Food Love- Beef and Bean Enchildas

I am a lover of food. So to say the least, I had to find recipes that were not only healthy, but YUMMY! Also, it needed to be filling. Because if you know my husband at all, you know that I need to keep that man fed. He is an obsessive runner and loves to lift weights. He can also eat a whole half pound of beef and still be hungry. So here is a recipe that I found that fits all the needed attributes and is also, literally, as my friends and I used to say all the time in high school, Orgasmic. lol
Here it is, I also added the website to where I found this recipe because, everything I have tried on there has been AMAZING!

 

Beef and Black Bean Enchiladas

(serves 6)

2 tsp olive oil

2 cups sliced bell peppers, any color

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz lean ground sirloin

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

pinch cayenne pepper

½ tsp salt

12  6″ whole wheat tortillas- I used La Tortilla Factory Low Carb tortillas

1 16 oz jar hot salsa, divided

1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, or any blend you like

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, swirling to coat. Add the peppers and onions and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.

Add ground beef and use a fork to crumble it. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture is no longer pink.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, black beans, and ¼ cup of the salsa. Mix well.

Now preheat your oven to 350º F. Spread half of the remaining salsa over the bottom of a 13×9” baking pan.

Lay your tortillas on a clean work surface and spoon a heaping ¼ cup onto the center of each. Roll tightly and line them up, closely packed into the baking pan, seam side down.

When all of the tortillas have been filled and placed into the pan, evenly pour the remaining salsa over the top.

Sprinkle the pan with the cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the enchiladas to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

 

Nutrition info for 1/6th of entire recipe (2 filled enchiladas):

Calories: 368.8, Total Fat 17.3g, Cholesterol: 45.9mg, Sodium: 938.9mg, Total Carb: 41.2g, Fiber: 20.7g, Sugars: 2.6g, Protein 27.5g

 

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2010/10/28/healthy-beef-and-bean-enchiladas/

can you say YUM?

Sentimental Value

Every since I became a mother what I consider to be worthy of sentimental value has changed dramatically.

Before I had Elenore I would have thought you were crazy if you looked at a napkin from your child’s first birthday and said “I should keep this”. Why in the world would you keep a napkin? Isn’t the pictures from their party enough? From my new perspective I have to tell you, no. Just having the pictures is not enough! You want a napkin, her tiara (that she wore while smashing her cake, of course!), a balloon, and the invitation that you sent out to all your friends and family (Whether they wanted it or not).

Another thing I thought was nuts? How many pictures mom’s posted of their kids. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to see all my friend’s and family’s children grow up before my eyes,  but I always thought, “Isn’t one picture a day…. or even a week, enough?” My new found mommy perspective says “NO!” They change so fast! I literally took dozens of pictures a day, and only posted 1-2 (OK, maybe more like 5-10, but hey, I showed restraint, OK?)  I wanted to show everyone every thing she ever did. From her first burp, to her first steps. Everything had to be documented. Matthew’s thing was video taping. We have hundreds of videos from Elenore’s first year of life. Its really kinda funny.

I am thinking this now because last  night we purchased Elenore “big girl pj’s”. What are big girl pj’s you ask? They are just long johns. You know; ones that have 2 separate pieces, not just a footsie pj. They are super cute. One set  has purple owls all over it and it says “I’m to cute to spook” and the other one is pink with a princess on it. I was super excited to put the owl one on her. So last night after bath time, I put this outfit on her. (It took lots of wrestling too. I joked that I didn’t need a gym to work out, just have me put an outfit on my child) After the wrestling match that ensued, I looked at my child. She looked so grown up! I suddenly had this mommy moment. I’m sure all you mom’s know what I’m talking about. Its the moment when you realize how fast time is really going and how big your precious child is getting. I had my mommy moment and said to Matthew “she is getting so big!” I suddenly felt like I needed to cry. All over PJ’S! How ridiculous is that?!

Then later that night when she curled into me and stuck her ridiculously cute toes into my face (her new thing), I thought it again “she is getting way to big”.

Its the truth. You find out your pregnant and the horribly long wait starts for you to hear their heart beat. You think the 10 week appointment will never arrive. Then it does. You hear that precious sound of your child’s heart beat beating along, and you can’t believe that you are carrying this precious child. Then the wait happens again. The grueling wait till your 20 week appointment where you can find out whether you are having a precious baby girl, or a bouncing baby boy. You literally feel like you are never going to make it. People give you their guesses, and reasons as to why they think you are having a boy or a girl, and you personally also have your guess. (I personally think that Mommy’s intuition is always right) People start touching your belly (strangers and all). And you think “am I no longer a person? Just someone people think they can touch at will?” I literally had a moment during my pregnancy that someone was actually petting my stomach. I had this moment where I thought I might actually hit this person. It was horrible.

Then the day arrives. My doctor told me I couldn’t go to the bathroom before. I had to have a full bladder. This is beyond cruel to any pregnant woman! We literally have to pee every half an hour, so to tell us that we had to hold it, is just cruel and unusual. They push and prod your tummy (make you feel like and maybe actually pee your pants a bit lol) looking for all the information they need. This whole time they wont tell you what you are having till all the “essential” information is collected. I was dying, it took my tech 30 minutes to get all the shots she could. The whole time I had to pee, Elenore was kicking my bladder and the tech’s prob, and all I wanted to do was to go to the bathroom and then know what I was having. Finally my very enthusiastic tech said the most amazing words I have every heard “you can go to the bathroom now”. (I know, not what you were thinking) After I had come back she then told me what I had been waiting for, “you are having a girl” . My world literally stopped. I was  having a princess. I was having the baby I had dreamed about my whole life. I KNEW I was having a girl. I even had her name picked out way before I was even pregnant. Back in High school I picked the name Elenore Rose, and it stuck. I had been having dreams of a beautiful dark haired, dark eyed child my whole life. I knew I was having a girl first. Call it mommy’s intuition, I call it a dream from God.

From that point on, there really isn’t anything fun to keep you occupied till D-day. You just have to trudge along (because lets admit it, by this point, you are TIRED!).

Then the day finally arrives. After hours (and maybe only a few for the lucky momma’s) you are handed your child. That moment is the most amazing feeling in the whole world. I heard her first cry and I started to cry. I never cry, but I did when I heard Elenore for the first time. Cherish that moment and every moment after that; because what feels like a minute goes by and they are smashing their cakes one their first birthday, and then you blink and they are graduating High school.

Life is way to short, live it for the Lord and live it to the fullest.

 

 

 

Crockpot Tacos

Here is another one of my favorite recipes I found on the great Pinterest. 🙂

 

Dump 1 envelope of taco seasoning, 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts & a jar of salsa in the crock pot, stir and cook on high(4-6 hrs.) or low(6-8 hrs.) Should be able to shred with a fork. Place meat mixture in tortillas and top with your favorite toppings!

 

This is a favorite of ours. I can’t wait till I have my crock  pot back! Yum yum

Easy Crock pot Tacos

House!

So we moved into our house yesterday! (Closed and got permission to immediately get our keys and move in) We are super excited. It feels so great to actually have our own place again. Now the wait starts for TMO to deliver our stuff. They are telling us no earlier than November 2nd for delivery. So until then we are sleeping on blow up mattresses and purchased some cheap pots and pans. Haha

So now that we are actually moved in, and residing in the residence, I am comfortable giving out my address to whom ever likes it. That being said, I will be sending out some cute cards with our address attached for all our family. So keep your eyes out for those! They are super cute; if I do say so myself 😉

Also, just so all you know, we still don’t have internet. So, that is why these posts are not that frequent and why I haven’t posted many pictures. I will though once we get internet into the house.

 

Love you all!

The Berry’s

 

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday we took Elenore to the pumpkin patch. It was extra fun this year because she could actually walk around and pick out her pumpkin.

We got there and were 1. surprised by the difference between pumpkin patches back home and Idaho, compared to Texas pumpkin patches and 2. thought it was the cutest thing ever! It basically was someone’s house that they converted their front yard into a pumpkin patch. There were rows and rows of pumpkins with fun decorations and cut out figures for the children to take pictures with and  play with. I got extra excited over the princess cut outs lol

Beauty and the Beast! Mommy’s favorite

We spent a good 2 hours there, just wandering around, eating the baked goods, and letting Elenore play with the pumpkins. She thought one in particular was amazing, so there was several minutes of her wandering around holding that  particular pumpkin. It was super cute.

 

Picking out her pumpkin

Something else that was interesting about the pumpkin patch trip was that it sparked conversation  between Matthew and I. We have never really discussed family traditions before. I’m not really sure why; probably because we are just not having kids and stuff, but we had never had the discussion as to what traditions were following us into our family and what our kids would be following. What sparked this was the selection of pumpkins. In my family, we always had my dad pick out the largest pumpkin, then mom; slightly smaller, me, then Wesley etc. It always worked out that my father had the largest pumpkin. It was just kind of assumed that it should go like that. So, while Matthew was picking his pumpkin, I kept exclaiming “But that one is SMALLER than mine! That can’t be!”. He found this super funny, because in his family, they just pick whatever pumpkin they believe looks like them. The size didn’t really matter. I found this hard to grasp. Of course as Wesley and I got bigger, so did our pumpkins and the size difference wasn’t really as drastic anymore, but I really had always assumed that the dads always got the largest pumpkin, followed by mommies.

I realize that this is a silly tradition and really not that important, but it opened the door for the important Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter traditions. So all last night was spent laughing, talking and deciding what was going to follow Elenore through her life. Who would have thought that you have to discuss THAT! I mean we have been married for 4 years in December and just now realized it. haha
So FYI to all you single friends out there; ask about that stuff when you get serious with someone. It actually is something that can make an interesting holiday season if you don’t! 😉

 

Tracey

 

 

Revolutionary Mac and Cheese

Since we have been trapped in the TLF for the past month (as of yesterday… UGH!) we have not been able to eat the way we normally do and are really starting to crave some of the recipes that we ate all the time back in Mountain Home. So with that thought pattern, I thought I might share one of my favorite recipes with you, its called Revolutionary Mac and Cheese. You will see why in a second 😉

Ingredients:
2 cups dried pasta
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup loosely packed cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dijon mustard, can omit and substitute nutmeg instead (for either, start with a little and add more to taste)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

handful of Jalapenos (optional)

Directions:

In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk. (this is the revolutionary part… Makes it super creamy!)  Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.

Turn heat off, add cheese & salt & and stir to combine.  Stir in the mustard and/or cayenne a little at a time, to taste. Cover and let stand for a couple of minutes, then stir again and serve. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir.

If you would like to bake it at this point, place in a baking dish and top with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until cheese has melted.

As a side dish this makes enough for 4 people with no leftovers (can easily be doubled).

I then also like to add jalapenos right before I bake the dish. It turns out to be a spicy, ooey, gooey cheesy mess. Mmmmm…. I need my stove now. I REALLY want this.

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Biker Bells

Since my husband has started to look more into motorcycles; and just recently bought one, I have spent more and more time in a bike shop. Add to the fact that the man we bought our bike from was into all the different myths and superstitions, I have found myself wanting to look more into the legends and myths attached to Motorcycles. The one I just found and am fascinated in; since my hubby found one on his bike, is a Biker Bell. Matthew’s has a POW symbol on it, Matt left it there because of that.

Here is what I found on Biker Bells aka Gremlin Bells:

Legend of the Gremlin Bell

As the story goes, an old gray-beard was riding home from Mexico, with saddlebags loaded full of toys and trinkets for some kids in an orphanage near where he lived.  It was a cold night in the high deserts just north of the border.  As he rode he thought of rides past, epic journeys with long lost friends and the many nights just like this spent in the saddle.

Ahead in the small beam of his old headlamp he thought he saw something.  As he rode on it appeared again, this time there were more of them.  Tiny little creatures that seemed to dart in and out of the beam as fast as the wind.  They were dark little dodgy spirits, quick, and all but translucent in the moonlight—they were road gremlins. Before he could react they were on the bike.  As he mashed on the brakes the front tire blew, and the old rear drum brake that had served him well for years locked up.

When he came to he was nearly ten yards from his bike.  One saddle bag had been torn loose and was lying next to him in the cold, hard packed dirt.  In the light of the moon he could see his bike, the little spirit like road gremlins dancing on top.  He raised himself up to his elbows, where he could see them more clearly, and they caught a glimpse of him too.  That’s when they began to approach.  Slowly, almost curiously, they stalked towards him. As they advanced he picked up the only thing that was within reach, the saddle bag, and began to wave it at them trying to keep them at bay.  From inside the bag came a ringing noise.

He noticed that if he shook the bag the little gremlins would fall back, plugging their ears in retreat.  He quickly unstrapped the bag and dug out two sleigh bells from a set of toy reindeer buried in the bag.  As he knelt there shaking the bells the gremlins retreated off into the darkness.

As if attracted like a moth to a flame, two staggered lights approached from the distance, and came upon the lone rider in the darkness. To the lone rider they seemed like angels coming upon him with wings, guided by the sound of the bells.  The two riders helped the old gray-beard brush himself off and gather his belongings.  They set up camp and talked long into the night, about the old man’s brush with the road gremlins, and of many rides past.  The old man offered to pay, but as-is biker tradition, the two men would not accept any form of repayment.

In the morning the men helped the gray-beard patch his tire and limp to a little service station in the next town.  Again, as they prepared to go their separate ways, the men refused payment.  The old man had suspected this, so in the early morning hours just before dawn, he had awakened and attached two bells, one to each of his angel rider’s bikes.  As the old man watched his new friends roll out of the dusty service station driveway, he thought he could hear the ringing of bells over the low rumble of the bikes.

Epilogue

There are many variations of the ride bell legend, and almost as many ways to tell it as there are bikers to tell the tale. Like many other time honored stories of past, in the beginning it was passed on through word of mouth, from one biker to the next.

In a way, this story is just like any true biker, it doesn’t matter how you dress it, the core of the story remains. Protection is offered in the generosity of friends or in random acts of brotherhood along the road. The spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood between bikers is what the ride bell encompasses.

Source:http://www.nobleridebells.com/ride-bell-history/

I have also found that some bikers believe that if you don’t have a bell, the little gremlins will do all sorts of evil and dangerous things to your bike. Matt loved this since he has encountered some of the unexplainable things that happen while on a bike. For example: They will make your bike suddenly just turn off; while you are riding, or will cause a fellow driver to swerve into your lane and almost take you out.

Overall, he is keeping the bell. Just in case 😉

One other that we were introduced to was blessing of motorcycles by pastors. Matthew’s most current bike was blessed by a Biker Pastor in a Biker church. Because of this, the cross he placed on the bike, is still in place. Matt loves it, and I like the security is represents.

I’ll look into more and see if any others are interesting; and let you all know about them.

Tracey

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