Friday, February 27, 2015

Spicy Chicken Soup

A recipe from the days before I took photos of my finished meals. No pinning this recipe anytime soon! It's a tasty, hearty soup that makes a lot. Low-sodium products are recommended since there are a lot of canned/processed ingredients (salsa, canned tomatoes, etc). Note: this is a great recipe for a mountain cabin vacation. The few spices can easily be brought along and everything else is readily available even in smaller stores.

Spicy Chicken Soup

~adapted years ago from this top rated allrecipes recipe

  • 2 quarts water**
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves*
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. ground pepper
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 2 T. dried parsley
  • 5 cubes chicken bouillon**
  • 1 T. onion powder
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16-oz.) jar chunky, medium salsa
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato soup**
  • 2 c. frozen corn 
  • 4 c. cooked beans: seasoned black beans, pinto beans, etc.**
  • sour cream to top bowls
*use less if you have LARGE chicken breasts (which so many are these days!)
**one of the nice things about this soup is that you can mix and match your leftovers: leftover tomato soup, homemade chicken stock, leftover chili, ... just adjust liquid measurements accordingly (and remember that canned tomato soup is usually thinned on the stove--your homemade version might be much thinner already)

  1. Combine water through onion powder in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked (up to an hour). Remove chicken and shred; reserve 5 cups broth. (This step can be done well in advance of the next one--just refrigerate until needed.)
  2. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large pot. Add all the remaining ingredients (including chicken/broth and NOT including sour cream). Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Top individual bowls with a spoonful of sour cream.
Serves 8

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cookbook Review: The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible 
Tony Gemignani
with Susie Heller and Steve Siegelman
Ten Speed Press, 2014

I'm no stranger to homemade pizza. We've been making it off and on for years, and I've been known to put such things as greens, squash, and all manner of ingredients on top. The Pizza Bible intrigued me; what is the secret to awesome crust? What's the perfect balance of crust to topping?

I confess: for the first time ever, I'm reviewing a cookbook without trying a single recipe. Nary a one. Why, you ask? If I'm such a pizza fan?

Simple: we're trying to simplify, and this cookbook--while it looks like an awesome tome on the subject of making pizza--requires too many special ingredients/steps for our stage of life right now.

That being said, let me tell you about this lovely looking book. It's very well organized, contains great photography, and really does look like a good resource for those wanting to perfect their at-home pizzas. The chapters are broken down by regional styles and types of pizza (Chicago, Sicilian, California Style, Grilled, Focaccia, and more). There is also an opening chapter titled "The Master Class" in which Gemignani goes into great detail about methods and ingredients for making good pizza crust. One of his secrets? A slow rise for the dough (and by slow, I mean a good 24 hours).

The recipes don't look unnecessarily complicated, but for a family who somewhat abruptly moved across country into a house half the size of their previous one, homemade pizza by the rules in this bible are not going to happen anytime soon. Still, if you're a homemade pizza fan, I encourage you to check this book out sometime. And we might try a few soon, too--just without the pizza peels and specialty flours.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

full tummies transition!

The few of you who actually read full tummies on a regular basis will no doubt have noticed a dearth of new posts in recent months. There's good reason for this. The full tummies household has moved across our great, wide country: from East Tennessee to South-Eastern Washington! How does this transition affect this little cooking/blogging hobby of mine?

  • time! As in, NO time. We spun into a whirlwind of home improvement, house listing, packing, etc. all right before the holidays. Good times, good times. I think we went a month without eating veggies. As of this writing, we've been a month without our "stuff," and we hope to move into a rental within the week (including the delivery of our worldly goods). More transition!
  • CSA: obviously, the Colvins do not deliver 2400 miles away. At this point, I don't know if we'll join a local CSA or just patronize one of the (many) farmer's markets in our new community. We're right in the heart of WA wine country and apple territory. Needless to say, fresh produce abounds during the growing season in this fertile part of the state. Can't wait to see what's the same and what's different from East TN!
  • space: I'm going from a large kitchen (with some 25 linear feet of counter space and nice pantry!) to a much smaller establishment...with no real pantry. Simplifying? Why, yes, yes, we are.
  • simplicity: see previous bullet. With less time/space to contribute to my little cooking/blogging hobby, you can expect fewer posts (a lot!), less complicated recipes and suggestions, and know that we're enjoying all the recipes I've posted along the years!
  • grocery stores: I have totally different stores available to me (no Aldi!). I need to figure out a new routine and everything.
One possible new feature is "vacation-friendly" recipes--those recipes you can make with minimal supplies on hand, both edible and equipment-related. As in, you are at a beach house that is minimally equipped, you have no spices/baking powder/flour/etc., and want to cook at home instead of eating out every night. Or, hypothetically speaking, you've just moved across country, are in temporary corporate housing, and all your own stuff is in boxes....

As in the other seasons of transition, I recommend you subscribe to the full tummies email list if you want to see new posts show up in your inbox; this will spare you needless effort "checking in" only to find there's nothing new....

Washington state image from