Cool Weather “Copycat” Soups

Now that fall is here and winter is quickly approaching, I wanted to do a post 
featuring cool weather soups. Below I have posted 10 of my favorite "copy cat"
soup recipes from some of my favorite restaurants 
from some of my favorite restaurants. Now you can make them at home! Enjoy.
                                                   
Chili's Tortilla Soup
 Ingredients: 46edcf368467df199a9f9926163660b7
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken base
  • 3 cups diced yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups masa harina (see note)
  • 4 quarts water (divided)
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound process American cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3 pounds cooked, cubed chicken

Directions

  1. In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Sauté until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes. In another container, combine masa harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve.
  2. Add to sautéed onions; bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from masa harina. Add remaining 3 quarts water to pot.
  3. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil, stirring occasionally. Add cheese to soup. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16 to 20 main-dish servings.
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  5. Chili’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  6. Directions

    2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups chopped)
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 cup diced white onion
    2 tablespoons flour
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 cups water
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1 1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
    1 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon basil
    1/8 teaspoon thyme
    1 cup half and half Garnish
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
    2 green onions, chopped (green part only)

  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake the potatoes or 1 hour or until done. When potatoes have cooked remove them from the oven to cool.
  8. As potatoes cool prepare soup by melting butter in a large saucepan, and sauté onion until light brown. Add the flour to the onions and stir to make a roux.
    9. Add stock, water, cornstarch, mashed potatoes, and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
    10. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out contents with a large spoon. Discard skin. Chop baked potato with a large knife to make chunks that are about 1/2-inch in size.
    11. Add chopped baked potato and half-and-half to the saucepan, bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup for another 15 minutes or until it is thick.
    12. Spoon about 1 1/2 cups of soup into a bowl and top with about a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, a half tablespoon of crumbled bacon and a teaspoon or so of chopped green onion. Repeat for remaining servings. Continue reading

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Tutorial: cork board

With kids having headed off to college, try making this cork board for your student! It’s easy to hang on the wall, the side or front of the closet, or on the desk. Directions are below.

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I purchased a package of cork boards from Hobby Lobby. Four cork boards come in the package.

 

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Rather than using thumbtacks, I chose to decorate clothspins and permanently mount them to the cork board.

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Fabric flowers and bright green ribbon are used to embellish cork board.

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Attach the coordinating green piece of ribbon as trim.

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Finished ribbon boarder.

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Attach fabric flowers to the cork board at the point where the ribbon intersects.

 

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Use large and small size clothespins to make embellished clothespins.

 

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Beads used to embellish clothespins.

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Attach beads to clothespins using hot glue.

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Attach beads to large clothespins with hot glue.

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Attach more beads to the small clothespins with glue gun.

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Completed clothespins.

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Attach clothespins to cork board with hot glue.

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Cork board after clothespins have been glued to the board. Now you are ready to hang in a dorm. (Or keep it for yourself).


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Dorm Room, Move In.

Over these last few weeks, those of us who have college aged kids have been packing and unpacking their life’s processions.Here are some great ideas for your student’s dorm room. Options include black and white,  brights, florals, pastels and  all colors of prints patterns. All photos uploaded from Pinterest. I claim no rights to these photos. Enjoy!

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Dorm Room Decor

 

I have a daughter heading off to school soon, so we have started our hunt for some unique, fun, and colorful items to decorate her dorm walls. Here is a list of suggestions for what your child may need in his/he dorm. Enjoy!

  • For bedding: sheets,pillows, pillowcases, extra pillow, comforter or duvet cover, blanket, mattress pad,egg crate mattress topper
  • For Storage:  colorful storage boxes,  storage ottomandouble hung closet rod, under- the- bed storage containers, storage selves, bunk-bed style storage pocket for side or end of bed, shoe organizers, over the door hanger, closet organizers, hangers, make-up & jewelry holder, laptop table
  • Desk Organizers: pen/pencil holder, scissors, tape, tape dispenser, binder/paper clips, staples/stapler and remover, desk lamp, small fan, alarm clock, mirror
  • For the Bath: shower caddy, flip flops for shower, towels, laundry bags or hamper, ironing board, iron
  • For on the Wall: White board, Dry erase markers, magnets, magnet board, and/or thumbtacks, cork board, fabric file folders for back of chair, on side of bed or wall
  • For electronics: Cord organizers, phone/i-pad charger, fabric holder for phone when charging,surge protectors, batteries
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Clever dorm room storage shelves. From www.prudentbaby.com

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Shabby Chic dorm room bulletin board. From www.2.bp.blogspot.com.

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Darling tin can pen and pencil holders. From www.blissfulroots.blogspot.com. 

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Pretty patterned white, pink and green chair/ottoman. From www.livingwithpunks.com. 

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Summer poolside drinks

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Pineapple upside down cake daiquiri. Pinned from www.slimpickinskitchen.com

Enjoy these fantastic summer drinks, poolside! Includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. There are as beautiful as they are tasty.

 

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Blue Sparkling Star: 2 oz orange infused vodka, 2 oz blue curaçao, champagne. Rim champagne glasses with blue sanding sugar. Pour 1 oz orange vodka into each glass. Add 1 oz blue curaçao. Top each glass with champagne.Pinned from www.daydreamerdesserts.com.

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Lime Sherbet Margaritas. Pinned from www.betterrecipes.com.

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Purple Martini: 3 oz Vodka, 1 1/2 oz cranberry juice, ½ oz blue Curacao liqueur, ½ oz sweet & sour mix, ½ can of clear soda (7-up) Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake gently. Serve in a chilled glasses. Pinned from www.raindropsnroses.tumblr.com

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Paris night life

Hello, I’ve just had a great trip to Paris, although I did not attend any fashion shows, I’ve put together a collection of Paris style gowns. Enjoy.

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Fabulous cream gown

 

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Stunning green dress

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Cream halter top

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Shoes with bows

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Green high low gown

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Short dress of pink lace 

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French Style

I’ve just spent the last ten days in Paris, France. And had a wonderful time. Sometimes tourists get a bad rap from Parisians. Making fun of their white tennis shoes, capri pants and crossover bags. Today in my post I’ve put together some wonderful outfits that even a tourist could pull off in Paris. Enjoy your travels.

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Great black and white striped skirt

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Simple jeans and white blouse dressed up with a green wool coat

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Cropped jeans, white tee add a great bag and a ever so Parisian scarf

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Jeans, blouse navy sweater and pearls make a classic outfit

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Vintage Furniture

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Shabby Chic bed

Shabby Chic, Antique, and Vintage all have a little different meaning. Antiques are over 100 years old. Shabby Chic is a style that uses eccentric and unique items to decorate. Vintage refers to older home decor.Below I’ve compiled items that fall into all of these categories. Enjoy.

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Vintage table and candle holders.

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Pink chest of drawers

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Blue tuffed couch

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Vintage yellow chest of drawers

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Refurbished curio cabinet

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Tiered Serving Pieces

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Stacked metal cake plates in three sizes form an awesome cupcake server.

 

Cakes have always been a part of many celebrations and now cupcakes have become one of this countries most popular desserts. In this blog I showcase some delightful cake plates and cupcake servers. Some can  even be made from everyday household items. Enjoy!

 

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Darling blue server topped with glass.

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Tall, thin pastry stands.

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White serving dishes combine to form a three-tiered serving dish. 

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Unique Furniture Pieces

 

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cute multi-colored chair

This post features some very unusual pieces of furniture. Now most of us won’t be able to incorporate these unique pieces into our homes decor, but I just so enjoyed scouring the web for these pieces and thought you would enjoy looking at them too.

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bathtub turned couch…how clever

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unique chairs created from fabric upholstered pentagons

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pretty hand knit chair cover

 

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old guitar that has been painted aqua and turned into a bookcase

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you’ll always feel on the move sitting in this desk made from a car’s grill

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