Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

It's a cool, crisp and cloudy, lazy Sunday; it's one of those days you need a pot of hot soup going.   One of those days you need a hot dish to warm up with after raking leaves or during the half time of the Jets and the Bills game.  You know, one of those days.

So right after church, I came home and threw this together.  It turned out beyond amazing.  So amazing, it is definitely worth sharing.  Enjoy.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Serves: A LOT!  Fills an 8 qt crock pot to the brim!  **Can easily be halved if smaller amount is desired

3 large chicken breasts
2 TBS olive oil
Home Made Enchilada Sauce (see below) or add two cans of enchilada sauce
2 purple onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes
1 can rotel (tomatoes with green chilis)
1 bag frozen corn
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried cilantro (or 1 TBS fresh, if you have it)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves

1. In a large slow cooker, add olive oil and chicken breasts.  Turn on high, cover.  Let cook, while preparing everything else.
2. Make Home Made Enchilada Sauce.  See below.
3. While Enchilada Sauce is simmering, chop onions, peppers and jalapenos.
4. Add all ingredients above to slow cooker, including Enchilada sauce.  Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 hours.
5.  Serve with shredded cheddar, sour cream, avocado, tortilla strips, fritos, corn muffins or whatever sounds good!

Home Made Enchilada Sauce

4 TBS vegetable oil
4 TBS corn starch
4 TBS chili powder
4 cups water
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
2 (8oz) can tomato paste

1. In a medium pot, heat oil, cornstarch and chili powder for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add water, spices and tomato paste.  Whisk together well.  Bring to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes.

I will never buy enchilada sauce again... this is super easy and tastes and smells amazing.  I think it's why this soup is so phenomenal.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Little Man

Dear Little Man,

I hope you don't feel neglected being the second born.  Your daddy and I are just as excited and anxious about you as we were with your sister.  Just because I haven't been blogging about all the ups and downs of carrying you, doesn't mean you are loved any less.

You were a great surprise, like was sister was too.  I always wanted more than one kiddo, and I am so happy it's you!

Here is a picture of me and your sis just a few days after we found out you were on the way.

I started feeling pretty sick, pretty early on, around week 6, but as unpleasant as it was, it meant that things were going well and you were healthy!  I drank A LOT of gatorade that first trimester with you.  And I ate a lot Wendy's frosties.   And ate my fair share of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios with extra milk.  And I slept a lot.  Great friends from church brought us meals (lots of pasta, cause that is what you liked!) and helped to take care of your sister, so I could rest.  It was a rough few months, but we made it and I don't regret a second.

At 15 weeks along, I finally went to the doctor, silly insurance delays... and at that very FIRST appointment, we found out...
And that your due date is December 9th, although the ultrasound tech said your unofficial due date is December 5th because you are measuring further along than what they expected.  I guess you are a big boy! And Mommy is measuring bigger too.  I do hope you arrive on the earlier side.  We just cant wait to meet you.

We also got to see your sweet face :)

We mailed the grandmas and grandpas in Missouri a fun package to surprise them with the news of you being a boy... thanks to a great idea from Daddy, we sent them a big box of nesting boxes alternating in blue and pink wrapping... this is the last box..  
I think they were pretty happy!

I finally started feeling better about week 17.  I could tell things were starting to get back to normal when coffee smelled (and tasted) good.  And things other than ice cream and milk and crackers and bread and cheesy pasta sounded appealing :)
Here is your sister and me about week 20 (5 months along).  She loves you already and so do we.

Kinda blurry, but you are definitely a big bump in this picture!  I am about 23 weeks preggo and your Daddy and I are at a Cardinals Baseball game in St. Louis, Missouri.
I am 6 months pregnant (24 weeks) in this pic.  You are much, much lower than your sister was.  And I am so thankful that you aren't sticking your feet in my ribs :)  But speaking of moving... wow!  I think you might be a professional kick boxer.  You are a regular Mike Tyson about 23 hours a day.  Phew.  Does this mean you are going to be a busy, busy little boy?  I hope so!  Your daddy and I like to watch you bounce around in my tummy at night, you are pretty funny and are making us laugh already.

Here's a picture of me and your daddy on our fifth wedding anniversary, ready for a date night out.  I am 26 weeks pregnant with you!  Who would have ever thought we would have two kiddos at five years married!!  Such a blessing!

Right now, I am working on your baby blanket during nap time.  It is very special because I have never sewed before and you are definitely getting a "first" from Mommy.  I am hoping to have it finished by this weekend.  I cant wait to snuggle you in it this winter.

And speaking of getting ready for you... we are transforming the office/guest room to your very own space!  I hope you like the colors aqua, lime, gray and a little orange... because those are the colors of your new pad.  And I hope you like bicycles.  We are going with a vintage bicycle theme.  We are busy busy busy here.. only 84 days until you are supposed to be here!  

Also, a couple of weeks ago, your Dad and I settled on your name!  We are keeping it a secret until you're born, but it's so nice to call you by name instead of just Baby Boy.

Can't wait to kiss your little hands,