Fall time goodness

My Bestie called and asked for my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe…so I thought it was a great time to share with everyone. I heard it was going to get HOT again so I will have to make this soon. 
Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 TBS Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil
6 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 cup Cilantro, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped small
1 Red Bell pepper, Chopped small
1 Jalapeno, Minced. most seeds removed
1 29oz Can Diced Tomatoes
2 TBS Cumin
1 TBS Chili Powder
3 Bay Leaves
6 Cups Chicken Broth
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Corn
5 Chicken Breasts…cooked and shredded
Optional toppings…Avocados, sour cream, Monterey Jack Cheese and fried tortilla strips or tortilla chips

***Be sure to cook chicken ahead of time***
Heat Oil…Add garlic, cilantro, onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for 4-5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and bring to boil.
Add Cumin, chili powder, bay leaves and chicken stock.
Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
Add salt and cayenne.
Remove Bay leaves and add Chicken, black beans and corn.
Simmer 20-30 minutes.


TV Chef Love

Do you watch Food Network or the Cooking Channel? Is there a Chef(s) that inspires you? For me it has always been Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence. Their food is simple. Their recipes are easy to follow (so important to me) and they are down to earth people.

I got the pleasure of meeting Giada a few years back when she was doing a book signing at the South Coast Plaza, Williams-Sonoma, for her book “Giada’s Family Dinners”. She was so sweet and so beautiful. I could not get a word out other than “Hi”…oh and “Thank You”:). I love her love for food… it is contagious. Her recipes are so clean and simple.

Ina by far has the best recipes. Everything that I have made from her cookbooks are amazing. Super simple to follow. I neeeeeed her newest cookbook, “How Easy is That?”. The Barefoot Contessa always seems to enjoy everything she makes and loves sharing it with others. Her recipe for a Summer Fruit Crostata is my new fav..I have made it four times now(minus the plums) and it is amazing. Keep forgetting to take a pic…but if you are in need of a new Spring/Summer Dessert try this one..you will love it.

Bobby Flay…oh Bobby. He is an all American guy. I love his style of cooking…total man in the kitchen. Not super refined but always makes everything look so amazing. His new show on the Cooking Channel “Brunch @ Bobby’s” is the best show ever. Being that Brunch is my favorite type of meal to eat I love all his recipes. I recently made Scott a Poached Egg dish….delish! Bobby made it look so good… we looked at eachother and said we had to make it ASAP.

Last but not least…Tyler Florence. He is another Chef who I just love to try out his recipes. They are easy to follow and so comforting. He is known for Tyler’s Ultimate…where he takes very popular dishes and makes them his way..which is awesome! He is full of energy and is all over the place. That is what I love about him..others may find it annoying when watching his show…his cameramen have a hard time following him…but that is how I am in the kitchen..when I know what I am doing and am loving a recipe. Total opposite when I am baking…I am in relax mode:). Anyways…back to Tyler. I have tried many of his recipes and they always turn out great..his whole roasted chicken is great. I do not have one of his cookbooks..sad to say. I have not bought a cookbook in so long with all the recipes online..but I need to get back to buying them. They are such a great resource to have in your kitchen. Hope you try out some of these recipes I shared and are inspired by your favorite Chefs to get cookin’!


Fat Tuesday Gumbo

I was craving some Louisiana cooking..so was happy that Mardi Gras was coming up and I decided to make some Gumbo. I love this recipe. I have made it a few times before. A spicy bowl of goodness!!!!

2 TBS Flour
2 TBS Butter
1 Onion, diced
1 Green Bellpepper, diced
1 TBS Garlic, minced
2 c. Smoked Sausage, sliced
4 c. Chicken Breast, cooked, diced
4 c. Chicken Broth
1 28oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2# Shrimp deveined and tails removed
1 tsp File
s/p TT


  1. In a large pot combine Flour and Butter to make a roux.
  2. Add Onion, Bellpepper and Garlic. Saute 5 minutes.
  3. Add Sausage, Chix, Chix Broth, Tomaotes, Thyme, Bay Leaves and Cayenne Pepper.
  4. Simmer 45 minutes
  5. Add Shrimp, File and Salt and Pepper.
  6. Serve with rice.