Colombian Ajiaco (Chicken and Potato Soup)

With 4-5 inches of snow expected today, it is definitely soup weather. Yesterday I perused the December issue of the Willy Street Co-op Reader and looked at the recipe section. The Chicken and Potato Soup recipe looked great. We had most of the ingredients, so I didn’t need to go to the grocery store. As always, we made some adjustments for taste and what was available. It turned out absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1.5 pounds boneless skinless thigh meat, chopped (recipe called for breast meat, but I prefer the flavor of dark meat)

1 yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp salt (recipe called for 1 tbsp)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp ground black pepper

4 cups chicken stock

1.5 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped

1.5 cups corn kernels

1 green onion, chopped (recipe called for a bunch, but we didn’t have that much)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 avocadoes, cut into cubes

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (recipe called for sour cream)

 

Directions

Place chicken in a casserole dish and top with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. (Recipe suggests 8 to 24 hours.)  

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken with the garlic and onion and brown for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock and raise heat to high. Bring to boil, then lower to medium-low heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is tender.   

[At this point we made a significant change. The recipe calls for removing the chicken and then cooking the potatoes in the pot of cooking liquid. This is followed by adding some of the herbs and vegetables, then removing/discarding some of the vegetation and then returning the chicken to the pot. I find this entirely unnecessary and wasteful.]

While the chicken was simmering, we peeled and chopped the potatoes. To save time, we microwaved the potatoes for a few minutes. Just enough so that a fork or knife could penetrate. 

We stir in the potatoes, corn, green onion and oregano. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Serve the soup with avocado and yogurt. (The recipe suggests garnishing with 2 tbsp capers. We left that out.) 

Colombian Ajiaco (Chicken and Potato Soup)2021-01-14T09:48:49-06:00

A New Client Testimonial!

I don’t often toot my own horn, but I like to share a new client testimonial every once in a while. Here is one from Steven P of Madison. 

“I enthusiastically recommend Eric.  I’m a  68-year old man, fairly active, but have been looking to improve my strength and flexibility. I sought a routine which I could perform at home.  Eric gave me a wide variety of exercises which were tailored to my goals and  modest ability.  He devised a comprehensive routine which incorporated the equipment  I already had available to me, but also introduced me to some other equipment that I could potentially use as well.  He ensured that I was using the proper form and technique while performing the exercises so as to avoid injury. He answered all my questions, and his experience and expertise were very useful in sorting through all the advice one might find on the internet.   The sessions were very enjoyable and worthwhile!  — Steven P.”

A New Client Testimonial!2020-12-21T09:43:48-06:00

Give the Gift of Health for 2021

Not sure what to get your spouse, relative or friend this holiday season? Give a gift that will make a positive difference in their life. Buy a package of personal training. Don’t stress out standing in long lines at the store or throw money at another electronic device that will break or be obsolete in a year or wonder if your on-line order will be delivered in time.  A Personal Training Gift Certificate shows that you care about a person’s health and well-being. Personal training is an experience and not just another thing that you pull off a shelf. It’s a great way to help someone achieve their fitness goals faster, stay on track, and have fun along the way.

I have four private training packages to choose from. If you are having difficulty choosing, here’s some motivation. From now through the end of December, you can buy any training package (1, 5, 10 or 20 sessions) at my lowest 20-session price of $70/session if paid by Google Pay, check or cash. For your convenience, I’d be happy to send a gift certificate to print out or email. So don’t wait. The clock is ticking.

Contact me today (608)203-8817 or balancepersonaltraining4u@gmail.com.

*For new clients only.

Happy Holidays from Eric and Bob ❄️

Give the Gift of Health for 20212020-12-03T11:40:38-06:00

Stay Warm and Keep Active

BOB (Body Opponent Bag) and I are all ready for December Wisconsin weather with our new winter hats. What do you think?

Remember to make sure to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and embrace the changing seasons. If it’s rainy, put on a rain coat or carry an umbrella. If it’s cold, put on mittens or a winter hat. If it’s icy and slippery, bring trekking poles or wear microspikes. If it’s warm and sunny, then I’m jealous.  Basically, there are no excuses to getting outside in the winter. So what are your favorite outdoor winter activities? Other than shoveling snow off my driveway (har har har) mine is tromping around our woods looking at animal snow prints.

Stay Warm and Keep Active2020-12-02T13:05:45-06:00

Chicken Marsala Recipe

As the smell of Marsala wine, chicken, butter and mushrooms waft through the house, my boys run into the kitchen and ask rhetorically if I’m making Chicken Marsala. I answer, Yes. Then my son, Bruce, asks if we’re having it with flat egg noodles. Those are his favorite. Of course, I say. He smiles, looks into the skillet, inhales deeply, and leaves the room with a big smile on his face. Chicken Marsala looks like a fancy recipe, but it is super easy. Prep time is around 15 minutes and cook time is 30 to 45 minutes. I adapted this recipe from chef Emeril Lagasse on FoodNetwork.com. 

 

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour and Essence and stir to combine thoroughly. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the chicken thighs until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Add the mushrooms on top of the chicken and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden brown around the edges and have given off their liquid.
  4. Add the chicken stock and Marsala wine to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the sauce has thickened slightly, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

* The original recipe called for twice as much butter. I think it’s rich enough since the dish is prepared in olive oil and there is some fat from the thigh meat.

* The original recipe called for removing the chicken from the skillet and then adding them back in. I am too lazy and also like to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through. Don’t worry, the chicken will not get rubbery if it cooks longer since it is immersed in a wine/chicken stock mixture. 

 

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning)

Chicken Marsala Recipe2020-11-03T10:04:20-06:00

7 BEST Tips for Living a Healthy & Fit Lifestyle

Trying to implement a laundry list of 50 or 40 or even 25 action ideas to help you achieve your health and fitness goals can be daunting, if not impossible.  So I have distilled it down to my top 7 tips. Yes, 7!  One tip for every day of the week. Now that’s doable. And I know you can do it!

7 BEST Tips for Living a Healthy & Fit Lifestyle2020-10-28T15:54:28-05:00

Dessert Anyone? How About a Blackberry Cobbler Recipe?

I like desserts. I mean, I really like desserts. They aren’t cheat foods to me because that implies that I’m doing something bad or wrong or breaking a rule. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe in cheat foods or cheat days. That’s not a healthy approach to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about balance and moderation, not deprivation and restriction, right? In my opinion, there is no problem having a dessert once in a while. How about a fresh fruit cobbler? We made this blackberry cobbler recently and it turned out great. Piping hot and delicious. It’s simple to prepare and uses only a handful of ingredients. You can make this with other fruits like peaches, cherries, blueberries, apple and more! Enjoy!

Ingredients

Part A: Biscuit Topper

1 cup sifted all purpose flour

2 tbsp sugar (optional)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter 

1/4 cup milk

1 beaten egg

 

Part B: Pie Filling

1/2 cup sugar (white or brown) 

2 tbsp cornstarch or flour

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

4 cups blackberries (picked from our garden)

1 tbsp lemon juice

 

Directions

Part A. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add milk and egg, stirring just to moisten. Then set aside. 

Part B. In a pot, stir ingredients together and cook over medium heat for about five minutes until thick and bubbly.

Pour filling into 10″ pie pan. (We prefer 10″ over a 8″ or 9″ so filling doesn’t bubble over and make a mess.) Spoon on biscuit topper in five or six mounds. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Dessert Anyone? How About a Blackberry Cobbler Recipe?2020-10-21T10:49:42-05:00

Tomato Panzanella Salad Recipe (by Windset Farms)

Summer is the perfect time of year for potato salad. Lucky for us, the Costco magazine came out and featured this unique recipe. Very different from your typical potato and mayo mixture.

As always, feel free to change the amounts and kinds of ingredients based on your taste, dietary restrictions and what you have in the fridge. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup rice wine vinegar (*we used 1/3 cup)

1 cup honey (*we used 1/3 cup)

2 pounds baby bell peppers, sliced

2 pounds multicolor potatoes, cooked until soft

1/2 cup olive oil, divided (*we used 1/4 cup)

12 ounces grape/cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup radishes, sliced

2 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (we used 2 tbsp)

1/2 cup feta cheese

4 basil leaves, torn  

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

salt to taste

 

Directions

  1. Bring rice wine and honey to boil over medium heat; pour over sliced peppers.
  2. Smash the new potatoes. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook 1 to 2 minutes each side. Place potatoes, tomatoes, radishes and peppers in a bowl with remaining oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt.
  3. Sprinkle with chunks of feta cheese, basil and parsley. Ready to serve! 

* We reduced the amounts of vinegar and oil, and I’m glad we did. There was plenty of dressing coating all of the ingredients. If we had used the full amounts, they would have been swimming in the bowl.

Tomato Panzanella Salad Recipe (by Windset Farms)2020-07-20T18:12:13-05:00
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