Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

olive oil
32 oz chicken broth
8 oz tomato sauce
1 can Rotel
1 15 oz can pinto beans rinsed
1 cup brown rice
1 medium diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
*1/2 cup Mushrooms
*1/2 cup chopped Carrots
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled, drained and shredded Season with:
 1-1/2 tsp cumin
 1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp  ground mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
Couple dashes of Franks red hot sauce
Cheese Sour Cream
Tortilla Strips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Shred chicken and set aside.
In a large pot add chicken broth, tomato sauce, rotel and pinto beans. Bring to a boil then add brown rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, mushrooms, carrots, chilis and minced garlic (plus any additional veggies you would like to include). Sauté about 10 minutes, then add the rest of the spice mix. Add into pot and then stir in chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer about 20 minutes. Season to your liking.
Serve with garnishes

Courtesy of Angela Ryan

Princess Party Punch

Princess Punch. And yes, it is just as amazing as it sounds. Made this for little's 1st birthday and I didn't hear a single complaint....only another idea that had something do with adding vodka. I will try that next time!

1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
 1 (6 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade
 2 1/2 c. water
 3 (28 oz.) bottles ginger ale
 1 qt. strawberry ice cream

Mix it all up and serve. D-Lish!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

 We have had this several times and it never fails. The marinade is also great for turkey tenderloins or chicken as well.

1⁄2 cups olive oil
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 small lemon
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped (def optional but it helps)
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin

Add all of the marinade ingredients to a gallon size ziploc bag and mix well. Add the pork tenderloin and let marinate for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sear each side of tenderloin for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown in a skillet on medium-high heat. Place in baking dish, cover with foil and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the meat has reached 160 degrees. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

adapted from

Little Bookworm Page

Anyone that knows me knows that my all time favorite past time, aside from napping or enjoying an awesome glass of wine, is reading. Like most avid readers, there is nothing I love more than finishing a book and knowing that it has somehow changed me and I will never be the same. There have been a few books like that and I treasure them. At the same time, however, I have been known to become engrossed by a cult phenomenon type book like 50 Shades of Grey from time to time. Not something I felt was going to give me even a moment of inspiration or be a catalyst for great things. Just a fun book to curl on up the couch with. There are few things better.

Fun With the Kiddos Page

As a stay at home mom, I have learned that one of the most difficult things for me is finding things for my kids to do that does not involve the TV or any other type of technology. Don't get me wrong, I love watching movies with them or listening to them interact with Dora or the Backyardigans (one of my favorites). I just remember when I was that age and the only thing I ever watched was Full House. Then I was outside running around like a mad woman. Climbing trees, collecting bugs, riding my bicycle and playing hide and seek. Those were the days. I hate the idea that my kids may not have memories like that because they watched too much Good Luck Charlie and didn't spend enough time playing. Because of that I have made it my life's mission to find things that not only has their little mind and muscles working but things that will create the memories they will carry for a lifetime.When I find fun things that can entertain kids and maybe even teach them something I will be sure to post it!

Recipes Are up and Running!

While I can't say that I always make the healthiest dishes, I can say that they are full of flavor and always voted on by my hubby (who will eat almost anything), my ultra picky 7 year old, the 1 year old bottomless pit and the toughest critic I have, myself. Feel free to change up the recipes or make them exactly as posted. Enjoy :)

Anecdotes and Amazing Dinners

Posting twice in as many days... I am really getting on the ball people.

 So this morning, the hubby is walking out of the door to go to work as the girls and I are all wandering around in our own worlds completely oblivious to reality. He yells from the door, "Goodbye awesome daddy, goodbye awesome husband, have a great day at work!". I murmur a goodbye as I focus on flipping the baby's egg and the 7 year old pipes up with "I didn't say awesome...I wasn't even thinking awesome. I was thing about unicorns...and Justin Beiber". As I have said before, never a dull moment. 

That being said, here is a super quick and easy dinner. I hate when people post awesome ideas for dinner and i have to come up with sides. Kidding. I am not that lazy...But i do love when people mention things that compliment the dish, which is why i am going to.

Cream of Chicken Baked Chicken with Rice and Sprouts

5-6 thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 cups of instant rice
1 bag of frozen Brussel sprouts
1 tbsp minced garlic
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350

Salt and pepper both sides of each chicken breast and lay them in a 9x9 baking dish. Pour 1 can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken breast and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. (Seriously, could that even get any easier?!? The sides take more time to prepare than the main course!)

Bring roughly six cups of water to a boil in a large spaghetti pot. Add entire bag of Brussel sprouts and continue to boil for about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to help cool them off. In a large skillet, add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and the minced garlic. Heat until the garlic just starts to turn a golden brown and then turn the heat off completely. Slice Brussel sprouts in half length wise (from top to bottom) and lay them face down in the skillet. Once you have all of them laid flat, turn the burner back on the med-high and sprinkle LIBERALLY with the creole seasoning. I mean liberally too...I would say about 4 or 5 tbsp. Make sure there is a fairly good layer on the sprouts and then turn on the exhaust fan because those spices will choke you up for sure! You want to sautee' them for 5-10 minutes or until they are seared, the blacker they look they better they taste. These little guys are spicy but absolutely delicious and pretty good for you too! 

In a medium sauce pan, bring the other can of cream of chicken soup and 1 can of water to a boil. Add some salt and pepper, then 2 cups instant rice, return to a boil, then cover and remove from heat.

There you have it. Unbelievably tasty meal that took minimal effort. You're welcome ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Princess Complex

My 7 year old, like most girls her age, is obsessed with all things Disney Princess related. I am not one of those mothers that thinks she is going to suffer years of torment because she has a distorted view of reality. In fact...get real. Most of us loved those movies and the only ones suffering now are the ones who continue to make unwise choices (see how I said unwise instead of selfish and stupid? I am getting more tactful by the minute). However, because I was raised a strong woman and want my daughters to grow up to be strong women, I had to throw this jewel in the mix. So in the middle of reading about Ariel and Belle, we also read about Elizabeth. She had a wonderful life but unfortunately her castle was destroyed and her future hubby Prince Ronald was prince napped by a fire breathing dragon. Elizabeth, being the fierce, independent woman she is, throws on a paper bag, the only thing that was not burned to a crisp, and heads off to save old Ronald. Jump to the end of the story and you find why I adore this book and will read it to both my girls until they know it by heart. She braves the dragon to free the prince who in turn berates her for wearing a paper bag and not being up to his princess standards. The book ends with this fabulous paragraph:

“Ronald,” said Elizabeth, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.” They didn't get married after all.

Love it.  The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

Grandmother's Neiman Marcus Cake

One of my all time favorites desserts that my grandmother used to make! That woman was something else and her cooking and baking skills were out of this world! This one is super simple and by far of the the richest things I have ever had... I dare you to try and eat more than one piece!

Molly's Neiman Marcus Cake

1 Chocolate cake mix
1 Stick of butter (softened)
3 Eggs
6oz Milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans
8oz cream cheese
16oz powdered sugar

Preheat over to 350*

Mix Chocolate cake mix, 1 egg and butter thoroughly. Once mixed, spread a thick layer in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Sprinkle the milk chocolate chips and pecans.

In a separate dish, mix together the cream cheese, the remaining 2 eggs and the powdered sugar. Pour mixture over the other layers in the baking dish.

Bake for 30-45 minutes


I am going to pretend that my schedule is so full that I literally do not have a spare millisecond to sit down and write a post no this blog that I created forever ago... Despite the fact that I will spend hours on Pinterest and have read 6 books since Jan 1. Maybe I should set a reminder on my phone to log in and find something to post. Seems to work for everything else! Those virtual post its are pretty much a life saver. I have, however, added my list of all time favorite books on the right side of this page, which is a pretty damn good start. I swear I will get on here more often! I have some recipes to post anyway ;) I will leave off with a mildly inappropriate, pretty hilarious story: My 7 year old was out of school all last week for February vacation. By Thursday, which just so happened to be baby's 1st birthday, we had an almost terminal case of cabin fever. I figure we could go kill a few hours at the mall...which was, a WONDERFUL idea. After about 32 minutes, 1 year old was ready to be out of the stroller and 7 year old kept stopping to lay down on every single bed in Macy's. We had to find something kid friends asap. We packed up and went down the street to Barns and Noble, my home away from home. As soon as we figured out how the hell to get to the top floor (we looked for the elevator for half an hour, no joke) we found a nice stack of children's books and sat down to read for  a bit. The 7 year old picked SkippyJon Jones' Cirque de Ole' to read out loud. Keep in mind, this is early afternoon on a Thursday inside of a bookstore. It Is near silent aside from my kiddo reading her little heart out. So far the only words I have had to help with are the Spanish words so I am not reading along as she gets to the name "Putzi". For any parent that has sat through hours of phonetic reading you know there are some words that they just aren't going to get and you help them out before they even try it. This was not the case. I wasn't even reading along on account of 1 year old throwing every toy she had out of the stroller at some poor 3 year old. Needless to say I was a little  caught off guard when I hear my sweet innocent 7 year old baby say "Pussy?" as loudly as she can read. I almost fell out of my freaking chair!!! As I quietly corrected her pronunciation of the name, I took several deep breaths and tried to maintain the illusion of composure. In being a parent there is never a dull moment and more often than not, its just a series of funny little moments that get you through the ones that aren't quite so lighthearted.