Happy 2016!! How about some Soup!!

19 Comments

Yes I am still Alive!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

I know, I know I have not blogged in forever, but I have been very busy with work and other things.

Plus I don’t cook up a ton of things for me on a daily basis, and when I do cook for my family I am so busy doing multiple things that I forget to take pictures, and if I do I don’t often have a lot of time to blog it all out. ย So I am sorry for those who care, and I will try harder this upcoming year!!

So this would be something I would not blog about since its just something plan I would come up with, but I thought I just better share this to let everyone know I am still kickin ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

So yesterday on my day off I thought okay you have stuff in the fridge you need to use, so I made Soup.

I call it “Winter Soup” or “What else can I put in this” Soup ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

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I also had gotten a four pack of bone-in chicken breast out of the freezer to make some room ๐Ÿ˜›

Okay so I don’t have a recipe here because really it was a what can I throw into this pot kind of soup.

And I think that is what we all need to think more of when we have things in our fridges that need to be used. Or your pantry, heck if you have can veggies do it, or cans of tomatoes or sauce, what about pasta or rice, your options are endless!!!

So this is what I started with, cabbage, zucchini, carrots and beans.

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Chopped it all up and I added about 2 cups of chicken broth(had some left in the fridge), I cooked it in the oven on 325 degrees for 2 hours

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then I added about 4 more cups of broth, I love using “better than bullion” soup base, so I had a little beef flavor left scraped that in there and then some Turkey. ย Just mix that up with 4 cups of hot water added a onion power and dill. ย I love dill in soup, and I love using the tube herbs, I just don’t use fresh herbs quick enough so I do buy some of those tube herbs you can find in your produce dept. ย So whisked all that up and poured it right on in.

Cooked at 350 degrees now for about 1 hour, then I added the beans about 4 cups, not that whole jar, mixed, then check for seasonings, I add some crushed celery seed, more tube dill, kosher salt and white pepper. ย Back in the oven for 30 minutes.

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adding the celery seed and my tube dill ๐Ÿ™‚

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Like I said I had chicken breast, so I just bought a new kitchen gadget, it was my Christmas present to myself…

Table Top Halogen Oven

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Now I love it, the first thing I cooked in it was a Steak, a Frozen Steak!!! ย  Steak (bone-in rib eye) was about 1 inch thick, I took it out of the freezer, salted and peppered each side, and in 25 minutes I had the most perfect medium rare steak…It was delish!!!

Now I know the haters are going to hate, I NOT telling you buy it, this just works for me and I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

So I put two of the chicken breast in it and let it go, yes can I use the oven, of course, but I like this and wanted to use it, I can see it cooking and like the easiness ๐Ÿ™‚

So here’s my chicken cooking, of course once it was done again I forgot to take pictures…sorry, but it they looked great.

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So I shredded some of the chicken

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and added it to the soup, and it was done and ready to eat.

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I have soup for the next week and I frozen half of it too, I like doing this so its easy to bring out and heat out when you need something quick.

So what do you have in your fridge right now that you can throw into a pot and make your own

“Winter Soup”

Enjoy everyone!!

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It Was An All-Star Week!!!!

17 Comments

Well if you are not a sports fan and don’t live in Cincinnati, then you may not even know what I am talking about ๐Ÿ™‚ but for a year the city has been planning for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

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Let me say the city was crazy, I did go downtown a couple of days but if you didn’t get down there early to find a parking space, lot or garage it was nuts. ย So to say the least I just drove around and then went back across the river ๐Ÿ˜›

But the Home Run Derby was exciting since Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds won it this year!!!

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate National League All-Star Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 554358169 ORIG FILE ID: 480626732

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with the trophy after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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All and all I think Cincinnati and Northern Ky. did an outstanding job hosting this years All-Star Game.

I did take some pictures, I have some here that friends took as well, but as I say it was an “All-Star Week”

There were are couple birthdays in our family and of course I made a few things, so check out my pictures and enjoy!!!

First of the birthdays was my little niece I made cupcakes ๐Ÿ™‚

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She likes presents and bubbles ๐Ÿ™‚

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Around town they made these mustaches statues here are few of them

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here is the picture of all of them that they made, pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚
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Here are few of my souvenirs

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Buskin Bakery made the cookies got to love that!!

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Here are some pictures of the Red Carpet Parade,
the players start at their hotel and end at the ball park, all on red carpet ๐Ÿ™‚
Grand Marshall – Barry Larkin

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Mr. Red and Gapper

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Rosie Red

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Some other mascots

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Todd Frazier and his family

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You can see on Todd’s hand the blisters from the Home Run Derby ๐Ÿ™‚

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Few other Players ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some of the city skyline and downtown

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yes they had a zipline too

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My All-Star Pizza, half spinach & garlic
other half was spinach, Gorgonzola cheese,
sliced almonds, sliced strawberries and
balsamic glaze…so so GOOD!!!

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The other birthday was my Mommy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I made her cookies peanut butter with no flour ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dinner – Braised Short Ribs, butter noodles and carrots ๐Ÿ™‚

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Peach Ice Cream (I just scooped some out to take the picture)
she took the Ice Cream, cookies all home ๐Ÿ™‚

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And for actual dessert I made Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ๐Ÿ˜›

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I must say I agree is was an All-Star Week ๐Ÿ™‚

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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!!ย 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog. ย Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores ๐Ÿ™‚

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone ๐Ÿ˜›ย 

Chef Amy

One Lovely Blog Award!!

10 Comments

Recently I wasย nominatedย for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Ka@My Uni Kitchen

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Ka has a terffic blog, he has amazing Recipes, How to Guides and Cooking Tips, so please go over to his
blog and check out all those good things he has to offer ๐Ÿ™‚

There are few rules to accepting the award you must tell everyone 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 blogs
for the award.

So here we go ๐Ÿ™‚

1. I worked on a cruise ship for 6 1/2 years

2. My first career was in Theater Costuming before going into Culinary

4. I love Hockey

5. I worked for our home town Hockey Team by sewing names and numbers on their jerseys

6. ย During the baseball season, I am on call for the Cincinnati Reds and the away teams
ย  ย  ย  that come into town and play the Reds, to sew their uniforms (sewing names & numbers),
ย  ย  ย  for any last minute call ups.

7. ย The most I was ever paid for sewing 1 single uniform for an away team was $100.00
andย 
that was for 1 hour of work, that included the call, me driving to the ball park
(i live very close)ย 
getting in there sewing the name and number and thenย 
ย  ย  ย  back in my car. ย ๐Ÿ™‚ ย 

Bonus – here’s the picture ๐Ÿ™‚

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I hope you enjoyed the few things that most of you did not know about me ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Here are the blogs that I think are fantastic and I give the “One Lovely Blog Award” too

Suzanne@apuginthekitchen

Gretchen@Feeding My 3 Sons

Ginger@Ginger&Bread

Loretta@Safari of the Mind

Angie@The Novice Gardner

Julie@Hostess At Heart

Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake

Suzi@Beach Blanket Bacon

Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook

Coco@Crafty Little Coco

Lili@Lili’s Cakes

Max@Dante’s Kitchen

Linda@La Petite Paniere

Ms. Frau@Frugal Hausfrau

Petra@Food Eat Love

Vidya and Chitra I added you as well
I know Ka added you to his blog
but I wanted to let you know I love
your blogs too, so you can consider mine
with his ๐Ÿ™‚

Vidya@Traditionally Modern Food

Chitra@Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog!!!

 

 

 

Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

15 Comments

So last year my friend Paul and I went to Pittsburgh to visit his family, we had a great time with his Dad as I call him “Papa Kovac”.

The first night when we got there Papa K made us dinner his famous Meatloaf, Haluski and Asparagus ๐Ÿ™‚

The meal was so Delicious!!! Loved it all but I got his Meatloaf recipe and I made it myself ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here are Papa Kovac and Paul during dinner

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The Delicious meal!!!

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Me and Paul being silly with some graphics

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As this posts I am back in Pittsburgh with Paul and we are visiting with his Dad, this time we are going to do some cooking and of course go on some adventures around town ๐Ÿ™‚
I will blog about my trip in the coming weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ In the meantime enjoy Papa K’s Meatloaf!!

Ingredients

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the chopped onion, red pepper, celery and garlic
saute this up

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add to a big bowl with the meats, oats, egg & milk

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Mix it up with your hands ๐Ÿ™‚

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Now I always take a piece and fry up in a Skillet
I like to taste just to make sure I have the
seasonings right…does anyone else do this?

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Cooked up

 

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taste good, seasonings are good

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free form it on a lined baking sheet

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Bake it up

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yummy

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Okay now I love the flavor on its own
BUT!!!! i just can’t eat meatloaf without
Ketchup!!! and not any ketchup…
HEINZ KETCHUP!!!! it is a MUST!!

yes I am a Ketchup snob ๐Ÿ˜›

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Yummy!!

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Papa K's Meatloaf

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 red pepper, diced
1 large or 2 small onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 egg
3/4 cup quick oats
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup milk

Saute in a large skillet the onions, celery, red pepper and garlic until softened.
In a large bowl add sauteed mixture, meats, oats, egg, salt, pepper and milk mix together with your hands. ย If you want to check for seasonings take a little of the mixture and make a patty and fry is up, taste it for seasonings if you like the taste…done…if not add to your taste.

Free form the mixture into a loaf on a lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes to 90 minutes.

Let set for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Add Ketchup…Heinz Ketchup if you want!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL!!

Irish Beer Cheese Soup!!

12 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2015!!!

So in honor of today I have my Beer Cheese Soup recipe for you today ๐Ÿ™‚

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I made this soup a couple of years ago when I did a St. Patrick’s Day Cooking Class, I also served Guinness Mac & Cheese, Guinness Black Lager Irish Stew and Guinness Stout Cake Pops ๐Ÿ™‚

We all had a great time and everyone loved the food and of course the beer ๐Ÿ˜‰

So before we get to the recipe for the soup, here is what a few of the people over here at the office look like today dressed in their St. Patty’s Day garb ๐Ÿ™‚

First let’s start with the man that was named
after this day… Sir Patrick!!

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Here is Connie with her Irish scarf

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Janet and Jennifer have their green on ๐Ÿ™‚

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And Kathie and Heather have their head bobs on ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kathy in her green

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There are the “Meat” guys in green too ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ann has a head bob too

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Margie being silly ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Here is the advertising girls pretty as ever

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And I think Tina wins the prize
as she is all decked out!!!
Her tie lights up too and her head
bob thing does too just can’t tell

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And this is one of ladies that Demo’s
for us in one of our stores, she Dressed
up for the day too ๐Ÿ™‚

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So what ever you do today enjoy it and have fun and make some soup!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Irish Beer Cheese Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup onions, grated or finely minced
ยฝ cup celery, grated or finely minced
ยฝ cup flour
1 stick butter
1 bottle Harp Beer
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
16 oz. Sharp cheddar, shredded (Tillamook is what I used)
8 oz. extra sharp cheddar, shredded (Cabot Vintage Choice)
2 cups cream
Cooked bacon for garnish
Green onions (tops only), thinly sliced

In a stock pot over medium heat add butter, onions and celery sautรฉ until softened.ย  Add flour, whisk and cook for about 3 minutes, whisking often. ย Whisk in beer slowly and same with the chicken broth, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 – 20 minutes.ย  Then add dry mustard and Worcestershire then add cream while whisking and then cheese a good handful at time until all added keep whisking until smooth and cheese has melted.ย  Cook for about 10 minutes more. Taste, season with salt and pepper etc., if too thick add more broth, beer or cream, too thin add more cheese.ย  But nothing extra was needed; garnish each bowl with bacon and green onions.

Let me say the bacon really put this soup over the top, serve with myย Harp Beer Breadย recipe and you are good to go…Enjoy!!! Cheers!!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

Here are my Guinness Stout Cake Pops…yummmy!!!

Irish cake pops

Veggie-Chicken-Chile-Soup!!! Fiesta Friday #53

34 Comments

So here it is Fiesta Friday again and I am joining in again, I want to thank Angie@The Novice Gardenerย for hosting the Party and her two co-hosts Selma@Selma’s Table and Nancy@Feasting with Friends.

So about a month ago a co-worker (Heather) was telling us that her son is a picky eater, what child is not a picky eater right ๐Ÿ™‚

Any way she said that he did not like red chili and thought that he may eat white chili, so a few weeks went by and I saw a slow cooker recipe for the white chili and printed it out for her to try, as far as I know think she said she was going to try it this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope her son Blake will like it ๐Ÿ™‚

I decided to make my own version ๐Ÿ˜› hence the word veggie in title.

Now I am not a chili person at all…at ALL!! ย So when I thought about this I did want to make it more of a soup instead of a then a chili.

First I after I got a few things from the store, I really just went looking in my pantry and refrigerator for what I could through in it ๐Ÿ™‚ and I wanted to use my electric pressure cooker.

Let me just take a minute to talk about the “electric pressure cooker” ย I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really really do!! I love making soup in it because it’s like its been cooking all day, and Nancy@Feasting with Friendsย gave me a recipe for hard cooked eggs that the shells peel off perfectly and I love that!! I also have a macaroni and cheese recipe here you can check out too. ย But if you have a chance to buy one I so recommend it for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay so here’s my dish

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This is what I used – except the spinach in the bag, when I started pulling everything out the fridge, I thought yes I will add spinach but then I didn’t ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pinto beans, chick peas and leftover white beans
in the Vita-mix

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Add water and pulse

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to get this

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carrots, zucchini and onion in Vita mix
add water

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and this

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Add that to my pot and this is my Chicken Base
I use Better than bouillon you can use just broth

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added my seasonings, Cumin and Fajita Seasonings

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Mix it up

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added two chicken breasts

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Time to cook

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I put it on the “Stew” setting and increased the time
to 30 minutes then start

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DONE!!!

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Oh yeah!!!

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Pulled out the chicken breast to shred

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shred your chicken

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add back to the pot

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taste for seasonings, I added salt

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and more of my seasonings

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Done!!! ย Add a little diced jalapeno and enjoy!!

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Veggie Chicken Chile Soup

1 bottle of Taco Bell salsa verde
1 can diced green chiles
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed*
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed*
1/2 cup white beans, drained and rinsed*
2 zucchini*
3 carrots*
1 onion*
2 large boneless chicken breast
3-4 tsp. cumin
3-4 tsp. Penzeys Fajita seasonings*
6-8 cups chicken broth*
salt and pepper to taste

To the electric pressure cooker or large stock pot or slow cooker, your choice.
Add salsa and chiles, if you want whole beans then add then whole, if you want it like I did, then blend up with broth or water, the same with the veggies, either diced or blended.

Pour all into your pot, add the seasonings and stir, if using chicken base add this now, if you are using broth add the rest. ย I say 6-8 cups because it depends on the size of your cooking choice, the less that is used makes it thicker.
Cook in pressure cooker on “stew” setting for 30 minutes, slow cooker for 4-6 hours on high, and stock pot on stove, bring to almost a boil, the reduce to low for 2 hours or until all is cooked through.

Remove Chicken and shred, return shredded chicken back to pot, taste for seasonings, add salt or pepper, or more seasonings it is up to your tastes.

Serve up with diced jalapeno, tortillas chips or some cheese, its up to you!! ย Just grab a mug or bowl full and sit back and enjoy the game this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

*use what ever beans you want, this is just what I had, same with the veggies its just what I had.
I like using chicken base you can use broth instead. ย Seasonings from Penzeys the Fajita seasonings that I used had the following in it: salt, black pepper, Turkish oregano, cayenne, garlic, celery seed, basil, nutmeg, marjoram, thyme, Mexican oregano, cumin and rosemary.
You can certainly use any of these seasoning or something close, just check your local store.

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