Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crockpot Refried Beans {No Soak!}

If you haven't notice by now, we love mexican food at our house. Anything from enchiladas to taquitos, casseroles to tostadas... we'll eat it all! However, one thing I dont love about mexican food at home, it canned beans. They always seem too thick and dense, and always have a metallic aftertaste. Not to mention all the preservatives in them! So when I saw a recipe for homemade ones that looked easy, I pounced! Obviously, I tweaked the heck out of it to make it fit my family, but it worked wonderfully! They are great in burritos, on nachos, or just as a side! I will definitely be making these again!

3 cups pinto beans
10 cups water
3 TBS minced garlic
1 large onion
1 TBS chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 -3TBS Taco Seasoning
1 TBS kosher salt
Rinse pinto beans under cold water. Chop onion. Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours, then LOW for 2 hours. Remove and keep extra liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher, adding liquid until you reach desired consistency. I actually ended up pureeing 1/2 of ours in the blender, but we like ours almost as thin as restaurant beans, so really, it's up to you!
Once the beans are mashed, taste them. At this point they are very very plain. Too plain for us, so I add more salt and taco seasoning, but that's totally up to you!
Store in air-tight containers, for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Or freeze in ziplock bags.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crispy Chicken Ranchero {Taco Time copy cat}

I worked at Taco Time for quite a while in my teenage years. And still to this day, I love their food, but this has to be my favorite thing on the menu! I love chicken strips anyways, but wrap them in a tortilla, with ranch and cabbage!? Uh, YUM! They are even better made at home too, because you dont have all the fry oil and who-knows-what-else that goes in fast food! We had these for much the other day with leftover spanish rice and it all came together really quick!
Makes 2 Burritos
2 large flour tortillas
4 frozen chicken strips, cooked (I used baked popcorn chicken)
1 cup prepared spanish rice
shredded cheese
shredded cabbage
ranch dressing
pico de gallo (I left this off because my husband hates it)
On your tortilla, place half the rice, 2 of the chicken strips and cheese. Nuke in the microwave for only about 15 seconds.
Top with cabbage and salsa, drizzle with  ranch. Roll and serve!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wild Rice and Sausage Casserole

Seriously, I have found a new favorite casserole! And that is saying a lot, because I am a casserole freak! This one is perfect for a cold winter day, and bonus, it's a freezer meal! Can't get better than that! It's creamy and filling and absolutely wonderful! Definitely a keeper!

2 cooked cups white rice
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked spicy sausage
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

I made this with leftovers, which is the reason my measurements are using cooked ingredients. But really, you can mess up this recipe, so if you are using uncooked, just guess, and if it seems a tad dry, just add a little more milk.
Other than that, mix all your ingredients in a large bowl, transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, and then remove foil and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. All the ingredients are cooked, so you just want to make sure its heated through.
To freeze, transfer to a foil baking dish, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and then foil. Label with the instructions (Once thawed, remove plastic wrap and replace foil. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then without foil for 10 min.) and freeze.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Menu Monday

I've got lots of rollovers from last week!
Tuesday- Pizza
Thursday- Broccoli potato soup with rolls
Friday- Friend Christmas Party
Saturday- family Christmas party

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Apple Pecan Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is one of those things I always forget about, until it's the only option for lunch! I made this the other day last minute when I had to take my husband lunch, and we were out of lettuce to have regular ham sandwiches. They were a huge hit with my husband, and a nice change from the norm!
2 cups cookes, shredded and cooled chicken
1 apple, diced
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup miracle whip
salt & pepper
Mix everything in a bowl and chill. Serve on wheat bread (our favorite) or on crackers.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Decking Our Halls {2012}

I love putting out my Christmas decorations! It really makes it feel like the holidays are here!
I didn't go too crazy this year, pregnancy and a 2 year old consume my life now, so decorating is more of a luxury than a necessity ;)
But here's some of what I got up this year!

  This is what I'm most proud of this year. I saw something similar on pinterest, but it was selling on etsy for like $40! But in my mind of course, I think "I can make that!" So, I did! It's not perfect, but I like it! I had to take it down to get a decent picture of it, but normally its on the wall.
I used the 'vaseline' technique to get the chippy paint look!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

3 Bean Enchilada Soup

I love soup on a cold winter day! This soup is a perfect mix of mexican flavors and comfort food!
1 Large can green enchilada sauce
1 small can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can light red kidney beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 teas. cumin
1 tsp onion powder
2 teas. garlic (in the jar)
Garnish options: shredded lettuce, sour scream, cilantro, fried tortilla strips.
Dupm everything (except garnishes) into a crock pot or large pot. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook on low for around 20 minutes. Theres no meat, so you just want everything nice and hot!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Menu Monday

Is everyone loving this cooler weather as much as me!? Too bad my husband isn't a big soup fan, or we would be having it every day! I did manage to sneak it it without too much resistance!
Monday: Wild rice and Sausage Casserole (freezer meal)
Tuesday: Breakfast Casserole
Wednesday: Kung Pao Chicken with steamed veggies and rice
Thursday: Broccoli and cheese soup with rolls
Friday: Date Night
What are you all making this week!? I need some new recipe ideas to try!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Oven Nachos

This has to be the worlds easiest recipe, and I'm pretty positive everyone already knows it or at least has their own version! However, Everyone does things a little different, so I thought I'd share my way! We love eating this while watching movies, or as a quick dinner!
1 bag of corn tortilla chips
1 can of olives
1 can of yellow corn (drained)
1 can of refried beans
3-4 cups of shredded cheese
jalapeno slices
Toppings: salsa, sour cream, guacamole etc.
In a large casserole dish, add a layer of chips to just cover the bottom. Dollop refried beans all over, sprinkle sliced olives and some corn. Repeat with 2 MORE layers. Top with jalapeno slices.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Top with toppings and serve immediately.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Crock Pot French Dips with pasta salad
Tuesday: Creamy Pesto Pasta with garlic bread
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner - Cinnamon Wheat Pancakes with bacon
Thursday: Taco Chili with Cornbread
Friday: Chicken Artichoke Pasta with breadsticks
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Beef and Bean Chimichangas with chips & salsa
Ham sandwiches
Hot dogs
grilled cheese and tomato soup

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sweet Corn and Chicken Enchiladas

These are the Enchiladas I made when I used the previous enchilada sauce recipe. They were SO good! the corn was a great addition! I'll definetly be making these again!
6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded chicken
1 cup sweet prozen corn
2 cups shredded cheese (divided)
2 cups (or 1 can) enchilada sauce
sour cream (for topping)
In a bowl, mix chicken, corn and 1 cup of cheese.
Spoon a few ladels of enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 casserole dish to prevent sticking, and pur the rest of your enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl or a pie plate.
Wrap tortialls in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute to soften. Once they are softened, one by one, dip a tortilla in the enchilada sauce, coating completely, then fill with chicken and corn mixture and rolld up, placing seam side down in the casserole dish. It's messy, but SO worth it! Repeat with all tortillas. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes, then remove and top with cheese and bake until cheese it melted.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Pie

Just in time for Thanksgiving! However, I definetly do not think pumpkin pie should only be researved for holidays! It's my very favorite pie, but somehow I got the impression that it would be really hard. Guess what... it isn't! In fact it's super easy!
(I got the recipe off of the Libby's pumpkin can)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) Pure Pumpkin

1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Meatloaf, peas and mashed potatoes
Tuesday: Sausage and mushroom pizza
Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti (making a huge batch of homemade sauce)
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!
Friday: Date Night
Saturday: Sloppy Joes and green salad
Sunday: Lasagna, green salad and breadsticks
Chicken Pesto sandwiches
Thanksgiving leftovers

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Usually when we go out to a Mexican resturant for dinner, more times than not, I'll order enchiladas. They are by far my favortie. Mostly for the sauce, I love resturant enchilada sauce so much more than the canned stuff! I had never tried making it homemade, but after researching a little I decided it didn't look too hard, and it wasn't! In fact, I may never use canned again!
recipe adapted from Budget Bytes
 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chili powder
4 cups chicken broth (or water)
6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 TBS franks red hot sauce (optional)
Add the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder to a medium pot. Turn the heat on to medium and whisk the ingredients together. Continue to whisk as the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk and cook the mixture for one minute once it begins bubbling.

After one minute, whisk in the broth, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper until smooth. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer it will begin to thicken slightly.

Starting with a 1/2 teaspoon, add salt to taste. The sauce is now ready to use!
I used this sauce over Sweet Corn and Chicken Enchiladas (recipe to come), but you can use it over anything! Burritos, Chimichangas, salads... the options are endless!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bella Comfy Spot by Crypton {Product Review}

Lets face it, kids are messy. Well, at least my kid. Another fact, kids love to have a 'spot'. You know, their spot, whether it be a mini chair, a designated floor space, orr.... one of these!
 I was so excited when Crypton offered to send me on of these pillows for my little boy to review! I knew he would love it before it even came! And I was right! I can't get him off of it! It's his favorite napping spot, his favorite movie seat, and the best part is, it's 100%....
Stain Resistance
Moisture Resistance
Microbial Resistance
Odor Resistance
so you dont have to worry about the snacks or the sippies on the pad! It's like a dream come true for moms with a 2 year old! :) No worries about if they are spilling or wiping, you just send them to their spot, and... voila! total peace of mind! It repells liquids, sticky messes or anything else your little one throws at it, they are amazing!
They don't just stop at these pads either! They have fabric, furniture, blankets, pillows and so much more! Go check them out!
These comfy spots would make amazing Christmas gifts for all the little ones on your list! I am definetly keeping them in mind for the next little one!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Planning Christmas 2012 {Free Printables}

Last year I made a Christmas planning folder with free printables and you all went crazy for it! Well, here is the updates 2012 version you all asked for! The only things that really have changed is the calendar and the dates, but I hope you like it and use it again this year!! I know I will! Here's the post with the NEW links!

The first printable is Santa's Survey!
I had been wanting to do a page like this for a few years now, for my husband mostly! It is SO hard to just come out and ask him what he wants! This way you are able to have your spouse write everything down, or have your kids fill it out for you, and there's no more guess work! You will always have everything you need to know at your fingertips! I also filled it out for my little boy, so that whenever I get an idea of something to get him for Christmas, I can jot it down. I keep mine all together in a binder, so I can just grab it whenever I go out Christmas shopping and I have all my ideas right there!

Next up... A fun December calendar! I know you all probably have a calendar on your wall, but I'm using this one for all things HOLIDAY! what days I'm going to make Neighbor treats, what nights we're going to pass them out, things like that!

Next up... FOOD list! I love food. This list keeps you reminded on what neighbors you are giving treats to, and what food you agreed to bring to what party!

This next one will replace your 50 cent notebook that has random gift ideas for your family scribbled all over it. Just fill in the name, and whenever you get a genius gift idea for your grandma, jot it down and it will be with you when you go out shopping!

And what would a download list be without a cover!?

 Merry Christmas and Happy Planning!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Menu Monday

Woohoo! Back on track! I really have to say I've been slacking on sticking to my menu, most nights, when I was supposed to be making yummy, healthy meals, I was making grilled cheese or Ramen noodles. But now, I am back on it!
Monday: Crispy Chicken Rancheros
Tuesday: Hot Dogs and Maccaroni Salad
Thursday: Wingers Sticky Finger Quesedillas with green salad
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken with white rice and steamed veggies

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sandwich Bread {in the bread machine}

I love homemade bread! Especially on a cold day, with a big bowl of beef stew. Which, ironically, is exactly what we ate this with!
Original recipe from Heather Drive Blog.

1 1/3 cups very warm water
1/3 cup olive oil (do not substitute with vegetable oil–use olive oil!)
2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour
2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. white sugar
3 tsp. yeast

In the breadmaker pan, combine water, oil, and salt.
Add the flour on top of the liquids. Pour sugar into one corner of the breadmaker pan. Make a well (a dent) in the center of the flour and pour the yeast into it.
Set the breadmaker for a “basic” loaf and press start. Walk away… in three hours, you’ll have delicious fresh bread!

** I started by baking this in the breadmaker, but I didn't realize I'd spilled flour in the bottom and is started to smoke, so I ended up baking it in the oven at 350 for around 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

Lately, for every meal I've had family favorites on my mind! This pregnancy is making me nostalgic ;)
This is a meal that I remember having often at home, it was how my family actually did enchiladas! No stuffing and rolling for us! My mom stacked ours! So, I had never really heard it called Mexican Lasagna until I joined the blog world! But it really is the best description! This is a great family style dish, and you can make a TON depending on how high you stack it!  
This amount of ingredients feeds 4-5 people
Corn tortillas-start with 10, but you may need more
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can corn
1 can black or kidney beans
2 cups ground beef- precooked and seasoned with taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheese
In a bowl, mix your ground beef, beans, corn and 1 cup of the cheese.
In the bottom of an 8x8 casserole dish, spread 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and layer tortillas until mostly covered. Spread about 1 cup of meat/bean mixture, and the repeat... enchilada sauce, meat/beans, tortillas. Once you have as many layers as you want, or have enough food for, (I usually do 3) top with any remaining enchilada sauce, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Remove and top with cheese, return to oven and continue to bake until cheese is melted.
Top with sour cream.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

DIY :: Receiving Blankets

I have a really awesome Mother in Law! When I was pregnant with my first, she made me oodles of blankets for the little man! From quilts, to wraps, and everything in between. These, however, were by far my very favorite! They are a lot larger than the generic store bought blankets you can buy at Target or Walmart, and perfect to use as a swaddling blanket, nursing cover, car seat canopy, ground cover, and SO much more! And bonus... they cost around $3.50 a piece!
All you need is 1 1/4 yards of flannel per blanket. I bought my fabric at Joannes, regular price it is $6.99 a yard, but this week it was on sale for 50% off. Score! But if it's not, be SURE to use a coupon! They always have 50% coupons out! I am not a huge fan of the cutesy nursery prints, so I keep on the lookout for funky styles.
Once you have your fabric, it's really pretty simple from there... all you do is serge around all 4 edges! That's it! See.. I told you it was easy! And if you have an awesome Mother in Law that offers to do it for you, even better! :) That would be the reason I have no 'during' photos ;)
But really, these make great gifts, and they are so much nicer than the dinky store bought blankets! Especially if you pop out 9.4 lb babies like I do, that wouldn't stay swaddled in a tiny blanket if you wanted them to!
Here are a few more that are in waiting!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Meatloaf Muffins, mashed potatoes and green salad
Wednesday: Soft Tacos, spanish rice and black beans
Thursday: Sloppy Joe Calzones, and steamed veggies 
Friday: Omlets, hashbrowns and sausage.
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Tater Tot Casserole, green salad, and rolls.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Today seems like the perfect day to post this recipe! It's been chilly all weekend and I've been crazing soup! And Chicken Noodle Soup has always been one of my favorites. This recipe is so simple and is one of the easiest soup recipe's I know! Perfect for a crisp fall day, or a day when you feel a cold coming on!
4-5 cups chicken broth (I use low sodium)
3 large carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1/2 and onion, diced
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 bag wide egg noodles
In a large pot, bring chicken stock, bay leaf and garlic powder to a low boil. Add carrots, onion and celery and simmer until carrots are soft. Add chicken and egg noodles and continue to boil until noodles are cooked through. Remove bay leaf and enjoy.
*If you need more soup than this makes, just add more water to the broth, and add more noodles.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 Minute Enchiladas

You want a quick and easy but reeealy yummy dinner? Well look no further! This is literally as easy as it gets! This meal is a staple at our house. I make it quite often when I dont feel like making a mess, or we are in a big hurry to get out the door. Plus, you can customize it any ways you like!

10 Minute Enchiladas 
Feeds 2
4 frozen burritos (see below) OR homemade frozen burritos
1 can enchilada sauce (red/green, mild/spicy just whatever you have)
Shredded cheese
These are the burritos I use, but you can use the ones with meat, or chicken, or whatever you want. You can also use homemade frozen burritos, but to be honest, I think the store bought ones hold up a little better.
-On a plate arrange burritos in a single layer (2 per adult-1 per child) Microwave burritos for about 5 minutes, or until thawed and hot.
-Once burritos are hot, pour a small amount of enchilada sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish (so they don't stick) and then arrange your burritos in the dish.
-Cover with Enchilada sauce and cheese.
-Place under the broiler or back in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
-Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Monday

Tuesday: Fetteccini Alfredo and green salad
Thursday: Chicken Tortilla soup
Friday: Spaghetti and garlic bread
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Bacon and Artichoke Chicken and steamed veggies
Although, I can honestly say cooking is not at the front of my mind... my thoughts are wrapped up in this sweet thing! It's a GIRL!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hamburger Casserole

This dish reminds me of home. I absolutely love having this meal for dinner, its a hearty 'stick-to-your-ribs' casserole that is perfect for a quick busy night meal, but yummy enough to take to neighbors for dinner. And bonus, it takes only about 30 minutes to whip up!
2 cups rice uncooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup cooked ground beef
1 tsp worshteshire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Optional toppings: Soy sauce, mustard, Chinese noodles (ok the noodles are a must;))
 Cook rice according to package directions.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375.
 In a bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, worsh sauce, soy, and garlic powder.
Once the rice is done, add the ground beef and soup mixture and mix very well. Spread evenly in a small carrseole dish (8x8 or so) and bake for 10-15 minutes until the whole thing is hot and the edges are golden brown. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Menu Monday

Whoops... a day late :)
Monday: Dinner with family.
Tuesday: Bean and Cheese Tostadas
Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and pasta salad
Thursday: Taco Trash (a version of Taco Salad)
Friday: Date Night (after the ultrasound to find out what this munchkin is!)
Saturday: Hot Deli Chicken Sandwiches and raw veggies
Sunday: Sweet and Sour Chicken and fried rice

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Outfit Ideas {Guest Post by Dream Boat Fashion}

Hello everyone, my name is Kacee, and I am one of three sisters behind Dreamboat  Our site is dedicated to affordable, wearable fashion for the everyday girl. We rarely spend more than $75 dollars on an outfit. We love to re purpose and reinvent pieces. We are so excited that Stefanie let us come share some of our favorite looks and tips for fashion.  Here are some of our favorite looks:

One of our favorite things to do is take a simple piece of clothing, like this brown skirt from Forever 21, and try to wear it as many different ways as possible.

Here are some of our favorite ways to wear it:

Brown Skirt: Forever 21
Stripped blouse with ruffle sleeves: H&M
Jean Vest: Ross
Duran Duran T shirt: Old Navy
Striped Cardigan: Target
Blue Cheetah Shirt: Forever 21
Yellow bubble necklace: Ebay- click here to learn how to get yours for under $20.

Reinventing your wardrobe and your look does not mean heading to the store and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on new clothes, it’s all about looking at the pieces you already have differently.

Thanks again to Stefanie for letting us come and share some of our favorite fashion finds.

 Be sure to check us out at Dream Boat Fashion

Use the code STMMMS84668 to get $10 off instantly!
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