Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seriously Simple Chicken Enchiladas {Remixed}

Do you remember when I posted the recipe for Seriously Simple Chicken Enchiladas? It's okay if you have forgotten, that recipe was posted all the way back in 2012, after all!




I revisited this delicious recipe last night and goodness gracious, it was glorious!

Seriously Simple Chicken Enchiladas {Remixed}

Serves: 6
Nutrition per Serving: 320 calories, 7 fat, 32 carbs, 32 protein

Ingredients

1 lb. chicken (chopped into bite size pieces)
4 oz. fat free cream cheese
16 oz. medium salsa
1.5 cup shredded cheddar
1 small can diced green chilies
6 medium flour tortillas

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook chicken in skillet over medium heat; drain.

2. Add 1/2 jar of salsa and 8 oz cream cheese to skillet with chicken. Stir on medium heat until cream cheese is melted throughout. Typically 10 minutes.

3. Spread 2 tbsp. of salsa to bottom of casserole dish. Add 3 tbsp of chicken mixture to each tortilla and roll up. Drizzle remaining salsa on top of enchiladas. Sprinkle with cheese and diced green chilies.

4. Bake enchiladas for about 15 minutes.





My husband and I each had an enchilada and a side salad with buffalo sauce. It was a spicy night!




After dinner, we took our dogs for a long walk. It was really windy during our walk, but the sun was out and the temperature wasn't bad. Once we got back home, I suggested ice cream and my husband was all for it! I got a small vanilla ice cream cone dipped in chocolate. He got an Oreo blizzard. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful night!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Few Happy Things

It's my last weigh-in day for my April Challenge. I weighed in at 230 lbs. I didn't meet my goal of losing 10 pounds this month. Better luck next month! These next few days I'm going to start thinking about my goals for May.

In the meantime, I must share a few happy things:

1. My husband and I have been visiting a local Amish store for all of our baking products and any other groceries we may need. Supporting local businesses makes me smile. 




2. My husband and I got a lot of yard work done this past weekend, and my little 4 year old brother helped.




3. We made homemade bagels for the first time last night; we used this recipe and they turned out great!




4. These two dogs, lounging around. Melts my heart.



How did you do with your April goals?
What goals are you aiming toward for May?

Monday, April 28, 2014

KitchenAid Adventures: Why I Love Bread

As of late, I've been posting a lot of bread recipes for you all. I really do plan on venturing beyond the bread with my KitchenAid Adventures but right now, I'm having a lot of fun trying new breads.




I just love making bread. One reason being, there is a lot of down time in between steps. It gives me some time to clean up the dishes, and prepare for the next steps ahead.

Some more reasons I love making bread:

  • It saves us money.
  • I know all the ingredients going into my bread.
  • It makes my house smell good.
  • It makes me feel accomplished.
  • I can say "Hey, I made that!"
  • I love to fill my loved ones bellies with homemade goodies.
Here's a list of all the bread recipes I've made with My KitchenAid, so far:

Basic White Bread
Basic Cinnamon Bread
Flax Bread

This will be my last KitchenAid Adventures post for a while. Once I start venturing beyond the bread (or even past the beginner's bread stage) I'll share more with you! Pinky promise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

KitchenAid Adventures: Beginners Cinnamon Bread

Cinnamon bread. An intimidating recipe of the past.




We love to eat warm, fresh cinnamon bread with butter in the mornings, or even use the bread as french toast. This easy beginners recipe is fantastic! I used the Beginners White Sandwich bread as the base for this recipe, then added in the rest!




Beginners Cinnamon Bread
adapted from Bread World

Serves: 2 loaves
Nutrition per serving (1/24 recipe): 130 calories; 1.5 fat; 25 carbohydrates; 3 protein

Ingredients:

4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. and 1 tsp. sugar 
6 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (I used Red Star)
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (I used skim milk)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter


Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

Ingredients:

1/4 cup cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
Spray butter (about 20 sprays)

Directions:

Place 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F) in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and 1 tsp. sugar; stir. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top.

Combine in a separate bowl, 1 cup water, 1/2 milk, 2 tbsp. butter and 3 tbsp. sugar; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Add to yeast mixture with salt and 4 cups flour. 




Use dough hook and setting 2 of your KitchenAid standing mixer. Mix well, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup flour (or more) as needed to make a soft dough. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 

Place in a greased bowl (1 tbsp olive oil), turning once to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.




Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle.  Spray each half with about 10 sprays of butter. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar mixture on each half, adding more if you see fit. Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place, seam sides down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans. Sprinkle additional cinnamon sugar on top, if desired. Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.




Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Homemade Pizza Dough is the Way to Go

Oh.my.goodness. Friends, I must tell you, once you start making your own dough from scratch, it's so hard to go back.




We made our own pizza dough for the first time last weekend. The dough recipe we used makes 4 pizza crusts, so we individually wrapped and froze them for another time. Today, for lunch, was our first time using our homemade pizza dough. It was out of this world.




I pulled out a package of our homemade frozen dough yesterday. It was perfectly thawed and ready to be rolled out, today. One great thing about this dough, it's tough enough so there's no chance of putting holes in it as you roll it out. (Well, I guess there's always a chance.) The freshness you get from a homemade pizza crust is also hard to beat.





Fresh mushrooms, cooked up lightly in a frying pan for my half; mushrooms with pepperoni for my husband's half. This was an amazing lunch. Especially to have after the interval run/walk we had this morning.




My husband and I went for a light run with a lot of walking in between. We brought both of our dogs with us, and as you may remember from a previous post, one of our dogs is not a runner (Max). So it was a slow go but totally worth it because I just love spending time with all three of my boys; especially, outside on a beautiful day!

Friday, April 25, 2014

KitchenAid Adventures: Beginners Flax Bread

Flax seeds. Something I have never used before this recipe. Something I'm going to use more often!




According to many different articles I have read online, ground flax seed is great for your digestive health and heart! So, why not add it to some bread, shall we? This bread turned out great. It had a hearty taste to it (no pun intended). We used it this week as sandwich bread for my husband's lunches! I'll definitely be making this again!

For basic white beginners bread, click here.

Beginners Flax Bread
adapted from Bread World

Serves: 2 loaves
Nutrition per serving (1/24 recipe): 130 calories; 1.5 fat; 25 carbohydrates; 3 protein

Ingredients:

3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground flax seed 
3 tbsp. and 1 tsp. sugar 
6 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (I used Red Star)
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (I used skim milk)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter






Directions:



Place 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F) in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and 1 tsp. sugar; stir. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top.

Combine in a separate bowl, 1 cup water, 1/2 milk, 2 tbsp. butter and 3 tbsp. sugar; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Add to yeast mixture with salt and 3 cups flour and 1 cup ground flax seed. 




Use dough hook and setting 2 of your KitchenAid standing mixer. Mix well, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup flour (or more) as needed to make a soft dough. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 

Place in a greased bowl (1 tbsp olive oil), turning once to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.



Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle.  Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place, seam sides down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

KitchenAid Adventures: Begginers Bread

I'm excited to share with you my first recipe as part of My KitchenAid Adventures! This is the first recipe that I tried to make with my KitchenAid Mixer Professional 600 Standing Mixer, and I nailed it!




This recipe turned out perfect, and I am vowing to make this each week as our main supply of sandwich bread. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Beginners White Sandwich Bread
adapted from Bread World

Serves: 2 loaves
Nutrition per serving (1/24 recipe): 130 calories; 1.5 fat; 25 carbohydrates; 3 protein

Ingredients:

4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour 
3 tbsp. and 1 tsp. sugar 
6 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (I used Red Star)
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk (I used skim milk)

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter


Directions:



Place 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°F) in a large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and 1 tsp. sugar; stir. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top.

Combine in a separate bowl, 1 cup water, 1/2 milk, 2 tbsp. butter and 3 tbsp. sugar; heat until warm (100° to 110°F). Add to yeast mixture with salt and 4 cups flour. 





Use dough hook and setting 2 of your KitchenAid standing mixer. Mix well, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup flour (or more) as needed to make a soft dough. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. 

Place in a greased bowl (1 tbsp olive oil), turning once to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.





Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle.  Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.  Pinch seams and ends to seal.  Place, seam sides down, in greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pans.  Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.  Remove from pans; cool on wire rack.




(To make Whole Wheat Bread:  Substitute 2 cups whole wheat flour for part of all-purpose flour.)

Ever tried to make bread before?
Do you like to make your bread by hand or with the assistance of a kitchen appliance?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Challenge Update and Food Happenings

Let's catch up on some food happenings, shall we?

On Monday, I made Tuna Noodle Casserole for the very first time. And I made the sauce by scratch. Mmm mmm.




Each serving was only about 320 calories. I've been eating the leftovers for lunch and I believe it's just as good re-heated as when it came out of the oven.

I made salmon patties, homemade macaroni and cheese with a side of vegetables last night.




We didn't get a chance to eat until 9:00 p.m. I worked until 6:00, then had to rush home and get ready for family pictures with my mom's side, then we visited and grabbed her recipe for salmon patties, and then we finally got home, made dinner, ate and fell asleep. Whew, Tuesday was a long day.

Recipe for Salmon Patties:

1 (14 oz) can salmon
1-2 squirts of mustard
1 tbsp. worcester sauce
2 eggs (yes, use two, don't try to use only one like I did)
4 slices of bread, broken up

Form patties, fry in oil. Enjoy!

Tuesday is also my weigh-in day for my April Challenge. I went up a pound (darn Easter candy), which brings me to 230 lbs for this weigh-in. I only ate out once last week, as part of my goal to eat out no more than once per week. Two weeks in a row of sticking to that goal! I'm excited to see what great things this last week of my April Challenge will bring!

What are your goals, and how are you doing?
Tried any new recipes lately?

Monday, April 21, 2014

More Vegetables than Chocolate

Geesh. Holiday weekends are tough on the healthy-choices front. Good thing it's not a holiday weekend, every weekend.

I hope you had a Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you had some time to spend with your loved ones; maybe at church, or over an Easter meal? We had brunch with my father's side of the family, and then visited my mother's side after that.

On Saturday, I was a baking fool. More on that later this week.

Right now, I want to narrow down some plans for the week ahead. After the candy-filled and exercise-free weekend I had, I am craving my healthy-living routine. You know, the one that involves more vegetables than chocolate and exercise. Yeah, that one.

Dinner Plans for the week:

M - Tuna Noodle Casserole
T - Salmon Patties
W - Chicken Salad
T - Shrimp with Rice and Veggies
F - Homemade Pizza
S - Mindy's Turkey Chili

Exercise Plans for the week:

M - Cardio
T - Strength Training
W - Cardio
T - Strength Training
F - Cardio
S - Strength Training


Max, keeping dad's seat warm while he gets more sticks for the fire.


After visiting with family yesterday, my husband and I did a couple hours of yard work. We made piles and piles of sticks in our yard, and used a few piles for a relaxing fire on the patio afterward. It was the perfect night for a fire. I am so looking forward to many more relaxing nights like this! Thank goodness the weather is getting nicer and nicer!

What are your plans for Easter?
What are your plans for the week ahead?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Kitchenaid Adventures

My husband survived his oral surgery yesterday. I spent my day making sure he was comfortable and following the doctors orders. He is doing much better this morning than he was last night. He barely has any pain, which is a major improvement from yesterday. I'm happy, he's happy and it's a beautiful day!

I woke up early this morning and began making bread. It my new favorite thing to do. Who would have known? I am making the beginners bread recipe I found last week, with a twist. I can't wait to share it with you!

That's not all I want to share with you. I've been thinking, and I've decided to start a little series called My KitchenAid Adventures. Ever since buying my new KitchenAid standing mixer last weekend, I have been obsessed. I am not ashamed!





There is just something about this kitchen appliance that makes me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. The first day with my KitchenAid, I made two perfect loaves of bread. I had never even tried to make bread previous to this first try, and thanks to my KitchenAid stand mixer, I nailed it!




A few days later, I made homemade pie crust for the first time, for my first ever homemade pecan pie. These are things I never even thought to try before buying my KitchenAid. Now, of course, you can make these things without a KitchenAid. Even me, being the beginner that I am, could have made these baked goods by hand. However, the KitchenAid stand mixer made me really want to make these things. It ignited a love for baking inside of me that I didn't even know was there. Hallelujah!

Since I am so passionate about my KitchenAid stand mixer, I think My KitchenAid Adventures will be the perfect place to share joy. I hope to share with you the recipes that I made (successfully) with help from my KitchenAid standing mixer.

Since this is a healthy living bog (and eating bread all day is not considered healthy) I will try to keep my KitchenAid Adventures to a minimum. Just expect to see some updates from time to time (like every day this week) (just kidding).


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Not a Runner

After work, I laced up my Brooks Running Shoes and took my dogs for a run. I found a really nice dirt road that I want to start running on more often. It's very peaceful, with streams along the side.

During my run, I also found out which one of my dogs is a runner, and which one is not.




Topher absolutely loves to run. He was ahead of me the entire time, wanting more and more. Max, struggled. He prefers to be walking; better yet, he prefers to be carried. I think the picture above is a good representation of both of them. Topher is ready to run, and Max is wondering "can we be done, yet?" His face tells all. I've been there, buddy.




Today was probably one of my favorite days at work. Can you guess why? Well, it had to do with it being a worker appreciation day, and there was food provided all throughout the Agency. I had two plates of different kinds of salads; broccoli salad, antipasto salad and a fruit salad! I had one wing, a pepperoni ball and a hot caramel sundae for dessert. Best day ever, at work. Hands down. However, the scale might not think so but, lucky for me, tomorrow is not weigh-in day. 

I've been trying to fit in extra exercise when I can to offset all the extra calories I ate throughout the day at work. I went for a walk with my little brother after my run with the dogs. But then, I made a homemade pecan pie for my husband. And of course I had to taste test it.

More on the pecan pie another time. We've got to go to bed soon because my husband is getting his wisdom teeth out in the morning. Wish him luck!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Enough with the Silly

Every day after work, I come home to my new KitchenAid mixer starring at me. Or maybe, I'm starring at it. Either way, I can't wait to use it again!

The bread that I made (for the first time ever) turned out amazing this past weekend. I must admit, I feel like a real baker after accomplishing my first loaves of bread. Bread was always intimidating to me so, for me to jump right in and nail it for the first time; definite ego boost in the kitchen, my friends!

I've been recipe shopping for my next adventure with the KitchenAide mixer. I think this is going to be great!

I never thought I would love baking so much. There's just something about filling my loved ones bellies with homemade baked treats that fills my heart with joy! Let's just hope it doesn't fill the extra room that I've worked on making in my pants, right?! So far, I have done little taste testing, myself. Just a lot of sharing the love (and calories).

Speaking about calories, I've gotta tell ya; bringing fresh fruit to work has been saving me from going to the office snack box in the afternoons. Hard boiled eggs, too. These two snacks have been helping me in a major way.

I've also been taking salads to lunch this week, as I did last week. I switched it up this week though by adding meat to my salad. Today, I added some leftover pepperoncini pot roast to my romaine. It was amazing.


Last night's dinner plate.


Sometimes, I think about the recipes I will hand down to my unborn child. Pepperoncini pot roast is definitely one of those recipes. I just know my future child will be saying "Gee, thanks, mom!" when they make this recipe. It's so EASY and quick. Did I mention it's delicious? Oh, brother!

Authors Note: I am not pregnant, I am just weird and think distantly into my future. The one that I make up in my head, not the real future. Of course I can't tell the future. However, this pepperoncini pot roast definitely makes me think I can.

Enough with the silly; off to do my workout!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Challenge Update and Mmm

Today is weigh-in day for my April Challenge.
  • No eating out more than once per week (1 out of 2 weeks complete!)
  • Lose 10 pounds (4 lbs. down!)
This morning, I weighed in three pounds less than last week, bringing me down to 229 lbs. Six more pounds to go this month! I can do it!

Last week was amazing. I wrote a post about how I'm planning on turning my good week into a good month. If you haven't read it yet, you can check it out, here.

Having my dinner and exercise planned for the week always helps me stay on track! Here's what I've got planned for this week:

Exercise plans:

Sunday: Rest (done)
Monday: Strength training (done)
Tuesday: Cardio
Wednesday: Strength training
Thursday: Cardio
Friday: Strength training
Saturday: Cardio

Dinner plans:

Sunday: Pizza Bar (done)
Monday: Coconut Curry with Chicken (done)
Tuesday: Pepperoncini Pot Roast (in the slow cooker!)
Wednesday: Chicken Salad
Thursday: Shrimp with Rice and Veggies
Friday: Creamy Cauliflower Soup*
Saturday: Pureed White Bean Soup with Bacon and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes*

My husband is getting his wisdom teeth out on Friday. Good Friday. I know, I know! I'm a horrible wife for scheduling my husband to get his wisdom teeth out on Easter weekend but, I am going to make it up to him by filling his belly with *new soup recipes as he recovers. And bread. Lots of fresh, homemade bread.




Mmm. Mm.

Ever had your wisdom teeth out?
How long did it take you to recover?
Favorite foods to eat during recovery?
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Bread Filled Future

This weekend was such a blessing!

My husband and I were able to make a big purchase or, as I've been calling it, an investment into our future. A future of homemade breads, cookies and anything else you can make in a Kitchenaid Mixer!




The first thing that I made with my mixer was bread, bread and more bread. Yesterday was my first time ever making bread. It took me a couple tries to get the recipe right, but once it was right, it was right.





I used the beginners bread recipe from Bread World. It was quite simple, and the bread is delicious!




My husband and I went to a local Amish store and bought about 10 pounds of flour, a bunch of sugar, yeast, ground flax seed, and spices. They have great prices, and I just love getting our ingredients locally!

Other than making bread, my husband and I took our dogs for their first ride in the trailer we bought for them. We went for an hour ride, and they did very well!




Topher, the short hair, is a huge whiner in general. So, he whined a lot during the trip but, I think that he enjoyed the fresh air. Max, the long hair, was totally chill during the trip. He could be pulled around all day long and be in heaven. He loved it!





We look forward to many trips to come with this trailer this summer!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Turning a Good Week into a Good Month

After the amazing week that I've had, I began to think to myself; how will I make a good week turn into a good month?

My first thought is to identify what made my week successful.

Things that kept me motivated this week:

  • A couple fresh, new recipes to try (always exciting).
  • Making sure I had the time to make the new recipes (being realistic with my expectations).
  • Making sure I had the energy to stick to my plans (getting enough sleep).
  • Water, water, water.
  • Getting in my exercise and eating well, not one or the other.
  • Oatmeal every morning for breakfast (very filling).
  • Fresh Salads for lunches at work (changed it up by adding fruit to my salads this week).
  • Hard boiled eggs, string cheese, strawberries, grapes and bananas for snacks.
  • Dove dark chocolate squares (helped my nightly chocolate craving).

My second thought is to repeat the good week and make any minor changes, necessary.

I'm going to switch up my meal plans a bit for the upcoming week, but I am going to definitely make sure I have a couple new recipes to try. This keeps me excited in the kitchen, and when I'm excited about being in the kitchen, I'm less likely to order out for dinner.

I made it through the entire work week without ordering out for lunch or dinner. As part of my April Challenge, I made it goal to eat out no more than once per week. I'm using my "once per week" this evening, when my husband and I meet up for dinner with a friend and her boyfriend.

Last night, we stuck to our meal plan and made Goat Cheese and Tomato Pizza.



It was suppose to be Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Pizza but, I forgot about the bag of sundried tomatoes I had just bought recently. I used a fresh tomato instead. It tasted great, anyway!


Actually, all you need to make this is a pizza crust (the one I used is store bought, but I'm looking into making my own soon); pizza sauce of your choice; sundried or fresh tomatoes, and; a small package of goat cheese (we used garlic and herb flavored). I baked the pizza at 375 for 12 minutes and it was perfection!


The goat cheese is so rich, you only need a little bit of cheese for each slice!

What little things motivate you to stay on track?
Ever tried goat cheese on a pizza?
Any good pizza dough recipes you'd suggest I try?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Food Tastes Better at 9 PM

I didn't eat dinner until about 9:00 p.m. last night. That is so unlike me! Once I got home from work, I couldn't stay still long enough to make myself a meal and eat. Reason being? It was 70 DEGREES outside! 

I changed into a cut off tank top, shorts and grabbed my go-to running gear:




My Garmin Forerunner 410, wireless earbuds (thanks mom!) and my HR monitor. I was out the door before I knew it.


Photo from my Instagram account

After my run, I sat outside on my stone patio (for about 10 minutes before needing to get up and go again).




Seeing the patio lights on makes my heart sing but, I couldn't sit around for long. I grabbed a string cheese and bottle of water for the road and took my dogs for a walk while it was still light and warm outside.




After reading some of your comments yesterday, I know I'm not alone in this. I almost always feel guilty when I go for a run and leave my dogs behind so, I made up for it by taking them for a long walk at the park. We walked until it was dark outside, and then, only then, was I finally ready to settle down and eat dinner.

My original dinner plans changed due to how late it was and my hunger level. I really couldn't wait much longer so, I made something quick! A turkey and cheese sandwich with lettuce and mayo.




Food tastes even better at 9:00 p.m. Or maybe it's just because I was so hungry. At any rate, it really hit the spot!

What's your go-to running gear?