I Cooked AND Baked (And It Did Not Snow)
Posted by virginiaisformaugles
Don’t adjust your screen or your glasses if you wear them. You are reading that correctly – today I cooked and I baked. What is this world coming to?!
For those that know me, I am not the world’s greatest cook or most ambitious when it comes to creating in the kitchen. It’s just something I’ve never been into much, although I’m usually happier when baking rather than cooking. I mean, my roommate in college had to correct me and tell me I was making my grilled cheese wrong (ahem… I was putting the buttered side of the bread on the inside of the sandwich, doh). I also never paid much attention to liquid vs. solid measurements. Plus I’ve been known to confuse baking soda with baking powder. Oh, I can go on.
I do enjoy going out to eat for dinner and that’s part of my problem. It’s a money waster, a time waster, and it’s not nearly as healthy but it’s still fun and I like trying new restaurants (especially in a new locale). I’d like to get better about trying new recipes at home, being healthier, and saving some dough. By eating at home, it also allows for meals at more decent times and giving us more relaxed play time with Abby in the evening.
So I turned over a new leaf today and began by making a very simple yet tasty dinner. Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Basically you just put all of the following ingredients into a crock pot on low for about 6-7 hours and voila, yummy soup: 1/2 lb. shredded cooked chicken, whole peeled tomatoes (mashed), enchilada sauce, onion, garlic, chopped green chile peppers, water, chicken broth (low sodium), cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, bay leaf, frozen corn, and cilantro. The house smelled SO good all day.
You can also make crispy tortillas in the oven to crumble over the soup. Or you can attempt to follow the directions as stated and put lightly oiled tortillas in the oven for about 10-15 minutes but almost set off the smoke alarm instead. I only had them in the oven for about 4-5 minutes and when I checked on them it was bad:
Oops! Vents and fans were immediately put to use. Don’t know why the recipe called for these being in for 10-15 minutes (I guess I should have known better for how thin they are anyway). The fire dept. may have been at our house if I kept them in that long. So instead I reached into our cupboard and pulled out a bag of tostado chips and crushed them on top of the soup.
It turned out pretty good and I thought it had good flavor and just the right amount of spiciness. It reminded me of chili but Mexican style, without the beans and not as thick. The Mister gave it a B. I’ll take it.
For dessert, I opted to make some Peanut Butter Cup Cookies. You all know these kind – pb cookies w/ the mini reeces pb cups placed into the center. I had these picked out while looking for some Christmas cookie recipes, even though I can’t classify them as cookies of the Christmas-nature. But they are good and I couldn’t pass them up. So I made a few of those and nothing was burnt or damaged.
Now, let’s see how long I can keep this up! I will be working on my recipe binder to make it more enticing and to give me motivation. It will be hard at times though because some nights I will just want to go out to Quaker Steak & Lube for that tasty pulled pork sandwich, or Sam’s for that buy 1 get 1 pizza deal. All in moderation is the key.