Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love soup!  I know everyone says it, but in the Winter I am all about soup.  I am constantly trying out new recipes for soups.  This one was perfect for a family reunion we were having and I needed something easy and light because my Aunt was bringing my grandma’s traditional stuffed cabbage.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is the perfect dish to throw into a crockpot, or a soup pot (if you don’t have one).  I have cilantro in this recipe and my knowledge on this is… you either LOVE IT or you HATE IT!  Feel free to omit it if you choose, but you will loose some of the Mexican flavoring if you do.  Parsley is a fair substitute.  Sprinkle some of my favorite Gluten-free tortilla chips and you are good to go!

Recipe Here:

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Turkey Stock 101

Thanksgiving is fun! Keep it simple and enjoy!

Ok, so with that said, I like simple yet tasty ingredients.  Ways to do that are make your own stock. This will, in turn, make your gravy even tastier.  Gravy making to come…

Turkey Stock w Text

Basic Stock Ingredients                      this is relevant for any stock base- beef, chicken, 
                                                                        or veggie (just omit the meat, obviously)

Special Tools you will need for this: Fine Mesh Skimmer and Fine Mesh Strainer

Turkey neck & wings parts- your local store will have this pre-packaged already for you!
1-2 Tbs. Olive oil
2 stalks celery, cleaned & cut in half (make sure to have some celery leaves on there)
1 large carrot (cut into thirds)
1 small onion, peeled and cut in half
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs each of: sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram
2 tsp. of kosher salt
small pinch of black peppercorns

In a large stockpot, coat bottom of pan with olive oil.  Heat over a medium high heat.  Add turkey and pour salt on top of parts.  Slightly brown all sides of the turkey parts, turning as needed. Once browned, add 10 cups of water to pot.  Let come to a rapid boil.  You will start to see foam…see

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Using a fine mesh skimmer, start skimming off foam as it arises.  This should be about a 10-15 min process…this is all the yucky stuff you don’t want clouding up your beautiful stock.  Don’t over-think it.

Once this process is finished, add all the ingredients from celery to pepper.  Bring to another boil, stir ingredients, then lower temp to low and let simmer for about an hour.  Turn heat off and remove from burner.  Your water will be reduced significantly.  Use a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, carefully and slowly use a ladle to gently remove ingredients from the liquid.  And then just pour the pot of remaining liquid over strainer to remove all the bits & herbs from your liquid.  Let cool completely.  Put into tupperware and save till Thanksgiving day…you’ll be glad you did!

Any specific questions about the details…please email me on contact form!


Thanksgiving Menu for 2013


Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday and best time of the year!  It’s a bit colder here, the leaves have turned a bright red & orange and fallen.  I love knowing my family will be together- far away ones will travel!  And I get to eat food…lots of it!

Here’s how I see Thanksgiving…it’s truly a perfect time of year to bring the joy of eating to your world.  Leave the guilt and the diets at the door and just enjoy each bite.  You don’t need to over-indulge to get true pleasure out of it.

I really love to involve the kids with the process of it too.  They each get a “project” to do whether it’s setting the table, placing place cards, making a dish, etc.  This year my daughter wants a pumpkin pie, so she is enlisted to help with that.  As far as a menu, it’s also the easiest to create, if you really break it down.  The Turkey is the main attraction and the sides are usually considered add-ins.  Stuffing, some kind of potato, and maybe a green and your done!  Each year the demand for the traditionals are consistent.  People wait all year for one or two things, so don’t over do it if this is your 1st Thanksgiving!  If I am crushing on a certain food I may introduce it to the family that year.  If I get compliments on it, It goes into the rotation of sides.  If they say nothing- it’s out!

Here’s how I plan for Thanksgiving:

  • About 2-3 weeks before decide where you are going to purchase your turkey.  Organic and local is the best!  Search your area for what’s available- you may surprised whats out there.
  • 1-2 weeks before start thinking of sides and dessert.  If you can taste and smell it in your imagination it’s a winner!
  • 1 week before purchase wine & alcohol, and non-perishable items
  • 3-5 days before buy perishable foods and turkey.

Menu for this year:

Savory truffle butter turkey-my responsibility

Spicy fried turkey- my husbands

Sides- Traditional Stuffing w/ savory herbs, garlic-mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, *Kale and beets lightly tossed with a meyer-lemon vinaigrette, *gravy, canned cranberry (a must for my husband) and the real cranberry sauce (for me). 
Desserts- Chocolate Chip Pound Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Caramel-Apple pie, Pecan Pie…I think we have enough pies!!

*these I will post in the next couple of days.


My Glo-ing Green Smoothie

Glo-ing Green Smoothie

I first heard about the “glowing green smoothie” from the book The Beauty Detox Diet by Kimberly Snyder.  I thought there was no way I could drink/eat this smoothie she created.  I made it in my regular blender…somewhat chunky…bits & pieces got stuck in my teeth, but it wasn’t as bad as I had thought.  Flash forward 2 months into drinking this smoothie and it quickly became one of my favorite quick breakfast favorite or snack.  It really does give you an energy boost and when paired with some of my Almond Crunch Craisin Oatmeal you are starting  your day off great!


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Almond Craisin Crunch Granola

I was inspired this summer, after a visit with our dear friends, to make my own granola.  My friend had introduced me to a product Healing Home Foods, where it’s mostly raw and some “baked” products…Check it out if you want to take your foods to another level.  After almost devouring her Granola, I had to try and make my own.   It is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index.  My kids have been eating it by the handfuls, as well as my husband who can’t get enough of it sprinkled on top of his plain greek yogurt in the morning!

Gluten-free Oatmeal



This such an easy way to make a healthy, low-fat, gluten-free Oatmeal filled with taste! I’m giving you the basics here, but feel free to add what you want and love! [Read more...]