Steve Lehman’s Famous Soup

Steve Lehman’s Famous Soup

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

While I was growing up, my dad always had some version of tortilla soup he liked to make. It was a staple with our busy schedules, but we loved it enough to enjoy it for our Christmas Eve dinner. He’s never followed a recipe for his soup and it’s changed quite a bit over time. In recent years, his soup has been out-of-this-world-good. He might be making a pot for the hungry teachers at my mom’s school, friends and family, or simply to eat on for a few days.

Everyone always wants the recipe but he doesn’t know what to tell people. He usually says something like, “I don’t really have a recipe, it’s more of a method.” So recently I decided to observe him and attempt to form a recipe. I think I’ve got it! I’m not sure that you’d really call this a tortilla soup (though it is quite good with tortilla chips) so I’m affectionately calling this Steve Lehman’s Famous Soup. This is a wonderful soup to share with the ones you love! I hope you enjoy!

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Steve Lehman’s Famous Soup 

Note: The amount of veggies can depend on your preference or what you have on hand. Feel free to adjust to your needs. 

12 carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle

1-2 yellow squash, diced

2-3 ears of corn in the husk

1 large onion, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

(Optional) A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 32-ounce boxes of unsalted chicken broth

1 large can of diced tomatoes, drained

8 ounces good quality salsa (or to taste)

1 heaping Tbsp oregano (or to taste)

1/2 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

2-2.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

Directions

  1. Add a couple swirls of olive oil to a hot skillet. Add garlic, onion, and carrots. Cover, and let cook about 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are just starting to get soft, but are still firm. Stir occasionally while they cook.
  2. Meanwhile, heat broth, tomatoes, salsa, oregano, cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt and pepper in a large pot. Bring to a simmer. (*The salsa might scare you a bit, but it really doesn’t add very much heat. If you want to avoid spicy, use a mild salsa. Also, use a good quality salsa, preferably one that is NOT chunky.)
  3. Prepare the corn. Place corn, with husk, directly into the microwave. Cook about 15 minutes, or until you can cut off the end and squeeze cob out of husk clean with no silk. (Time will vary.) Slice corn off of the cob.
  4. When the carrots have reached a soft but firm texture, add them to to the pot along with with all the juices from the pan. Add corn to the pot at this time as well. Continue to simmer.
  5. Season chicken thighs with a good seasoning salt. Add a couple swirls of olive oil to your hot skillet and cook chicken thighs completely. When they are done, dice chicken.
  6. Add chicken, along with all the juices from the pan, and squash to the pot. Simmer about 45 minutes more, until ready to eat.

Serve soup with blue corn chips and avocado or fresh cornbread.

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Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

The school year might be upon us, but the weather is still warm and it’s not quite time to simmer a pot of chili on the stove! With routines kicking back into gear we can all use easy dinner recipes. Have you tried any of the popular sheet pan recipes that have been floating around social media? Those are PERFECT for busy nights! You can whip them up quickly and if you line your pan with foil or parchment paper, clean up is a breeze. What makes them perfect for this late summertime is that they utilize all the great veggies you find this time of year at the market.

My mother-in-law recently shared this recipe for chicken thighs with green beans and red potatoes that’s drizzled with a lemon dressing and we gobbled it all up- even the picky preschooler! So I thought I’d share the love with all of my sweet friends at Creating a Great Day in case you are in need a delicious and simple dinner recipe!

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Lemon Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner:

Ingredients:

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 lb  small red potatoes, quartered

1 lb  fresh green beans

3 TB Olive Oil

2 TB Fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 TB Italian Herb Blend (Or combine a TB of your favorite dried herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme)

Instructions:

  1. Arrange veggies and chicken on sheet pan.
  2. Combine oil, lemon juice, and garlic with herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle oil blend on chicken and veggies and use your hands to coat everything well with the oil.
  4. Roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.
  5. Serve with crusty bread, which you can dip in the oil from your pan. 🙂

 

I hope your family enjoys this sheet pan dinner as much as we have!

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Growing with our Garden

Growing with our Garden

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
Avatar
Latest posts by Kristi F (see all)

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This is from the first year we grew a garden with our children.  It was so exciting to make the square foot garden boxes, pick the seeds each child decided to plant, watch the first sprout pop up above the ground, and see the variety of God’s awesome creation. Then, we started harvesting some delectable garden goodness and in the process learned some lessons too!

Taste Bud Treats

Of course, you can just eat most items raw, straight out of the garden but we enjoy exploring different approaches with our taste buds, which brought us to these two yummy sandwiches.

Tomato, Cheese & Basil Sandwich

 

Simple Ingredients:  Honey Mustard, Tomato, Cheese and Basil

 

I love anything with basil, so when I noticed that some basil was ready to harvest, we promptly added it to our sandwiches.  After taking her first bite, my youngest daughter shouted in a loud, baritone voice,

Mom, I love these leaves!  They are delicious!”

She should like them.  I ate basil and cheese sandwiches every day for weeks when I was pregnant with her!

Cucumber Sandwich

 

At a baby shower I attended, the hostesses served these delectable sandwiches.  The mixture of herbs in the creamy spread was so enjoyable, I tracked down the person who made it to gather the recipe.

Simple Ingredients: Creamy Spread and Cucumbers

Creamy Spread (can also be enjoyed as a dip):

1 Cup Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Cream Cheese

2 teaspoons dried dill

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Lesson Learned

God uses all his creations to teach us a little more about Him.  Growing a garden has helped us grow in our understanding of our relationship with Him as well.

For example, when I was trying to learn how to harvest basil, I found this great video that explained exactly how to harvest the basil in such a way that the plant would continue to grow.

 

In the video she says,

“If you want your plant to continue to grow you are going to have to trim it down…You want to do it in a way that you don’t damage your plant and your plant can continue to grow.”

This video made me realize that God is pruning us all the time. He wants us to grow in our relationship with Him, but that means we can’t stay the same.  In order to grow and be used for His glory, he prunes us in such a way that we may feel the change, but he doesn’t damage us.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

1 Peter 1:6-7

His ways of refining us to make us stronger spiritually may not always feel comfortable at the time, but the growth it produces will bring glory to Him in the process.

Do you garden?  

What are some of your favorite fresh garden recipes?  

What lessons have you learned in the process?

Warm Spaghetti Squash and Spinach Salad

Warm Spaghetti Squash and Spinach Salad

Hi! Born in the great state of Texas and raised in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, this Daughter of the Alamo/Georgia Peach is still adjusting to life in Razorback Nation! My husband and I live just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas with our two toddlers and two crazy pups. I’m a small business owner, chocolate aficionado, and travel lover with a 2pm coffee hour no matter what time zone I’m in!
Lindsay W
Latest posts by Lindsay W (see all)

What to do with leftovers?

Do you ever feel a bit like a catfish when it comes to leftovers in your house? Not so much that you’re a bottom dweller, but that the task of consuming leftovers falls mostly on you?

Being a work from home mama, I can feel this way a lot. Especially since I’m incredibly grocery budget conscious and hate to throw leftover food into the trash.

When I plan our weekly dinners, whether or not they will portion out enough for leftovers to make lunch the following day for me or my toddler is a consideration. Especially if it’s a meal that requires me to buy an ingredient solely specific to that meal.

Spaghetti squash is a prime example.

I’m not a big pasta eater, but pasta and meat sauce is easy and fast. It can be made super healthy if you buy the right kind of pasta. And I can even sneak extra vegetables and fiber into my toddler’s diet without so much as one thrown rotini noodle. So, we have it for dinner at least every other week.

But instead of pasta, I serve a generous portion of cooked spaghetti squash onto my plate. The tummy is much happier!

Since I’m the only one who eats spaghetti squash, I’m left with a decent amount left over for the following day, even if the squash was a small one.  If there’s any leftover meat sauce and pasta, my toddler gets that for lunch.

So, what to do with all this spaghetti squash?

On my grocery budget? Without buying some extra ingredient just for one or maybe two lunches?

I feel a little bit like the contestants on Food Network’s show Chopped staring down at my basket of ingredients.

Thankfully, spaghetti squash is pretty versatile. While I’ve thrown together some leftover lunches using spaghetti squash and whatever random things I found in my fridge, what I’m about to share with you is my favorite leftover lunch combination. The basic recipe leaves a lot of room for foodies who have more time to construct a lunch than I do most days to elevate it to something really fancy. (Let’s face it–if I have to cut up more than one thing and use anything other than the microwave or toaster oven to prepare lunch, it’s a NO GO.)

I call it Warm Spaghetti Squash & Spinach Salad.

BASIC* Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1 can of garbanzo beans

5-6 cherry tomatoes or 1 Roma tomato

1 heaping cup of raw baby spinach (a good handful for you non-measuring people like me)

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Red pepper flakes or freshly cracked black peppercorns (to taste)

*See farther down for elevated ingredient ideas.

Directions to Cook the Spaghetti Squash:

Remember, this is a leftover, so for lunch I’m just pulling it out of the fridge already cooked and shredded. But, if you want to cook one just for this recipe, here’s how I cook mine.

Fill your stock pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.

Use your biggest, sharpest knife (a chef’s knife will do the trick) to cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.

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Once your water is boiling, very carefully place each half into the stock pot.

Boil for 15-20 minutes, depending on how big your spaghetti squash is. You should be able to pierce it without resistance with a fork.

Once it’s cooked, I very carefully pour everything out of the stock pot into a colander which I’ve placed in the sink.

Once the halves have cooled down enough for you to handle them, use a fork (or two) to remove one of the halves from the colander and place it on a plate on your counter. Use a fork to scoop the seeds out of the squash.

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After boiling, but with seeds still intact.

You’ll pull some of the squash with it too, and it will feel a lot like cleaning out a pumpkin at Halloween, only hotter. Discard the seeds.

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After scooping the seeds out.

Now you’re ready to shred your spaghetti squash. Just use two forks and scrape the top of the flesh. It will scrape off like little “spaghetti noodles.”

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Transfer your “noodles” to a bowl (preferably glass or ceramic since they’re going to be hot). Repeat with the second half.

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The finished “noodles.”

Directions to prepare the salad:

If you’re building your salad straight from here, ladle out at least a cup’s worth of spaghetti squash into a microwave-safe bowl. Next, drain and rinse your garbanzo beans. Add 1/3 cup to your spaghetti squash.

Next, quarter your cherry tomatoes lengthwise, or dice up a roma tomato and add it to the squash.

Add a heaping cup of baby spinach (or a generous handful) on top of the tomatoes.

Finally, squirt your lemon juice, drizzle your EVOO, and splash your red wine vinegar on top.

Pop your bowl in the microwave for one minute on high. This will soften your spinach and tomatoes and reheat your spaghetti squash if you started with cold leftover squash.)

Carefully remove from the microwave and adorn with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes or freshly cracked black pepper.

Voila! Lunch is served!

Now, this was the basic version using things you probably already have in your pantry or fridge.

Here are some ingredients you could add to elevate this dish. (Do I sound like a Chopped judge or what?!)

Elevated Ingredients:

Toasted pine nuts

Goat cheese or feta cheese (instead of parmesan cheese)

Finely chopped red onion

Greek vinaigrette (instead of lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and EVOO)

My favorite thing about this lunch is how easy yet healthy and economical it is. As work from home or stay at home mamas, we don’t have to always eat what our kids eat or adopt a catfish mindset when it comes to our lunches. With a little creativity, you can feel like you’re eating something prepared at a bistro! If you can tune out the Daniel Tiger songs that may be playing in the background, that is.

Do you have a dinner time leftover ingredient that you transform during the following day’s lunch? I’d love to know what it is and how you use it in the comments section!

<3 Lindsay

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Sauteed Potato Salad: A Taste of Home

Sauteed Potato Salad: A Taste of Home

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J
Latest posts by Kristin J (see all)

Do you ever feel like you just need a taste of home?

Growing up in Houston, really good fresh corn was available pretty much year round. No matter the time of the year, corn and potatoes just feel seasonal to me. In the summer they are perfect with a back yard BBQ. Autumn time it feels like fall harvest–perfect with a roast chicken. Winter time comes around and they are the perfect side to a tender steak. Baby potatoes and fresh corn are also a great reminder of the newness of spring! Perfect with grilled chicken or pork chops!

While I was growing up, my dad made all kinds of really great fresh corn dishes. Lately he’s been making this sautéed potato salad and it’s become a “taste of home” for me. It’s the perfect dish to make together. My dad usually grills the meat while my brother, husband, and I are in the kitchen sharing the (easy) load of preparing the veggies. It brings everyone to the kitchen together. Even the littlest ones can help pull the strings off of the corn! You can adapt this to whatever your taste buds feel like that day or to what’s in your fridge. Lots of options here, friends! So let’s get started!

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The ingredients are humble but delicious.

Fresh corn, small potatoes, and a yellow onion. If you can get your hands on a sweet Vidalia onion, that’s your best option. Use small potatoes. These potatoes are a little bigger than I’d like but they were all I could find. My dad uses a combination of baby blue and yellow potatoes–SO good!! Fresh corn is best, but if you can’t get your hands on any you can use frozen. But do not thaw the frozen corn!

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How to Prepare the Sauteed Potato Salad

The first thing is to give your potatoes a head start. Cover with water and boil about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potato. Cook the potatoes until they are almost done, but still have a little bite to them since they won’t be mashed. Drain and allow to cool.

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Meanwhile, prepare your corn.

Slice your corn as close to the cob as possible. If you can keep large chunks of corn together that will look really pretty in the finished dish. My dad is great about doing that. I’m not, but I keep trying!

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Slice your onion by chopping off both ends and slicing in half from tip to root. Remove peel and slice into thin strips.

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At this point, slice your potatoes in half lengthwise.

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Saute in good quality fat!

Add about 1-2 Tbsp of oil, or enough to coat the bottom of a pan that’s heated to medium heat. I prefer butter and olive oil, but my dad often uses coconut oil. Whatever you use, use good quality because the flavor of the fat will come through in this dish so you want it to be pleasant. (Hint: This is not the place for vegetable oil!) Add your onion and sauté until they are at your desired texture. Remove from pan.

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If needed, add some more butter or oil to your pan. Add your potatoes and your seasoning. This time I kept it simple with sea salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. You could also use a smoky seasoning blend. Salt them well because they are potatoes and they need it! Allow your potatoes to brown and don’t stir them too much or it will take longer! Also, don’t be afraid of letting the potatoes get a little color–you want them to have some crispy bites!

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Return your onions to the pan and add the corn. Heat until all ingredients are hot and you are ready to go! Add a bit more seasoning to finish if it needs it.

Serve with your favorite grilled meat! My dad often serves this with grilled chicken thighs, a green salad, and blue corn chips with hummus. So good!

Flexible Enough for Every Family’s Tastes

I hope you’ll try this soon and make it your own! This would be great with peppers and squash too, perhaps some rosemary and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Maybe even some thick black forest bacon! Figure out how your family likes it best and enjoy God’s blessings together!

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Sautéed Potato Salad

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

Corn from 3-6 ears of corn

Butter, olive oil, or coconut oil

Sea salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings

1 lb baby potatoes, washed

  • Boil potatoes 10-15 minutes, until they are almost cooked through. Drain and cool. Slice in half lengthwise.
  • Heat large pan to medium heat. Add oil of choice and onions to the pan. Cook onions to desired texture. Remove from pan.
  • Add additional oil if necessary. Add potatoes and seasoning. Cook potatoes.
  • Return onions to pan along with corn. Cook until corn is heated through.
Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas

Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas

Hi! Born in the great state of Texas and raised in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, this Daughter of the Alamo/Georgia Peach is still adjusting to life in Razorback Nation! My husband and I live just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas with our two toddlers and two crazy pups. I’m a small business owner, chocolate aficionado, and travel lover with a 2pm coffee hour no matter what time zone I’m in!
Lindsay W
Latest posts by Lindsay W (see all)

Enchiladas are one of those dishes that everyone seems to make differently. From the filling to the tortilla to the sauce on top, enchiladas can come in all varieties! But this Texas-born girl will testify, when you find yourself privileged enough to be eating an authentic, homemade enchilada, it’s tough to find anything that can beat it. Such an experience will turn you into a bit of an enchilada snob.

There lay my problem when we moved to central Arkansas. At the time, there were slim pickings for really good enchiladas. So, I had no choice but to figure out how to make really good ones myself.

As my dad, a legit actual son of the Republic of Texas raised in San Antonio, and therefore obviously a Tex-Mex connoisseur always says, “Good Mexican food should be simple and cheap.” So, when I started on my make-my-own enchilada quest, I kept that advice in mind. PERFECT for those of us on budgets with busy schedules, right?

It took a few tries, but finally I found myself with a dish that my hubby and guests dole out lots of compliments over. Words are great (especially since I’m a words-of-affirmation-girl), but the proof is in the cleaned plates and second helpings.

A couple things I really like about this dish…

How EASY it is.

It requires very few ingredients.

It’s relatively healthy.

You can make it in the morning and pop it in the oven right before dinner, which makes it a great dish to take to new mamas, friends who’ve moved, or loved ones who are under the weather.

Alright, enough chit-chat. Let’s talk about how to whip this up!

Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts or 1 rotisserie chicken (pulled apart)

5.3 oz carton plain Greek yogurt

7 oz can diced green chilis

8 oz can enchilada sauce

10 oz bag of Mexican shredded cheese (you will only need about half of it)

1 bag of tortillas (I’ve never needed more than six tortillas, but it depends on how big your tortillas are. I also use flour tortillas, but you can use corn if you prefer.)

Toppings of your preference (i.e. shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, etc.)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

If you’re using a rotisserie chicken, pull all the meat off. If you’re using chicken breasts, boil* them in a stockpot of water until they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F.

(*Large chicken breasts can take at least 20 minutes to cook through when boiling. Be sure to use your trusty meat thermometer. Whenever I’m making a dish that will require baking already cooked chicken in the oven, I always prefer to use boiled chicken, because in my experience, it is less likely to dry out during baking.)

Once your chicken is cooked or pulled off the bone, use two forks to shred it and place the shredded chicken in a large bowl.

Add the entire cup of yogurt to your chicken. Drain the liquid out of your diced green chilis (there won’t be a lot of liquid) and add them to your chicken and yogurt. Grab a handful of your shredded cheese and throw that in too. Mix well with a spoon. Set aside.

Grab an 8×8 or 9×9 glass baking dish and spray it with your favorite non-stick spray. Now, grab your tortillas and make a single layer of tortillas on the bottom of your dish. Depending on whether or not you chose a circle dish or a square dish, you might need to tear your tortillas in half so they will line the entire bottom of the dish.

Next, scoop out half of your chicken mixture and spread it evenly on top of your tortillas.

Top with another even layer of tortillas.

Top that with the remaining half of your chicken mixture, evenly spread out.

Lay a final layer of tortillas on top.

Sprinkle half of the remaining shredded cheese over this layer of tortillas. Finally, slowly pour your enchilada sauce all over the top.

This is my FAVORITE pre-made enchilada sauce. As much as I would love to make my own, most nights, that just isn’t an option. This stuff is so good, you’d think it was homemade.

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Pop your dish, uncovered, into the oven for 25-30 minutes until it’s bubbly on top and all of the cheese has melted.

You’ll have to use an inordinate amount of self-control to not dig in immediately, but if you’ll give it at least five minutes to sit before you cut into it, the enchiladas will cut and serve better.

So, after at least five minutes, cut, adorn with your favorite toppings, and serve!

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My favorite pairing is Mexican rice. My husband’s preference is chips & queso. My daughter’s choice is refried beans. Pick a side that your whole family will enjoy and shout “Arriba!”

Well done, mamacita. Dinner’s served.

– Lindsay

What are your favorite Mexican side dish pairings? I’d personally love a little inspiration for the next night we enjoy Easy Layered Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. Please comment below!

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