Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Secret to Soup: Chicken Tortilla

Broth-based soups are kinda like liquid casseroles--use what you have and let the flavors mingle.  If you like all of the ingredients you're adding in to the broth and could see yourself eating them in some other dish then you should be safe!

I usually start with chicken broth as my base.  (The carton of it is ideal, about four cups?)  Get that simmering on the stovetop at medium heat.  At this point you'll need to pick a flavor direction.  Today we'll focus on:  

Mexican (My fave!)

For chicken tortilla soup use:
-shredded, cooked chicken breast (2-3 breasts or half of a rotisserie chicken)
-a pinch or two of chili powder (preferably homemade for more flavor) or spices like cumin
-salt and pepper to taste (a few cracks on the grinder will do)
-canned, rinsed beans, if you're into that (pinto or black)

Start with the broth and spices and add the meat and beans a little later to reheat them.  I like to reduce the heat to low or low/medium at the hottest once the broth starts to boil.  I usually let it cook for 20-30 minutes so the flavors mix well.  At about 10 minutes in I add the beans, followed by the cooked meat, and then I dice the tomato and add that so it's not completely soft by the time I eat it.

While it's cooking, prep the toppings:
-avocado, cubed or sliced 
-crumbled tortilla chips

A variation of this is to use ground beef instead of chicken:

A lot of restaurants use rice as well but a warning on using rice or pasta:  it will continue to cook in the hot soup.  See this one I made recently with little stars?

The stars got bigger and softer as they absorbed the broth.  Not only did they get mushy but I also lost most of my broth to the ever-growing stars!  I prefer soups without rice or pasta, but if you choose to add them do it closer to the end than the beginning.  When it's still kinda chewy it's time to pull it off the heat because it's not done cooking!  You could use cut up corn tortillas instead but I've always served this with the tortillas in chip form.

Throughout the winter we'll talk about some other broth-based soups and move into cream-based ones.  Find yourself a good pot with a lid (I love a good Dutch oven!) and let's make some soup!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Now that life has calmed down a bit...

The posts were steadily coming along at the beginning of the year.  Then, this happened:

So this happened:

And the remodel of a nearly thirty year old Victorian dollhouse occupied most of my time, as did the moving and the selling and, oh yeah, the working and the living and such.  Now that it's Thanksgiving break and my life feels like it's calming down a little I'm turning back to the old blog.  I've missed it!

You can see that the format has changed a little.  It's now much simpler and hopefully more mobile-friendly.  I've also added a Pin It button!  (That's huge for me because I couldn't figure out how for the longest time.)  If you hover over any picture you'll see the Pinterest emblem in the lower left corner (or click on the picture on your phone or tablet).  Now you'll have a quick way to file those craft ideas and recipes!

I'm planning to keep the same format as earlier this year:  food ideas on Sundays, home and/or crafts on Wednesdays.  I may add more themed days later but let's not get too crazy, haha!

Happy Turkey Day! 
(I'm thankful for YOU!)