Tortilla Soup

This is a great cold weather soup and it’s perfect for Fall. I love this soup because it’s so flavorful and healthy at the same time. It combines lots of veggies and people can have fun with adding the avocado and tortilla chips to their own soup bowls. It’s always important to keep food and the eating process interactive! This will easily become a favorite of your guests and family.

Ingredients

  • 4 (about 1 1/2 pounds) skinless chicken thighs

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

  • 4 large scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • 4 jalapenos, diced

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced

  • 1 cup cilantro, diced

  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1) Add skinless chicken thighs in a pot of boiling water. Let boil for about an hour, adding water as needed. Once these are done, reserve the water. Take chicken thighs out and shred meat with a fork. Set aside.

2) In a separate pot, on medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. After a few minutes when it begins to brown, add the reserved chicken broth. Add shredded chicken, cayenne pepper, cherry tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro and salt and pepper. Let all this simmer on low for about 30 minutes.

3) When ready to serve, add avocados on top with crushed tortilla chips.

Makes 4 servings.

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Feta Cheese Puff Pastry

These feta cheese puff pastries are my favorite thing to have around the house at all times. If I could make them everyday, I would. You can serve these with dinner or just as a snack by themselves. And they’re great to take to work too! Pack yourself some or take a bunch for your team! These feta cheese puff pastries were originated in Armenia but have been adopted by surrounding countries like Russia. Also many Middle Eastern and European countries make these now too, like Greece, Georgia and Syria. Of course, the ingredients don’t stay the same and everyone has their own way of making it. However, this is the original feta cheese puff pastry recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks of Feta Cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • Puff Pastry dough
  • Flour

Directions 

1) Take out pastry dough from freezer and let thaw.

2) In a bowl add Feta (rinse under water after removing from package) and 1 egg. You will usually need 1 egg per feta block. Combine ingredients together using a fork. Set aside.

3) Open up pastry dough and cut into squares. Add some flour to the area that you’ll be working on so the dough doesn’t stick. One long pastry sheet will yield 9 squares and there are 2 of those in one package so 18 squares total. Use dough roller and open squares up a little. Put 1 full packed teaspoon of the feta mixture into a square and fold over so it becomes a triangle. Press corners with a fork to seal. Repeat until all of them are done, and put on a flat baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

4) Turn oven on to 350 degrees. While waiting for oven to heat, take one egg and whisk with fork until it’s smooth. Use a kitchen brush (you can do this with a paper towel too) to brush each feta puff pastry triangle with whisked egg. Once done, put in oven to bake for about 30-45 minutes.

5) Once they are ready, remove from oven, let cool, put in a big flat bowl and serve. They are best when they’re warm.

Makes 18 puff pastries.