Monday, February 17, 2014

Best Ever Tortilla Soup

3 C. Chicken Broth
3 Cans Stewed Tomatoes (Del Monte – Mexican Recipe)
1 Large Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
1 Pkg. Ranch Dressing Mix
1 Bunch Cilantro
¼ C. Sugar
½ t. Ground Cloves
1 Rotesserie Chicken (boned and cut in bite sized pieces) or 2 ½ lbs Boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked and cut in bite sized pieces

1 Can Hominy
1 Can Ranch Style Beans
1 Can Corn

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Add chicken.  Simmer on low for an hour.

To serve, place chips in bowl and top with soup.  Top with Monterrey jack cheese, chopped green onions, avocado and sour cream if desired.

For spicier soup, substitute one can of stewed tomatoes with one can of Rotel tomatoes.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Protein Fruit Smoothie

We have always loved fruit smoothies. I had a really crummy blender, so we haven't had any in a while. I recently got a Ninja blender and decided to give it another try. After a few months, I think I have come up with the perfect recipe.

I highly recommend the Ninja.  It is super powerful!

Jennifer has been making protein shakes, so I decided I would try some of her protein powder. It make the perfect shake! Tastes better than Smoothie King. It also happens to be very healthy and low in calories if that is what you are looking for.

Here is a picture of the CytoSport 100% Whey Protein Powder.  I buy the big bag at Costco.  I have not found it anywhere else.  It costs about $48, but it make 75 smoothies.
Fruit Smoothie
1 ½  C. water
12 ice cubes
2 scoops CytoSport Vanilla protein powder
1 banana
½ can Dole pineapple chunks in 100 %, do not drain
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
Blend for about 30 - 45 seconds.

Note:  This make 2 32 oz. smoothies

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make something different for fall.  It was the one day of October that it was cool.  I was going to make Pumpkin Bread, and then I decided to make some cupcakes.  Since I didn't have a recipe, I started searching the internet.  I ended up combining a couple of recipes and creating my own.  I was really please with how they turned out.  Very moist and gooey!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

 1 package spice cake mix
2t. ground cinnamon
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Small pkg. vanilla pudding

Mix all ingredients well.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 – 13 minutes.  Ice when cooled.

Cream Cheese Icing


2 8 oz. Cream Cheese
2 Stick Butter
2 lb. bag Powdered Sugar


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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

I have not cooked in a very long time, but was craving some Chicken Spaghetti.  That is not something you can usually get in a restaurant.  This recipe was from one of Jennifer's friends, but of course, I can't cook something without tweaking it.

This is one of my favorites!

  • 1 lb Thin spaghetti, cooked according to directions
  • 1 Rotisserie chicken torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Bell pepper, chopped
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 ½ lbs. Velveeta cheese
  • 2 pkgs. Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 15 oz Can chicken broth
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Jar chopped pimento
  • Sharp cheddar cheese to top

1.   Cook spaghetti according to directions. Preheat oven to 300.

2.   Sautee garlic, onions, bell pepper and mushrooms in butter until soft.

3.   Add Velveeta. Stir frequently until melted. Add soups, dressing mix, pimento and broth. Stir continuously so cheese won't burn.

4.   In a large bowl, combine spaghetti, chicken and veggies.

5.   Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

6.   Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly. Top with cheese and then bake for 15 minutes more. This freezes great and is really easy to double.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Since I was little, I have always wanted a swimming pool.  I love the water.  There was a little bit of time, I thought my parents might build one, and then that went away.  When we moved into our house, almost 26 years ago, we said it had the perfect yard for a pool.

For 25 years, we have been thinking and talking about this pool.  For many years, we couldn't afford it.  My first goal was to pay off the house.  Then, I wanted all of the kids out of college and on their own.  Then I put it off because I had grand plans in my head.  The grand plans would make the pool cost more than the house.

A year ago this week, my niece Ashley told me they were building a pool.  She showed me pictures, and I was SO jealous.  I told her how badly we wanted one.  She said she came to the realization that she wanted one and knew they would enjoy it and that she would build want she could afford and be happy with it.

Those words stuck with me.  I knew we would enjoy it and the grandchildren would enjoy it and we just needed to DO IT!  I called the pool company the next day and got the ball rolling.  We chose Pulliam Pools and did not get any other estimates.  The sales rep was great and we had known his family for years.  He patiently sat with me while I told him everything I wanted and we came up with the perfect design.  He was so good about my tweeks and changes!

We had to get an electrical line moved and that took a long time.  Digging day was June 3rd.  We started filling it with water on July 3rd, which happened to be the 25th anniversary of the week we moved into our house.

We did not landscape because it was August by the time we got everything (fence, etc.) finished and with the 100+ degree summer, we decided to wait until this Spring.

We are SO very thankful!  We have had so much fun hanging out with the kids, grandchildren, cousins and friends.  We feel like we added a bunch of square footage to our house.

Before the dig.  Marked and ready to go.

Dig day.  Oh what a mess!  Our friends, Matt and Missy needed a bunch of dirt for their backyard.  Matt used to live next door to us growing up.  We sent 5 loads of dirt to their house.  Gave them a little piece of the neighborhood for their new home.

The girls had fun playing in the dirt.

 Waiting for water.

The fill has begun!  We actually got in it with about 3 feet of water for our first swim.

The kids didn't waste anytime swimming.

Swimming with lots of cousins.  What fun!!  Can't wait for this summer.

Stay tuned for post landscape pictures.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

LOVE My Babies So Much

Jennifer took pictures of the kids on Valentine's Day.  No words can describe how much I LOVE these 4 babies!!!

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