12 January 2011

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

Just as wine gets better with time/(thyme), so does this blog. I posted a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup a while back... something totally different than what I'm posting today. If you are looking for a corn and bean-based chicken tortilla soup, then go to my other recipe. In researching authentic recipes for this type of soup, I found that this is the "real deal." This soup is perfect for single-digit weather and definitely warms the soul. Give it a try and let us know what you think - I know that I'll be keeping this one in my recipe box for years to come!

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Jenn & Mrs. D's recipe)
Yield: 6 Servings

1 C. Carrots, diced
1 C. Celery, diced
1 C. Onion, diced
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder or 1 Fresh Garlic Clove, minced
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
7.5 C. Chicken Broth (or 4 15-oz cans of broth)
1 (15 oz) Can Tomatoes, diced
1 (10 oz) Can Rotel Tomatoes & Chiles, diced
1 Packet Taco Seasoning (McCormick's)
8 Small Corn Tortillas (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
12 oz. Chicken Breast, poached & shredded
1 C. Skim Milk
12 oz. Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded
Tortilla Chips, for garnish

Saute carrots, onions, and celery in oil until tender; season with garlic, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, Rotel, and taco seasoning. Cut tortillas into small pieces and add to broth mixture (this thickens the soup). Let boil for 20 minutes or until tortillas are thoroughly incorporated into the soup; stir occasionally. Reduce head and add 8 oz. of cheese and shredded chicken breasts. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add milk and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with the extra shredded cheese and tortilla chips.

07 January 2011

Blog Lovin'... Cookies and Cups!

By whim, sheer luck, or some other grace of goodness, I hit the jackpot! No... I didn't win the lottery. I did, however, win a whole bunch of baking stuff! Out of 500+ people, Shelly picked me! She picked me! I received a huge box at my door when I got home from work and got super giddy. Doug saw me open it... he said it was like Christmas all over again. A baker's dream. Look at my loot:

People, have you checked out Shelly's fabulous blog? Cookies and Cups is one of my absolute favorite places to go for all things sweet and delicious. THANKS SHELLY! Sending you lots of blog lovin'!

06 January 2011

Mixed Greens with Sugared Pecans, Blackberries + Goat Cheese

Happy 2011 to all of you! Where did the past few weeks go? I feel so out of touch with some of my favorite bloggers out there - I will have to catch up with you guys soon! Doug and I went home for the holidays and then took a [much needed] sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands. 2011 is going to be an exciting year for us - graduation and then our wedding! Eeek! Let's start the new year on the right track with a nice salad (and glass of wine). Enjoy!

Doug's mom gave us the most delicious honey crisp pecans... you'll want to buy a box too!

Mixed Greens with Sugared Pecans, Blackberries & Goat Cheese
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)
Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

2 Tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp. Coarse Salt, plus more to taste
1/4 C. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
10 oz. Mix Salad Greens
2-4 pints Fresh Blackberries
9 oz. Goat Cheese (or Feta), crumbled
Honey Crisp Pecans (or Sugared Walnuts)
Black Pepper, freshly ground (to taste)

Whisk together vinegar, orange juice, and salt. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Put salad greens, blackberries, goat cheese, and pecans into a bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Tip: I like to put the salad plates in the fridge about an hour before serving guests.