Healthy Black Bean & Chicken Tostadas

Howdy! Guess what I have? Yep — another food recipe. These are the blog posts that I can whip out the fastest these days. Plus I love sharing recipes that our family enjoys. This one is a super easy and fast recipe that I have made a couple of times now. The recipe came from The Comfort of Cooking.


Source – The Comfort of Cooking


YIELD: Serves 4 (1 tostada each)


4 (7 to 8-inch) flour or multigrain tortillas

Nonstick cooking spray

Chili powder

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken {I used rotisseri chicken}

3/4 cups diced roasted red peppers

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1 cup Sargento® Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Light sour cream and/or guacamole, for serving


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place tortillas on a foil-lined baking sheet and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle each with a pinch of chili powder. Bake 9 to 10 minutes, or until crisp.

In a small bowl, microwave beans for 30-45 seconds, or until softened. Mash with a fork and set aside.

Leaving tortillas on baking sheet, top each equally with beans, chicken, red peppers, green onions and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Top with light sour cream and/or guacamole and serve.

Coming soon I’ll be sharing my backyard dreaming with you. You know, the stuff I want but can’t have?  ;) So stay tuned!

Chicken and Avocado Enchiladas

Sundays are the day that I have a little extra time to be, er gourmet. So of course I took to my recipe binder also known as Pinterest and found this recipe for chicken and avocado enchiladas at Gimme Some Oven. They were a little time consuming but share worthy for sure!.







Enchilada Ingredients:
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced {also called Pasilla Peppers}
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (remove seeds for less heat)
    • 8-10 (6-inch) flour tortillas
    • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
    • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
    • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese
Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime


To Make The Enchiladas:

Prepare the “Avocado Cream Sauce” as listed below. Preheat the oven to 375? F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent. Remove from heat.

To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.

Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce. You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

To Make Avocado Cream Sauce:

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended. (Be very careful blending hot liquids — the heat will expand! So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.) Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

My own notes and tips: I forgot cilantro which I’m sure would have made this recipe pop, I did use rotisserie chicken, the avocado sauce was a lot – I think next time I would have poured less over the top of the enchiladas and the avocado sauce was the perfect compliment to the hot peppers.

Voila — dinner is served!!

Red Bean, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

So crock-pot recipes, I’m a total fan!! I am working close to full time right now so it’s important to have a yummy dinner that requires less work. Viola — hello crock-pot! I found this recipe on BH&G. My personal food critic sister was a little worried at the addition of peanut butter. She said it sounded like the episode of Friends where Rachel made a trifle and it was awful {because the ingredients were totally mixed up!} I do love Friends but I did not pull a Rachel – nope, the recipe really called for PB!!

If you want a laugh, I’ve posted the link to the Friends video. In case you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about ;)

So the reviews for this recipe? It was awesome! I’d totally make it again. Another bonus, it was super filling and it’s considered a skinny recipe at 366 calories per person. WINNER! The peanut butter gave it a curry type flavor.


red bean chicken stew


Photo Source – BH&G


Red Bean, Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew – BH&G


  • 2 15 ounce can no-salt-added red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 8 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 14 1/2 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped green sweet peppers (2 large)
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 10 ounce can tomatoes and chopped green chile’s, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Snipped fresh cilantro
  • Chopped peanuts (optional)
1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker combine beans, sweet potatoes, chicken, broth, sweet peppers, diced tomatoes, tomatoes and green chile’s, Cajun seasoning, and garlic.2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

3. Remove 1 cup hot liquid from cooker. Whisk in peanut butter. Stir into mixture in cooker.

4. Serve topped with cilantro and, if desired, peanuts.

Of course as always, I changed a few things based on what I had. I used only chicken breasts and no thighs. I also used two cans diced tomatoes and neither had green chilies. I was also short a can of beans. Regardless of these changes – it was a hearty, filling and very flavorful stew. I am looking forward to having it tomorrow at lunch.


Valentine’s Day Goodies

I have a serious sweet tooth and I am afraid my pants have proven that since Christmas. Yikes. So instead of eating my way through Valentine’s, I’m going to pass along my finds for YOU to make and eat. I know, so very sweet of me eh? ;) You’re welcome!

This deliciousness over at Glorious Treats has some sweet and salty which is a very dangerous combo!


How about some corny Valentine’s sweetness? Shaken Together Life used a Mason jar to put together this treat.

corny little Valentine


I always love the M&M, pretzel and Kiss recipe but this one is different. What’s Cooking Love used Raspberry Kisses. Yum!

Chocolate Raspberry Pretzel Bites4

Iowa Girl Eats made these Brownie Mix Truffles. OMG!!!



Of course you need some pink milk to wash it all down. Lil Luna has a fun Valentine’s party going on including printables to pull it all together.

pink milk


Wishing you a Valentine’s Day full of sweet treats and zero calories.


Super Bowl Yummies

Super Bowl Sunday is right around the corner and for us Northern California folks, it’s a big one! I don’t watch much sports but I am a wee bit excited that the Niners made it. I love the energy that comes about when local teams make it to the play offs, etc. It’s a happy contagious kinda energy. Plus I enjoy the parties that bring people together and provide endless amounts of food and drink ;) I’m pretty simple like that!

That being said there will be a lot of Super Bowl parties. Whether you are hosting or heading to a party, here are a few appetizers that look too good to pass up.

Appetizer collage

1} Baked Fontina by Smells Like Home

2} Meatball Stuffed Biscuits by Recipe by Photo

3} Mini Mexican Pizzas by Dashing Dish

4} Baked Chicken Taquitos at Chef in Training

Of course I must share some sweet treats as well.

Desert collage

1} Loaded Cookie bars by Pip and Ebby

2} Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Balls at Baby Gizmo

3} Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites by Two Tiny Kitchens

4} Cookie Dough Millionaire Bars at Bake or Break


All of the above recipes came from my Foodie Love Board over at Pinterest {yes, I do pretty much rule my world through Pinterest these days. Don’t we all? ;)} I do however have a few favorite recipe sites that I visit quite often and I wanted to share those sites for you as reference. You know, just in case you ever feel like looking at amazing recipes and drooling all over your keyboard. Or meal planning, they are also good for that! I adore Picky Palate, Smitten Kitchen, Food Network, All Recipes and of course a constant source of inspiration for just about everything is Better Homes and Gardens.

Whatcha doing for Superbowl? Do you have any special treats that you make for this big sporting event?


Tortellini Soup

Over the holidays I had my brother, sis in law and adorable nephew staying with us. One evening after returning from her mom’s, they brought home some leftover Tortellini soup and said it was a must try. Well a couple of days went by and they went home. The soup remained. I ended up having neighbors over for impromptu leftover soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. It was so awesome that I had to get the recipe. We enjoyed this hearty soup for several days and I even shared it with a friend who happened to be here as I was cooking it for dinner one night. She enjoyed it so much that she has since made it for her family. So what I am saying is TRY IT. It’s hearty, yummy and easy. Three great qualities in a meal if you ask me ;) Now, she did leave this recipe on my answering machine {yes, I still have one of those!} so a few details may be mixed up from the original but it’s good regardless!

Tortellini Soup



  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp each dried basil and oregano
  • 10 oz tortellini
  • 8 cups beef broth {I used 4 plus water}
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 cup green beans {I used canned cause it’s what I had}
  • 2 8 0z cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 pealed and cubed potatoes
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 carrots, diced


Saute onion and garlic in butter. Add spices. I used a dutch oven. Place in a bowl after translucent. Add meat to pan and brown.  Add broth, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add green beans, tortellini and zucchini. Simmer another 10 minutes.

Serve with some fresh parmesan and either a nice green salad and crusty french bread or a grilled cheese sandwich. What a great weeknight dinner to warm your belly.

Chicken Salsa Soup

This was an oh so tasty soup I made a couple of weeks back and yes, I will be making it again. I made a few adjustments that made this a quick meal. Perfect for busy nights. #1 – I used jar salsa and #2 – I used rotisserie chicken. I’m including the original recipe in case you’d like to take the long route but I just added the salsa and chicken at the end and let it simmer till it was warm.


Chicken Salsa Soup – Recipe adapted by Rachel Ray Magazine


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cloves finely chopped
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 32 ounce container  (4 cups) chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic; cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken thighs and broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup salsa, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred.
  2. Return the broth to a simmer; season with salt. Divide the chicken among 4 soup bowls and top with the avocado slices. Ladle the broth into the bowls and top each portion with the cilantro, sour cream and remaining salsa.


Citrus Salt Gifts

Tis the season for baking but sometimes there are so many sweets {is there such a thing really?} Anyway, if you want to give something that can be used for months to come and it isn’t going to pack on the pounds, try this gift. I made several of these for the yard duties, admin staff and librarian at my kids school. They looked like I worked super hard on them were super easy.

A couple of tips, I used sea salt as the ‘flake salt’ was not available at any of my local markets. I also ordered the cute little wooden spoons from here. I picked up the 4 oz jars at WalMart. Sunset Magazine has the printables. Just print on plain printer paper, cut down and use a pretty ribbon to attach it to the jar. Done — just like that you have something pretty and that will last beyond a few days. I had some leftover and used in a pasta dish the other night. Delish!


Citrus Salt with lemon zest


  • 1 cup flake salt, such as Maldon, or coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons citrus zest (any kind)


  1. Mix salt and zest in a bowl; work zest into salt with your fingers to release oils and flavor. Spread on a baking tray. Air-dry until dried completely, 8 hours to overnight.
  2. Note: Zest’s color will fade over time, but this won’t affect taste.
  3. Make ahead: 2 months, kept airtight at room temperature.
  4. Bottle it: 4-oz. jam glass jar

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

Oh my deliciousness!! I can not even explain how amazingly good these are. I had to whip up something quick the other day. You know, cookie exchanges and all are kinda happening left and right. Tis the season! I have now made 4 batches of these. In 3 days. Yep, I’d say these are my latest go to recipe as far as treats go. The downfall? I can’t stop eating them! I am popping them in my mouth A LOT. So basically they are a diet fail but hey, who diets this time of year anyway?? ;)  

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies


(Printable Recipe)

2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup peanut butter
2 pounds white chocolate chips (2 12-oz packages plus 1 1/3 cup)

In a large bowl, combine cereal, peanuts and marshmallows. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and peanut butter on High for 1 minute and then in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Stir chocolate into cereal mixture. Mixture will be slightly runny. Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper. Let set until firm, 2 hours. Store in an airtight container.

I promise, these will be a hit at any party you bring them too!! Delish :)

Kids Christmas Party

Wow — December slow it down! Between going back to work and just the normal holiday hustle and bustle, my blog is getting neglected. I’m missing it!! So hello friends — I hope everyone is enjoy the season and slowing down to make some amazing memories. We have watched a lot of holiday movies this week. I love the snuggle time.

By the way, where do people come from this time of year? It seems every road, parking lot and store is packed full of people. Then come January the world feels a lot quieter. It’s crazy! Six weeks of crazy I tell ya!

I love the kids parties at school. When the new school year rolls around and the sign ups come out I am all over it. This year I was able to sign up to run the Christmas party for my youngest and Valentine’s for my oldest. Christmas is around the corner so I have created a Pinterest Board to help compile fabulous crafty ideas. Some are arts and crafts and others are cute food ideas. Some of you might be planning holiday parties as well so I wanted to share some of my fun finds with you! I should mention that the other person helping me run this pretty much said she didn’t have ideas and would love to hear mine. Um ok!! ;) I can handle that! Here are a few fab crafty ideas that I am hoping to do this season — either in the classroom or out. Also, my son is in second grade so I am gearing it towards that age group.


  1. I love this Christmas cheese platter. It’s filled with tomatoes and cheese with pretzels as the stem. Of course you could serve more pretzels on the side.
  2. Of course snack time wouldn’t be complete without these sweet sandwiches.
  3. This idea for Grinch Floats using green {guessing lime} sherbet and sprite is so fun!! I can’t find the original source though — if you know of it, please do share. I’d like to give the credit where it belongs.
  4. These reindeer munchies are giving me the munchies!!
  5. Kids love cupcakes and these wreath cupcakes also have candy. Yum!
  6. I love this chocolate donut reindeer. They are simple yet so cute!


I love crafts. I think it is super sweet to make them nostalgic so little projects that involves handprints melt my heart. Kids grow so fast .

  1. These cute reindeer handprints are on the top of my to do list..
  2. If you have some scraps of fabric {I do!}, just add cinnamon sticks and you have these cute lil’ trees. Plus they will smell yummy!
  3. Another great craft using up old fabric or even some ribbon are these snowman clothespins. You could add a magnet to the back to make it easy to display {and hold stuff like letters from Santa or Christmas Lists!}
  4. I love these beautiful swirled paint ornaments. I happened to pick up some glass bulbs at a great price at Michaels last week. Just in case it’s a project we decide to do.
  5. For something pretty easy and with very little supplies needed, how about a pom pom pinecone? All of a sudden you’ve created a mini tree
  6. Reindeer Food is a must in our house. I adore these sweet little tags to go along with them. Hint: These also make fun gifts for the neighborhood kiddies!

If you are on Pinterest, pop on over and check out my Kids Christmas Party board. I have a whole bunch of other goodies on there that I didn’t share in this post.

Do you have any must do crafts for the season? How about must eat treats? I’d love to hear about them :)