Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chicken Tortilla soup & Kim's Kornbread

Here's the truth...I love autumn! I love the cooler temperatures, the faint scent of wood smoke in the air, (and not from a forest fire!), the sound of the leaves crunching beneath my feet and the early evenings as the days get shorter. In the spring, I will be ready for the longer days and the freedom from having to pack firewood into the house, but right now, this is paradise!

Autumn is also a sign that it is safe to head back into the kitchen. During the summer months, the kitchen is the last place I actually want to be, even though that is where I'm most comfortable! Meals during the hottest part of summer are either cold or prepared outside. My canning is done on a camp cook stove and the baking is just a happy memory. The cooler weather brings me back indoors, where I can happily look through my recipe files and reintroduce my family to the "comfort" foods of fall. It is also a time when I can utilize all of the summer's bounty that is now gracing the pantry shelves and freezers!

This is one of our favorite meals! (Whenever possible, use organic ingredients for maximum nutritional value!)

Chicken Tortilla soup

1 whole chicken, cooked and deboned (I cook it in a pot of water with carrots, onions, celery, salt and pepper and then save the broth to use here!)
2 quarts stewed tomatoes
9 cups chicken broth
1 large, sweet onion; diced
1-7 oz. can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 can black olives; sliced
1-15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can black beans
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
2 t. dried oregano
2 cups frozen sweet corn
Garnish:shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips
Put everything into the pot and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. Great for left-overs!

Kim's Kornbread

1 cup organic white flour (organic has a higher protein content)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Place 10-inch cast iron pan with 1 T. butter in 400 degree oven. Mix dry ingredients with wet. Do not over mix! Take skillet out when butter is melted and pour batter in. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.

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