Christmas Cookies & Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

A few weekends ago, I went over to my parent's house for our annual "Christmas Cookie Making Day".  I hadn't eaten lunch and was sort of banking on my parent's having something I could eat.  Or I would have had to eat cookies for lunch.

Luckily, my mom had made Mexican Tortilla Soup with fresh lime, avocado, cheese and corn tortilla strips. (recipe below)

It was SO good.  I ate two very full bowls.

After lunch, there was a few hours of serious cookie making going on.  

Which resulted in lots of tins being filled with cookies.

Oscar was kind enough to keep the floor clean.

After we were "cookied out", we took a drive to look at lights.

Seasons Greetings!


Mexican Tortilla Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium white onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock,
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I just boiled some chicken breasts)
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1 cup shredded Jack cheese, optional
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving

Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes; cook, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides.  Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Ladle the hot soup in bowls and put a pile of shredded chicken on top of each.  Top with the sliced avocado, cheese and fried tortilla strips.  Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.




Last night, after my nightly walk with Oscar, Kevin was trying to talk me into going for a run outside along the water.  I said something along the lines of, "there was no way in hell I was running outside in the cold tonight!"

He agreed that we would head to the gym instead, but he had to go upstairs and get changed first.  Oscar followed him upstairs and in a few minutes, I heard him yell down that the view was awesome from the roof tonight and I should come up and see it.

Oscar loves going up on the deck, so that wasn't strange at all.  What was different is that when I went upstairs, Kevin had a little box sitting open with a sparkly thing inside.

All of a sudden, Kevin was down on one knee saying the best things ever, Oscar was licking me, and I blacked out.  When I came to, we were hugging, Oscar was still licking me, and I had an amazing ring on my finger.


We cracked open some celebratory wine and started sharing the good news with family and friends.   

Kevin had made reservations at our favorite restaurant, b-Bistro, where we ate great food, drank more wine and talked about exciting things to come.  

I couldn't be happier and more excited than I am right now.  :)



Annual Secret Santa Brunch

Today was the annual Secret Santa brunch with my friends from high school.  Carron hosted and the house looked beautiful and very festive for the holidays. (P.S. I still need to dig out my decorations and get a tree.  Queen of procrastination right here.)

The table was set and we each had a special treat on our plate.

It is appropriately called, "Crack".  White Chocolate covered pretzels, cheerios, chex, peanuts, and M&Ms.  

Brunch was absolutely delicious.  Fresh pineapple & raspberries.

The best sour cream coffee cake ever. 

Turkey Sausage and Cheese Breakfast casserole.

Almond Pate Danish Kringle.  Soooo good.

My first plate.  Seconds were not pictured, but most definitely occurred.   

A picture of us.

I had fun with their dog, Camden, during our gift exchange.

And she had fun with all the tissue paper...breaking it down for recycling.  :) 

We spent a lot of time oohing and ahhing over Carron and Ben's 4 month old, Alex, who is a very sweet guy.  Not to mention adorable.

Mara had me for the secret santa and definitely knows what I like.  Check out all these goodies:

Cant wait to try some of these new treats and use my prep bowls and cutting board!

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.  I need to go whip up cookie dough for the annual Christmas Cookie Baking marathon at my mom's house tomorrow.  :)



Blue Moon Cafe - Baltimore, MD

Sunday morning, we had planned to run the Columbia Metric Marathon.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), it was cancelled due to icy roads and trails.  The power in the house had also gone out.  This meant we were up well before 7am, hungry, and didn't want to open the fridge.  

I have been wanting to try the Blue Moon Cafe in Fells Point for all 7 years I have been living in the city.  Every time I would drive by and see people waiting out on the street, I couldn't believe I had never been there.  I was ecstatic to see that we were the first ones there!  No line, the scent of fresh cinnamon rolls, and our choice of any table we wanted.

We chose this cute table by the fireplace and ordered coffee immediately.

I tend to be biased towards my local coffee shop/roaster (High Grounds), which I love, but this coffee was good.  We learned it was a special blend roasted especially for Blue Moon Cafe by Bluebird Coffee Roasters.

We had to try the Captain Crunch French Toast, which is what they are known for.  The waitress suggested ordering a short stack for us to share, which is exactly what we did.  It was incredible.  I loved the sweet crunchiness on the outside. 

I ordered the Vegetarian Potato Pancakes topped with sautéed vegetables and cheddar cheese for my meal, along with 1 scrambled egg on the side.    This was a huge portion and I took home enough for dinner later.  I have no idea what was in the potato pancakes, but they had great flavor and consistency.

As we were paying our check, the waitress brought over one of their fresh cinnamon rolls for us to take home...on the house.  yessss.  She wrote a few travel/review websites on the to-go box and said she hoped we would write about our experience.

Overall, we had a great experience at the Blue Moon Cafe and look forward to going back and trying more things on the menu.  They do not take reservations, so my suggestion is to get there early or be ready to wait.  But hey, good things come to those who wait, right?.  

Blue Moon Café on Urbanspoon



When the Weather Outside is...

...cold/windy/snowy/rainy, I stay inside and bake.  But first, Oscar needs a walk.  Canton is starting to look more festive.

Oscar loves the cold weather.  Oops, I cut Kevin's head off.  Sorry Kevin.

I was between a pumpkin/cranberry combo or a pumpkin/chocolate chip combo.

What do you think won out?

In my world, chocolate chips beat cranberries any day.  I used this recipe (sub whole wheat pastry flour) and filled 1 loaf pan, 1 full size muffin pan, and 2 mini muffin pans.   So, I dirtied just about every pan I own.  

P90 Update

Last post I mentioned that Kevin and I had started P90x together.  I also said that we were committed this time.  Well, it is Day 8 and I am proud to stay we are still going strong!

Some of my thoughts so far:
  • The lifting workouts are tough, but I dont mind them.  They are exactly what I need since I have a hard time lifting on my own.
  • Yoga was the hardest workout for me and I have never felt more awkward in my life.  We only lasted 30 mins.
  • I have a hard time concentrating during yoga since I find myself laughing at the faces Kevin makes the entire time.
  • KenpoX was scheduled for Friday evening. We got dressed, went downstairs, turned on the TV and started the warmup.  About 1 minute later, we looked at each other, turned off the TV, and went out to dinner. Friday workouts have to happen in the morning before work.
  • We have to plan our runs more strategically around the workouts.  I only got one run in during the 1st week.
  • I don't like when Tony calls us "boys and girls" or when he talks about all the different kinds of soup.  (Okra soup is not that funny)
Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  My mom sent me the recipe for the Angel Biscuits, so I will be sure to post it soon.  Along with 2 other restaurant reviews:  Blue Moon Cafe and The Rumor Mill.  

Good night!



Turkey to P90

Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone!  I am sure everyone is "thanksgiving recapped out" by this point, so I will just share a few, low quality photos you have come to expect here at athlEAT. ;) 

I have major camera envy of all of you out there that have a fancy SLR.  Especially since these photos were taken with my iPhone.  Forgetting my camera seems to be happening more frequently, so I will have to nip this in the bud immediately.  

Fresh Green Beans w/ Lemon, Garlic, and Toasted Pine Nuts.

Mom's Famous Angel Biscuits, fresh out of the oven.

Uncle Gene's Crab Stuffing.  Like a crab cake, but with more bread than crab.  Only in Maryland.  It was great.

The most addicting Mac & Cheese ever.  Havarti, Brown Sugar & Red Onions are just a few of the awesome ingredients.

Ready to eat.

My plate.  I pretty much ate everything.  Yes, that is sauerkraut on my turkey.  Deelish.  

Ok, so have I mentioned that I love pie?  LOVE pie.  I just had to have a sliver of each.  Pecan, Pumpkin & Sweet Potato.

After all of this post-marathon eating, I decided to start a new training challenge.  P90x.  I have tried to start this before and was not committed.  This time is different.

Kevin and I set up our own P90 workout area in the basement.  It isnt fancy, but we sealed off the exposed brick and then put down padded/gym flooring.  I love it down there now.

We are currently on Day 4 and I am still sore from Day 1.  I love feeling sore because it tells me this stuff is working.  Yoga tonight was extremely hard.  I have never felt more awkward in my life and only lasted 30 mins.  Here's to keeping this up for 86 more days!  


  © Free Blogger Templates Spain by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP