Tortilla Soup!

Monday night suppers have to be easy because I volunteer from 4:15-6:45. Mexican chicken in the slow cooker has become a staple. Place a few boneless, skinless breasts in there with a jar of your favorite salsa and some (homemade, please!) taco seasoning, and it will shred beautifully in a few short hours. It can be used for quesadillas, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, or this easy and delicious tortilla soup! I was quite amazed that 30 min. after merely dumping all of the ingredients in a pot at the same time, the soup looked restaurant quality! Cook’s tip: Enlist someone to open all those cans while you chop the onion and cilantro, and you’ll be done in half the time!

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2 cups of shredded chicken

1 32 oz box of chicken broth

1 can corn or Mexicorn (drained)

2 handfuls chopped cilantro

1 squeezed lime

1 can diced tomatoes (I like petite diced.)

1 can diced tomatoes with chiles (Rotel original)

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chile powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Dump everything in a pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish with cheese and crispy tortilla strips if desired.

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen.

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Easter Dessert: Hula Pie!

Hula Pie, Hula Pie, Hula Pie

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I even love saying the name of this amazing dessert. I am not even a dessert person!

Friends had recommended visiting Duke’s, a beachside restaurant in the historic Outrigger Hotel on Waikiki, for the famous “Hula Pie.” It isn’t a pie at all, but a macadamia nut ice cream bombe covered in frozen hot fudge and whipped cream. Um, YES! First of all, I prefer ice cream to cake or pie, anyway, and second, I totally relate macadamia nuts to my childhood experiences of Hawaii. Sold!

The dessert cost $8, and we split two between the 11 of us. Crazy. It was hard to hold the spork back, let me tell ya. So we are determined to recreate that baby for Easter dinner this Sunday. If you love ice cream, macadamia nuts, and chocolate, you might want to make one, too. Let us know how it goes!

Hula Pie

Ingredients:

1 9-inch chocolate cookie piecrust
1 half gallon macadamia nut ice cream (Seems like a lot of ice cream, but you’ll be piling it high.)
4 ounces chocolate fudge topping
1 shot of espresso or strong coffee
6 ounces macadamia nuts
Whipped cream

1. Bring fudge topping to room temperature.

2. Scoop ice cream into prepared pie shell, smoothing it into a rough dome, or bombe, as high as you’d like.

3. Warm espresso or coffee and mix into chocolate.  Use a warmed knife to spread topping even over ice cream bombe.

4. Freeze until ready to serve.

5. Cover top of pie with a layer of whipped cream and chopped macadamia nuts before serving.

Can’t find macadamia nut ice cream in your local store? Just substitute good vanilla ice cream—soften it just a little and mix in chopped mac nuts. We actually prefer this option to store bought mac nut ice cream, as the flavor is more balanced and the texture of the nuts will remain firm, not soggy.

If you’d prefer to make your own pie crust, too, simply mix chocolate wafer crumbs (about a cup and a half) with a little sugar and about ¼ cup melted butter. Press the mixture into a pie pan.

I found this recipe on Hawaii Magazine’s website: http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/blogs/hawaii_today/2009/9/25/Dukes_Hula_Pie_Hawaii_dessert_recipe

Next time you’re in Hawaii, go to Duke’s and order Hula Pie. But make a reservation or you’ll wait an hour+. http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/

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