Friday, May 31, 2013

Recipe :: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Around here, we are big fans of chicken tortilla soup. But, I am a bit of a snob about it. I don't care for the "fancy" chicken tortilla soups. I like the deli, and bar and grill version of a creamy, spicy, chicken tortilla soup.

 With the weather last weekend being all cold and rainy, I decided to make something in the crock pot. Tony requested Chicken Tortilla Soup. Well, I had never made it before, and none of my cookbooks had the recipe I wanted to try. Each one was more tomato based, or didn't look very good. 

So I googled around a bit, and still had no luck. So what did I do? I winged it. Avery and I went off to the grocery store, and I grabbed what I thought would be good, and if it sucked, we would go to THE SPORTS PAGE for dinner, where we could have the soup with our sandwiches. Unfortunately for them, but great for us, the soup turned out really good. A bit spicy {Tony said his eyeballs were sweating}, but exactly what I was looking for.


1 can Cream of Chicken soup
2 cans Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup
1 can Original Rotel
1 container of chicken broth {32 oz}
1 cup Pace Picante {medium}

I cooked the chicken prior to putting it into the soup mix in the crock pot. I just didn't trust it to get cooked through if I didn't cook it prior.

14 ounces of chicken breast cooked in 1/2 of a lime {fresh juice}, and seasoned with cumin and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Mix all ingredients and simmer in crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. 

you can also enlist your child to use the lil' dipper crock pot for her "soup". She loved making her soup, and she loves helping out in the kitchen.

We served ours with the Rhodes Texas dinner rolls. By far the best dinner rolls in all the land. You can see them under the black/white dish towel rising in the chicken picture above. 


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recipe: Sweet & Sour Skewers

I made these to take to a friend's BBQ for Memorial Day. My mom gave me the recipe a few years ago. I don't make them often, and when I do, I wonder why I don't. They take a bit of prep, but they are so good, and make the perfect party appetizer. 

You will need: 
Diced Pineapple
Sweet & Sour sauce

Cut the bacon in half, and the chicken into 1" cubes. 

To assemble: take the chicken and pineapple, and wrap with the bacon. Secure with a toothpick.

Bake at 375, until the bacon is done, and nicely browned. 

Put into crock pot, or warmer and cover in sweet and sour sauce. You will love these. They went over very well at the party, and {sadly for me} there were no leftovers. 

If you try these, let me know what you think!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recipe: Asian Steak Roll-Ups

Be warned, I am neither a chef, nor food photographer, but this was too good not to share. 

Recipe: Asian Steak Roll-Ups. 

I found the recipe that I loosely based these off of on Pinterest. 

I didn't follow the recipe, but rather used it as inspiration. 

I first bought sandwich sliced sirloin, carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers. 

I marinated the meat while I cut up my veggies with a bit of worchester sauce, and our favorite steak seasoning. 
Tone's Canadian Steak seasoning is hands down the best, and I don't believe it is made anymore. Montreal seasoning is close, but not the same. When I found the large bottles at a Sam's Club a few years ago, I stocked up. I think we will be ok on Steak Seasoning for the next 10-15 years, and will hope Tone's brings it back in the meantime. 

I cut the veggies in long, thin slices.

I put about a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of garlic in a pan to sautee the veggies. 

After a few minutes, I add a few dashes of soy sauce. 

At this point, I start to get my steak ready. I used tongs to put the veggies in the steak and rolled them up, securing with a toothpick.

Once I get them all arranged, I heat up the pan with a tab of butter and some teriyaki sauce. 

I added another dash of steak seasoning at this point, just to even them out a bit. 

They take around 10 minutes to cook, and they have fantastic flavor. While I don't have the photography skills to show how great these are, trust me when I say they are great. It is quickly becoming my favorite meal. 

The recipe that I based this off of, uses a balsamic vinaigrette base, and that is just not to our taste. You can go HERE if you want that recipe. 

If you try this, please let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Recipe: Homemade Pork Tenderlion

I kind of stumbled onto this by accident. We bought some tenderized pork chops at the meat counter in Hy-Vee for a buck a piece and I wanted to get creative with it. They turned out so well, that they are now a staple in our dinner rotation. I breaded, and cooked them in the same method I do when I make Chicken Parmesan. 

If you are so inclined, here is the recipe:

Tenderized Pork Chops {the meat counter can run them through the tenderizing machine if they don't have them readily available.}

The spices: I play around with these ingredients until I find the ratio I like. I would venture a guess at:

I cup bread crumbs
1 tsp of each of the rest,  and you can adjust from there. This is plenty to bread 3-4 pork chops.

Before you bread them, heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan. 

Then fry 3-4 min on both sides.

Then, I take them out of the pan, and cook them in the oven at 350 for about 15 min.

They have a little kick to them, due to the red pepper flakes, so you can adjust if you prefer a more mild taste. 

We served them with garlic mashed potatoes and creamed corn. 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Losing Time

Wow, so time is just flying by. The kids are busy, Tony and I are busy, and is happening, and the ol' blog has taken a back seat. I just can't find the time to update it as regularly as I like, then when I do, it turns into a photo dump and quick descriptions.

Tony started softball, so I took the kids to watch. Avery got to run the bases with Daddy after his game.

Gavin coached from his stroller. 

My brother and his family stopped by, since they were in town for a wedding. Avery got to play with her cousins, and give her newest cousin the baby blanket we sewed for her. {a scrap of fabric with random stitching that Avery did...she was so proud!}

Mothers Day 2013.

Avery and I got dressed up and went and had our nails done. Avery loved every part of it, and wanted to be like the "girls" who got their feet in the water for her pedicure.

How cute is our girl?!?!

I had  a great day. Tony went above and beyond to make the day special for me. After Avery and I got our nails done, Tony and Gavin met us for lunch at my favorite Mexican place, and then I went grocery shopping alone, and got to wander Target. It was just so nice to be able to relax and enjoy my family. 

The tree in our front yard has seen better days, it was one of the first things we bought when we decided to do all the landscaping ourselves with the house. It was a poor choice, and we didn't know any better. So for our anniversary, I got Tony a new tree {wood is the traditional 5 year anniversary gift} and planted it for him...with a little help from Avery...

She became obsessed with the worms that we found while digging, and we put them in a little bucket for her to carry around. We then took them over to the empty lot on the cul-de-sac and let them go on a new adventure. She was so cute about it, talking to them so softly and in her "talking to baby" voice. Sweet Girl.

Up next: Recipe after Recipe. I have been in a cooking mood!