Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thought I'd share the recipe I made up today for chicken tortilla soup, because it turned out yummy! 


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can of Campbell's Fiesta Nacho Cheese condensed soup
1 cup chicken broth (I used water with 2 boullion cubes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 yellow onion OR fajita mix of onions & peppers
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 anaheim pepper, seeded and diced
2 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Step one: Sear thawed chicken breasts in a pan with olive oil and diced poblano/anaheim peppers.  Season with salt and pepper (black and cayenne if desired).  Flip after 3-4 minutes and add minced garlic and onion (or fajita mix). Continue cooking 3-4 minutes.
Step two: Transfer mixture to crock pot.  Add the Fiesta Nacho Cheese soup and chicken broth.  Stir a little (mixture will be chunky to start).  Cook on low for a few hours, or until chicken can be shredded,
Step three: Remove and shred chicken.  Return to crock.  Add black beans and corn, stir.  Continue cooking for a half an hour.
Step four: Spoon into your bowl and enjoy!  You can top with cheese, sour cream... we used fresh pico de gallo, yum!

until later...

"Soup is a lot like family.  Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor." ~Marge Kennedy

Sunday, January 19, 2014


In early November, my husband and I found out we were expecting.  We were happy!  We were terrified!  But while this should be a very exciting time, but I have encountered some roadblocks along the way that have left me unable to enjoy much of my pregnancy.   In my first trimester extreme fatigue, coupled with an unusually cold/snowy/icy winter, made getting outside to exercise very difficult for me.  I realize that the first trimester is a time to rest, and grow tiny baby parts, and all of that.  But it's also a time to take care of yourself, and I do feel that exercise is an important part of self-care.  Both physically and mentally.

This brings us to the second trimester, which is the time many women get their pizazz back.  I went into January geared up to get my moving back on track, only to get hit with a head cold and a back injury.  Like, really?  We're not talking a "go get a nice massage" back-ache.  We are talking "hold the walls and shuffle your feet to try to get to the bathroom" injury.  From getting my coat out of a closet.  It was debilitating and frustrating.  I felt like I was in this really deep hole, and I didn't know how to get out of it.  On top of that, everyone is posting happy pictures of snow running, and getting geared up for run camp this winter.  And Kevin is team-leading at another run camp, so it all just kind of leaves me feeling super bummed out.  Kind of a depressing way to kick off a second trimester.  Even worse, a really terrible mental state to foster a healthy pregnancy.

So today, with my back finally feeling well enough to exercise, and the sun shining on the snow out there, I decided to trek out for a short run.  For once, it actually felt good to pull on all of my layers.  My Yak Trax had cobwebs on them (how's that for a metaphor for my life).  I told myself it didn't matter if I only went a mile, or how slow that mile was.  I just needed to get out and feel some rhythm in my body.  Some movement.  Remember what the air outside feels like.  I have been so caught up in worrying.  Worrying about feeling better, hurting the baby, the future.  Somehow, by spending the last several months "resting", I haven't taken much time to take care of myself.

So, in the end, I had a nice (however brief) tromp around the block out there.  Things I was fearful of, like running on the snow, weren't scary.  I didn't feel unsafe, I dressed appropriately, this was old hat. I've done this hundreds of times.  I ran a lot slower, but I think I was making a lot of excuses out of fear I'd do something wrong.  But I know what I'm doing.

Maybe I'll sign up for run camp after all.  Perhaps my mental health outweighs the cost of camp.  A thought I hadn't pondered.

until later...

"A healthy attitude is contagious, but don't wait to catch it from others.  Be a carrier."  ~Tom Stoppard