Chicken Tortilla Soup


Welcome to the Mexican Fiesta Recipe Blog Hop! There are 12 of us bloggers in this hop, you are going to love this Foodie Fiesta!

square bowl with soupMexican cooking is very popular at our house. It is easy to prepare, and uses lots of healthy fresh ingredients. I make many Mexican meals, but this Chicken Tortilla Soup is always my favorite. I frequently make this soup with leftovers after a night of Fajitas or Chicken Tacos.

olive oil and tortilla

You can use corn or flour tortillas in this recipe. I prefer the flour variety because they are light and soft. For the gluten free diet, the corn would be the best option. You can also purchase gluten free wheat-less tortillas at the grocery store.


2 lbs. cubed chicken breast

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 24 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

1 can black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained

6-8 cups chicken broth or 2 tablespoons chicken soup base

3/4 cup basmati rice, or leftover cooked rice

1 package flour tortillas

1 bunch fresh cilantro

red pepper flakes to taste

1 tsp. chili powder

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


cut tortilla

Brush 3 tortillas with olive oil on both sides. Slice into strips. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes until crisp and brown.

Spoonful of soup

Meanwhile, add olive oil to large stock pot over high heat. Add garlic, onion and chicken breast. Salute 5-7 minutes until done.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans and corn. Stir, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Add rice and cook 10 minutes until rice is tender. Chop remaining tortillas into 1″ cubes. Add to the soup along with salt and pepper.  Cook additional 10 minutes until tortillas are tender.

Chop cilantro and add to pot right before serving.  You can serve with the tortilla strips, more cilantro and sour cream if desired.


Be sure and visit these other blogs for more great recipe ideas!

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DIY Cake Stands


2 stands

This is a sponsored post. Any opinions given are completely my own. This post was sponsored by Gorilla Glue. See disclosure page for additional information.

blue plates


I make weekly trips to the local thrift store. One day in particular is especially fruitful for my visits, since they put out new stock for the weekend. Friday is the day to shop for thrift. I found these lovely plates on my most recent excersion. I put them together with some other thrift store junk to make these DIY Cake Stands.

I spent a lot of time deliberating colorful plates at the store. I found that I was drawn to the blue combinations the most. They key to success in this project is to choose 2-3 plates of the same color combination for each cake stand. I love that the patterns are all different, they work together because they are in the same color family. I did sneak in a couple of white plates, they are in the middle layer of the cake stand or have decorations and are not so obvious.

footed glass bowls

The other secret ingredient is several small footed glass bowls in different shapes and sizes. I also used a candle stick and a shot glass as well but those are only for the smaller top layers. Using the wider, lower footed bowl for the heavier bottom plate adds stability, a medium size and height bowl works well for the middle plate, then the short shot glass or candle stick support the smaller top plate.

3 cake stands

I used Gorilla Super Glue for this project. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that this project would work very well even with the glue. Remember when Super Glue wasn’t all that Super? Well, those days are gone! I hadn’t used Gorilla Glue before and I was rather sceptical about it. However, I now realize that I under estimated the power of the glue. Lesson learned, never underestimate a Gorilla!

inverted plates with glass bowls and glue

Drip the glue around each edge of the supporting glass, then adhere to the bottom of the plates. I let them dry 15-20 minutes before inverting.

orange butterfly stand

I decided to make the pieces easy to store, so I only glued two pieces together at a time. This allows me to mix and match them and change the look and height as needed for different occasions. In this photo, the bottom plate is not glued to the footed bowl you see in the middle. You can put them together temporarily with pieces of floral adhesive or Command Strips, I have done both in the past and they work very well for a temporary hold.

Finished cake stands

Finished cake stand

The little nests hold candies that resemble eggs, the butterflies add color and a touch of Spring. You can never have too much Spring!


I am so pleased with how this project turned out. I spent just a couple of dollars on each Cake stand. These 5 cake stands will hold jewelry and treats at an upcoming dinner party. I think they would be amazing for a brunch display, wedding, bridal shower or baby shower. I may even give them away so that I can have fun making more!

The ladies are going to love them!


Thank you to Gorilla Glue for sponsoring this post!

Mexican Style Hash Brown Potatoes

mexican hasbrowns and salsa

I am starting something new….a collaboration with 40+ bloggers in the Best BiMonthly Recipe Challenge Blog Hop! You are going to love it! This month we are inspired by….



Breakfast is by far my favorite meal. I enjoy making a big meal first thing in the morning, it just sets my day off in the right direction. I tend to judge my day by the quality of the breakfast. Today was AMAZING.

This new potato recipe is truly one of my new favorites. These Mexican Style Hash Browns are easy to prepare and a breeze to cook in the waffle iron. How cool is that? No fuss, no stress, a perfect waffle style hash brown every time, with a KICK!



4 Peeled and shredded baking potatoes, about 1 per person (you can also use frozen hash browns)

2 eggs

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped canned jalepeno peppers

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

mixing potatoes, eggs, jalepenos, chili powder


Shred the potatoes with a cheese grater or use a food processor. Add the chopped onion, chili powder, eggs and chopped jalapeno peppers. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour off any excess liquid from the potatoes before cooking.

Heat a Belgium style waffle iron until steaming hot. Grease with a bit of butter or cooking spray. Spread potato mixture in the waffle iron. Close and cook for 8 minutes until crisp and brown.

mexican hasbrowns and eggs

Layer hot hash brown waffles with cheddar cheese in-between them. This will melt the cheese without messing up your waffle iron. Serve with salsa and fried eggs for a hearty breakfast meal. DeeeeeLishhhhh!


POTATO-URC-CollageLinking up to the Best BiMonthly Recipe Challenge Blog Hop!

Minestrone Soup

It’s time for an Italian Dinner Feast! I am excited to be a part of the Italian Dinner Blog Hop, you are going to love what’s for dinner!


I love Italian food. It is healthy, easy to prepare and a great way to affordably feed a large family. We eat Italian at least a couple of times per week, this week I decided to make a batch of Minestrone Soup.

Minestrone is a simple tomato based soup, this version is without pasta which is great for those of us on gluten free diets. Minestrone is also loaded with healthy veggies, and has tons of super healthy green kale to boot. It is also an easy way to use up leftovers and clean out your refridge.


1 12 oz. can cantenelli beans

1 12 oz. can light red kidney beans

5 cups chicken stock

1/2 lb. cooked bacon, crumbled

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves chopped garlic

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, sliced

2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, or 1 16 oz. can

2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes

1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. Dried marjoram

1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini

1/2 lb. fresh Kale, remove stems and chop

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese



Wash, peel and chop carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and kale. In a large kettle, drizzle the olive oil, heat. Add garlic, onions, celery. Sauté about 5 minutes until brown. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil. Add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, beans. Cook over medium heat 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add wine, bacon, herbs, zucchini, kale and Parmesan cheese. Simmer 30 minutes until thickened, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Italian bread, olive oil and extra Parmesan cheese.

We enjoyed our soup with saltines and summer sausage, a family favorite combo.

Hop on over to the others in the Italian Dinner Blog Hop to see what’s cooking!12764699_10154384723810288_6897604302996352085_o

Hand Dipped Biscotti

Biscotti is my all time favorite holiday food. Years ago my friends and I would gather for a special holiday gathering and each year one of my friends would make Hand Dipped Biscotti. She would wrap each piece like a gift and we would relish every single bite until we got more the next year.

Hand Dipped Biscotti|Designers Sweet Spot|

Hand Dipped Biscotti is easy to make and so rewarding! It makes a great gift for any time of year.

Hand Dipped Biscotti|Designers Sweet Spot|

Hand Dipped Biscotti

I make Biscotti each season, it’s easy and fun. Our kids love biscotti as well and often help me in the kitchen. They eat more than they make, but I love having them in the kitchen. It is a fun family activity.

Hand Dipped Biscotti|Designers Sweet Spot|

Here’s what you will need:

Hand Dipped Biscotti

Hand Dipped Biscotti


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. Grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Combine butter and sugar, mix well. Add lemon zest, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, combine. Fold in nuts and cranberries. Turn out onto slightly floured counter, kneed slightly. Shape into rectangle, about 3" wide. Place on large cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 30 minutes. Cut into slices 1" thick. Place slices on their side on cookie sheet. Bake again for 20 minutes until golden. Cool completely. Meanwhile, heat chocolate in double boiler until melted. Dip cooled biscotti pieces into chocolate, covering them half way. Place dipped biscotti on cookie,sheet until chocolate has hardened. Wrap pieces individually in wax paper or parchment to store.

To package your biscotti, wrap them in waxed paper and tie with pieces of bakers twine. You can also layer them in a cookie tin with parchment paper between the layers. Add a to/from tag and a copy of this recipe for a unique handmade gift!


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