Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Crock Pot Comfort: Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Before warmer weather approaches and the crock pot goes to the back of the cabinet, I've been filling my nights with slow cooked dishes. This tortilla soup is tasty, comforting, just a little spicy and perfect for a week night meal.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Recipe courtesy of Campbell's

1 small red pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (about 4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1/4 teaspoon chopped jalapeño pepper (optional)
2 corn tortillas (6-inch), cut into strips
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Stir the pepper, tomato, corn and chicken in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Stir the soup, water, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, chili powder, chiles and jalapeño pepper, if desired, in a small bowl. Pour over the chicken mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 4 to 5 hours or on High for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the tortillas, cheese and cilantro. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Serve with additional cheese or sour cream, if desired. Serves 4.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Journal for the Journey

If you're looking to hit the road for spring break or this summer, I've got your travel companion. The journey journal from Cracked Designs, a Milwaukee-based greeting card company, is a thin little booklet filled with checklists, space to record all your trip memories, a page for afterthoughts and a compartment for storing those little knick-knacks you collect on the road. The most appealing part of the little booklet is the cover which features a map, fasteners and string so you can trace your route. Road trip!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Going Green

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I went on a hunt for all things green at Anthropologie. As luck (of the Irish) would have it, they currently have lots of items for your closet and the rest of your home in that perfect shade of springtime green. I fell in love with a few finds, including their atom art bowl, the soiree ring, this charming acorn birdhouse and these stylish green sunglasses. And maybe one day, I'll build up the courage to wear these green shorty-shorts and the savings to purchase this decoupage chandelier.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pork Chops and Mustard Sauce

On a chilly night, when I'm looking for a quick supper, I often turn to Nigella Lawson, goddess of comfort food. This meal of mustard pork chops is simple and fast and perfect with a side gnocchi or mashed potatoes to absorb all the extra yummy juices.

Mustard Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson and the Food Network

2 pork chops, about 1-pound total weight
2 teaspoons infused oil
1/2 cup hard cider
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1/3 cup heavy cream

Cut the fat or rind off the chops, and then bash them briefly but brutally with a rolling pin between 2 pieces of cling film/plastic wrap to make them thinner. Heat the oil in a pan, and then cook the chops over a moderately-high heat for about 5 minutes a side. Remove them to a warmed plate. Pour the cider into the pan, still over the heat, to deglaze the pan. Let it bubble away for a minute or so then add the mustard and stir in the cream. Let the sauce continue cooking for a few minutes before pouring over each plated pork chop. If you're having gnocchi with, make sure you turn them in the pan to absorb any spare juices before adding them to your plates.


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