Day 6 of 10: Video Post

I really enjoyed doing the video post yesterday, so I thought I would do it again.  (Less typing, ha!)

 Breakfast: Raisin Bran (i left the house without grabbing the banana, ha)

Lunch: This was my lunch minus the strawberries (yes, I am reposting last nights dinner photo, hehe)

Dinner: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Organic Green Beans, & Whole wheat roll.

See ya tomorrow, Day 7!

Strollin' down Memory Lane

Every so often I love looking through old photos.  So, I thought I would give a a chance to go strollin' with me. :-)

This was at our friends' Josiah & Nicole's wedding, about 4 months before we got engaged.

Love these photos of my brother, Jamison, and I.

My parents at a Winter Ball a few years ago.  They look great!

Me & my brother Jacob.  I think this was about 4 years ago at a Square Dance.

Before any of us were engaged or married.

My photography instructor, Emilie Knight, took this photo of me in class.  4 years ago i think.

Lets go WAY back for a couple photos.
LOL!  This cracks me up.

This is my dear friend, Samantha, who introduced TJ and I.

In Charleston for the Bridge Run in 2007.

It was a random stroll down Memory Lane, but nevertheless, a stroll.  :-)


Patchwork Quilt Kit Giveaway

Hey friends!  Here is some info for a great giveaway at The Vintage Sheet Blog!  VS is giving away a Patchwork Quilt Kit made by my new friend Lora over at Eager Hands.  Click here to find out how you can win this great kit!

Day 5 of 10: Video Post

For Day 5, I thought I would post a video blog explaining my day.  Again, for those of you wondering, this is just a little challenge I am doing for myself.  I found myself skipping breakfast and then not taking the time to prepare healthy meals like I should be.  These 10 days are about eating better (including LOTS more fresh veggies and fruits) and getting some sort of work out in each day.  Even if it is something small each day, it is better than nothing.

Why does that have to be the face chosen for the freeze screen?  Oye! LoL

Breakfast: Here is the beautiful cafe mocha that I had today at Rush Espresso.  See the Palm Tree?  I did have a blueberry bagel with cream cheese also, but I forgot to take a photo cause I was so hungry. 

Lunch: Chicken Tortilla Soup. Leftovers are so great!

Dinner: Homemade Macaroni & Cheese (recipe here), Salad, and strawberries

5 Days down, 5 to go.  
Feeling Great.

Whole Wheat Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese has always been one of my favorite things to not only eat, but make!  I do not like it made with onions, eggs, or with any other added ingredients accept noodles and creamy cheese sauce.  There is something so comforting about eating a plateful of homemade mac & cheese.

This time when I decided to make it, I opted for whole wheat noodles.  I also always use elbow macaroni, but this time I used shells.  Hmmm, I supposed I should have titled this "Whole Wheat Shells & Cheese". ha!  Anyway, I used as much "organic" ingredients as I could, which was only the milk.  I didn't count the calories, but, I'm sure that it could be "low cal" or "low fat" by using the appropriate ingredients.  Unfortunately the ingredients I will be listing below will not reflect that.  It is a very simple recipe that can be altered to your cheesy tasting by adding less or more.  The original recipe I followed called for 12 oz. of cheese, but I added 8oz. instead.  Also, in the past I have always microwaved the cream/cheese mix so that it would go faster and so that the milk would not burn.  But, this time I decided to try the stove to be healthier (haven't done the microwave study, but common sense tells me it may be better for us....not sure?).

  • 8oz of uncooked macaroni (or shells)
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar 
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2.5 cups of milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Boil water and cook pasta to al dente.  Melt butter over medium heat and stir in the flour to make a roux.  Add milk to roux and continue stirring until the milk mixture thickens.  You must stand at the stovetop and stir constantly or else the milk will burn.  It may take a while for it to begin thickening, but be patient.  (This whole process is what I have typically done in the microwave in the past).  Once the cream sauce has thickened, add the shredded cheese and stir until completed melted.  Take off heat and pour cheese sauce over noodles and mix together. After the noodles and cheese have been combined, pour into an un-greased casserole dish and bake @350 for about 20-25min.  I also sprinkled parmesan cheese on top before placing in oven.

Below are photos from my cooking adventure today. :-)

I would be so appreciative if you wouldn't mind voting for The Yellow Pepper at Picket Fence Blogs by clicking on the link below.  One click is all it takes! :-)

Charlotte Photography : That's who we are!

For those of you who follow The Yellow Pepper and don't know, my husband and I have a photography business, "Charlotte Photography".  We began the business a few months before we got married in 2009 and then both went full time last summer.  It is something that we both love and we work really well together.  A dream of mine was to own a photography business and not only has that come true, but I get to work with my best friend.  I feel very blessed!

Charlotte Photography Blog

Charlotte Photography Website

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Last week my friend Rebekah (Tirzah Photography) posted a link from Pioneer Women for a yummy tortilla soup that she had just made.  I immediately made plans to make the soup this week.  So, yesterday was the day!  After church we went to the grocery store to buy the appropriate veggies for the soup.  The fact that it was rainy and cold only made me more excited to make the soup (Soup on a rainy day = comfort food!).  I did not take as many photos of the process as I wanted to, and the final photo of the soup with toppings was done with my iphone,  Nevertheless, it looks AND tasted AMAZING!!!  I highly recommend you making this if you like tortilla soup.

Below is the recipe, but go to the website too.  There are awesome photos to walk you through making the soup.

*I actually boiled my chicken instead of baking it.


  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1-½ teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • ¼ cups Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • ¼ cups Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 can (10 Oz. Can) Rotel Tomatoes And Green Chilies
  • 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 4 cups Hot Water
  • 2 cans (15 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornmeal Or Masa
  • 5 whole Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Uniform Strips Around 2 To 3 Inches
  • _____
  • Sour Cream
  • Diced Avocado
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Salsa Or Pico De Gallo
  • Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil on chicken breasts, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix.
Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir.
Pour in Rotel, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Mix cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings, adding more if needed—add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to undersalt. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.
Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream, diced red onion, diced avocado, pico de gallo, and grated cheese, if you have it! (The garnishes really make the soup delicious.)

Let me know if you make this soup and what you think.  I loved it so much I'm having leftovers for lunch!

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