Chicken Tortilla Soup


The inspiration for this recipe came from my girlfriend and fellow basketball Mom, Mary Beth. We were chatting it up at our second home, also known as the gym, while we waited for our guys to finish basketball practice. Most days we head straight to the gym, once our guys get home from school, and dinner needs to be planned ahead of time. On this particular day I missed that boat and was trying to figure out what to do for dinner after practice. MB mentioned she had made chicken tortilla soup in the crock pot. My interest was immediately piqued because I LOVE Mexican food. She laughed when I asked her for the recipe because she said it was as simple as opening up cans and dumping everything into the crock pot. She’s always telling me that my recipes are too complex and that she is NOT a cook. However, after making this soup, I beg to differ with her and you will too! She IS a cook! I only ‘Kimmie-fied’ her original recipe a little bit. I hope you will give this one a try. It is SO easy to make and is FULL of flavor! It’s even better the second day!

You will need:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 T of my taco seasoning mix (find the recipe, ‘No more store bought spice packets’ under the Tips tab)

1 jar of your favorite salsa (15 1/2 – 24 oz)

32 oz box of chicken stock (add up to 2 boxes if you like it more liquidy)

1 1/2 cups of frozen corn

15 oz can of black beans

15oz can of crushed tomatoes

3T of tomato paste

2 cups of cooked white rice (you can omit, but I had cooked rice in the fridge I didn’t want to throw out and it was a great addition)

the juice of a lime

grated cheese

cubed avocado

sour cream

your favorite tortilla strips/chips or fry up your own using corn tortillas and vegetable oil

fresh cilantro, chopped

Place the chicken breasts in a large crock pot and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Add the salsa, chicken stock, corn, beans, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Place the lid on the pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. Add the rice to the pot when there are 30 minutes left of cooking time.

Shred the chicken with two forks. Add the lime juice and additional salt if needed. Stir and serve alone or top with cheese, avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips and cilantro.



Fried Okra


Fried Okra …. where do I begin? Delicious nuggets of lightly battered scrumpdilociousness! Truly! If you are like me and not a fan of the slimy version of okra that is typically found floating in southern staples like baby lima beans or crowder peas, have no fear. This AIN’T that! Some people prefer to dip the okra in a heavier batter and deep fry them in a lot of oil. That is typically the version you will find in most restaurants. Those are good, but I prefer the version my Dad always made … this version … a light coating and pan frying. They are delicious served as an appetizer with a spicy remoulade or alongside some fried green tomatoes (recipe coming soon) and buttermilk biscuits. Give them a try! You will NOT be disappointed.

You will need:

2 pounds of fresh okra, sliced about 1/2 inch thick OR frozen, cut okra

1 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 cup of corn meal

1 tablespoon of my spice blend (recipe below) or your favorite blend of spices

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1/2 cup of oil or enough oil to fill your pan 1/2 way up the sides

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. If you have a thermometer, heat to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and seasoning. Place the buttermilk in a separate bowl and dip the okra into the buttermilk then dredge in the flour mixture. Coat well. Add the okra, in batches, to the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Spice Blend

2 T paprika

2 T salt

2 T garlic powder

1 T freshly ground black pepper

1 T onion powder

1 T cayenne

Mix all of the spices together and store in an air tight container.