Monday, January 21, 2013

Spicy Enchiladas

I am a huge Enchilada fan. I love Mexican food and so does my husband. My kids just don't know what's good and they don't like anything but popcorn chicken so their opinion doesn't count in this.

The original recipe calls for avocado and I am not a fan so I skipped that and I really ended up changing a lot of the recipe. So my version is below and the original version is linked below if any one is interested.

Please excuse the crappy pictures. It gets really dark in Belgium early and the lighting in the house is not the greatest. Really looking forward to moving to the states where our next house is going to have impeccable lighting I am making sure of it.

Bonus! The left overs heat up really well and taste amazing.

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This bad boy has a pound of cheese! When I say it is amazing, please believe me haha!

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Spicy Enchiladas my recipe
Inspired from The Novice Chef's Spicy Avocado Chicken Enchiladas


for the sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red or green pepper, minced
2 tbsps flour
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup medium salsa
1/2 cup fat free sour cream or greek yogurt

for the enchiladas:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 lb Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 small yellow onion, chopped
8-10 flour tortillas


1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Heat the butter on high in a sauce pan. Then saute garlic & both kinds of peppers for a minute. Then add the flour and stir constantly for about 2 mins. Then add in your chicken stock, cumin, salt, & pepper and bring to a boil. Gently stir in salsa and sour cream or greek yogurt.

3. Pour a little sauce in the bottom of the pan about 1/2 cup. I don't like my Enchiladas super saucy so you could put a little more if you like.

4. Fill your tortillas with chicken, cheese, & onion (you can omit if you don't like onion). Place in the pan and continue on until pan is full. Then pour as much or as little of the sauce as you like on top of the filled tortillas then use whatever cheese you have left and put on top and bake for 20 mins.

For the best results DO NOT buy bag cheese! Buy the cheese in blocks and shred yourself. It always melts the best. Enjoy the cheesy goodness! It pairs well with chips and salsa or a salad.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

3 layer Banana Cake

Moist... it's just not a word I like to use. It just I don't know quite how to explain my hatred of that word. There just is no other word to describe this delicious cake! It is super ..moist.. and just so good. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment to this cake.

I made this cake for my 27th Birthday. I don't order cakes from bakeries here because the Belgians are huge on like pastry cake piled with lots of fruit. They are delicious but for my birthday I wanted cake, good old fashioned cake piled on with loads of yummy frosting. I also am a baker so that means I am super picky. So I decided none of my friends should deal with my serious obsession with food and worry about what I would like, commissary cake was not happening, and my husband can't bake to save his life.. poor guy lol. So I decided to make my first 3 layer cake. I am so glad that I did. We went out and had Indian food at Ashoks. If you ever find yourself in Belgium in the Mons area please do yourself a fantastic favor and look up Ashoks. The atmosphere is not only so inviting and authentic but the food is fantastic. The chef himself came out and checked on us quite a few times and gave ice cream to our friend's little boy.

I topped my cake with lots of sprinkles to celebrate turning 27 and my oldest son Jakob photo bombed the cake picture, it just makes it that much better.




3 Layer Banana Cake by The Novice Chef modified by me


3/4 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz non sweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)

For the frosting:
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 (12 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
5 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 8-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla, sour cream and applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in banana mixture.

Divide batter (about 2 1/2 cup batter in each pan) into prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and immediately place in freezer for 45 minutes. (This keeps the cake moist by immediately stopping the baking so the cake does not continue to bake when you remove it form the oven.)

For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese & cinnamon until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Add confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer. Then apply a thin crumb coat on the top and sides. Pop back in the freezer to harden the crumb coat for about 10 minutes. Then apply a thick even layer around the outside of the cake.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken & Noodles

We all have them, those days where you don't have enough arms, legs, time, etc. etc. You need to feed the family a savory & filling meal. I use my crock pot all the time. I think next to my food processor it's my most used appliance. I could go on and on about my crock pot. It's true love I tell ya.

Today was one of those days. The husband had a huge meeting and my youngest son had a doctor appointment. Basically we left house at 10 and didn't get home until 4. So before I left the house I threw this easy, delicious meal in the crockpot. It was well worth the few extra steps I went through!

Excuse the crappy lighting in my house. We don't get a lot of natural light in the house and lets face it, the weather in Belgium is most of the time cloudy and rainy.


Excuse all my cheese =P

Original recipe found at Eat your heart out


4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
½ teaspoons Black Pepper
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 cup Low Fat Milk
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 teaspoon Sugar
½ teaspoons (heaping) Garlic Powder
½ cups Reduced Fat Sour Cream
½ cups Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
¼ cups Flour


Cut the chicken into strips or bite-size chunks. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together chicken broth, milk, cornstarch, sugar and garlic powder. Pour over the chicken.

Cover the crockpot and cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or low heat for 7-8 hours.

Then, in a separate bowl, combine sour cream, Greek yogurt and flour until smooth. Stir this into the cooked chicken mixture and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes until thickened.

Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as necessary. Serve hot over egg noodles or even rice.

* You can use all sour cream or even all Greek yogurt instead of halving them if you prefer.

* You can add veggies in this like peas, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, whatever floats your boat. We just paired our dinner with a salad and called it good.

** I did something almost totally different with this recipe. When it came time to mix the sourcream/yogurt mixture, I put it all in a big pot on the stove and let it boil for a bit to make it less watery. It came out fantastic and really incorporated everything together nicely. If you want to do this, this is the time I would add any veggies and let simmer for about 20 mins **

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Coffee Talk: Happy New Year


1. It's 2013! What will be the first thing you do that is memorable?

Hmm... that is seriously a tough one. Honestly I think it will be when I go to DisneyLand Paris with my family and momma (yes I still say momma and mommy, I spend a lot of time in the south =P ). We are PSCING soon after that ( can I get a Halleluiah?).

2. It's also income tax season... what do you plan on doing with all of that $$$?

Nothing very fun, well we are moving to Pope Army Air Field/Fort Bragg so we need that money to move, we need furniture since having 2 small children is not conducive to keeping what you have nice, & try to find a small junker for Jason to go from work to home in.

3. What are your 2012 pros/cons?


My husband put on E6
My husband lost a bunch of weight
My mom came to Belgium to visit
We made a bunch of new friends
The boys got the teachers we wanted for the 2012 school year
My cupcake business really picked up
We traveled a bit


My son got locked on a bus for 3 and a half hours in the snow and no one could find him
My best friend moved ( the joys of being a military spouse)
We still didn't find a good church
It didn't really snow much..
I am sure there are more but I can't think of them right now.

4. What are you looking forward to this year?

We are moving to North Carolina & buying our very first home! We are more than excited! I will be 6 hours from home and my mom and dad so that is freaking fantastic!

5. What was your favorite movie, CD album, book of 2012?

Hmm that is really tough..

Movie: The Hobbit. Freaking fantastic. If you have not seen it, you're missing out.
CD: The new Maroon 5 CD hands down, I Itunesed it.. yup new word itunesed
Book: The Hunger Games, nothing else compares. I have been disappointed in the rest of the books I've read because nothing else adds up for me to their awesomeness.
TV Show: hmmmmm Downtown Abbey of course. I just love British Drama what can I say.