The Caffeine Addict

Good to the last drop.

Chicken tortilla soup March 5, 2010

Filed under: Hobbies — Shannon @ 3:52 pm

It is no secret around my house that I was never allowed to make soup. I just could not get the hang of it. Then, my friend gave me a Cooking Light recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder. So yummy.

This morning, I had stuff leftover in my fridge from Sunday dinner (1/2 can enchilada sauce) and last nights dinner for Audrey’s birthday. She had wanted chicken tacos. I had leftover 1/3 cup diced chicken, 1 cup black beans. I used my ingredient recipe finder on and found one for Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. I made major modifications:
Reduced chicken (no biggie)
Used leftover beans/diced pepper
I did not have diced tomatoes and green chilies – so I used my last can of Rotel
Homemade chicken stock for liquid instead of water
Added a pre-mixed 1/2 cup flour and 1 1/3 cup milk to cooker after about 5 hours cooking

So good. Here is the original recipe:

I can now officially make two soups! I feel awesome – I am learning!!! Please make and enjoy. This weekend I will be trying a new recipe also –

I will let you know how it turns out. ­čÖé


Gardening July 31, 2008

Filed under: Family,Hobbies — Shannon @ 7:53 pm

Hello! Last year I did post some pics up here as to what I was growing. I will try to do that before my trip.

I am really enjoying gardening this year. I read a book recommended to me by my good friends Joel and Erin (who also happen to be family!) called Animal Vegetable Miracle. I highly recommend this book – it gave me a new viewpoint as to how I can improve our eating by eating more locally produced items. I am trying to grow more of our own food but we have such a short growing season here!

We have enjoyed lots of zucchini – I have made it into bread with much success. My son even bragged to my sensei that I made the best bread – she requested that I make her some – so I did. She enjoyed it! I even had our neighborhood babysitter say we could pay her with zucchini bread instead of money! Ha – what a deal!

Where has the summer gone? It feels like it slipped by. We have had a guest for the last month – our son’s friend from California. We have also had lots of guests in addition to him – it has been such a blessing to hang out with so many friends and family! The kids have also enjoyed lots of different camps.

I have been trying to be better about doing things I enjoy after kids go to bed – so I have read many books this summer as well as some late nights stamping. We have also enjoyed getting together with neighbors and just hanging out!

Well, I am off to bed after an exhausting day! I hope you are all doing awesome!

I have about 50 tomatoes that will be ready mid-August.


I have a secret! January 4, 2008

Filed under: Books,Family,Hobbies — Shannon @ 8:53 pm

My family has been eating LOTS of veggies that I have been sneaking into their food! I credit The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious with the ideas! I received these books for Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law.

Granted, my kids are pretty good eaters and do eat good shares of fruits and veggies – it is my husband that I need to get to eat his veggies. Now, he already knew what I was up to because I am steaming lots of veggies and then throwing them in my food processor and he knew about the books. He said I could do this. Well, I have not tried any of the recipes yet from their books, but instead, took their concepts and added them to my recipes.

For example, I added pureed sweet potatoes and mushrooms to a Hamburger Helper box dinner (not our usual dinner – but got for 50 cents a box! So good occasionally), added pureed cauliflower to my enchilada casserole and tonight I added pureed spinach, squash and zucchini to my homemade spaghetti sauce and threw it over whole wheat spaghetti with some melted mozzarella.

My family eats lots of salads as side dishes and until now, I have not been able to get my youngest to eat it. She finally did and likes it. I was so spoiled when I worked at CJ, I got the best ranch dressing for free every week. I have had the hardest time finding a bottled ranch dressing that myself and the kids like. From one of the books listed above they suggested taking Paul Newman’s ranch because of the ingredients and mixing it with a bit of plain yogurt. We love this – it is so tasty. I also have been leaving carrot chips and fruit out before dinner even starts as appetizers and my kids have been loving this.

I really credit these books with reteaching me good basic healthy ideas. I strongly suggest to take a peak at this. I know this may cause some controversy to the hard core disciplinarians that say put it on the plate and make them eat it. I know I did not like most veggies until I was in my mid-twenties. So in the meanwhile, I will put it on their plate AND sneak it in! I will let you know of what other recipes I have tried with success that sneak in veggies!


Well, I have never… November 26, 2007

Filed under: Family,Good deals,Hobbies — Shannon @ 8:05 am

Went Black Friday shopping when it was 10 degrees! Got some good deals though!
Had most of my Christmas shopping done before December even started!
Tried an eggnog latte at Starbucks – pretty good!
Made a turkey – came out great!
Got food poisoning – I feel better now.
Tried crocheting. Made a blanket.

Did you try anything new this month?


About food… September 10, 2007

Filed under: Hobbies — Shannon @ 9:10 pm

Okay – I have a ton of extra hamburger buns – what else can I do with them besides the obvious? I have seen the poor man’s garlic bread and we are having some BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches soon but can you help a girl out?

I also made one of my favorite recipes tonight. Here it is:

Chex® Muddy Buddies®

Another popular name for this favorite mix is “puppy food”. Chow down; it’s doggone good!

Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:15 min
Makes:18 servings (1/2 cup each)
9 cups Chex┬« cereal (any variety – I used the new chocolate flavor)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preparation Directions:
1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, stir together chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Stove-Top Directions: Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.

1 Serving: Calories 220 (Calories from Fat 80); Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 200mg; Total Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 17g); Protein 3g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 6%; Vitamin C 2%; Calcium 6%; Iron 25% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

This is so good! Enjoy!


I am a gardener! August 13, 2007

Filed under: Hobbies,Uncategorized — Shannon @ 7:53 pm

Little gardenWell, totally a beginner. It is kind of fun though. I am growing cilantro, yellow and red peppers, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins. I think I had skipped science class when I learned about boy and girl flowers and how bees help pollinate the flowers. Boy am I learning that now! The cilantro is flowering because I am allowing it to go to seed to get more cilantro plants.


I thought I had failed as an amateur gardener when I have been growing these plants for 6 weeks and no signs of coming fruit or vegetables. Well, after a lovely google search and learning that there is a whole reproduction cycle for plants, it reminded me of that song from Grease 2 “Reproduction” tag line – “Where does the pollen go?”


Now I know the difference between boy and girl plants and I show my kids every day. (Really, I am totally serious) They are still at the stage where they are excited to see the difference in the plants everyday. Pumpkin vines can grow up to 6 inches in one day! I had some other plants with it but had to transplant them so the pumpkin could take over. Right now it looks like I will have about 10 pumpkins. I have used my cilantro in recipes and as a fragrance for my kitchen sink disposal. The peppers are still developing and I have high hopes that I will at least get one before our first frost. I have about 25 tomatoes growing but the picture shows my biggest so far. The heat killed my cucumber and I did not know that it would grow better on a trelis. Oh, maybe next year.


Today the kids started school. They really enjoyed it and have already started learning some French! They know greetings and some colors. I took the baby to a pediatrician out here and she has the official seal that she does not need anymore physical therapy! So excited – doing the happy dance! So excited in fact, I made Jon take me and the kids out to eat to celebrate!

Here’s a couple more pics:

our house