Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have always loved Chicken Tortilla Soup, especially during the winter season! I fix a lot of Mexican dishes at home, perhaps because we love bold flavors or maybe it is the availability of authentic Mexican ingredients here in Phoenix. But I lean toward the most obvious of reasons – the sheer simplicity (generally anyway; see Mole Chicken Enchiladas). Over the years, of course, I’ve had a several variations of this recipe and even in my search for the “perfect” recipe, I had many from which to choose. Fortunately for us (and all whom I shared this delicious, spicy, hearty concoction), as the most ideal recipe, I wound up choosing from one of my favorite food bloggers, The Pioneer Woman. As usual, I did decide to modify it somewhat,...

Mole Chicken Enchiladas and Mango Cilantro Jasmine Rice

Mole Chicken Enchiladas and Mango Cilantro Jasmine Rice

Fortunately, finding inspiration for meals is relatively fun and easy for me. I’m so addicted to cooking new and exciting things that I literally dream and fantasize about taste sensations. Yes, People, I know I’m a sad case, but really?! Can you resist the low and slow-cooked mole with spicy pulled chicken engorged enchiladas with a goat cheese crema and a side of mango, cilantro and lime infused jasmine rice fantasy that I’m having? No? Well, touché. However, the process of consideration, for me, is probably akin to watching a Rube Goldberg machine operate. It usually starts with a basic craving. I want: spicy (very common for me). Or I want: sour or sweet or both. This time, you guessed it…I wanted spicy and sweet. A punctilious mental...

White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies pretty much says it all, folks! I am giddy beyond belief just making and sharing this soft and decadent cookie recipe! Red velvet anything makes me irrepressibly happy and is just is one of the few chocolate deserts I really go nuts over. Don’t get me wrong Chocoholics, it’s not that I don’t like chocolate or cocoa. Nay nay! Given the choice, however, I’m simply more likely to go after a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting than the walnut brownie or fudge square (so maybe its a texture or consistency thing). And here’s what’s funny: after all these years, I had no idea that “red velvet” was little more than red food dye dropped into a chocolate batter (and...

Deconstructed Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Deconstructed Stuffed Sweet Peppers

As far as I know, everyone loves baked stuffed sweet peppers. During my childhood, my mother would make a “home-style” version with tomato ketchup, white rice, and hamburger baked inside bell peppers which I really enjoyed. Now that I am an adult child, my tastes might run a little more sophisticated ingredient wise, but there’s still no beating the classics. Over the years, I’ve made many attempts at modernizing this recipe. I have used ground chicken, pork, and/or beef; and I suspect there’s a veal or lamb stuffed pepper recipe out there with my name on it! In fact, I cook with peppers so often (either attributed to the southwestern flavor I lean toward or indicative of the availability of fresh produce here in Phoenix), that...

Devonshire Cornish Game Hens with Sausage and Sage Dressing

Devonshire Cornish Game Hens with Sausage and Sage Dressing

Now say it aloud in a singsong Julia Child voice. “Devonshire Cornish Game Hens with Sausage and Sage Dressing.” It sounds really good, right? Obviously, I’m not Julia Child (or some remorseless blovelist impersonator). I am, however, attempting to appeal to your senses. So imagine succulent cornish hens, chocked full of moist, sweet and savory deliciousness, served with a completely unnessessary (but woefully complimentary) clotted cream sauce thats been infused with a buttery chicken stock. It can tell you that this dish somehow manages to be both mild and sumptuous at once. And though my version is somewhat less providential, if it lacks English charm or authenticity, the Julia Child accent would at least give it the proper elocution (i.e.,...