Chicken + Lime Soup

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.So I’ve been trying out a new diet plan, Weight Watchers actually… and I’ve dropped 25 lbs. and counting. My diet has been largely successful because of this soup. I make it in large quantities and then freeze it for later use. I first found the recipe here on BudgetBytes.com and then modified it to meet my particular tastes.  It’s really great comfort food without the guilt and it’ll make noses turn in envy towards your direction. It’s super easy. Try it out and tell me how much you love it.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

INGREDIENTS: (I typically double my recipe for larger quantities to freeze for later, below is the recipe without doubling the ingredients)

  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1 med jalapeno
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of chicken breast
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of organic roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 medium lime
  • OPTION: 1 avocado

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince your garlic (try not to use “lazy garlic” that’s already minced in the can – too much sodium). Get out your big ole pot and cook the onion, celery, and jalapeno, with the garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until everything gets a little tender.
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, cream of chicken, canned tomatoes, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole thing to a boil over high heat and then reduce it on down to low heat. Place the lid on top and let ‘er simmer for an hour.
  3. After simmering for an hour, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat.  Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze in the juice from one lime, get as much out of it as you can, and scrape the inside of the lime into the pot.
  4. Give it a stir and add your diced avocado to each bowl.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.

THE DIRTY DETAILS:

If you follow along with Weight Watchers, I have calculated that 1 ladle equals approximately 2 points. I divide my soup into serving sizes for freezer storage. 3 ladles = 6 points, which equals approximately 1 serving (in my book).  This is perfect for lunch when you don’t have much time to make something or can’t stand to grab another microwave lunchable. Your insides will thank you.

Something new that I learned, if you look for spices on the ethnic aisle, I have found spices in larger quantities anywhere from $1-$2 cheaper than on the spice aisle. If you’re like me and you shop on budget, this can make a world of difference. And you can get those spices you didn’t think you really wanted to splurge on.

Super Easy Comfort Food Recipe // Delicious Healthy Chicken and Lime Soup - A Must Try.Alright, go on and tell me how much you love it. Oh yeah, go get a spork!

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ROMA

Hanschen Klein's ColoseumWell dang-it, it happened. My true love for Italy was reunited. I said I wouldn’t return for a while, and then, inevitably,  I always go back to that beautiful romantic-beast of a country. But what’s even better, my truest of loves – fell in love with it too.

IMG_2943 Unfortunately, my love cannot be shared with the Italian airlines, AlItalia. This was the last time we saw our bags… until 5 days later. Yep, we’re going to have to have a little chat.Hanschen Klein's ROMAOn another note, if you find yourself with 48 hours in Rome and you’re overwhelmed with all of the options of things that you can do… I have a fool proof first-timers trip to Rome. You’ll hit the high points and you won’t feel like you missed out on anything too historically significant.

DAY 1 (Full Day): Wander the town — There are a few things that (in my opinion) you absolutely have to see – along with every other tourist. Let your first day be the day that gets you acquainted with the city. Must see’s: Fontana di Trevi (throw your coin into the fountain), the Pantheon (because, shame on you if you don’t!), the Colosseum (go in if you have time, but if not – do a pass by), while your over that way, check out the Arch of Constantine and walk through the Roman Forum (or pass by it and look through the gates), and eat some gelato near the Spanish Steps.  This would definitely be a full day and also a cheap day. The only things you would have to pay to see are the Colosseum and the Roman Forum — and that’s only if you choose to go in!

Hanschen Klein's Pantheon

The Pantheon

Hanschen Klein's PantheonDay 2: Tackle the Vatican — Whether you’re catholic or not, you should check out the Vatican City. Why, you might ask? Are you kidding… you know you want to see the Sistine Chapel by means of the Vatican Museum. Don’t lie to yourself – you do. Let me help you out here — BUY YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE. And that’s for every major museum in Europe. I had never been to Italy during the high tourist season, so I never knew how much of a necessity it really was to buy your tickets in advance. The typical wait time is between 1-2 hours. No joke. Maximize your time – buy in advance and skip the lines!!

HanschenKlein's Vatican Museum

Vatican Museum

HanschenKlein's The Vatican

IMG_3039

Interior Walls inside the Vatican

If you’re up for it, climb the stairs to the top of the inner dome and then take another set of stairs if you want to go all the way up and look over the entire city. It’s 5 Euro’s to take the stairs and 7 to take the elevator. Do it. But don’t if you are claustrophobic or afraid of heights. The walls do tend to curve and lean a little. It’s also one-way, so it’s difficult to go backwards once you start.

Hanschen Klein's Piazza NavonaAnd once you’ve exhausted yourself, get some vino and sit down at a nice restaurant at Piazza Navona.  And for all of you Dan Brown fan’s… this is the fountain where the bad guy attempts to drown the last cardinal. I love this city. Give yourself time to get lost and discover new things around you. Live it and Love it.

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Peace and Love Throughout the World

Onto Bigger and Better…

Well, what can I say? I’m just as surprised as all of you. I MOVED. I came down to the wonderful town of Fairhope a week ago today–had an extended 3-day interview. I was offered the job Friday. He needed me back Monday–he offered for me to stay in a suite that they provided–but y’all know me… there’s no pace like Allison pace. So… I had been looking at houses, found one that I loved. Called the landlord and he said that I could move in that day. So I had a less than 24 hour turn-around in Birmingham, and then me and my wonderful boy brought the essentials down on Sunday and I started work officially on Monday.

O. M. G.

I can’t believe that it has all happened so fast. I felt like I was barely in Birmingham. I didn’t get to say good bye to everyone or drag out the process of me leaving — so there was no delicious Momma Chang dinner with my closest ones around me. So for those of you who I didn’t get to hug — give yourself a little squeeze for me. I love you all. I’m only a carride away if you need anything. And everyone is welcome here–once we move the other bed in.

This is what life looks like right now. I am controlled by sticky notes and my Apple products. I can’t even say it’s a 9-5 job. It’s a 7-7 kind-of-job… and I can honestly say that I am really enjoying it. My brain no longer works after work… so we’re all struggling with my scatter-brained tendencies right now. But once everything settles, and I really get moved in, and the boy comes down — life will feel right, again. Right now, I’m somewhere in limbo. Sorry, I’ve been away, but as y’all can all see… I’ve been a little busy. But I’ll be back soon. I just need to get internet installed — and a paycheck 🙂

Today I am thankful for: you guessed it, A JOB.

What a day!

Say what?! That’s right I had lunch today at the Shanghai Google cooropate office. My sweet, sweet friend Vicky is an Illustrator there. And you know what, It was the bomb-dot-com. Their office is so cool. I couldn’t take a ton of photo’s–because, you know, it’s Google… but I did sneek a few in.

This is their cafeteria and everything is provided for them. I thought the food was delicious… but apparently some of the workers complain. I thought it was awesome. I loved the super fresh watermelon — yummy. Google also helps promote healthy living. They had so many healthy items to choose from AND they also offer yoga and tai chi classes twice a week! Maybe they should start providing this in school — we wouldn’t be such fatties! And you know what else they have? A masseuse. They have their own private masseur. Gosh, that sounds so lovely. Apparently at the California office that have a manicurist that has a cart and goes desk to desk — Where do I sign up? Work should be play.

I love this shot. And look at that crazy transformer building right there. This is the view from the office. It must be nice.

My beautiful friend Vicky. She’s so awesome. You should see her work. This is a pic of Vicky, Eric (my roommate), and me just inside the bullet proof doors.

Eric and me on a Google high! We were being such nerds but it was so much fun.

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Guess what, y’all? THEY MADE IT! They are here. They are safe and sound. And I am so so happy to see them. Isn’t my sister-in-law b.e.a-U-tiful!? This is a picture of us post-Dim Sum dinner. That was super yummy. We all got milk/bubble tea. I love that stuff. I am officially addicted. Unfortunately, I spent too much time talking and not enough time taking pictures. But you know, life is for living — not stopping every 5 seconds to take a pic. And we had fun catching up.

In a pathetic attempt to keep them awake, I took them here. We walked around for a good bit and tonight they learned one of their most important phrases, “Woh boo yow” — I don’t want. They were getting haggled for everything… from getting photo’s taken to roller blade sneakers to purses and watches. Oh, this is gonna be fun. I love watching their reactions. Eeeeeek! They are here! They are IN China — With me!!!!

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Today I am thankful for: my wonderful family making it into town with zero complications. (Yes, Mother we will be safe… and No, we haven’t gotten into any trouble… YET.)

Oh yeah, have you been to my blog recently? She got a little facelift yesterday. I wanted to try out a little something new. I really like the change. I hope you guys do too. (This is for everyone who has an email subscription or an RSS feed). Have a great day everyone. Did I mention how excited I am that my family is in town?? Yippee!!!

 

Anderson, SC: Split Creek Farm

Hey y’all. I know it’s been a while… I had my FINAL final Review… EVER, just yesterday! How wonderful is that? Pretty darn wonderful. And since I’ve been inside working in studio all week long, we thought it was high time to get outside. There is a goat farm that my roommate has been telling me about since I’ve been back in Clemson and I regret not going to it sooner. And even better, they have amazing goat cheese! AND award winning show goats.

Place: Anderson, SC

Name: Split Creek Farm

What: Awesome Goat Farm and Certified Roadside Market

This place is so cool and the lady working today was incredibly friendly. She greeted us as soon as we got out of the car with one of the many Great Pyrenese dogs that they have guarding their goats. The beauty that greeted us; her name is Sophie.

The lady working was telling us a story about the dogs. She said that they are incredibly protective over their goats. They know when even one is missing. She was telling us how they moved one of the pregnant goats into a different pin and the dog was staying on the edge of the fence to keep an eye on his flock and his missing goat. Isn’t that precious? I also asked her what the dogs were protecting the goats from. She said that they protect them from Coyotes (the lady called them Ci-yotes — some plural form of coyotes, haha), big cats, wild dog packs, and she even said that there have been bear spottings around those parts. Doesn’t that dog look like Aslan?

Eeek! Baby goats. These goats, we couldn’t touch. They were anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks old. We couldn’t touch them because their immunity systems are still being formed. But they were soo cute!

These goats were so silly. Can you see that in the image on the right that that goat is actually biting on me. He was really cute and when I pet him he kept trying to nibble at me. I want a goat.

Ok y’all. You have to watch to this! This is a super short video a took today of one of the cawing goats. Now, all goats caw and bahhh and make noises.. but this one in particular was very noisy. We later found out that she was pregnant and was probably going to have her baby this afternoon.

Heeheeehee… now that’s just funny. Goats are silly.

This goats name is Stevie. Stevie is blind. Hence, the name. I think there is something really beautiful about him and his coat is so pretty.

This is one of two shops on the farm. This shop contains local crafts and artwork from artist around the area and the other one contains the cheese shop. YUM. There was a tray sitting on the counter with all of there delicious cheeses. They were to die for.

This was on the back of the door at the cheese shop. I love every single one of these stickers. I think I need a good sticker collection. Did you notice the TOWANDA sticker?! Yes Ma’am!!!!

Look at this guy hiding all by himself.

Something particularly special about this place is that the owner can no longer work there. She has a dedicated staff that works around the clock who helps her maintain a successful business and care for more than 350 goats. She has become increasingly sick and is on a waiting list for a Lung Transplant. You can, of course, go and donate money towards her healthcare costs. In return, they will give you a small wooden toy goat as a thank you for your donation. Mine is sitting on my vanity now and I can see it everyday. I love this place and the people who work here. Let’s support our local artisans as well as those in need.

Me and my roommate Aud at the entrance to Split Creek Farm. Go check it out!

Today I am thankful for many things: goats and goat cheese… being finished with my studio final… for my best friend’s friend, Drew, having a successful Appendectomy… and for Life – all in all – things are good.

I have a date next weekend with a big ole bottle of wine, some goat cheese and crackers, and my boy. Imma happy kid.

House on the Hill

On my most recent trip to the Farm in Tennessee, I noticed for the second time that there is a beautiful cabin on a hill. And it’s for SALE. It must be mine. For that reason, I will not tell you where it is 🙂

This is part of the beautiful landscape that you see as you make your way up the drive. This is so perfect.

This is the view looking back towards the drive once you’ve arrived on top of the hill. On the right, is the storage shed.

And this is the beautiful Cabin that sits atop the wonderful hill. There is a man made lake at the bottom where the first picture was taken and my boyfriend has already decided where a bike course could run where we can do flips off of ramps into the lake and then build a ski lift to take us back to the top of the hill. I’m sure our neighbors would love us. Oh yes, we live live’s of adventure and ingenuity 🙂 And then on the other side of the cabin there is a fire pit made out of rocks and seats made out of rocks. Ohhhh, I love this house.

Here is the view as you leave the cabin down the drive. Isn’t it perfect? It would be the most perfect graduation present ever! Wishful thinking, right?

Here is a pic of me and my favorite person at the Christmas Tea after the hunt. We were there with all of the riders. Remember this post? It was really cool and they were all so nice. AND there was mistletoe everywhere-thankfully, I had my special someone! I’m sure our wonderful host had something to do with that! I love it up there, hence the reason why I must have that beautiful cabin.

 

BBCX365

 

Johnny Selman: Islamists Seize Somali Radio Stations

 

So I found this awesome graphic artist, Johny Selman.  And I’ve been checking his website daily. Let me tell you what his mission is. He found that more and more of us today are getting our news online and if these stories were more graphically interesting… maybe more of us would be checking in to see what they were all about. Cool, right? Here’s what he had to say:

I will do this by creating a more visually interesting vehicle for the news, use a credible news source (BBC), and promote, market, and network. I will design a poster a day for 365 days in reaction to a headline on the BBC news website and update this website everyday with the poster and the accompanying news story.

What I really enjoy about him is that he has done these amazing graphic designs to tell the news story from the BBC and unlike most artists’ he doesn’t explain his process in a little paragraph below his work… instead he only has the article which inspired the design. LOVE it. Here are some of my favorites. And add him to your blogroll because he is the bomb.dot.com.

 

Johnny Selman: Hundreds of Kenyan Teachers Sacked Over Sex Abuse

Horribly upsetting story; however, I love the historical art reference. You can never have too much Venus of Willendorf (22,000 BCE)- one of the oldest art history artifacts and known for its fertillity symbology. Smart Art… I love it.

Johnny Selman: One Year to Clean Toxic Spill in Hungary

Johnny Selman: Israeli PM Urges West Bank Settlers to Show Restraint

Johnny Selman: Belgian Skydiver 'Murdered Love Rival' During Jump

Johnny Selman, you rock. Check him out at his website HERE.

PLTW.

 

Table Rock, SC

Last weekend I went on a hike. And let me tell you — I’m out of shape and super uncoordinated. These are things we should all probably already know. In any case. My friend and I went up to Table Rock. Located here.

Table Rock Satellite Map

It looks to me as though it’s pretty close to where South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina come together. Maybe I saw all of them at once! Who knows. I may have made that up.

Trail Heads

A Fork in the Road. We Followed the Red Trail Heads.

Doesn't this look like the Bust of a Greek statue? I love nature.

We still had another hour left in our hike. Not yet to the top.

There we go.

WE MADE IT! or we thought...

Apparently when you get up there, you think that you’re there –but you’re not. There is still probably a quarter of mile to go and then you’ve made it! So if you go, make sure you go all the way to the end and make sure you see the 3.5 mile marker. And yes, it’s wonderful — there are mile markers.

Time to Relax.

There was even cell reception. And this guy was a machine. He did a 9 mile hike before he did this one!

My hiking buddy!

This was a great trail–and a total of 7 miles and an excellent workout. Even if I tripped on everything on the way down. It was so beautiful and there were huge monolithic rocks along the trail where you can sit, rest, or picnic. I loved it. It’s super touristy and a little cliche but I guess you have to do at least once if you’re in the area.

Y’all have a great weekend. I’m on my home to the one’s I love. Rememeber, spread the good word: Peace and Love throughout the World

Sloss Furnace : Stokin’ the Fire BBQ and Music Festival

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All I can really say about this BBQ competition is that these guys take food and cookin’ seriously. Their cookin’ is a Labor of Love. All the chefs were out in the blazing heat, with temperatures in the high 90s, all day and all night. And I have to say, our team — Blue Creek BBQ — did a mighty fine job. I can’t wait until next year!

Pics are compliments of NR and AC.