Creamy Mushroom Goodness… and Cake!

I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween! Sorry, could not help myself, I am a former teacher after all! Mine was busy but not really all that eventful. I watched football on Halloween day and evening, did some cleaning and organizing, and tried out a couple of new recipes. I wanted to get more reading done, and I did do a little reading, but in the South, we are all about college football. So I could not help myself from watching it all day long.

I wanted to go to the grocery store on Friday evening, but with the Ole Miss crowd being in town for the Auburn game, it was a madhouse. I just skipped the grocery store on Friday and thought, “Maybe Sunday.” Saturday, however, I woke up wide awake at 5:00 am. Just so you know, it is the perfect time to go to Wal-Mart and buy groceries! I usually go to Kroger or Publix, but they did not open until later, so Wal-Mart it was. There were not a lot of people in the store, and when I checked out, I learned they were all trying to check out too, at the only register that was open! Ugh, Wal-Mart.

I decided this week I was going to make Sticky Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Cream of Mushroom Soup, and a Paleo Coconut Pound Cake that I found a recipe for online. When I got home from the store, and I got ready to make the wings, I ran into a problem. I bought whole chicken wings and actual drumsticks, not the sections and drummettes. So frustrating. So, into the freezer they went for my mom to use later. I did get to the grocery store on Sunday though and find the items I need for the chicken wings, so I am looking forward to that.

I did all my cooking on Sunday evening, and boy was it delicious! First up, Cream of Mushroom Soup. I got this recipe from Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. Here is a picture of the one I used:

Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook

You can see she is eating the wings I plan on making later on the cover! And boy, do they look and sound good. For the soup, I first sautéed garlic in a pot for a few minutes and added chopped onion. When that was translucent, I added the mushrooms and thyme and let them cook until they were reduced by half. Here is a picture of the beginnings of soup:

Cream of Mushroom Soup Beginning

Looks good, right? I then added tapioca starch to chicken broth and added it to the pot. I also added heavy cream (although she said you could use almond or coconut milk) because I had it on hand and did not want it to go bad. Finally, I added a bay leaf, and a little salt as well. I let all of that cook for about 15 minutes and stirred it about twice along the way. Here is the final result:

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Delicious and perfect for a cool autumn or winter day. I cannot wait to add this to my go-to soups recipes. It was easy to make, did not take long at all, and tasted so much better than anything you could ever find in a can. I highly recommend this to everyone! If you have not read Juli’s cookbook, I cannot recommend it enough.

The last thing I made yesterday evening was a Paleo Coconut Pound Cake. I was not really making it because I just had to have something sweet. I actually needed a treat to take to a small group, and was testing the recipe to see if I wanted to use that. I had looked at several recipes online and found this one to have outstanding reviews, and it came from a reliable source. I found the CrossFit Santa Cruz Central’s Coconut Pound Cake Recipe by chance on, guess where… Pinterest! It was easy to make and tasted wonderful. The only change I made, I did not have coconut extract like I thought, so I used vanilla along with the orange. Other than the exchange of vanilla for coconut extract, I followed the recipe exactly. Here is what it looked like when I was finished:

Paleo Pound Cake

That is a slice of my Pound Cake with a little coconut cream on top. So yummy! I cannot wait to share this recipe with all of my friends.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have, and I hope you have a wonderful Monday! This month is #bloglikecrazy, so I will try and post every day in November (except for yesterday, sorry, guys). It may just be a tidbit, or another yummy recipe. I will be going to the beach next week, so the posts may be short and sweet, but I will try my best to keep posting.

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone!

~ A

Weekend Full of Recipes… And Football

Wow, this weekend went by too quickly! Where did time go? Well, I know where time went… watching football games, reading, watching football games, cleaning my apartment, watching football games, returning a movie, watching football games… Do you get the feeling I am a college football fan? Like any good SEC girl, I am a huge fan of college football and Auburn athletics in particular. Auburn played on Thursday this week, War Eagle, and won (thank goodness), so this weekend was about pulling for teams playing against Alabama, against those who had ties to Alabama, or for those could prevent Alabama from getting into the college playoff. Do you get the feeling that I am a HUGE Auburn fan? Yeah, it is pretty bad. People who do not live in the state of Alabama do not get the relationship that is between Auburn and Alabama. We have the Iron Bowl which is one of sports biggest, if not the biggest (I am going by noted sports magazines, articles, writers, etc.), rivalries there is of all. This gives fans the right to brag for an entire year about their team to the other. It can make you experience the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. Most people do not understand because they do not live in the same state as their biggest rival. We have to eat, breathe, and sometimes live with the people who is pulling against us. At one time I was married and was in a “House Divided.” It was terrible. Never again I pray. I know God has a twisted sense of humor sometimes, so there is a possibility my future husband may be an Alabama fan, but I pray that he is not. Literally. Every single day.

This weekend, however, I did do a few things that were other than just sit around all day in my Auburn jammies and watch college football. I did two that I am quite proud of and one I am disappointed with, unfortunately. First, the disappointment. Have you read Gone Girl? Have you seen the movie? If you have, you read and watched a treat. You either loved, hated, or dealt with the ending. I personally loved it. For me, there was no twist, I am not one to be easily surprised in a book, so if you have one you think would do that, let me know! But the film was so beautifully written, directed, acted, just everything. So imagine my excitement when Dark Places was made into a movie as well. I had read the book and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to seeing the film. The movie was not widely released, it did not even come out here in my small town of Auburn, AL, so I had to wait for the DVD. Luckily, it came out only two months later. Also, I should note that the reviews were not positive. But like any book fan, I forged ahead ready to see my book characters come to life. All I can say is… read the book. Do not waste your time watching the movie. Yes, it had big named actors. Yes, it followed the story pretty closely, but IT WAS NOT THE SAME. It was a huge let down. I am not sure how to describe it exactly, all I can say is that I was underwhelmed. I give it two stars.

One of the positive things I did this weekend was finish the book Outlander. I am a former elementary school teacher and elementary school librarian with a MLIS with a School Certification Add-On, so I am a librarian by degree. I LOVE books. I love buying them, reading them, collecting them. So you will hear me talk about them every so often. I am so proud that I finished this one because I listened on audio and that was over 33 hours of listening time. It was 896 pages of historical romance. I loved every single minute of it. I highly recommend it and give the book 5 shiny gold stars.

But the real highlight of the weekend… RECIPES!!! I made three Paleo recipes that I am pretty proud of that I would like to talk about. No, I did not create them myself, I am not that bold yet, but I found them in various locations and they turned out pretty amazing. I could not wait to share them with y’all.

First up… Paleo Pancakes. I read through several, and I mean Several, recipes for pancakes this past week. Some had too many ingredients, lots had way too many mixed reviews, or they contained ingredients that I simply did not have. But I was determined that I was going to make pancakes last weekend. I turned to the mighty Pinterest and found The Urban Poser. They had an amazing looking pancake recipe with pictures that could make you drool and great reviews. I knew I had found my recipe. I have included the recipe here. I also want to apologize in advance for my photos, because while my minor in college was Art/Photography… my apartment has terrible lighting and everything comes out yellow. So, sorry.

Here are the photos of the pancake batter, the pancakes a cookin, and one of the finished result. The end product does not look as beautiful as the website, but hey!!! It was my first try! These were so delicious, I will get plenty of practice in the future.

Pancakes BatterPancakes CookingPancakes

The next recipe I tried was a Cake in a Mug, also from Pinterest. I found it here, which when I went to the site to add it just now it said ebay, so that is strange, but stranger things have happened to me! I tried out the Chocolate Mug Cake. It was absolutely divine! I could not even wait for it to cool, I was already diggin in while it was still piping hot! It would have been even better with a dollop of coconut whip cream on top! Next time I just may have to try that! Here is the end result:

Cake in a MugPretty darn tasty I have to say! The chocolate around the top is from where it rose up past the top of the mug and then fell once it was removed from the heat. It was a little time consuming, as was the pancakes, but this was worth the effort! Plus, who does not love a dessert you can cook in the microwave?

The last thing I made was from the book Down South Paleo by Jennifer Robins.

Down South PaleoThis is a great cookbook full of wonderful Southern favorites. I already have about four recipes that I want to try in the coming week or week and a half, so look for those to appear. The first recipe I tried out of this cookbook was the Texas Slow Cooker Beef Chili. It was easy to make, the most time consuming part was cutting up the carrots, onions, and pepper. I got to use all my different seasonings to make the chili flavoring instead of some premade mix. And I got to try a new combination as I had never had 1.) chili without beans and 2.) chili with carrots before. I have to say this was delightful! This will be a recipe I will turn to during football season or in the cold months of winter (or what we consider cold in the South). The flavor was delicious, I did not even have to add any salt, and I was able to start it around lunch and have it in time for dinner. Here is the end result:

ChiliI have to admit that I was a little leery when I first tried it, but I liked it. The second night when I had it for dinner, I loved it so much that I went back for more! This one was a huge hit!

I am proud to announce that in two weeks I have been on Paleo and I have officially lost 12 lbs. It is a little in the big scheme of things, but it is a beginning and I am very proud. I do not find this lifestyle change to be too restricting, or crazy, or hard. I like the food, I like the limitations, and I like eating this way. I have enjoyed reading new cooks to get new ideas, checking out Pinterest for things that catch my eye, and trying new flavor combinations.

Thank you for following me on this exciting journey! I hope I do not let you down! Up next this week… zucchini! I have never tried it, so this should be interesting!

~ A