Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Okay, so I'm definitely noticing a trend in my house...HA! Mexican is apparently my favorite food type so yet again...here's another recipe. One of my good friends (who is a Latina) used to come over for dinner often and it always seemed that I was making something Mexican ..I think she though I was being racist or something..lol. Not really. It's just one of those things that I can whip up quick and decide last minute to make. They're usually fairly quick, easy and delicious! What's not to love about that?? So the other day I saw a picture of chimichangas pass over my Pinterest feed and my mouth was watering. Does that happen to anyone else when they're on Pinterest?? I have hundreds of recipes in my Food To Try board and I don't even know if I'll ever get to all of them. So when I saw how easy it was to make them I figured I would just use my typical recipe for tacos and adapt them to make these babies. So here ya go! They turned out amazing!

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 T. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil
burritos sized flour tortillas
1 can Old El Paso refried beans with green chilies (You can use original if you want)
Mexican blend cheese

Toppings: (Optional)
shredded or diced lettuce
diced tomatoes (fresh not canned)
sour cream

1. First, brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Brown over medium to medium-high heat till browned.

Princess9...my little assistant...

2. Drain...ignore the messy sink! In another large skillet or saute pan pour in the vegetable oil so it is about 1/2 inch deep and preheat.

3. While waiting for the oil to heat up get the chimichangas prepped. Spread the refried beans in the center of the flour tortillas leaving space on the ends to fold them up.

4. Add some of the seasoned beef and then some Mexican blend cheese.

5. Now fold the ends in.

6. Now turn and roll up.

They should look like this.

7. The oil should be ready by now. Insert the handle of a wooden spoon in the hot oil. If it bubbles around the handle then the oil should be hot enough. Place two burritos in the hot oil seam side down and fry until golden brown. Then using tongs flip and cook the other side.

mmm....these look delicious! Top with some salsa, tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream. Grab a fork and knife and dig in!! So yummy!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Walk and Roll for Spina Bifida!

Hey Y'all! What a 'lovely' spring day it is with all the white snow outside...*yeah right* Well, today I wanted to talk to you about something that is VERY close to my heart...Spina Bifida.  About three years ago two of our best friends were expecting their second child and everything seemed to be going as planned. However, I will never forget the phone call I got when he told me that the baby had spina bifida. I mean, I knew OF spina bifida and that I was supposed to take folic acid when I was pregnant in order to prevent it. But other than that? Nada. Was it something that could be cured? Would the baby be able to walk? What would they do? So many questions....Over the past two years we have certainly gotten a crash course in the condition...as outsiders of course, because honestly, no one truly understands what it is to be a parent of a child with a disability unless you ARE one. In a world where 90 percent of children with disabilities are aborted, (Insert huge frownie face with tears and heartache) I have nothing but admiration and respect for my two friends because they CHOSE LIFE when the 'easy' way out ,according to society, would be to use their "CHOICE" and pretend like the whole thing never happened. Luckily they trusted God, and still trust Him, to get through the tough times. Then came their little blessing, Ciarlo. (Prounounced Char-loh, Think of the Italian word 'ciao') What a sweet little boy! Though there were complications and he doesn't have feeling in his legs..he is most likely going to be a 'gifted' child intellectually. He's off the charts cognitively and verbally and has the most amazing little personality! Oh if I could squeeze him and hug him every day I certainly would! Our family absolutely adores him! The hardest part for me, and I'm sure for his parents, is the inability to make anything better. Even though Ciarlo doesn't know anything different than his condition, sometimes you just wish he didn't have to 'not know anything different'. As a friend my heart breaks for them because though they are two tough people and have handled this amazingly well, I KNOW it's not always easy despite the joy they have being Ciarlo's parents. He lights up a room when he enters with his big smile and silly sense of humor. He FLIES in his walker and his zip-zac chair (a bumbo on wheels...which is pretty cool!) and chases my girls around trying to tag them just like any other little boy. Yet I know, for them, sometimes it's not always easy.

So, since I can't do anything specifically for my little man, then I can help his mother (who is the President of the Spina Bifida Association of the Delaware Valley) and father raise money to bring awareness and assistance to those locally affected in the Delaware Valley by this birth defect. People do not realize the complications that a family deals with when caring for these sweet innocent children that are born with spina bifida and that's not including medical bills. Luckily Ciarlo's mom is very active as an advocate for her son and she pushes him to the best of his ability (which is well beyond average btw). He is a pretty lucky little boy to have the parents God gave him. They chose LIFE and now he will live a full life surrounded by many people who love him.

SOO...if you would be so kind as to support me in this endeavor. We will be Walking and Rolling on June 2 in Doylestown, PA at Kids Castle. 

I have a widget in my sidebar and at the end of this post that you can donate directly to my page. No money goes to me personally but I get the credit.  A little bit goes a long way, no donation is too small.

Thank you and may God bless you for your contribution!

Here's me holding Ciarlo with his mommy and my oldest Princess

If you do not have FLASH because you are on an iphone or iPad then to get to My Donation Page CLICK HERE

Click Here to Donate

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Monday Morning Bloglovin' Bloghop {AND GIVEAWAY} #2

Bloglovin Bloghop

Good Mornin', Y'all!

So I am sure many of you know by now that Google Friend Connect has dissappeared into the oblivion that is the internet. Sucks, I know. Sigh..I finally made it to 100 followers! What-the-H-E-double hockey sticks?? Seriously?  Okay...after my little tantrum was over...thankfully no shoes were thrown for this one (KL that's for you;) ) lol...My buddy over at The Importance of Being Reese contacted me about hosting this Monday Morning Bloghop where we are hoping to grow our followers through Bloglovin' (and any other forms of social media which you may choose, because that'd be AWESOME too!) So if you're ready to meet some great bloggers and get back in the ring with me and Reese, then come join the fun. This party will be kicking off every Monday morning starting today. Be sure to tweet it. Facebook it. Share it. Spread the love. The more the merrier. After all, we're all in this together.

As a special treat this week all Monday Morning Bloglovin' Bloghop participants will be have the chance to win a $5.00 Starbucks Gift Card. A name will be picked at random using Random.org. In order to have your name entered into the drawing, be sure to add your link to the widget and follow the bloghop rules.
The Rules??
  • Please follow the hostess of this lovely gathering, Reese, via Bloglovin'. She will be the first person on the widget labeled accordingly. Leave a comment below and love will be returned :).
  • Be sure to follow the lovely ladies labeled as co-hosts. (That's me!) You will find them at the top of the list. They're great so you won't be disappointed.
  • Make sure that you spend a bit of time mingling with the other people. You can't just put your name in the linky and expect people to magically come to you. Get out there and work for it :)
  • Make sure that your Bloglovin' widget is in a visible place so people don't have to go on a hunt to find it.
  • Finally, if you could, just spread the word. Grab a button, tweet, or facebook share. It's not a requirement, but the more people who know about this hop, the better for you. If you're interested in co-hosting, shoot Reese an email at tasutton22@gmail.com
Bloglovin Bloghop
We're looking forward to getting to know you guys! Don't be shy :) Now, grab a nice hot cup of coffee, get comfy, and prepare to go meet some new friends.

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

I don't know about you but I love soups this time of year! Not really one to eat an entire pot by myself especially since my family doesn't really eat soup. Which is why I love to make my soups and freeze them in individual servings! They last me several months and if I have a few different options to choose from then I'm set! My freezer currently consists of Chicken Noodle Soup, Roasted Butternut squash Soup, She-Crab Soup, Tomato Basil Soup and NOW Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup! Next I need to make my Chicken Tortilla soup and Minestrone but for now...I think I'm off to a good start. I found the base for this recipe through Pinterest but changed a few things. Since I'm not a coffee drinker I don't ever have half and half on hand. However....I always have milk and heavy cream so I switched that a bit. also a little more spinach wouldn't hurt anybody! When I tasted the results.....OH MY.... it was incredible! At that moment I was wishing I didn't already have dinner made because what I really wanted to do was eat the entire potful! It was that good! Watch out...may cause you to lick your bowl in a very unladylike (or ungentlemanly) manner! Enjoy!

4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 large sweet onion diced
3 stalks celery diced small
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup already cooked chicken breast, shredded (you can use leftovers)
1/4 flour
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups fresh spinach
1 17.5 oz package gnocchi (it doesn't matter if it's not exactly 17.5 oz..a little more or less won't hurt a thing)

1. Dice up the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. This is the base for most soups. Sometimes I can't believe I didn't use to like celery.

2. Heat olive oil and melt butter in a large pot.

3. Saute carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the olive oil/butter.

4. Here's the gnocchi I used. Go ahead and get a pot of salted water heating up. Don't forget the lid, it'll quicken the boiling time. Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

5. Whisk flour into veggie mixture. This will create a roux (a thickening agent).

6. Now add the milk and heavy cream and stir with a whisk. Stir frequently until thickens up a little.

7. Now add the chicken stock, cooked chicken, thyme, salt and pepper.

8. Add the chopped spinach and stir.

9. Once the gnocchi water begins to boil, drop the gnocchi in. It should only take a couple minutes for the gnocchi to be done. When you see the gnocchi begin to float to the top, you know it's ready.

10. Drain gnocchi and add the the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings adding more salt and pepper if needed.


To freeze, ladle the thoroughly cooled soup into plastic cups like these and place in the freezer. Once the soup is frozen cut three slits in the rim of the cup and peel the cup away. Place in a gallon size freezer bag. Now you have individual serving of delicious homemade soup you can grab in a hurry and take to work with you! Who needs canned soup?!

UPDATE: After doing some research and realizing that even though I DO put my cups in the recycling, not every municipality will actually recycle these cups (even though they have the recycle symbol on the bottom). Instead, I am looking to switch over to silicone jumbo cupcake molds or liners instead. 

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Bolognese Sauce

So the first time I ever had this type of sauce was at my sister-in-law's house a few months ago and it was delicious! It's a sauce that rather than depending upon tomatoes as the main act with the meat as the supporting role, the meat is the main ingredient with the tomatoes an added addition. Yesterday I was thinking about the bolognese sauce and decided that I wanted to attempt to make it myself. I quickly looked up some recipes on allrecipes.com and then went out and bought my ingredients. Often I just use other recipes as a place to start. After changing a few of the ingredients and adjusting some of the steps in the preparation I was ready to begin.  Then when I was about to start making it this afternoon I remembered... I have an Italian cookbook! I looked up their recipe and followed some of their directions too. SO, this is a recipe collaboration from my cookbook, Allrecipes, and my head. I must say, I thought it turned out amazing! I'm sitting here contemplating whether I should go get a midnight snack of just the sauce...but I won't, because I need to have that as one of our dinners this week. Leftovers are lifesavers on busy week nights! However we must note that the wine made all the difference! My Italian cookbook said they tried several different versions using chicken stock, white wine and red wine and that the white wine was their favorite for a basic bolognese sauce. This time around I used white but I may have to try the red at some point when I'm feeling a little adventurous...after all 3 hours is a long time to take a chance on something...lol..but if you try this recipe you won't be disappointed!


4 slices bacon chopped
1 lb. meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork)
1 T butter
1 sweet onion diced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 package button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup white wine (I used Riesling)
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp salt

In a large pot cook the chopped bacon till crisp. 

Remove from pot to drain. Set aside. 

Add the butter, onion, celery, and carrots and sauté until soft but don't let them turn brown.

 Add the meatloaf mixture, salt, oregano, and basil.I found this in the grocery store premixed. Otherwise it's a combination of ground veal, pork and beef. 

Once the meat is nearly cooked add the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Next add the wine and simmer another 15 minutes.

 Finally, add the tomatoes, bacon, and mushrooms making sure to break up the tomatoes in the pot. Simmer on low for 3 hours. Serve over pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese enjoy!

If I have leftover pasta I usually will store it in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. When you are ready to eat it then put in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds.
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