Tortilla Soup

Years ago, after many tweaks, I ended up with the following recipe that continues to be a favorite with friends and family.

Ingredients

1 can (49.5 ounces) chicken broth

1 can (15.25 ounces) whole corn kernels, drained

3 cans (10 ounces) chillis and tomatoes diced, mild, drained

1 can (10 ounces) chillis and tomatoes diced, extra hot, drained (Optional, if you want a lot of spice)

1 can (28 ounces) diced, peeled tomatoes, drained

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon cilantro leaves

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

1 package mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 medium avocado, sliced (Optional)

1 bag Tostitos brand tortilla chips, lime flavor

1 package (8 ounces) Spanish (or Mexican Rice)

3/4 cup water

1 taco seasoning packet

Directions

1. Cook rice as directed on package.

2. In a pot, boil chicken for 40 minutes then drain.

3.  Shred chicken and place in a pan with water and seasoning packet.  On Medium heat, stir until well blended.

4. In a large pot, over medium heat, combine chicken broth, chillis & tomatoes, tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, cilantro and cumin. Use a hand mixer to purée.

5. To the large pot, add corn, rice and chicken.

6. Cover and simmer on medium low for about 30-45 minutes.

7. Serve in a bowl then add cheese, tortilla chips and avocado slices.

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First Day In Heaven

I was emailed this poem today.  It is what I choose to believe their first day in heaven was like:

IN REMEMBRANCE

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.

Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.

They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

“This is heaven.” declared a small boy.

“We’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”

 

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,

But Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

Then he opened his arms and he called them by name

And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring

Those children all flew into the arms of their King

And as they lingered in the warmth of his embrace,

One small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face

And as if he could read all the questions she had

He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”

Then he looked down on earth,

The world far below

He saw all of the hurt,

The sorrow and woe.

Then he closed his eyes and he outstretched his hand,

“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”

“May this country be delivered from the hands of fools”

“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then he and the children stood up without a sound.

“Come now my children, let me show you around.”

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran

All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard him proclaim as he walked out of sight,

“In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

 

-Written by Cameo Smith

Healthy Chicken Tenders

Image

This “modified” recipe by Rocco DiSpirito has become one of my family’s favorites, served with a side of honey mustard dressing for dipping.

Ingredients

3 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Salt (to season chicken broth)

4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (I use skinless, boneless chicken tenders)

2 quarts grape seed oil

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Directions

1.  Heat the chicken broth in a medium pot over high heat, seasoning generously with salt.  Add the chicken to the pan and bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer gently until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the liquid, pat them dry and set aside.

2.  While the chicken is cooking, pour the grape seed oil into a pan with high sides and bring it to 400 degrees F over high heat. In a shallow dish, combine the flour with the paprika, celery salt, black pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and cayenne pepper.  Use a whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

3.  Combine the warm chicken with the buttermilk in a large bowl, coating them completely.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour.  Then dip the chicken in the buttermilk and dredge them in the seasoned flour once more, to double-coat the chicken.  Shake off any excess flour.

4.  Fry the chicken, two pieces at a time, in the hot oil until deep golden brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Drain and serve immediately.

Simblissity

Natural Skin Nourishmentwhip’d cream natural skin nourishment

Driving around on a Saturday afternoon I came upon a local farmer’s market. One of the first booths I found inside was for a local company called Simblissity, that makes natural soap products.

My nine year old daughter chose the Sun Kissed scent, Whip’d Cream (or lotion as we call it)  and I must admit it is my favorite!

This product does not contain any fillers and is concentrated.

Active Ingredients

bilberry extract

sugar cane

sugar maple

orange & lemon fruit extract (17%)

Other Ingredients

water

cocoa butter

coconut oil

shea butter

wax free emulsifier

fragrance oil

glycerine

flax seed oil

hemp seed oil

guar gum

natural preservative blend

full spectrum vitamin E

ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

ionic silver

For more information visit: http://www.NaplesSoap.com and http://www.SimblissityOnline.com.

Repurposed Ikea® Products

If you’ve spent any time in my home, then you know I love Ikea®!

The other day I was browsing the internet and came across a website where someone modified an Ikea® bookshelf and used it as a bench seat. I thought that was just ingenious, as it looked like a piece of furniture that had been made specifically as a bench seat.

As I continued browsing the internet I found a blog called Ikea® Hackers. A place where you can post Ikea® products that you have either modified or repurposed.

Wow! They have some great ideas. I can’t believe how many creative and handy people are out there.

Click the link under Blogs on the side bar to visit Ikea® Hackers.

Hello world!

I recently watched a movie called “Julie & Julia“.

Although I wasn’t all that interested in the cooking aspect of the movie, I was curious to find out what the story line was all about.

There is a scene in the movie where Julie has lunch with friends and realizes that her friends are all busy with work projects and it motivates her to make something happen in her world. Just then I discovered that I was just like her… lacking a bit of motivation.

I know we all have times that we get caught up in all of the mundane day-to-day tasks. But I have got to start a bucket list, write a book, submit invention ideas, start a scrapbook, research my genealogy and the list goes on. How many times have you come across a product and thought “hey, I had that idea a long time ago!”

So this blog for me is about being accountable to myself. A place where I can share things that inspire me, that make life a little easier, or just things I like.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment to let me know you were here. 🙂