Monday, January 30, 2012

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

I love Mexican food...a lot. We eat Mexican food (usually Americanized, unfortunately) as much as possible. This weekend when I decided to try a new food adventure, I was smart enough to snap a few pictures so I could share!

I found two recipes that sounded pretty good on Pinterest (of course!) and combined them to make my own version of Slow Cooker Enchiladas. 10 minutes of prep and 4 hours on low and I got a FANTASTIC dinner.

Slow Cooker Enchiladas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can green chills
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can black beans (drained)
2 cans corn (drained)
1 small container sour cream
1 package frozen pre-cooked grilled chicken
1 package shredded cheddar
1 package flour tortilla shells
Slow Cooker Liners (on of my favorite inventions EVER)

Line your slow cooker. If you don't have a liner, use some Pam. Mix chicken, soup and chills sour cream together and put in the bottom of your slow cooker. Then mix beans, corn and enchilada sauce and make another layer. Cover with about 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Put slow cooker on low for 4 hours. Give everything a good stir 10 minutes before serving.

Serve by filling the tortillas and rolling them up! I added a little extra sour cream on top of mine for good measure! It is also excellent over rice.

The recipe makes a TON of enchiladas and it freezes well, too. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken Anyone? is that time of year. The time where resolutions are in full force and everyone is on a diet/spending all of their spare time at the gym. In honor of that, I thought I would share one of my favorite healthy recipes. It only takes 10 minutes to prep (another reason it is a favorite) and it is just delicious!

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt**
  • 4 chicken breast halves with bones
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

  • How to:
    Preheat oven to 450°. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in yogurt and set aside for sauce. Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat. Pour bean mixture around chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper.

    Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with yogurt sauce.

    *I have a hard time finding smoked paprika, but regular paprika tastes just as good!
    **I use Fage - it's the BEST!

    Photo and recipe credit:

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    30 Sucks

    I don't think 30 sucks as much as people say, but I wouldn't know...I'm not the one who turned 30! Last weekend we celebrated Jesse's 30th with our family and it was a blast. There was a taco bar, chocolate amaretto cake and lots of smiles and laughter.

    My favorite moment of the night when when my niece, Sophia, told my nephew, Channing, "Hold my hand!" Sophia is 2 and Jesse's sister's oldest and Channing is 3 and my sister's oldest. They had just met - it was priceless. She also made him slow dance. Too cute. 

    Of course, kids move to fast for any of us to have picture of those moments, but here are a few pictures of the rest of the night.

    The sparkly cake was SO delish! I thought I would share the recipe. It was pretty easy, too! After the last layer of frosting, I cut a "30" out of some card stock and lightly pressed it into the top of the cake to use as a stencil for the edible star-shaped sprinkles I bought. Who doesn't need sparkles on their 30th birthday cake?

    Chocolate-Amaretto Layer Cake
    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 1 18.25-ounce package devil's food cake mix
    • 1 1/3 cups water
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 12 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
    • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
    • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 18 ounces)
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 cup whipping cream
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Combine cake mix, 1 1/3 cups water, eggs, oil, 3 tablespoons amaretto, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in large bowl; whisk until well blended. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips. Divide batter among prepared pans.
    Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Run knife around pan sides. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely. Brush each cake layer with 2 tablespoons amaretto.
    Combine butter and cream in medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and mixture comes to simmer. Remove from heat. Add remaining 2 cups chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Mix in remaining 3 tablespoons amaretto. Cool until barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Whisk in sour cream and remaining 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, then powdered sugar. Refrigerate frosting just until thick enough to spread, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes.
    Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread 1/3 cup frosting over. Top with second cake layer. Spread 1/3 cup frosting over. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Press nuts around bottom 2 inches of cake. Chill 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome; keep chilled.)


    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

    Our Girl's Weekend in Northern Minnesota started with two cars packed to the brim, 9 girls, one dog, a 4-hour drive and A LOT of laughter! When we arrived at the Vermilion Club, we were all starving do we dove right into a Bamboozler -- a pizza the size of a small car (well, it was about 3 feet in diameter). So delish!

    Snowflake pancakes, good friends and fun games.

    After dinner, we headed off to the lake to meet Megan's parents where they helped us get across the ice (the cabin is on an island) with their sled (for those outside of MN, that is a snowmobile). Two trips for them and a 1/2 mile walk across the ice for the rest of us and we were there! There were a few that had never been that far north before and a few that had never walked on a frozen lake. An adventure for sure!

    The next two days were filled with talking, games, giggles, reading, photos, hiking, LOTS of food and a few drinks, too. All in all, it was a fantastic weekend and I managed to walk away WITHOUT a weird nickname (thank goodness!). A BIG thanks to Megan for bring us to this special place, to our friends for making it a blast and to her parents, especially, for helping to get us across the lake and back (and for bringing us the most delicious milk and eggs in the world!).

    Our final walk across the lake.

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    New Year, New Blog

    It isn't like the world needs another blog, but here I am! After several past attempts at doing this I have decided to give it a real go.

    Those who know me know of my great love for all that sparkles. Other things I love include cooking, baking, sewing and crafting. So...I will do my best to bring you some fun ideas, recipes and anecdotes.

    Today I started out the morning with a homemade caramel latte which I am still enjoying while I write this. It is easy, cheaper than buying one AND quite a bit more healthy than Caribou (although I do with it made my house smell like Caribou). Here is how it is done:

    1 shot espresso (I just use instant)
    1 cup whole milk
    1 tablespoon caramel syrup
    1/2 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar

    {it helps to have a beverage blender or a frother but it is ok if you don't}

    Make your shot of espresso and put it in a nice big mug. Make sure it is plenty hot. In a Pyrex or in a beverage blender, place your milk, sugar and caramel. Microwave for 90 seconds (be sure to watch that it doesn't boil over). Then blend/froth/whisk with whatever you have for about 30 seconds. Microwave for another 30 seconds (REALLY watch it this time as it will get really frothy if you blended it). Our over your espresso - be sure to scrape the yummy foam on top - give it a quick stir and enjoy!

    {Sorry for the bad was taken on my iPad. And yes, this is my favorite mug. It states, "Smart Women Thirst for Knowledge" and was given to me by one of my sisters when I was in college. Love!}