Ringing in the new year with…more soup

The year is coming to an end, and while I would love to say we have fabulous plans to ring in 2014, it’s not even 7 p.m. and I’m in my bed, with my best little buddy next to me watching tv. I’ve got a cough I can’t kick and a monster headache, and am feeling glad we have nothing to do tonight other than enjoy each other. I love having my little guy right next to me, even if it means I have to listen to Disney Jr shows while I type.

So I didn’t quite achieve my goal of a new recipe a week, but I think I posted at least 1 new dish a month, and some months I managed more. And more importantly, I found some things that have been repeated. I spatchcocked chickens twice this month, and twice made chicken and barley soup out of the bones. Safe to say those are keepers. I also have made the chicken tikka masala a couple of times, as well as the pork tenderloin, and the panzanella continues to deliver. Oh, and that cornmeal crusted chicken – it just keeps showing up, and one of my best friends sent me a REAL meat tenderizer for Christmas so I can quit beating the crud out of chicken with a wimpy wooden spoon. I’m really happy with my year of testing recipes, and plan to keep up the blog in 2014, if only so I remember what we liked (and what we didn’t).

On the “what we liked” note, thanks to the aforementioned cough, I’ve been wanting soup again. Yesterday was my last vacation day for the holiday season (not including New Years Day, of course), so I had time to make a soup that is a little too involved for a weeknight. The recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman’s website. If you’re not familiar with the Pioneer Woman, you are missing out – she’s a former suburbanite who now lives out in the country, a chef of decadent recipes, and an author  of the “Charlie the Ranch Dog” children’s books (of which we have several, for obvious reasons). And she has a fabulous recipe for chicken tortilla soup.  I served it last night with cubed avocado, crumbled queso fresco, corn tortillas that I fried in a little olive oil and turned into crispy strips, sour cream, and cilantro. I know cilantro is one of those love it or hate it things – but I LOVE it, so mine was topped heavily. But that’s the nice thing about this soup – there are lots of topping options, so each person can make it his or her own. G enjoyed it a lot too, but maybe not as much as I did – I brought leftovers to work today for lunch, and am going to eat it again for dinner!  I think it’s just what the doctor ordered for this cold.

Wishing you a very happy 2014!!   


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