Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recipe of the Week - Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Unfortunately it was a busy night and I didn't get good pictures of the making of this recipe, but I wanted to post it because it was such a good recipe, I will definitely be making it again. 

I don't have Trisha Yearwood's cookbook, but I think it might be one I need to purchase, I have found a few of her recipes and seen her show on the Food Network and she is always cooking up something delicious. This soup was no exception!

We have been buying rotisserie chickens and the boy will take the chicken off of the bone so that we can use it in different recipes during the week. It is easy to throw it into a soup. 

Recipe (I changed her original recipe to use what I had on hand, it still turned out wonderfully!)


3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Three 14-ounce cans chicken broth
4 cups half-and-half
1 cup prepared salsa, mild or spicy
1 rotisserie chicken - pulled off the bone
Two 15-ounce can black beans, drained
One package Trader Joe's roasted corn, frozen
2 teaspoon ground cumin
One package taco seasoning

Toppings, cheese, tortilla strips and sour cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and saute until softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and taco seasoning. Continue to simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Crumble the tortilla chips into individual bowls and top with a ladle of soup. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and tortilla strips and add a dollop of sour cream.

I am linking up over at In and Out of the Kitchen and Aynonita Nibbles this week!

Monday, May 12, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 20

We had an action packed weekend, but it was a ton of fun. 
Friday we attended the 19th annual Winefest which is a fundraiser which supports the University of MN - Children's Hospital. They have over 400 wonderful wines, food from some of the best restaurants in town and awesome silent and live auction items. We had a wonderful night!

Saturday we spent the day running errands and getting ready for friends to come for dinner and game night. A few weeks ago we took an awesome cooking class with wine pairings. I have been dying to recreate the menu at home. 
The first course was a french brie, a robiola and an alemar cheese with blackberries, strawberries and barrel aged honey paired with Charles K Voigner (all of the wines were Charles Smith wines, delicious!)
The second course was roasted peaches with seared scallops and micro greens paired with Kung Fu Girl Riesling.
The next course was a roasted boneless lamb roast and roasted fingerling potatoes. I made this recipe back in January and the boy and I loved it. We paired this with K Syrah. Dessert was coconut dark chocolate truffles and carrot cake truffles paired with The Velvet Devil merlot. It was a really nice night and so fun to do a dinner with pairings like that. 
Sunday was Mother's day. We took both sets of parents out to brunch and had a lot of fun catching up with everyone over a really nice brunch. 

Here is what we have planned for this week!
Plans - Home, laundry FUN stuff!
Breakfast and Lunch - Berries, english muffin, chicken pasta salad
Dinner - Grilled chicken ravioli, pesto, roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

Plans - Our new sectional is being delivered for the living room, I cannot wait. Then we just have the finishing touches. I absolutely love the way this room has come together. Bunco night! I am bringing a big pitcher of margaritas and margarita dip with strawberries.
Breakfast and Lunch - I have oatmeal I really need to eat. Leftover soup chicken tortilla soup from last week.
Dinner - Bunco bites

Plans - Maybe a movie, depends on the weather really. If it is nice a walk. Lowe's for mulch!
Breakfast and Lunch - More oatmeal, fresh berries, leftover lamb
Dinner -  Homemade margarita pizza Smashburger - we need to go get a ton of mulch at Lowe's.

Plans - Cards with the neighbor girls
Breakfast and Lunch - Oatmeal with fresh berries, leftover chicken tortilla soup
Dinner - Turkey tacos (I love taco night)

Plans -Waiting to hear back from friends on dinner plans.
Breakfast and Lunch - more oatmeal until it is gone, but I will miss my cottage cheese and berries so that will be lunch.
Dinner -

Plans - Waiting to hear back from friends on dinner plans.
Breakfast and Lunch - oatmeal, berries, salad
Dinner -

Plans - Grillfest at the Depot - we are attending and not volunteering this year, really looking forward to it
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner - we will be getting plenty to eat at Grillfest!

For more meal plans and links to recipes, check out the orgjunkie.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Recipe of the Week - Pork Chops with Mushroom Whisky Sauce

I have a ton of posts I need to get caught up on. I don't know where the past seven weeks have gone. Work has been brutal and the winter really dragged on here, so I think I was just in a funk. I have a few posts that I need to get done, but I made this last night and it was just too good not to post.
 We are doing a 30 day challenge. We were on our way out to dinner when I told the boy about this, but basically it is an eat at home challenge.  You get four freebies, nights out, and of course we already have plans in May, so we actually have plans for five meals out, and we already had a fail. We are going to do our best though. We figure it will help us go through what is in our fridge and freezer, lose weight and save money. I am excited to see how it works. 
The pork chops were one of the first things I pulled out of the freezer that I knew we needed to use. The boy came home from work, I finished up a conference call and we headed out for about a 30 minute walk. I thought it would be 7 before we sat down to eat, but I was pleasantly surprised that this only took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish and we were sitting down to dinner at 6:30 without a problem.

I got my inspiration from this recipe for black iron skillet pork chops with mushrooms. 

Pork Chops with Mushroom Whiskey Sauce
  • 4 thin pork chops (adjust cooking time for thicker cuts - I used thin bone in, but you could use boneless too)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 to 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon (it is what I had on hand after the Derby this weekend)
Salt and pepper both sides of the chops thoroughly. Heat the olive oil and butter in the pan, once it is heated, add the pork chops to the pan. 

Remove chops from pan once heated and browned on both sides. Cover with foil and keep warm in oven.  I had to add a little more butter to the pan to cook the mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Add the bourbon or if you want, whiskey. Bring this to a boil and let reduce, add chicken broth and balsamic.

Reduce sauce by half and simmer. Slowly add in the heavy cream, continuing to stir. Add the pork chops back to the pan until heated through. 

Serve chops with sauce. 

We will definitely make these again and I can see doing this sauce with pork tenderloin or a nice rib-eye steak. 

Linking up over at Feeding Big and Anyonita Nibbles.

Monday, May 05, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 19

I am a little late here, but I am trying to get a little bit better about posting, at least trying to get my meal planning down. We do have our 30 day challenge going on.
Here is what we have planned for this week.
Plans - Walk after work, over to the neighbors for cocktails
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and berries

Plans - Walk, laundry, get the table set in the dining room - dinner plans Saturday!
Breakfast and Lunch -Greek yogurt, berries. Leftover steak, gorgonzola sauce with pasta.
Dinner - Leftovers - working on cleaning out the fridge

Plans - Costco for flowers for the front and the deck
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and berries, Salad with grilled chicken
Dinner - Need to use up some of the ham - egg bake

Plans - We really want to see Divergent before it leaves the theater!
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt and berries, salad
Dinner - Chicken quesadillas tortilla soup (we had these a couple of weeks ago and they were so good! I love to pick up a Costco rotisserie chicken, there is usually enough for several meals all week!)

Plans - Winefest this is number two of our six planned nights out this month. ( and actually it is now 7 since we cheated on Sunday and went to Taco Johns!)
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and berries, chicken soft taco
Dinner - Winefest

Plans - Work on the house, organize, turn over summer. We recently hired a cleaning service, so the house gets cleaned top to bottom every other week, which was yesterday, so we have more time to work on projects at home! Errands - shop for a couple of things for the menu.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit. Grilled cheese. 
Dinner - We did a cooking class last month and we have really wanted to recreate the menu with wine pairings. I bought the wine a little over a week ago, so now it is time to pull the menu together. It will be fun to do for friends too. I will post the menu in a separate post, but I am changing the entree up a bit.

Plans - Mother's Day! We are spending the day with both sets of parents. We are taking them to brunch at a new place. Cannot wait to try their brunch!
Breakfast and Lunch - okay, Brunch!
Dinner - I am sure we will not be hungry for dinner, hopefully it is nice and we get a walk in. 

For more meal plans and to find links to lots of recipes. . . check out the orgjunkie.

Monday, April 28, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 18

So, seriously, where have the last 6 weeks gone? We have been really busy lately. Between both sets of our parents getting back from AZ, working on the living room transformation and celebrating my birthday, having guests in town and of course WORK! 
This past weekend was a ton of fun. Friday started with having a fantastic lunch with an awesome former co-worker, I always love catching up with him (and he brought me back a ton of batteries from TRF for CHEAP!). They make their own raspberry lemonade which is absolutely delicious!
Then we decided to do an impromptu dinner with friends J & T and our neighbors B & P. I decided to try a new recipe, I did a pasta with grilled steak and a gorgonzola cream sauce. I had seen it on the menu at lunch and it sounded really good. I think next time I would try it with chicken. We played Cards of Humanity, oh my, it was the first time for all of us. Needless to say, my stomach hurt from laughing so hard the next morning. 
Saturday we spent the day running errands and getting ready for a little wine club get together. We had friends staying with us from Aurora, CO. They moved away last summer, and stayed with us for a long weekend. It was so good to see them and catch up. Great excuse to get the wine club together too! We had a great time and picked out some great desserts to go with the wine!

Here is what on tap for this week.
Plans - Home, We both need it after this weekend. Early to bed!
Breakfast and Lunch - Banana peanut butter and toast, fruit.
Dinner - Salmon with lemon and dill, rice

Plans - Our neighbors lower level flooded so we are having them over for dinner.
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and fruit, leftover pizza
Dinner - Chicken parmesan, salad and beautiful delicious desserts (see above)

Plans - Out to dinner. Eat Street Social is quickly becoming one of our favorite restaurants, SO good and they change their menu seasonally, This is their last week of their winter menu. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Peanut butter and banana toast, leftover chicken parm
Dinner - Out

Plans - Silver Oak Wine Dinner at Ruths Chris
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and berries, something light, big dinner planned
Dinner - the menu looks amazing!

Plans - not so much fun, doctors appointments in the afternoon, so just a half day of work and then it is mani pedi time and some errands!
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and berries
Dinner - wasn't really hungry, so we just popped some popcorn

Plans - We were going to go salsa dancing and out to dinner with friends. But our neighbors had to put their dog down after a battle with cancer and they really had a tough time with this, so we decided to do an impromptu derby day dinner and had our friends J & T over as well, and of course their puppy. Puppy kisses always help. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Peanut butter banana and toast.
Dinner - Coleslaw, homemade mac and cheese, ham and rolls

Plans - clean out the garage, organize the house. We have been going things, rooms, closets one by one and purging and paring down. We took a load to my mom's shop and a load to Goodwill.
Breakfast and Lunch - Leftover ham and some cheese on a roll. And then we failed on our 30 day challenge. After we dropped some stuff off at my mom's shop, we were both hungry and Taco John's was calling our name.
Dinner - Popcorn again, we just weren't that hungry after having a late lunch at Taco John's.

I did pick this up at my mom's shop, makes a great spring time addition to our 1/2 bath.

Monday, March 17, 2014

On the Menu Monday (MPM) - Week 12

Last week I was not able to post even once! How terrible! I will go back and update probably, but Sunday and Monday we were up working on the house both nights until midnight. It was definitely a rush job on the living room to get it ready for Bunco. We definitely did not get done, but at least it seemed somewhat pulled together and at least clean.We needed another two weeks,, but I am really hoping it is done by the 29th for our cocktail party (realistically, it has to be!). 
We had such a busy week, first Bunco on Tuesday. Wednesday we were supposed to go and see a movie screening and we just vegged out. It was nice to just be home and relax. But Bunco was a ton of fun!


Thursday we did the Penfolds wine dinner at Ruths Chris, it was fan-flippin' tastic and of course we had an awesome table!


This past weekend flew by! Friday my mom and dad brought my niece over and we had dinner together. It was so good to see them, they just got back from AZ so it was good to catch up. My parents helped us rearrange furniture in the living room, we must have moved it around 7 different ways to the sun. And of course, it went back to the way we had it to begin with. We are really struggling with this room and the layout, but we may have come up with a solution.

Gracie stayed and spent the night. The next day we went and had our nails and toes done. Of course Gracie loves the massage chair.
 After lunch and some errands, it was time for wine class, and then we took Gracie to soccer before we headed to a friends for dinner. Friends T & J had given her a huge bottle (5 liters) of wine for her birthday, so we had a nice dinner and shared it. It was fantastic of course. 
After a late night, we slept in and then headed to the furniture store. We needed to get new fabric samples for the sectional we want to order. We had already gotten five samples that did not work, so it was back to the drawing board. We ran into friends M & B though who were shopping for a rug, so it was fun to catch up with them.
Then it was onto the car show. The boy was so excited and had been talking about it for weeks. We both need new vehicles, so it was a great way to check out what is out there and see what works for us. I came away with some clear options. It was fun to see what was new.

We were just exhausted after spending hours in and out of cars, so dinner was a frozen pizza after stopping at the grocery store to pick up a few things for the week. 
Here is what we have lined up for this week!


Plans - St. Patrick's Day! Our neighbors Barb and Pat are joining us for corned beef and cabbage. 
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftover pizza
Dinner - Corned Beef and Cabbage (potatoes and carrots)

Plans - Home
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese, strawberries, leftovers from Saturday
Dinner -  Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
Plans - Furniture store to turn in fabric samples, Lowe's for supplies, Home Goods, picked up new rug for my office.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftover corned beef
Dinner - Red Robin for my birthday burger
Plans - The boy worked on the living room, neighbors across the street stopped by to check out the boys work in the upstairs hallway and to see the progress on the living room.
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, leftovers
Dinner - Pan fried blackened Mahi Mahi and steamed green beans
Plans - The boy worked on the living room, turned in early - long week
Breakfast and Lunch - Cottage cheese and strawberries, leftovers from Saturday
Dinner - Ordered in - veggie pizza
Plans - Errands, Wine Class, Dinner out with friends
Breakfast and Lunch - Yogurt, fruit, lunch on the go
Dinner - JD Hoyts with friends T & J. Another restaurant off of our list!
Plans - Errands, groceries for dinner, impromptu Dinner Party with friends S, L, T & J (even puppy Maddie got to join us). S & L were coming anyway to discuss plans for the party Saturday. S is making cookies and L who is in my wine class, is bartending and helping with appetizers. SO nice to have help!
Breakfast and Lunch - Trader Joe's Toaster Pastry
Dinner - Barefoot Contessa's Coq au Vin

For more meal plans and to find links to other recipes, check out the orgjunkie.com