Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I've got some serious making up to do. Poor Matt, the other night he asked me all sad like why I haven't been making dinner for almost two weeks. Oops! It's true, I have been tired and unmotivated and really have not been making dinner for us. We've either gone out or had like....granola bars and bananas.

I don't feel bad about not having a home made meal once in while, I have never claimed to be kin to Mrs. Cleaver, but this streak of no dinners was getting a bit out of hand.

So this week I have a whole line up of dinners! Our grocery bill was a little high today, due to me not shopping for almost two weeks (except for some bare essentials) and our fridge and cupboards being bare!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

You will need:

  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 diced garlic clove
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 (15 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (10 oz) can tomatoes and green chilies, diced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 package tortillas
  • 12 oz chicken cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 frozen corn

Cut the chicken breasts into strips and season with 2 tbsp of the taco seasoning. Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven until cooked through.

Meanwhile, saute the carrots, celery, onion in canola oil with garlic, salt and pepper until the vegetables are tender.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add tomatoes, tomatoes with chilies, taco seasoning and shredded chicken. Bring back to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Reduce heat at add cheese, drained and rinsed black beans and corn. Stir well and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and top with cut up flour tortillas and Mexican cheese.


Source: Adapted from

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Never Ending Pecans

I made these pecan bars a couple weeks ago. I know, mooore pecan bars?! I've been on a pecan kick lately that I can't explain. Then this morning on America's Test Kitchen they made the "perfect" pecan pie and I was salivating just watching them make it. Oh, and they served it with bourbon whipped cream- Yes please!

As we all know I am a maple lover, so when I saw this recipe using maple syrup and I had some pecans leftover from the vegan cookies, I figured it was only right that I make them:).

Maple Pecan Shortbread Squares

You will need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • additional 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven the 350 degrees. Combine the flour and 1/3 cup pressed brown sugar in a mixer. Mix in the softened butter until a dough has formed. Press into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch baking dish, and prick with a fork.

Bake the shortbread until golden brown, about 20 minutes. While the shortbread is baking, beat the egg in a mixing bowl along with other 1.3 cup brown sugar, maple syrup and pecans. Pour the pecan mixture over the hot crust and return to the oven. Continue baking until firmed, 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to prevent sticking.

Cool completely and then cut into 1 inch squares to serve.


Sorry again for my lack of posts, it's been hard to find time to get on the computer. Not to mention have time to actually make things. I'm going to be making more of an effort to get on here more again! 

I'm going to attempt making a rack of lamb this coming week so you'll be seeing that soon. That is unless it's a disaster lol:). It kind of can't go wrong though, lamb is not exactly cheap!

My stomach is starting to hate me- I'm off to get some lunch!

Happy Baking :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Time For Another Swap

This time, instead of a recipe swap, it was a blog swap. This was nice because you were able to browse someones blog and choose any recipe you'd like. I had very good intentions of not procrastinating and getting this done right away. How did that work out for me you ask? Not so well :(.

The blog I got assigned to was doughseedough. There are tons of great recipes to pick from, but since I could only pick one I decided on Sea Salt Caramels. I was excited to make these and wrap them up. They look so cute in her picture in the little parchment paper wrappers. I thought they would be a nice treat to give to people as well. was sort of a bust. I don't know what I did wrong, but I messed up somewhere and had to toss the whole bunch, and frantically find something else to make that I already had the ingredients for (which wouldn't have been a problem if I hadn't procrastinated!).

It worked out that for a couple days I've been watching a bunch of bananas go from just right to past ripe and spotty, thinking- "I should really make some banana bread with those, or something."

This was my opportunity! I searched through her blog and came across a recipe for Banana Crumb Muffins. Peeerfect:). So I cleaned my kitchen from the first mess I had made today, and got ready to make a second mess.

Banana Crumb Muffins

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (I didn't have walnuts, so I substituted pecans)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (I had these on hand and figured I'd throw them in, not in original recipe)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cold butter
Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix together banana, egg, sugar and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture, chocolate chips and nuts into the flour mixture until just moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour, cinnamon and cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle over the batter.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted into the center of a muffin, comes out clean.

Given the kind of day I had today, I was compelled to indulge in a second muffin after I had eaten one. I don't regret it.

As bummed out as I was about the caramels not coming out right, I am really happy it lead to me making these muffins. They are delicious!

Source: doughseedough, who adapted from allrecipes

I'm also going to take this opportunity to show off this really cute cake tester my mom got me awhile back from Crate and Barrel. I had put in my utensil drawer and kind of forgot about it (sorry mom!). I need to use this more often, instead of boring toothpicks :).

Thanks again to Sarah from A Taste of Home Cooking for organizing the swap!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"C" Is For Cookie

I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago for a get together. There's something you should know about these cookies, they are the first thing I have ever made that were intentionally vegan. Woah! Crazy, I know. It really wasn't hard at all, I just had to sub margarine in for butter. I think it's the simplest vegan cookie recipe on the face of the earth actually.

I didn't mind the flavor but I think it would take me awhile to get used to the taste of margarine and I think I'd always miss butter and have a special little place in my heart for it.

I don't know if people really liked them ha! But when we left the plate only had 2 left, where there had been 20 or so. So if that's any indication then I guess they went over pretty well :).

Pecan Butter Balls

(The name is a bit misleading, wouldn't you say? Pecan margarine balls doesn't sound quite as appetizing though)

You will need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar for decoration
Put cubed margarine, flour, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl and combine until the dough has come together. Place on a flat surface and kneed in pecans. Form the dough into a disk, using additional flour if needed. 

Cut in half and roll into 2 logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight. Afterwards, take it out and cut into 3/4" pieces and roll into balls. Place onto 2 baking sheets, covered in parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

When they are cooled, roll them in confectioners sugar and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If I made these again I would add some cinnamon and nutmeg, to give them a little more flavor and to mask the margarine taste, for those who aren't used to it.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chocolate Martini

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the month of January. I have a feeling I won't be around here very much, but I'll try to get on at least once a week.

The weather is looking like it's finally going to get bad and my weeks are busier then normal this month. Bear with me, and join me in enjoying this delicious drink to kick it all off.

Combine 2 oz Bailys Irish Cream, 1 1/2 oz vodka and 1 1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur with ice. Shake and strain into martini glass decorated with chocolate syrup or chocolate shavings. Garnish with cherry or halved strawberry.

Godiva also sells White Chocolate Liqueur, Milk Chocolate, Caramel and Mocha. Gotta Catch 'Em All! lol :). You can go here for other great drink recipes using any Godiva Liqueur or Bailys.