Friday, December 30, 2011

CHASE TOWER SKY LOBBY | HOUSTON, TX

i will start by saying that i'm sorry that i've been MIA for so long from my blog. although truthfully, i really am not all that sorry because instead of blogging, i have been spending many hours enjoying my family. yay christmas! i am so thankful for my family, and glad i have not wasted precious family time being behind a computer. 

alas, back to blogging, which i DO love.

i have many blog posts in mind for the upcoming week(s). but right now, i will just take you into this lovely city of mine.

(not so) recently, i took a small excursion with some of my peeps to the JPMorgan Chase Tower sky lobby, a viewing lobby in the tallest skyscraper in texas, and the 15th tallest in the US. so fun!


go somewhere!

[All photos were taken in October 2011.]

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHICKEN AND GREEN CHILE SOUP

more soup?! of course! it's totally soup weather, and i LOVE it!
 
my inspiration for this soup was actually from the restaurant chili's! chili's is one of my client's favorite restaurants, so we go there every once in a while. while i pretty much hate that restaurant, their chicken and green chile soup is actually pretty good. it is the ONLY thing i will get there. but i would change something about it: it is not hearty enough. i feel like i am just paying for some tasty broth when i get it!
  
so i decided to re-create the soup. mine is better. (MWA-HA-HA!) it is heartier, and is probably much better for you!
ingredients:
1 tbsp grapeseed or safflower oil (or another high-heat oil)
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
3 large gloves garlic, minced
2 32-oz. cartons of chicken broth (64 oz. in all, which is 8 cups)
2 cups water
2 7-oz. cans of diced green chiles (14 oz. in all)
2 10-oz. cans of mild rotel
1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
3 cups cooked & shredded chicken (about 2 large breasts, cooked & shredded)
2 cups cooked brown rice (or rice of choice)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 avocado (for garnish)
  
directions:
1. heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. add onion and garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes.
2. add broth, then pour 1 cup of water into each broth carton and shake around real good, then pour into saucepan.
3. add cans of green chiles and rotel and let come to a boil.
4. reduce heat and add lime juice, chicken, rice, and spices. let simmer for 10 minutes.
5. add cilantro, stir around until just wilted.
6. serve with fresh diced avocado as garnish. (yum!)

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #15

thanks to everyone who linked up last week! here are the most-clicked-on projects from last week:
1. these cute owls from kerr-afty creations would be a great christmas gift for girls!
2. still need ideas to decorate? try these mod-podge christmas trees from boy, oh boy, oh boy crafts.
3. these rustic burlap and twine trees from uncommon would also be great for decorating.
4. check out this homemade wallet over at basement sewing. could be another christmas gift!

Friday, December 9, 2011

THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL | WASHINGTON, DC

mark and i spent our 2 year anniversary in our nation's capital, and we are so glad we didn't skip out on seeing the national cathedral.
 
we visited the national cathedral right after going to arlington national cemetery. as you can see, it was a PERFECT day to visit both places. the weather was cold, but the sun was warm, and the sky was blue and beautiful. perfect.
 
aren't the cherry blossoms amazing? especially with that blue sky background, huh?
the landscaping was gorgeous, of course. the cathedral itself is beautiful, but the extravagances are all around...in the garden, the landscaping, and even the parking lot. loved it.

when we toured the inside of the cathedral, there was a service going on, so i was not able to capture the grandeur of the inside of the cathedral. but we were allowed to venture upstairs and take photos. these photos were taken in the hallways. pretty, huh? and you could see some of the monuments from the windows. so fun.


if you visit DC, do not skip out on this. hope you enjoyed the tour!

[All photos were taken in March 2011.]

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

exodus 35 creativity party #14

thanks to everyone who linked up last week! sorry this party is going up a little late today, i had so many things on my mind last night, and this wasn't one of them! anyway, here are last week's featured projects:
1. these snow globes from it's overflowing are so pretty!
2. i am LOVING these homemade dinosaur tails from falafel and the bee. so fun!
3. check out this amazing fabric stovetop over at tales of the scotts. this would be a great gift for little girls!
4. i'm just really liking glitter lately...especially on these wonderfully painted and glittered snowflakes from the craft in me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

LEFTOVER TURKEY AND TOMATO SOUP

mmm...thanksgiving leftovers. i love 'em. but sometimes i get tired of the same stuff. my mother-in-law made a soup like this after thanksgiving, and i loved it so much that i had to re-create this week it with our leftover turkey.

 
ingredients:
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 yellow onion, minced
3 bell peppers, chopped (i used 2 red and 1 green)
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 lb. leftover turkey, shredded
5 oz. fresh spinach leaves (probably about 5ish cups packed)
 
directions:
1. throw garlic, onion, peppers, mushrooms, and vegetable broth in a large stockpot, and heat to a boil.
2. reduce heat and add crushed tomatoes and turkey.
3. simmer for about 30 minutes, or until bell peppers still have a slight crunch.
4. add spinach leaves and stir until just wilted, about 1 minute.

  
 
this is an amazingly flavorful soup, without having to add salt or any other spices. i LOVE it for that. the tomatoes, onion, and garlic put in all the flavor it needs, along with flavors from the other ingredients.
 
also, feel free to personalize your soup! if you have leftover green beans, add those in during the last 5 minutes of simmering. be creative!
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