Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Winter in Michigan.  If you don't live here, don't let the media romanticize it.  Yeah, fall is really pretty, and when spring finally gets here, it makes me happy to be alive, but ugh, winter.  And we're only almost to February, which is basically like winter's punch in the face.

I mean look at this - Lake Michigan is just there freezing up some giant ice balls.  Why!?  Don't answer that, I don't really want to know.  I'm trying to stay positive, I made snow ice cream and tried to embrace the season, but it seems like it hasn't stopped snowing in a month.  A couple of guys that work for the city spent an entire day loading snow in to a dump truck and driving it away - and that was just the parking lot at my office!  I wonder how many man hours we have in to snow removal in this town, and where they're putting all the snow for that matter.

I'm trying to make the best of things.  I bought a really cute hat, the hubs got me a pair of those gloves that work on touch screen and if nothing else, it's a good excuse to drink hot chocolate. But I still had to go to work the day we got 19 inches of snow and we're knee deep in ANOTHER polar vortex, which is some kind of fancy weatherman talk for don't breathe too deep when you're outside or your lungs will quit working.  What's a girl to do?  Stay inside.  And make soup.
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Holiday Miss / An Apology

Well, somehow I've made it through the entire holiday season without posting ANYTHING I've made.  I'll give you a quick run down...

At Thanksgiving I made green bean casserole (from scratch!), corn casserole, and the cutest ever turkey cake balls, ever.  For Christmas, instead of buying gifts, I made them!  You really can't go wrong with a gift from the kitchen, and now it's a tradition for me. 

No one complains about something they can eat.  Unless it's fruitcake, they might complain about that.

As we've previously discussed, I love candy.  And let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've had a homemade caramel.  Have you?  How about a homemade marshmallow?  Trust me, you're missing out.   I made salted caramels, marshmallows, peanut brittle and this year, I branched out and even made peppermint patties.  O. M. G.

Every year I spend hours in the kitchen, poised over a vat of boiling sugar; I lose sight of what clear kitchen surfaces I manage to keep, I stress out my husband, and every year, I ask myself why I do this?  And every year, I enjoy my friends' and coworkers' reactions so much, I forget about the terrible parts, and I know I'll do it again next year. 

The leftover candies aren't a horrible incentive either.  Let me live.

Now, here's the bad news, I don't have entries prepared for anything I've described above.  
Work + Life + Holiday Crazy + Blog - Time = Head Full of Ideas + Empty Notebook Pages

So, I will labor on, and now that the holidaze (see what I did there?) is coming to an end, I'll work to share these recipes and more with you.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Barbecue Turkey Nachos or Thanksgiving 2.0

Okay, Thanksgiving.  It's like the food Olympics (am I even allowed to say that?)  But now what?  It's over, and I have a whole bunch of leftover Thanksgiving crowding up my fridge.  I can only have so many bowls of microwaved green bean casserole and cold turkey sandwiches.  And now that I'm moving on to Christmas candy and cookie making, I just really need the real estate.  So, what to do with this entire turkey breast? 

Well, thanks to my good friend Allyson, here's the solution.  She really is the best at making nachos, this is not the first time we've incorporated turkey. 

So put down the bread, pick up the avocado, and everything will be right in the world.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stovetop Hot Chocolate for Two

It has been a hectic day of weather in Michigan.  Since about halfway through last week, the news has been warning of a possible 'tornado outbreak' today.  Thunderstorms and a possibility of tornadoes in November?  I've been sure that something terrible was going to happen, and as a result, I have been glued to the weather for most of the afternoon - watching radar makes me feel the safest. 

+ we have power
- our street is absolutely flooded
+ we finished up the last of the raking and misc yard work yesterday
+ the worst of the storm appears to have passed
- I am completely wound up (and I feel bad for my husband)

So, we're doing okay.

To keep myself busy and use up some of this nervous energy that I didn't need for rescuing my pets or outrunning a tornado, I made hot chocolate and sweetened whipped cream - for two!  I LOVE stovetop hot chocolate, it is much more rich and decadent than the packets, and it always makes me feel like a kid to drink it.  The recipe is super easy and makes two big, warm and satisfying mugs of hot chocolate, but you can scale it up or down as necessary. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Bark

White chocolate.

Candy corn.

Reese's pieces.


Dark chocolate (for drizzling).

This is all you need to create a list minute (but delicious) Halloween treat.  And if you're looking to make it today, I can almost guarantee that the most difficult ingredient to procure will be the candy corn.

I knew I wasn't going to wear a costume to work today was going to dress up like a modern office employee today, and that likely wouldn't be well received by my coworkers.  As a preemptive peace offering, I decided to make something I wanted to call 'Halloween Bark'.  I didn't what that meant when I headed to the grocery store for ingredients.
So, I wandered the cut-price Halloween candy, picked up the fall M&M's, put them down, searched high and low for candy corn, never found it.  So, I went to a different store, found the candy corn (bought two bags for some ungodly reason), debated on the virtues of peanuts versus pretzels, couldn't find the fall M&M's and settled on Reese's pieces instead.  They look like fall all year round.
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