Monday, April 30, 2012

Visit Home to San Diego

Well today I am off, going back home to La Paz-- bitter sweet, as I of course will miss family and friends but miss my husband and can't wait to see his handsome face :) But I had such an enjoyable trip, celebrating my sister, enjoying fellowship with friends, and making new memories with loved ones. Here is a little peek:

Us three sisters at my sister's Bridal Shower

@ Sipz with my sister-in-law

Meeting a first son of some close friends of
mine-- he is too adorable for words!

My most missed place, Yogurt Mill--frozen
yogurt with a delicious granola topping
Playing Jenga with some
good friends!

My suitcase home: packed with foods and misc. items I miss 

So that's just a quick wrap-up of my week, but the highlight as always, was visiting with beloved friends and family-- they are always such a blessing and sweet joy to share life with! Tomorrow's post will feature my sister's shower :) Have a blessed day!

Green Chicken Enchiladas + A Beach Day

This past week my husband had a good friend of his come down for a visit, we had a real good time. Friday we went to one of my favorite beaches Puntas Arenas, where it's a secluded beach, but filled with marine life--so perfect for snorkeling. And I also made these super easy enchiladas and they where a big hit!-- my husband's friend practically ate the entire batch... he said the they were the best enchiladas he ever ate, now that's a compliment! :)

This is where we set-up camp, natural shade.

We did bring an umbrella, but it was a little windy, so we opted for the cave, which was perfect! For lunch I made some whole wheat pita bread and cilantro hummus to make cucumber and tomato sandwiches, along with pita chips and carrots to dip. Although we also packed some quesadillas-- surprisingly they are really yummy even cold, and of course some brownies for a sweet treat.

 This beach is packed with beautiful sea shells and sand is even made of many sea shells-- its paradise!  Well, as we walked along the beach to our spot, our friends simply was overwhelmed with all of them and decided to take a few home... well okay packed his whole suitcase full :) 

Isn't it beautiful!? Incredible white sanded beach + surrounded by reefs.

Green Chicken Enchiladas: (10 servings)
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
1 large chicken breast
1 cup onion, diced
1 can of diced tomato, drained
1 cup corn
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of salt
dash of black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (of your choice)
10 corn tortillas
1 jar of green salsa
3 cups spinach

Prepare chicken by cutting it in smaller strips for quicker cooking time, about 10 minutes. In a large skillet brown chicken using a little olive oil. Next, remove chicken from the pan and use two forks to shred it. Leave it aside and begin to saute chopped onions for a couple minutes until they become translucent. Add chicken back into the pan, along with corn, tomatoes, spices, and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Stir half cup of shredded cheese into mixture and let melt to combine. Remove from heat.
In a blender, puree green salsa and spinach together until smooth.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 9x13 casserole dish and spread a thin layer of sauce along the bottom.
Heat corn tortillas wrapped in a wet paper towel for 30 seconds in the microwave. Take a tortilla and fill it with a heaping spoonful of the mixture, spreading it out along the center of each tortilla, folding tortilla like a giant rolled taco, seam-side facing down in the casserole dish (with dish horizontal and filled tortillas vertical--except for 4 of them, as those will be placed horizontal to fill remaining empty space in dish) and continue until no more tortillas are left. Pour spinach green sauce evenly over top of enchiladas, as well as sprinkle remaining cup of shredded cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, the enchiladas should bubble. Remove and let sit for a few minutes and serve with any additional topping desired-- sour cream, cilantro, or green onions.

Friday, April 27, 2012

DIY Doily Lace Garland

I thought I would wrap this week up with a final project from my sisters bridal shower, lace garland. It's so simple, but really does add that sweet and decorative touch a ladies or girl's celebration.

Doily Lace Garland:
Paper Doilies-- diff. sizes if available
Double-Sided Tape

Step 1: We found an assortment of doilies at the 99 cent store. And so we chose to do some strands with an arrangement of 3 sizes, but along with others, just using one size.

Step 2: Fold the doilies in half, doing a bunch at one time to make for easy supply. 

Step 3: Place the doily along the ribbon so that both flaps are on the outside. 

Step 4: And tape along the inside to secure doily in place, making sure that at least one strip is attached to ribbon to keep the doily secure along garland. 

Step 5: Continue to do so until you have desired length, spacing each doily about 1/2-1 inch apart. It is that simple, and they can easily be re-used for another occasion.

Showcased here is one strand of garland using same sized doilies.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blueberry Orange Scones

These scones were a big hit at the bridal shower and were all devoured by the end of the celebration. I made these the evening before to help ease the load the morning of, and came to find that my dad had even snuck one because he couldn't resist. This combination is really delicious and they are super easy to create yourself-- just may not be the healthiest... its got some fruit in there :)

Blueberry Orange Scones: (makes 16)
Slightly Adapted from: food network
  • 2 cups flour, plus more for rolling berries
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix thoroughly. Cut butter into small chunks and then mix into dry ingredients using a fork. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and look like crumbs.
In another bowl, whisk buttermilk or cream and egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate, but be careful not to overwork the dough.
Roll blueberries in flour to coat them to help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pastry. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to break them. Drop 1/4 cups of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool before applying orange glaze.
Orange Glaze:
  • 1+ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced
To prepare Orange Glaze: 
Combine sugar and orange, until there are no clumps. Continue to add sugar if needed until the glaze is thick, but still liquid in order to drizzle. Drizzle or brush on top of scones enough to just coat the tops, but not drench (I had some glaze left over).

Wet + Dry Ingredients + Blueberries rolled in flour to prevent
them from sinking to bottom whilst baking.
I had forgotten to incorporate the orange zest in the batter, so I
just added on top-- but recommend to mix in. Scoop 1/4 cups
onto un-greased pan and bake and let cool.
Make orange glaze.
Golden brown Blueberry Orange scones drizzled atop with orange glaze.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tea Party Bridal Shower

My sister's Tea Party Bridal Shower turned out fantastic, it was a wonderful event! She was surrounded by tons of family and friends, lots of delicious tea sandwiches and treats--including a chocolate fountain, and the decorations could not have been better, as a co-worker let us borrow many pieces of fine china to help celebrate this tea theme, providing actual glass tea cups to sip our tea from.

Q & A Interview w/ the fiance for a game.

Guess who brought which game...

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwiches:
Sliced Strawberries
Cream Cheese
White or Wheat Bread
Note: Now I am thinking it would have been a great idea to add Nutella!

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches:
Cream Cheese
Thin Shaved Carrots
Sliced Cucumber
Baby Spinach
White or Wheat Bread

Cranberry Apple Turkey Sandwiches:
Apple Slices
Thin slices of Turkey (lunch meat)
Smoke Gouda Cheese
Baby Spinach
Cranberry Sauce (in a can)
White or Wheat Bread

BLT Avocado Sandwiches:
Bacon Strips
Sliced Tomato
Romaine Lettuce
White or Wheat Bread

Green Tea Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
4 bags of Green Tea (cut bags and use tea mixture)
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
3-5 Tbsp heavy cream (use just enough to combine)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cupcake tray with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, combine butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pinch of salt, and green tea until well creamed together. In another smaller bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the large bowl slowly adding and mix until thoroughly combined. Divide batter into cups ( I made 12 mini + 12 regular) about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on cupcake sizes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: in a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, cream, and salt until smooth. Spread the frosting using a butter knife to generously spread the frosting, add any choice of sprinkles.
Lemon Poppy seed English Breakfast Tea Muffins with Lemon Glaze:
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Box Mix 4 tea bags of English Breakfast Tea (using tea leaves inside bags)
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter instead of oil
             OR sub applesauce for healthier version
Simple,  just follow instructions on box and combine in tea leaves. 

Blueberry Orange Scones:
Recipe posted on this post.
Vanilla Chai Tea Cupcakes with Vanilla Chai Tea Butter Cream Frosting:
Adapted from the Novice Chef