Dreamy's Delights

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Chicken Chili

I can not believe I haven’t already posted this recipe! This is one that I make several times a year. Maybe that’s why I didn’t post it, I just took it for granted that I’d put it up lol.

This recipe comes from my bestie Susan B. who lives in Kansas. She got it from HER friend, also named Susan. Then she and I put our heads together and tweaked it a bit. We both agree that OUR version is the best. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we do!


4 cups onion, chopped
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup garlic, minced
2 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1″ long pieces
18 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (Penzeys Chili 9000, see note below)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cans plum tomato, whole (28 oz cans)
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
4 chicken breasts, cooked (or a small rotisserie chicken, deboned)

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until translucent and tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute, just long enough to release the aroma. Add the mushrooms and cook just long enough to start to release the liquid. Add the asparagus, bell peppers and spices. Cook for one minute. (This is one of my favorite parts.) Smoosh each plum tomato in your hand as you add it to the pot. You want some bigger pieces and some smaller pieces. Add all the liquid. Stir in the chicken and basil, let simmer for 30 minutes until veggies are just tender. I like mine still with a bit of crunch but this part is personal preference. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and chips, as desired.

For those of you who don’t like asparagus and/or mushrooms, leave them out. The original recipe didn’t call for them at all. We just added them because they’re favorites ๐Ÿ˜€ Tonight’s batch didn’t have the asparagus because I didn’t buy any lol.

Note: The name of Penzeys chili seasoning, Chili 9000, might scare some of you. The number has NOTHING to do with the heat level. It is more in reference to the number of ingredients (there are over 20) and it is very mild. I love this chili blend. It’s got a really nice depth of flavor and is perfect with the sweetness of the veggies and blandness of the chicken.




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Creamy Pork and Cabbage Soup with Tortellini

It’s been chilly and we’re expecting a windy, rainy storm in the next couple of days. I had to visit the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. The only thing I knew walking in was that I wanted pork. After Thanksgiving and smoking a turkey and a beef roast, I wanted something different. I was originally thinking of pork steaks or something along those lines. However, as I wandered through the store I came up with a totally different idea. I wanted a creamy, hearty soup. As such, this is what I came up with…


4 lbs lean pork,cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 lb bacon, diced

4 TB butter

2 leeks, thinly sliced

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 head of celery, diced

3/4 small head of cabbage, diced

20 oz tortellini (I used 3 cheese stuffed)

1 qt beef stock

1 qt half and half

1/3 cup white whine

dried thyme

poultry seasoning

salt and white pepper to taste

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon and render out the fat. Add the pork and brown. Remove the pork and bacon from the pot. Melt butter and add the leeks to the pot. Saute until tender and fragrant and the garlic and saute for one more minute.

Add the white wine to the pot and deglaze. Return the pork to the pot, add the stock, celery and seasonings. I didn’t really measure how much I put in but I’d guess at least a teaspoon of dried thyme and poultry seasoning. Taste it and adjust it as desired.

Bring the pot to a boil and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Add the half and half and the cabbage. I added a 1 inch by 2 inch piece of parmesan cheese rind. This addition added a tremendous amount of flavor but I let it boil a bit too much so it wound up looking a bit curdled. The flavor is outstanding but it’s not pretty lol.

After the cabbage is tender, add the tortellini and cook for another ten minutes or so until the pasta is tender and cooked through.

This is a very filling and hearty soup. I’m not really sure I would call it soup because it wasn’t very soupy lol. I don’t make very good “soup” because it’s always too thick. However, it only took me about an hour start to finish to make and it was REALLY tasty. Jene even went back for seconds and I’ve been nibbling from the pot after eating my first bowl full.

One more note: I’m writing this after having a wee bit to drink so if something doesn’t make sense, please post a message letting me know lol. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Clam Chowder with Cabbage & Dill

I’ve been wanting some clam chowder for awhile. The weather was finally cool enough the last few days to make it nice to have soup. This started with the idea of a low-carb chowder. Instead of using potatoes, you use cauliflower and a stick blender to make it thick and smooth. Well, it didn’t quite work that way but I liked what I wound up with even better.

The genesis of the recipe goes something like this… Hmm, I’m out of bacon but I have pre-cooked bacon in the fridge. I’ll sautee my onions in butter and bacon fat and then add the pre-cooked bacon with the celery. Add some chicken stock, whoops, that’s a bit much. Realize I didn’t have enough cauliflower but toss it in anyway. After smoothing it out with the stick blender, add the clams and cream, realize that there’s a LOT of broth and a buncha clams. Think about what else would go well in it… Realize that you have a fresh head of organic cabbage in the fridge and think it’s perfect. Throw in a whole bunch of fresh dill to finish it off.

So, that’s how I would up with this recipe. – Makes 6-7 quarts

2 TB butter

2 TB bacon fat and 1/2 cup pre-cooked bacon pieces (or chop up about six slices of bacon)

1 large onion finely chopped

6 ribs celery chopped

4 quarts of chicken stock

20 oz frozen cauliflower

2 cans minced clams

2 cans chopped clams

2 cans whole clams

1 jar clam juice

1 cup heavy cream (you can use less stock and more cream if you want)

1 head green cabbage

5-6 TB chopped, fresh dill

1/2 – 1 tsp white pepper

Garlic seasoning to taste (I use Vik’s Garlic Fix from the Spice & Tea Exchange)

Destructions… I mean instructions:

If you have fresh bacon, toss in into your pot and let the fat render out and the bacon gets crispy-ish. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the celery, chicken stock, cauliflower and garlic seasoning. Bring to a boil and cook until the cauliflower is very soft. Run the stick blender in the pot until the cauliflower is mostly smooth with a few chunks remaining. It will smooth out the bacon and celery too but the flavor is there. Add the clams, cream, cabbage and dill. Return to a boil and cook 5-10 minutes or just until the cabbage is tender. Add the white pepper and taste for seasoning.

I have to say, this was so good that Jene and I both had seconds. The combination of the different size clam pieces really made for a nice texture. Normally, I would have used a lot more cream to make a chowder but I got carried away with the stock. It was in the fridge and very thickly gelled so it kind of glopped into the pot lol. Since it was only an 8 qt stockpot I had to cut back on the cream. If you make this you’re welcome to change the ratio of stock to cream. The cabbage was an especially nice addition. It added a clean flavor without being heavy.

I’ll be really interested to hear what you think. ๐Ÿ™‚



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Chicken and Rice Soup

Yep, definitely soup season! Today I was thinking that chicken and rice soup sounded really good so here’s what I made. I had a little over a quart of stock from the batch I canned the other day so I started with that. Jene brought me a rotisserie chicken that I then pulled all the meat off and added to the pot. I added about 2 quarts of water to make sure there was enough water for cooking the rice and still having a soupish consistency. I say “soupish” because my soups are notoriously thick lol. Then I added a bunch of veggies and two cups of rice. As a rule of thumb, when cooking rice to make it “dry” you want double the amount of water to rice. So obviously, this is going to need at least 2 quarts of liquid. Maybe more depending on how soupy you want it.


3-5 quarts water or stock (depending on soupyness level)

1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off the bones (if you have time, boil the carcasses to make the stock for the soup but that requires planning ahead)

1 large onion, chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4-6 ribs of celery (I like LOTS of celery)

2 cups rice

Put everything in a large pot except the rice. Bring to a boil, add the rice and stir. Season to taste. (I used Penzeys Bavarian seasoning) Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add more liquid as necessary to maintain soupyness. That’s it, really easy lol.

Edit: I wanted to add that unless you use a lot of liquid, upping the soupyness level, you will have something that more closely resembles porridge than soup the next day. (The rice keeps absorbing liquid.) Which I think it perfect. My mom always laughs at me for my lack of soupy soup. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Vegetable and Clam Chowder

For some parts of the country, it’s been soup weather for awhile. However, here in the Bay area, it’s been pretty warm, upper 70’s yesterday. But tonight there’s a cold front moving in and it seemed like a good time for a nice bowl of soup to warm the insides and the soul. Of course, being the unprepared sort, I had no idea what to do. I invented something lol


2-3 cups chicken stock (I used some that I made up this past weekend)

2-3 cups heavy cream

2 cans clams (throw the juice in too)

1 medium onion chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

2 small potatoes peeled and chopped

2 large celery ribs chopped

1/2 cup bacon pieces (You can chop and fry fresh bacon or use the pre cooked bacon)

This is a really easy recipe. Put everything in a pot, season it with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. If you’re using fresh bacon, fry it to crisp it and render out the fat. Then if you want you can add the onion and sautee until it’s translucent.ย  Then add all the rest of the ingredients. Either way, it’s very tasty and very quick to make. It was very satisfying and I loved the sweetness the carrots added to what is a fairly basic clam chowder. You can also add corn if you wanted.

The picture is a little hazy from all the steam coming up to the camera lens but you get an idea of what it looks like ๐Ÿ™‚

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Home Made Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

I am guilty of using a lot of Campbell’s Condensed soups. However, I’m trying to find replacements for them because home made stuff is just better for you and generally tastes better. I found a recipe at Tammy’s Recipes and thought I’d give it a try. It was helpful that I’d made a huge pot of chicken stock that I strained out this morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also used rice flour in an attempt to move away from so much wheat.

Sun, 2006-08-20 16:03 by Tammy ย  Tags:

Recipe Name:
Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

A flavorful condensed cream of chicken soup base recipe for use in dishes that call for canned creamed soups


3 cups (about 2 cans)


1 1/2 cups chicken broth*
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder**
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder***
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
1/4 teaspoon parsley
dash of paprika
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour


1. In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).

2. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of milk and flour. Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.

Additional Notes:

*I use the broth from my oven-roasted chicken. Refrigerate broth and then take fat off the top. If you’re using chicken bouillon + water for your broth, you may want to add a little extra seasonings, such as lemon pepper, extra garlic, or seasoned salt, since my broth normally has bits of those in it. You can also add bits of chicken, but if you have good rich chicken broth, you probably won’t need any chicken in it.

**Or, diced onions (boil with broth for a few minutes)

***Or, fresh minced garlic (boil with broth for a few minutes)

Preparation Time:

5 minutes

Cooking Time:

10-15 minutes

Tammy’s Review:

I think this is an excellent substitution for the store-bought cans of condensed soups. It’s so flavorful (even without MSG)! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I like to make this with leftover chicken broth (or even turkey broth!) and then freeze in 1 1/2 cup sized portions. Then, when I need a quick “can” of soup for a recipe, I just thaw some! I have made this in large batches (3-4 quarts at a time) and it saves even more time rather than having to make a small amount each time you need some. My rating: 10/10.

Kris’s Review:

This doesn’t taste like the the stuff out of the can. That is not a bad thing! It’s got good herby flavor and a smooth creamy texture. I should add a note here… I don’t usually keep poultry seasoning on hand so I made some of my own. It’s probably a lot richer than the stuff from the store and adds more flavor.

I used it to make the sauce for Chicken & Broccoli. It’s not got the same flavor or exactly the same flavor of sauce made with store bought sauce but it’s really good. I was going to make my own mayonnaise too but I got a migraine and had to settle for just making the soup from scratch. All in all, I WILL be making this again. It’s worth the extra effort.