October 4, 2014

Spiced Apple Cider and Chicken Tortilla Soup

The weather here is perfect! Finally some fall temps here in the South. All my windows are raised up and I actually had to close a few since it got too cold for me! This morning my husband put together our new fire pit and I want to sit outside and enjoy it tonight while watching the Auburn-LSU game but I don't think my husband will go for it....he likes the comfort of his chair and the big TV in the den. As soon as we have our first "cold snap" (all your north of the Mason-Dixon line can stop laughing) I make my first batch of spiced cider. A few years ago we took the "big kids" and grandkids to Calloway Gardens for the Fantasy of Lights Show.

We stayed at The Lodge (can't recommend that place enough) and they served the most delicious spiced cider in a silver urn in the lobby all day and night. When I got home I tried my hand at copying that recipe and came up with one that is a winner! Few ingredients and easy to make in the crock pot. I'm sipping on my first cup right now! 

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider (the original recipe called for 1 gallon but I have a small crock pot and since it’s just the two of us, I didn’t need to make a huge amount)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, or more to taste (I used about 2 cups since I like my cider sweet!)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange slice
Pour apple cider in crock pot.    Add sugar and stir.    Put the cloves in a tea ball and add to pot.    Layer the cinnamon sticks and orange slices on top.    Cover and simmer on high, stirring occasionally.    Once hot, turn on low to keep warm.    

 One of my all time favorite things to have in the winter is Chicken Tortilla Soup.   I'm sure there are many ways to make it but I like this recipe as it is easy and soooo good!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 6-8 chicken tenders
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can cream style corn* (undrained)
  • chicken stock
  • 1 block Velveeta Mexican cheese (cut into cubes)
Cook chicken until tender.     After cooking, cool and then chop in blender.      Put chopped chicken and Velveeta cheese in large pot, add chicken stock and cook until the cheese is completely melted.  (I used almost one box of chicken stock).    Then add in the can of corn and Rotel tomatoes.  
Use the same method if cooking in crockpot….just remember to add the cream style corn just prior to serving!    Of course, if you use the crockpot, you don’t have to pre-cook your chicken.


 I always serve my soup in this pretty little tureen I found a few years ago in a flea market...I think I paid around $12 for it!


Here's a tablescape from last year. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!


Simply LKJ said...

Perfect for fall. Loving these temps.

Christi said...

I'm happy to hear your recommendation of the Callaway Gardens lights & the Lodge - we have an overnight stay planned for early in December. Both your recipes sound just fabulous! Enjoy this beautiful weather!

NanaDiana said...

I am SOOO making this soup!!! It sounds wonderful...and so does the other recipe.

I LOVE that picture of your little guy with the lights in the window around him. He is darling! xo Diana

Stephanie@SweetTeaAndSunshine said...

It got a little chily last night! I was very disturbed by the Alabama/Ole Miss game (lol) but we had a good time grilling out. Thanks for sharing the soup recipe - I am bookmarking it. :)

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes for the cider and the soup. Those look yummy for this time of year. Hasn't the cooler weather been wonderful?

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