Monday, February 23, 2015

Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

When it's chilly, I crave warm, cheesy dishes. And last week was particularly cold so I made some enchiladas to satisfy my desire for warmth and cheese. They hit the spot. 
1° F = -17° C
Usually enchiladas are tortillas filled, rolled up, covered in sauce, and baked. But after reading Bread & Wine last summer, I make mine in layers like lasagna because it's quicker.

It allows you to be creative with "fillings" too . . liked sliced potatoes. 
Sidenote: I borrowed my parents' simple slicer for this job. I would definitely lose a finger doing it the old fashioned way!

Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

• 16 ounce can of enchilada sauce

• 1/2 cup vegetable broth
• 1 
can black beans 
• 2 potatoes, sliced thin

• 6 tortillas
• 1/2 medium onion, diced
• 1 - 2 cups 
Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese, shredded 

Optional (I've tried all of these and they're delicious - just don't use more than 2 of them at the same time. You'll run out of space!)
• 1/2 cup leftover cooked rice
• 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
• 1/2 cup corn
• 1/2 cup diced peppers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of an 8x8 casserole dish with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Add a single layer of potatoes, followed by 1/3 of the black beans, onion, cheese, and any of the optional items. Cover with a tortilla. Smooth on a spoonful of enchilada sauce. Repeat with another tortilla and spoonful of sauce. Repeat all layers twice more. If you run out of enchilada sauce (depends on what type of tortilla you use), use vegetable broth. Top with any remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese bubbles. Remove from oven. Top with cilantro or sour cream if desired. Enjoy!

Mr. G and I usually cut it into 6 slices and pair with a giant salad :) 

This can easily be doubled, just use a larger dish and make two stacks of tortillas. When I cook this for company, I'll make one with shredded chicken or ground beef for the meat eaters and the potato one for myself. And if you can't find canned sauce, I found this enchilada sauce recipe from Damn Delicious that I'd like to try next time.

Do you crave certain foods when it's cold? I'm also partial to soup when the temperature drops.

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Sneakers

I tried on my first pair of Clarks about eight years ago and fell in love immediately. The fit and comfort can't be beat! Since then I've gone through three identical pairs of sneakers (most recent pair is on the left) and a couple pairs of dress shoes. But my current pair of sneakers had certainly seen better days so I trekked to the mall for a new pair. And was bluntly informed by the salesperson that style had been discontinued two years ago! Oh, the horror. 

So began my quest for a suitable replacement. But hunting down a pair of black, slip-on sneakers was harder than I thought. The last place I tried was Nordstorm and of course, there they were! Not exactly the same look, but close enough, and more importantly, super comfy.

Why am I worrying about sneakers in February? Because I'm not a huge fan of boots. I mean, I'll wear them when it's necessary (outdoors in the winter) but you won't catch me wearing boots for fun or style. And if I have to wear boots, I'll pack another pair of shoes to change into once I'm inside. Or even better, if I'm visiting friends or family - score! - then once indoors, I swap out boots for slippers :)

Here's hoping my new shoes take good care of my feet for the next couple years!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day

Yay Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day isn't a holiday with a festive greeting like Christmas, or even a special food. It's just an excuse to discuss the weather and hope for an early spring. But it was always at least a guarantee of a coloring page or arts and crafts project at school and that makes it a good day in my book. (Maybe one day Mr. G and I will go see the official groundhog in Punxsutawney.)

Today I'm at work as usual but dreaming of spring, and even better, summer! Yesterday I bought a new pair of swimsuit bottoms from Hurley, a company that was everywhere in California last year. And one step further, Mr. G and I are going to start planning our annual June anniversary trip. We're considering lots of places, but leaning toward the Caribbean or maybe Colorado?

How's your Monday going?

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Recipes: 1/6 Tiramisu

One of my goals for 2015 was to cook six new recipes with my husband, roughly one every other month. We hosted a big family dinner last weekend (well, large for us - twelve guests) and decided to give tiramisu a whirl. I find family parties a great time for a dessert trial run - I get honest opinions and there are plenty of people to share with so I don't end up eating 86 cookies by myself.

We used the recipe from Chop, Sizzle, Wow because it was the most straightforward one I found. There are plenty of super complicated ones that estimate it'll take you eight hours start to finish. Hmm, no thanks! 

Regardless, everyone was impressed (I think they had that eight hour extravaganza in mind) and kept saying things like, "It tastes like regular tiramisu!" which made me laugh.
And I have a newfound respect for restaurant presentation - this was the best I could do!

Would you cook a new dish for guests? I know some people only make their tried-and-true for company.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Goals for 2015

2015! It feels like a good, round number for some reason. I'm excited to share my goals for this year - a couple familiar carry overs and some new ones.


Save $300 per pay - Continued from last year. And to make it easier, I'm having it automatically deducted from my paychecks. 


Attend more than 67 yoga classes - Super random number, right? Last year I attended about 67 yoga classes (can't be 100% sure because I didn't start keeping track until late July) so I just want to beat my previous record. I'm going to use this daily goal calendar - black Xs on days I do any kind of exercise (probably a walk), purple Xs for yoga, and left blank for no exercise. This method is quick and very visual so I think it'll work for me. 

from the make29 shop

Read 52 books - A book a week (or so). Aiming for 50 books pushes me to make reading a priority without pressuring me to choose short books to inflate my numbers. So I just added 2 to match the length of a year perfectly.


Exercise together twice a month - Mr. G and I attended a few yoga classes together in November and December and we'd like to keep that going. We often walk around our neighborhood together, but this will encourage us to continue doing yoga together or try out some of the other $5 classes offered at our local gym.

Travel twice - Because it's fun! We'll probably go away for several days for our anniversary in June, and then perhaps a long weekend somewhere else?

Cook 6 new recipes together - We've been collaborating in the kitchen more often lately and enjoying ourselves. We even tried a few new foods! So now let's take that to the next level and combine cooking together with new recipes. Might be a disaster waiting to happen or a great hit, but we'll risk it, hah!

I'd love to hear about your goals for 2015 :)
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