I am a newlywed on a budget, just trying to make healthy and inexpensive meals for my husband and I to enjoy. He eats a lot, so cost is a big factor. Though I work 3 jobs, I manage to find time 6 nights a week to cook a full dinner for us both. I am constantly looking for new recipes that are moderately healthy, taste great, and won't break the bank.

On the side, I also own a brownie business called Gersheybars. My passion and love for cooking started when I was just a small child, baking with my mom and grandmother. The brownie recipe has been passed down through 5 generations and I am thrilled to finally have an outlet to share them with everybody else. Friends and family have helped spread the word and made my business as successful as it is today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last night was cold and rainy and just a dreary day. So I figured it was time to try out the next soup on my list! Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup, from the Food Network Magazine. It was very easy to make with just a few ingredients, and took little prep time. Great for a busy weeknight! The recipe didn't have exact measurements or times, so I sort of winged it and ended up with a very tasty soup! It was just a bit spicy, but the creaminess of the avocado mellowed out the spice. We each had 2 bowls, and had to force ourselves to stop, so we could take leftovers for lunch.

  • 2 seeded ancho chiles (I used ancho chiles in adobo sauce)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped and cooked
  • 6 corn tortillas, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3/4 cup cilantro (we love cilantro, so you might want to tone this down a bit if you're not as big a fan)
  1. In a food processor, puree ancho chiles, onion, tomatoes and garlic.
  2. Meanwhile, cook chicken in large stock pot with a Tbsp of oil. Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. Fry chile/onion mixture in the oil until fragrant. Add chicken broth, chicken, and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer 10-15 minutes until thick. Add tortilla strips and boil 1-2 minutes until softened.
  4. Ladle into bowls, top with sliced avocado and more cilantro.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Bean Soup with Kale

Apparently, it went from Summer to Fall overnight! All of a sudden, it's 40 degrees in the morning, we had to turn the heat on, and the trees are rapidly changing colors. So of course, it means it's soup season! I have a ton of soup recipes I want to try this Fall/Winter, but to kick things off, I started with a two bean soup with kale. This is a Cooking Light recipe, from October 2009. I followed the recipe exactly and it was delicious.

We loved the variety of textures going on, and the incredibly hearty flavor. It would be great with some added spicy sausage, or served in a bread bowl. Don't leave out the rosemary. It really does bring the dish together! The list of ingredients looks long and daunting, but they're all readily available and fairly inexpensive.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I used a whole onion, roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Emeril's), divided (I used chicken broth instead)
  • 7 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (I used about a Tablespoon)
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.

  2. Place half of cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.