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March 20, 2012

holy chicken posole...

One of my all-time favorite soups, and I'm not one to rave about soups, is Posole. With this rainy weather we've been having, and the explosion of Pinterest, what better way to take in a cold, rainy day than with Posole. There are several variations, but I had some chicken thighs and breasts in the fridge to use up, so Chicken Posole it was!

The recipe was a "quick" chicken posole, but I let the soup cook longer so the chicken just melted. Because of that lengthened stovetop time, I increased the liquid and spices. My changes are reflected in the recipe below. My only gripe about this recipe is it really didn't make a lot, so I will definitely be doubling the recipe in the future (especially because I LOVE leftovers!).

  • 3 large fresh poblano chiles (my local farmer's market carried Pasilla chiles, so I used those instead).
  • 6 garlic cloves (I used 5 tsps of chopped jarred garlic, but I think the cloves would've worked better).
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1-1/2 lbs chicken thighs (I mixed with breast)
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) white hominy, drained
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsps dried Mexican oregano, divided (from what I learned from the wonderful Hispanic families where I teach, regular oregano works just as fine)
  • 2 TBs olive oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I think I used 1-32 oz. box of regular chicken broth)
  • 4 TBs ground red New Mexico chiles
  • Garnishes: sliced avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and sour cream


  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and sprinkle with salt and 1 tsp oregano
  2. In a skillet, put small amount of oil and brown the chicken (in 2 batches so you don't overcrowd the pan).
  3. Chop onion into small chunks.
  4. While chicken is browning, put garlic and onions in a food processor and pulse to mince.
  5. Heat a 5 to 6 quart pot on high heat. Add oil, then place the onion/garlic mixture and remaining oregano. Saute until onion is softened, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Check chicken. Once browned (but doesn't need to be cooked through), move to a plate, and brown the rest of the chicken.
  7. In pot, once garlic/onion mixture is ready, reduce to medium-high heat, add ground red New Mexico chile and stir.
  8. Add chicken broth, hominy, and chicken...stir.
  9. Cover, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes (mine simmered for closer to an hour).
  10. While soup is simmering, put poblano (or pasilla) chiles into the broiler for about 15 minutes, turning to get all sides.
  11. Once they are broiled and the skin starts to blacken, remove from broiler, peel, and discard the skin.
  12. Remove the stem and seeds and discard, and take remaining flesh and mince.
  13. When soup is ready to serve, stir in poblano/pasilla chiles and stir for about a minute.
  14. Serve, and garnish with sour cream, cilantro, lime wedges and avocado slices.
  15. Enjoy.

Recipe found on MyRecipes.com via Pinterest!

streusel coffee cake...

For this year's Cub Scout Cake Bake, I made a streusel coffee cake to go with the Peet's Gift Coffee of the Month Club. I found this recipe on, of all places, About.com. It's your basic coffee cake recipe with a cinnamon crumble top, but yummy, nonetheless. To make things even better, it was super quick to make, only 30 minutes in the oven (and about 10 minutes prep). So, here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sifted AP flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I may have actually used closer to 1 TB)


  • 1-1/2 cups AF flour (sifted)
  • 2-1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten (I did this in the mixer...it was the first thing I put in)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions (now I'm sure there are correct directions, but these are mine...)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. First make the topping. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and with a fork, smash it all together until it's crumbly. Set aside.
  3. Cake: Sift the flour into a bowl, sift the baking powder and salt right into the mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl (or stand mixing bowl), toss in the egg and turn on the mixer with a paddle attachment.
  5. Add sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter (I put the butter stick in a small bowl and threw it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt).
  6. Add milk and vanilla. Mix until it's all combined.
  7. Next slowly stir in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into a greased 8 or 9 inch square pan (round would work, too). To grease, I use Safeway's Cooking Spray with Butter (this stuff works miracles to avoid sticking).
  9. Sprinkle the topping mixture covering the top.
  10. Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cut into cubes and serve warm with a nice cup of coffee or tea! *If you serve the next day, throw the cubes onto a paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds to warm up.

March 1, 2012

Emma and I were watching an interview with Zach Efron, and I said, "Oh Emma, isn't he cute?"

He replies, "He's cute because he looks like Justin Bieber, except his hair's spikey."

Then she says, "I know. You like him because his eyes sparkle."