Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tortilla Soup

To start, I have to say that I typically only eat soup during the winter.  But out of nowhere, I had a hankering for tortilla soup.  I checked my freezer and pantry and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had most of the items needed already on hand.  So last weekend, I whipped up a yummy batch.  With some crushed up tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and a dollop of guacamole, it was a delicious summer treat and not heavy winter food at all.  So now, I'm not sure why I had regulated soups to a winter-only menu item.  I was surprised by the fact that I had a hearty dinner on the table in 30-45 minutes.  And I really only dirtied one big pot.  I'm thinking I should start searching for some more soup recipes.  :)

This soup had the right amount of kick and lots of delicious vegetables.  If you'd prefer a meatless meal, I would suggest adding another can of black beans or some frozen corn.  And rather than add tortillas at the last stage of the cooking process, we opted to top the soup with crushed tortilla chips.  Have fun experimenting with different toppings, between pico de gallo, guacamole, shredded cheese, sour cream, and more, you just can't go wrong!   


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • ¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • ¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken
  • 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal
  • 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches

Preparation Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the spices (cumin, salt, chili powder). Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

adapted from Pioneer Woman's recipe

Monday, August 8, 2011

MIA - San Antonio trip

I know, I know, I've been MIA.  This is the crazy time of year at work.  The time of year when you could work all day and still need a couple of extra hours.  Truth be told, our dinners have come from jars, or boxes from the freezer.  Not at all blog worthy.  At our house, we call it junk food night and I just can't say enough about taquitos and poppers from the freezer. 

Dusty also whisked me away to San Antonio for the weekend.  You see, my 30th birthday is coming up in a week.  I'm actually really excited about it, not nervous at all.  But Dusty loves to spoil me and I love to be spoiled, so it kind of works out.  We had a great weekend in San Antonio and ate the most delicious dinner at Biga on the Banks.  You simply must try it and it is a post all to itself.  The delicious items above (plants, giant zucchini, baby red onions, and yellow grape tomatoes) came from a farmer's market near Pearl Brewery.  It was amazing to see all of the different produce and be able to purchase directly from the people that poured their heart and soul into it.  Dusty and I have been researching farmer's markets here in the Houston area and have found this one and this one.  We are making plans to take the family to one really soon.  More posts to come soon about my amazing dinner at Biga on the Banks and some more dinner ideas for the busy working mom. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Elote - Mexican style grilled corn

Hi - my name is Amy - and I'm addicted to grilled corn.  It really is a problem, well, maybe it's not.  I like grilled corn and it's sort-of a vegetable.

Ok, I digress.  On to the recipe!!!  Ears of corn have been a on sale at the grocery store and we've been grilling at least once a week.  The perfect side dish has been grilled corn.  But I was reading on another blog (check out Bon Appetempt here) about her recipe for elote - corn, mayo, cheese, spicy delishishness.  Now I have to admit, using mayo for anything other than sandwiches kind of grosses me out.  But I'm growing and I'm stepping out of my mayo-belongs-only-on-a-sandwich box.  The grilled corn was fantastically sweet.  Add to that the creamy mayo topping and cheesy-spicy mix - wowie!  It's grilled corn magic.  Give it a try the next time you and your family grill up a meal and let me know what you think.


4 ears of corn (silk & husk removed)
3 Tablespoons lite mayo
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (can substitute regular chili powder)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. In one bowl, mix mayo and lemon juice.  Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix parmesan cheese, chipotle chili powder, cumin, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. Grill corn, until bright yellow and/or slightly charred on all sides.  (I like mine with just a few black spots, Dusty likes his mostly black.  Your choice.)
  5. Remove corn from grill.  Using a silicone brush "paint" the corn with the mayo mixture.  Sprinkle cheese/spice mixture immediately afterward onto the corn.