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Tortilla Soup repost

Tortilla Soup

1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can corn
chopped jalapeno peppers to taste
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I at least double this, but we LOVE cilantro!)
2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite sized pieces

In medium stock pot heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken pieces and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in chili powder, oregano, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add beans, corn, jalapenos, and cilantro to pot. Simmer for 10 minutes, or on low until ready to serve.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips, avocado, grated cheese, sour cream and chopped green onion.

*Kitchen Notes…

Now, you can either add the beans, corn, etc to the soup mixture as is, OR if you are like us and don’t like the texture of biting into so many black beans and corn you can do this…
Throw the corn, beans, and some of the soup mixture into a blender and puree until fairly smooth. That way you get all the goodness and flavour without the dry bean texture. You could do this with just the beans if you wanted, I throw the corn in as well because Jon doesn’t enjoy whole kernels in his soup.

Another option is to cook the chicken breasts first in the oven and then dice or shred the chicken and add to the soup partway through. I kind of prefer this method for more tender chicken, but in a hurry I will also follow the recipe.

We often make our own tortilla chips for the topping by cutting up tortillas into very small strips, tossing them in a tiny bit of italian dressing and baking them until just crisp (have to watch though, they brown fast!).


a little November pick me up


Marg and Sarah (love you two!!!), my former co-workers and dear friends from Compassion told me how to make this energy boosting shake back when I was preggers with the June Bug. I was dead tired the entire pregnancy…
Oh hello anemia face. So thankful for the pictures to help me remember such a wonderful season of life. lol

The vitamin c in the strawberries and orange juice help the iron in the spinach to absorb effectively. While I didn’t appreciate it back when everything made me vomit, it really is yummy and our favourite mid-morning treat.
Frozen strawberries
Banana chunks
Fresh spinach
Orange juice

Try it! You’ll like it!

There is a weird Yo Gabba Gabba song for any and every situation.


Zucchini Carrot Applesauce Muffins


1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce (or I’ve heard you can just grate an apple for the same effect)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar (I used a bit less)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
Can add 1/ cup chopped walnuts, etc

Grease and flour 12 muffin cups. Heat oven to 375°.
In a mixing bowl, beat the oil with eggs, sugars, applesauce and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients; stirring until blended. Fold in the shredded zucchini and carrots.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes.


Fudge Revel Bars

For the many requesters of this recipe… I shall repost.

Fudge Revel Bars… courtesy of the Pioneer Woman


  • 1 cup Butter, Plus 1 Tablespoon, Divided
  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ teaspoon Salt, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2-½ cups Flour
  • 3 cups Quick Oats
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Can) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 package (12 Oz. Package) Milk Chocolate Chips

Preparation Instructions

Cream together 1 cup of butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Add the vanilla. Add 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda, and flour. Mix. Add oats and mix well. Press 2/3 of the dough into a greased cookie sheet (I like to line it with parchment paper instead).

Put sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute and stir. Keep cooking at 30-second increments and stirring until melted. Pour over the dough and spread out. Sprinkle the rest of the dough over the fudge.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Cut into squares once cooled, and serve!  🙂



Amazing Lemon Cake

Sorry for the blog silence, perhaps it’s all the rainy days, but I’m just not feeling it right now. So I’ll post a summer cake recipe in hopes it encourages a little spring/summer weather to show up!

This recipe is from a former Compassion co-worker/domestic goddess, Cathy Hewer. It’s easy-peasey for those non-bakers out there and a favourite every time I serve it!

Lemon Cake

Use 2 lemon pudding and pie filling mixes (the cooked kind-Sheriff brand is preferred) and cook on stove-top according to package directions (will need eggs for this part).

Cool lemon mixture until you can rest your hand comfortably on the bottom of the pot.

While mixture is cooling, break 2 angel food cakes into pieces/chunks (pre-made cakes or make them yourself… the boxed mixes take awhile to cook, but they are much bigger than the pre-made kind). Place pieces in a large bowl.

When cooled, pour lemon filling in bowl over angel food cake pieces, mix until covered, and pack everything into an angel food cake pan.

Chill in fridge for several hours until set.

When set (firm), turn out of the pan (use a knife around the edges to loosen it up first so it doesn’t break), and ice with Cool Whip or whipped cream.

This cake is great to go after a heavy meal or on a hot day because it is so light and cool.

Yum! Now I want some!!

Faith, Family, Recipes

repost from last year – Easter Story Cookies

This is just about the worst case of blog copying I think I will ever commit, but copying is the sincerest form of flattery, right? I think this idea is amazing, and we had a great time doing it! It’s from Darby at fly through our window.

You’ll need: Bible, 1 c pecans, 1 tsp. vinegar, 3 egg whites, pinch of salt, 1 c granulated sugar, 1 qt. or gal. size zipper bag, wooden spoon, tape
easter cookies
Before we started we preheated the oven to 300 and lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper {although the recipe called for wax}.

First, have your helpers crush, smash, and beat the pecans and while they do it share with them that this is what the Roman soldiers did to Jesus’ body. Read John 19:1-3.
Before you add the vinegar to the mixing bowl let the children smell the vinegar. Explain to them that this is what Jesus was offered to drink. Read Read John 19:28-30.
To the vinegar, add egg whites. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each childs hand and let them taste it. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sins. Read Luke 23:27.
Next, the story turns sweet. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 & John 3:1-3.
Fold in the broken nuts. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper {I used parchment}. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
GO TO BED. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20.
The next morning…
open the oven and remove the cookies. Notice – the cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

If you are like my little heathen… ignore the whole amazing cookie story and stick with easter bunnies and egg decorating!

PS Moment of honesty… when we checked the cookies this morning ours hadn’t turned out crispy enough. I don’t think we mixed them long enough, or had the oven preheated long enough either. Those are my best guesses, but otherwise the whole process was excellent. We both had a great time and I think he understands Easter much better.

PSS Click here for a printable PDF of the whole recipe/story


Cynthia’s Chocolate Cake


So… one day many years ago (like 6, but ‘many’ sounds better for the purpose of story telling), my husband came home from work and told me that Cynthia (one of his WindleyEly work mates), made the best chocolate cake he had ever eaten. I was a bit of a jealous girl in those days, and knowing my husband appreciated good food, I asked for the recipe. If it was the best chocolate cake ever, than I had to be the woman making it for my man. lol I wanted to be the one he was appreciating and bragging on!!

giant cake
(layered with a white cake)

Well, it truly is an amazing, moist chocolate cake! It is also the easiest from scratch cake recipe I have ever made. We eat it A LOT, and every time (minus that once… when the Devries came over and I used sea salt instead of table salt… that one was weird tasting cake. Oops!), but every OTHER time it has been delicious! So here is the recipe!

Cynthia’s Chocolate Cake

Mix in large bowl (or kitchen aid mixer):

1 ¼ cups flour
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water


Beat until smooth.

Bake in 2 greased round cake pans for 12-15 minutes (or until done- depends on your oven heat) at 350 degrees. Cool.

Cover outside and in between 2 layers with homemade chocolate icing and serve.


You can also make 12 med sized cupcakes, just watch the bake time. This cake cooks quickly!

My homemade icing is just butter, vanilla, cocoa, milk, icing sugar. I just keep mixing and adding until I have the amount and consistency I want. There are lots of great recipes online though if you need one.

My only comment is that this is a smallish cake. It is dense and moist, but not as big as a cake mix cake. But it really does only take like 10 minutes to mix up and 12-ish minutes to bake, which is pretty sweet I think.

Thanks Cynthia! 🙂


Valentine Oatmeal Cookies

These were a family tradition on Valentines day growing up. Super yummy!!
Valentine Oatmeal Cookies

¾ cup margarine/butter
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together.
Add 1 cup oats.
Roll, cut-out in heart shapes
Bake at 350F for 8ish minutes.
Frost with pink buttercream icing



Perfect Roast Chicken

And I mean PERFECT.  And EASY.  (this from a girl who does not cook big cuts of meat with success EVER.  Seriously… every roast beef is bone dry and the last turkey gave Jon food poisoning.  Meat is not my specialty.)

Until now that is!

This chicken was devoured in the blink of an eye.

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hours
Serves 1 for a week or 4 for dinner plus leftovers for chicken soup (haha, left 5 of us wanting more)
1 whole chicken, preferably never frozen (fresher is finer!) either a roasting chicken or a frying chicken
Generous amount of kosher salt, a tablespoon or two or more (seriously, LOTS of salt!)
Freshly ground black pepper, optional
Preheat the oven to 450F. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then dry it well inside and out with paper towels. ‘Rain’ the bird with salt, lightly coating the skin so a salty crusty layer will form during roasting; cover the breast and back sides, the legs and wings, too, then do several turns of ground pepper all over. Place the chicken breast-side down on a foil-covered rimmed baking sheet. (Yes, that bird is bare-nekkid except for salt and about to be blasted at high heat.) Roast for an hour.
Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, let rest 15 minutes. To serve, slice off the legs and thighs, then cut hot slices off the breasts or cut into the breasts down the center and serve it on the bone.

Now EAT!  🙂