Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mexican Enchillada Casserole

A friend of mine's Uncle was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and has been commuting to Oklahoma City for Chemo treatments weekly leaving his poor wife at home with his 4 boys.  So I decided to bring them a couple of casserole meals that can be frozen or cooked that night depending upon their schedule. 

The first casserole meal is one of my favorites from growing up!  Mexican Enchillada Casserole!  Yummy!

1 lb. Ground Beef
1 pkg. of Taco Seasoning
1 can of Wolf Brand Chili or your favorite chili
1 can of Ro-tel Tomatoes (drained)
Velvetta Cheese
Corn Tortillas
1 small chopped Onion
Vegetable Oil

First start by browning the ground beef and seasoning with taco seasoning per the directions on the package.  Drain off any excess oil or water.  Combine seasoned ground beef with the can of Wolf Brand Chili and Ro-tel tomatoes.  This is your filling.

Cut slices of velvetta approximately 1/2" thick.  Then cut each slice into thirds or fourths, making cheese sticks.  You will need approximately 4-5 slices.

If your corn tortillas are soft and pliable you can skip this step.  If they are not simply heat about 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil on medium heat in a small skillet.  Heat tortilla and oil for approximately 15-30 seconds on each side. 

Remove the tortilla from the skillet and place in the bottom of a casserole dish, preferrably with high walls or a 9x9 baking dish will also work.  Continue until you have the bottom layer of the dish covered with soft corn tortillas (approximately 4).  Now use 1/3 of the chili filling, spread it evenly on the tortillas.  Throw in a handful of onions, if you like them.  Next space 4-5 cheese sticks evenly on the filling.  Now repeat with the soft tortillas, chili filling, onions and cheese 2 more times. 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the tortillas are soft like enchilladas.  Remove from the oven and let sit for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

You can also freeze this receipe to be eatten at a later date...You know those nights that you don't feel like cooking...I know I do!  If you freeze it I usually put it directly in the oven from the freezer and cook for 45-60 minutes, but check on it regularly.  When the casserole is bubbly you know its ready!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rotisserie-Style Crockpot Chicken

I've been really, really busy recently with my other business Girly Girlz Bows so I haven't had a lot of time to go grocery shopping.  Oops!  Never fear I had a whole chicken in the freezer, a crockpot and I'm good to go!

I've mentioned A Year of Slowclooking before but I {HEART} this website!  I've gotten so many good receipes from her suggestions and they are EASY, EASY, EASY and DELICOUS!

Today I'm using her Rotisserie-Style Crockpot Chicken that I would like to share...

Take one whole, thawed (if you froze it) chicken.  I remove all of the insides that I'd rather not know what I'm talking about, right?  I also take a small knife and cut underneath the skin to remove all of the skin.  Yuck!  I didn't want to touch anything for hours after pawing that chicken but it makes for a healthier chicken and not so much grease in the crockpot.

Next rinse the bird good; inside and out.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Now let's season up this bird!

Let's start with one side and we will do the same the other after this side is fully seasoned.  I liberally apply salt and pepper to the breast side of the chicken.  Next I cover the bird with a light coating of Seasoned Salt and Onion Powder.  Turn the bird over so the breast side is down and reapply the seasoning.  Finally I stuff the inside of the bird with about 1/2 an onion and throw in about 3 tablespoons of minced garlic right on top of the bird.  All done!  :)

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

{Giveway} Misty's Blessings

Go check out Misty's Blessings she has the cutest homemade infant shoes, nursing covers, super hero capes and crowns, personalized paci clips, and the list goes on...

Right now she is giving away a gift certificate to one lucky winner so go enter now.  Contest closes October 22nd.  Good luck!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Facebook: Link to Someone in your Status Update

I know many of you know how to do this and I actually came about it accidently but I am addicted!  Did you know you can link to someone or something in your status update in Facebook?  Ever wondered how people get those blue underlined names in the update? 


Simply type your update and when you are ready to link to someone type an @ sign and immediately start typing their name.  No spaces!

Ex.  @GirlyGirlzBows  will link to Girly Girlz Bows  @Sara Blair will link to Sara Blair.

Go try it now and see how fun it can be to link to some in your next post.  Actually, "Like" Best Thing Since Slice Bread and then give me a shout out in your post and see how it works!  ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

InchBug Bumpy Name Orbit Labels

Are you looking for some way to label your child's bottle or sippy cup?  InchBug has the perfect solution!  It was just over 2 years ago that I purchased a custom set for my daughter Grace.  While she didn't go to day care, she did take her sippy cup with her to church so having it labeled was muy important for me (the germ-o-phob mom). 

These labels are made from a stretchy flexible plastic, similar to those colored bracelets like Lance Armstrong did with Live Strong.  Anyways, they slip on your cup or bottle and can easily be removed, but why would you need to?  They are dishwasher and microwaveable safe!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Personalized Picture Bean Bags

If you haven't checked out Infarranty Creative, you have GOT TO!  She is great!  When she posted about the "Issac Bags" that she made her son I knew this was something I was going to have to do for my daughter.  So for her birthday I made 2 bean bags for each child as a party favor!

The only thing that I would add to her tutorial is that when I tried to feed the fabric through my printer it wouldn't recongize it and then it started curling at the end so I attached it to a plain sheet of paper with a very small piece of scotch tape, leaving a very small piece of tape on the fabric so it wouldn't interfere with printing.  Also, the fabric was a bit dusty after drying and when some of the "dust" came off it looks like some of my picture lost a bit of it's color but I liked the "worn" look that it ended up with.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ice Cream Cupcakes

For my daughter's 3rd birthday I decided to make ice cream cupcakes.  Do you remember these from when you were little?  The thought of them brings me back to the days when all you had to worry about was what you were going to have for lunch!  Anyways, since she is getting to an age of independance, where she wants to do everything herself I thought these would be perfect for her party!

Things you will need:
Cake Mix
Ice Cream Cups (with a flat bottom)

After much research I decided to replace the 1/3 cup vegetable oil that was needed for the cake mix with just about 1/3 cup of apple sauce.  I used Mott's All Natural (no sugar added).  I mixed the cake mix according to the directions on the box, with the applesauce substitue.

I remember my mom making the ice cream cupcakes standing up in the over but when I went to Betty Crocker and SHE suggested that you invert the ice cream cone upside down. So I did a test and here is my scientific experiment for you to review!

Betty's Way

Next, I prepared 3 ice cream cone cupcakes Betty's way.  This called for placing cupcake liner in a muffin  baking pan.  I took an ice cream scoop and filled the liner about 2/3 of the way full.  Place the ice cream cone gently on top.  Don't push the cake batter up into the cone (like I did on 2 of them) because it will make a not-so-pretty cake mark on the rim of your cone.  Just gently place the cone on top.

Sara's Way

Place an ice cream cone in the muffin tin.  Using the ice cream scoop, fill the cone about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full. 

 I baked these for about 18 minutes (iniitally set the timer for 15 minutes) and keep adding time until I could stick with a toothpick and it came out clean.


When grading these on appearance I will have to say my way produced a cleaner finished product.  In my cones I filled them about 2/3 of the way full, next time I will add a little more batter to each cone so that it will rise to the top of the cone.  Betty's way left the top of the ice cream cone with a harden brown crust (similar to what you would see on the bottom of a cup cake.  From some of the reviews on her site people commented that the cones were top heavy due to the way these were cooked but I didn't find that at all.  I found them to be about the same as my way.  However when I removed the cupcake liner from Betty's way some of the cake actually came off too, making it a difficult surface to apply the icing.

Betty's Way

 Sara's Way

Taste & Texture
With an unanimous vote, my way won again.  These cupcakes were far more moist and delicate, as opposed to Betty's way where the cupcakes were tougher at the top due to the harden crust-like finish.

The Verdict

It looks like I might have a one up on good ol' Betty Crocker!  But you know, my testers and I may just have been a little biased so you try your own experiement and let me know which way you prefer!