Tag Archives: soup

Cooking is Hard Work!


I recently undertook my biggest single cooking endeavor to date: a co-worker’s wedding shower. This was difficult not only because it was dinner for 30 people, but also because I was cooking for some of my favorite people and I wanted them to know how much I cared for them via the food that I cooked.


In order to display my love for these people (especially Lisa and Cameron, the brides-to-be) I cooked as much of the food from scratch as possible. And cook from scratch I did! There are too many recipes to put them all here, so look below for photos and links!

The hors d’oeuvres

Zucchini Fritters

Jalepeno Poppers

and Cheese Straws

Main Course and Side Dishes


Hamburger Buns

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

Also there but not pictured:
Barbecue Sauce
Summer Corn Soup (I served it chilled)
Basil and Mint Melon Salad
Ranch Dressing for a lovely green salad

For dessert we had…
Red Velvet Cupcakes and Lime Bars

All in all the feast was a huge success and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again!


La Serena Chicken Soup


This is a soup made out of necessity. We were a bunch of hungry girls stuck in a desert that was experiencing record breaking rains. It was cold. What do you do when you are cold and wet? Make soup!

It’s sort of a cross between chicken and rice soup and tortilla soup, it was born of what left-over vegetables we had, plus a little supplemented chicken, and what we could find/utensils available to us in our hostel’s kitchen. It turned out better than any of us could have expected!

La Serena Chicken Soup
the brainchild of Erin Milliren

Bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (2 thighs, 3 legs)
1 1/2 yellow onions
1 green pepper
2 carrots
3-4 medium tomatoes
2-3 cups uncooked rice (based on personal preference, we may have even used more)
1 chili pepper (anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, etc)
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 limes
Vegetable Oil

Cilantro, avocado, and slice lime for garnish. You could also use sour cream or cheese, but we didn’t have any.

Dice/slice all your veggies, but keep them separate. Leave as much of the chili pepper’s membrane and seeds in as you like (the more membrane and seeds the spicier the soup will be).

Heat some oil in a stock pot. Add minced garlic and 1/3 of the diced onion. Brown slightly. Add chicken pieces and brown those. When browned, add enough water to cover the chicken by about 1 inch (we also added some cilantro stems at this stage, I don’t know if it made a difference), boil until chicken is cooked, about 7-10 minutes after the water starts boiling. Remove chicken (and any cilantro stems you may have added), set aside to cool. Add rice, green and chili pepper, sliced carrots, and the juice of 2 limes to the stock pot, cook until rice is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.

At the same time as you add the rice to the stock pot: Heat a splash of oil in a separate pan. Once this oil is hot add the rest of the diced onion and the diced tomatoes (juices, seeds, and all). Simmer covered until tomatoes have disintegrated.

While these things are cooking, remove the skin and fork-shred the chicken.

Once the rice has cooked add the tomato/onion mixture and the shredded chicken to the rice/veggie/stock mixture. Bring back to a simmer. Serve with garnish as desired.