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Monday, April 30, 2012

Tex Mex Burritos

The week before Cinco de Mayo should be all things yummy and Mexican!! This week will be reposts of all my favorites.

Let's get this party started!!

The recipe takes a bit more to prepare than my usual recipes but oh so worth it. And, it's still easy...I promise:) PLUS..I've given you several days to get yourself in the "mood" to cook!!

Tex Mex Burritos
1 pkg boneless Chicken Breast
4 C Water
4 Chicken Bouillon cubes
1 T Chili Powder
1 t Cumin
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T minced Onion ~ I used dried
few cranks of fresh cracked Pepper

Throw all of this in a pot and boil until chicken is done, about 30-40 minutes..I've never actually timed it but if you stick a fork in the chicken and it goes in without resistance, you're good. Turn off heat, shred the chicken and put back into broth.

1 pkg of 10 Tortillas~I don't know the size, it's the pack they sell in 10s;)
1/2 Red Pepper and 1/2 Orange Pepper diced ~ you can use one whole pepper any color, I just like how pretty it is to use two different ones.
1/4-1/2 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 C Spinach chopped
1/4 C Jalapenos diced~I use the sliced ones in the jar
1 can Black Beans drained and rinsed
1 C Frozen Corn
1 t Cumin
1 t Chili Powder
1 t Cayenne Pepper

Saute peppers, garlic and onion a couple of minutes in a bit of the chicken broth you stole from the chicken. Add the jalapenos (you can use more or fresh, it's just what I always have in the house), black beans and corn. Splash in a bit of the jalapeno juice from the jar. Fold around for a minute or two. Fold in Spinach. Drain chicken and throw it in. Throw in cumin, Cayenne and chili powder. Taste and make sure it doesn't need salt.

Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray. Put about 3/4 C mixture in middle of tortilla and roll up. Put seam side down and continue until all tortillas are used. If you have extra filling, throw on top of the burritos.

1 can Mild Enchilada Sauce ~ I prefer HOT but some people don't
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 C Sour Cream~I use light

Mix together and pour over top of burritos. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes until bubbly. Top with 1-2 C of your favorite cheese, I used a Colby Jack mix and bake 5 more minutes.

While this is cooking put together the best topping in the whole world.

3/4 C Sour Cream ~ I use light
1/2 C Mayo
2 t Dill Weed
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
3 Ripe Avocados mashed

Mix Sour Cream and Mayo, add seasoning. Chill while the burritos are baking. You can do this step as far ahead as you want. Add avocados to the mix when you put the cheese on the burritos. You can NOT make this too far ahead, it turns a funny greenish brown color. If you did this, skim off the top and the underneath will still be green:)
Here's the chicken ready to shred. I actually prefer to use bone in chicken because it's more moist but I only had boneless in the house.
Shred your chicken and put back into the broth.
Here's your peppers, onion and jalapenos diced up.
The spinach pre chop.
Peppers, garlic, onion and jalapenos in the pan for a couple of minutes with a few T of Chicken broth you stole from the chicken pot.
You've added the black beans, corn, chicken, spinach and seasoning. Cook together for a couple of minutes.
Here is the size of tortillas I buy. You can use any size but this size typically makes exactly the recipe. These turned out to be a bit smaller so I had left over topping. No problem, throw it on top.
Put about 3/4 C of the topping in the middle of the tortilla, roll up. You can add cheese here if you want but the recipe really doesn't need it.
Seam side down in your sprayed 13x9
Throw whatever is left on the top of the burritos. Typically I don't have a lot left over, these tortillas were a bit smaller than usual. You can cover and refrigerate at this point for up to 24 hours. IF you do that, allow an extra 15 minutes of cooking time.
Here is the sauce ingredients.
Whisk together and this is what you get.
Pour it over the top and throw in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.
I'm gonna be honest and tell you that I don't measure. I did a very good estimate for you up above but truth be told, it's 3 parts sour cream to 2 parts Mayo. The seasonings I did measure this time...just for you:)
This is what a ripe avocado looks like. DARK green that is soft but not squishy.
How to get your pit out...Cut avocado in half, whack with a knife, give a twist of the wrist.
TA DA, out comes the pit. No fuss, no muss.
Take a big spoon and scoop out the yummy avocado.
Here they are ready to meet the fork for some mashing.
Now the choice is yours. Mash these babies until they are smooth or if you're like me and like a few chunks you can do that too.
Need a new camera to get a photo of this mixture. It's a soft green color and OH SO YUMMY. Eat some with chips but make sure to save enough for the burritos.
Out of the oven with the melted cheese. Again, you can leave the cheese off, the sauce is creamy enough but who can pass on melted cheese!?!?
If you're a good hostess you can serve rice and/or salad on the side.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Last night was the last confirmation class for Max. He'll be confirmed on September 16th. It was with mixed emotions that I made the cookies for the celebration. Another milestone reached.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not an "organized" religion girl. I am a bit of a skeptic about the idea to be truthful. I wasn't raised in a church and I have very little knowledge of the bible which has embarrassed me on occasion but I don't fault my parents. They both had different views of religion and my Dad who wasn't adament about much, was adament that you make your own decision in regard to religion. Instead of church, I was raised with basic knowledge, a strong sense of self and a strong spiritual sense which honestly, has served me well.

But when Max was 5 years old, he asked a question about God and both his Dad and I gave a different answer. I thought it should have been a simple answer but it wasn't so I decided that my children would go to Sunday school and learn the information and they could answer their own questions.

I sought advice, I researched, I asked around. I found Mount Olivet and it seemed to have everything I was looking for. It was also a Lutheran church so that followed his Dad's family. Mount Olivet was very patient with me, as I was very clear that "I" didn't want to be a member, "I" never intended on coming to church. They allowed me to register my children and welcomed us with open arms.

I remember the first day of Sunday school vividly. It was Rally Sunday at church which means that if you are a card carrying member (which they have several thousand) you come to church.

If you are a girl who signed your kids up for Sunday school, you follow the flock. Everyone in their Sunday best, chatting and waving to each other, Police Officers directing traffic, parking lot attendants with flags, pastors everywhere shaking hands. I had been to the church on a random Tuesday to register them, I wasn't prepared for this! I was a deer in headlights!

I had a card with a room number. A room number that meant nothing to me and little did I know that there were 25 different rooms teaching Sunday school ... on 2 different floors ... every hour! I appeared to be the only idiot who didn't know where to go!! I seriously felt like puking.

I finally found the room (actually 2 rooms because Claire started too), asked when I should come back and the nice older gentleman said, "after the service" and I said, "sorry, not going to the service. So, do you have an approximate time"? He crinkled his forehead, smiled and told me to be back in 40-45 minutes.

For several years, that's what I did. Dropped them, grabbed a bagel down the street and picked them up 45 minutes later. I did my share of volunteering when they needed it and attended the services that were "required" but for the most part, I dropped and picked up.

Two years ago confirmation began. That is a story in itself and I'll share that embarrassment on another occasion.

Max enjoyed confirmation. He enjoyed his friends, his teachers and learning about God. He has embraced this part of his life and I truly believe it will be something he carries in his heart forever and for that, I am grateful. Grateful that he has something stronger than himself to lean on and believe in. But at the same time, I feel sad. I feel sad because a part of his life that he enjoys is ending and he will have to seek out his own path because he isn't a child being led any longer.

I look at my kids during lots of things and say, "I remember when they started, they were so little". But this memory is so much more vivid for some reason. I wonder if it is because it was brand new for both of us? Whatever the reason, I just know that he was 6 years old.
This was the face looking at me that I sincerely swear feels like last week.

But reality hit me when I looked over to the kid climbing into the car for the last Wednesday class and this is the face that looks back at me.


I shared this story with a few friends and then thought, I should blog it because hopefully my children will read this someday. Someday when they are parents and will understand that I am not being “mean”. I am being consistent to teach them that every action has a consequence or a reaction.

Max’s reaction the other night proved that the method to my madness is working.

Every night Max makes himself a chocolate malt. Every night he leaves the Magic Bullet on the counter when he is done. I remind him, he puts it away most of the time. I was tired of reminding. I was tired of putting it away for him.

So, I told him, “the next time you leave this on the counter, I am throwing it away. Got it?”

“Yep, I got it”.

He put it away for almost a week.

Then he left it out and I didn’t remind him, I put it in a different cupboard without telling him.

He went to make his malt and didn’t find the Magic Bullet where it was supposed to be. He didn’t ask, he didn’t whine or pout, he simply scooped ice cream into a bowl and left the kitchen after putting everything away because he knew that he shouldn't ask me because he was the reason the Magic Bullet wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KFC Coleslaw

I wanted a quick coleslaw recipe, so I went googling and I found this copycat recipe. It was good, pretty close to KFC and EASY.

8 cups finely diced cabbage (about 1 head) ~ I used one bag of Coleslaw mix that I chopped up more
1/4 cup diced carrots (finely)
2 tablespoons minced onions

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced.
Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions.
Prepare the dressing, mix until smooth and creamy.
Pour over Slaw and mix thoroughly.
Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Found the recipe here

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vegetable Enchilada Pie

Cinco de Mayo is coming. Do you have your Mexican dinner picked out? This is a good one if you don't and you can add meat if that is your desire.

This came about because Dylan showed up unannouced for dinner, with vegetarian friends in tow. I didn't have much in the house so I just started grabbing.

What you'll need:
1 can Black Beans ~ rinsed
1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis ~ I did HOT
1/2 Green Pepper chopped
1/2 Red Pepper chopped
4 cloves Garlic minced
1 C Frozen Corn
8 oz Spinach
Bag of Rice ~ I used one of those "cook in 90 seconds", I think it was an 8 oz size but they only come in one size so don't stress the details
2 t Chili Powder
2 t Cumin
3 Large Tortillas
1 can Enchilada Sauce
2 1/4 C Cheese shredded ~ I used a Mexican blend

Put your beans, diced tomatoes, garlic and peppers in a pan and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring here and there. Add corn and chopped spinach and cook until Spinach is wilted.
Spray your pie pan. Put a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce. Top with tortilla.
Here's the quick rice I used.
Add rice and seasoning to bean mixture and cook for just a minute or two.
Top Tortilla with bean mixture.
Add Cheese 3/4 C Cheese
Last layer should be tortilla. Top with remaining sauce, 3/4 C cheese and bake at 350 for 30 minutes

I apologize that the photos stop here, the boys were starving;). You're only missing the hot out of the oven and a piece being cut.

Friday, April 20, 2012

All Star Team

Max played in an All Star game a month ago. This was his second year playing and his team won!!

The best of the best from all over Minnesota and Wisconsin, 1100 players. It's an added expense to the year of hockey, a few extra hours but I think it's a special opportunity.

That brings me to today's post.

They take team photos. You don't get to see the photos before you purchase but I wanted to preserve the memory and paid the twenty bucks for his scrapbook.

I was so excited when the package arrived. I ripped open the envelope and this is the face I saw

Yes, that's my "tough" son, apparently refusing to smile to preserve said "toughness". You can watch the changes in team photos, when they are mites, they are smiling ear to ear. Squirts you get a nice smile, Pee Wees a smirk, Bantams stoneface. I'm not thrilled with that but it's his team and he doesn't want to look like a "dork" being the only one smiling so I allow whatever in the team shot but his individual, the button that I wear...he knows he has to SMILE because I'm a Mom who is typically at photo sessions and much to his irritation, always says, I'm paying, YOU smile and he does.

Obviously, Mom wasn't there for this photo op.

I walked into the living room, showed him the photo and he gave a chuckle. I said, "ahhh, this is funny"?

He shrugs.

I said, "if you EVER do this again, you will reimburse me for the photo, GOT it!"

Sheepish face, "I got it".

The joys of teenage boys.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Here's what happened. I went looking around for recipes. I copy and print them and typically always attach the link. Well, don't know what happened but a particular batch of recipes I found, I missed the link part. So, I apologize in advance to the person that created this because I know this is a TWEAK for some.

Although, when looking for the direct source, I found several recipes that were close and it's actually really similar to my Skor Cake.

At any rate, I don't know what the recipe was actually called because the name also was cut off BUT I know that it reminded me of Chocolate Mousse so I named them that.

Are you tired of the explanation and ready for the recipe?? Here you go!! Enjoy!

What you'll need:

1 Chocolate Cake Mix without pudding in the mix ~ Duncan Hines
Large box Instant Chocolate Pudding
4 Eggs
1 C Sour Cream ~ I used reduced fat
1/3 C Oil
1/2 C Water
1/2 bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips melted

Mix everything together. I used an ice cream scoop and scooped into cupcake liners, 1/2 full. But you could also just dump this into a sprayed 13x9 cake pan.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes. Makes 30 cupcakes.

Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting

To make butter cream frosting
1 stick soft Butter
4-5 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 C Cocoa Powder
2 t Vanilla
4-7 T Milk

Start out with 1 stick butter, 4 C powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 T milk. Mix it with your mixer. Keep adding milk by the T until it's the consistency you want.

IF you add too much milk, add more powdered sugar. I've never used a true recipe for frosting, it was an add and adjust philosophy. When it's done, separate into different bowls and add food coloring. If you are using liquid food coloring remember it will thin the frosting a bit.

I got sassy and added different toppings on 5 of each cupcakes. Chopped Andes candies, white chocolate chips, Skor candy, sprinkles and milk chocolate chips. But you can stop at frosting or even just top with some cool whip:)

Here's the trick to melting chocolate chips. Melt for about a minute with a half bag. Stir, you might have a couple stubborn ones..look closely at the photo. Keep stirring and they will melt in. You don't want to put this back in the microwave when you're this close or you'll overcook the chocolate.

BUT..If you have a LOT of stubborn ones, try another 15-30 seconds.
See how yummy and creamy the batter is??

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brownie Fruit Pizza

A couple of days ago, I made my "usual" fruit pizza. But I wanted chocolate and I had some strawberries that needed to be used so that's what inspired this recipe. It was a BIG hit at the family party.

What you'll need:

Brownie Mix
1 pkg Strawberries
1 pkg Cream Cheese softened ~ I use 1/3 fat
3-4 T Milk
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
1/4 C Sugar
1 t Vanilla
1 pkg Strawberries rinsed and sliced

Make your brownies according to box directions. I made mine for "fudgy brownies". I have a large round pan with an edge, if you don't, you can do these in a regular 13x9 pan.

Beat softened cream chese with sugar, powder sugar, vanilla and 3 T of milk, if it doesn't seem creamy enough, add another tablespoon.

AND...Truth be told, you probably don't need the regular sugar but that's what I started with, didn't like the flavor and added powdered. Together it worked.

Frost your brownies and lay strawberries on top.

1 C Strawberries ~ I used frozen ones that I defrosted
1 T Lemon Juice
2 T Orange Juice
1 slight T Corn Starch
2 T Sugar

Give everything a whirl in the blender or if your son is like mine and is a infommercial junkie, you have a Magic Bullet you can use.

Pour into small pan and stir on low until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Brush on top of berries.

If you wanna get fancy you can melt 1/4 C Milk Chocolate Chips in about 40 seconds in the microwave. Take a fork, dip in melted chocolate and drizzle over the top of berries. Chill.

Make the morning of for an afternoon party.

Brownies out of the oven
Spread your cream cheese mixture on top
Slice a package of strawberries
Lay your berries on top. I started on the outside rim and worked my way toward the middle. But you can do whatever is easiest for you.
Glaze will thicken up, let cool.
Brush your berries with the glaze
Hard to see but...Melt your chocolate and with a fork, drizzle over the top

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fresh Fruit Tart

I honestly don't know why I don't make this more often. Wait, yes I do...because I would eat it non-stop.

I had this first at my Aunt Judy's. She said it was a Paula Dean recipe. I changed the crust around a bit because a few sticks of butter was too much and used my lemon bar crust instead.

You can use any kind of fruit you want and bonus...Claire was able to do all the assembly. AND, it's also pretty, so it's a nice thing to bring to a party or a pot luck picnic.

What you'll need:

1/2 C Powdered Sugar
3/4 C chilled Butter sliced into tiny pieces
1 1/2 C Flour
8 oz Cream Cheese
3/4 C Sugar
1 t Vanilla
6 oz Limeade frozen concentrate
1 T Cornstarch
1 T fresh Lime juice

Put limeade, cornstarch, 1/4 C sugar and lime juice in a small pan over medium heat and cook until it is thickened. Takes a couple of minutes and if you use a whisk, you won't get lumps. Set aside to cool.

Mix powdered sugar and flour. Mix in butter. It's easiest to use two forks and kind of chop the butter into the dry ingredients. It looks a bit crumbly. I like to use a cookie sheet with an edge that is just a bit bigger than a 13x9 and press crust into pan or if you wanna get really fancy, use a tart pan. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes until it's a very light brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.


Mix cream cheese, 1/2 C sugar and vanilla together and spread over cooled crust.

Top with sliced fruit and berries.

Brush glaze over top (you'll have some extra, don't fret) and allow to chill a couple of hours. Cut and serve. YUMMY!

The crust is kind of crumbly. When it looks like this, press into your cookie sheet with edge.
Cooked and ready for topping
I added an extra teaspoon of vanilla so the color is a little off
After you frost and before you put fruit down, draw you "cut" lines with a tooth pick. It's easier for the kids to decorate and you won't cut any fruit in half so it will be prettier.
Brush on glaze and you're good to go