Tag Archives: Connecticut

On A Magazine Rack Near You

The December 2011 issue of Oxygen Women’s Fitness Magazine.  Grab a copy, crack it open to page 57 to see …(wait for it)…my mug and an FSL dinner recipe!  WOOT WOOT! Yes, that’s the same shot from my bathroom photo shoot that you saw here.

Clearly you can see how thrilled and excited Rocco is about all of this!

A huge thanks to Oxygen Magazine for helping me cross #90 off of my bucket list!

*** If you want to pick up the December
issue and live in the southern Connecticut area, my apologies. My mom bought every single copy within driving distance.***

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Pumpkin Spice Pudding Shots

Okay.  I know that I posted about pudding shots before (see that recipe here).  This recipe is tweaked just a little bit, and they taste ridiculously good, so I’m posting about them…again 😀

It’s definitely autumn in Connecticut.  The leaves are beginning to change color, the air is crisp, and football is what consumes my Sundays (GO NY GIANTS!).  Pumpkin is the official fall flavor.  It seems like every brand has a pumpkin version of its original.  Pudding is clearly no exception.

My friend Lindsey was having a get together on Saturday and called for reinforcements (AKA me).  She’s been dying to try my pudding shot recipe since I first posted it.  I told her to pick up milk, whipped cream vodka, cool whip, canned whipped cream, garnishes and whatever flavor pudding she wanted to try. She bought pistachio, cookies & cream, and pumpkin spice.

She’s not normally camera-shy.  But when I whipped out the camera & started snapping shots of the food, she knew it was blog material.  I told her I wanted her to make a FSL cameo, but this is all she gave me.

She’s like one of the girls from The Price Is Right making the box of pudding look glamorous 😉

I digress…

We made the cookies & cream first and followed the original recipe.

These weren’t topped with whipped cream or crushed oreos yet because we made them the night before.

Next, we made the pistachio.  We also decided that this was the point where we “tested” a few out just to be sure that they were good 😉  We thought that they were a bit too strong.  Yikes!  At this point we decided to cut the recipe for the next batch.  This is what we did:

1 cup whole milk

1 packet pumpkin spice pudding mix

1 regular sized tub of cool whip

1 cup whipped cream vodka

a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Put all of these ingredients into a big bowl.

Mix Mix Mix

Pour the mix into squeezable shot glasses, garnish with a squirt of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon!

I triple dog dare you to try to have just one of these.  I’m not kidding.  Instant party in your mouth. Like, for real.

What’s your favorite pumpkin flavored fall dessert?

Chickpea Chicken Soup

In case you’ve never checked out the sidebar category “Link Love”, you should probably do that… go ahead, I’ll wait.

Jessica over at How Sweet It Is (or How Sweet Eats) is a recipe superhero.  Her photos are vibrant, her recipes are tasty, and her humor keeps me going back to her blog to see what she’s up to in the kitchen.

I was trying to figure out what the heck I was going to make for dinner last Thursday, so I did what I do best.  I scoured the internet for recipes with ingredients that I already had because I’m lazy and didn’t want to go food shopping. I found a bunch of boring recipes for chicken and lots of pork loin dishes blah blah blah. I was craving something different. The weather in Connecticut is cooling off and feeling very autumnal.  In other words, I wanted soup. 

I scoured Jessica’s recipe page until I found one that I

 A) had most of the ingredients for

 B) Sounded good

C)  Wasn’t a 10,000 step process to make

I ended up making her Chickpea Chicken Soup recipe. It is made with bacon.  Enough said.  Click the link to see her page for the original recipe.  I tweaked it just a little bit. My changes and weird commentary are in red 🙂

Chickpea Chicken Soup

serves approximately 6-8, depending on your serving sizes

4 slices thick-cut turkey bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped didn’t have any peppers

1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped Mr. FSL surprised me by cooking dinner the night before and used the mushrooms. They never made it into the soup, but I’m sure they would be fantastic in it!

2 cups  1 whole bag raw baby spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika – I just had the regular kind.

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon seasoned salt I forgot to add this in because my brain is fried by the time I’m cooking dinner.

1 cup bag chopped baby carrots

2 3 celery stalks, chopped

1 25-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed I never rinse them because I’m lazy 😉

24 ounces 4 cans  low-sodium chicken stock

1 can of corn (drained)

2 chicken bullion cubes dissolved  in 2 cups of very hot water

Crushed red pepper

Plain old salt & pepper to taste

Preheat a large pot on medium heat. Add chopped bacon and fry until brown and crispy.

While bacon is frying, chop vegetables and cook chicken. I didn’t read this part first, so 1/2 way though, I was cooking all of the chicken.  If you have cooked chicken hanging around your fridge, use that. You have 3 options for the chicken – you can either bake it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing, you can pan-fry it while the bacon + veggies are sauteing (I did that & it took a while), or you can use pre-made/leftover shredded chicken in the soup…um yeah.  That’s the best option. Either way, take the time while the bacon is frying to get the chicken ready. Here’s what my crazy operation looked like!

Once bacon is done, remove and drain on a paper towel. Be careful on this part to have self-control. While waiting for the chicken to cook, I ate all of the bacon … don’t judge. 

 Once I chopped up all of the veggies, I realized that I’m going to need a bigger pot (and make more bacon **blushes**). I tossed new turkey bacon into my Big Mamma stockpot.  I failed to realize that it is NOT nonstick.  Yeah.

 Keeping heat on medium, add onions, mushrooms and peppers to bacon grease and saute until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

 Add garlic, spinach, paprika and cumin and stir for 60 seconds.

Turn heat down to low and add chickpeas, celery, carrots and chicken.

Dump in the chicken & corn.

 stock and simmer for 30 minutes. My carrots were still too firm, so I boiled it for an other 10 to 15 minutes until they were softer.

Right before serving, add bacon back into soup. My bacon was in teeny tiny pieces and at this point since I clearly don’t read the directions when I cook, realized that the bacon was boiling in the pot this entire time along with everything else.  What can I say guys, I’m a genius 😀  Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with toast if desired. Season with salt and pepper if needed. I found I needed no extra salt.  I served mine with cheesy garlic bread & discovered that this soup is even better without grated cheese.  I NEVER think food is better without cheese, but this soup is.

 

Well, there ya have it.  An epic fail in the recipe following department, and the soup still turned out frikkin delicious!  I ate it for lunch for the next 3 days and Mr. FSL kept saying “MMMM, this is really great broth!”.  Thanks Jess.  This recipe was so good, that I royally effed it up and it still was amazing!  Imagine how good it will be if you follow the real directions?!