Thursday, April 3, 2014

recipe | chicken tortilla soup

Soup, in it's many varieties, is one of my favorite foods. I love combining different flavors & textures in one meal. 
So perfectOf course, soup is always best on cold winter days and I know it's spring, but winter weather isn't 
quite finished here in Colorado, so I am not letting go of soup yet. Yummy soup makes these in between 
winter & spring days not as bad. Anyway, here is one of my favorite soups...

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
1¼  cups water
1 can whole corn kernels
1 can white hominy
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (15 ounce) can black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft.
Stir in chili powder, oregano, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in corn, hominy, green chilies, beans, cilantro, and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve soup into bowls and top with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, etc…


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

photography | life lately...

Currently I am learning to knit with the magic loop and I am so excited to say that I know how to do this now!! 
It was easy to pick up and I am so thankful to my knitting friends for encouraging me to try it! 

Lately I have gotten a few things from Target that I really love... I bought the yellow stripe cup because I have a thing for buying too many cute mugs. I couldn't resist the round pillow, because I love the design, it was on sale & it goes perfectly with my bedding. The picture frame was also on sale and it was just what I had been wanting for a cross stitch my aunt made. Since she has passed away that simple little cross stitch is very special to me, so I wanted a better frame for it than the plain black one it was in. I love the way it looks now. All of these items are by Threshold, love that brand!!!

Current nail polish. Found this bottle buried in my nail polish drawer and it has made my nails feel stronger. 
Lately I have liked the beige/nude color... classic & pretty!

Lately, this poor dog has had it a bit rough... About a month ago, we noticed her shaking her head & scratching her ears a lot. I took her to the vet & it turned out she had a severe double ear infection... So, we had a long few weeks of giving her antibiotics for a week, then ear drops for two weeks. This morning, I took her to the vet for the third time & I am so thankful for the report that she is all better!

Lately my favorite snack has been fresh pineapple, bananas & coconut. It's like a tropical vacation! :)

Currently reading... Beth Moore's David study  +  She Reads Truth for Lent  +   Staying on track with reading the Bible in year, I just started Judges  +  I am slowly reading through Mansfield Park.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

knitting | yellow lace slouchy hat

Well, I finished my second attempt at my slouchy yellow lace hat & I am happy to say it was successful!
The first time around I followed the pattern but the hat didn't end up being deep enough for me. I had a
 second skein of this pretty yarn, so I decided to try it again, making it deeper and now I am in love with 
the results. I still plan to tweak this pattern a little bit to get it exactly how I would like it, but in general 
it is such a pretty & easy pattern. Here is the original pattern that I used.

Also, I recently designed a cute new tote bag with a favorite Jane Austen quote printed on it! I bought a plain canvas bag from Hobby Lobby and then I printed my design on to iron-on transfer paper and after a bit of ironing I had a cute new tote for all of my current knitting projects. Easy! 

My new tote is very helpful because lately I have been going knitting once a week with a couple of ladies that I go to church with. They are both talented knitters, so I am excited to learn a few things from them & just be encouraged to knit more. One of my goals is to try more challenging projects... I think next up they will be teaching me the magic loop method... I already have a pattern in mind to try, from the book Lace One-Skein Wonders. I borrowed the book from one of the ladies & I love so many of the patterns in it. It is definitely a book I will be buying for myself soon!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

recipe | lemon berry baked doughnuts

I recently got myself a doughnut pan, which I have wanted for a while. I am so excited, because homemade baked doughnuts are the best!! I decided to try this recipe first, because I made it before in muffin form, so I was sure it would turn out good. Of course, these are great as muffins, but there is something so cute & fun about doughnuts! So, I can say I love my doughnut pan & I can't wait to make more Saturday morning doughnuts in many different flavors...

Lemon Berry Baked Doughnuts

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup frozen berries

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray your doughnut pan with non-stick spray & set aside.

Mix together the butter, oil, sugar & brown sugar until creamy and smooth.
Mix in the eggs & vanilla. 

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt & cinnamon.
Alternately mix in the milk and the flour mixture three times, starting and ending with the flour mixture. 

Chop or pulse the berries in a food processor, so there will not be very large chunks of berries. Gently fold the berries into the dough. Scoop the dough into a disposable decorating bag or a ziplock bag and cut off the tip of the bag. This will make it easy to evenly & cleanly squeeze the dough into the cavities of your doughnut pan. Be sure to fill each cavity most of the way.

Bake the doughnuts for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the doughnuts to cool completely.

Next, on to the glaze, because no doughnut is complete without a glaze...

Ingredients for the lemon glaze...
1 cup powdered sugar
1 lemon, zested & juiced

To make the lemon glaze... 
Put the powdered sugar & lemon zest in a bowl.
Gradually whisk in the lemon juice until the glaze is the desired thickness.
If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a little bit of lemon juice or water.
Whisk until the glaze is smooth.

Once the doughnuts have completely cooled, drop each doughnut into the lemon glaze. Using a fork, you can easily turn each doughnut over to coat the other side with the glaze. Set the glazed doughnuts on a cooling rack and allow the glaze to set up before serving.

Oh, so good....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

photography | through my lens lately...

(Necklace is from Two Little Doves!! I love the turquoise and that it is so simple & delicate!!)