20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

September 17, 2014 by Ali

As promised, here is your second chicken enchilada soup recipe in one week!

For those of you who missed Monday’s post on Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup, I mentioned that our Gimme Some Oven Facebook seemed split down the middle when I asked whether they would like a slow cooker or 20-minute version of this soup. So I decided to make both! Although to “cheese” things up a bit, I based the 20-minute version off of the chicken enchilada soup I happen to adore at Chili’s.

Yes, I admit it, I love Chili’s. When I was in high school, Chili’s was the first restaurant “hangout” my friends chose once we got our drivers licenses and realized we could eat bottomless chips and salsa for (back then) just $2. Then in my early twenties, Chili’s happened to be right around the corner from the Sunday night church I attended, and all of the hipsters piled in the booths and hung around until midnight to close out the week. And now — my friends all totally judge me for loving Chili’s, so I have made it a tradition to very happily eat at one of those mini-Chili’s whenever I see one in an airport, where I order chicken enchilada soup and a margarita (a must before long flights) and eat chips and salsa to my heart’s content.

Some things never change…

…including this soup. I learned how to make a copycat version of it back in college, and still enjoy cooking it to this day. Although I admit I have made a few tweaks to the recipe over the years, such as replacing Velveeta with real cheese. Here’s how I make it!

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Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

September 15, 2014 by Ali

Can I tell you one thing that makes me unreasonably happy on a day-to-day basis?

Strangers smiling at me.

Even better?

Strangers waving, or nodding, or offering a pleasant hello, or even (my favorite) the ol’ one-finger-raise-on-the-steering wheel.

For whatever reason, I always notice those little things and they make me so happy for a moment or two. Actually, I think the best way to say it is that my heart genuinely feels warmed. And I’m reminded how much I just really like people. And how cool it is that two complete and utter strangers can make an encouraging connection in this big world, however fleeting. And how a moment so brief can have the power to make your day just a little brighter…just like that!

Crazy. And very cool. And call me cheesy, but it makes me want to return the favor to the world and smile or wave or say hi to strangers more often. Yes. That is exactly what I want to do.

What does that have to do with this soup? Nada. But it’s wonderful and also makes me smile, and it will keep you feeling warm and happy all winter long. Here’s how to make it…

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15 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes

September 14, 2014 by Ali

Happy Sunday to you!

This week’s recipe round-up is dedicated to all of you vegan friends who are looking for some simple and creative new dinner ideas. And hey — to all of you out there who aren’t vegan — don’t change the channel because I’m pretty positive you’re going to love all of these recipes too. Most of you know that I eat vegan and vegetarian food at least half of the time, and then (yes) happily indulge in all things cheese and bacon-y on the other days. But on my vegan days, I love experimenting and learning from other bloggers who have translated some of my favorite comfort foods to their vegan (and dairy-free) alternatives.

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Italian Seasoning

September 13, 2014 by Ali

Just popping in today for a quick post on something I recently just made out of necessity — Italian seasoning!

Yes, necessity.

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French Press Coffee

September 12, 2014 by Ali

Hey coffee lovers! I thought it would be lovely to round out my coffee tutorials today with my first love. The place where my coffee-making journey began. The method I still use at least once a week, especially when pressed (get it?) for time.

Oui.

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Coconut Margarita

September 10, 2014 by Ali

Oh my goodness…I actually did it.

You know, that token thing I added to my 31 Things life list (remember me talking about this last week?) to make me sound all adventurous and fearless…even though the adult in me was pretty certain that it could end with a not-so-classy digestive “upset” or, eh, you know, sudden death.

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Easy Hoisin Shrimp

September 9, 2014 by Ali

This shrimp is straight-up awesome sauce.

Want to know how I know that word? Because I watch 95% of my tv on Hulu. And any Hulu-watcher will know what that means – I also watch the same commercials over, and over, and over, and over again. Ad nauseum. (Pun intended.)

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Carrot Pineapple Smoothie

September 8, 2014 by Ali

I have to be honest. Most of the smoothies happening in my kitchen over the past few years are all green. (Or if berries are involved, a not-so-appetizing color of brown.) I’ve just gotten in the habit of blending up whatever fresh ingredients are on hand and then tossing in a handful of spinach or kale, since it’s such an easy way to eat my greens.

BUT.

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