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Chicken Tortellini Soup

16 Dec

I can’t complain about the weather in Chicago so far. It has actually been decent for December. Only one day of snow and it was in the 40’s all week.

Yet yesterday I went running outside- in shorts. Did you know that those lake winds are no joke? It might have been 45 out but I was chilled to the bone.

When decided what to make for dinner last night..I remembered that chilled to the bone feeling. So I made the best cold weather food I could think of..soup!

Chicken Tortellini Soup

  • 2 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded/cubed)
  • 2 large chopped carrots
  • 2 large stalks of chopped celery
  • 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 8 oz cooked tortellini
  • 1 TSP oregano
  • Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste

Bring the chicken broth, chicken, carrots, celery and spices to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes and then add tortellini 5-10 minutes before serving.

I am so proud of this soup because I actually made up the recipe! And it was easy. The only thing I could have done better was cooked the chicken differently (I overcooked mine and it was a tad chewy). I think this would be an awesome crock pot recipe.

And because yesterday was National Cupcake Day naturally we celebrated.

Someone was a little mad he couldn’t join in on the delicious dinner. Apparently angry Charlie = barking Charlie. And a very annoyed smash.

Jenny Challenge Update: 73.5 miles- only 26.5 left and 9 days to do it!

What is your favorite soup to make? I want to try more now!

Friday Favorites: Halloween Edition

28 Oct

We are hosting a big Halloween party tomorrow night so naturally I have spent the past few weeks looking up party ideas.

Here are some of my favorite finds. We aren’t doing most of them but maybe you will!

Spider Oreos via Floral Showers

Mummy Dogs via Our Best Bites

Witch Hats Via Our Best Bites

Dog Lion Costume- I wanted to make this for Charlie SO bad but couldn’t find anything that would work

Pumpkin Pie Shooters via Tasty Kitchen

What is your favorite Halloween Party recipe?

Any suggestions what we should dress Charlie pup as?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread Recipe

20 Oct

One of my favorite ways to bake with pumpkin is in bread. Pumpkin bread is delicious- but when you add cream cheese to make Pumpkin Cheesecake bread it becomes so. much. better.

For my blogger sweet swap this bread recipe for Lindsay!

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bread


  • 1 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 c water
  1. Blend cream cheese, 1/4 c sugar, and 1 egg
  2. Combine flour, 1 1/2 c white sugar, baking soda, salt and spices
  3. Combine pumpkin, butter, beaten egg and water. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture
  4. Pour 1/2 batter into pan (9 x 5 loaf pan)
  5. Pour cream cheese batter over pumpkin and top with remaining batter
  6. Swirl with a knife
  7. Cook at 350 for 70 minutes
I’ve made this recipe twice so far this fall and it was delicious both times! I hope Lindsay enjoys it too 🙂



Weekend Pictures and a Recipe

17 Oct

Something about going home to my parents house is always so relaxing. Given I usually sleep in late and take at least one nap each day but I always come back feeling refreshed.  I got to spend time with little baby Michael and watch him get baptized!

I also managed to get in my 3rd workout of the week (yes only 3- BAD WEEK!) with a nice easy run on Saturday morning.


Besides sleeping, holding babies and running I also did a little bit of cooking! Saturday night we decided to make pancakes for dinner. I wanted to make pumpkin pancakes so I combined a recipe of my mom’s that involves sour cream to come up with these.

Pumpkin Pie Sour Cream Pancakes

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Cinnamon and Pumpkin Pie spice to taste
You start off combining 1 tsp of baking soda in the cup of sour cream and letting it rise. Then combine all other ingredients. Cook on a hot skillet, top with maple syrup and powdered sugar and enjoy!
The normal sour cream pancakes are a little doughy tasting but these were really soft. I think adding more flour may have helped. The pumpkin flavor was very subtle as well so maybe go heavy on the spices.
What fun things did you do this weekend?

Chili, Sun and Cookies

7 Oct

Sorry I have been MIA. Its been so beautiful this week that I’ve been trying to soak up as much of the nice Fall weather before Chicago has the worst winter in history. Awesome.

I went for a beautiful 6 mile run by the lake yesterday in my new shoes.

Yes I am currently on my 4th pair of Asics GT-2150’s since last October. I don’t even run that much- I am just really hard on my shoes. After about 200 miles my shoes start to get holes in them and my legs start to hurt- normally this doesn’t happen until 500 miles for most people. Sucky for my bank account but fun to get new shoes!

I was taking it nice and easy so I stopped to take pictures of the amazing sunrise. It’s pretty cool to live in a huge city like Chicago but still have this amazing lake and views.


Besides running I’ve spent most of this week cooking/baking. Tuesday night I made a huge pot of Chili and Julie’s 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies. These cookies are to die for- so yummy.

My kitchen was in quite the conflict- cookies or chili cookies or chili..


Turkey Chili Recipe (not sure where I got this from)

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
Directions: Heat oil in large pot. Place turkey in pot and cook until brown- stir in onion. Pour water into pot, mix in tomatoes, beans, garlic and seasonings. Bring to a boil then reduce and let simmer at least 30 minutes
Makes 8 servings
I made this recipe so I could freeze it in individual bowls to have over the next few months for quick dinners. I did the same thing last fall and loved it!
I am trying to decide if going running or for a bike ride is in my future. Its SO nice out but I am feeling quite lazy, plus my puppy decided to throw up again today (no idea why yet..waiting to see what he ate) so I feel bad leaving him.
I’ll post the recipe for my pumpkin cheesecake swirl bread later on today 🙂
Question of the day: We are going to a tailgate tomorrow- what is your favorite tailgating food/recipe?

Fat Willy’s, Pizza and Pumpkin

3 Oct

The theme of this weekend was FOOD. After baking a delicious loaf of pumpkin bread Friday afternoon, Sean and I went to Fat Willy’s BBQ shack before seeing Moneyball.

This place is a hidden Chicago gem. I haven’t heard too many people mention it but the people who have rave about how awesome it is. It totally lived up to our expectations. Sean got the rib basket and I got the grilled shrimp with honey BBQ. Both of our meals came with delicious steak fries and texas toast.  I highly suggest it to anyone in Chicago who is looking for a great BBQ place.

As for Moneyball it was a pretty good movie. Worth seeing, but nothing life changing.


Saturday afternoon we had a pizza tour scheduled. Second City Pizza Tours did a groupon awhile back and Sean’s sisters bought 4 tickets for us to all attend as his birthday present.

The reviews for this tour were pretty awful on yelp so I wasn’t expecting much. Turns our the reviews of the tour were true- but the pizza was amazing.

The idea with the tour is that you go to 4 different pizza places and try their different types of pizza while learning about the history behind it. Unfortunately our tour guide was horrible and did not give a single fact about the pizza.

The tour actually went like this: Go to Giordanos- eat a slice of pizza outside, go to Osterio Via Stado- have a few bites of awesome thin crust pizza, go to Gino’s East- have a slice of deep dish, finish at state street pizza. There was very little information given and the tour guide couldn’t answer anyone’s questions. Luckily you do get to eat a lot of pizza so we ended up leaving early and skipping the last place.


After a long night out on Saturday I was anxious to cook a semi-healthy meal on Sunday. Enter: Shelby’s Pumpkin Mac and Cheesecakes. I was a little apprehensive about this recipe but it turned out delicious! I made it as a casserole instead of cupcake form and I also used turkey and cheddar hotdogs instead of ground turkey sausage.

I believe the recipe said it makes 4 servings but Sean and I both had it for lunch and I have a TON leftover. At least 3-4 meals worth.

I tried to get Charlie pup to help me cook but he was more interested in sleeping in the bathroom.

Puppy had a fun weekend too.. lots of walks to the lake front and playing fetch in the park! He was wiped.

Tell me: How was your weekend? Do you have a good pumpkin recipe for me to try next?

Best Quinoa Recipe Ever

16 Sep

It is rare that I make real dinners. I typically stick with an omelette, some pasta, maybe some chicken if I am feeling really crazy. More often than I should I eat oatmeal or smoothies for dinner.

Not last night though. No last night I made was it quite possibly the best dinner recipe I have ever made.

When I saw Mama Pea’s recipe for Thai Fried Quinoa a few weeks ago I knew I had to make it. I got the ingredients this past Sunday but due to a gas outage wasn’t able to make it until last night.

It was definitely worth the wait.

Because I am super picky and don’t like a lot of things (i.e. veggies and spices) I made my own version of it.

My Thai Fried Quinoa– heavily inspired by Mama Pea

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup pineapple pieces
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 TSP Soy Sauce
  • Top with Peanuts and lemon/lime garnish
I started off by toasting the quinoa in a saucepan. I’ve never toasted quinoa before but for future reference I now know it takes about 10 minutes until the little seeds start popping.
Then I added 1 cup of veggie stock, brought it to a boil, covered and let simmer for 15 minutes.
While that was simmering I heated up olive oil in a skillet, added the pineapple, peas, garlic and ginger. Once the quinoa had been cooking for 15 minutes I added it into the pea and pineapple mixture, added two eggs and soy sauce. I cooked it in the skillet for another 5 minutes or so until the eggs were cooked. Topped it off with a generous squeeze from a lemon and lime plus honey roasted peanuts.
I was seriously so impressed with how good this was. I ended up adding a little home-made peanut sauce to it but that was unnecessary, it was delicious on its own.
The only thing I’m disappointed about is that I only have one more serving. I see myself making a huge batch of this again this weekend to enjoy all next week.
All cooking must be supervised by a pup. Speaking of puppies, Charlie randomly decided he liked his crate today! That’s a first.
Have a great weekend everyone!
What is your favorite quinoa or thai inspired dish?