chicken taco soup

This is my absolute favorite. So much so that I double this already large recipe and eat leftovers of it throughout the week for lunches. It never gets old.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can chicken broth
1 can corn, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 - 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up*

*I use a rotisserie chicken. They can be found at Smiths for $4.99 or at Walmart for $3.49. For one recipe it'd take about 1/2 of the chicken, but I usually double it (it'll take a really big pot) and use the whole chicken.)

In a medium to large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, cumin and chili powder. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cheese, olives and avocado (give or take what you like). Our favorite topping is shredded Mozzarella cheese. It melts into the soup so yummily. Serve with rolls for a perfect warm and cozy meal.

*recipe via Lizzy Writes


Santa Hat Brownies

I found these adorable little brownies while I was on Pinterest and I thought they looked so fun! Plus I have never posted on our cooking blog so I'd say it's about time I did.

1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)

Mascarpone Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and salt. Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth. Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.

To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie. Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place. Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.