January Recap & Book Review

Since it is the first day of February and I still have not made my list of goals for this year :/  I thought I would just share what we have been up to these past weeks!

This past month has been crazy busy with the start of tax season for Jon, a week of out of town travel for him, and just the general busyness of being at home with the girls. The girls and I have enjoyed the cold weather and snow days by spending many hours playing toys, reading books, doing arts and crafts, and watching a good movie while snuggling on the couch! It has been a relaxing month from that perspective!

{via amazon.com}
One of my "love other" goals for myself this year (I will share my completed list of goals hopefully sometime in February) is to spend more time in my kitchen.... cooking and baking... to both feed my family well and to learn the art of hospitality. I have never loved cooking (I do love baking anything yummy) and honestly it is because I have never really learned to cook. Don't get me wrong, I can follow a recipe and usually it turns out ok; however, I don't feel confident in my abilities. 

One of my goals is to learn a lot of new meals to cook and the best things that I did this month to promote this goal was to read the book Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Niequist. I read and re-read every page studying each recipe. This book is great because the whole chapter leads up to the yummy recipe at the end. I could almost taste the food as I read the book.

Another great thing about this book that I loved was the adaptability of the recipes. Niequist teaches the reader not only her recipe and how to cook it, but she also teaches how to adapt the recipe for particular tastes or diets. For instance, she used a lot of recipes that can be either regular or gluten free. This has been so helpful for me to learn how to change a recipe for the occasion.  

Niequist encourages the reader to make the recipe your own. This has been empowering for me to know that I can add or subtract certain ingredients or cooking styles. For example, our new family favorite recipe is the White Chicken Chili but I wanted something that would be both yummy and incredibly easy to make... so I adapted the recipe for crockpot cooking!!! And let me tell you-- it is incredible!

CrockPot White Bean Chicken Chili (adapted by me!!!)


       1.5 pounds frozen chicken breast
       12 oz jar of Trader Joe's Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa
       4 cans white beans
       4 cups chicken broth
       (optional: 1 small can of diced green chilis)


{Shredded Cooked Chicken}
1. Lay the chicken breasts across the bottom of the crockpot
2. Pour 1.5-2 cups (depending on size of chicken breasts) of chicken broth over the chicken breasts
3. Cook on HIGH for approx 2 hours (or until the chicken can be "shredded" with a fork)

4. Shred all chicken with a fork
5. Add the remaining chicken broth (2-2.5 cups depending on what you used in step 2)
6. Add drained and rinsed white beans and jar of salsa (and the optional can of diced chilis for a kick!)
{All the ingredients have been
added and the chili is ready to
be cooked for the rest of the day}
7. Stir
8. Cook on LOW for the rest of the day (I cook mine for 6-8 hours)
9. Serve! I like to serve the chili with sour cream, cheese, and blue corn chips

Well, I hope you enjoy this adapted recipe as much as my family and I have! I would highly recommend this book as both a good read on the importance of fellowship around the table and a great resource for recipes! 

Hopefully, this next week I will share about the second book that I read in January (I actually loved it the *most* even if it wasn't about food!) and eventually about my goals for 2014! 


1 comment:

  1. Yea for you adapting a recipe & creating something you guys love! And crockpot - I mean, you just can't go wrong when you have a crockpot recipe that you love + is great for company. Way to go!!!