Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

The Mansion on Turtle Creek is one of our favorite restaurants. During the 80s, the Mansion’s chef, Dean Fearing created one of his signature dishes,Tortilla Soup. It was and continues to be popular.

It wasn’t long before restaurants around the country began adding their version of Tortilla Soup to the menus. 

Tortilla Soup is a popular dish in our home too. It is fun to serve for friends and family.

Tortilla Soup

My favorite ingredient in the tortilla soup is the ancho chile. Ancho Chiles are red poblano chiles that have been dried.


  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Ancho Chiles
  • 2 28-ounce cans Muir Glen® Fire-Roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, deveined, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded to bite-size
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnishes: tortilla chips, 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 1 cup sour cream, 2 ripe avocados - peeled and diced and 1 bunch fresh cilantro - stems removed and diced


  1. Prepare the Ancho Chiles and Tomatoes:

    In a Pyrex® bowl, pour boiling water over the Ancho Chiles, set aside for about ten minutes. Remove chiles from water and discard the stems and seeds. Place the softened Ancho Chiles in the bowl of a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add the canned tomatoes and roasted tomatoes pulse until the tomatoes are bite-size. Set aside.

  2. In a heavy bottomed, 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and red pepper, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

  3. Stir in chili powder and cumin, cook for 1 minute.

  4. Add the prepared Ancho Chiles and Tomatoes, chicken stock and corn. Simmer for about 1 hour. Add the cooked chicken, simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Setting the buffet:

    Arrange the garnishes in small bowls, wide-rimmed soup bowls, spoons on a buffet table alongside the simmering soup.


    Ladle Tortilla Soup into soup bowls and garnish with favorite toppings.




It’s Sunday! Who Wants Pancakes?

It’s Sunday! Who Wants Pancakes?

It’s Sunday, Who wants pancakes?

In our house it’s everyone!

Here’s our favorite pancake recipe . . . they are light, fluffy and delicious. Puffing up like a soufflé, the presentation is beautiful. Instead of flipping pancakes one at a time. This Puff Pancake recipe may be doubled or even tripled. So it serves many people at once. That’s a real time saver! 

5 from 1 vote

Puffed Pancakes

This is our favorite breakfast to make for our children and their friends. Actually, I should say Jim because he always makes these puff pancakes. And every time, they receive rave reviews!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes


  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Toppings: maple syrup and sliced fresh berries


  1. Preheat oven to 450Fº.

  2. Place the butter in an ovenproof skillet or casserole. Place in the oven until butter is melted.

  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until light and bright yellow. Gradually beat in the milk and flour until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.

  4. Pour the batter into the skillet or casserole of hot butter and return the pan to the oven.

    When doubling the recipe, use a couple of skillets or casseroles because the batter will rise!

  5. Bake until the pancake is puffed and golden, about 12 minutes.

  6. Slice into wedges. Serve at once with warm maple syrup and sliced fresh berries.

Sweet And Spicy

Sweet And Spicy

Sweet and Spicy . . . Pork Tenderloin made with the Kuby’s Raspberry Chipotle Spread and pork tenderloin. 

For years, inspired by one of my favorite chefs, Helen Corbitt, I have served her pork tenderloin from Helen Corbitt’s Potluck.

Just recently, as we have been making an attempt at healthier meals, I made a couple of changes: no cream and substituting Kuby’s Raspberry Chipotle Spread for the original currant jam.

The new and improved recipe is sweet and spicy!

-Preparation: 20 Minutes

-Bake: 30 minutes

-Make the sauce: 5 minutes

-Slice and Serve: 5 minutes

Delicious sides for the sweet and spicy pork tenderloin: sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and wild/long grain rice 


Raspberry Chipotle Pork Tenderloin

Inspired by Helen Corbitt's recipe, the original recipe calls for currant jelly and cream in the sauce. Recently, I decided to omit the cream and much to my surprise the dish was even better. Also, Kuby's Raspberry Chipotle Spread was substituted for the currant jelly. The flavors compliment the tenderloin and rosemary quite well. This sweet and spicy tenderloin is easy enough for weekday meals. It is a perfect dish for entertaining too.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 2 2-pound pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 jar Kuby's Raspberry Chipotle Spread
  • salt, freshly ground pepper and dry mustard
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 T. butter, room temperature
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.

  2. Remove the membrane from the outside of the pork tenderloin.

  3. Rub the tenderloins with the salt, pepper and dry mustard.

  4. Melt the butter and olive oil in an oven-proof pan or skillet. Brown the tenderloins on all sides.

  5. Add the raspberry chipotle spread. Sprinkle with rosemary.

  6. Cover and bake for 25 - 35 minutes.

    Cook pork tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145ºF.

  7. Place the tenderloins on a cutting board; rest for 10 minutes.

  8. Blend the butter and flour; add to the skillet, cook over medium heat, whisking constantly.

  9. Slice the tenderloin. Serve with the sauce. Enjoy!



Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread is a delicious treat for the holidays. A gingerbread boy cake will add some cheer to your holiday table!

5 from 1 vote


Homemade with a short cut. . . starting with a yellow cake mix is easy. Adding ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spices up the cake! 


  • 1 box yellow-cake mix
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cups molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg


  1. Grease a gingerbread boy cake pan or 3 8" cake pans.

    Set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 350º.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add all of the ingredients. 

    On a medium setting, mix the ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes. 

  4. Pour into the prepared pans. If the gingerbread pans are different shapes, fill up half way. This allows for proper rising of the cake.

  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes for the 8" rounds. Adjust the baking time for smaller or larger cake pans. Insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. When it comes out clean, the cake is ready. 

  6. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan. Flip over.

  7. Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a serving piece.

  8. Decorate with gumdrops, peppermint sticks, holiday candies, and royal icing.

Life Is Better With Pancakes

Life Is Better With Pancakes

Life is better with pancakes. For the holidays, make ginger pancakes with ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The gingerbread spices mixed with whole wheat flour, buttermilk and one secret ingredient. They rival my favorite gingerbread boys with much less sugar and butter. That’s how they became my new favorite holiday treat!Nordic Ware Holiday Pancake Pan

Life Is Better With Pancakes – Equipment:

Secret Ingredient:

  • Brewed coffee adds another layer of flavor and blends well with the gingerbread spices!Ginger PancakesLife is better with pancakes . . . make some ginger pancakes for a festive holiday breakfast!

Ginger Pancakes

Delicious whole-wheat pancakes mixed with gingerbread spices are perfect to serve during the holiday season! Inspired by Dream Cafe's ginger pancakes.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. ground cloves
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee


  1. Combine the dry ingredients - flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt - in a bowl; mix well; set aside.

  2. In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, eggs, butter and coffee.

  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, blending until just incorporated.

  4. Cook the pancakes on a lightly oiled, pancake griddle or in a cast-iron skillet for approximately 4 minutes on the first side and 1 minute after flipping.

  5. Serve with fresh creamery butter and real maple syrup.


Decorating Gingerbread Houses

Decorating Gingerbread Houses

Decorating Gingerbread Houses is one of the most rewarding things that I have experienced.  

When my first two children were just toddlers, we began the holiday tradition of decorating gingerbread houses. Over the years, our tradition grew to neighborhood gingerbread house parties and school events.

In 2008, I chaired a holiday event for TCU Dallas alumni. Families decorated gingerbread houses. 

For six consecutive years, Laura Chudy with TCU’s development office and I planned this holiday event. We purchased a variety of purple and white candy (TCU’s colors), gingerbread houses and made arrangements with the venue. Prior to each party, TCU friends and I made purple and white trees, lollipop ponds, and mailboxes. Every year our Holiday event sold out. It was magical!

As the gingerbread house parties grew so did my collections of recipes, candy resources, hand-made candy, such as lollipop ponds, red doors, holiday trees, mailboxes and all of the basics for building and decorating gingerbread houses. In addition, I learned tips for organizing and planning gingerbread house parties.

With an array of gingerbread house kits available at grocery stores, drug stores and craft stores it’s easy to buy and decorate a gingerbread house with the simple contents found in the kit. Sometimes, this is the best option. However if you are ready for an adventure, with just a bit of planning and following the tips and recipes on my blog, you can take your gingerbread house project to an entirely new level. Your family and friends will be dazzled! The wonder and joy of the holidays will fill your heart. I guarantee!