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Monday, January 31, 2011

Enchilada Chicken Casserole

I used to make enchiladas all the time, but every time I would inevitably over make the filling.  One day I finally decided to try making a "casserole" with layers so I could use all that extra filling.  The casserole turned out quite delicious and this recipe has now been made more times than I can count.  Enjoy!

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 - 12 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed
  • 2 cup salsa
  • corn or flour tortillas (depending on your preference)
  • 18 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (I use colby jack or mexican blends)

Boil the chicken until cooked through.  Make sure to not overcook! (I've done that a lot).  Let cool until you are able to handle it and then cube chicken.  Add to large mixing bowl.

Medium to large dice the onion and green bell pepper.  Saute in fry pan with small amount of butter or non-stick cooking spray.  Salt & Pepper to taste.  I usually cook these until they look 'fajita style' (there were NO green bell peppers at the grocery story yesterday - it was pretty amazing).  Add to mixing bowl.

Rinse the black beans with cold water until water runs clear.  Thaw corn by running under warm/hot water (takes only 2 minutes or so).  Add black beans and corn to bowl and mix.

Add 1 cups salsa to bowl and mix thoroughly.  Add 1/2 cup increments and continue to mix thoroughly until mixture is held together by the salsa, but before it becomes too wet.  Add and mix in cilantro.

Spread 1/2 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Layer tortilla shells on top of enchilada sauce.  Cut the tortillas as needed to get a completely covered bottom.  Add 1/2 chicken mixture on top of the tortillas.  Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top of this mixture.

Repeat layers of tortillas, remaining chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese.  Add another layer tortillas to top.  Spread rest of enchilada sauce on top and then sprinkle on last cup of cheese.

Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes or until sauce starts bubbling.  Remove tin foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown up cheese.

Remove from oven and let set for 5 min before serving.  Serve with tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream (whatever you usually like on an enchilada).

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

All Moved In!!!

I'm all moved in an will be publishing all my blog posts from this address from now on.  Hope everyone makes the move smoothly...  Don't be surprised if you see little details still being tweaked.  All the big stuff is set though and I'm so excited!!!



Okay, I'm about to try importing everything from my old blog... I'm crossing my fingers that everything goes well.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Birthday Party Denial

Dani will be turning one next Sunday.  I can't believe a year has gone by already... just today I was caught off guard by the fact that her birthday is only a week away.  I have nothing planned.  Nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  I feel like I've failed her.

When Michaela turned one I obsessed over her first birthday party for months.  I researched a place to have the party.  I had custom invitations made up & mailed out weeks in advance.  I shopped for decorations, food, cake(s), party favors, refreshments...  oh, the list goes on and my head spins just thinking about all the planning!

With Dani I've been in denial.  She's not turning one, she's my baby!  How could that big all-important first birthday milestone be coming up so fast?  It hasn't been that long already has it?

This week I've come out of my protective cocoon and faced facts.  It's happening.  I can't change it.  I had better get on the ball and make sure it's done right.

Part of me put off party planning because I just plain didn't want to face that stress again.  I knew how much time and effort it took for Michaela's first birthday party.  How could I pull that off in just a couple weeks time for Dani?  For some reason I was under the illusion that Dani's first birthday party "had to be the same" as Michaela's.  I was completely stressed out and overwhelmed every time I even thought about Dani turning one.

Then I realized that it did not "have to be the same".  It has to be as important, it has to be as memorable, but it does NOT have to be "the same."

I'm still ironing out party details, but I'm not stressing about it any more.

Dani's big party with friends is going to be a couple weeks late, no biggie, Michaela's was late too.  We're only going to be doing cake and refreshments & not a lunch spread for 40+ people this time.  I don't think anyone will care. 

Besides, my little dare devil is going to have gymnastics with her party.  I think she'll find that way more fun than trying to eat lunch with only 2 teeth... :)

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Playing Grown Up

Remember in college when you shared an apartment with 3 other people and everyone brought in their mix matched furniture and conflicting senses of style?  Or when you're a newlywed and you've got the old sofa from your parents' basement, the hand me down kitchen table from your in-laws and an entertainment center made out of two by fours and love?

Of course, it would have been great if you had made your first home look like it was to be featured as the "after" on your favorite HGTV design program.  But the reality is that it was just more important to be out there experiencing life, mismatched furniture and all...

That's how I've felt about this blog.  I started it just over a year ago with no idea what I was doing.  I could have waited until I knew more, but I figured it was one of those things I'd learn as I went along.  I'm glad that I just jumped in with both feet and have floundered along a bit.  It's taught me a lot.

But now I'm ready to move out of limbo.  Take time to find matching furniture, hang the family photos on the wall, and slap up some paint.  Hey, maybe I'll even plant some flowers?  (Who are we kidding, I'm a plant killer, those flowers wouldn't stand a chance.)

I'm working on my new place, making it all spiffy and show-worthy before I move in and start showing it off (because in the virtual world such things are possible).  Once it's ready I'll let you all know.  In the meantime I'll continue posting here when I have time and I've made a couple updates to try some things out here....  Don't be surprised if the next couple weeks are still sparse on news though, I'm busy decorating my new place! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tea Collection - Facebook Connections

If you remember I did a review for Tea Collection a couple months back with SIMPLE reviews (check out the original review here).  Anyway, I was just cleaning out the girls' closets again this weekend and I was kinda sad that Dani had outgrown her adorable outfit already. :(

Imagine my delight when I received an email from Tea Collection letting me know about their Facebook Connections event!  Basically if you sign up and then refer five friends to them you all get a 20% off discount coupon for use on Jan. 27th!!!  Here's the custom link they sent me to refer my friends (that's you!), as long as five of you have signed up by tomorrow we will all get the coupon code on Thursday!

Don't you just love their new Viva la Artista line?  Here's some of my favorites to get for my girls on Thursday. (Left to right)  Their Flamenco Dot Drop-waist Dress in Black Plum, the Songbird Banded Dress, and their Flamenco Dot Banded Dress in Orchard.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Child of Many Faces

Dani makes some of the funniest faces you'll ever see.  I rapidly snapped about a dozen photos of her the other week and each one she was making a different face.  The image quality was pretty horrid in most of them but I just had to share my favorite.  I think it sums up her personality pretty well. :)

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Warning: Under Construction

I've got a lot of great ideas of how I want this site to look and function and some searching to still do to figure out other aspects.  As a busy mom this may take a while to complete, so please be patient with me as I make this new blog into something I (and hopefully you, my readers) will enjoy.  Thanks!

Things We Learned...

I had commented about this via Facebook the other day, but thought I'd expand on it a little bit.

Things we learned at 3:30 AM on Saturday...

1) Fire alarms really will wake you up.  Actually, fire alarms will completely wake Chris up.  I will only come halfway to consciousness until backhanded across the gut while my panicked husband yells, "HEY! WHAT IS THAT?!?

2) The "red box" that is 8 ft. up on our wall is a fire alarm.  It is connected to the main part of the apartment building and when a fire alarm is pulled over there it lets us know.  Very loudly.

3) If you use 5 feet of scotch tape it is physically possible to tape a hand towel to the wall (to muffle the obscene noise coming from the red box, of course).
4) Dani has no fear of loud noises.  While she did wake up when we were running into and out of her bedroom to see if it was the alarm in there that was going off, she never cried.  "Surprise extra feeding in the middle of the night?  Wake me up anytime you want mom!" ;)
5) Michaela has absolutely no future in emergency services.  She actually managed to remain sound asleep though 25 minutes of the most ear-splitting fire alarm ever!

6) If our building really was on fire it would have been halfway burnt to the ground before the fire department had shown up.  During regular daytime traffic the fire station is a 5 minute drive away (for me with no flashing lights or sirens to clear the way).  It was about 20 minutes after the alarm started going off that the fire department showed up at our front gate and then they had to spend another 5 minutes wrestling their way through the gate.

7) All these learning points were brought to you by a false alarm and some "punk kid." ("Punk kid" being the nicer of word choices popping into my head at 3:30 AM to describe the brilliant individual who thought pulling a fire alarm in the middle of the night for "fun" was a good idea.)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Edible Yumminess!!!

Thank you Shannon for sharing this awesome deal for Edible Arrangements on your blog today!!!  I ordered mine and picked it up this afternoon... I'm patiently waiting for Chris to come home before I start devouring these tasty treats though. :)

Doesn't that just look mouth watering?!?  It took all my personal control to not steal one out of the box when I opened it to take this picture...  
Right now, through January 23 you too can get a 12 piece box of gourmet dipped fruit from Edible Arrangements for $10 (usually $25!).  You do have to pick your order up in the store, but the quick stop during our errands today was well worth it for me!!! :)

Visit Edible Arrangements here to see the complete details and order yours.  I'm thinking Chris may get sent back there tomorrow to get some as a hostess gift for a party we have on Saturday.  (Because we all know I'm not giving this box up and saving myself the extra trip.) YUM!!!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kitty Kiss

This morning to wake me up Chris brought Michaela upstairs.  After a few minutes Michaela started crawling around the bed saying "Meow! Meow! Meow!"

To help my wake up process Chris asked Michaela to, "give mommy a kitty kiss."

She immediately stood up next to my face and... licked my eye.  Yep.  He thought she'd nuzzle my face and she thought she'd give real 'kitty kisses.'  

Needless to say, we were both laughing pretty hard and I was successfully woken up. :)

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Uncle Joe Socks

This one is for all the Huffman relatives, not to be confused with Tio Jose Rasch. :)

Last week I was helping Michaela get dressed.  After putting her shirt on I handed her the black socks she needed to put on her feet.  She did a great job, even unrolled the socks and pulled them up to her knees all on her own before I noticed what she was doing.  

As soon as I started laughing Chris came in to see what was going on.  He walked in just as I asked Michaela, "Are you wearing Uncle Joe socks?" :)  Chris's response to this was to find some flowered shorts (since her shirt was already on and she couldn't be a mini-Uncle Joe without flowered something) and take a picture.  I'm sure this one will show up in the 'embarassing' moments collage for High School graduation.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas 2010

I've been very slow in catching up on all my blogging.  I will blame it on the excessive amount of parties and family gatherings we've had lately (sounds good right?).  Anyway, here are a couple random holiday photos and some from Christmas Eve morning with Chris' dad.

 This is the skirts that I made them! I thought the skirts turned out so cute, Dani's has trim in the fabric that is the reversible side of Michaela's 'twirlly' skirt.  Michaela has to hold Dani so she doesn't decide to make a break for it as soon as I try to take the picture. :)

The tree was fascinating to Dani. Thankfully we didn't have to many problems with her touching it, Michaela was another story...

This is what happened when Dani found the presents from Pop and Grandma Mary.  She never even tried to open the presents under our tree but as soon as Chris' parents brought presents over she TORE into them like a pro.  You would never had guessed that she hadn't ever opened a present before! hehehe

 Michaela had slept with braids in her hair the night before.  Hence her unusual style.

Believe it or not this was the best shot of everyone.  Michaela had run off for the one picture that Mary wasn't talking, but her eyes were closed anyway so this is the winner.  (BTW: Those are the dresses I made the girls for this year)

 Danny (aka Pop) and Dani :)

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Um, yeah...

There are no words to describe my reaction to the following picture.  All I can do is put it in context and try to explain what was going on. 

A couple weeks ago Michaela disappeared into Dani's room to play.  After some fairly quiet play she emerged looking like this.  Michaela had found the bag of swimming stuff I had stashed in Dani's closet and decided to put on ALL her swimming gear.  After she stripped down to her socks and underwear of course, cause nothing says Christmas Cheer like... that.

Never a dull moment Michaela, never a dull moment...

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Hiccups - Faith Like A Child

Last night while we were saying bedtime prayers Michaela developed a pretty violent case of hiccups.  Her whole body shook with each hiccup and I just knew she wouldn't be going to sleep until they were gone.

So we prayed about them.  Asked God to make her hiccups stop right away so she could go to sleep.  They didn't stop right away.  So I asked her if she needed to go with me to get something to stop her hiccups (I was thinking a drink of water or something to eat).

At first she said "Yes." But when I actually pulled back the covers and tried to get her to walk into the kitchen with me she said "No!"

"Michaela, I thought you wanted to go get something to make your hiccups stop?" I asked her.

"The angels are taking them away," she replied.

"The angels?" making sure I'd heard her correctly.

"Yeah, the angels and Jesus."

How can you argue with that?  Her hiccups were gone within a minute or two and she was fast asleep shortly thereafter.  Complete faith that we had prayed about it and her hiccups would be gone right away from Jesus.  I guess I need to remember to practice more "faith like a child" even when it comes to the little things, like hiccups.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Disney Movie Rewards Codes!!!

Thanks to fellow SIMPLE mom Shannon for sharing this deal.  Here are some extra Disney Movie Rewards codes that you can use right now.  If you have a Disney Movie Rewards account (from entering the codes on the movies you buy) you know what these are for. :)


I'm not sure how long they are good for, but they really do work and it's worth 125 PTS.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If I Didn't Laugh, I'd Start Crying...

Oh goodness, where do I begin?  This morning the girls and I were hanging out.  They were playing together, keeping each other occupied while I caught up on some of my computer stuff.  

Then I hear screaming, "DANI!!! NOOOOO!!!" and "MOOOOOMMMM!!!"

Of course, I immediately shot out of my chair and took off running down the hallway.  What do I find?  Michaela sitting on the toilet, peeing and Dani, standing behind her using the other half of the toilet to play in.  Great.  Just great.

After stripping Dani out of her clothes, I washed her off and then deposited her in the hallway to wait until I had taken care of Michaela too.  

"Mom, why are you laughing?" Michaela asked me as I sat down on the edge of the bathtub.

"Because some days if I didn't laugh I'd start crying and where's the fun in that."

Gotta love being a parent... :)

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