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Watch out.  This casserole is dangerously delicious.

I was flipping through an old Cooking Light cookbook yesterday morning, and thought to myself, “Why have I only made one recipe out of this entire thing?”  I then made it my mission to find a recipe for dinner, which was not hard to do. 

The Cheese Enchilada Casserole jumped out at me immediately.

I was headed to the grocery store anyways, so why not just revise my list a bit?

This is an extremely easy recipe to make, let alone healthy and exquisite tasting.  I will include the full recipe at the bottom, along with my newest challenge…

First thing’s first… gather the ingredients…

And start the prep work.

 

Once you’ve combined your ingredients, layer 2-3 corn tortillas, 1/2 of the cheese mixture, and repeat in a 1 1/2 qt casserole.

Grab your taco sauce, and pour it on top.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Now, get some Monterrey Jack cheese, grate it up, and sprinkle evenly over taco sauce.

Ready to be baked at 375* for 20 minutes, or until cheese is nice and melted…

While the casserole bakes, feed your freshly groomed dog.

Set the table.

The time has come… remove the casserole from the oven, and sprinkle with chopped green onion.

Dig in.

And enjoy with someone you love.

Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Courtesy of Cooking Light.

1 cup reduced fat shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped tomato

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese

1/3 cup sliced green onions

2 teaspoons chili powder   (**I used chipotle chili powder here for a smokier flavor)

2 cloves garlic, minced

6-9 (6 inch)corn tortillas

Cooking spray

1 cup taco sauce

1/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

2 Tbsp chopped green onions

**Preheat oven to 375*. 

Combine first 6 ingredients.  Arrange 2-3 tortillas in a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread half of cheese mixture over tortillas.  Repeat procedure with 3 tortillas and remaining cheese mixture; top with remaining tortillas.

Pour taco sauce over tortillas; sprinle with Monterrey Jack cheese.  Bake at 375* for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.  Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp green onions.

  

Stay tuned… I have a recipe challenge in the works!  SNEAK PEAK:

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It’s totally normal to photograph your unborn child’s cute clothes and post them to a blog, right?

 

 

For dinner last night we had some delicious “Never Ever” Burgers.  There is a reason for this name… stick with me.

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend gave us some Kobe Beef hamburger patties for Christmas from a local shop he goes to called A Cut Above Natural Meats

This small business prides itself on offering “The Freshest, Top Quality All Natural beef, poultry, pork, seafood, sausages and exotic meats.”  They refer to their product as “Never Ever” all natural meats.  On their website, “Never Ever” is defined as “no antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones given to our meats from birth to plate.” 

This meat was FANTASTIC!  It was a little fattier than what I normally buy, but it was oh so juicy, and the flavor was out of this world.  I simply opened the package, sprinkled a little salt and pepper on these patties, and put ’em on a hot grill pan.

Thank god we had fancy meat, because other than that this meal was not exactly “exciting.”  Some corn and some applesauce… good to go.  That’s quite alright though, because upon my first bite, I told Josh it tasted like a great steak in burger form. 

Sorry for the lack of photos… apparently while “Never Ever” Burgers taste delicious, they do not photograph well.  Surely you get the idea though.

Chris, if you’re reading this, thanks again for the meat.  We enjoyed the meal very much!!

On a separate note, Brody wanted me to mention how much he is loving this blog.  The dog loves having his picture taken.  As soon as the camera’s in my hand, he stops whatever he’s doing and looks at me, and I swear he is saying “CHEESE….”

Sammy, on the other hand, is not quite as enthusiastic:

"Seriously, again with the damn camera?"

 
 

Our Sunday was pretty fabulous.  The pets let us sleep in later than usual, (I know, it’s ridiculous that when the pets wake up, we all wake up.  You try sleeping while an energetic beagle is dancing on your pillow.)  Once up and going we had made some delicious Oatmeal Pancakes, which we topped with banana slices and a little maple syrup.  This has been my go to breakfast lately… quick, filling and delicious.

After filling our bellies and cleaning the kitchen, we decided to go see True Grit.  It sounds like our kind of movie — Josh likes the westerns, and I like the Matt Damon 🙂  However, by the time we showered, ran a few errands and got to the theater, this pregnant belly of mine was screaming for some lunch instead.  Not very often would I choose a gyro over Matt Damon, but it was a necessary decision.  We left the theater without going inside, and ran down the street to Luigi’s for some yummy greek food. 

We’ve only eaten here once before, but I love this little place.  The service has always been quick and friendly, and the food has not disappointed.  They have a huge selection of delicious looking pizzas on display when you walk in, and the smell is mouthwatering.  There is nothing fancy about this place, but it is cute and cozy.  Josh and I were the first and only ones there… (did I mention it was only 11:00am?) so we had the place to ourselves.

Cute, right?  Our food was ready within a matter of minutes, and we dug right in. 

DELICIOUSNESS. Enough said.  We inhaled that food so quick, that I swear we were gone by 11:15am.  Pregnant Lindsey doesn’t mess around.

Even though there was no True Grit, it was still a great day.  Who wants Grit with a Gyro anyway?

Quiet Start

2011 started off rather quietly for us, which was just fine with me!  Last year, Josh was still in Iraq, and the 1st of the year was too quiet.  This year, however, we spent the day taking down Christmas decorations, watching movies, and cooking .  As excited as we are about the baby’s arrival, we are relishing the quiet and alone time we have left together.

I have never made Black Eyed Peas for New Year’s, but I figured this would be as good a time as any to start a new tradition.  They say you’re supposed to eat them on the first of the year for good luck, and I’m thinking I want all the luck I can get in 2011! 

The night before I found a  good looking recipe, and got my beans soaking.

I’m not much of a bean person, so I was a bit skeptical of this dish.  But once I got everything in the pot I became a bit  more enthusiastic.  It smelled delicious after a few hours of simmering on the stove, and I began to think this may turn out alright after all.

This is my comfort zone:

Doesn’t matter what mood I am in, or what kind of day I have had… plop me in front of a pot on the stove, and I will be a happy camper. 

Our puppy Brody is a selective listener just like his mother.  There is one question he always responds to though, and that is “Brody, do you want DINNER?!?!?”

"Do you even have to ask?!?!"

 I fed the famished pup, and got to work making Beer Bread muffins to go with our Black Eyed Peas.

 

Beer Bread Muffins

2 cups baking mix (I use Pioneer Brand)

6oz. beer (any kind works)

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. melted butter

*Combine all ingredients, and divide into well greased muffin tins.  Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes.

  

No candle light for this dinner, but it was delicious and comforting, all the same.

We followed dinner with banana pudding, and a movie.

  & 

I’m feeling pretty good about 2011 right now!

A couple weeks ago Josh and I went to Storkvision, a prenatal imaging center.  They were running a Holiday special for their 4D (live motion imaging) ultrasound, and we thought it would be fun to have some *extra* cool photos of baby-to-be to take home with us for the Holidays. 

The entire experience was fantastic!  When we arrived for our appointment, there was a short amount of paperwork to fill out, then we were taken to the cutest ultrasound room you could imagine.  It was like a trendy/cozy living room with couches and a big flat screen mounted on the wall.  In the corner was a bed, with the ultrasound machine next to it for the mom to lay on.  Our technician was so great and explained everything she was doing, and showed us in detail everything she could.  Needless to say, we were both in awe, and have decided that our new little man will be just might end up being the cutest baby ever.  Not that we’ll be biased or anything. 

Who am I kidding… he is the cutest little man ever.  Fact.

“That’s right… I’ve already got tickets to the gun show.”

“OK, seriosuly guys… just leave me alone already!”

I think our families really enjoyed these over Christmas.  Storkvision gave us a CD that had about 60 photos on it, along with a DVD that had the entire session recorded live.  Now Josh and I can watch Little Man moving about whenever we want.

If you are pregnant, are going to become pregnant, or know someone who is, I highly suggest going to Storkvision!  It was an awesome experience that we will never forget.  It’s such a “Sneaky Peaky” at all the fun that’s yet to come.

Josh and I stayed in and had a fantastic New Years Eve dinner at home last night.  Niether one of us made it to midnight… I think we were both asleep by 11:00 pm.  Party Animals over here.

For Christmas my mom gave me this beautiful dutch oven, and I have been dying to test drive it.

We decided to try a Short Ribs recipe from my beloved Paula Deen

First, I gathered my ingredients, chopped the garlic, and got it browning in the oil.

By this point, Brody and Sammy were just exhausted from the work.

After seasoning the ribs, added them to the dutch oven and browned until a nice crust formed on each side.

Then added beef broth and water and heated to a boil.

Once liquid was boiling, I removed the ribs and placed them in a casserole dish along with onions, remaining garlic, and about a cup of the broth. 

Then, covered with foil, popped it in the oven at 350* for 2 hours, and let it roast away… MMMMmmmmm…..

Along with this glorious meat, we had boiled sunset fingerling potatoes.  I had never tried this variety that included several colors, but we were really happy with them!  After boiling I added a few pats of butter, (we were eating them with a Paula Deen recipe, after all) some garlic and parsley.  They were so silky and smooth– I highly recommend!

In honor of the Holiday we were getting ready to sleep through, I decided candle light was in order.

By this point, the whole house was starting to smell pretty amazing.  Not to toot my own horn or anything.  It was finally time to get the meat out, and enjoy our feast.

Brody regained some energy after a few bites of short rib, and wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone!

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