Best Tomato Soup-SRC Post

Guys, I am certainly not one who likes to pick “favorites”, but I think this may be my favorite recipe I have ever tried through the Secret Recipe Club.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

This month I was assigned to explore Kirsten’s blog, Loving Life.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

Kirsten is a busy mom who was born in England (that is so cool to me!) but now lives in the grand ‘ol USA, she loves to garden, read, cook, and browse the internet for more time than she considers appropriate (like any awesome blogger), and she has two daughters, who are home-schooled. The older daughter (Kristianna) is super impressive! She is taking Running Start classes at the local community college to try to get her diploma and AA degree by the time she graduates. Her family sounds busy, busy, busy!

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

Let me start out by saying that I am NOT one who is a fan of tomatos. But I am that weird type of person who will choose a tomato-based recipe.. I didn’t really have high hopes for this tomato soup, it looked super simple which appealed to me but then made me think it might lack flavor or pizazz.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

Plus, I really have never even been a fan of tomato soup, only when it is paired with about a 3-1 ratio of grilled cheese to tomato soup. BUT the day I made this, it was super rainy and we actually had a “rain day” and no school because of flooding, so I figured soup was what was going to happen that day.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

Make sure you hop on over to Kirsten’s blog and explore all of her other delectable recipes! Don’t forget about the other SRC members at the bottom of this post, too!! They all work so hard and do a beautiful job, visits and blog love are always appreciated.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

My three favorite things about this recipe were…This soup took me 10 minutes, tops! All the ingredients were things I commonly have on hand. And this soup tasted ah-mazing. So good that I didn’t even have to make grilled cheese to go with it.

Tomato Soup

(From Loving Life)

(Serves 2-4 people)

2-3 Tablespoons butter

2-3 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk (I used skim)

15 oz. tomato sauce (I used pasta sauce, basically the same thing but with some seasoning already in there)

  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter, add flour and stir for about 1 minute.
  2. Add milk and salt. Stir until sauce is a medium thickness. Add tomato sauce and if desired diced tomatoes (I left them out). You may also add some water, about 1/2 a can to thin it out a bit (I like mine thicker, so I did not do this). Add your seasonings to taste and serve.

Best Tomato Soup EVER | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: Castor oil is used as a lubricant in jet planes.

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese

Can we talk about something real quick? Even though I’m not this person’s #1 fan, I figured it would be best to not reveal their identity or instagram name, but let’s take a quick lookie here.


Instagram.. let me show you what I see on mine daily. Now, I do realize you can control who you “follow” and what not, but technically challenged people like me do not know how to do these special, magical things like “unfollow” someone on instagram. So until then I look at this ridiculousness.


Someone please call the hashtag police!!! I mean… he really captures everything in there from global warming to whatever a “donner pass” is. Maybe I’m just an 18 year old girl who doesn’t belong in this weird social media controlled generation. Then again, I’m a blogger, so this generation fits me like a glove at the same time.

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters


Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters

I can not exactly say that I truly understand the whole hashtag phenomenon. Those of you who are not familiar on what a “hashtag” is, it is when someone says things like #chocolate #cake and a popular one that I absolutely despise is #FatGirlProblems. People add these “hashtags” when they [usually] have something to do with their picture or comment they posted. #FatGirlProblems makes me really want to hit people.

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters


Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters

The skinniest high school girls will like post a picture of their “Skinny Pop” popcorn and be like, “Wow, ate a whole handful…20 calories :( #FatGirlProblems”. And then I’m just sitting here, licking my spoon, halfway through eating a jar of Trader Joe’s cookie butter. We need to end this madness now.

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters

All that is left, is that we need to hatch a great scheme to end the hashtag dilemma of 2013. Who’s in?

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese | Beautiful Disasters

Anyways, I whipped myself up a nice little grilled cheese the other day. I realize mine looks like it is on crackers. I assure you, it is on real bread. It’s on one of those bread thin things. I actually really like the taste of them, but for this sandwich, I would probably recommend that you use normal, thicker sandwich bread because that usually makes a better and studier grilled cheese. I loved this, it was gone in approximately .8 seconds!!

Spinach and Parmesan Grilled Cheese

(serves 1)

about 3-4 Tablespoons oil/butter, for spreading on bread and oiling pan

2 slices sandwich bread

about 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

medium handful of spinach leaves

1/2 slice of american cheese (Optional, but I thought it added a nice touch, giving more flavors than the rich white cheese)

  1. Heat a small pan on the stove over medium heat with a little bit of oil or butter, about 1 Tablespoon. Spread about 1/2 Tablespoon of butter or oil on one side of the two pieces of bread. 
  2. Place one piece of bread on heated pan, greased side down, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Sprinkle most of the parmesan cheese on top of the bread that is facing up (un-greased side), and then place spinach leaves on top of parmesan cheese, on top of spinach leaves, place the remaining parmesan cheese and pieces of american cheese (if using). Finally, place the second piece of bread on top of fillings, with the greased side facing up and the ungreased side touching the sandwich fillings.
  3. Once cheese has started to melt after about 2 minutes, Flip the sandwich, careful to keep all the fillings in place and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted and both sides are browned to desired level. Remove from pan, place on plate, and enjoy!



Random Fact of the Day: Smokers eat more sugar than non-smokers do.

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Remember that BBQ chicken grilled cheese sandwich that I made before? I pretty much wanted to marry that baby. It was a miraculous creation, if I do say so myself.

Anyhow, I made almost the same thing except quesadilla style! I LOVE quesadillas, just about as much as I love grilled cheese. If you think about it, I guess quesadillas are pretty much the tortilla version of a grilled cheese. Enough of this thinking nonsense, though!

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Let’s make quesadillas! Super, super easy! I love making quesadillas and this was super simple, pretty much the same steps to make the bbq grilled cheese sandwich, except with a tortilla.

Oh, and did you see that up there!?! A slideshow! I’m feeling pretty fancy and techie right now :D Those pictures basically show you the steps to making these quesadillas, but as usual, I will give you all the directions below!

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

(for one quesadilla, makes 3 small triangles-serves one!)

1/4 cup caramelized onions

1/2 cup chicken, cooked

1/4 cup BBQ sauce, separate

2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

2 Tablespoons bacon bits (optional)

butter or oil


  1. In a small bowl, combine caramelized onions, cooked chicken, and 2 Tablespoons of BBQ sauce until thoroughly mixed and combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat pan with about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. When hot and butter is melted, place tortilla in pan. Flip tortilla every 30-45 seconds, until large bubbles start to form.
  3. Turn down the heat to low. Spread remaining BBQ sauce on tortilla in thin layer across entire tortilla. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over BBQ sauce. Drop caramelized onions and chicken on ONE HALF of the tortilla (this is important that you just put this on one half, or else you will have chicken and onions everywhere). Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and bacon bits (if using) over entire tortilla.
  4. With the heat on as low as possible, place a lid over on top for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, or until mozzarella is melty.
  5. Fold the tortilla, flipping the side that doesn’t have chicken on it over the side that does have the chicken and onions on it. Place on a plate, cut into triangles, and ENJOY! :D
  • this recipe is super flexible, use your own judgement on the amounts of stuff you like on here. I’m not a huge BBQ sauce person so I like to go light on mine-do as YOU like!
  • this would be super awesome with black beans, too! (for some reason I feel like baked beans could be kind of good on here, too weird??)
Random Fact of the Day: With the invention of the light bulb, Americans averaged 1.5 hours less sleep per night.

Week in Review (3/19-3/23)

Hey guys! What a hectic week I had this week!!! The high school soccer season officially kicked off this week with THREE games.

Monday you guys saw the grilled potato wedges I made. I love pretty much any potato/fry thing but I really liked how I didn’t have to turn on the oven when I was making these, because it was like 94801 degrees!! I also had my first high school game for the season, and we ended up tying, which I guess is okay but not as fun as a win.

Tuesday my team and I had another game.We tied AGAIN. We played against a much better team and even though we tied I think we did pretty good and held our own very well. We have a lot of new players on the team this year, so it has definitely been an adjustment.

Wednesday I showed you guys my new little version of a grilled cheese sandwich. BBQ chicken grilled cheese. Deeee-lish! Kind of like a BBQ chicken pizza, sandwich style! Perfect for those night where you just want a sandwich and some chips.

Thursday I had my third soccer game of the week. It was crazy! Total downpour, on and off, thunder and lightning, sitting waiting for the lighting to stop, finally starting the game back up around 8:15 and unfortunately finishing in a loss. It was super frustrating to go through all of that to come out with a loss, but I can guarantee they will have no chance against us next time we play them. Watch out!!

Friday I shared with you a first guest post ever!!! I know, I can be a little bit of a tease ;). Also, I just found out that the post won’t be posted until Monday, April 9th. I totally thought it was going to be this upcoming Monday (the 29th) but that just goes to show…never assume or you’ll make a you-know-what out of U and ME. So basically, I feel terrible about spilling the beans like 3 weeks early, so just sit here and stare at this picture for 3 weeks. Or just make some cake. Whatever floats your boat all the way until Monday, April 9th and then you can jump over to The Heritage Cook and see what all the fuss is about. This cake is was ah-mazing. I wish I could like transport it through the computer screen so my sister could enjoy some for her birthday, while she’s in Spain. Oh well, just an excuse to make it again!

Today (Saturday) is my sister’s birthday and I’m leaving for Florida today for Spring Break. What an exciting/fun/incredible day! So excited!!

Random Fact of the Day: ‘Jedi’ is an official religion, with over 70,000 followers, in Australia.

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese

I have to tell ya…I’m not a big fan of saucy stuff.

I don’t like pasta drowning in marinara. Fettucini with Alfredo sauce almost always makes me feel sick to my stomach. A piece of chicken smothered in BBQ sauce makes me want to cry. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that it makes me want to cry.

I can be a total drama queen when I want to. There was a particular time that I remember where I threw a pretty big fuss over a sandwich I got at a restaurant. This was a couple years ago…I’m actually kind of embarrassed to even think about this, but what the heck. I’ll tell you anyways.

So my parents and I went down to U of I to visit my sister for the day and we had a nice time as we always do. I love going down to the campus and feeling like I’m some big bad college kid. Anyways, we decided on going to the Barbecue joint that was in the area that was supposedly pretty good. The place had a very southern atmosphere and I really liked how it felt in there! It took me a bit to decide what I wanted to order and I finally picked the shredded BBQ chicken sandwich. We got to see them on the other side of the counter as they assembled our meals and I watched the girl pick out a nice fluffy bun, plop some chicken on top, and then it happened. I wanted to scream. My eyes literally started to water. I know, I’m weird. She took a big ‘ol ladle and poured barbecue sauce all over. Everywhere. I decided that I would just suck it up and take the sauce sandwich. I didn’t want to throw a fit. I’m a high schooler, I should be able to handle these things right?


I took a couple bites out of the sandwich when we sat down, but I just couldn’t do it. The bun was totally ruined (to me it was). It felt and tasted soggy from the monstrous amount of sauce. It felt like I was eating a sandwich of bread soaked in sauce with a teeny bit of chicken. Now, I told you I am definitely capable of being a drama queen. So my mom noticed I was having troubles getting myself to eat the sandwich. So we went up there, got another sandwich and this time I was SURE I ordered it with sauce on the side.

I don’t even know how I became like this. I mean when I was really little, I would take the bottle of Ranch dressing and just pour and pour and pour that stuff on my salads at dinner. It was usually Ranch soup with some lettuce. Thinking about it totally gives me the gags now, but back then it was just the norm for me. Funny how people’s palates change.

Anyways, I made this version of a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s kind of a hybrid of a grilled cheese and a panini. What’s going in here is some chicken that has been drizzled, yes just barely covered, with BBQ sauce. I still totally embrace BBQ sauce, but I’m more of a dipper than a smotherer. Then there’s some parmesan and mozzarella cheese, with a little bit of sautéed onion. It’s almost like my BBQ chicken pizza in sandwich form! This is probably my absolute favorite sandwich I have ever made. I can totally see myself making this on a weekly basis. It takes hardly any time to prepare and most of the ingredients are usually hanging around the house.

BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese

2 slices of bread (I used whole wheat)

about 1/4 cup chicken, cooked and cut into bite size pieces*

about 3 Tablespoons barbecue sauce

about 1/4 of an onion, sautéed*

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

about 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons butter or oil

1 Tablespoon of bacon bits, optional

  1. Place cooked, cut up chicken in a small bowl and combine with barbecue sauce and sautéed onion. Set aside.
  2. Heat up skillet (if you have a panini press I recommend using that because it will save you a little mess because the chicken pieces can make flipping the sandwich a bit of a challenge) on stove on about medium heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread. Place one piece of bread, buttered side down, on hot skillet. Turn heat down to low-medium. Place parmesan cheese on bread. Spoon chicken mixture on top of parmesan cheese. If you’re in a meaty kind of mood, throw in your bacon bits. Add mozzarella cheese. Top with final piece of bread, buttered side facing up and away from chicken and cheese. Turn the heat back up to about medium.
  3. About 2 minutes after the first piece of bread was laid down, or until the cheese starts melting a little bit, flip the sandwich over. Cook for an additional 2 minutes or until desired doneness (<– apparently that IS a word). Keep flipping if you are not yet at your desired doneness. Enjoy!
* I cooked my chicken and sautéed the onions a day ahead to make preparation fast and easy.

Random Fact of the Day: Every cigarette smoked cuts at least five minutes of life on average, which is roughly the time it takes to smoke one cigarette.