Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Guest Post from Sara Hayes!

Hello Lots to Ladle readers! I'm so excited Lynnie asked me to guest blog. I've learned a lot from her and this blog, and just like her, I've adapted a Martha Stewart recipe to share today!

Martha has a very easy recipe for tortilla soup with black beans. I added some shredded chicken and left out the tortilla chips for a lighter version. This soup is perfect for an easy dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. chili powder

2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes in juice

2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels

course salt and ground pepper

1 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional)

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes (with juices), beans, broth, corn, and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

In a separate, smaller saucepan, add chicken breast. Add water or chicken broth so chicken is covered by about 1-2 inches. Season with salt and pepper. Bring water to just under a simmer on medium-high heat. Simmer for about 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. After chicken is cooked, shred and add to the soup.

Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Add to tortilla chips; cook until softened, about two minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, and season with salt and paper. Serve soup with lime wedges and, if desired, more chips.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Icing

Are you mad at me? Are you sick of looking at the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? Forgive me please for leaving you guys in the dark for so long! I really have no excuse!

I'll find my way back into your hearts with this super sweet treat! I just know I will! 

Nadya has been recovering...(Hey, that's my excuse for leaving you in the dark! I've been busy nursing her back to health.) Anyway, while she's been recovering she has had quite the sweet tooth. This girl wants cookies, ice cream, chocolate, etc

Her favorite treat these days just happens to be a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing. A great combination. There are tons of cupcake boutiques in the city and just about all of them offer this flavor. Some even use peanut butter alone for the icing. I'm on a mission to find the right peanut butter icing, my friends! I'm sorry to report this is not the one. (tears.) The flavor was just not working for me (nor was it working for the patient). I thought the cream cheese was too strong. Nadya really thought the little bit of salt ruined the flavor. Try it yourself or give me a better recipe! 

This might be the only time Martha has let me down. I'll be back with another recipe. I'll keep you posted.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
6 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream 

Beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar with a mixer on medium speed. Add salt, then peanut butter, then vanilla. Whisk cream until soft peaks form, and then fold into peanut butter mixture. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. (Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)