Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicken Chili - My All-time Favorite Recipe

It's that time of year when the crisp autumn air screams for me to have comfort foods.
This recipe was given to me by one of my dearest friends, and I have yet to 
find a chicken chili I like as much. It won an award at a chili cook-off, it's that good!

Chicken Chili

3  Chicken Breasts  –chopped in small cubes/pieces
3 TBsp Olive Oil
1 Med Onion – chopped
2 TBsp Hot Sauce
3 TBsp Flour
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
2-1/2 tsp Cumin
1 TBsp minced garlic (more if you like)

1 16 oz jar Public’s Hot Thick Salsa, or may use mild
2 Cans Bush Northern Beans (rinsed well – drained)
2 Cans (4 oz) Green chilies
1 Can (16 oz) Chicken Broth
8 Oz Monterey Jack w/Jalapenos – shredded
8 Oz Sour Cream
1 Cup Whipping Cream (optional)

Directions:  In heavy duty large pot (5 qt) cook chicken, onions, hot sauce, and garlic in olive oil until chicken is no longer pink. 
            ADD:  Flour, salt, pepper, and cumin to chicken mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
            ADD:  Chicken broth, salsa, green chilies, and beans – bring up to boil, simmer in pot, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
            ADD:  Sour cream, cheese, and whipping cream.  Mix thoroughly and remove from heat. 

 Serves 8-12 people

NOTE:  This is really good after the flavors have had time to “mesh.” 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spain {San Sebastian}

 We were ecstatic to make it to the beautiful coastal town of San Sebastian. I'd heard of the spectacular beaches, the shopping and just how picturesque this city that borders France is. 
It did not disappoint. We were a little sad that the picture above is the only real sunshine we experienced during our few days there, but nonetheless it was gorgeous and such a clean city
{our taxi driver informed us the 2nd cleanest city in Europe}, which was a welcoming
sight after Rome {love Rome but it's a very dirty city}!

Since my mom's luggage had gotten lost we decided to have a girls day of shopping, 
and the guys went and did their own thing. Lucky for us one of my favorite stores
Zara was there, and even luckier, it was the biggest Zara in Spain. My mom, sister-in-law
and I spent all day shopping and mostly in Zara, it was that good!

We needed the leisure of San Sebastian, by this point in the trip we were tired and it
was so nice to sleep in for a few days, walk around the beach, eat, shop and relax a bit
more before we headed to the south of Spain. The north could not be more different than the south.
Green, lush hills with sheep roaming, it rains a lot in the north. It reminded a lot of the
countryside of England, and I imagine what Ireland looks like. Northern Spain is a gem
not to be missed!
^^^Mom and I after some shopping, churros con chocolate, we were happy as clams!
 ^^^Even though it was rainy, we put on our ponchos and went for a walk along the beach.
 ^^^San Sebastian has some of the best surfing in Europe.
 ^^^Craving all those yummy pastries right about now!
^^^My cute mom was in heaven.
^^^Of course on our last day the sun decided to come out, typical ;)
Up next: Seville

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Italy {Rome}

Rome did not start off that great, in fact it started out awful.
We flew from Genova to Rome, a direct flight mind you.
After arriving at the Rome airport everyone's luggage in the group
arrived except for my mom's luggage. That's when the fiasco of
trying to find it began. We waited for 2 hours, tried to talk to the airline (Vueling), 
and yet not much help at all.  We filled out some paperwork and the next day
I went with my parents back to the Rome airport to try and find my mom's luggage.
I was determined. It was one run around after the other, they had said
they'd had a fire the previous day and there was lots of lost luggage.
Unfortunately to this day she has yet to receive her lost luggage
and no monetary compensation, 
what a joke right!?

That day cut into our Rome adventures, meaning we finally met up with the group at 6 pm, 
it was unfortunate. But my mom's a champ and was determined to have a great time
and not let that ruin our time there. We absolutely made sure to eat pasta, see the sights, of
course we indulged in more gelato, shopped and tried to see as many sights as possible before
we flew out to Spain. Rome is your typical big city, and it's easy to get trapped
in the tourist traps if you don't make it a point to leave them. There is so much more to Rome
than the Colosseum, Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. There are quaint neighborhoods, beautiful
river walks and fabulous hole-in-the-wall joints to enjoy amazing food. I'm glad that we did both. 

Even though Rome was a rough start to say the least, it redeemed itself in many other ways
including bidding us farewell with one of the most stunning sunsets.

Next up: San Sebastian, Spain

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Italy {Cinque Terre}

The morning we arrived to Cinque Terre it was rainy. I was a bit bummed
because I wanted to enjoy the sunshine while exploring all 5 towns.

It ended up being great. The sun would come and go and luckily we
didn't get rained out, which was another fear of mine. Exploring these
five fishing villages was absolutely amazing. You can either hop on and off 
the train that takes you to each village or hike a path that has been used
by shepherds since those towns were established way back in the day. The
villages are only made for walking or riding bicycles.

Unfortunately because of construction of those paths we had no choice but 
to take the train to each town. It worked out great for us, since we only had the day
to explore Cinque Terre.  It was stunning and I hope to go back one day
and be able to explore each town with more leisure.
^^You can see some of the path from one village to the next.
^^Pesto! What Cinque Terre is famous for, pesto originated in this region.
^^My calves were so sore the next day from all the stairs in these villages.
^^This little boy melted my heart, so cute.
Up next: Rome