Tag Archives: recipes

Homemade Buffalo Chicken Chowder

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Let me start by saying, I love buffalo-flavored anything. Ever since I was introduced to it in college, I haven’t been able to get enough. When a cafe around the corner from my work began offering a buffalo chicken chowder every now and then, I was stoked. Buffalo Chicken…in a soup? Two of my favorite things combined into one? Yes please! I was then on a quest for the perfect recipe.

Now, I’m not creative in the kitchen. I will never be that person who creates a recipe from scratch to give to all of you. I wish I was, but I’m just not. I always second guess my own cooking, even following a recipe exactly.

I decided last night that I wanted to attempt a buffalo chicken chowder, instead of making my normal turkey chili. Something a bit different, but something that would be delicious and hearty, especially as the cold weather starts to set it (not today…70s!). I settled on this recipe from Food.com. I liked that it used real ingredients and it looked like it would be a pretty simple recipe to throw together on a Tuesday evening.

I doubled, well kind of doubled the recipe, to make more than we needed (as always). Here is the recipe and what I did (in bold).

Serves 6 (Even though I doubled this, we probably get 6 servings out of it because that’s just how we roll)

  • 2 tablespoons of butter (I stuck with the 2 tablespoons. 4 tablespoons looked like a lot. I also used Kerrygold.)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (I forgot the onion… whoops. I’m okay with it because I don’t like onions.)
  • 4 celery ribs (8 ribs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used minced garlic out of the jar… we have a Sam’s Club container of it)
  • 1/4 cup flour (1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
  • 3 cups skim milk (5 1/2 cups 1% milk)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce, instead of wing sauce. And I used 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn (2 cans of corn)
  • 2 cups of diced cooked chicken (I used Purdue Fit&Easy Tenderloins. Already small and no need for all the trimming. I probably ended up with 3 cups once I was done chopping)
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (I used around 12… reduced fat)
  • crumbled blue cheese (for topping!)

Directions

  1. Sauté onions and celery in butter in a large pot until tender. Since I didn’t have the onions it was just celery sauteing in the butter. I like my celery to stay crunchy, so I only sauteed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Reduce heat and stir in flour, cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not brown. This was confusing… the flour didn’t really seem to absorb and instead stuck to the bottom. I’m thinking it was because I didn’t have enough butter. But it turned out find in the end.
  4. Add milk, wing sauce, corn, chicken and cream cheese and bring to a simmer. Cook until cheese is melted and soup has thickened. It will look like a giant mash of nothing. The cream cheese will just be a giant brick. I turned the heat up to med-high (probably higher than it needed to be), to get it melting more. It says to let it simmer, but I ended up stirring quite a bit to make sure the cream cheese stirred in and the flour wasn’t chunky. Needless to say, I was pretty much questioning if this would even be edible in the end.IMG_0277
    5. Serve topped with bleu cheese crumbles.

Verdict: I was pretty darn proud of myself once it was done. The chowder ended up pretty thick, just like it should be, and it really resembled a chowder. It had the perfect about of buffalo-taste to it, and the chicken ended up softening even more in the soup and almost started to shred. I was skeptical about using cream cheese, but maybe that’s the norm in chowders?, but it definitely gave it that yummy creamy flavor and helped to thicken it.

One word of advice. Make sure to have the chicken cooked before you decide to start cooking the chowder. That chowder only took about 20 minutes, but the chicken took 20 minutes by itself. If you have the chicken pre-cooked in the fridge, it will save you a HUGE step.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to devour more of this for lunch today. Such a hearty soup!

IMG_0278The finished product!

New Signature

Setting Goals

Happy Monday my friends! ….. Just kidding. It’s Tuesday. And yes….I completely forgot it’s actually Tuesday. Long Weekend Problems.

Today, I’m talking about goals. Life goals, fitness goals, pretty much any kind of goal. I’m the type of person who sets a goal, puts her mind too it for about 3 weeks, and then quickly loses motivation because pizza sounds so much better running.

But I know having goals in place can keep one accountable. So with Labor Day behind us, and for some reason summer back in full swing, I decided that it’s time to set some good, attainable goals for the next four months (until the end of 2014).

1. Exercise more. This has been a much-discussed topic in my house for probably…. well, forever. So, it’s time to nip it in the butt and get moving. I go through such spurts with fitness. Insanity for 6 weeks last year (granted, I had to stop because I injured myself… but I could have done other things), Running for about 4 weeks, gym for about 3 weeks, etc. I’m a start and stop kind of fitness person. I want to stop being that kind of person, and start becoming the person who incorporates some sort of activity into their life everyday. It’s not about vanity anymore; it’s about my health. Especially as I close in on the big 3-0.

What am I doing to kickstart this?

For one thing, I signed up for personal training sessions with a good friend of mine who is local. She knows how much I have struggled with my weight and fitness through the years (since high school!) and really wants to help. So next Tuesday, it’s off to a local park for some serious one on one personal training. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. But I know she’s awesome at it, and will push me just far enough beyond my limits to make it count.

What else am I doing?

I plan on going to the gym every morning. Even with personal training twice a week in the evenings. Even if it’s for 20-30 minutes of cardio. Just to keep myself in that mindset. If I don’t go to the gym, then it’s a 2.5 mile walk at lunch. And during the beautiful fall weather, I’ll STILL go for a walk at lunch, even if I worked out in the AM. I need to keep myself moving.

2. Lose 15 pounds. Considering the amount of weight I have to lose (like nearly 60 pounds to my ultimate goal weight), this is minimal. But, it’s a smaller goal. And doesn’t seem so intimidating. I’m giving myself 4 months to lose 15 pounds. That’s 3.75 pounds per month. I can definitely do that. And I’m hoping in the next four months, it ends up being a bit more than that. But I’m focusing on 15. And whatever else happens, happens.

3. Try new things. I’ve always been the type to avoid trying new things because I was intimated. Or I was scared of what others would think of me. But now, I want to push that to the back of mind and start living. I’ve already signed up to learn to Paddleboard. Maybe I’ll consider trying Yoga. Or joining a running group.

4. Run a 5K. This one may not be attainable in the next 4 months. I’ll have to see how I’m doing fitness-wise by October/November. And how the weather is. But if I’m not ready, I’ll run one next year. This has always been on every goal list, bucket list, resolution list, etc. and I really want to focus on achieving it.

5. Blog more. I’ve really tried to be better about neglecting this blog. I have gotten better. But I want to aim to post more things of value. Not just ranting posts. Or posts where I’m trying to be funny. Legitimate posts that people want to read and are interested in what I have to say.

6. Meet my 100 books read goal. I’m SO far behind on this it’s not even funny. I’ve read 58 books this year. I have 42 more to go. That’s 10.5 books per month for the next 4 months to hit my goal. Le sigh…. it’s a good thing I have lots of good books ready and waiting on my nook! I’m currently reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer . LOVE.

7. Cook more. I love to cook. I’m just lazy. Which means we eat whatever is easy. Which usually ends up being take-out. Now that’s not 100 degrees out (except for this week), I plan on cooking more dinners. One, it’s healthier. And two, leftovers. Which are always the best for lunch. We also recently purchased a Ninja, and I’ve been dying to use it. And I haven’t yet. But the first thing I plan on making…. homemade hummus. YUM!

8. Frame some of my photography. And not for my own use. To have ready so that I can start proposing art shows to local places around town. I have SO.MUCH. personal work that I would love to be able to sell, but without really getting it out there, it’s not going to. Yes, I love my Etsy shop, but it’s also not doing what I had hoped. So, it’s time to frame my work and hope I can get it at some local coffee shops around town. Maybe even sell a few pieces during the holidays.

9. Stop worrying so much, and start living. Hence my goals. If you notice, they are pretty generic.

And if I don’t hit them all, oh well. I’m not fretting anymore.

I’m no longer trying to use the gym for my appearance, but rather my health (although the vanity benefits rock too!). I’m not letting my fear or intimidation get to me, and allowing myself to try the things I’ve always wanted to try. I’m not worried about what others thing about this blog, instead I’m writing for me. That’s what this has always been. I’m enjoying reading, as opposed to trying to fill a quota. Yes, I’m trying to reach 100 books, but if I don’t do it this year, I’ll try again in 2015.

Setting goals is simply to help me organize what’s next for me in the coming months. To help keep me focused and know that I’m always doing something to better myself.

What are you doing in the next four months to better yourself?

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An Active Weekend

Happy Monday everyone! Big surprise, we got more snow overnight. Oh the joys of living in New England. At least it made for a lovely morning with the sun shining off the snow covered trees!

Downtown Amesbury

My never-ending cold is currently ahead in the standings. Just when I though I was beginning to feel better this weekend, I woke up on Sunday morning minus my voice. Touché cold…touché. I could talk a little bit yesterday, however today, it’s gone. Cold – 1 Eryn – 0.

Despite my cold, I had a great weekend and I hope everyone else did too! I started it out on the right foot, beginning Friday night by hitting the gym with Nick. I was in a bit of a funk on Friday afternoon and after a solid 45 minute workout, I felt great and back to myself. Instead of my normal 2 miles on the treadmill, I decided to up my workout by climbing on the elliptical. I turned my music on and went to town. Despite my lungs  screaming and gasping for air, I zoned out and just went as hard as I could. All of a sudden, 12 minutes had gone by! I couldn’t believe it. Initially, I planned for a 30 minute workout, but instead of aiming for that goal, I started giving myself little challenges. First, I wanted to hit 2 miles, which I did around the 20 minute mark. Then I aimed for 2.5 miles, followed by 30 minutes, which quickly turned into 3 miles. At one point, I had my speed up to about 7.6 (never happened to me before!). When it was all said and done, I had completed 3.03 miles and burned 315 calories in 35 minutes! I was so proud of myself. I haven’t done that in a long time!

The proof.

While I waited for Nick to finish up on the Stairmaster, I hopped on a bike for about ten minutes. 45 minutes and 370 calories later, my weekend had begun.

Dinner is usually the real adventure in our house. At night, we are usually both so exhausted that we eat the easiest thing we can, which usually is salads or sandwiches. Friday night, despite being exhausted, I wanted to make ‘pizza’. A restaurant across the street from my work began making pizzas using tortilla wraps as the crust this past week and I was DYING to try it out myself. Nick made his Mexican in style while mine was more Greek. Below is how I made it.

Tortilla Pizzas – Greek Style

  • Taco sized whole wheat wrap
  • 2 tablespoons of Tribe Everything Hummus as the sauce
  • 2 oz of Grilled Chicken
  • 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of black olives (my obsession, although probably not a healthy one)
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican Cheese (Clearly not Greek, but only shredded cheese we had)

After completing putting it together, we baked the pizzas for about 10 minutes at 350. Basically until the tortilla looks crispy and the cheese fully melted.

When we pulled them out, they smelled DELICIOUS! I couldn’t wait to dig in.

All done!

Eating it was a challenge. We ended up folding it like a taco….thus turning it from a pizza…to a taco.

I also treated myself to a glass of one of my favorite wines, Cupcake Pinot Grigio. I’m a huge fan of all of their wines. They are inexpensive and well-made!

Saturday was a typical busy day for me. I teach riding lessons at the farm I grew up riding at. I teach all beginners and love every second of it. After arriving a bit early to see what my day would look like and realizing I had a bit of time, I saddled up my favorite lesson horse and headed to our indoor arena for a morning ride. Horseback riding has always been my escape. It’s my yoga. Every time I ride, I hop off feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world. This ride was no different. Lucas and I had a great ride and we spoiled with a yummy peppermint after.

He’s just the cutest.

The rest of the weekend was filled with errands, cleaning and a bridal shower for one of my good friends on Sunday (I’m a bridesmaid!). And of course, trying to coax my voice to come back. Doctors appointment today to see what’s going on!

This morning did start on the right foot, despite not being able to talk. A cup of hot coffee was waiting for me thanks to my wonderful fiancé (Current coffee obsession: Vanilla Macadamia Nut by Kauai) and a protein shake for breakfast. I’m a big fan of the Lean Protein for Her shakes. They aren’t chalky and they taste like chocolate ice cream. In the past, I’ve mixed it with water but today I used Silk Almond Milk. We recently made the switch over to Almond Milk in our house and are loving the change.

Planning to hit the gym tonight as long as the coughing fits subside and the doctors says its okay. Either way, it’s day 3 of The Gorilla Workout!

What did you do over the weekend to stay active? Did you discover a new favorite recipe?