Month: February 2015

Smokin’ Chicken Chipotle Soup

(serves 8-10)


1/4 C olive oil
2 small yellow onions, diced
8-10 garlic cloves, minced

1 – 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 – 10 ounce cans of Rotel
1 – 14.75 can of creamed corn
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

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1 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T chipotle pepper puree

6 C chicken stock

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1 – 30 ounce can of hominy (rinsed and drained)
3 large yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and chopped
3 C shredded chicken


In a preheated soup pot, add olive oil, onions and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, Rotel, creamed corn and cilantro. Mix well. Add chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and chipotle puree. Mix well. Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and take an immersion blender and puree the soup until a nice thick consistency is achieved. It should look like thick marinara. If it is too thick, add additional stock or water. Add hominy, squash and chicken. Simmer until squash is tender, but not mushy. Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed.

Serve soup with chunks of fresh avocado, sour cream, cilantro and lime.

This would also make an excellent base for a vegetarian chili. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken and add additional veggies at the end. Butternut squash, sweet pepper chunks, zucchini, cauliflower, parsnips, turnips….

This soup whips up pretty quickly. Minimal dicing required. A good can opener is essential!

There is a sweetness, from the creamed corn, as well as smokey heat. The creamy cool chunks of avocado and sour cream offer nice counter to the spice. A spritz of limon verde and a slice of skillet cornbread makes this the perfect meal for a cool evening at home. Don’t forget the Negro Modelo.

Peanut Butter Heath Bar Crunch Cookies

(recipe makes 32 medium-sized cookies)

2 1/2 C flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

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2 sticks butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar

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2 eggs
2 t vanilla

1 C crunchy peanut butter

1 1/2 C Heath Bar Toffee Bits



In a mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, powder and salt. Whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter, brown sugar and sugar. Mix well using the paddle attachment.

Combine eggs and vanilla in a pourable container.

Pour eggs, one at a time, into sugar/butter mixture and blend well.

Add peanut butter to butter mix and blend until well mixed.

With mixer on low, spoon flour mix into butter mix. Blend until well combined. Add toffee bits and blend in slowly. Finish incorporating with a spoonula.

Using a 1/4 C ice cream scoop, portion dough onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Place dough portions into the refrigerator for chilling.

Once dough has firmed up, place the portions onto another prepared cookie sheet for baking. Place into a preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cookie sheet and “thwack” it on the counter. Nice cracks will form. Place the cookies back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. For a chewier cookie, reduce final cooking time by 5 minutes.

Remove cookies and place on a cooling rack. Once cookies have firmed up, place them directly on the rack for further cooling.

Unused dough portions can be frozen for baking later.



(serves 6)

2 – 12 ounce cans of albacore tuna, drained
2 long stalks of celery, diced small
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 T parsley, finely chopped
Zest of one lemon
1 t salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Mayonnaise, amount is your call…dryer/wetter

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Using a paper towel, press tuna into a sieve squeezing out any remaining liquid. DRY, DRY. Place into bowl and add remaining ingredients. My grandmother liked sweet pickle relish, Miracle Whip, hard boiled egg, and I think some apple….definitely a sweet version. We prefer this simpler approach. Lean and clean as we say.

Enjoy scooped onto greens or portioned on some good crusty bread with sliced tomato, red onion and leaf lettuce.



Serves 6-8

1 head green leaf lettuce, cut into strips

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 C red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 C cherub tomatoes, cut in half

1/3 C sliced black olives

1/2 C red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed

1/2 C grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 C corn kernels

1 large avocado, cut into chunks

1 C Frito corn chips

Zesty French Dressing


Exact measurements of ingredients are your call. Prep salad ahead. Dress prior to service to avoid sogginess.

Talk about your church social!

It’s taco salad without the seasoned ground beef. BTW, if you want a good taco salad, use the meat recipe for the Highlupa and combine it with this salad.


Zesty French Dressing

makes 1 1/2 C of dressing

1/2 C mayo
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C sugar
1 T Dijon
1/2 t salt
1 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves only


1 C vegetable oil


In the bowl of a food processor, combine all ingredients except vegetable oil. Process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil through the feed tube while machine is running. Process until well combined. The recipe can be cut in half. Stores well for several days.