Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I halved this recipe because we don't usually  like eating leftover enchiladas, they get too soggy.  I don't know why I didn't think to do that before (and you can always save your extra sauce in the fridge).  These were really good, definitely a keeper.
 Maybe I should call them Enchilada Burritos
 I made my chicken in the crockpot and cut it into small pieces
 Get your rolling supplies ready and you can start your sauce
 You make a gravy and add green chili and sour cream
 Assemble burrito/enchilada
 Blend sauce (optional)
 Spray pan with cooking spray and place your burritos seam side down
 Pour sauce over the top and add cheese
 Bake for 20 minutes and you get this bubbly good stuff
 I served them with avocados and homemade black beans

Simply Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (for 2)
1/2 pound cooked chicken, cut up (about 3-4 chicken frozen tenders, crock pot on high for 3 hrs)
1 small onion
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Tbsp. Flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream
4 oz can chopped green chili
2 large flour tortillas
1 cup cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large skillet sautee onion in olive oil over medium heat until softened.  Add flour and stir.  Pour in chicken broth and stir until slightly thickened.  Add your green chili and sour cream and take off the heat.  Pour into a blender and blend until smooth.  Assemble your burritos with chicken and half of cheese.  Place in a greased pan and top with sauce and rest of cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles.  
*Adapted from

Did I mention our Blue Bell Stash?  SO GOOD

Monday, July 30, 2012

Healthy Breakfast

I think I have said it before but almost every weekday morning I make My Favorite Smoothie.  On weekends I make whatever I feel like making (sometimes healthy, sometimes not).  This morning I was in the mood for a granola pancake with strawberries.  It is a simple healthy breakfast that is filling and delicious.
 I like it topped with peanut butter, strawberries (or other fruit), cinnamon vanilla yogurt (yogurt, vanilla yogurt and cinnamon mixed) and some extra granola
 This is my pancake fresh off the skillet with granola in it!
A great start to my Sunday!
If you have not tried Kodiak Cakes you should!  I found out about them through cooking blogs and ordered some online.  Now I am hooked.  They are whole wheat buttermilk pancakes and all you have to add is water.  1/3 cup mix to 1/3 cup water for this size pancake.  If you wanted a bigger pancake you could make it with 1/2 cup.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

BLT's and Soup

After church today I was really craving potato soup.  I was too hungry to make my own so we decided to pick up a can of loaded potato bacon soup at the grocery store and come home to make our BLT's (which we had planned). 
 This meal was just what my body needed
 Turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo on French bread

 Confession: we added bacon grease (from the freezer) to our turkey bacon skillet!
I had my bread toasted and Cliff had a panini BLT.  Both were good!
Potato soup and BLT's go hand in hand.  Actually I like most soup and sandwich combinations.  I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  We are watching the Olympics and relaxing around the apartment today!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Egg In A Basket

I have to admit that I call this Egg In A Hole but Cliff informed me that that doesn't sound appetizing and it is called Egg In A Basket.  What sounds good about egg in a hole?  I guess in my head I was invisioning the buttery skillet bread with a delicious egg cooked into the center...maybe to some people they would invision a stupid hole in the ground!  Anyways, for the purpose of blogging I will just stick with Egg In A Basket:)
 I really liked this with French bread.  I usually use normal bread
 Take the bread of your choice and cut/tear a hole in the center like so
 Butter a warm skillet (medium heat) and place your bread in.  As your bread starts to brown, crack and egg into the center
 Let that cook until you see that the egg is set on the bottom and your bread looks like this, then flip.  I also added a little more butter to my skillet at this point (I used about a Tbsp. total).  When you see that your egg is set on the other side and your bread is brown you can take them off the skillet
 I have to be honest, it is tricky to make this with French bread (and it was a thick slice) because it is hard to get the egg cooked well.  I like mine more cooked than you see here, so I ended up putting it back on the skillet for a couple minutes.  So, make sure you check my pointers for this meal at the bottom of the page.
 After I got it off the skillet the second time, this tasted AWESOME.  I used to make this all the time in college.  It is also really good with normal wheat sandwich bread (plus healthier and easier to cook). 
Made with the French bread, this would go in the delicious special weekend breakfast category.
Hope you like it as much as me!  We also had fruit and turkey bacon on the side
Egg In A Basket
2 slices of bread (choose what you prefer)
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. butter

In a large skillet melt half of your butter over medium heat.  Tear/cut a hole in your bread and place it on the skillet.  When your bread starts to brown (about 2 minutes) carefully crack your egg into the "basket" (hole in the bread).  As your eggs starts to set, you may want to breal your yolk (optional based on preference).  Once your egg is set (2-3 minutes) and your bread looks brown flip it and add rest of butter to the skillet.  Move your bread around and cook until the other side of your egg is set and your bread is brown.  
****Important things to think about when making this breakfast
  • I liked this with thick bread, but Cliff said he would like it better with thin bread because the egg has more room to spread out.  This is a preference thing, but if you use thick bread you need to turn the heat down a little so that your egg can cook better and your bread won't brown too fast.  Also, you could press down the center to make sure you egg is not too runny.
  • Also the egg would cook better if you ripped a bigger hole in your bread (what can I say, I didn't want to lose too much bread!)
  • You may want to break your egg yolk with your spatula so it can all cook together
  •  Don't worry if the egg is not cooked perfectly because there is nothing wrong with throwing it back in the skillet (that is what I did for both of ours and they tasted great once they were cooked better).  Sometimes when I cook things, they are not perfect and that is a great time to learn.  I would like to think everything I make turns out perfectly but that is not real life!  These are the things I learned from this meal and next time I make it, it will be easier because I will know more about the egg with thick bread. 
Hope this helps and hope you try this yummy breakfast!
P.S. I went on the trail this morning and saw a snake!  It was skinny and probably 3-4 feet long (I tried to get a picture but it was almost gone and obviously I didn't want to get too close
Yikes!  Just realized this is a Coral Snake

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why I Blog

I wrote this post a long time ago and have not really known when to post it.  Tonight after reading a few healthy blogs, and not really having anything to blog about, I figured now is the time.  It is long, but it is part of my story and why I blog today (and by the way I really enjoy blogging)!

Growing up we always had family dinners and my Mom cooked most of the time.  I think it is important to eat dinner as a family and looking back it means a lot to me that my family did that.  My high school days of cooking mostly included bean dip, fried burritos (yes homemade deep fried burritos), PUPPY CHOW, brownie batter-I mean brownies, cake, cookies, you get the point.  I played soccer, burned a ton of calories, and didn’t care what I ate.  I played soccer for a year in college and when I decided to stop playing, I freaked out because I didn’t know what would happen to my athletic body.   
Even though I ate a bunch of junk in high school and my early college years, I had good knowledge of how to cook good meals from my Mom!  I learned more in college, when I got an apartment.  I had put on about 15 pounds my freshmen year and it was mostly muscle from soccer (I weighed 137).  I was okay with losing some of the muscle (I looked a little manly just sayin), but I was scared of gaining weight.  I decided to learn more about nutrition and tried to start eating healthy.  I learned a lot from reading different diet books.  Eventually I took a nutrition class and realized how unbalanced my eating was.  My nutrition class taught me to follow the Food Guide Pyramid (now called My Plate).  Though it was great for me to learn about nutrition and the right way to eat, I started to become too healthy.  I started exercising a lot and eating less.  It came very close to an eating disorder…I was not eating enough calories for how much I was exercising.  Thankfully, I had some great friends who were there to encourage me and bring me back to reality.  Though I realized I had taken things too far, it was very hard to change my mindset.  Food had started consuming my thoughts and with that came a lot of guilt.  I went home for summer break and my parents were concerned (obviously, I went from 137 to 110lbs).  I started eating more, but in a very controlled way.  The next semester of school, I started getting into a crappy cycle of binging.  I never threw up my food, but I would eat until I felt sick…then feel really crappy about it and start restricting my diet again.  I was binging because my body was feeling deprived, then when I overate I felt so guilty that I wanted to restrict my calories again.  Through that cycle I gained about 20 pounds (some of that was definitely needed, but the cycle of binging made me feel really bad about myself and my health).   
The next summer through some studying, I became convicted that food was becoming an idol to me.  From a Christian standpoint, this would be considered a struggle or stronghold which was really distracting me from God's purposes for my life.  I am a follower of Christ, but was just in a rough place mentally (I was consumed in what my body looked like and what I was eating).  This was a turning point for binging.  I tried to start listening to my body…eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full.  That can be a little difficult when you love food.   
As I went into my senior year of college and starting to feel better about my body.  I was at a healthy weight of about 120 and eating pretty balanced.  I still binged at times, but not as often.  I also found some blogs that really helped me out with nutrition.  Blogs like Kath Eats really showed me that people can eat healthy and gave me ideas on how to do it.  So, where does that leave me now?  I still struggle, but my outlook on food and my body is changing for the good.  I have more good days then bad and don’t binge near as often as I used to.  I have asked God to free me of my mindset, and He has helped me a lot.  There are still times I have to refocus my attention because it is easy to slide back in to destructive patterns.  I am learning though and feel a lot better than I used to.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-3
This struggle keeps me humble, it reminds me that I can’t do it on my own and I cannot be perfect…no one is perfect.  This is where the blog comes in.  Healthy at Times says it all.  I have learned there are many reasons me to be healthy:  Mental health, energy, healthy body, heart health.  God created me, and I want to be in good health to serve Him, however that may look.  I started my blog because other blogs helped me so much over the years.  I have learned a lot about cooking from reading blogs and magazines and finally decided to start my own.  At the end of October, I set up my blog with Cliff’s help.  It has been a great way to keep up with what I cook and how I cook it.  Also, I love sharing what I make with people, so it is an easy way for others to have access to the recipes I try.  It motivates me to cook balanced meals.  I make a variety of meals, some really healthy, some not.  I recently found out I have high cholesterol, so that has changed my eating a little.  I have gotten back to some healthier habits.  When I eat healthy, I have to eat more so that is something I am getting used to.  I also try to include the ultimate comfort food which is God’s word.  Ultimately I hope you will get new ideas for cooking, learn about nutrition, and find encouragement from this blog.
In case you are tired of reading this lengthy blog and are wondering this is what I made for dinner.  Nothing new, but totally tasty.  

 Homemade dough from last week, pizza sauce on half, olive oil on half, topped with tomato, basil, pepperoni and cheese.
Hope you all have had a good week.  I am so excited about the Olympics starting tomorrow!  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fast and Simple Weeknight Dinner

Depending on the week there are many nights that I don't have time to make a full blown dinner...big surprise.  Occasionally I cook for one so it is nice to have a few meals on hand that are really easy and don't create a lot of leftovers.  Tonight I made a fajita quesadilla that was really good.
 Cheese, chicken, bell pepper and onion
 In my skillet I added a little oil and sauteed my onion and bell pepper.  When they started to brown, I added chicken (already cooked) and some taco seasoning and cooked about a minute.  Set that aside on a plate
 Then you are ready to put your tortilla in the same skillet (good flavor and a little leftover oil, no need to add more oil).  Place cheese on one side and your chicken mixture on that.
 Fold over and cook over medium heat until it looks like this
 I needed to use up the last of my broccoli and cauliflower so I sauteed that as well.  I also had a partial avocado to use so I mashed it up and added a little salsa.  It was the perfect combination.  I had this on the table in about 15-20 minutes (and had time to do things while it was cooking)!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Have to Try Right Now Granola Bars

I don't even know how I stumbled upon these beauties but I am so glad I did.  These are a healthy version of no bake cookies (those awesome peanut butter chocolate oatmeal ones, the ones I have forbidden myself to make unless I am taking them somewhere).  Yes, there are a few foods I just don't make anymore because of a little thing called self-control, or lack there of.  I will be making these though because they are a lot healthier and for some reason they are more satisfying (I wouldn't mind eating half the pan, but don't feel the urge to like I do with normal no bake cookies).  Have I built them up enough yet? 
 I accidentally dropped a few extra chocolate chips on top, dark chocolate of coarse!
This recipe makes a 9 x 13 cake pan of them.  I cut them into about 16 nice sized pieces.

Have to Try Right Now Granola Bars
1 cup peanut butter (I will try crunchy next time)
2/3 cup honey (I used a little less, basically I didn't fill it all the way)
1/2 cup coconut oil (this makes them so yummy)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, plus the additional sprinkle on top if you want
2 rounded cups oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I may try peanuts for cranberries next time, depends on my mood)

In a medium saucepan melt together peanut butter, honey and oil.  Once melted and smooth, remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Stir until melted and add the rest of your ingredients.  Pour into a cake pan lined with parchment paper and top with chocolate chips or nuts.  Place in fridge until hardened and cut into bars.  Keep stored in the fridge because they get a little melty, plus they are really good cold.  Enjoy!
*Slightly modified from New Nostalgia (and I want to try the normal granola bars on this page too)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I have had a major craving for Chicken Pot Pie lately.  I have never made it before so have kind of neglected the craving, until now.  I decided to make it with fresh veggies because it tastes better and I had all my veggies on hand.
 I diced my carrots, onion, and celery ahead of time.  The potato right before I was ready to cook.
 Melt butter in a skillet and add your veggies (I also added bell pepper and cauliflower because I had some already cut in my fridge)

 As your veggies start to soften, add flour and stir.
 Then you are ready to add chicken broth, milk and chicken
 Simmer until it thickens and melds together
 While that is simmering you can roll out your pie crust (I also made this earlier in the day)
 Pour veggies into a pie pan and then top it with your crust.  It was really hard to work with the edges so I just left them and it still tasted good
 Let this sucker cool for about 20 minutes and then you are ready to devour:)
 This was very delicious, a little runny so next time I will use a little less liquid (my recipe below is already modified).
 I had to go back for seconds because it was so good.  I loved the pie crust-which is great because it was my first time to make it (so it could have been a major fail).  It is a very easy recipe so check it out below.  I will be using that for my pies at Thanksgiving
 Cliff was playing with my camera settings while I got everything together...I like this picture!  On to the pie crust
 Flour, salt and shortening (don't judge me)
 Use a pastry cutter to blend it together and it should look like this.  Stir in milk with a fork and then you get dough
 I split it in half and froze the other part of it.
I kept it in the fridge for about 3 hours (you don't have to do that I was just trying to save time and a mess by doing it early).  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

My First Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 recipe Judy's Pie Crust (see below)
1 small onion, diced
1 small potato, cubed
2/3 cup celery, diced
2/3 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup cauliflower (optional, could do peas or broccoli)
1/4 cup bell pepper
2 Tbsp. butter + 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup Tbsp flour
splash white wine (optional)
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cut up (I used my crock-pot chicken)

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large skillet cook vegetables in butter over medium heat.  When they start to soften (about 8 minutes), add your flour and seasoning.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add a splash of white wine and stir.  Add your broth and milk at the same time and bring to a low simmer.  Add your chicken and simmer until it starts to thicken.  Once your mixture has thickened, pour it into a deep dish pie pan.  Cover with your pie crust, rolled out into a circle.  Poke holes in it to vent (don't forget).  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crust is cooked through.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes before cutting into it.

Judy's Pie Crust (makes 2 pie crusts)
2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup wheat and 1 1/2 cups white)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening (don't judge me!)
1/2 cup milk

Measure flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or a fork mix in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbles.  Add milk all at once and stir with a fork until just blended.  Form a ball and cut it in half.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface, pushing cracks together on edges.  If you want to freeze the other dough ball you can.  I used one for my chicken pot pie, and froze one in a ziplock bag. 

This scripture keeps standing out to me:
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3