Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homemade Soup: Spicy Southwest Chicken Soup

Awhile ago I was telling my friend about this soup, and I told her I'd send her a link thinking I'd already posted about it's deliciousness. When I went to find the link to send it to her, it wasn't there! I was wrong. I hadn't shared this soup on my blog, but I thought I had, and I'm sorry.

While browsing recipes online one day, I found this recipe and saved it because it sounded amazing! I made it not too long after, and I could have SWORN I'd blogged about it (see above!), but I guess I sorta forgot...

When I first realized I hadn't blogged about the soup, I figured I'd make it again eventually,  but eventually was quite awhile later sadly!

It's been pretty cold in LA lately, and I've been making a lot of soup recently, so I wanted to do something different. After browsing some recipes online, I realized I should and needed to make this soup again! I wanted something I  haven't had in awhile and I could finally blog about it - that's a double win!

The original recipe uses a crock pot, and while I love mine, I like to simmer my soups instead. With that said, I did a few things differently because I wasn't using my crock pot. Feel free to stick with the original recipe, or switch it up like I did. I'm sure either way would be great!

So without saying anything more, let me show you how to make this soup yourself.

The Goods:
Blackened Seasoning (Not Pictured - OOPS)
Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
Black Beans
Homemade Chicken Broth

Saute the Onions a few minutes...

Then add the garlic and saute another minute or two.

Throw in the can of Rotel and stir to combine.

Add a tablespoon or so of Chipotle Peppers.
I like mine spicy, so adjust accordingly. 

Throw in the corn...

And the black beans too!

Now add the Tomato Sauce...

Finally it's time for the Chicken Broth. 

Let it simmer at least a half hour - if not more.

It'd been so long since I originally made this soup that I forgot how good it really was! I'm now wowndering why I waited so long to make it again and I'm really glad I made enough to freeze some.  I will definitely be filing this recipe away to make again!

Forgotten Garden

I'm sorry! I know I said I'd be better about blogging, but January has kinda slipped away from me and I haven't been blogging at all. That doesn't mean I haven't been snapping tons of pictures and storing blog posts away. I actually have QUITE a few posts ideas, so get ready to read folks! I hope to get caught up in the next few weeks.

To get started, let me tell you about another thing in my life, besides my blog, that has been sorta forgotten and neglected!

Sadly, my garden always dwindles in the Winter, but this year I didn't even touch it for a couple weeks. No pruning, no upkeep, no water even! I know...I'm bad! But rest assured, I've been out there again on a more regular basis, and we've had TONS of rain recently so I'm sure the plants are loving that. Once the weather starts to warm up, I'll definitely be adding some new plants and sprucing up the herb garden again!

Until then, take a look at how my poor garden went from a lush green area before the holidays, to a kinda sad area that needs some love right now!

Before Christmas my garden looked like this...
Pretty window boxes.


Basil, which is sadly gone! :(

Flat Leaf Parsley 

A Single Yellow Rose!

The Climbing Jasmine

Oh look - I STILL had tomatoes!

Some beautiful Gerber Daisies!

And the corner was thriving!!!

Sadly, now it looks like this... 
Empty window boxes.

Herbs that are struggling!

The Mint may be gone for good, but I'm holding out hope!

A single yellow rose...
and a geranium plant that is SUPER resilient! 

Still no flowers on the Climbing Jasmine! 

No more tomato plant and empty hanging baskets.

And the Gerber Daisies are gone too!

The SAD looking corner that is need some more green.

And a TON of empty pots begging for new plants!

The succulents seem to be only things doing well...

Even the lime tree is a little bare. 

But there are still new limes growing!!!

I hope to revamp the garden in the near future. I'm looking forward to having a nice little balcony garden in Spring, if not before then!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Eve In Laguna!

I went to Laguna a few months ago with my friend and had a GREAT time! She told me towards the end of November that she'd probably be going back for New Year's Eve. While it sounded fun, I wanted to keep my options open. After some thought, I decided it sounded like a blast to ring in the New Year, in such a beautiful place, with one of my best friends!

My friend, her cousin and I all drove down from LA at different times, but we all got there in time to spend awhile being girls and getting all dolled up together!

After  getting ready, we made our way to Hotel Laguna and had a great dinner with a view of the beautiful ocean! After dinner, it was off to The Sandpiper Lounge to dance our butts off to some live music. 

I had one of the best New Years in awhile and to top it of, I rung it in swapping cheek kisses with one of the best friends a girl could ask for! 

Hope you all had a safe a fun New Year's Eve! Here's to 2013 being absolutely amazing!!!