Friday, October 22, 2010

Obsession with Fall Soups - Experiment #1 Caribbean Black Bean soup!

So, I love fall . . . like LOVE LOVE LOVE fall . . . all things fall actually . . . apple cider and mulled wine . . . autumn vegetables . . . pumpkin pie and s'more bread pudding . . . but right now my new obsession is FALL SOUPS! 

Soups truly are the best meal in the world!  It's a full meal in one single bowl, and it warms you from the inside out!  I recently spent some time searching for good soup recipes to try, and came up with 22 (yes, I know . . . that's a LOT of soup!  Maybe it will be enough to quench my obsession with fall soups!)

So, last week I made my first experiment . . . Caribbean Black Bean Soup . . .


This one is a TOTAL winner.  Thick and hearty like a chili, but TANGY!  It's definitely a soup that will stick to your ribs on a chilly fall afternoon. The only change I made was no avocado or cilantro.  I think that gives this tasty soup too much of a Spanish vibe for me, plus I dislike cilantro.  Also, big fan of the shredded chicken . . . not sure why it's so much better than cubed chicken, but it is . . . just trust me on this one. 


  • 1/2  cup  diced onion
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1  tablespoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 1  (14-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1  (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2  cups  chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  orange juice
  • 1/4  cup  tomato paste
  • 1  pound  chicken breast tenders
  • 2  (15-oz.) cans black beans, drained
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Toppings: diced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro


1. Sauté onion and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is tender and fragrant. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute.
2. Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients until well blended. Stir in chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 2 hours. Shred chicken with two forks in Dutch oven. Add black beans, and cook 10 more minutes. Stir in salt. Serve with desired toppings.
Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator. When reheating, add water or canned broth to reach desired consistency.

Anna Ginsberg, Austin, Texas, Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2008

"I'm bringing sexy . . . I mean, domestic back . . . "

Hey all, this is Nicky.  Welcome to my first blogpost!

I've always said I was born in the wrong era, and in an time of modern conveniences: hamburger helper, the microwave, and the remote control, Crys and I are bringing domestic back (and doing it in style, if I do say so myself!).

Now, I'll freely admit I can't do this with HALF the style and grace that I'm sure my Memaw had in her younger years.  Who are we kidding?  When I bake, it looks like a flour bomb exploded in my kitchen, and all over me!  The most used tool in my sewing kit is my seam ripper, and on my current knitting project I had to undo and restart it 3 times before I got it going correctly. 

So maybe it's a new era of Sally Homemakers . . . it's the MODERN Sally Homemaker . . . where trial and error rule, where we spend just as much time cleaning up from our domestic exploits as the exploits themselves, where everything is made better with a glass (or bottle) of wine, and we learn to integrate just a handful of some of the modern day conveniences that, despite our love for handmade, scratch, and elbow grease, we just can't seem to live without (like my kitchen aid mixer, for one . . . )

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Beginning...

Four years ago I wouldn't have known a sewing needle from a tooth's true! Then God brought Nicole into my life and changed everything...people actually MAKE their own clothes...NO WAY!!! How cool, right? Home cooked meals don't come from the microwave oven, or a box??? CRAZY!!! And so it began, my journey to becoming what Nicky likes to call, A Modern Day Sally Homemaker, gotta love her! With everything that I have learned, and everything still left to learn, I wanted to start a blog to document and share my experiences with all of the women...and men out there. Whether you are still making dinner from a box and have a lot to learn, or are a total pro and have made your entire wardrobe, I think there is something here for everyone. Please enjoy!!!

Love to all, Crystal