One Wife's Journey Through the Kitchen

And I’m Back…

New year, time for new recipes and a new goal. I reached my first weight loss goal doing low carb at the end of May – perfect time for our June Cancun trip. In the last 6 months of the year, I did low carb on and off. Never full out for more than two weeks. Despite all of this, I still weigh the same as I did for our trip!!! But, with a new Cancun trip this June, I would like to lose 40 more pounds for this trip. So, back to low carb for 5 months with only a few break weekends every 2-3 weeks. I’m super excited to cook low carb foods again – I find they are always so flavorful and filling. Plus, I’ve tried so many new veggies that I never knew I liked (zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, etc).

 

Just a quick progress picture I want to share. The left side was taken at my best friends wedding on 12/22/12. The right was taken Thanksgiving 2013. Roughly 40lb difference.

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New URL

Mr. has added me to his domain, so I have a new URL. All new posts will be put on savoryindulgences.com Whoo!!

I come across all types of amazing recipes that I would love to try but either don’t have the ingredients or the need (especially the case for desserts) and then I close out the tabs and forget about the recipes. Well, this time I was determined to make these brownies since I am a major brownie and peanut butter lover. Today is the birthday of a friend of Mr and I, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to make these brownies. She won’t get them until tomorrow, but I’m sure she will enjoy them.

Credit: Sweet Peas Kitchen

These don’t look nearly as nice as the example, but they do taste great. All the instructions are on her page, though next time there are a few things I would change. I found the ganache topping to be a little too sweet, so I would probably cut that in half. Also, the peanut butter was too sticky/runny, so I would probably cut down on the milk and/or butter to make it a bit thicker.

Mr.’s already had two, so I know he enjoys them. I could barely get through one though because it was so sweet. Enjoy!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Whoever deemed soup a winter food is crazy. A nice bowl of soup is the perfect light meal to just sit back and relax with. Being a big fan of Mexican foods, I’ve made enchilada soup a few times. After being promised Mexican for lunch while at the Mr.’s doctor’s appointment and him deciding last minute that he would prefer Cracker Barrel (he is not a fan of burritos, and I do enjoy CB), I needed to satisfy that craving, though I didn’t want anything too heavy as we had a really late lunch. I decided to turn to a simple, classic enchilada soup. Since I had none of the ingredients at home and Mr. needed to go to the store for headphones, I decided to pick up a few different ingredients to give the soup a twist while we were out.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 can nacho fiesta cheese
  • seasoned chicken (as much as you want, I use about 8oz)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • toppings of your choice

Directions:

Mix all ingredients except toppings in a pot on the stove. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is a thick soup, but so delicious.

The nacho cheese and salsa was the extra ingredients I tried this time. Last time I used rotel instead of those two, and I found it too spicy (I have a sensitive tongue). I found the nacho cheese to be … well … too nacho-ey. Adding the salsa, milk, and extra cheddar helped balance out the flavor though. For my toppings, I put a little dollop of sour cream and some crumbled corn chips. I wish I would have bought some tomatoes – next time.

It seems we have created one of our first traditions: Sunday dinner/games with my in-laws (this is somewhat shocking as we are quite the nontraditional couple). For about the past month, we have been going over to the Mr.’s parents for dinner and board games. Mother-in-law has cooked every single time, but this week I told her I wanted to make some of my favorite things. Before we battled through Phase 10 and Scrabble, we sat down to a nice dinner of Eye of Round steaks with a balsamic tomato vinaigrette (recipe coming soon), cheddar apple potatoes (recipe coming soon), cheddar biscuits, and a strawberry pie. Upon arriving, we were also surprised with some delicious peanut butter fudge (recipe coming after I receive it).

Side note: I Love board games. Phase 10 might be my favorite game (yes, it is a card game but it still counts). Phase 10 is a rummy-based card game in which you have 10 rounds (phases) that you progress through to win. These phases involve creating a certain situation in your hand, such as 2 sets of 4 of a kind, or a run of 8, or even 7 cards of one color. With only one discard pile that can’t be dug through and the infamous skip cards, this game can lead to name calling and taunting (both of which have been present at every game). So if you are looking for an awesome new game to play, definitely consider this one.

The Mr.’s new favorite type of dinner bread (which I have been told reminds people of the bread at a certain seafood chain restaurant):

Cheddar Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baking mix
  • 2 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/4  cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine baking mix, cheese, water, and Old Bay seasoning. Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet (they should be roughly the size of 2-3 tablespoons). Bake for 8-10 minutes. While biscuits are in the oven, mix the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley. Remove biscuits from oven, and pour half of the butter mixture over them. Returnto oven for another 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and pour remaining butter mixture. Enjoy!

 

(BTW – in case you are wondering, MIL won Phase 10 after an intense battle between me, her, and Mr. FIL won Scrabble with 139 points, followed  by me with 138, Mr. with 137, and MIL with 75.)

I love grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a comfort food that I enjoy having. The Mr. makes the best I’ve ever tasted (his secret ingredient is adding Tony’s to the bread) until the one I made today. As I said in my last post, I also love fresh bread, and while we could definitely finish a loaf just eating it alone, I wanted to try something new. I took another food I love (strange pattern to this meal…) – mushrooms – and created a delicious sandwich. While the Mr. doesn’t eat mushrooms (and he does try them which each meal I make), I just can’t not use mushrooms.

To give the mushrooms flavor, I marinated them in soy sauce and ginger. I also used the potato bread I made, which I found grilled much nicer than any other types of breads that I have tried in the past. As for cheese, I mixed some shredded mozzarella and cheddar, which was delicious.

I really need to work on my food photography skills. I mean, it may help once I find my camera that has been missing since a party last weekend, but still, photography is not my strong point currently. Hopefully that will get better with time.

Potato Bread

We love bread. Sandwiches, rolls, crumbs – we make it all. When moving into our house, I talked to my mom about buying a bread maker, when she graciously gave us hers. Though I don’t use it as often as I would like, I do enjoy making bread and experimenting with different types of bread. On this lovely Saturday morning, I decided to try potato bread, which I’ve only eaten once before.  I must say for my first try, it came out pretty nice. It doesn’t look as nice as other loaves, but it tastes amazing and was simple in the bread machine.

Potato Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast

Directions

Add ingredients to bread maker (my machine works better if I add liquid first – the order of ingredients is order I added). Use basic white bread setting. Enjoy!