Tuesday, November 26, 2013

142.6…Enchilada Lasagna

While eating dinner last night, my husband exclaimed, “this is awesome!” Three times. I knew I had a winner on my hands. He was right. It was awesome.

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Enchilada Lasagna (Serves 4)

Original Recipe: How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:

8 corn tortillas

3 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (about 10 oz)

1 teaspoon cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

3/4 cup black beans

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1 10-oz can enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheddar jack cheese

Optional toppings: sour cream & green onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

For filling: Heat skillet on medium heat and add olive oil, onions and peppers. Sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add chicken, cumin and cayenne, 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce, the black beans and 1 cup of cheese. Stir until warm and combined.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and layer 2 tortillas down. Top with filling, and repeat until tortillas are gone. Top with remaining cup of cheese and drizzle the rest of the enchilada sauce on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Printable Recipe

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Breakfast this morning was toast with peanut butter and half a grapefruit.

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I was debating going to spin class today because I have so much to do but was glad I didn’t skip it. When I walked into class, I was greeted by this:

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Our instructor Robert, dressed as a turkey. Folks….it doesn’t get any better than that.

I went to the grocery store for, what was supposed to be the last time before Thanksgiving, only to find out they didn’t have 2 of the things I needed. I will stop by another store later. Boo.

I’ve spent the day wrapping Hanukkah gifts so far stopping only for lunch.

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Turkey sandwich and Cool Ranch Doritos. I’m getting down the Thanksgiving/Hanukkah wire and tons left to do! Somehow it always gets done but I can’t help stressing about it. Wish me luck.

Are you on top of your holiday to-do list so far?

Monday, November 25, 2013

144.8…S’mores Bars

I don’t think I’ve ever won a contest before for something I’ve baked. As of yesterday, that changed. Yesterday was Cathi’s annual Cookie Exchange and my S’mores Bars won for “Best in Chocolate”. I honestly believe they deserve the prize. Try them and see!

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S’mores Bars (Makes 16 bars)

Original Recipe: Phillis Carey

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/3 cup flour

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

3 Hershey’s milk chocolate bars

1 1/2 cups marshmallow crème (7 oz jar)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 square baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy with a mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture until combined.

3. Divide the dough in half, pressing half into bottom of pan. (This is easiest to do with wet fingers. Dough is very sticky) Break apart chocolate and place over dough. Spread chocolate with marshmallow crème. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of marshmallow crème. (Most easily achieved by pressing pieces of dough flat between hands and laying them together). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned and puffed up. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Printable Recipe

After all that cookie eating yesterday, I was in the mood for some real food for dinner. We took the kids and met Alicia and Joe and their kids at our club for dinner. I started with the salad bar and went back for another helping.

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I ordered the turkey burger which I ended up not really liking. There was too much bread….I would have preferred a regular bun. Oh well.

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Breakfast this morning was scrambled egg beaters with salsa, green onions, turkey and cheddar cheese.

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I took the kids to school, then went to Cardio Muscle class. I really needed it. This week being Thanksgiving and all is very scary in the calorie department!

I went back to the school to volunteer for a bit, then ran a couple of errands, stopping at Urban Plates for lunch. I had the Grilled Wild Ono Nicoise Salad….my favorite there!

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After lunch I made my (hopefully) last trip to Costco before Thanksgiving. It’s getting crazy out there, folks! :)

What’s your favorite dessert at Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

143.8…Cookies Galore

Today was my friend Cathi’s  “Cookie Exchange.” She hosts it every hear (I couldn’t go last year. Wahhhhh!!!) and it’s always a blast. You are to bring five dozen homemade cookies. One dozen are for the “tasting table” and the other four dozen are for the guests to take home.

What is better on a Sunday than champagne, friends and loads of sugar?

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To cut some of that sugar, Cathi always has out delicious appetizers.

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Part of the job is tasting all the cookies and voting which one is “best in chocolate” and which one is “best in show.” It’s a difficult job.

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After all the tasting you grab your tin and take a couple of each cookie to bring home!

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I brought S’mores Bars (recipe coming):

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Each year goes by and I never win…but this year was different….I won “best in chocolate”!! Finally!!! Lisa won best in show! Hers were the melted snowman cookies.

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Thank you Cathi again for an amazing time!

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Have you ever won an award for something you’ve made?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

143.2…Beef and Mushroom Ragu with Fettuccine

I couldn’t wait to blog about my dinner tonight. It was the perfect dinner on a cold night. Comforting and fabulous.

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Beef and Mushroom Ragu with Fettuccine (Serves 4)

Recipe adapted from Real Simple, October 2012

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14.5-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add the beef to the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and their juices) & tomato sauce and simmer until the liquid is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with the Parmesan.

Printable Recipe

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Along with a Caesar salad it was a fabulous meal!

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Dinner last night was Slow Cooker Rotel Chicken Burrito leftovers.

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When I was in Japan, I bought the kids a Pokémon pancake mold. We broke it out this morning for Pikachu pancakes. :)

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Besides over filling the mold a bit, they turned out pretty good!

My breakfast was scrambled egg beaters with salsa, green onions, turkey and cheddar cheese.

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I spent most of the day picking up the house and tackling my to-do list. Lunch was a tuna sandwich and Cool Ranch Doritos. I’m trying to make space in my refrigerator for Thanksgiving so I’m running out of fresh food. :)

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One of the things on my to-do list was to put up the tree (aka Hanukkah Bush):

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‘Tis the season!

What magazines do you subscribe to?

Friday, November 22, 2013

142.8…Sushi Is Back!

Leftover salad usually doesn’t hold up. I found one that does. The salad Alicia and I have been bringing to our “Hot Wing” night is a BBQ ranch salad mix that has cabbage and kale in it. We didn’t finish it all on Monday, so I had the rest for dinner Wednesday night along with a salmon fillet.

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It was a pretty darn good dinner!

Breakfast yesterday morning was scrambled egg beaters with green onions, salsa and cheddar cheese.

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I took the kids to school, then did some volunteering. Next it was off to the mall to run some errands. I met Alicia there for lunch at Love Boat Sushi. I haven’t had sushi since I was in Japan! It was long overdue!

We shared some yellow tail and tuna sushi.

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We also shared a couple of rolls. The first one was the PGA (crab, spicy tuna, avocado and spicy mayo):

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It was fabulous. The next roll is the one we always get because it is amazing. The Wasabi Roll (tuna, salmon, yellow tail with wasabi, smelt egg, mayo, green onion and sesame oil):

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I have definitely missed sushi!

I picked up the kids and came home. My husband and I went out to dinner last night at Jake’s Del Mar with another couple. We all shared the fried calamari:

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It was good but not the best calamari I’ve ever had. It had a sweet sauce underneath that was ok but I prefer a spicier cocktail-type sauce with my calamari.

For my entree, I had the Roasted Garlic Spiced Ahi (roasted squash and red pepper couscous, fresh basil, sundried tomato yuzu puree, lemon zest):

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I really enjoyed this!! The flavor combination went really well with the ahi.

Dessert was spectacular.

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Kimo’s Original Hula Pie. Yes. It was amazing.

Breakfast this morning was pineapple Chobani yogurt, Easy Granola, strawberries and raspberries.

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I dropped the kids off at school and came home to do laundry and start baking cookies for my friend Cathi’s annual Cookie party. I can’t wait to share this cookie recipe with you. I think it’s a winner!

Lunch was a tuna sandwich, red bell peppers and ranch dressing.

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I picked the kids up from school  and took my son to his basketball tryouts.

Time to get dinner going. Enjoy your Friday night!

What cookies are you planning on baking this holiday season?