Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chicken, Mushroom, & Brie Soup....OMG!

About three years ago, Corner Bakery had a seasonal soup called Chicken, Mushroom, & Brie Stew. It was the most delicious stew I had ever had! Order it in a bread bowl, and I probably consumed it for lunch 2-3 times a week for the entire winter. You can imagine my depression when the next year, Corner Bakery discontinued the stew, and I have never found it since! I have been on the hunt to replicate this stew, but alas nothing comes close. Then I discovered two separate recipes, one for mushroom soup, the other for chicken and brie soup. I decided to combine the two recipes, put my own twist on it and see if it compared to the soup I had once had from Corner Bakery. Though this soup is different than that of Corner Bakery, it is DELICIOUS! Oh. My. Gosh. Seriously, so good. Try it for yourself! This recipe did not leave much left for left overs ( I had to fight my husband for the last of it!). So please double or triple if you are serving more than 2 people!

300g or 2 cups fresh mushrooms - cleaned and chopped finely (I used a mix of swiss brown and white button)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 ounces brie cheese, torn/chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic - chopped

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or dried thyme
1 - 2 bay leaf
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp flour dissolved in 2 tbsp water 
Salt to taste
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 ½ cup milk

½ tbsp cayenne (if you like spice)
Dash of nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1.  Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add butter and lightly sauté garlic on medium heat.  
  2. Add in mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 -10 minutes, or until the moisture from the mushrooms disappears. 
  3.  Add chicken to the pot, along with milk and chicken stock. Allow soup to come to a simmer, then add brie and continue stirring until it all melts – about 5 minutes.
  4. Add diluted flour in, and stir constantly (while simmering) until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  5. Stir in half and half. Turn heat up high and let soup come to a boil, stirring every few minutes so cheese does not stick to the bottom. At this point, you may see some separate of stock/milk, but with a few stirs and time to simmer, the soup will come together.
  6. Add Cayenne (more or less depending on how spicy you like your soup)
  7. Once soup boils, turn it down to a simmer and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with sliced french bread. SO DELICIOUS!! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I get a lot of requests for this recipe, and not to be prideful, I can see why! It is seriously so good! I've been proposed to twice after making it back in the day, so single ladies (and fellows) let me know if it works for you! I know that for the most part I try to eat really healthy and only use fresh ingredients, but every once in a while I get the urge to make these. Even my husband (who doesn't like sour cream) LOVES these enchiladas. I still use the healthiest ingredients possible, so feel free to substitute where you like. I am going to give you the recipe to have enough for 4-5 people with possible leftovers. For 2 people I usually cut this recipe in half.

20 whole wheat tortillas (I prefer HEB fresh...sooo good!)
4 chicken breasts, cubed ( lately I have been using shredded chicken made in the crockpot)
1 packet Taco Seasoning ( I use Hot because we like it spicy)
1 can family size Cream of Chicken soup (98% fat free)
1 small container of Reduced Fat (Light) Sour Cream
1 Bag Mexican blend cheese
1 Can black beans (optional)*
Chopped Cilantro (optional)*

*I have been adding the black beans and cilantro lately to the enchiladas, or I make half with black beans half without. The original recipe does not include these ingredients, I have just added over the years.

Preheat oven 350
Cut chicken breast into cubes, cook chicken in skillet over medium heat. Season with taco seasoning. Cook 7-8 minutes until chicken is no longer pink
In Medium Pot over medium heat, combine Cream of Chicken soup and Sour Cream. Stir and heat until sauce is well combined (if you like sour cream, add more to your liking). Make sure to keep stirring, you don't want the sauce to burn on the bottom. 
If you are using the black beans, cook them on the stove top (or microwave) until warm
In a 13x9 baking dish, spread 1-2 cups of sauce on bottom of baking dish
Take 1 tortilla, fill with 1-2 spoonfuls sauce, chicken, (black beans), cheese, (cilantro), and roll. Place tortilla in baking dish (repeat until all tortillas and chicken are gone)
Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce
Cook in oven for 20 minutes, sprinkle with cheese and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What's in the crockpot?

Last summer Texas experienced one of it's driest and hottest summers. With record breaking heat and out of control wildfires this summer rain has been a welcome sight. However, it has been raining for 6 days straight! I'm starting to lose the tan I worked so hard on at the beginning of this summer ( I know, first world problems right!). So yesterday, when I woke up to rain (again) I decided it was a crockpot dinner kind of day. When it's gray and wet (although humid) it reminds me of winter, and what's the best in the winter? Crockpot meals! With dinner cooking away, I had no reason why I couldn't enjoy my couch and the weather outside. Here is what the crockpot made:
                                                Chicken with mushrooms & broccoli 

It was so easy and delicious, my husband cleaned his plate (twice!)
4 Chicken Breasts Thawed
2 cups Fresh or Thawed broccoli 
1 cup sliced mushrooms (or you can use canned mushrooms but I prefer fresh)
2 Cans Cream of Chicken soup (I used 1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken & 1 can cream of chicken with herbs)
6 oz softened cream cheese ( I used weight watchers)
1 packet dry zesty fat free Italian dressing

On stove heat cream of chicken soup & cream cheese on low-medium heat until cream cheese is blended in with soup
Place chicken breasts, mushrooms, and broccoli in crockpot sprinkle Italian seasoning over these 3 ingredients
Pour soup,cream cheese mixture over chicken, mushrooms, and broccoli
Heat on Low 4-6 hours or High 3-4 hours
Serve over noodles ( I used whole wheat egg noodles) or rice & sprinkle with shaved parmesan
*For a spicy kick sprinkle with crushed red pepper*

Friday, July 6, 2012

What's Ber Cooking? Artichokes, Spinach, & Chicken

So I like to think of myself as a foodie, at least I like to eat and I like to cook. I'm THAT kind of foodie. I'm constantly watching cooking shows (Chopped, Top Chef, Master Chef, and a ton of other shows on the FoodNetwork), scouring Pinterest for new recipes, checking out cookbooks, and so on. I usually put my own twist on a basic recipe and see what I can come up with. Now I'm trying to be better at blogging about it :).

Last night we had my MIL over for dinner with her new BF, so I wanted to cook to impress. I also like to cook as healthy as possible so I decided on Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Healthy "Mashed Potatoes" (cauliflower substitute). When hosting a dinner party, I always serve appetizers and I am a firm believer in serving both a cold appetizer & a hot one. I settled on 3 types of cheese (mmm I LOVE CHEESE) & Artichoke Bruschetta and let me tell you  IT WAS DELICIOUS!!
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 Pillsbury Simply French Bread
1 Cup Low Fat Sour Cream
1 & 1/4 Cup 4 Italian Cheese Blend Shredded (I used Weight Watchers)
Garlic Salt
Tony's Cajun Seasoning
1/2 packet Dry Ranch Dressing

Preheat Oven to 350, bake bread to package ingredients (or you can just purchase a premade french bread baguette)
Cut Bread into slices
Mix all other ingredients together, use Garlic Salt & Tony's as you like I like to add a couple dashes, taste, repeat as needed
Put a spoonful of artichoke mixture on each slice of bread (add more cheese if you like..remember I LOVE Cheese) 
Arrange bread on a greased cookie sheet
Put back into oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly

For the main course we had Spinach Stuffed Chicken & Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

This recipe is from the South Beach Diet, so it's super yummy and super healthy :) Needless to say everyone cleared their plates (which always makes me proud).

1 Stouffers Spinach Souffle
4 Chicken Breast Pounded to 1/4 thickness
Chopped Garlic (use as much or as little as you like)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Chicken broth
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Preheat Oven to 350
Cut Frozen Spinach Souffle into 4 pieces
Place 1 piece of souffle in the middle of each pounded chicken breast, roll chicken around spinach, tightly fasten with wooden toothpicks
Heat olive oil in pan on med-high heat, add chicken to pan (use a large enough pan to fit all 4 breasts), brown each breast on both sides (about 7 minutes per side)
Transfer browned chicken to oven safe pan, put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear
On the stove use the same skillet used for browning the chicken to saute the garlic
Add chicken broth, the juice of the lemon, salt & pepper
Boil, reduce heat to low, and cover
Allow sauce to simmer for 20 minutes
When chicken is done, spoon sauce over chicken to moisten

I hope everyone loves these recipes as much as my family did! I would love to know how you change the recipes and how they work for you! Keep checking back as I promise to be better at posting what's happening in my kitchen!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things...a Christmas Wishlist

Every year since I was probably 5 years old I get asked the question "what do you want for Christmas?". I think I am one of the easiest people to shop for because I like EVERYTHING (or so I think), but I have been informed that this is not always the case. This year I decided to put together a list of items that are on my Christmas Wishlist. I hope this list helps you get some ideas for the women in your life (or even give you some things to ask Santa for!)! In no way do I expect any of these items from anyone reading this blog, unless you are my husband of course :)


The APEX Bionic jacket from The North Face is ideal for any woman who considers herself sporty, or just wants to look that way. For windy, cold weather activities, this stylish jacket keeps you warm and away from the chill with its windproof exterior and comfortable fleece interior. This jacket comes in 10 different colors ( I prefer white), and is the perfect on the go jacket for this winter season. (Average price $130)

I love Jessica Simpson, mainly because we have mutual friends and she is a Texas girl, and I am especially a fan of her shoes! I own about 5 pairs of her boots, and even more of her heels. This Christmas season she has partnered with Zales to design a jewelry line.  I am obsessed with long necklaces right now, especially some with a little bling which is why this diamond heart necklace is perfect. Pair this necklace with a sweater dress, some knee high boots, and you have mastered the look for this winter. (Price of collection range $80-$800)

I have been on the hunt for the perfect gold watch for what feels like FOR.EV.ER. I wear a watch everyday, except when I wear gold earrings because I do not have a gold watch! My gold watch hunt has proved difficult because you have to find the right gold color(I don't want it to be too gold, ya know?), can't be too big (don't want it to look like something Puff Daddy would wear), don't want it to look cheap, but don't want to spend too much on it, and the reasons go on and on. The search stops here! This Micheal Kors watch combines everything I wanted into one perfect look. (price $100)

For anyone who knows me, you know I love to cook and entertain! During the Christmas season, I find myself every year wishing I had Christmas dishes! The Spode Christmas Collection is perfect for putting the "holly" in your "holiday". This is one of those gifts that you can make a Christmas tradition and give a new piece each year. The great thing about Spode is that it never goes out of style (ask your grandma, she probably has some). These pieces are festive and perfect for the woman who loves Christmas, cooking, and hostessing! (Price range $10-$500)


Since getting married I have successfully lost and gained 15 lbs (twice now). I have been looking for a great heart rate monitor/calorie burning calculator for awhile. The Sigma PC 9 HRM is perfect for your lady who likes to work out and wants to keep track of what she has done! I have read the reviews and this seems like the ideal tool to help keep you in your target work out zone as well as calculate how many calories you have burned. It's not too big or bulky and is just girly enough to blend in at the gym! (Price: $50)

So here is the list of a FEW of my favorite things! The main thing about gift giving is finding a gift that matches your receivers style. Think about what makes that person unique and get them something that highlights that, and you can't go wrong! 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Move over Barbie...this is my dream house

I remember when I was little and I would play with my barbies and life seemed so simple. Barbie had it all. She had a corvette, Ken, cool clothes, and a kid sister Skipper which even I had in real life ( I actually had 2 and a brother...but Barbie understood the challenges of being an older sister). The best part about Barbie though was her dream house! I used to dream about having a house with a cool elevator, entertaining guests in my fabulous kitchen, or curling up in front of the fireplace with my real life Ken. Fast forward 25 years, and I found my Ken but finding the "dream house" is proving to be a little more difficult. Is it Barbie's fault that I seem dissatisfied with what the houses seem to lack instead of what they seem to have? It all seems so easy when you are five: you grow up, get married, have some babies, and live happily ever after in this fabulous home. But nobody talks to you about mortgage, taxes, insurance, school districts for these hypothetical babies, and so about your mood kill! Tomorrow we will go look at 10 potential dream houses and hopefully I will report back that we have found a place we can call home. I doubt any of them have an elevator though......

Friday, November 4, 2011

the start of a blog

Apparently I'm a little "tardy to the party" when it comes to blogging, but here I am anyway. For those of you who know me, I firmly believe a party doesn't really start until I arrive so this is me arriving! In the last 2 years my life has changed quite dramatically. I've gotten married, the company I worked for closed, my husband and I moved from Dallas to Houston and are currently living with some older roommates who have known me my whole life (aka parents), and most recently am in the process of starting my own company and buying a house! For me the time to start blogging and sharing my life journey is now! Here you will learn about Mr. Bonfire (my husband), the emotional, fun (I hope!) journey of starting a business, how to survive in the 'burbs without children, food and wine tasting, and a whole lot more! I'll try to be funny, but I promise I will always be honest! Thanks so much for reading my thoughts and laughing along with them.....