke those holes or they may explode!
**This is an easy way to make baked potatoes, side note!!*
Then, I pulled the skin off the potatoes (and burned my fingers) and diced the potatoes.

Added the potatoes to the soup, cooked for 5 more minutes, then put the soup into a blender to puree. I did this in batches and only fill the blender about half full, or it wont blend nicely. (And it'll like explode or something...) **Leave the little middle part of your blender lid out, and just cover by holding a paper towel over the top hole...something about hot'll probably..say it with me...EXPLODE.**
I left a bit of the soup chunky for some texture....not sure if I ended up liking this idea or not.

The soup turned out pretty bland, as I said, so I would start with more onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and use less potatoes...or something.
This soup also cools off, and thickens more, very quickly, so we all ate it fast, haha!
But I served it with some thick slices of a hearty fresh deli-baked whole grain bread on the side, and a sprinkle of cheese and dollop of sour cream in top of each bowl.

So...this probably was of no help to you, but congratulations if you read it the whole way though, and maybe you, too, will Google some good soup recipes and give them a try!

Next on the list will be Chicken Tortilla Soup...because the boyfriend so politely ate all of his creamy broccoli soup (two nights in a row!) even though he hates broccoli and does not care for creamy soups at all. And Chicken Tortilla is his favorite.
What a good man!
And Kylie liked the soup well enough, too, so BONUS!! (well, she liked putting cheese in it and eating the cheese out with a spoon, but she ate some soup along with those bites of cheese!)

So There.

"...And she'll have Fun, Fun, Fun, til her Daddy takes the T-bird away...."

OMG, so I saw the funniest thing yesterday. Not so much funny as shockingly amusing, actually.
So, I am driving along on a four lane major road and what do I see in front of me?! I see this guy in a little white car change lanes and go from the far Right turn lane to the far Left turn lane in one fell swoop! BUT, he didn't like politely signal and take one lane at a time, all the while inching closer to the stop light intersection. No, No! His car turned HORIZONTALLY to the left, like completely perpendicular to all of us other drivers, and he just cruised over all four lanes of traffic at this angle like it was the freaking Macy's Day parade. AND, I get this reference, BECAUSE, not only did he jet across four lanes of traffic like it was nothing, BUT he did the "thanks" *wave* that you do when someone lets you over...BUT he did it the WHOLE TIME he was cruising across the whole road! And it wasn't like an "oops!..thank you..." *sheepish shrug* kind of wave! No, no, i think he was ENJOYING it! It was more like a beauty pageant, or - parade - wave. "Hello!, ah, yes, thank YOU, thank YOU, hello, hello, da dee...!"
All the while no one honks or blocks his way - we must have been too dumbfounded by the nerve, or sheer awesomeness, of this guy.
So picture the tiny white clown car, the princess wave, the car turned totally sideways, perusing across traffic...and I guarantee you, too will think this is shockingly amusing.
So there.

In other news, I am feeling very "Back to School" in my clothes today - preppy cardigan, bright blue flared denim, and NEW SHOES, courtesy of my amazing boyfriend with the fashion hook up!  Hooray!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blog

There are two reasons I decided to finally start writing a blog.

ONE. I think of random, amusing thoughts that i "MUST POST TO MY FACEBOOK STATUS IMMEDIATELY!" way too many times a day to not start a blog instead. 

TWO. My mom thinks I am funny.

SO - here we go!
I hope someone (besides my mom) reads this little blog of mine. Feel free to comment! (please?)
and....Hi Mom!!  ...oh, wait, I'll have to teach her how to read a blog first....ok, well she'll see this eventually. Hey, I taught her how to turn on a computer, and check email, and now she is a You Tube, Google search, and EBay aficionado, so there are high hopes for her blog reading skills.

Now I am off to command my Chai Tea to warm me up on this cold, gloomy morning.
So There.