Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Enchiladas!

So, after a lot of Thanksgiving leftover dinners and turkey sandwhiches, we used up the remaining dark meat (which we don't really enjoy) and made Turkey Enchiladas.  This is one of our favorite recipes, I always get positive feedback when I make it (normally with chicken).  It's from my trustee Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, a staple for every kitchen!

  • 1/4  cup  slivered almonds
  • 1/4  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  tablespoons  butter or margarine
  • 1  4-ounce can  diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1  3-ounce package  cream cheese, softened
  • 1  tablespoon  milk
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 2  cups  chopped cooked chicken or turkey
  • 12  7-inch  flour tortillas or 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1  10.75-ounce can  reduced-fat condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
  • 1  8-ounce carton  light dairy sour cream
  • 1  cup  milk
  • 3/4  cup  shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 2  tablespoons  slivered almonds


1. In a medium skillet cook the 1/4 cup almonds and the onion in hot butter over medium heat until onion is tender and nuts are lightly toasted. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the canned green chile peppers; reserve remaining peppers for sauce.
2. In a medium bowl stir together cream cheese, the 1 tablespoon milk, and the cumin; add nut mixture and chicken. Stir until combined. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla near an edge; roll up. Place filled tortillas, seam side down, in a greased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Set aside.
3. For sauce, in a medium bowl combine the reserved chile peppers, the soup, sour cream, and the 1 cup milk. Pour evenly over the tortillas in the baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven about 35 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil. Sprinkle enchiladas with cheese and the 2 tablespoons almonds. Return to oven; bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. Makes 6 servings.

AND I forgot to tell you guys, because I was so busy with sick kids and company at the time, but I won a giveaway over at Wanna Be Balanced Mom, and received my lace shirt today and LOVE it!  Thank you Crystal!  She always has great giveaways, and has another sweet giveaway going on right now that ends tomorrow so CHECK IT OUT!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dairy Free Pecan Pie

Dairy Free Pecan Pie

Well, I had no desire for pumpkin pie this year and decided to go for pecan pie.  I've always shied away from pie making...maybe because the one early attempt I made at a Lemon Merengue pie was a huge FLOP!  But I was like 14 or something when I did that and ever since, I always thought a pie was a lot of work and just not my thing.  Anyways....
I wanted to make a pie that was milk free since I can't have any milk products.  I remembered a pie crust recipe my mother in law gave me that is really simple and uses oil rather than butter.  Here is the dairy free pie crust recipe.
Pie Crust
1 cup + 2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil
2 TBSP cold water

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl with a fork.  then add the oil and water and mix until you can form a soft ball with the pastry.  
Place the ball on the center of some parchment paper.  Press down with your hand and then roll out into a circle that is slightly larger than your pie plate.  
Flip parchment paper over with rolled out pastry over your pie dish and transfer it to the pie plate.  

Found on
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, water, and cornstarch. Bring to a full boil, and remove from heat.
in a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in cooked syrup mixture. Stir in salt, vanilla, and pecans. Pour into pie shell.
  Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set

Well I guess this isn't technically 100% "dairy free" because there are eggs in the pie, but I can have eggs, it's just the milk/butter products I need to avoid.   I also added an extra 1/4 cup chopped pecans because it seemed like it could use a little more.  And of course just substituted the butter for the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.  Now my holiday cooking is DONE!  My sexy hubby will be taking care of the rest....oh yea! 

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece - Pumpkin Turkey

I have missed blogville lately!  I have been super busy and super sad that I haven't kept up with Art Every Day Month!  We've been pretty sick around here and just busy in general.  I kind of panicked today when I realized we didn't really have any Thanksgiving decor and Thanksgiving is TOMORROW!  How lame is that???
So J and I recycled her Halloween pumpkin and turned it into a turkey pumpkin for an easy, last minute thanksgiving centerpiece

We went out to the hot tub and it was warm and windy, so the hot tub was swirling with fall leaves (FINALLY seeing pretty fall colors!)  As J, Baby B and I sat on the edge soaking our feet, we collected some of the leaves that were floating around in the hot tub.  Then J got a few drops of water on her pants which was of course unacceptable and she could no longer keep her clothes on so before I know it, there's my 3.5 year old running around in her undies (at least we were the only ones in the pool area!)  Then she went to put her feet on the steps of the swimming pool to see how cold it was and before I know it, for some reason, she took her undies off too and was standing there trying to pee like a boy into the pool...Anyways....diverted her attention, got the undies back on, gathered up our leaves and went back home to make our easy thanksgiving centerpiece.

Here is J pulling of the glow in the dark jack o lantern stickers and then she wiped off all the marker (but the pen marks stayed...oh well)

Then we just used leaves and arranged them to make tail feathers, pressing a tack or small nail through to hold to pumpkin.  We used a round red leaf for the "gobbler" and stuck on some googly eyes.  Very basic easy Thanksgiving centerpiece, but better than nothing!!!  I just didn't even think about it, I'm not used to doing all that stuff because I'm still used to going over to our parents house where OUR moms do everything! lol.  I also made my first pecan pie today.  It's a dairy free pecan pie, I figured I would get it done and out of the way so I can leave the kitchen to my hubby tomorrow...he will be the one slaving away over the feast! :)  (I'm a lucky girl!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

I've been a bit absent recently due to having one of my best friends visiting which has been AWESOME!  Anyways, I was catching up on email and saw this awesome Mama's Holiday Wishlist 2010 giveaway on TodaysMama.  The prizes are SWEET and I had to give it a shot!  If you'd like to enter, copy and past the holiday wish list on your blog and answer the questions and then link up your post here.  

Mama’s Holiday Wish List

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family? That we'll know if the timing is right to move into our first house and that we could find a "perfect" little house for us.
2. What is your Christmas morning tradition? This year will be the first Christmas as our own little family unit, we have always been with my family and my husbands family on Christmas.  Normally, the kids wake up early, open stockings then lounge around or go back to sleep until adults wake up, then we all open presents, we never really took turns watching  each other open up one at time because that would take forever at my parents house with all the people but at my husband's parents house we do it that way.  Then we have a huge breakfast with tons of food.
3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be?A new car with more presents on the inside like a spa day gift package, a starbucks gift card, and a babysitter! 
4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money?  We make a lot of homemade gifts and decor.  We also do outdoor winter activities like sledding, going up to the mountains to pick out a christmas tree (before we moved here), driving around looking for neighborhoods with good christmas lights, watching classic holiday movies and having a good supply of cocoa on hand.
5. What games did you play with your family growing up? Monopoly and Balderdash
6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood? Open one present on Christmas Eve, usually PJ's.
7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip?  Somewhere snowed in with a mountain backdrop, like Leavenworth, WA, or any ski resort along the rocky mountains in British Columbia, Utah or Colorado.  Christmas in New York or Paris would also be very beautiful for a non-secluded Christmas setting with all the lights and Christmas shopping and festivities. 
8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Worldless Wednesday

This is the little guy who kept me up all last night!!!  Glad one of us is finally getting some sleep!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Snow White Portrait

Today I can actually show some real-ish "art" for day 10 of AEDM!  I've been a bit disappointed with how I've been doing, I thought I'd have completed a lot more art and feeling more creative by now, but I just have to remind myself about what season of life I'm in and if I do get to fit in extra things for myself like art, then great! But the family is numero uno! 

So my only time I really have to try and do any drawing or art seems to be alongside my 3 year old, while getting her to work on her own art.  Today we sat at the table and she told me to draw Snow White, (If you haven't seen my snow white tutu, or Halloween picture with her in a snow white dress, you'd notice it's a recurring theme with her). I do think it's kind of funny that Snow White is her favorite princess...when I was growing up, she was my least favorite...I didn't like her dress, it reminded me of a clown or something....I don't know...we had a snow white costume and my sister and I would always make our little brother wear it when we all played dress up because we didn't want to wear it.  I think it's cute now though...I don't know what my deal was.....anyways...this the snow white picture I made for her, we taped it up on her wall afterwards. (oh, and J added a small detail in the corner, she wanted to help :)

She asked me to make Snow White's hair "long".  I used pen and prismacolor markers to color it in...I was happy to discover they hadn't dried out as it's been FOREVER since I last used them, back from when I was teach at the art school!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Umbrella Stroller Cover

This was an improvement project for one of my AEDM projects.  I have this old dingy umbrella stroller that I got for free....but it was nasty looking.  As you can see....
Used Kolcraft Stroller Before...
 Yesterday I got to work and made this seat cover for my stroller.  Now it's not quite as ugly! 

Stroller cover after...

Now I just need to make me one of those baby shopping cart cover patterns...I never did get around to using the car seat cover pattern I found here

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spinach for Breakfast? Green Monster Smoothie

Well, I'm a bit excited today because I just got my 3 year old to eat spinach for breakfast, something that she NEVER eats.  I've seen various Green Monster Smoothie recipes online and then just kind of whipped one up this morning.  So today for AEDM, was the art of getting your kids to eat veggies, even it you have to trick them!
Green Monster Smoothie
1 cup frozen spinach
5 frozen strawberries
1 banana
apple juice
soy milk

I put the spinach in first with the soy milk to get that blended first, then added the strawberries and banana.  I just kept added soy milk and apple juice until I got it to the right consistency.  I poured it into a fancy little glass for my daughter and told her to it was a funny green monster drink!  HOW SILLY! After making it sound fun, she was still a bit skeptical, and said "I want a pink monster drink" but then I started drinking mine and it was good!  I exclaimed "MMMMM!  STRAWBERRRIES.....and.....BANANA!" Once she gave it a try, she was sold because it was good.  And then we wanted Daddy to know about our funny yummy green monster drink.  I also fibbed a bit and told her it was green because I put a green apple in it.  
Anyways, I still can't believe I actually got her to have SPINACH at breakfast!
Looking a little skeptical here....
but she ended up drinking it all and then taking mine and finishing it for me.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Day 4 of AEDM

And the winner to my custom portrait giveaway is comment number 12 made by Crystal Escobar from Wanna Be Balanced.   CONGRATULATIONS!!! for AEDM (art every day month), It's been slow starting because of that darn organizational guru who had to get me all inspired to do major cleaning/organization around here.  Yesterday I set some unrealistic goals for myself...I was going to clean out and reorganize my walk in closet, get the rest of the room perfect, then have lunch with the kids, then during nap I was going to either paint a trypdict that I've been planning on doing forever to go above my bed...or make the stroller seat cover, then have dinner/play with the kids, go to the gym real quick, come home, after putting the kids to bed, I would do all the ironing and when my husband arrived home from his road trip, everything would be absolutely perfect. was I thinking?  It went more like this...

I took everything out of the closet, my room looked like a hurricane had gone through with piles of everything everywhere...sorted through things, decided what to keep, what to pack away and what to get rid of, folded everything up, reorganized and made it more fall/winter oriented.  I was only half way through the pile by lunch time.  Then I put the baby down for a nap (in my room) so went and sat on the couch to eat a snack while I waited for him to get into a deeper sleep before starting back up...but I guess I blinked and didn't open my eyes until about 2 hours later when the kids started waking up from naps.  No regrets!  Anyways....I struggled to finish getting the closet put away and besides doing some dishes...nothing else on my list got done...I didn't even get to go online the whole day!!!  lol.  But if you could see my closet now, you would consider it a work of art! ha!  The art of homemaking right?  Am I stretching the rules a bit too much here on this one? 
I'm going to blame my baby boy on my slow progress, he's just so darn cute I had to keep stopping and playing with him and smothering him in kisses as he played around my feet all morning cooing at me!

Okay, well I'm off to get some "art" done today, I'll be back!

Congrats again Crystal, I can't wait to get started on your portrait!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scribble Stories

So it's day 3 of the Art Every Day Challenge and this is all I got!  I was really busy today, heard a motivational talk from an organizational guru and then had to spend the kids nap time cleaning the dust off the tops of the spice lids and wiping in the crevaces of the know...the type of anal cleaning that my husband doesn't understand why I spend time on those little things instead of just tidying up real quick and making it look good in general.  The bad thing about anal cleaning is you can spend a ton of time on these little details and feel so good about it, but then turn around and there's still lots of housework left to do and no more time or energy.  I'm just not naturally very organized....After all the scrubbing, my back was aching when the kids woke up from nap so we went to the gym and I didn't even work out!!!  I went to the hot tub and closed my eyes and enjoyed being the only person in the pool area!  (That's the "me" time the organizational guru said was a top priority so I had to do it! lol)

Anyways,. the closest thing I can claim to art today is earlier, I was trying to make a storybook with my 3 yr old daughter and encouraging her to lead the story...but she ended up just narrating and wanting me to illustrate her experience from when she went through the refusing to poop for days phase of her life that she recently overcame with the help of miralax, a close mom friend and her child setting a good example, and telling her to pretend there were little worms in her tummy that needed to squish out the hole....(ew i know that sounds gross but I didn't realize what I was saying until it came out...I had tried every other way to get her to poop without having a hysterical meltdown trying to hold it in...anyways..tmi I'll is the scribble story.)  And you don't need to criticize y'all!  It's scribbles okay which are fun, quick and not artsy, it's also fun because I draw these upside down so the paper is facing her as I draw and she narrates it to me.).

 J says "Once there was a little girl at the fair.  On the ferris wheel and the merry go round. And remember when my butt really hurt at the fair?  Because I was sad and crying and didn't want to do it!  I didn't want my poopoo's to come out.  I had to go home....
 BUT THEN.....I DID IT!!!! at HOME! Just like my friend does!
 And I am so Happy and PROUD and glad....and my tummy and butt doesn't hurt anymore and I can go poopoo ALL the time....and get LOTS OF JELLY BEANS!!!!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

 Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I found this recipe HERE.

This chocolate  carrot zucchini bread turned out great!  It was very moist and chocolaty and the cinnamon added a nice touch!  Here is how I made it for Day 2 of my challenge:

6 TBSP Cocoa powder + 2 TBSP oil
3 eggs
2 cups sugar (1/2 white 1/2 brown)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups grated zucchini + 1 small carrot (grated)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 bread bans with *parchment paper.

Combine eggs, sugar, oil/applesauce, grated zucchini and carrot, vanilla and chocolate and beat well.

Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Divide evenly between the two pans.  Garnish with mini chocolate chips.

Bake for 60 minutes cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Place on cutting board, slice and serve!


* Parchment Paper- Since my Healthy Cooking Dinner, I've made some changes in the being I now line all my bakeware since it's all Aluminum which is toxic and leaches into our food when we cook with it and has been linked to Alzheimers and has
also been linked to anemia, decreased liver function, poor coordination, calcium deficiency and memory loss among other health issues.

Read more: Dangers of Aluminum Cookware |

I made this again for my bible study group, but was out of zucchini and had only 1 egg.  I used all shredded carrot and used 1/4cup applesauce per egg as a replacement and it turned out just as delicious!  No difference!  So this could also be just plain Chocolate Carrot Cake now....and with no eggs, it becomes yummy vegan chocolate bread right?


Monday, November 1, 2010

Art Every Day Month!

For the month of November I will be participating in the Art Every Day Challenge.  I'm excited about to create something everyday and share it here!  For more details, check out Art Every Day Month Challenge HERE.
This is exactly what I've been needing to hold me accountable and do more matter how simple..just exercise those creativity muscles on a daily basis!  "Art" does not mean I have to paint or draw everyday, photography, baking, anything that exercises the creativity muscles counts! 


I did an "art lesson" with my daughter based off one of the project ideas in Discovering Great Artists.  We looked at some paintings by Constable featuring cloudscapes.  After I asked her if we should paint a farm with a cloudy sky or the beach or....I had her at beach so we went with that.  We then googled beach photos to get ideas of what the beach looks like.  Then we set up, taping paper to our placemats.  We drew 3 lines across lightly in pencil to distinguish between sand, water and sky.  We used oil pastels to make our clouds, waves and details on beach, then did a wash with watercolor.  Fun realizing you can still do some fun simple art while bouncing a 6 month old on one leg!!! lol.
just pastels
 I think J's is a sunset and she drew fish in the water
 after the watercolor wash

What do you do with Halloween Candy?

So what does your family do with their abundance of Halloween candy?  I remember as a kid, my parents didn't really care if we ate it all in one night, which is what we attempted to do.  We pillaged through and ate all the good stuff and then we would polish off the leftovers over the next 2 days or I think it was like a 3-4 day sugar high and stomach ache.  And we would get a lot of candy too...We used pillow cases and would get them 1/3 the way full .  I have known kids whose parents keep their candy put away and only allow them 1 or 2 pieces of candy each day until it runs out or they throw it away.  I've known some parents that use the Halloween Fairy to limit the amount of sugar consumed.  I've heard some parents say their dentist says it's better to let the kids eat all their Halloween candy till it's gone because it's better for their teeth to have a couple of days with loads of sugar then sugary candy everyday for a month or more.  I think my mom, with 5 kids didn't want to have to bother with policing the candy and keeping track of it so we just kept it in our room and did what we wanted. (Maybe she figured we'd earned it after trekking around in the cold and snow in Northern Canada all night) But I'm wondering, what do you do with Halloween candy
My daughter had a couple pieces last night, but I cut it off after only a few because it was already really passed her bedtime when we were finished with our Halloween festivities and I wanted to her be able to sleep, and not high on sugar all night....even though that's what Halloween's about...but she's 3.5.....she doesn't know other kids get to eat it all at once till they puke.  I might do the Halloween Fairy thing still, or just give her a few everyday, or just give her the bucket to go through as she pleases...but I'm leaning against the last option.

The sad part for me this year is I don't get to rumage through her bucket and steal the peanut butter cups or snickers! (milk chocolate....can't have it! BOOO!)

Well, I hope you all had a Happy, Fun & Safe Halloween!

Enter my Current Giveaway!!!