Thursday, December 15, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup





As I've transitioned to the busy life of a business-owner Mama, I've really grown to appreciate delicious, hearty meals that take a minimal amount of effort to prepare. I'm hoping to add more of these to my repertoire and I've been really grateful to discover this yummy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup. I prefer my soups thick and creamy and this tortilla soup is just that, with the right kick of spices and a great dose of filling protein. And it's just so easy. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Yield: about 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Total Time: about 5-6 hours

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup salsa
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese

{Optional Toppings:}

Sour Cream
Diced Tomatoes
Green Onions
Cilantro
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Avocado
Tortilla Strips

DIRECTIONS:

Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray. Add chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix cream of chicken soup, salsa, corn, black beans, water, cumin, and cilantro. Pour over the top of the chicken. 

Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. Place back into the slow cooker and add shredded cheese. Continue cooking until cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Rainy, Muddy Hike in the Santa Monica Mountains

{Believe it or not, there's actually a stellar view of the Pacific Ocean behind us.}


A couple of months ago, we set out on a hike to Sandstone Peak, the highest point of the Santa Monica mountains, known for its amazing views of Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean. I was excited to view my favorite city from a hiker's perspective. Well, the day came for our hike and as we were driving up the famous twisty-twiny Mulholland Drive, it was nothing but rain pouring down. We pressed forward with the six-mile loop, hoping for a cloud break somewhere along the way. 

When we finally reached the top, it was super windy, misty and kinda sketchy--we had to climb up slick rock for the last several yards, which is scary in the rain! I couldn't help but laugh as we scrambled to the top. My hopes for a gorgeous picture were dashed, but as I look back on the photo above, I see two genuine smiles and I think of happy memories together. 



{Eerie, creepy views of the Santa Monica Mountains}


{Some serious caked-on mud happening to my shoes. Brad's got so ruined, he ended up throwing them away in the parking lot trash can!}

{Taken on our way down, just as the sky is starting to clear}