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!

A Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Hanschen Klein's Healthy Blueberry Muffin

A friend of mine stops by our office every now and again and she always drops off the most delicious treats and they are always healthy. Delicious and Healthy are two words that don’t often go together in my book. I wanted to make Blueberry Muffins for my office and asked if she would pass along a recipe. And this is the recipe she gave me…

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  1/3 c.  whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 c.  all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp  baking power
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 c.  apple sauce
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp maple flavoring
  • 3/4 c.  granulated sugar
  • 2 c.  blueberries

TO BAKE

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt (set it aside for later). In another bowl, combine apple sauce, butter, large egg, flavoring, and sugar — stir well.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients.  Mix.  Pour half the batter into your muffin tins and drop in half the blueberries. Top off your muffins with the rest of the batter and place the rest of your blueberries on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes. These will be delicious. But if you think you need a little extra sugar (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a little sugar?), you can top off your muffins with a glaze.

THE GLAZE

  • 1 c.  powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp maple flavoring

Mix powder sugar, milk, and maple flavoring — drizzle when warm. YUM.  Enjoy.

-wishing you, peace and love throughout the world-

BBQ Baker Time

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Oh yeah, it’s time for BBQ! And some baked potato action.Image

 

 

Do you know that I have never cooked a baked potato? Ever. For those who don’t know what to do… here it is: Preheat the oven to 425F and then lather your tater in some olive oil and give it a good dose of salt and pepper. Leave it in the oven for 45 mins –  1 hour.  Stick a fork in it’s done! Open ‘er up and smack enough butter on it to make Miss Paula Dean proud.

OH Yeah… that’s my butter dish in a whale.Image

Add some BBQ and cheese!Image

Add some sauce and eat up!

 

Wonton.

One of my dad’s most coveted recipes is the famous family Wonton. If you are a chinese dumpling lover, then you would find these things delectable. I wish I could tell you that I’m providing you with the recipe, I even tried to write it down… but somehow his “measurements” don’t really equal out to be anything normal–and I can’t remember where I wrote it down. Pitiful, I know.

Ingredients: Ground pork, baby shrimp, regular shrimp – cut up, lots of ginger, garlic, chopped green onion, eggs, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and chinese cooking wine.  I think that’s it. But there may have been more. Poor memory… sorry about that. Oh… you’ll need some wrappers, too.

The best part about dumplings is actually folding them. Everyone folds their dumplings differently. My dad knows a few different ways of folding wontons… but he usually goes for the most efficient way possible.

We put some meat in one of the corners of the wapper. The meat also acts as a glue… a bonding agent, if you will. So we put a little bit on the other corners of the wrapper.

Roll the bottom corner of the wrapper around the dollop of meat and then fold it in half. With the “meat glue” on the corners, you’ll stick the two sides together.

And then fold the two corners under the dumpling.

And Voila! There you have it. We make several at a time and freeze them. Be mindful while you fill them, if you put too much meat inside the wrapper they will crack. To cook them, boil some water, dump in the frozen dumplings and they usually sink to the bottom. Stir ’em around so that they don’t stick… walk away for a bit. And come back when they start floating to the top. Let them boil for a minute more and they are good and ready to eat. You can dip them in sauce… soy, hoisin, or whatever you like. Lately, I’ve been eating them without anything else. They are delicious and my favorite family snack.

Today I am thankful for my father having a good surgery. We have a long night ahead of us… so keep us in your thoughts.

Austrian NOMS

I cannot say enough for Austrian Cuisine. Although, we really did get caught up in other ethnic foods as well (like Mexican, Indian, and Italian). But I’ll show you these highlights of the trip! Above is the famous Austrian dish: Weiner Schnitzel. If you are as poorly informed as I previously was about the German language; “W”s are pronounced with a “V” sound. So previously, I was say “Weiner” like Weiner Dog – the way we do in the states – but actually it’s pronouced as Veiner as in Victor. Now you know. Weiner Schnitzel’s are yummy. How can you go wrong? It’s fried meat! I had it with roasted rosemary potatoes. For any Mid-Westerners our there, I’m sure this is pulling on your heart strings because the Austrian are Meat and Potatoe’s folk.

The NaschMarkt. Alright foodies, this is your place. The Market runs a few blocks and is organized in two alley ways (so to speak). One side is the actually market, the other side has sit down restaurants. It’s a place where you can buy cheeses, wines, dried fruit, herbs, bread, seafood, meat…etc. It’s a mixture of tourist and locals. I think I could have spent hours here. Here are some finds…

Fresh Juices. Mine was Mango and Kiwi!

Have y’all ever had Macaroons? Oh. My. Goodness — stand back. They might be better than… CAKE. This is a rather large statement coming from me. They are so good. Go find some today.

So, while we were in the mountains, we stayed in this incredible resort. All of their food is organic and bought locally. I’ll tell you more about the hotel later. While we were there, we were served a 5 course meal every night. HEAVEN. The menu descriptions were so interesting. I don’t know if that was the original intent or if there was a strange translation…

[Lower Left] Three kinds of Bruscetta– Tonna, Tomatoes, Parma

Cappuccino of the Curry with Citrus Clouds (This is the best thing I have ever tasted!!)

Crispy and Fresh Salad Plate

[Above] “Dry Aged Beef” – thinly sliced of Sirloin with Marinated Cherry Tomato, Arugula Salad, Spicy Potato Wedges, Shaved Parmesan and old Balsamic Vinegar from Madena

[Lower Right] With Lime — Sour Cream Baked Berries

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Today I am thankful for: goldfish crackers. They squash my hunger cravings!

Where I’ve been…

I’ve been away. Well actually I’ve been staying in my same spot, I’ve just been really busy. Last week was a seventy hour week, the week before was similar and the week before… well I’ve forgotten… but I’m pretty sure I was busy. So in pictures, this is what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks or so. (Above, my hunny at sunset).

I turned 26. The cakes were awesome. I feel old. The wrinkles are settling in. Dad took us to my favorite restaurant in the whole world… DARWELL’S. Oh, I love that place. Everything in there is good. I’ve started trying new things and we heard Mr. Darwell himself say that you can get anything as a side, you could get prime rib as a side. Now that’s my kind of place. And you’ll see that I got my own very special Darwell hand drawn cup. Go there. It’s the Bomb. dot. Com.

We saw this little gem on our way to see dad. Nothing better than an old school fast food joint. I think these old buildings are so cool.

Barq’s bottles. There’s a bottling plant in Gulfport, MS. I’ve never seen Barq’s bottles outside of MS.

Cooler full of crawfish… waiting for the boiler.

A visitor at work.

Sunset on the Bay during a break at work. You can’t beat this view.

Dinner one night. Toast with parmesan, fresh tomatoes, with avocado and black pepper and sea salt.

A lock on one of the service vans at work. Now can you look at me and tell me that’s not awesome? Yeah, I thought not.

One night we went down to the Local’s part of the bay and brought our dinner down there with us. It was so nice to sit down there with no one else on the beach and just relax.

Toes at sunset.

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Today I am thankful for: an end to the 70 hour weeks.

Stuffed Shells

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells

20-25 jumbo pasta shells

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese + 1/4 cup for topping

¼ cup of feta cheese

1 large tomato

3 tablespoons of homemade pesto (you can use storebought)

2 cups of shredded cooked chicken

2 cloves garlic, mince

salt and pepper and onion powder to taste

In a large pot over high heat, boil water and prepare pasta shells as directed on package. Drain the pasta shells and set aside. The original pesto chicken stuffed shells recipe suggest to cook the pasta shells until al dente; however, I like my shells softer and I found that even after cooking them longer, they still came out a litte hard after baking the dish. Cook your chicken. I only ended up using 1 1/2 chicken breasts about a pound and a half. I will suggest that you undercook your chicken slightly so that they’re still a little pink. It will go back into the oven. Core and chop up your tomato. In a large bowl, mix in all ingredients except for the cooked shells and the 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in a baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts. Original recipe can be found here.

This was one of those recipes that’s really simple and everyone enjoys. My boyfriend said that this is his all time favorite. Easy to please, I tell you.

Today I am thankful for: getting to see my dad tonight! And in other news… I found out that my pasta won’t expire for another 202 years.

That’s weird… right?

Date Night

That’s right. My wonderful boyfriend took me on a date. Of course we didn’t take any pictures of ourselves… but I did take some sexy pictures of our food! He took me to the lovely Camelia Cafe in Fairhope. I know what you’re thinking… aren’t you suppose to be in Beaufort? I somehow managed to come home late Friday night. ON WITH THE PICTURES!! WARNING: food porn…

Appetizer:  Tomato salad with peas, okra, corn, nueske’s bacon, balsamaic vinaigrette and herb aioli.

Appetizer:  Crispy Georgia quail stuffed with Conecuh Co. sausage and goat cheese with tiny green beans, green tomato chutney and pomegranate molasses. This comes highly recommended. I was only allowed one bite and it was amazing!

Main:  Grilled 8 oz fillet of beef with creamed spinach, roasted fingerling potatoes, poached egg, truffle oil, parmesan and sauce bordelaise.

Main:  Leg of Lamb with asparagus, roasted fingerling potatoes and more deliciousness that I cannot remember or find on the menu online.

Dessert: Fosters Jubilee with flambe bananas, cherries jubilee, candied nuts and vanilla ice cream.

Today I am thankful for: my love. I love that boy. He gets me.

Taco Night

I’ve never been one to crave Mexican Food. That all changed after I started dating my certain someone. Now, I can eat a burrito or quesadilla  any night of the week (and we often do). And this weekend we decided to make homemade tortilla’s. They were soooooo good. What’s even better? I didn’t have to lift a finger. I got to watch. We are going to keep mixing up the recipe for the tortilla’s and once we get it perfect, I’ll share the recipe! Do y’all have a favorite homemade ethnic food?

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Today I am thankful for: GETTING WORKING INTERNET. Could you go 2 months without internet at home? Oh yeah, and a boyfriend who will send my modem back 3 times until they get my address correct. Sooo high maintenance…

Chick-fil-A’s First 100

Well, you’ll never guess what I did in the past 24 hours. I participated in Chick-fil-A’s First 100. What is that, you ask? I’ll tell you. When Chick-fil-A opens a new store, they have this thing called the First 100.  The First 100 get to celebrate the Grand Opening of a new Chick-fil-A by pressing their luck in a raffle that takes everyone who shows up 24 hours before the grand opening, selects 100 participants + 10 alternates, and then they camp out on the lot for 24 hours, get fed 3 meals throughout the 24 hours, and then if you stay on site for the WHOLE 24 hours; in the end you are rewarded with 52 free combo meals!!! Which equals to be one free combo meal a week for a whole year, total contest winnings equal approximately $250!!! Ummmm, heck yeah!

We showed up at around 5:20 am in Five Points, Birmingham, AL to see that there were already 50 people in front of us. What we has assumed is that they take the first 100 that show up… no, no, no. They take everyone that shows up (in our case we were lucky, there were only 124 people), and then line everyone up (see above) and then they give them all a ticket. Then the raffle begins. I was the 3rd person called!!

After they call your name they place a bracelet on you, give you a cup, and put you in a group. They have check-in’s to make sure that you are on site when they feed you and they do that by making sure that you have a bracelet. A lot of random people kept showing up asking where they could get the free food and drink and we would have to let them know that they just weren’t cool enough, sorry. j/k

And then it was time to set up camp and get ready for our 24 hour stay. They set us up based on how many people we would be camping with. Some people had groups as large as 9. They tried to keep us within the parking lines; however, some people just have really big, ridiculous tents.

Yep, that’s a really ridiculous tents. One tent was called the Vacation Home Tent… obviously these people have never been camping in the woods. Tents should not come with a case with wheels. But that’s just my personal opinion.

So I’d be curious about what they feed people if they were to stay on site for a whole day — so I’ll tell you.

  • Morning: Chicken Biscuit
  • Lunch: #1 Combo Meal: Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and soft drink
  • Dinner: 8 piece chicken nugget with a side (btw, we tried their chicken salad – DELISH)
  • Desert: IceDream with toppings 🙂

People brought tons of junk with them. We just brought each other and the bare essentials: small tent, pillows, sleeping bag, book, iPod and iPad. That was it. We didn’t brings food or board games (although, maybe we should have) but we also try to travel light.

Before we knew it, there was a DJ, a hula hoop contest, a dance contest, a Miss Chick-fil-A contest and many other fun games throughout the day. It was a good time to be had by all. And then it was time for bed. Now, something funny about camping out in the middle of downtown Birmingham is that there are a A LOT of bars in the area, so at 12, 1, 2 a.m. … etc. we heard them. There were also fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks… we heard those too. But oddly enough, I slept pretty well. It was probably because I was fed so well.

We had a 5 a.m. wake up call and then it was show time and the Grand Opening began and the ribbon was cut.

And finally, what we worked all night for, the 52 free meals. I can’t thank Chick-fil-A, or CHICKY as we have all come to know it, enough. We had a really good time. And there really is something to be said about good people and good food. And it CAN be found in fast food. Standards can be set and followed when it comes to quality of food and Chicky follows great standards and excellence in customer service.

The First 100 has a bit of a following. One man in The Group; this was his 15th Grand Opening that he has attended! The couple in front of me, this was their 5th. A girl who knew me from high school told me that she had been to one other opening and people there recognized other contestants from past Grand Openings, “Oh, I remember you from the Dayton, Ohio opening” – “Weren’t you at the Louisville opening?” Hilarious. Advice: DO IT. It’s rare that you’ll ever do something silly like this again.

And nothing beats a good sunrise.

Today I am thankful for: being apart of the FISRT 100.