A loyal follower sent me an email last week, asking if we were starving ourselves at the Stolzman household. No, we have been eating, just nothing too interesting. While I have taken pictures of our meals, nothing seemed to jump out at me as blog-worthy. It has occurred to me, however, that most meals at in our house are ordinary. The event of sitting at the table, set with place-mats and water goblets, is so run of the mill that I forget that's the main course, every night. What we eat is secondary (although, with a food blog, the food should be more appealing) to the time we spend as a family. That's how families stay connected. My current boss, who is a school psychologist, often says research points to the most successful families eating together, and the one thing parents can do to ensure cohesiveness is to actually eat together. Turn off the tv, the radio, and the cell phones. The food doesn't have to be fancy; in fact, most winter evenings we have soup and sandwiches. At last week's National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, the faculty adviser asked us what we did to raise two great kids (such a gratifying question). Our immediate answer: "family dinner, every night". Of course the reality is that family dinner cannot happen every night, especially during the high school years. But it did happen every night during the formative years. My advice is to make it count. If sitting at the table with the family can only happen once a week then make that one night a priority. Involve each member of the household in the food planning and preparation, and most especially in the clean up :-) You'll be happy you did!!!
This yummy soup was prepared by Joe, while I sat reading a book (my very favorite way to cook).
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 chicken thighs and 1 chicken breast, cooked thoroughly in 4 cups chicken broth.
1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed
1 cup chunky salsa, any brand
1/2 tsp garlic (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cumin (or to taste)
1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
1 15 oz can black beans
1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)
2 diced jalapenos (seeds removed) optional
corn tortilla chips
Bring the chicken, in the chicken broth, to a boil. Then simmer until you can shred it with a fork. Add the sauteed onion, spices, beans, corn, and jalapenos. Simmer at least 1 hour, or longer. For the tortilla strips, simply cut up corn tortillas and bake in a 400 oven until brown. Use as garnish on the top of the soup. Add a dollop of sour cream if desired.