Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

I am getting pretty excited for the Holidays…namely Christmas!!!
I bought some new decorations to be put up soon; got Kylie a mini fake tree with pink ornaments that we helped her decorate last night; and I made a wreath!

Kylie was so excited to get her own tree and to decorate it herself.
So fun!

…cats already attacked it once, spraying ornaments across the room. I hope this tree makes it until Christmas…or at least the weekend!  Test run for how they’ll act when we get our real tree. Two cats = double trouble for sure.

This wreath was so easy to make! Thanks to my friend Lauren and her crafty idea I copied!
I got some pretty ribbon and accessories at Michael's, along with this wreath base made of branches.

I tied the ribbon around to start, then just wrapped it around the whole wreath – hot gluing it at the end. The bow is a separate piece I also glued on. Then, added the little bird and leaves with a bit more glue.

I used one of those Command hooks (aka a hook that doesn’t leave a hole in your front door) to hang on the front door and voila! Festivity!

...and you better believe I am already listening to Christmas music non-stop. YES!!!


I order Chicken Enchiladas Suizas just about every time we go out for Mexican food.
So I decided to find a healthier version I could make at home...


They turned out so well, Joe had seconds! That means the recipe was a real success :)

I served with extra sour cream, Mexican rice, and re-fried beans.
I also meant to add chopped spinach to the recipe, but forgot, so I served these with spinach on the side, that I added to the top of my enchiladas.

Oh, and it is like a casserole, so you don’t even have to roll up the tortillas into individual enchiladas, just cut into squares to serve.

And I halved the recipe and made in an 8x8 pan, not 9x13 so we would have 1 day of leftovers, not 6… (There was a never-ending casserole leftovers incident once…traumatic)


1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
3-4 Tbsp non fat milk
1 pound of cooked, cut up chicken
3 Tbsp light mayo
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 tsp adobo seasoning (couldn’t find – used “Mexican seasoning blend” I had on hand)
A pinch of salt
1- 4 oz can diced green chilis (I used mild)
A couple of big pinches of reduced-fat shredded swiss or Mexican blend cheese
8 soft taco size flour tortillas (use low-fat or whole grain)
1 cup reduced-fat shredded swiss or Mexican blend cheese
14 oz can green enchilada sauce
A couple extra tablespoons fat-free sour cream for the top
Avocados for garnish if desired
**(I don’t like anything spicy AT ALL, and Joe does, so I bought him a green jalapeño hot sauce to pour over his portion, and he was a very happy camper)


   1. Combine yogurt and milk until it’s runny.
   2. Combine chicken, mayo, sour cream, green chilis, seasonings, and a couple big pinches of cheese. Mix well.
   3. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour half the yogurt mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.
   4. Cut up tortillas into squares and cover the yogurt with a single, even layer of tortillas.
   5. Spread half the chicken mixture over the tortillas. Top with 1/3 of the cheese, 1/3 of the can of enchilada sauce, and the rest of the yogurt mixture.
   6. Spread out another even layer of tortillas, then the rest of the chicken, 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.
   7. Put on another layer of tortillas. Drizzle enchilada sauce over that, top with the rest of the cheese and a couple dollops of sour cream.
   8. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes to slightly brown edges.
   9. Cut into 6 servings and top with chopped avocado if you desire. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Awesome Ottoman, Man!

OMG, I love this! Two Words. Knitted Pouf
Sooo cute!!!! Click the link above to see!

It's Halloweeeeen Tiiiiime!

I made some pretty delicious cupcakes for our office Halloween Party. Did I MENTION I am on the Fun Team at work?!
The cupcakes are a yellow cake, with cream cheese vanilla icing, drizzled with pumpkin butter, and topped with a candy corn!
We'll call this one.....Semi-Homemade. Thanks Sandra Lee!

So to make said amazing cupcakes, first you'll need a mini cupcake baking pan.
Reason #2 you will want a couple of these? They are adorable!!!!

Reason #1 - besides baking the perfect bite-size cupcake to bring to a party (where everyone is too embarrassed to publicly try to neatly devour an entire regular cupcake, while engaging in semi-awkward co-worker conversation...), they also work great for (MINI- everything!!!!) mini quiche, individual omelets for a breakfast buffet - aka quiche with no crust; mini tarts, brownie bites, and more.
So!, you ask. "Where can I find such a wonderful baking pan?!?!"
Mine are from Target: 24-cup Muffin Pan
It should make 24 cupcakes, whereas the regular size pans make 12.

This one with handles would actually be better ;) Muffin Pan
OK, so once you have the little cupcake pan, (get 2, one box of cake mix makes a lot of cupcakes) you will also need (adorable!!) little paper liners.
Occasionally found hiding in the baking/cake decorating section of the grocery store (I have had pretty good luck with this).

Also found in more varieties than white at your local Party store or Craft store.
See: Party City - search results: Mini Baking Cup = AWESOMENESS!

And now for the recipe. If you can even call it that...


1 box yellow cake mix (+ eggs, oil, water as directed by box)
1 jar cream cheese frosting.
1 jar vanilla frosting (I mixed the 2 two to mellow out the cream cheese flavor, but you can use either/or)
1 jar pumpkin butter (From Trader Joe's in the jam section. think: apple butter. Also amazing on toast.)
1 bag candy corn
(That's it!)


Mix cake batter in large mixing bowl as directed.
Line pan with baking cups.
Fill each baking cup 3/4 full with batter.
Bake ABOUT HALF THE TIME OR LESS OF THE TIME DIRECTED FOR REGULAR SIZE CUPCAKES. Make sure to not over cook! Test by sticking a toothpick into them every couple minutes after they start to look about done.

Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Mix 2 frostings together (or make your own...HA oops.)
Use fancy new frosting piping bag you bought (woohoo, finally!), or a plastic bag with a corner cut off, or just a knife to frost the cupcakes with prepared frosting.

To Decorate:

Pumpkin Butter: Once frosted, use another frosting piping bag, or drizzle with a small spoon (less pretty, same taste!), fill with pumpkin butter, and drizzle over the top of all the cupcakes.

Candy Corn: with a couple Candy Corn.


We had such a fun Halloween season with a couple trips to the Pumpkin Patch, carving pumpkins, dressing up, and baking cookies, too!