Red Pepper Chicken Tortilla Soup

RedPepperSoupWhen life gets stressful, there is something soothing about soup.  This one is also simple, and spicy.   This recipe is the perfect for one or makes a great group soup. It is quick and easy, but full of flavor! The left over base can be frozen for a future cozy night or as reality would have it – lunch at your desk. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ diced white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of diced cilantro leaves
  • 2 sliced avocados
  • ¼ cup lowfat sour cream
  • 1 package of frozen corn (fresh is best, or can works too)
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 small fresh red Thai chiles or 1 red jalapeño chili (optional)
  • 1 small lime – juice and zest
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 1 box red pepper soup
  • 1 tortilla (any kind) cut into strips and broiled until lightly browned and crisp
  • 1 package of shredded jack cheese
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, and cumin


Poach chicken on medium heat in chicken broth until almost cooked, but still pink in middle.  Allow to cool.  Meanwhile, in large soup pot, heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cilantro. (Start light, add more to taste as needed throughout cooking.) Add diced tomato, fresh tomato, tomato juice and corn. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring as needed.

Once chicken is cool enough to touch, pull apart into small strips/pieces.  Add to soup and stir.

Divide rice among 4 shallow bowls. Top each with cilantro and sliced avocado.  Add sliced jalapeño if you dare. Squeeze lime juice on soup and add fresh zest.  Drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. Add crispy tortilla strips.  Add hot sauce to taste and serve.

14. April 2014 by GenerationExGirl
Categories: Singles Servings | Comments Off

Replacement Value


I remember that term from the eye of the divorce in reference to my engagement ring. I never got the ring back (nor the replacement value.) I loved it, I would miss it, but I let it go. It wasn’t mine any more. Beyond that symbolic band, the happily ever aftermath would bring many more milestones – some molehills, some mountains.   Three months after the papers were signed, that person who once proposed to me, called to tell me he was engaged. Stunningly and suddenly, replacement had an entirely new meaning. Then, on 2/14, 2014, a year and a half later and seemingly safely on the other side, I got the call. Valentines day is a stupid sappy holiday that stings the single, but I woke up feeling happy and healed. However, hearing the words, “We”re having a Baby!” from the man who once said the exact phrase with tears in his eyes and a question mark at the end, was as pleasant as pepper spray. Why in the Hell did it make me sad? My husband found a lovely wife and stepmother who was now going to give my son the sibling I didn’t have the chance to. That night, he came into my room with his blankie. He had never slept in “Mom”s new grown up bed” that I bought to replace the former matrimonial mattress. I looked at him and said nothing. He looked at me with a smile that had the conning edge of a nine year old and the eyes that I learned to read the day he was born. I just nodded and he jumped into bed,  looking like the little lump in the crib I used to stare at for hours.  “Don’t worry,” I told him. “Dad will always love you.” I wanted him to know that he was never going to be replaced. He snuggled up next to me and my sadness vanished. My husband was gone. I loved him, I would miss him, but I let him go. He wasn’t mine any more.   But our son would always be our son, and we would always be his parents – and that is irreplaceable.

01. April 2014 by GenerationExGirl
Categories: Moving Out & Moving On | Comments Off

Hunting Game

“It isn’t hunger that drives millions of armed American Males to forests and hills every autumn.. Somehow the hunting process has to do with masculinity, but I don’t quite know how.”

― John Steinbeck

I just spent $39 on an e-book on how to play hard to get based on the premise that men are hunters. And no, it wasn’t by Steinbeck. What the hell was I thinking? I have been reading these damned relationship books since The Rules was published many boyfriends ago.  The only sage advice was in the classic book by Greg Behrendt , He’s just not that into you. (Quotes from the book) Because sadly, that is usually the real reason a relationship doesn’t work out.

So why did I just buy said overpriced book?  Because everything I do, I give 100% and I would really like a partner to share my life with. So a friend and I figured we would educate ourselves on how to play the game.  The dating authors and authorities offer the same basic advice – such as the headline below from the love site Your Tango:

Men have always had a natural instinct to hunt. Let them ladies.”

George Clooney was quoted as saying,

“I don’t like to feel that I’m being hunted down. I’ve always liked to do my own hunting when it comes to meeting women.”

So, George, how is that working out for you?

Another article cautioned,

“Men like the thrill of the hunt… If a big beautiful buck just runs out in front of a man’s car and he hits it, he is hardly going to brag to his friends about it.” 

But here is the thing – when real hunters finally do capture their prey, they take it home and mount it on the wall, lay it on the living room floor, or at least eat it.  Not the men I date.  Once they get a clean shot – they disappear and I find myself alone in the woods licking my wounds.

My $39 purchase “Play Hard to Get” (The second edition no less) offers 77 secrets.  Here is #10:

“Mother Nature programmed men to be hunters, warriors, and leaders.”

All the books all tell you “Let HIM hunt YOU. Don’t initiate communication and don’t ask where it’s going, or talk about the “relationship” status.

My friend tried that tactic when a man she dated a few years ago recently resurfaced.  I will call him A.H. to protect the guilty. Mr. Hole began the hunt by reaching out to her and asking her out.  She followed the rules by the book – she didn’t ask questions about the relationship, she didn’t call, and he kept asking her out again.  It seemed to be working! During the six week ‘relationship’, he cooked for her, took her out to dinner, and held her hand walking down the street.  As things progressed he showed his spooning skills and tenderly poured her cold medicine when she coughed all night.  She left his house on Valentine’s Day morning excited for how he might surprise her.  That he did! He called to tell her that he and his GIRLFRIEND were “merging their families together.”  That is one hunter’s bullet that she was lucky to dodge.

My advice is, forget HIS rules!  Here are my rules, and they are free.  Save the $39 for a decent bottle of wine and share it with me.

She Rules

1)      If you want to go out with me, call me and ask me out on a proper date.

2)      If you are seeing, dating, or in any way involved with another woman/women – show some integrity and let us BOTH know.

3)      If we go out and you don’t think it’s a fit, please have the coconuts to say so and we can both move on.

4)      If you enjoyed my company and would like to see me again, tell me.

5)      Please respect my schedule and ask me out again in a timely manner. If we don’t have a next date scheduled, I will assume it was the last one and I will resume my search.

6)      In between dates – please call me, email me, even text me – but do NOT sext me.  Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the NY Times.

7)      At the point when intimacy is involved, don’t you dare disappear without explanation.  Most dating circles are small and I will make sure your rude behavior is communicated properly to the rest of woman tribe.

8)      If you are lucky enough to meet my kid and THEN you stop calling, I suggest you read up on what happens to hunters when mothers protect their cubs.

9)      If you like me and want to give a relationship a try – tell me, stop dating other women, and woo me.  I will woo you back.

10)   If we end up in a real relationship – let’s continue communicating. If it isn’t working, tell me and we will work on it or respectfully move on. If it does work, lucky you -I may just end up on your living room floor.   DeerRug

24. February 2014 by GenerationExGirl
Categories: Figuring It Out | Comments Off

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