Daughter, Wife, Mother... this is what I do

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Light and Refreshing"

I've been wanting to share my meals on my blog because I love reading about other families' meals so much. Here is my first attempt:

"Light and Refreshing": That's what my husband's request was for dinner. I racked my brain, looked in 3 different cook books and on 2 different websites. I found plenty of "Light" meals, but nothing sounded "Refreshing" to me. We'd had fish 3 times last week, and a salad just wasn't hitting the spot in my imagination. Then, I remembered how wonderful Fajita Chicken Soup is! I haven't made it in over a year and it sounded absolutely delicious. I dug out my old recipe (from allrecipes.com) and headed to the grocery store.

Ok, so it's not very "Refreshing," but it is "Light." It's basically LOTS of seasoned veggies and chicken in chicken broth. And come on, who doesn't LOVE fajitas? It's filling and delicious. Probably more ideal for the wintery season... but delicious is delicious no matter the weather, right? The bonus is that it makes ALOT... so if you're cooking for 2 you'll have lots of left overs for lunch, which is quite possibly my favorite thing EVER. Here's the recipe:

(Sorry there's no picture... I'll work on that for next time.)


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 (1.27 ounce) packet fajita seasoning
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 poblano pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large onion, cut into thin strips
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can seasoned black beans
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 dash hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Place chicken in the hot oil; cook, stirring only occasionally, until brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle fajita seasoning over the browned chicken and stir well to coat. Add the red and green bell pepper, poblano pepper, and onion to the seasoned chicken. Stir and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
Pour the fire roasted tomatoes, black beans, and chicken broth into the pot with the chicken and vegetables. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season the soup with hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste before serving.

* I like to add corn for a little sweetness :)


Back to School (2010)

New crayons. New, clean journals and notebooks. New backpacks. New friends. New year.

Honestly, I've put this off for a little while. (Oops!) So, really, it doesn't feel like "back to school" anymore. We're actually in the swing of things. However, here are a few highlights from my very second First Day as a teacher.

1. Feeling almost fully prepared. I can't even describe the bliss of this feeling. Yes, I worked hard to get there. But it wasn't nearly as stressful.

2. I didn't have nearly as many nightmares this time around. (Although, I did have a few. The kind where kids don't listen and you feel like you have ZERO control. Idolize control much?)

3. The actual first day felt purposeful and controlled. I knew what I was doing, why I was doing it. It helped set up my year and set the tone for my kids. I knew what I expected of them and let them know what they could expect from me. (Last year... I had no idea about either of those things. It makes such a big difference!)

4. I quite possibly could have the SWEETEST, MOST CREATIVE and FUN group of third graders in the whole wide world. They are a breath of fresh air and are making this year wonderful. Yes, there have been a few trying moments over the past 2 weeks, but I'm VERY VERY thankful for them. Probably a combo of it being my 2nd year and their personalities, but I definitely come home skipping. My sweet husband has no idea what to do with me, coming home from work with energy (well... some days...)

Take heart, first year teachers. I know some days you aren't the teacher you want to be. I know that you question your choice of career, but if there's any passion in you for what you're doing... keep doing it. I promise it gets better.

Here's to a fabulous new year with lots of new things, surprises and new joys :)