A Good Meal and a Good Book

I know the last thing most people are thinking about on this holiday weekend is food, but if you’re getting sick of turkey and leftovers, this might just be the post you need today because I’m sharing something I’ve never shared on Love2Read365: a recipe! This is my absolute favorite meal from the year. And while I’ve enjoyed eating this one in every season, I think it will be particularly delicious as the temperatures get colder. I originally found this recipe on Paleo Grubs through Pinterest, but I kept it in my recipe book for at least a year before I ever tried it out because the length of the ingredient list scared me! But never fear – though the list is long, they are all easy to find ingredients. There’s nothing tricky here. I’ve changed the original recipe a bit by increasing the liquid to get more broth out of it, and upping the seasonings for more flavor. Without further ado, here is Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 – 2.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¾ of a medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 to 4 cups chicken stock (depending on whether you like a thick soup or more broth)
  • 1 ½ TBsp chilli powder
  • 1 ½ TBsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ tsp paprika
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste (about ½ tsp each)

For Garnish (and deliciousness)

  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted and cubed or sliced
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Add the chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker. I like to cut the chicken breasts into thirds – that way they get really flavorful and cook a little faster. I also like to use slow cooker liners because it makes clean-up so much easier.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic on top of the chicken.
  3. Pour the diced tomatoes and chicken stock over the top.
  4. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. (I usually throw all the ingredients into a bowl first, and then pour it over the chicken.)
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for about 8 hours – or, cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  6. Use a fork to shred the chicken before serving.
  7. Serve it up in bowls and garnish with cilantro, avocado, and tortilla chips.

This soup is seriously soooo yummy. I’d also recommend having a cherry Coke along with this filling meal. My husband and I eat this for two nights in a row, as this makes 4 big bowls of soup. Or – I love making this recipe when he’s away for business so I get to eat it all myself!

Falling snow, flavorful soup, and a good book sounds like the perfect way to spend a cozy winter evening.

Books recommended for a cozy winter day:

  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
    • This book may be marketed as a Rumpelstiltskin-retelling, but readers won’t recognize much of this story. This book is magical and original, but has glimpses of Narnia with a magical winter wonderland and influences from Eastern European fairy tales. A big take-away from this book is the art of making a deal. Be careful what you ask for, be careful of what you give in return, and be careful with your words. There are also plenty of quick-thinking, cunning girls – probably my most favorite kind of character.  
  • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
    • This is a fun, gossipy read. Imagine if The O.C. or Gossip Girl took place in the future in a super humongous skyscraper. All the drama, drugs, hookups, and secrets, but with advanced technology. A guilty pleasure of a novel.  
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • Back in the Grisha universe, Kaz Brekker leads a team of misfits with interesting abilities on the most incredible heist. While there’s a slow beginning and a lot of characters to learn about, the book picks up later and there is a driving sense of danger and urgency. You won’t want to put the book down.
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Uprooted Booted

uprootedboots

Shoe designs by love2read365 inspired by the book Uprooted, written by Naomi Novik.


UprootedCoverI was re-reading the Harry Potter series this summer, and was really concerned that whatever I read afterwards would be a huge letdown. However, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. The book was receiving quite a lot of hype, so I was cautious about it at first. But the book was a wonderful read. It was so magical and lovely. I didn’t always know where the story was going either, so that was refreshing. Sometimes I felt like there were gaps in plot or explanations, so sometimes I had to read things over to understand what was going on, but that didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. There were interesting characters (although not always totally fleshed out). I appreciated the great portrayal of female friendship. Despite two of the main characters’ moments of jealousy of each other, they truly care about one another and remain loyal. I wanted to race to the end of the book to see what would happen, but then I was sad that it ended. I think readers who enjoyed Kristin Cashore’s Graceling would also enjoy this novel.


Want to see more shoe designs?

A while back, I commented on a line of footwear that was (supposedly) inspired by classic American literature. Since the final product was so watered down, I created a few of my own shoe designs for classic novels.

I love drawing shoes. Check out a design I came up with for Andy Weir’s novel, The Martian here. Here you’ll find a design for Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. I even created a shoe based on the children’s book classic, Chicka Chicka ABC here