Thursday, March 29, 2012

Foodie Friday

Welcome to the March 30th Foodie Friday.

Interview with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde.
Mlee: Lori, you and I must have been separated at birth. We're registered nurses, novelists, bloggers, foodies, raise chickens, love dogs, and we live on farms. When we talk, our conversations often center around chickens and our canine companions. Can you tell us a little about your dogs and farm life?

Lori: Hi Michael Lee, thank you for inviting me.
I have two dogs. A mini Aussie named Sassy who is Miss Personality and a rescue dog, part aussie and part mystery, named Dakota, who is such a gentle soul. Sassy is a great chicken herder. Dakota, not so much. Dakota has to be put in the kennel when the chickens are out because she behaves more like the mystery side of her heritage instead of the herding dog. The minute Sassy was introduced to the chickens, she knew exactly what to do and started rounding them up as a two month old puppy. The trick was teaching her to leave them alone the rest of the time. Let's just say in the beginning there was a lot of "leave it!" going on. Now, she knows not to put them up until close to dusk or when I tell her to "round 'em" up.


Mlee:  How many books have you written?

Lori: I've written 64 books and just sold 5 more.

Mlee: Your latest novel, The Cowboy Takes a Bride, kicks off a new series that's located in the fictional town of Jubilee, Texas. What sort of place is Jubilee? What inspired you to write about it?

LoriJubilee is a fictionalized version of my hometown of Weatherford, which is the Cutting Horse Capital of the World and the Peach Capital of Texas. Almost everyone in Jubilee owns a pickup truck, usually a dually, for hauling horse trailers. People here live and breathe horses. There's a strong sense of community. People depend on each other to help them out with their ranches and animals. If you throw a rock in any directions you'll hit a cowboy.
Source: HarperCollins/Avon via author
 Mlee: . Tell us a little background about Joe's Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Lori: The story of Joe's tortilla soup started after my sister and I ate the most amazing chicken tortilla soup from The Mansions At Turtle Creek, (which is a chic-chic restaurant located in the part of Dallas now being satirized on the TV show GCB.) We spent months trying to guess what the ingredients were and we finally hit on this soup that comes pretty darn close to the real thing. Because of the peppers in it, it's a great soup to eat when you've got a cold. Warms you up from the inside out. Joe makes it for Mariah when she's got a cold and they're rained in together. Mariah is a terrible cook, but Joe knows his way around the kitchen. He can't always say how he feels,
so he shows his feeling through feeding those he loves.

I made this soup this week, and it was delicious. I'm not familiar with Tex-Mex cooking, and I sent Lori several photos from my iPhone. :-). I almost left out an important step--pureeing the onions and tomatoes. It's an optional step, but I wanted to experience the soup the way Joe and Mariah had experienced it in the book.
When you're sick with a cold, you don't want chunks of onions in your soup. So I rolled up my sleeves and dusted off my Cusinart.
It was worth it.

Joe's Chicken Tortilla Soup 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 corn tortillas, cut into long strips
8 garlic clove peeled
2 cups fresh onion puree
4 cups fresh tomato puree
1 small can green chilies (drained)
2 jalapenos chopped with seeds removed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
salt to taste
lime juice to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
Diced cooked chicken breast
1 avocado
cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pain over medium heat. Add tortillas and garlic; saute until tortillas are crisp and garlic is golden. Add onion puree and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to reduce by half. Add tomato puree, chilies, jalapenos, cumin, cilantro, coriander and chicken broth. Bring to boil Lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Skim fat from surface if needed. Process through blender or food processor for smooth consistency if desired. If too thick, add more broth. Season to taste with salt, lime juice and cayenne. Top soup with cooked chicken, avocado slices, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips. 

Mlee: What are your top five favorite dishes?

Lori: Top five favorite dishes are:
Fried Chicken
Cheese enchiladas
Steamed pork dumplings
Fried catfish

But alas, I can't eat like that any more. These days my healthier choices:
Spaghetti squash with olive oil and parm cheese
Rosemary chicken with roasted veggies
Fish tacos
Mahi-mahi with mango salsa, grilled asparagus and quinoa
Greek salad dressed with lemon oil and apple balsam

Mlee: Let's play a word game. What is Lori Wild's "Me-ography"? What five words (nouns) define you?

Lori: I love Me-ography. I loved when Teeny plays me-ography in A TEENY BIT OF TROUBLE. My "Me-ography is:
Bluebonnets, books, olives, herding dogs and horned frogs.

Thank you for stopping by Foodie Friday today. If you are contributing a recipe to this week's linky party, locate the blue Inlinkz frog (below, left) and follow the instructions. You might notice a red "X" on your submission--only you can see the "X." It allows you to delete your link if you'd like to edit or change your photo. 
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  1. Great interview, Michael. The similarities to you and Lori are amazing!

    I'd love a bowl of that soup! Great recipe and the book sounds like so much fun to read!

    Hmmmm, Tex-Mex favorite? Chili verde anything.

  2. "That was fun to read and WOW, it looks like a fun book". Gee maybe Teenie would have liked the Cowboy!
    I just bought a few cans of those little Green Chiles and HAD NO IDEA what I was going to do with them! NOW I KNOW!!! I wish I had your GORGEOUS bowl for Your Soup!!! Thank you so much, NOW to print it out!
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  3. Enjoyed the post! I must admit I am in love with Sassy...she is beautiful. I would certainly enjoy of a bowl of the soup. It looks amazing and the recipe sounds great.

  4. What a delightful post Michel! So nice to meet Lori and find out about her books. Her Cowboy chili sounds and looks fabulous.
    Thanks for hosting Foodie Friday!

  5. Yum that looks good! I like southwest grilled chicken. I got the recipe out of Southern Living. It is garlic salt, paprika, and chile powder sprinkled on a chicken breast and then tossed on the grill. The spices go well with chicken and it is an easy recipe. Thank you for the chance to win! Thank you also for hosting!

  6. Yum that tex mex soup looks ab fab and great to help get over a cold.
    I am travelling and linking from my iPad,which won't let me edit my post. Hope you don't mind me linking up when I get home.

  7. Fun interview with Lori~ her/your chicken tortilla soup looks delicious! Bobby Flay's Red Chile Short Rib Tacos are favorite of ours~ washed down with some Sangria :) I would love to cook along with Teeny! Thanks for the fun giveaway~

  8. Hi Michael Lee,
    Great interview with Lori, I love her books. We have ate Dean Fearing's Chicken Tortilla Soup at The Masion on Turtle Creek many times and it is delicious. Joe's Chicken Tortilla Soup looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it. Our favorite Mexican Food is Stacked Enchiladas. I would love to have Lori's new book. Thanks for hosting and have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

  9. I loved the interview. It's great to get a more personal point of view than an interview from a publishing company. Lori's book sounds really good. This tortilla soup sounds so good. I love TexMex, even if my hubby could do without it. I like to fix a spicy taco soup. It's good as a soup, or drained to top nacho chips with cheese and sour cream.

  10. Your soup looks and sounds amazing and I so enjoyed the interview with Lori...

    This is my first time linking to your party and my very first foodie post!...Thanks for hosting..always love to read your blog.

  11. Well, growing up in an Irish American home where the most adventurous spices were salt and pepper and horseradish for the shrimp cocktail sauce, my stomach can't tolerate anything spicy! The only beans I like are jelly beans! So, I would have to say , my Irish Taco is as close as I get to Tex Mex, and that is a long shot!
    I will have to think of something to make for Teeny's party,
    I will get back to you!
    Thanks for hosting ML!

  12. How funny that your good friend lives in Weatherford. Most people have never heard of this small town. My mom lives an hour west in Eastland county. I love to visit antique shops around all the small surrounding towns near my mom's. I'd say one of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes is Huevos Rancheros. Why? Well, to make it I use all my favorite ingredients, fresh eggs, homegrown tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Yum!

  13. Enjoyed the interview! Tortilla soup is a staple around here, just like chips and salsa. ;-)

  14. Great interview, and that soup looks wonderful. My favorite Tex-Mex would be a toss-up between enchiladas and fish tacos!

  15. Tex-Mex, huh? I'd probably go with tortas made with pastor meat. Yummy.
    That soup looks awesome..might have to give it a try.

  16. Michelle Lee,
    Hi! Thank you for hosting. Joe's Chicken Tortilla soup looks really good.

  17. My favorite would be enchiladas. Enjoyed the interview and I would love to win the book.

  18. wow love the food featered. you have an amazing talent. I cant wait to get the latest book. Keep up the good work. Bobbi R.

  19. Lovely post - I enjoyed reading it

    Thanks for hosting this party and hope you have a great weekend

  20. Wonderful interview Michael. No wonder you two are friends. I think it's wonderful to find friends that you have so much in common with. Congratulations on another book publication Lori.

    I love nachos and when I was a young working girl in Texas without much money we went to a Mexican restaurant every night for dinner and most nights nachos were my dinner. They bring back fond memories of fun times.

    Thanks for hosting Foodie Friday. I brought Seared Sea Scallops with Mint and Pea Puree. I hope you like it.

  21. great interview! i love her books. While here, I also linked up two very different recipes I cooked this week: Mom's Old Fashioned Rice Pudding and some Dry-Roasted Edamame and Cranberry Mix. enjoy

  22. Great interview, and Lori's new book sounds wonderful. I love the sound of that delicious soup as well! My favourite Tex-Mex dish is fajitas because you can do them so many ways - with steak, chicken or veggie, I've even made them with white fish. Thank you for hosting. This week I've shared my Hazelnut Apple Coffee Cake, which sadly isn't remotely Tex-Mex, but it sure is good!

  23. What a wonderful interview and gorgeous recipe! I loved the questions you asked, like "me-ography." I'll have to remember that one :)

    Have a great day!

  24. I sure do enjoy your posts and will definitely be trying this soup. Tex-Mex is one of my favorite type of food. Very hard to pick a favorite, but if pushed, I would have to say fajitas.

  25. That soup looks fantastic!! What an adorable dog Sassy is. Such a cutie! Thanks for hosting.

  26. Holy Crimoli...Lori has written 64 BOOKS???!!! Wow...I'm impressed & totally envious, since I would love to do just biography, someday.

    LOVED the poochie picture ~~pat, pat~~

    I can't wait to try the soup recipe. It looks & sounds awesome!

    My favorite Tex-Mex dish is a Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole..
    A simple and healthy one-dish Mexican meal with rice, kidney beans, veggies and cheese.
    I should make it soon & do a post about it. I know you would like it, too.

    Thanks for hosting FF again & thanks for introducing me/us to Lori.


  27. So glad I found your site! The interview and series of books sounds very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    My favorite Tex-Mex recipe would have to be the Mexican bean bake I just recently converted to be gluten free. I used to make it years ago when I could eat gluten, but haven't been able to for about 3 years now. A couple of months ago I tried it again using a combo of gluten free flours and it's fantastic again! Beans, salsa and cheese are covered in flour and eggs and baked in the oven. It's perfectly balanced, healthy, and yummy!

    Thanks for hosting this link up.

  28. Thanks for the interview. My favorite is Green Chile Chicken Soup. Can't get enough of it.

  29. What an interesting interview!

    Fave is: Taco Soup
    It makes a lot and it gets better every time you heat it up. bcp

  30. Wonderful post today. Loved learning about your lives and interests. My favorite dish has to be Green Chile Chicken soup with sopapias.

  31. A fabulous interview. Great photos. I enjoy Huevos.

  32. Great interview! Being from Texas, half of my "go to" recipes are Tex-Mex and the other half is Southern. It's so hard to choose what would be my favorite, but probably Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and my husbands is Huevos Ranceros.

  33. Oh, the soup sounds Lori's writing!

  34. Oh, the soup sounds Lori's writing!

  35. Looks divine. You are such a wonderful photographer. Thanks for hosting. Leigh

  36. My favorite Tex Mex is enchiladas with lots of cheese, onion and spice. When I was a kid, we always did Mexican food for the Super Bowl and my mom made rocking enchiladas. Now that I am an adult, I really miss them.

    I can't wait to read the new Books...Cowboy and Teeny. You guys are great.

  37. I would love to be entered in the giveaway. The only thing I can think of that we have around here would have to be chili.