sopa de lima

This soup is from Mexico's Yucatan.

I found this recipe as I've been putting together a little "chicken soup from around the world" collection for one of my aunts. Right now she needs all the healing properties, potions, and prayers she can get.

This one from Mexico caught my eye. I'm afraid I can't share where its from, because I have only its xeroxed copy (Gourmet or Bon Apetit, most likely.)

sopa de lima
serves 4-6

8 C chicken broth
1/2 C fresh lime juice (2.5 of my limes)
canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
*2-4 serrano or other hot chilies, seeded and chopped (to taste)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 lb chicken breasts or thighs, trimmed of fat and diced
2-3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-in strips
a couple Tbs fresh cilantro leaves

*Since I didn't have the chilies on hand, I used a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes. It added a bit of kick, but I'm sure the chilies would have so much more depth of flavour. Next time.

In a large pot, combine chicken broth and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer while you prepare the onions. In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until its translucent and beginning to brown (5 minutes.) Stir in chilies (or red pepper flakes) and garlic; cook until mixture is brown and aromatic (1-2 minutes). Add a ladleful of the hot broth to the skillet, stir, then pour the contents of the skillet into the simmering broth. Add chicken pieces, tomatoes, and salt to taste to the broth. Simmer gently until the chicken is cooked thoroughly (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes, until crisp. Place a few strips in the bottom of each serving bowl. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. Don't be tempted to skip the garnish! It adds so much great flavour. Enjoy!


deliciously pumpkin muffins

I'm a big fan of having breakfast for dinner.

When I was little and my mom would make pancakes for supper, the mood was more playful and relaxed than if she'd made a real dinner. To this day, eating the wrong meal just feels more fun.

Here are the pumpkin muffins I made the other night to accompany our bacon and eggs. The recipe is only slightly different than the one found on Simply Recipes (namely, mine isn't heavy on the ginger.)

pumpkin muffins
makes a dozen

1 1/2 C flour
1/2 teas salt
1 C sugar
1 teas baking soda
1 C pumpkin puree
1/3 C melted unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 C water
heaping 1/2 teas nutmeg
heaping 1/2 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas ginger
2/3 C chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, salt, sugar, and soda. In another bowl, mix together pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, water, and spices. Combine wet and dry ingredients until just incorporated. Fold in nuts.

Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake 25-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!


red and turquoise blanket

My second little baby quilt!

Okay, so at this point it's just a quilt top, but it's going to be a little square quilt.

My goal for this blanket is to learn how to make a real border, to bind the way real quilters do. Anyone have any tips?


green curry chicken

Need an idea for dinner tonight? Hop on over to Posie gets Cozy and try out Susie's green curry.

I found that the recipe is pretty mild, so you may want to add more curry paste than she does, and maybe some dried red pepper flakes at the onion/garlic stage, or some hot sauce.

I thought about freezing my leftovers (like Not Martha), but I think I'll just make some more rice and enjoy it again today instead. =)


blank pages for my valentine

If there's a pencil in your pocket, there's a

good chance that one day you'll feel tempted to start using it.

~Paul Auster

Jeff always carries around a pen and paper. He's ready for bits of literary inspiration whenever, wherever.

Paul Auster started carrying around a pencil at a young age too. Apparently, he once had the chance to get Willie Mays' autograph, but couldn't, because he didn't have a pencil. From then on, he carried one just in case. He claims his writing career started that day at the baseball game.

Hopefully history will show that both Paul and Jeff ended up to be famous writers.


wedding beach blanket

My brother is a married man!

The wedding was so much fun -- with good food, old friends, new friends, and swing dancing -- and we couldn't be happier for the happy couple.

For their gift, we put together a little driving/beach kit -- a monogrammed tote bag (from who else but L.L. Bean), a couple of guide books for the Pacific coast, and a quilted patchwork beach blanket. My inspiration for the blanket was a shoreline -- irregular water and patchwork land, separated by sand.

I was pretty foolhardy to think that because I had made one little baby blanket, I was ready for a full-size quilt. Oy! The effort involved in making a quilt increases exponentially with its size!

But hey, it's done. And we hope they'll enjoy it for many years to come.


rosemary white bean soup

I'm on the hunt for more bean soup recipes.

Ever since I made this white bean soup and this black bean soup, I can't seem to get enough of beans and broth.

This recipe comes from one of my favourite celebrity chefs, Ina Garten. It is found in her Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (which was her first book I think.) I changed the recipe slightly by waaay reducing the amount of onions and by using canned beans instead of soaking dried ones.

We enjoyed our warm bowls with a baguette and a hunk of blue cheese. Perfect weeknight eats.

white bean and rosemary soup
serves 3-4

2 - 15.5 0z cans white beans **
1/2 yellow onion, diced
olive oil
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 branch fresh rosemary
4 C chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and fresh pepper to taste

** In Ina's original recipe, she calls for 1 pound of dried white cannellini beans. If you go that route, then put beans in a medium bowl and cover with water by at least an inch and leave them in the fridge for 6 hours, or overnight. Drain.

In large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute onions in olive oil until onions are translucent (5-10 mins). Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add drained beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until beans are very soft.

Remove rosemary branch and bay leaf. Coarsely puree beans, using a blender or food processor. Return soup to the pot and reheat. Season if necessary. Serve hot.



What does everyone need for their Superbowl party? A football beer cozy, of course!

I got the inspiration for this fun cozy on this blog. She crocheted a fancy one -- with a bottom and everything. I just whipped out a brown rectangle, stitched it together, and added the white laces.

Quick! You may have time to make a couple before the game starts!

*** Wahoooo!
Let's hear it for those Giants -- what a great game, eh!!


little tiny toque

A new little toque for a new little girl.

I love this colour combo of orange, coral pink, and pale yellow.
It beats plain pastel pink any day.