Living a Pinterest Life

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas — March 31, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas

These were fantastic! The only enchilada recipe I have ever made takes an hour to bake and that doesn’t include the prep time. These were quick to make. For some reason I have been scared of black beans and steer free from recipes that include them. I decided to be brave with this one and I’m glad I did. Next time I have leftover steak I’m going to make these and include the steak. I made half the recipe and it made me three servings.

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas (I found this recipe on Pinterest, but I can’t remember what the original source is)
•    1 T. olive oil
•    1/2 medium onion, diced
•    2 t. garlic
•    1 15.5 oz. can black beans, undrained
•    1 10.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with chiles (Rotel)
•    1 t. chili powder
•    1/2 t. cumin
•    1 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
•    1/4 t. dried oregano
•    1 C. cooked rice
•    1/2 C. enchilada sauce or your favorite salsa (I used salsa)
•    8 flour tortillas
•    3/4 C. cheddar, jack or any kind of Mexican shredded cheese (I used weight watchers Mexican shredded cheese)
In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions until tender.  Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add black beans, diced tomatoes/chiles, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, and oregano.  Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to med-low and simmer gently until thickened, about 7-8 minutes.  Add rice and stir until heated through, 1-2 minutes more.  Remove skillet from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and coat a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In 10-15 second increments, heat flour tortillas in microwave (this makes them more pliable).  Spoon 1/3 C. of bean & rice mixture down the center of each tortilla, then fold in the sides and roll to form an enchilada.

Place each enchilada in baking dish, seam side down, and spoon sauce/enchilada over the top.  Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, uncover, and top with cheese.  Bake an additional 7 minutes, or until cheese is melted to your liking.

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes — March 30, 2012

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

I have been reading this book to my students about a little girl and her mom opening up a cupcake shop. Each chapter is named after a delicious cupcake. With one chapter left in the book I let the kids vote which chapter cupcake they wanted me to make for them. The vote came down to root beer float cupcakes, red velvet cupcakes, and vanilla cupcakes. I was so surprised they wanted vanilla cupcakes over options like chocolate caramel, peanut butter and jelly, and strawberry lemonade. Tomorrow I will read the last chapter while the students feast on cupcakes, make a cupcake craft, and write a story “If I owned a cupcake shop.” I have never made cupcakes from scratch before, but these were great! They definitely made me more excited for my kitchen aid though. Mixing by hand is no fun!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Recipe thanks to Better Homes and Garden

•    3/4 cup butter
•    3 eggs
•    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    1 1/2 cups sugar
•    1 tablespoon root beer extract
•    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
•    1 1/4 cups root beer
•    1 recipe Float Frosting
•    24 root beer-flavor hard candies (optional)
•    12 colorful straws, cut in half (optional)
1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat on medium speed about 2 minutes more or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in root beer extract and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and root beer to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds to three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
5. Pipe or spread Float Frosting over cupcakes. If desired, top each cupcake with a root beer-flavor candy and a straw half. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.

Float Frosting
Start to Finish: 10 mins
•    1/4 cup butter
•    3/4 cup vanilla ice cream (I used half a cup plus three tablespoons)
•    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
•    4 cups powdered sugar (I only used 3 cups)


Allow butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Allow ice cream to stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup of the ice cream and the vanilla. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. If necessary, stir in enough of the remaining ice cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make frosting piping or spreading consistency.

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Greek Salad — March 29, 2012

Greek Salad

This is my new favorite salad. There are so many different flavors going on. It’s one of those salads that you are trying to fit 6 different things on your fork at once so you get all the flavors in one bite. The only negative thing I’ll say is the dressing was very garlicky. The flavor was great, but I won’t be getting too close to anyone tomorrow. Next time I make it I will probably stick with one garlic clove. I made the whole recipe on this one so I can have a refreshing lunch for the rest of the week. Enjoy!

Greek Salad

recipe thanks to Food Network
•    6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
•    2 cloves garlic, minced
•    2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
•    1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Greek
•    2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano ( I used half a teaspoon dried oregano)
•    Freshly ground black pepper
•    1 head romaine lettuce (about 1 pound), trimmed of tough stems and torn into bite-sized pieces
•    6 ounces calamata olives, about 1 cup
•    1/2 pound Feta cheese, crumbled
•    1 English (seedless) cucumber, trimmed, cut into 1 inch chunks (I just used a regular cucumber)
•    12 ounces vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
•    1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and drained
•    1 green pepper, trimmed, seeded, and diced
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt, and oil. Stir in the oregano and pepper to taste. Set aside.
When ready to serve: In a large bowl lightly toss the lettuce with some of the dressing. Divide the lettuce among 4 salad bowls. Scatter the olives, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, and peppers over the top of the greens. Serve and pass the remaining dressing at the table.

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Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice — March 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

I love coming home after a long day of teaching and working out to the wonderful aroma of food cooking in the crockpot. The only bad thing was coming home an hour before it was done cooking.  It was torture waiting that hour to eat. Needless to say there was a lot of pacing and keeping myself busy so I didn’t sneak too many bites from the crockpot. Half the recipe made four good size servings. I’m trying to cut the number of leftovers down for when I move in with my fiance. He hates leftovers so I want to get it down to three servings a recipe (dinner for each of us and lunch for me the next day).

recipe thanks to Southern Plate

•    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
•    1 large onion, chopped
•    1 -8 ounce box Zatarain’s Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions (I use Rice a Roni Broccoli Au Gratin)
•    1 cup cheddar cheese
•    1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (I used fat free)
•    1 -15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1.    Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

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Slow Cooker Jambalaya — March 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

It has been so hard to smell this wonderful smell all day without sneaking a bite. I went into the kitchen about every hour just to look at it and smell the aroma. My fiance always yells at me when I’m cooking to stop looking in the pot or oven because I’m letting out the heat! I can’t help it though I’m impatient and I love food! Half the recipe made four good size servings.

SLOW COOKER JAMBALAYA (I don’t know where I got this recipe so thanks to whoever it came from!)

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut up into small pieces
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 c chopped celery
1 c chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 c instant rice

1. Place all ingredients except rice in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Add rice, as desired, into each individual serving of jambalaya. Store rice separately from rest of stew.

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Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta — March 24, 2012

Easy Cheesy Taco Pasta

This is AMAZING! Tacos+Pasta=LOVE. This recipe calls for a lot of things that I’m sure you all have in your kitchen. It took me only 20 minutes to make. I only made half the recipe and it made plenty. Half the recipe would be enough for two and leave leftovers.

recipe thanks to Lauren’s Latest


1 lb. ground beef {I used 93/7}

1 taco seasoning packet

1 1/2 cups southwest salsa

1/2 cup water

1/2 lb. pasta {I used rotini}

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup cream

salt & pepper, to taste {I left this out, didn’t think it needed it}
Bring water to boil to cook the pasta. Salt it and cook pasta until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, cook ground beef, breaking apart as you go. (I used my pampered chef ground beef cooker in the microwave) Once thoroughly cooked, drain meat and run under hot water to remove any fat. Wipe out pan with paper towel and place back on heat. Pour cooked beef into hot pan with taco seasoning, salsa and water. Simmer until pasta is finished cooking.

Once pasta is cooked, drain well and pour into skillet. Top with cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and noodles are coated in sauce. Serve immediately.

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Mojito — March 23, 2012


Thursday night Mojitos? yes please! A pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Double yes please! The weather is starting to get so nice outside and that just makes me want refreshing summer like drinks. In comes the mojitos!

recipe thanks to All Reicpes

The Real Mojito


  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
  • 1/2 cup club soda


  1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.
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Pesto Chicken Pizza — March 22, 2012

Pesto Chicken Pizza

This recipe was awesome to make because it cleaned out my fridge. I had everything needed in my fridge except the pizza dough. I wonder if I can buy pizza dough in a smaller size….? It made a lot of pizza, but lucky me gets hot lunch for the rest of the week.

I can’t remember where I found this recipe, but it wasn’t really a recipe. It just told the ingredients, not how much. I just used the rest of what I had so the amount of ingredients is up to you.

Pizza dough (I used Pillsbury refrigerated dough)
Pesto (I used about 1/4 cup)
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Chicken, cooked and shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
Pine nuts

*Roll pizza dough out on a pan or pizza stone.  Spread pesto over dough.  Sprinkle with cheese, chicken, Parmesan and pine nuts.  Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.

*I baked the dough for about 5 minutes before adding toppings because I wanted to make sure it got totally done all the way through.

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Stuffed Baguette — March 20, 2012

Stuffed Baguette

I have a new love of kalamata olives so when I saw this recipe using them I had to try it! The best part about making this recipe was getting to use my mom’s kitchen aid mixer. I was home for the weekend and had to give the mixer a try. This got me so excited to get my mixer in a couple months! This was delicious, but next time I make it I’m going to make it into a spread with slices of bread. My parents said it was good on crackers too.


Stuffed Baguette

Recipe thanks to Baking Obsession

Makes one 12-inch long baguette; about 24 slices
•    Baguette about 14-inch long
•    8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
•    4 oz fresh goat cheese
•    1 large garlic clove, minced
•    ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
•    ½ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
•    ¼ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
•    2 oz finely chopped spicy salami
•    About 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
•    About 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
•    Freshly ground black pepper
•    Salt to taste (very unlikely since there’re plenty of salty ingredients)

Slice off both ends of the baguette. Using a long thin knife and working from both ends, hollow the baguette out leaving about ½-inch thick crust all around.

Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Beat in the goat cheese and garlic. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Working again from the both ends, fill the baguette with the cheese mixture. Pack the filling tight. I like to use a slender tequila shot glass for pressing the filling in. Wrap the stuffed baguette very well in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. Right before serving, slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices and serve. For the most neat looking slices, treat it as a cheesecake – each time slice it with a hot dry knife.

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Stove of Shame Chicken and Wild Rice Soup/Casserole — March 14, 2012

Stove of Shame Chicken and Wild Rice Soup/Casserole

Usually when I make things in the Crockpot I come home at lunch and it is finished by the time I get done teaching and working out. This week we have conferences though 😦 Three nights of staying late and talking to parents about their children… not my idea of fun.  I wanted to make this soup because I knew I wasn’t going to want to cook by the time I got home, but it needed to be started later than my lunch since I wouldn’t get home until eight. It worked out perfect having my fiance here this week because he could start it! I wrote him a little post it note with directions and left it next to the Crockpot. Well this meal ended up being in the Crockpot for eight hours…Way too long. That’s why the post is called casserole because that’s what it ended up being like! When you make this recipe make sure you don’t have it in for the full eight hours.  My fiance ate his on a plate, but I still wanted to eat mine in a bowl since it was supposed to be soup in the first place. I made half the recipe and I still have two containers of left overs.

Chicken and Wild Rice


4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots (I diced mine)
1 cup diced celery


Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken and rice (along with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks and then add back into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on low for 15 more minutes.

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