Archive for October, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup/ Guacamole, as you like it

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Chicken Tortilla Soup and a nice side of guacamole

Today I decided to try my hand at Chicken Tortilla Soup. It came out pretty tasty, but as in all things, if you like it spicier, try some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes in your recipe.


  • Split chicken breasts
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 container (16 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 can yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can hominy, drained
  • chopped cilantro (if you like it)
  • 1 can chopped green chiles (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces, and put into oil along with onion and garlic.
  3. Cover and let cook until chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Toss in all the other ingredients, and let cook for an hour.
  5. When ready, garnish with shredded cheese and/or chopped green onions. Make sure you have some tortilla chips handy 🙂

Easy peasy.

As far as the guacamole goes, I have found that Ina Garten’s recipe actually works for me. Not so much tabasco sauce per se, but a little doesn’t hurt too much. Here it is:

Guacamole Ingredients

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced


Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Movie Recommendation: Double Dare

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Double Dare is a documentary that follows two stuntwomen as they go through the ups and downs of trying to get work and respect in the very macho world of stunts. Jeannie Epper is the veteran, having done stunts for Wonder Woman (double for Lynda Carter) and tons of movies and television shows. Zoe Bell (stunt double for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill and also appears in Death Proof) is an up and coming player, having made a name for herself as a stunt double for Lucy Lawless in Xena: Warrior Princess. The doc doesn’t get too much into the history of stuntwomen in film, but it’s an interesting look nonetheless.

At the time the film was released, Zoe was injured on the Kill Bill set and was out of commission for a year, but she fully recovered and continues working to this day.

In another life I think I would have liked to have done stunts. If anything, my grandmother was convinced that I’d be great at it considering how many times I jumped off her garage roof or fell out of trees.

It’s available on Netflix Streaming Instantly.

Categories: Movies

Fun for kids of all ages (Shaun the Sheep)

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’ve never seen this show (available on Netflix Streaming Instantly), it’s a great combination of cute and funny. From the creator of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, it’s a kid show that grownups can also watch and have a laugh. Check it out sometime 🙂

It’s perfect for bouts of insomnia… like now. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by large snoozing felines. That makes my brain switching on way too early not such a bad thing.

Categories: Television

I survived class last night/ review of Beavis and Butthead (they’re back!)

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

This week was stripe testing week for us martial arts students. I’m an orange belt, so I test in Kickboxing, which is the class scheduled right before Krav Maga. If you get enough stripes you qualify for the next belt up. For me, that’s purple in January, which allows me to take the Kung Fu class (can’t wait for that :)).

Stripe testing week is tough overall. And when I say tough I mean I was surprised I lasted in Krav Maga last night. The higher belts test in that class, so the rest of us are along for the ride. And what a ride… tons of tiger jumps, squat thrusts, and running. Then there were the partner exercises, like the one where one partner holds a kicking shield and those without the shields get in a circle for push ups. Then the lights go off as you get up and you have to try to locate your partner for many jabs and crosses. It’s pretty fun and adrenaline filled, so by the time I got home, my ponytail was drenched in sweat. Some high points:

  • Kept up with the squat thrusts. When I first started with the class I could not do more than three.
  • Got through the tiger jumps
  • My partner was complaining about being tired before I was, and that NEVER happens.

So there you have it. It was a heckuva class, is all I can say. Not that it isn’t usually because it’s always intense, but this was TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH.

And on to Beavis and Butthead:

This was one of my favorite shows when I was in high school. Saturday nights (parents never let me stay out late even if I was on a date or at a party), I would get settled in for Beavis and Butthead, and then Headbanger’s Ball. That was a rockin’ lineup. Anyway, my fear was that maybe they’d lose their edge 18 years later. Nope!

They still make fun of videos, but now they also make fun of MTV shows. You and I both know that Jersey Shore is made to be mocked, no matter what anyone says. I enjoy mockery of inane things, so this meets with my approval. Check it out if you are so inclined. Oh, and to Mike Judge… I may just forgive you yet for ending King of the Hill.

So says Jen.

Powa’s Ottoman and a song for the day

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

She really likes it. It's my mother's gift to her.


Perhaps she’ll let the humans use it once in a while.

As tonight is a Kickbox/Krav Maga class night at the dojo (and stripe testing week too), I need to listen to angry music to get me in the mood. Angry, but excellent music. Enjoy:

Mastodon kicks so much ass.

Categories: Critters, Music

Lack of sleep = a very cranky Jen (it’s all the cat’s fault)

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

I blame this squarely on my male cat. Usually Powa the diva wondercat will come in and try to steal pillow space, or decide to play hairdresser at about 3 am. She’ll get shooed over to Erik for further harassment. This time it was Big Kitteh.

He starts yowling away for no reason at about 2:30. Actually, I’m sure for lots of reasons, like:


I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t exactly make a happy, chirpy start to my day. And to add insult to injury, as I was stumbling around trying to get Bear situated, the little fecker decides to wind himself around my legs. I almost went *splat* on the floor.

Perhaps he is plotting my demise?

Categories: Critters

Product recommendation: Avalon Organics Shampoo and Conditioner, plus a Shakeology update

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Avalon Organics Hair Care Line

I’m sure many out there have seen it and tried and are already in the know. For those who haven’t, this stuff is great. It’s also widely available at your favorite drugstores, supermarket chains, and big box retailers.

In my quest for essential oil goodness, I came across this product line. My favorite so far is Strengthening Peppermint. It’s invigorating to the senses, and the ingredient list has very natural items included. The best part? No sulfates or parabens. Way cheaper than the salon stuff, and 70% organic. My husband loved the shampoo also. He says it makes his scalp tingle and his hair feels soft.

Check it out for yourself 🙂

On the Shakeology front, a new flavor is about to makes its presence known this fall:

Introducing... Shakeology Tropical


I’m not a Greenberry fan per se, but I like the idea of a more fruity flavor that I can drink alternately with the Chocolate flavor. Chocolate Shakeology is my first love, but mixing it up is a great idea as well. I’m definitely up for a bag of Tropical sometime soon.

And with that, my Shakeology Chocolate favorite recipe:

  • 1/2 banana (the other half goes to Bear because he loves bananas)
  • 1 TB PB2
  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Shakeology chocolate
  • ice
  • 1/4 cup water (to thin it out a bit)

Directions: Blend until smooth and enjoy. If you want a review of Shakeology, I have one that has more ingredient information if you’re interested.

One thing that annoyed me a bit is that I found the Shakeology shaker cup was a little too small to hold this particular recipe. I think it holds either 12 or 16 oz. So, this weekend I went to Wal-Mart and found a shaker cup that holds 20+ oz… for 6 bucks! 🙂 Great buy, most definitely. If I tried to buy a shaker cup at one of these vitamin stores, I’d probably pay 10 bucks or more. No thank you. And, it’s BPA-free. Nice one.

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