04/28/14
IMG_3498

chocolate peanut butter crisp bars

And just like that a week has flown by!  I’ll be popping in a few more times this week with a few things lined up to share. But first, chocolate!

IMG_3496

Last week I celebrated my 27th birthday.  It was a pretty wonderful day.  I taught two classes, got some great time in with the kiddos and Jacob set up an evening of kid-free shopping + beers out.  Mid-week date nights are pretty great, especially when I get spoiled. :)

IMG_3521

I made some treats to bring along to one of my classes.  They were so simple and delicious I just had to share.  And now looking at these pictures I wish they weren’t all gone!

IMG_3498

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp Bars

Makes one 9×5 pan of bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or your favorite kind)
  • 2 cups rice krispies (or your favorite puffed rice cereal)

Directions

  1. Heat the peanut butter and chocolate together in a medium pan over low heat.  The chocolate doesn’t need to be completely melted, but most of it should be.
  2. Stir in the rice crispies then pour into a 9×5 pan lines with foil or parchment paper.  Chill in the fridge until it hardens.  Remove and cut into pieces with a sharp knife.

How do you celebrate your birthday?  Normally we don’t do much for mine, but this year’s outing with the hubs was so fun!

Heather

08/8/13
IMG_7473

what’s for dinner? creamy chicken enchiladas

During the past two weeks of having a meal plan, I’ve had a favorite meal in each week.  This week it was the roasted cauliflower frittata.  Last week it was the creamy chicken enchiladas.

You can find the link to the frittata recipe in this week’s meal plan, but since there was no recipe for the enchiladas, I just must share!

IMG_7473

Enchiladas have always been an easy meal in my mind.  You just stuff your tortilla with mexican-ish fillings, cover in sauce and cheese and you’re good to go.  Easy right?  Making them a bit healthier takes a little bit of thinking, but you sure don’t have to be a rocket scientist to make them.  All you have to do is have assembly line skills.

IMG_7464

I began by making my favorite big batch enchilada sauce and froze the extra for another time. If you don’t want to make your own, you can easily just used your favorite store bought kind.

I always sub in whole wheat tortillas for white ones in enchiladas.  As the sauce soaks into the tortilla you really can’t tell a difference.  Maybe my husband can, but he’ll get over it. ;)

IMG_7472

My last swap was adding plain greek yogurt into the filling.  I remember eating enchiladas growing up and I loved the cream cheese added in.  I still added cream cheese, but swapped out half with greek yogurt.  You get a little bit more protein and natural creaminess.  Kind of like my swap with the spinach artichoke dip.

They definitely do not pack a lot of heat – so if that’s your thing get some hot enchilada sauce or add a lot of chili powder and/or sriracha into the filling.  Taste as you go along, you don’t want to add too much!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.  They are delicious as left overs, which is good because you’ll end up with a big pan of them.

IMG_7474

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 3 cups red enchilada sauce (make your own or use your favorite store bought brand)
  • 8-10 whole wheat tortillas
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly spritz a 9×13 baking dish with oil.
  2. In a pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Add in the onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, until soft.  Remove and pour into a large bowl.  Add the green chilis, chicken, greek yogurt and cream cheese.  Stir until everything is evenly mixed around.
  3. Set up your assembly line – pan, cheese, tortillas and chicken filling.  Spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce along the bottom of the baking dish.  Take a tortilla and put 1/3 -1/2 cup filling into the center.  Add 1-2 tbsp cheese on top.  Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish.  Repeat until you have used all the filling.
  4. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.  Use a spoon to move the enchiladas around a little bit to make sure the sauce gets in between each tortilla.  Cover with the remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce begins to bubble along the side.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.
  6. Serve with sour cream, avocado and your favorite mexican toppings!

It may look like a lot of steps, but it really is a simple meal to throw together.  If you want to make it a day or two in advance, just keep it covered in the fridge until it’s time to bake.  You’ll have to bake it a bit longer since it will be coming out of a cold fridge.

Are you a heat or no heat fan for your enchiladas?  Do you like to make your own sauces?  Do you make them in big batches to save time like me?

I’m already thinking about next week’s meal plan and am feeling spaghetti.  Do you have a go to spaghetti sauce recipe you love?  Please share!

Heather

07/18/13
IMG_7215

cocoa peanut date balls

Yesterday was a glorious day.  I had no plans, no teaching and no agenda.  Hunter’s been a little under the weather the past couple of days so it was nice to be able to be home to give him lots of opportunity to sleep.  I woke at 5am with the hubs (not normally when I get up), made him coffee and food to take and then instead of going back to bed, I was awake and got to the day!

Coffee, first breakfast (toasted whole wheat english muffin sandwich with cream cheese, an egg with cheese) and my daily devotional to start the day.

IMG_7201

It was perfect for that day, because while I did have lots of busyness going on, I didn’t feel rushed or overwhelmed like I normally would.

After that,  I turned into a crazy cleaning lady.  First I started inside by making the bed and folding + putting away two loads of laundry.  I also picked up the clothes, empty glasses and random things around our bedroom.

Then around 7am I went outside.  I watered the front lawn, cut down a bunch of black berry vines, pulled weeds, trimmed a tree + some bushes and even picked up dog poop from the back yard.  All before it got too hot outside and prior to Hunter waking for the day.

Around 8:15am Hunter woke.  We had breakfast (breakfast #2 for me) then went for a walk outside.

IMG_7210

Hunter started to fall asleep right before we got home, so I put him into bed when we returned.  Then I continued to clean!

It was time for the downstairs bathroom.  Shower scrubbed, shower liner replaced, outside shower curtain washed (because I accidentally squirted bleach on it… whoops!) toilet cleaned, sink and mirror cleaned, and the floor swept + mopped.  Then I showered myself.

Before lunch I made some healthy treats, which I’m going to share after all my ramblings + I cleaned up the kitchen.  Hunter woke around 12:15pm and we ate lunch – grilled avocado and cheese + orange slices + a green smoothie for him.

I put the peel from our orange slices + some rosemary from the yard into a pot with some water and turned it on low.   The house smelled divine.

IMG_7219

We went to a couple stores to get out of the house, but by 2pm Hunter was sleepy again, so back home.  He went down for his long nap around 2:30pm and that lasted until around 5:45pm.  That boy sure is sleepy when he doesn’t feel well!

During that time I only did a few more things: picked up the downstairs hall a bit, unloaded the dishwasher from running it earlier, took out all the recycling, emptied the garbage cans throughout the house, relaxed for quite some time on pinterest, folded two more loads of laundry and made these peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

IMG_7223

YUM.

It was a packed day, but since I didn’t have any kind of agenda it actually felt pretty relaxed.  I didn’t feel busy, I just did what I wanted to do.  And normally I never clean this much… so this was not very Heather like.

Now onto the treats!  I’ve had a hankering for some chocolatey date balls.  Last week when I was in the bulk section I stocked up on dates and peanuts.  I remembered to soak my dates early on in the morning (which is key!), which made them come together quickly.  They are best stored in the fridge to harden up.  Enjoy!

IMG_7215

Cocoa Peanut Date Balls

makes about 20 balls (depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dates (soaked for at least 2 hours in water)
  • 1.5 cups dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In the food processor pulse the dates (excess water from soaking drained) until they turn into a smooth paste.  Remove and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the peanuts to the food processor and pulse until they are broken into small pieces (just don’t go too long or it will turn into peanut butter!).
  3. Add the dates back in, along with the cocoa powder + sea salt.  Pulse until everything is combined.
  4. Place plastic wrap on a baking sheet or cutting board.  Roll into balls (slightly smaller than golf ball size), and place on baking sheet.  Store in the fridge to harden up.

Do you ever have days like that where you just go crazy cleaning?  Have you made date balls before?  What’s your favorite flavor combo?  Another recipe I love are these almond, date and coconut balls.  Sooooo good.

Not much cleaning planned for today… 3 classes to teach.   Have a wonderful Thursday all!

Heather