Monthly Archives: September 2012

From the lovely Mary of 216… thank you for sharing a delectable composite of Spanish flavors!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 lb chicken
1 cup salsa
2 cups corn (frozen)
1 can black beans (rinse & drain)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 soup can of water
1 tsp ground cumin
A few corn or flour tortillas, cut into strips
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fresh cilantro

Combine chicken (raw, cut into small pieces), salsa, corn and black beans in crock-pot. Mix together cream of chicken soup, water and cumin- pour mixture over chicken in crock-pot. Cook on low for 5 hours or high for 2 ½ hours. Stir in tortilla strips, cheese and cilantro and cook for 15 more minutes.



Many of us are living on our own for the first time this year. As a result, many of us are cooking for ourselves for the first time in our lives. Scary! (Well, based on the odors emanating from your rooms, I am confident you are all doing quite well in this new venture.)

With cooking for yourself comes the new responsibility of deciding what to make. Often in busy lifestyles, health is sacrificed to convenience. This, however, does not have to be the case. I have listed here a few recipe substitutions that I have found and that you may also find to be beneficial for making healthier, though no less delicious, recipes…

– Whole wheat flour for white flour. It usually works best to do about half and half. (In general, whole grains in place of processed grains is a good substitution – more fiber, more nutrients.)
– Natural, no-sugar-added applesauce in place of butter or oil. Take the moisture, leave the fat.
– A teaspoon of vanilla extract for sugar. I wouldn’t cut out all of the sugar, but you can cut back while still having great flavor!
– Greek yogurt for sour cream. Very similar texture, less fat, additional protein. And delicious.
– To cut back on sodium? Try new flavors and spices… citrus, garlic… be creative!

These are just a few basic ideas, but hopefully they are helpful in making delicious and healthier recipes. Be creative, try new flavors! There are lots of flavor combinations worth trying, many that don’t have all the fats, sugars, and salt in them.

Experiment, enjoy and have fun! Looking forward to more wonderful smells on the hall!

For one serving…

Place 1/4 cup oats and 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Then add 1/8 cup of milk to make the mixture creamy. Stir in 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree. Add cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices to taste, in addition to brown sugar as desired for sweetness. Almonds, walnuts or other nuts are also a great way to top of this warm, fall breakfast treat!


This is the first post of the new school year! Hopefully you will be able to enjoy the recipes posted here from both this year and last. Thanks to Lauren for all her hard work and for sharing these gems of recipes with our hall this year!

Autumn Muffins… I just made these the other night. They are full of good things! Enjoy!


  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup butter, melted*
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup dried berries**
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled apple
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds**


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin pans or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, white sugar, both flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Make a well in the center, and add the melted butter, milk and eggs, mix until smooth. Stir in the dried berries, apple, and almonds. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Cups should be at least 3/4 full.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

*If you want to make these muffins healthier, the butter can be substituted with applesauce and you could probably eliminate the white sugar altogether – the fruit brings plenty of sweetness.

**Nuts and dried berries here have plenty of possibilities for substitutions. Use what you have and enjoy the result!