There's snow in the forecast for the weekend so like every other good Southerner - I'm stocking up on supplies and preparing to be snowed in the house for at least a month.❄️😂 The chances that we'll see actual snow this weekend is fairly low but that doesn't stop Georgia residents from emptying the grocery store shelves. It's possible that we're all just using this wintery forecast as a good excuse to buy carbs and beer, but either way - we're prepared. 🍞🍺
The first thing Southerners do when snow is in the forecast is head to the grocery store. 🥛The second thing we do is run outside with our camera phones to document the event. 🤳🏻And lastly, we eat all of the aforementioned food. 😅
Snow or no snow - it'll be all hot chocolate and warm soups in our house this weekend. 🍲 This chicken and vegetable soup is one of my new favorites. I would call it a tortilla soup/vegetable soup fusion and it's delicious.
Chicken and Vegetable Soup
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 large onion, quartered
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems and leaves chopped separately
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 pound bone-in chicken thighs
2 quarts chicken broth
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced into 1/4" thick slices
12 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 cup queso fresco
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup over rice.
Top each bowl with avocado, cheese and remaining cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
Stay warm out there friends.
Christmas with this crew never disappoints. There is no shortage of jokes, belly laughs or exceptionally competitive family game nights, when we all get together. 🤣
This year we packed all of our family activities into one adventure filled week. We visited a winery, the Toledo Zoo, had a Western theme day, prepared and enjoyed the feast of seven fishes, decorated a Gingerbread barn, built 3 giant jigsaw puzzles, went to the movies, baked cookies and bundled up and took some very cold walks. 🍷🐯🤠🦐🍿🍪❄️ We accomplished a lot in a short amount of time but more importantly, we were all together - at least for part of the time.
Christmas 2022 was one for the books but the moment that we got back home, I felt an overwhelming sense of urgency to get the Christmas decorations put away. Who would have guessed that the best way for me to recover after a 12 hour road trip was to stay up until midnight - un-decorating a Christmas tree? 😂
Why is it that the very decorations that I love and adore right up until a holiday, suddenly feel like clutter as soon as that day passes? I'm one of those weird people who actually enjoys un-decorating after the holidays. 🤷🏻♀️ I think it's because the putting away of holiday decorations inevitably leads to the cleaning out of other areas of the house. The closets gets a good clean out, the laundry room gets a once over and the pantry gets an overhaul.
My most recent pantry clean out produced some very interesting finds. 😅 I couldn't even remember why I had bought two cans of clams in the first place but there they were - just waiting for me to make them into chowder. I had no choice.
1 3/4 pounds small white potatoes, cut in half or quarters
2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams
2 cups chopped onion
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 (10 ounce) cans whole clams
2 cups half and half
2 Tablespoons butter
Bring to just simmering just around edges of pan. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with oyster crackers.
Stay warm out there friends.
Last month when it was 90 degrees and 99% humidity - I was inmy kitchen sweating over a giant batch of Italian Wedding soup.🥵 #Myfamilyhadquestions 😅 But now that the temperatures are a bit cooler and I don't have the means to cook dinner anymore - I'm super thankful for those containers of Wedding soup that I've been able to pull out of my freezer and reheat for dinner.
Even more important than the fact that our dinner is on the floor, in the crock pot, is the fact that I'm one step closer to having a fully functioning kitchen again. I have cabinets!!!
I honestly don't know how I'm going to be able to sleep tonight - I'm too excited and I'm already organizing each and every cabinet and drawer in my head. #organizationjunkie I can hardly wait to start filling them up. Filling being the operative word. 😅
Sadly, I'll have to wait just a little longer because there will be no cabinet loading until the floors are refinished in a few more weeks. Until then, we'll be enjoying our Italian Wedding soup in our newly cabineted kitchen. (Is that a word?)
Italian Wedding Soup
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated into a powder
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/3 cup fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon oil
1 ¼ cups carrots, sliced thin
1 ¼ cups yellow onion, diced
¾ cup celery, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
¾ cup small dry pasta
8 oz. fresh spinach
Stir in spinach.
Garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.
Even though I made my meatballs out of ground turkey - you could certainly use beef. It's just a preference. Either way - I think you're going to like this hearty Fall favorite.
It happened again. The sun came out, the thermometer rose above 70 and I went into full blown Spring mode. I spent this week planting lettuce in my garden, shopping for flowers to put in my containers, dragging plants that have been spending the winter in the basement, out to the patio and decorating the house for Easter. I embraced every glimpse of Spring that I could find. 🌷 I even washed my car in the driveway. 🚙
Then I took a look at the forecast. 😭As much as I wished that our Spring-like weather was here to stay, it turns out, I was a little hasty in putting away my winter jacket so soon. I was drawn into the hope of Spring by bright sunshine and blooming daffodils only to have my dream shattered by the threat of rain and near freezing temperatures. 🥶
The dip in temperatures next week is making me rethink my menu for the week. Warm soups and hearty oven roasted vegetables is exactly what I'm going to need to stay warm on the upcoming cool March days. 🥣 Do you think if I pour hot soup on my garden, it will save my newly planted vegetables? 🤷🏻♀️
Although I'm disappointed that the thermometer isn't going in the wrong direction (according to me), I'm looking forward to some warm and soothing Chicken Pot Pie Soup next week. This creamy vegetable loaded soup is hearty and delicious AND it's healthy. No cream, no dairy, no butter - just lots of yummy vegetables.
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds uncooked boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
3 cups diced yukon gold potatoes
3 cups finely chopped cauliflower florets
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
Transfer mixture back to pot and add peas and corn. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
I'll keep you posted on the status of my overhasty planting. 😬 🥬 In the meantime, I'll be dragging all of my patio plants back into the basement for the week. 😅
On another note - I made this soup at my parents house. Don't you agree that they have the prettiest dishes around? This beautiful bowl really stepped up my soup picture game. Thanks for letting me use your dishes mom. 😅
Snow!! ❄️ I used to dread the winter when I lived in the Northeast. Winter meant and snow and snow storms meant shoveling, bundling up uncooperative babies and dangerously icy roads. But ... now that I live in an area that only sees snow once every couple of years, I miss it. Turns out - snow is way more fun when you don't have to shovel or drive in it. 🛷⛄️ ⛷ ⛸
Last week we drove up to Ohio to visit my parents and we were hoping to see some wintery precipitation while we were there. ❄️Much to our dismay, other than a few piles on the side of the road and a few flurries swirling around the air, there wasn't much snow to be found. Although our visions of bundling up and careening down a snow covered hill on a toboggan didn't become a reality - we did have a manage to have a snowball (aka. iceball) fight in the driveway. 😅
Don't be fooled by the lack of precipitation in Ohio last week. It was C.O.L.D. 🥶 This girl who moved South 18 years ago isn't used to those bone chilling temperatures anymore. I think I drank more tea and hot chocolate that week than I do all year in Georgia. 😅🍵 I've learned that the best way for me to warm myself up is from the inside out. Hot tea, hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot soup - the sooner it get's in my belly - the quicker I warm up. 🍲
I'm going to be honest - It's NEVER occurred to me to squeeze fresh grapefruit juice into my homemade chicken soup. And that is exactly the reason that I HAD to make this Chicken and Lime Soup. I figured it was either going to be really, really great or just really wrong. Either way - I had to find out. 💁🏻♀️
Chicken and Lime Soup
2 Tablespoons oil
3 pounds bone in, skin on chicken breasts or thighs
2 white onions, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 bunch cilantro, stems minced and leaves chopped
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 quarts chicken broth
3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
3 Tablespoons lime juice
Tortilla Chips, for serving
Turn off heat and stir in grapefruit and lime juices. Season with salt and pepper.
There was a split decision on this soup. Before I added the lime and grapefruit juices, I decided to make a couple of "test bowls." I let my 22 year old be the judge. She tasted both the "juiced" and the "unjuiced" soups and she very politely (and quickly) told me that she preferred the soup without the citrus. 😅I, on the other hand, really liked the soup with grapefruit juice and trust me - no one was more surprised about this than me. Chicken soup with grapefruit juice - who knew?
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