Yesterday, I posted about my New Year’s Resolutions. I am happy to report that for the second day in a row, I woke up with no snooze alarm! Lest you think I am a bastion of willpower, let me let you in on a secret. At night, before I go to bed, I set the alarm on my cell phone. Then, I get out of bed and put my phone far out of my arm’s reach. Then, in the morning, I am forced to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. Once I’m out of bed, my dogs are looking at me longingly and my workout clothes are all laid out, so I figure I might as well go ahead and get dressed instead of crawling back into bed and hitting that snooze button.
So far, this technique is working for me. The Taste Tester (TT), however, is not a fan. Jealous of my newfound resolve and willpower and also a big believer in snoozing, he has decided to set his alarm earlier than my alarm, thereby waking me up and giving me the effect of the snooze alarm, even though I am not actually hitting the snooze button. The joke’s on him though, because this gives me the best of both worlds. I still get the gradual wake-up the snooze alarm gives me, but I am also out of bed at just the right time. No over-sleeping and starting the day off rushing. Instead I am up at 6:30, ride my exercise bike, make my coffee, and slowly get ready for the day. Aside from letting my dogs out 3-4 times, chasing one dog up and down a steep hill in our backyard because she won’t come inside, and spending part of the morning outside in frigid temperatures in my bathrobe; it’s pretty much the perfect start to an excellent day.
Over the holidays, I spent a lot of time with my parents, who made the long trek to the arctic (aka southeast Michigan) to visit for the week following Christmas. We spent most of the week indoors, working a 1000 piece puzzle and FaceTiming with my sister in Portland. I also spent a lot of time over the holidays asking my mom for family recipes and cooking the recipes my mother and grandmother always made around Christmas time.
Once my family left and the holidays came to an end, I was depressed thinking of how life would soon return to my normal routine. I knew my New Year’s resolve to eat healthier would prevent me from revisiting old family recipes 3-4 times per week. So, I began trying to think of a way I could use food to stay more connected to my family in the coming year.
The idea I had was simple. Every other week, my mom, sister, and I would cook the same recipe. We would each take turns choosing a recipe, then we would cook it on our own schedules and re-group to discuss what we liked or disliked about the recipe. I requested that recipes be relatively simple, i.e. no obscure or hard to source ingredients, and that, at least to start, the recipes be relatively healthy. I have given it the super original name of “The Recipe Club.” My hope is that this will expose all of us to new recipes, help me in my resolution to try more new recipes, and keep us connected by giving us something to talk about every other week.
So far, we have chosen one recipe. We have a long group text going where we each check in as our schedules permit once a day or so. Success! I chose the first recipe from Cooking Light* magazine and I have shared it below. Keep in mind as of the writing of this post, I have not actually cooked this recipe, so I will update with notes and tips once I do.
*TT has been receiving free magazines at his office. I presume this is some sort of promotion to try to get his business to order said magazines for a waiting room (they don’t actually have a waiting room). Anyway, I would never have purchased a Cooking Light magazine, but I actually found several good recipes in this issue (December 2016). If they tastes as good as they look, I may have to subscribe. #notsponsored
For the original recipe and nutrition information, visit Cooking Light here.
Updated to Add:
Both TT and I found this recipe extremely bland. Like, it basically tasted like chicken water. Had I been the only one making it, I would have scrapped it for sure. However, both my mom and sister, and more importantly, their respective taste testers (aka my dad and my sister’s boyfriend), LOVED it. My dad, who can be a relatively picky eater when it comes to “healthy” stuff, said “definitely make again!” My sister’s boyfriend said “terrific.” TT has been quick to point out this can only mean one thing: both my mother and my sister are better cooks than me! I refuse to accept it! Here’s what we did differently that may have lead to different outcomes:
- I used homemade chicken broth (which I have used many times with great success); they used storebought
- I omitted the radishes, they both added them
- My sister added extra pepper seeds because I said the soup was bland, I used no pepper seeds (the original recipe was unclear on the use of the seeds)
Serves 1.5 cups
10 minPrep Time
8 hrCook Time
8 hr, 10 Total Time
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 c)
- 1 medium poblano pepper with seeds, chopped (1/2 c)
- 1 T ground cumin
- 2 t chopped garlic
- 1 t dried oregano
- 2 (15 oz.) cans white hominy, drained
- 2 (10 oz.) bone-in skinless chicken breasts
- 1/3 c finely chopped peeled tomatillos (look for these fresh or canned near the Mexican food)
- 1/4 c fresh cilantro
- 1 T fresh lime juice
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 1/3 c sliced radishes
- 1 1/2 sliced avocados
- Tortilla strips (optional)
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- Combine the first 8 ingredients (water-hominy) in a slow cooker. Add the chicken, making sure to submerge it in the liquid. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred chicken into large pieces, removing from the bone. Return to slow cooker.
- Stir in the tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Adjust salt to taste.
- Serve in bowls, top with avocados, radishes, and tortilla strips as desired. I imagine a dollop of Greek yogurt would taste great!