Monday, July 29, 2013

A Family Favorite

There isn't a single member of my family or friends who doesn't LOVE my family's Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. They are a delicious comfort food, with a kick!

They are also great because while some people like it with olives and green chile (like me) it can easily be omitted while baking and added in later after it has been served. My sister and dad like them with sour cream (yuck...but that's just me!). You can also play with the recipe to add different flavors. They are great for potlucks, frozen for a later date, or as left overs (which there won't be this time around with my brother still visiting!)

New Mexican Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
(This recipe comes to my family from my Aunt Mona who found it  20+ years ago in a magazine) 

What you will need:
13x9 Baking Glass Pan (you can use the disposable aluminum pans)
Rubber Spatula
Kitchen Aid Mixer or Mixing Bowl
Cutting Board
Can Opener

4-5 Thawed Chicken Breasts (you can also use a cooked rotisserie chicken if so skip directions 1 and 2)
2 cans or 1 large can Cream of Chicken
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 16oz bag of Mexican Cheese (another one that you can switch to your preferred cheese)   
1 2.5oz can Black Sliced Olives
1 Bag Flour Tortillas (the amount changes depending on how many layers you make)
1T of softened butter (to grease the pan, you can use less or more)
2 cubes of Chicken Bouillon or the equivalent in Chicken broth
Desired amount of New Mexico Hatch Green Chile
Desired toppings  

1. In a large pot, fill with water and add bouillon (or chicken broth).
2. Bring water to a boil and add chicken.
3. When chicken is cooked, cut into bite size pieces. (If using a rotisserie chicken, pull off bite size pieces with no skin.)

4. Preheat oven to 350F.
5. Mix the cream of chicken, evaporated milk, olives, green chile, and chopped chicken.
6. Grease the glass pan. 
7. Tear apart the tortillas and fit them into the pan so that they cover the bottom.
It will look like a puzzle. Cover the whole bottom!
8. Pour the mixture and spread it out evenly so that it covers the tortillas. Reserve about half of the mixture. 
Spread it around, don't be shy.
9. Sprinkle cheese on top of the first layer.
 10. Begin a new layer by tearing apart more tortillas and fitting them on top of the cheese. 
11. Pour the remaining mixture over the tortillas. (There will probably be a small amount leftover, that is okay. My siblings and I used to fight over who would get to snack on the leftovers. There are no raw ingredients at this point so snack away!)
12. Sprinkle a healthy amount of cheese on top. 
I would even use more that what I have pictured...I ran out of cheese... you'll see why in a moment :(
13. Place into the oven and cook for thirty minutes or until the cheese is starting to look crispy on top. 
 See? I made two! One with green chile and olives and one without. My sister had a friend over at the last minute who can't tolerate the hotness of the chile and while I had enough ingredients to make two enchiladas...I didn't anticipate how much cheese would be needed. Oh well, still came out yummy!
14. Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas sit for about five minutes to cool down. (We always skip this step because we are too impatient :p)
15. Serve yourself! 
Warning it will be messy!
This meal goes great with a glass of milk! I would pair it with a nice salad too :) I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.Share your enchilada recipes with me in the comments!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Visit From My Brother

Hello again!

This week my brother flew in to spend some time with my husband, sister, and me.

Noah is my fifteen-year-old (bottomless pit!) brother and he is growing like a weed. He is already taller than Sara and I (Sara and I are over 5'6"). It has been really nice having him here but now I have to keep both him and my husband nice and full! 

Right now in the Southwest, we are in full swing of the monsoon season which means hot and humid days accompanied by flash floods. The rain is a nice change of pace considering the massive drought we've been experiencing but it also means we get almost all of our year's worth of rain in two months. Swamp cooler A/C's do little to cool down your house while the humidity is high and in a place where we are used to the humidity being below 20% on a regular basis, it can drive you mad. Not only do you feel muggy, you also have little motivation to get stuff done, let alone turn the oven on! 

                                        Today isn't the hottest but the humidity is killing me!

So you can see why I have fallen in love with my crockpot! It is seriously my best friend right now.  

Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
(Originally pinned from Eat At Home)

What you will need:
A grocery bag or a small trash bag
Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners
Cutting Board
Chef Knife


4-5 Thawed Chicken Breasts 
3 Bell Peppers (Yellow, Red, and Orange)  (I used the Master's Touch Mini Peppers from Walmart, I cut up the entire bag.)
1 Onion (I used a Yellow onion)
1 Package Taco Seasoning (I used the Old El Paso Hot & Spicy mix)
Flour or Corn Tortillas
Your choice of toppings

1. Place liner in crockpot.
2. Slice up the bell peppers and onions, use the grocery bag to collect the discarded stems and etc.  

                                                      Yay! Makes for an easy clean up.
3. Put the sliced peppers and onions at the bottom of the crockpot. 
                                                                        So colorful!                                                                        
4. Lay the thawed chicken on top of the peppers and onions in the crockpot.
5. Open the taco seasoning and sprinkle it on top of the chicken. 
                              I went ahead and turned the chicken over so that both sides were seasoned.
6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 
                                                                      I did it on high.
7. Slice the chicken breasts into fajita appropriate strips.
 The chicken will be pretty tender, if it doesn't want to be cut into strips, just shred it!
8. Mix in with the onions and bell peppers.
9. Serve with your choice of toppings! (We are having homemade guacamole...perhaps I shall share the recipe one day!)

Did you catch the stem I accidentally put in the crockpot? Oops. Makes sense now when I pulled some sliced bell peppers from the bag...I must have switched those! Oh well, I pulled it out before I served dinner.

 Caught ya. 
 Taste Review:

Well my husband ate two and got back in line for more. He never left the kitchen... :D :D :D
My sister joined us for dinner and enjoyed it despite not being a fajita fan.
Noah drenched his in Louisiana Hot Sauce, guacamole, and cheese...and went back for more.
This is definitely a meal I would make again because it was so easy and yielded enough to serve the five of us with leftovers. 

Try this meal out! Let me know what changes you make or what toppings you use. 


Monday, July 22, 2013

It's a Prince!

The world is abuzz today with the news of Duchess Kate and Prince William's newborn son. I, for one, could not be more excited for them. They seem like a lovely couple and what I wouldn't give for her wardrobe! Stay classy Kate!

In honor of their family I have decided to release exclusive pictures of Kate and her sister Pippa growing up...

                                                               Wait, what?!

I should probably mention that it is not the Duchess Kate and her sister Pippa but rather my German Shepherds. Aren't they cute? This is after playing in the snow the first winter after we brought them home. They are now over a year and a half and have been a handful! We weren't even looking at getting a pup, we went with my mother-in-law (one of my partners in crime!) to get a pup for her and we came home with one too.... 

So that's how we got Kate! If you ask my sister she'll tell you that the pup was named after her (one of her nicknames is Sara Kate) but the truth is that we liked the name Kate! When my mother-in-law heard what we had decided to name our pup she decided to name her pup, Pippa. So that's how that got started. We sure got a lot of compliments when we took them to the vet and everyone remembers the "Princesses". Unfortunately, due to unforeseen medical issues, my mother-in-law wasn't able to keep Miss Pippa. I couldn't bare to see the sisters separated so my husband and I gladly took Pippa into our home. 

As you may recall, my husband and I have a third dog. He is actually the first dog we adopted :) he sure has a special spot in my heart. 

                                                                 Max, the commoner.

Max is our 5ish-year-old Lab. He was a rescue so we don't know his exact age but he is the biggest sweetheart you will ever meet. He gives my husband hope that one day the girls will straighten out when they are being naughty. (Thankfully that isn't happening as often!)

Now you have met my furbabies! Tell me about yours!

Today's recipe in honor of the new little Prince is sweet and practical, just the way we hope he will be!

Pumpkin Muffins
 (Originally pinned from Sweet Verbena who got it from Big Red Kitchen...although some pinners are saying that it is a Weight Watchers recipe, in any case they are YUMMY!)

What you will need:
2 Muffin Pans
Mixing Bowl
Kitchen Aid OR An Electric Hand Mixer
Rubber Spatula 
Cupcake Liners

1 Box of Spice Cake Mix (I used Dunkin Hines)
1 Can of Libby's 100% Pumpkin (I used the 29oz but I believe the picture of the original pin had a 15oz. can. All I can say is my muffins were deliciously moist with the 29oz.)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix the pumpkin and cake mix. There should be no clumps of cake mix visable. (I made the mistake of trying to do this by hand once and it came out lumpy and not at all moist as the ones that had been properly mixed.)
3. Try not to lick the batter. (Trust me it is incredibly tempting and tasty...and not made with raw eggs...)
4. Put cupcake liners into the muffin pan.
5. Use the rubber spatula and evenly distribute the batter into the muffin pan, about 2/3 full in each spot.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (The intoxicating smell of spice and pumpkin will fill your house and make everyone crowd around to get one fresh out of the've been warned!)
7. Let the muffins cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. (They go great with vanilla ice cream! Or Greek yogurt!)     

On some of the websites that I listed above there are some variations on this recipe using different cake mixes, so you can really change the flavor. Try it out!

Have a good day!


P.S. The girls now...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's a beautiful Sunday morning

I hope that you are enjoying your Sunday morning! My sister treated my husband and I out to breakfast at the Egg & I. It was delicious! I got the Viva La France French Toast with strawberries and bananas...HEAVENLY!

So you could most definitely say that I've had a great start to my morning. The only drawback is the pesky migraine that keeps coming in and out all morning. I've taken medicine but sometimes the migraine just has its own plan. Overall this is far from the worst migraine I've ever had (thank God!) and I know it will go away eventually. 

Is there anyone in your life that suffers from migraines? I've been diagnosed since I was four years old because of the strong family history on my father's side. They can be pretty nasty and I've had to go to the ER more than once to seek treatment for a bad one. My problem is that the pain becomes unbearable and my body refuses to keep anything down (I know probably TMI, but it is the truth!) and I become dehydrated which in turn makes it worse...A truly vicious cycle. 

I am pretty lucky to live in this day and age with the types of medication that is available now. My poor father was lucky to have his own father be a pediatrician (Grandpa also suffered from migraines and understood what my father was going through) so he would just knock my father out for a few hours in hopes that the migraine would pass. All I can say is that without modern medicine I would be holed up in bed for days at a time.

I also thank God for my husband who is very kind and understanding about when I get migraines. I think I freaked him out when I woke up at 3am one morning with a bad migraine (those are the warning at all! Just BAM! Your whole day gets sucked down the toilet!). It was so bad that he called my parents in the middle of the night to get their advice because I couldn't hardly tell him what to do to help me. Yikes. 

I would post a recipe today but I am starting to feel the side effects of the medication I am feeling and I am going to rest until it passes. Side effects still beat having a full blown migraine! So instead I will ask you to post your favorite Sunday breakfast ideas :) My all time favorite was when my sister and I were little and my mom would work on the weekends at a grocery store, so that meant we had Daddy/Daughter time. He would make us waffles and it was just the coolest thing to be hanging out with Dad! (I still think he is cool!)

Have a good rest of your weekend!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Something sweet

Hello again!

I hope you got a chance to try the Crockpot Orange Chicken! I plan on having some leftovers today :)

Today I want to share with you a really simple Cinnamon Crescent Roll recipe that I found on Pinterest. My husband liked them so much that he asked me to make them again the next day(Yay!)!

Crescent Cinnamon Rolls
(originally from The Hungry Housewife)

What you will need:
Baking Sheet
Aluminum Foil (to cover the baking sheet so the rolls don't get stuck to the baking sheet)
Small Mixing Bowl
Spoon to mix


1 Tube of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (8 count) (I used the Reduced Fat one day and the Grands! Buttery Crescents and they were equally delicious so just pick out whichever one works for you)
5T Butter, softened
1/4C White Sugar
2 1/2 t Ground Cinnamon

Glaze (I didn't put the glaze on mine, they were pretty sweet on their own! But here it is if you would like to try it for yourself):
2T Butter, melted
1/4C + 2T Powdered Sugar
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
Ziploc bag


1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cut a piece of aluminum foil so that it covers the cooking side of the baking sheet. (This is simply to make your clean up easier!)
3. Mix the softened butter, white sugar, and ground cinnamon in the small mixing bowl.
4. Open the crescents and roll them out onto the baking sheet. (I did about four at a time.)
5. Spread the mixture onto the open crescents until they are all covered. (Try not to lick the mixture as tempting as it is.)
6. Roll the crescents into the crescent shape with the mixture on the inside. (Does that make sense? If not let me know...)
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. (I split the difference and went with 11 minutes.)

For the glaze:

1. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. Pour into a ziploc bag.
3. When crescents are out of the oven, snip off a corned of the bag and drizzle onto Crescent Cinnamon Rolls.

Some notes:

The cinnamon mixture will leak out of the crescents. (This is where the aluminum foil is handy!)   
As I said before, I didn't use the glaze on my Crescent Cinnamon Rolls, I had leftover cinnamon mix so I just added an extra dollop of that on top of warm rolls. So yummy!

My sister's boyfriend, who attended culinary school, took one bite and said, "Hallie did good." YAY!

I would post a picture of the finished product but they disappeared before I got a chance to. Maybe next time? 

I served these as a dessert, but they would be a very sweet breakfast side! Maybe for a holiday...warning these are addictive! 

Hallie :) 


Friday, July 19, 2013


Hi there!

My name is Hallie (like Halle Berry).

I am a newlywed, stay at home wife, and proud mom to three furbabies.

 I am a Pinterest Addict and this is what has led me to start this blog!

I have never really considered myself to be a creative person and have always struggled to piece things together (like a cute outfit) or styling a room. My younger sister, Sara, always managed to come out looking like a super model while I looked like I barely managed to brush my hair after rolling out of bed (partly true). I just recently learned how to french braid my hair (and then promptly cut my hair to shoulder length). I never learned how to sew (but I can crochet....ok not really.) and my cooking is fairly limited. I want to change all of that and I have been inspired by the people around me and by (of course!) Pinterest!

So lately I have been a pinning fool, mostly pinning things for my food board, and putting them into action! I plan on trying all sorts of Pinteresting things in the future and cooking is an easy way to start it off. My husband, Jason, has been pretty happy with the foods I have been whipping up and I am happy that he finally got the Kitchen Aid Mixer down from the attic that my parents left behind when they moved out of state (...over three years ago!). I hope to use this blog to keep track of my progress and hopefully inspire other people who are struggling to find their creative edge.

Okay, so here is the first recipe that I have tried:

Crockpot Orange Chicken  
(originally from
What you will need:
Small Mixing Bowl
Spoon to mix
Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners, 4 ct (Pack of 2) (for this recipe you will use both...but I should note that these are a luxury...a necessary luxury in my opinion, especially if you hate doing dishes as much as I do!)


4-5 Thawed Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used the ones from Costco that come in the two piece ready to freeze packs, the exact name escapes me but I will add it as soon as I remember!)
3/4 C Orange Marmalade (I used the one they had pictured, Smucker's Sweet Orange Marmalade)
3/4 C BBQ Sauce (again I used the one they suggested, Sweet Baby Ray's which is delicious just on its own)
2T Soy Sauce (I used Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce)


1. Place liner in crockpot.
2.  Place thawed chicken breasts in the crockpot and place the lid on.
3. Cook the chicken on high for three hours.
4. At the two hour and fifty minute mark, mix the marmalade, BBQ sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
5. Drain the juice from the chicken. (this is where it is handy to have the second liner handy! Just swap out liners and replace the chicken. BAM! Done.)
6. Pour the mixture over the chicken. (Pour evenly for even yummy-ness!) 
7. Replace the lid onto the crockpot and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
8. Serve! (I suggest with some rice and veggies :))
Total Time: 3 hours and 35 minutes

My husband liked it and right away suggested that I make it again with fried rice. As for myself, I like it with steamed rice and Sriracha sauce.


Clean up was easy with the crockpot liners and that makes me a happy wife!


P.S. Try it out and let me know how it worked for you!