Today found me making another trip to the grocery store (second this week) – it seems we were really low on Chicken Noodle Soup. Husband is down with what we think is Bronchitis (he helped his cousin with his phones in cousin’s basement; husband said that the basement smelled moldy). While shopping at our local Meijers I was in the soup aisle and happened to look at the boxed soups/broths. I make a really zippy/tasty Chinese Hot & Sour Chicken Soup using Swanson’s Hot & Sour Chicken broth BUT . . . I just noticed they also have a Mexican Tortilla-flavor-infused broth – that got me thinking! On the back of the box is a recipe for Mexican Tortilla Soup – guess what WE’RE having for dinner tonight! I figure – it will be a little spicy and hot which should help husband feel a little better – we’ll see! (I’ll add the recipe, below). Husband made a comment last night when getting out my very old 2 qt. saucepan – “These are getting REALLY ratty – you should think about getting some new ones!” (I have 2 – they both are circa “My Aunt” – let’s see – she died around 1970??? Yep, they’re OLD! While at Meijer I wandered down the pots & pans aisle where I found two VERY NICE, heavy 3 qt saucepans ON SALE! Regularly: $29.99 – I got them for $17.00 each! When I got to the checkout I noticed that one rang up as $17 and one as $18 – so I mentioned it to the cashier. He said “You’re right – same pot! Let me find a department here” and he started typing into his register. “There!” he said – and promptly gave me a $2.00 off ‘discount’ in the SPORTING GOODS DEPARTMENT! HA! Works for me!
Mexican Tortilla Soup
1 tsp. cooking oil
1 C. diced onion
2 large jalapeno peppers/
seeded & chopped (about 1/2 C.)
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. whole kernel corn (can be
1 C. black beans, rinsed/drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes,
undrained (or 3 small tomatoes,
1 (32 oz) carton Swanson Mexican
Tortilla flavor infused broth
2 C. shredded, cooked chicken
tortilla chips or strips
Heat oil in 6 qt saucepan over
medium-high heat. Add onion &
peppers; cook 2 minutes until tender-
crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in
tomato paste, corn, beans, tomatoes,
broth & chicken – heat to boiling.
Reduce heat to Low; cook 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Serve topped
with tortilla chips or strips.
Serves 8 (1 cup each)
chopped fresh cilantro
(I plan on changing this up a bit:
instead of the jalapenos I’m going
to add some medium salsa and
using some flour tortillas, spraying
them with nonstick spray – slicing
them into strips & broiling them
to crisp them up. Also using
canned corn (not frozen). My
family really likes this kind of
soup so I’m going to double the
recipe. Also bought Fajita chicken
strips (frozen) to put in the soup.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
1 lb. English cucumbers (about
1 medium) sliced 1/8″ thick
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. sour cream
3 T. mayonnaise
2 T. finely chopped fresh dill,
chives or both
1 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black
Place a colander or fine-mesh strainer
over a large bowl. Add cucumbers &
1/2 tsp. salt-toss to combine. Let set
at room temp. 1 hour.
Under running water, rinse cucumbers
removing all excess salt. Line a work
surface with 1 layer paper towels. Using
your hands, remove cucumbers from
strainer & arrange in a flat, even layer
on paper towels. Top with another
layer of paper towels & gently press
to absorb any moisture. Discard
liquid in bowl & wipe dry. Combine
sour cream, mayonnaise, herbs,
vinegar, pepper, sugar & remaining
1/4 tsp. salt in bowl. Add cucumbers &
stir to evenly coat. Serve immediately
or refrigerate in an airtight container
up to 24 hours. Serves 4
Creamy Zucchini & Spinach Rigatoni
3 C. (1/2 of 16oz. pkg) rigatoni pasta,
1 tsp. oil
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. flour
1/4 tsp. each:
crushed red pepper
1 C. chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, divided
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Cook pasta in large saucepan as
directed on pkg. omitting salt. Heat
oil in large skillet on medium heat;
add zucchini, mushrooms & garlic.
Cook & stir 3-4 minutes until
zucchini is crisp-tender. Add flour &
seasonings, cook & stir 1 minute.
Stir in broth & cook, stirring, 2-3
minutes until thickened. Add cream
cheese, cook & stir 2-3 minutes
until melted. Drain pasta, return to
pan. Add zucchini mixture, spinach,
Parm. cheese & 1/2 C. mozzarella;
mix lightly. Spoon into 2 qt.
casserole dish sprayed with nonstick
spray. Top with remaining mozzarella.
Bake 10 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. each)
(recipe: Kraft recipes)
The Best ‘No-Bake’ Bars Ever!
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. unrefined coconut oil*
2 C. dry oats (not instant)
1 C. shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/4 C. dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt peanut butter & coconut oil over
medium-low heat. Once melted, remove
from heat & add oats, shredded coconut,
choc. chips & vanilla; stir until chocolate
is entirely melted. Pour into a 9 X 13″
pan & cool in refrigerator. When set,
cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.
*BE SURE to use unrefined for coconut
Savory Spinach Chicken
(one person recipe)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
half (5 oz)
4 T. Italian salad dressing, divided
3 C. fresh baby spinach
1 slice Provolone cheese
Place 3 T. salad dressing in large
ziplock bag; add chicken. Seal bag
& turn to coat. Refrigerate at least
2 hours. Drain & discard marinade.
In small skillet, brown chicken on
each side; remove & keep warm.
In same skillet saute spinach,
remaining salad dressing & salt until
spinach is wilted; drain.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place chicken in shallow baking dish
sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with
spinach & cheese & bake, uncovered,
18-22 minutes until juices run clear.
Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
1 1/4 C. butter, softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. plain yogurt
1 C. grated zucchini
1 C. grated carrots
1 (16 oz) can chocolate frosting
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugar
until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one-at-
a-time, beating well after each
addition. Stir in vanilla; combine
flour, baking cocoa, baking powder,
baking soda & salt – add to creamed
mixture alternately with yogurt, beating
well after each addition. Fold in zucchini
& carrots. Fill paper-lined muffin cups
two-thirds full. Bake 18-22 minutes until
a toothpick inserted near center comes
out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool
completely. Frost cupcakes. Makes 21
Sloppy Joe/Tater Tot Casserole
1 T. oil
1 1/4 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. steak seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 C. tomato sauce
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 C. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. vinegar
1 bag tater tots
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9″ X 9″ baking pan with nonstick
spray. Add oil to skillet; heat over medium
heat. Cook ground beef, brown sugar &
steak seasoning. Add Worc. sauce & onion;
cook until onions are translucent then add
tomato paste, tomato sauce & vinegar.
Stir & cook 5 minutes. Place a single layer
of tater tots on bottom of prepared pan.
Pour meat mixture on top; season with
salt/pepper. Bake 30-45 minutes until
tater tots are golden brown & mixture is
bubbling up the sides.
Bacon-wrapped Chicken Roll-ups
3 large chicken breasts (about 2 lb)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened*
22 strips pre-cooked bacon, divided
4 green onions, minced
3 mushrooms, minced
3/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. dried parsley
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place one chicken breast in large
gallon-sized ziplock bag; seal &
pound chicken out flat. (you want
it to be as flat as you can get it,
about 1/4 inch thick). Cut in half
using kitchen scissors; repeat with
rest of breasts. In medium bowl
mix cream cheese*, green onions,
minced bacon & mushrooms. Add
granulated garlic, onion powder, parsley
& salt/pepper – stir well to combine.
Sprinkle a bit of salt & pepper over each
chicken breast then spoon about 2 T.
cream cheese mixture onto each breast.
Roll up chicken & wrap 2-3 pieces of bacon
around each one** . Spray a 9 X 13″ pan
with nonstick spray and place chicken rolls
in it. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes until
insides of chicken are cooked through & no
longer pink. Remove from oven & cover with
foil. Allow to sit 5 minutes, then serve.
*If cream cheese is hard, place on a plate
& microwave about 30 seconds to soften
it up – makes it much easier to work with
**If bacon is hard to manipulate, place
on a plate & heat in microwave about
20 seconds to make it more pliable.
Gas prices today – SHOCKER! They went from
$2.19/9 yesterday to $2.39/9 overnight! YUCK!
(glad I filled up Tuesday!)
Grabbed some variegated pink/blue/white baby
yarn today – Hey! A girl’s gotta have a passion,
right? Sewing the crocheted squares together
today – we’ll see when I have time to crochet
the border on.
Weather is STILL SUPER NICE! 80’s & sunny with
a slight breeze – MY KIND OF WEATHER!
Have a great day!