Christy Jordan’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Categories: Cookbooks, Crafts and hobbies, Recipes

chickentortilla

 

Spring is just around the bend, but this last stretch of winter still has us craving warm, hearty meals to keep the cold nights at bay. And that’s where this Chicken Tortilla Soup from Come Home to Supper comes in!

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Serves 4 to 6

Don’t let this long ingredients list fool you into thinking this recipe is complicated. Just trust me—the first line of the directions reads, “Combine all of the ingredients. . . .” Yup. That’s my kind of recipe. Bursting with flavor and easy as can be. I like to serve this with loads of cheese on top. And it keeps well, too—whip up a batch a day or two before a get-together to make your party prep easier!

Ingredients:

1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth or 2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1K cups water
1 can (29 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (11 ounces) red enchilada sauce
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced
2 to 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or more, if you’d like)
2 cups frozen corn or 2 cans (15 ounces each) whole kernel corn, drained
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 to 6 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
Shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and/or chopped scallions, for serving

Instructions:

1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the tortillas and toppings with 2 cups of water in a large stockpot. Place it over medium-high heat and bring it just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the soup is heated through, 30 minutes.

2. Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut each tortilla into thin strips. Place the strips in the pot and cook 10 minutes more.

3. Serve the soup in bowls with the desired toppings on the side.

 

 

Come Home to Supper is available now wherever books are sold including the following online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powell’sWorkman

 

Come Home To Supper

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Wednesday Cute: Capybara Edition

Categories: News

This post was written by editorial intern Rachel, who is really, really, really cold.

We are deep in the throes of winter here in New York. Being outside for more than a couple minutes is unbearable, which is rough for those of us who walk to and from the subway on a daily basis. To keep our minds off the bitter cold, let us visit an animal that is found in the Southern Hemisphere, where it currently glorious summer.

Baby Capybara 1

That’s a baby, but capybaras are actually the largest rodents in the world.

Baby Capybara and mama

Don’t let that fact make you think that they can’t be really cute anyway!

Multiple Baby Capybaras

Here’s to warmer weather!

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Get Ready for the Oscars!

Categories: News

You can’t possibly cheer on your favorite movies and stars during the Oscars this Sunday without some delicious snacks! We’ve got you covered with Honey Caramel Corn from The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook.

Honey Caramel Corn

Makes about 20 cups, 8 to 10 servings.

Homemade caramel corn is a really easy way to impress your friends. Even people who don’t like caramel corn like homemade caramel corn; it’s crunchy, buttery, salty, sweet—all those things that make a treat inherently munchable. It also lends itself to endless variation (we’ve given you a couple ideas to start with); see how many different things you can add before sinking into a sugar coma!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil 18 cups popped popcorn (about 2/3 cup/65 g unpopped kernels)
  •  8 tablespoons (1 stick/110 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85 g) honey
  • 1/4 cup (85 g) light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) kosher salt

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

  • Extra-large (6- to 8-quart) bowl (with enough room to toss popcorn)
  • 2 heatproof spatulas and/or wooden spoon
  • Candy thermometer

DIRECTIONS:

1. Lightly coat the bowl and the heatproof spatulas with cooking spray. Place the popped popcorn in the bowl and set it all aside.

2. Melt the butter in a medium-size (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, honey, and corn syrup, and using one of the oiled spatulas, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and insert the candy thermometer. Stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching, cook the mixture to 300°F/150°C (hard crack stage), 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove the caramel mixture from the heat, add the baking soda, and stir thoroughly. Careful: This will cause the mixture to foam slightly.

4. Pour the caramel carefully and evenly over the popcorn and, using both spatulas, toss it constantly—like tossing a salad—until all the popcorn is coated with caramel, 8 to 10 minutes. (The more you toss, the less the popcorn will clump and the more even the coating will be.)

5. When the popcorn is coated but still warm, sprinkle the salt evenly over it and toss a few more times to distribute. Allow the popcorn to cool completely in the bowl, about 15 minutes. Immediately store the popcorn in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag; it will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.

The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is available now wherever books are sold including the following online retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powell’sWorkman

Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook Book cover

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Wednesday Cute: Our Favorite Toy Dog Breeds

Categories: News, Pets, Wednesday Cute

Today’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who fell into a cute coma while researching this.

Earlier this week, the Westminster Dog Show was held, with thousands of dogs and their breeders coming to prove themselves the best of the best. To commemorate this event, we thought it would be fun to showcase some of our favorite breeds in the toy category (in no particular order).

Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher1

This German breed was originally created to work as ratters, keeping kitchens and farms free of rodents. In 2013, a dog named Banana Joe (no, we’re not joking) was named Best in Show at Westminster.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cvalier King Charles Spaniel1

These cuties were named for King Charles II of England, who famously loved these dogs so much that he decreed they be allowed in every public place, including the House of Parliament. They are one of the most popular breeds in America.

Havanese

Havanese1

The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba, where they were once used as chicken herders! I dare you not to giggle at the image of this little guy rounding up hens.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Grehound1

This is one of the derpier-looking dogs on our list. Seriously, just take a look at these guys in sweaters. However, back in the day, Italian Greyhounds  were very popular amongst royalty and were featured in many paintings. In fact, artistic renderings of dogs looking very similar to Italian Greyhounds have been found in Pompeii!

Papillon

Papillion1

This dog gets its pretty name, which is french for butterfly, from its unusual ears. Another variety of the Papillon has dropped ears and is called the Phalène, which means moth.

Pug

Pug1

Pugs (who are also derpy-looking) originated in China and became very popular in the European courts. During the French Revolution, Joséphine de Beauharnais (who would later become Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife) was imprisoned and used her pet pug to send secret messages to her family, as he was the only one granted visitation rights!

Pomeranian

Pomeranian2

Queen Victoria loved these little powder puffs and actually significantly affected the way they look today! Pomeranian used to be a lot bigger, but Queen Victoria had a puppy that was usually small. Once she showed off her cute little dog, small Pomeranians became very popular and breeders had to meet demand. As a result, during Queen Victoria’s life, Pomeranians as a breed shrunk to half of their original size.

And because we just can’t resist, here is a bonus puppy, the teacup Pomeranian:

Pomeranian1

Don’t stare directly at it! It’s like the sun, you’ll go blind from all the cute.

 

We hope you enjoyed these delightfully adorable breeds! To check out who won the toy group at Westminster, you can check out their website here.

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#TravelTuesday – Carnival in Port of Spain

Categories: Travel

 

2_17Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is Carnival in Port of Spain, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day calendar.

You can’t really understand Trinidad unless you come for Carnival,  or mas (for masquerade), as it’s locally known. Trinidad is a melting pot of west African, East Indian, Chinese, South American, and European, which has influenced both its music and Carnival itself. The country’s West African roots gave birth to the steel pan (or steel drum, originally made from empty oil barrels), calypso music, and its more recent souped-up version, soca (“soul-calypso”), which makes this Carnival the loudest and wildest in all the Caribbean. It’s the national obsession, with Port of Spain at its heart.

Top Attractions:

1. J’Ouvert: This is the “opening day” parade of Carnival, which kicks off at 4 a.m. Fueled by copious amounts of beer, revelers covered in mud, grease, body poaint, and chocolate form a mass of happy humanity as they follow trucks blasting soca and “chip” (dance) until sunrise. The rest of the day continues with bands and dancers along a 6-mile parade route.

2. Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday): The glitter and glamorous costumes of “pretty mas” are saved for Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. Tens of thousands take to the streets in costume (often sequined bikinis and feather headdresses), with groups as large as 3,000 in identical costume following flatbed trucks carrying steel bands competing for the title of “Masquerade Band of the Year.” Getups are at their most extravagant for the Kings and Queens Costume Competition – some can weigh up to 200 pounds ( and are attached to wheels for mobility) and incorporate fog, fireworks, and other special effects.

3. “Pan” Bands: “Pan” bands with as many as 100 musicians perform nonstop in a riotous celebration of Kin Carnival. Each band has a headquarters, or panyard, and rehearsals and preliminary playoffs are worth searching out. The pinnacle of the steel band competition, the Panorama Finals, is staged at Queen’s Park Savannah (ground zero for mas) the Saturday before the parades.

4. The Food: Trinidad’s two dominant cultures -West African and Indian – are evident in the array of street food, from spicy doubles (curried chickpeas and chutney between two fluffy fried flatbread) and roti (soft flatbreads wrapped around various curries – goat and crab  are favorites) – to pelau, a distinctly African dish where meat is fried in oil and sugar, then combined with pigeon peas and rice. For a more elegant dining experience, visit Veni Mange (“come and eat”) for the best lunch on the island, a quintessentially Trinidadian fest that might start with traditional callaloo-pumpkin soup (which, according to legend, when well prepared can make a man propose marriage) and end with homemade soursop ice cream or coconut mousse.

5. The After Party: Though Carnival officially ends Tuesday at midnight, everyone heads to Maracas Beach an hour north of the city for a cool-down party on Wednesday, “limin” (hanging out) on this long idyllic stretch of sand beneath towering mountains.

Read more on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and the calendar line here.

1000 Places 3D Image9780761178170_225_263_70

 

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In celebration of Presidents’ Day . . .

Categories: News

coolidgehs

. . . we’re sharing a little tidbit from our newly published Party Like a President: True Tales of Inebriation, Lechery, and Mischief from the Oval Office.

Everyone knows Washington, Lincoln, and the other presidential elites—they’re the ones that hog the monuments and the PBS specials. But some of the lesser-known prez’s are worth knowing, too. So today, we’re honoring (according to some) the least well-known president of the 1900s—Calvin Coolidge, otherwise known as “Silent Cal.”

 

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Ha.

But you probably also didn’t know that Coolidge was hilarious—he had the kind of dry, ironic humor that would make him a Twitter sensation if he was around today. Some highlights:

  • After waking from his nap, he would routinely ask, “Is the country still there?”
  • Coolidge was famous for cutting out early from photo ops and formal events—so much so that someone once asked why he bothered with dinner parties if he hated dealing with crowds so much. His response: “Well, a man must eat.”
  • While campaigning in the ‘20s, Coolidge was barraged with questions about reelection, Prohibition, and the state of the union. One particular campaign stop, he repeatedly answered, “No,” to all questions. When the reporters packed up to go, Coolidge shouted at them, “Don’t quote me!”
    • Side note: Does NBA player Russell Westbrook take his interview cues from Coolidge?

  • An author once approached Coolidge with the prospect of writing his biography, to which the president replied, “Better wait ‘til I’m dead.”

We hope you have a happy Presidents’ Day! If you want to celebrate as Calvin might have, speak only in ironic witticisms and tuck yourself in at 8 p.m.

Party Like a President is available now wherever books are sold including the following online retailers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Powell’sWorkman

click to close

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Categories: Crafts and hobbies, Holiday

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who prefers gummy bears to chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now that the big day is here, some of you may be worrying about what to get your sweetie – not all of us are good at planning ahead. While a box of chocolates and something sparkly are always good standbys, why not try something a little different this year?  Try making this delightful little card and showing your valentine how much you care.

I Dig You Card

©Melissa Lucier

 

“I Dig You” Card

What You Need:

Ruler

Craft knife

Self-healing cutting mat

2 sheets of colored paper (8 1/2” x 11”) in different shades

Bone folder

Access to a computer with a printer and paper

Words and veggies templates

Small scraps of paper (at least 4” by 4”) in various colors

Glue stick

What To Do:

  1. Use the ruler, craft knife, and cutting mat to cut a 10” x 5” rectangle from each sheet of paper. Set aside the excess paper.
  2. Fold each rectangle in half to make a square, and crease the fold neatly with the bone folder.
  3. Print and cut out the words and veggies templates.
  4. Trace three veggies and four greens templates onto scraps of paper. Cut out the shapes and apply glue stick to the top back of each veggie to attach the greens (Two greens for each veggie).
  5. From the paper left over in step 1, cut three 1/4” x 3” strips. Glue each one vertically along the back of each of the veggies to make them more stable.
  6. Select one of the folded pieces from step 1 to be the outside of the card. Unfold it and lay it flat. Layer the words template over the front outside of the car and trace with a pencil.
  7. Use the craft knife to carefully cut out the words.
  8. Use the ruler and pencil to make a horizontal line along the center of the front of the card.Cut three slits about 1 1/4” wide and 1/4” apart along the line in the card. (These are pockets for the veggies).
  9. Flip the card over and line the perimeter of the card with glue stick. Press the remaining folded piece from step 1 inside the outer card and press together along the edges. let dry.
  10. Refold the card and tuck the veggies into the slits on the front.

And that’s it! You should now have a beautiful card to give to your valentine:) If you liked this project, you can check out all the other great ideas in Paper Made!: 101 Exceptional Projects to Make Out Of Everyday Paper by Kayte Terry.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s

Paper Made Cover

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Wednesday Cute: Lessons In Love From The Animal Kingdom

Categories: Nature, Wednesday Cute

This week’s Wednesday Cute was written by editorial intern Perry, who thinks penguins make the cutest couples.

Take a deep breath. Do you catch that distinct whiff of chocolate and roses? That’s the smell of love in the air, my friends! As Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, we’re going take a look at some romantic creatures in the animal kingdom and the lessons we can learn from them. Let’s get started with….

1. Sea Otters

Otters1

Sea otters like to float together – while they’re eating, sleeping, or playing. What is adorable about these little guys is that they hold hands when they’re sleeping so that they don’t float away from each other. Super cute!

Lesson Learned: Hold your significant other’s hand! Even if they have sweaty palms, there is no simpler expression of affection.

2. Penguins

Penguins1

Penguins are known for being super romantic, since most of them mate for life. As part of their mating ritual, male penguins search for a pebble to give to their mate-to-be and not just any pebble, but the prettiest, smoothest one he can find. This is so important to the mating ritual that fights break out over the best pebbles!

Lesson Learned: Give your S.O. something nice! It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be a rock (if you catch my drift), but it does have to be meaningful.

3. Seahorses

Seahorses2

Seahorses know how to keep a relationship fresh! Mating pairs will meet every morning to do a courtship dance that involves changing color and twirling about the ocean together and when the male seahorse is pregnant (yes, the males get pregnant), the female will check in on him every day to flirt and hold his tail. Now that is sweet!

Lesson Learned: Keep the passion alive! It is important to show your affection for your S.O. every day, not just on anniversaries and Valentine’s day!

4. Lovebirds

Lovebirds2

These birds take their relationship super seriously! Lovebirds mate for life and spend their days preening and snuggling with their mate. They can behave erratically when separated from the partner, but when they are reunited after a long separation, they feed each other to reinforce their bond. Lovebirds may, in fact, have been part of the inspiration for Valentine’s Day! They appear in a poem called “Parliament of Foules” by Geoffry Chaucer, which was the first piece of literature to connect romantic love with Saint Valentine’s feast day.

Lesson Learned: Be there for each other. You depend on your S.O. and your S.O. depends on you, so be dependable! Through thick and thin, through long absences and life changes, take the time to reinforce your bond with your partner.

5. The Fox and the Hound

SWNS_FOX_AND_HOUND_02_2

In a real-life version of the Disney classic, Copper the fox and Jack the hound became fast friends while staying at the same wildlife center. Both came to the shelter through unfortunate circumstances but immediately took to one another. They spend their days napping, spooning, and playing together. As their caretaker says, “They’re totally devoted to each other, even though Copper now has other foxes in his life”.

Lesson Learned: The strongest relationships are based on friendship. When it comes right down to it, the best way to be a good partner is to be a good friend. So don’t forget to work on those parts of your relationship as well as the romantic parts! Stay in and watch a dumb movie, cook dinner together, or take a hint from our furry friends and take naps together. Do whatever activity you and your S.O. love to do together to remind yourselves of why you liked each other in the first place!

So as Valentine’s day approaches, remember the lessons we can learn from some of the world’s most romantic animals and try to make not just this Saturday memorable, but every day you have with your loved one.

And if you’d like to read more about animals in love, like Copper and Jack, check out Unlikely Loves by Jennifer S. Holland.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Powell’s | Page-A-Day

Unlikely Loves Cover

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#TravelTuesday — Falkland Islands

Categories: News

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Today’s Travel Tuesday destination is the Falkland Islands, courtesy of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die Page-A-Day Calendar.

Top Attractions:

1. Bird-watching and Penguins (pictured above): The Falklands are famous for their biological diversity – they’re known as the cold Galápagos – and in particular for their five species of friendly penguins. Like their Pacific Counterparts, the animals are utterly unafraid of visitors. Three-foot-tall gold-throated king penguins hold court on bleakly beautiful Volunteer Beach, a 2-hour drive from Stanley, while gentoo and Magellanic penguins roam Leopard Beach on Carcass Island, in the northwest of the archipelago. Along with some 180 other bird species (and the world’s largest colonies of the huge black-browed albatross), they make this remote land a bird-watcher’s wonderland.

2. Animal-Watching: For even more wildlife, head to Sea Lion Island, where aptly named elephant seals and sea lions swim ashore while killer whales circle in pursuit.

  • Where: 1,200 miles/1,931 km southwest of Buenos Aires.
  • How: U.S.-based Ladatco Tours offers 14-day wildlife tours. Tel 800-327-6162 or 305-854-8222; www.ladatco.com
  • Best Time: October-February for birdwatching; September-April for animal-watching

Read more on 1,000 Place to See Before You Die and the calendar line here:

1000-Places-3D-Image9780761178170_225_263_701 9780761179375_3d_235_240_701

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Wednesday Cute: Groundhog Day Edition

Categories: News

This post was written by editorial intern Rachel, who watched Groundhog Day at least twice on Monday.

Have you looked at a picture of a baby groundhog recently? Let me fix that for you.

hello groundhog

Pretty cute, right? And there’s more where that came from.

two babies

Here, have some babies with their mama.

mama and babies

See what I mean?

Unfortunately, the groundhog saw its shadow this year, thus predicting six more weeks of winter. But at least there are pictures of groundhogs to squeal over while we wait for all this snow to melt.

 

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