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Chicken Ranch Salsa Enchiladas

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in Dinner, Recipes | 2 comments

Growing up my mom made a fantastic enchilada recipe. It wasn’t your normal enchilada recipe. Ranch dressing was the enchilada sauce and they were might tasty!  I’ve made this recipe a lot as an adult. This recipe is one of my husbands favorite dishes also. And today I’m excited to share it with all of you!

I’ve adapted my mom’s orignal recipe, to add a few more of our favorite ingredients: salsa, black beans and extra sharp cheddar cheese. Also, this recipe is perfect for large families or freeze the additional pan of enchiladas for a meal later in the month if you have a small family like me!

Try it! It might just be your families new favorite too!

chicken ranch enchiladas

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 - 16 oz jar salsa
  • 1 - 16 oz bottle of ranch dress or 2 cups of homemade ranch dressing
  • 1 whole chicken shredded (6 cups)
  • 2 cups of shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 16 whole wheat tortillas
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium size bowl, pour entire contents of salsa and ranch dressing into the bowl, stir together and set to the side.
  3. In a large bowl combing chicken, onion, black beans, ½ cup cheese and toss with ½ cup of ranch and salsa mixture.
  4. Spray two 9x13 pans with cooking spray.
  5. Lay out tortilla, add ½ cup of mixture on each tortilla, roll and place into baking dish. Repeat until all 16 enchiladas are rolled and place into baking dish.
  6. Divide ranch and salsa mixture over each pan and spread over evenly.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. If baking one pan, cook on 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. If cooking two trays cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until enchiladas are bubbly and cheese is melted.
  9. Freezer storage: If storing one pan in the freezer, line with one piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and press down to help seal. Then add one more piece of aluminum foil over the top of first piece. Date and label. Store in freezer for up to 6 weeks.
  10. Defrost over night or on the counter up to 2 hours. Then cook stated above.
  11. Serve warm with spanish rice, refried beans or tossed salad.

My cost for this meal

  • Ranch Dressing – $2
  • Salsa – $1.50
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas – $3.00
  • Cheese – $2
  • Black Beans – $0.20
  • Chicken $6.00

Total Cost for this meal = $14.70  ($0.92 per serving)

Note: your cost may be different in your area. Suggestion for lowering the cost: make  salsa and ranch dressing from scratch. Use less chicken and more beans. Decrease the amount of cheese. Use corn or white tortillas instead, they tend to be a little less expensive then whole wheat. 

What is your favorite recipe you remember your mom (or dad) making? Do you enjoy making it as an adult too: like me?!

Sharing today at Chic and Crafty, Foodie Friends Friday and Tasty Tuesday. 


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Shredded Cinnamon BBQ Chicken Sliders

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in Dinner, Recipes | 4 comments

Happy Friday to you all! I hope you have had a great week. Is anyone looking for an easy slow cooker recipe? Well, today I have one for you.

Cinnamon is probably the last spice you’d consider putting in a dinner recipe but I found this warm spice to add just the right flavor I was looking for when I created this fun slider recipe. After my taste testers (my hubby and sweet toddler) agreed, cinnamon BBQ chicken sliders have made here on the blog. I hope you try it out and let me know what you think!

Shredded Cinnamon BBQ Chicken Sliders
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
  • 6 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 24 small dinner rolls (Kings Hawaiian Rolls)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of honey
  1. Place chicken breast, bottle of BBQ sauce, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, onion, 2 tablespoons of honey and ¼ cup of water to a large crock pot.
  2. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, warm rolls in the oven or in the microwave.
  4. Next, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey to mixture. Set to the side.
  5. Assemble sliders.
  6. Prior to serving, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the dinner rolls with melted cinnamon honey butter.
  7. Serve warm.

Warning: this meal requires lots of napkins! :) Enjoy!

What are you cooking up this weekend? 

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Steakhouse Beef and Mushrooms

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in Dinner, Recipes | Comments Off on Steakhouse Beef and Mushrooms

Do you love a good steak?  As I shared with you all on Monday about the special dinner I made for my husband last weekend, today I wanted to share the recipe with you.

If you are looking for a good steak recipe: give this one a try!

Steakhouse Beef and Mushrooms
Prep time
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Total time
Looking for a steakhouse dinner with out the price. Check out this simple, easy and delicious recipe.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
  • 4 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
  • 1 cup of red wine (3/4 cup for marinade and ¼ cup for mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 4-ounce package of mushrooms (any variety will work)
  • ¼ teaspoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  1. For the marinade:
  2. Place beef tenderloin steaks into a small baking dish or plastic container.
  3. Spread mustard evenly to both sides of each steak.
  4. Pour ¾ cup of red wine over steak and cover with aluminum foil or lid.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for minimum 4 hours or overnight.
  6. After steaks have soaked in marinated, pre-heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  7. Once heated, add steaks to pan.
  8. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes for medium (160 degrees).
  9. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  10. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to pan. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, then add ¼ cup of wine, liquid smoke and dried basil. Simmer for 3 minutes and spoon mushrooms over steak.
Place the steaks out in room temperature at least 20 minutes before placing into pan. Make sure pan is hot before adding the steak, this will create a seared crust on the steak.

Resources for this post:
This recipe was adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Women Living Well.

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Simple Cornbread Mix

Posted by on Jun 29, 2012 in Dinner, Recipes | 2 comments

I love cornbread. I have a few dishes that I change up with just a simple cornbread mix. Over the last year as I’ve been changing our diet to a more clean diet (eating whole foods from natural sources). Making the majority of our food from “scratch” is one way I avoid artificial sweeteners and preservatives.  Also, making things from scratch allows me to use organic products with out paying organic pre-made prices.   This takes a little more time then convenient methods, such as buying a prepared box.

And lets face it, buying convenient food in the store is just that: convenient. But what if you take just 5 minutes in your evening to make one convenient item yourself? Well today I have a recipe just for you.  In just five minutes you can have one ready to go “bag” of corn  bread mix ready in your pantry or refrigerator. If you’d like more then one, get out as many bags or containers you’d like and fill each bag with one recipe. :)

This is a great thing to do ahead of time if you work outside the home. If plan your meals on a Sunday  (or day off), a little prep ahead makes easy nights on days you worked all day. Or maybe your a busy stay-at-home-momma with activities and household responsibilities, if you plan ahead it will save you time and money. :)

Heres the simple steps.

All you need is five ingredients (flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder), measuring cups, teaspoons and as many ziplock bags or storage containers you’d like. Also, be sure to print the wet ingredients and directions. Cut out the wet ingredient recipe to fit onto the bag and adhere with tape.

Cornbread Mix
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Total time
Recipe type: Quick Bread
  • 1¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup organic corn meal
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. In a ziplock bag or air tight container add all ingredients into bag or container.
  2. Date bag or container
  3. Store in pantry or refrigerator until ready to use.
Substitute for flour: all purpose or whole wheat Substitute sugar: white granulated sugar

What recipes to do you do ahead to save time? 


* This recipe is adapted from my favorite recipe from Crystal at

*This post is linked to Frugal Friday  and Tasty Tuesday.



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Family Time – Stromboli

Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in Dinner, Family Time, Recipes | 4 comments


Stromboli is an Italian dish, similar to a calzone, but instead of folded pizza dough over the ingredients, it is rolled.  Our good friends Kristan and her husband made this amazing dish for us at a Christmas party we had in December.  It was definitely one of the most delicious dished I’ve ever had.  My husband has been wanting it for weeks now, so when the opportunity arose a few weeks ago while making marinara with Lisa, I tried Kristan’s Amazing Stromboli.

A few days later, I was getting ready to head out with little guy to visit my parents and decided to try making this stromboli again, but with some modifications.  Even though, I love sausage, pepperoni and lots of cheese;  I know it is not necessarily the most healthy or budget friendly.

I did a cost comparison of ingredients to make this dish, for me, it totaled $17.48 for one meal of stromboli.  I know that might not sound too high for some, but for me its more then I like to spend per meal.  So here are 3 things I did to lower the price of this meal and keep you fitting in your current jean size! :)

1. Make your own dough

It takes roughly 5 minutes to make and 2 hours to let it rise.  Planning ahead, you can make the dough in the morning and it will be ready in the evening for you to make your stromboli.   Typically, if you have yeast, flour and water on hand, you have all the necessary items to make your pizza dough and  saving you some “dough.”   The health benefit  here is there are no preservatives or additives, just simple wholesome ingredients you have in your pantry or refrigerator. I use a recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day .

2. Use Less

If a recipe calls for large amounts of cheese, use one quarter to one half less then the recipe amount.  Using less makes its budget friendly and waist friendly. Who doesn’t like that idea?!

3.  Add Veggies

What a great way to add more vegetables to your diet by adding them in this stromboli.  I know they are  not classic ingredients, but using red or green bell pepper are perfect in this recipe, plus they are a great source of Vitamin C.  Although, I have seen the average price (not on sale) for red bell pepper is about 75 cents to 1 dollar each.  Which is a lot for such a small vegetable item.  Buy them when they  go on sale (usually 25 to 50 cents each) stock up on as little as 2 dollars worth, diced them up, and store them in the freezer.  I do this all the time; any time a future recipe calls for diced bell peppers, you already have them on hand.

How much did this meal makeover cost? Here is the breakdown: bell pepper $0.33, onion $0.50, cheese $1.00, homemade pizza dough $1.00: final cost $2.83.  I bought all of these items on sale at our local health food store.  My parents gave us some ground venison, that is why I didn’t add it into the cost.  If I had used 1 pound of chicken my cost would have been $3.83 or ground beef $5.83.

Venison and Red Bell Pepper Stromboli

After I cooked the ground venison and sautéed an onion.  I liberally placed flour on my large cutting board.   I rolled out pizza dough 1/4 inch thick. Place cheese first, then meat, and then add the bell pepper.

Then starting at the furthest side, I rolled the dough towards me like this.

I continued rolling it until it was in the shape of a log.  I closed off the sides of the dough and brushed with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and placed the stromboli on to a baking sheet lined with a silpat.  You could use parchement paper if you do not have a silpat.  Then I placed in the oven for 45 minutes.  ( I had a made a portion of the dough a little thin which resulted in a  small tear in the dough.   I added some dough over it.)

And there you have it, a delicious waist and budget friendly stromboli!   My family absolutely loved this recipe and I hope yours will too!!

Thank You Kristan for your inspiration! :)

What meal have you made recently that your family is raving about? 


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Family Time- Marinara Sauce

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Dinner, Family Time, Recipes | 1 comment

Last Sunday, my husband, myself and our little guy drove to see our brother and sister-in-law.  My sister-in-law Lisa is an amazing cook and baker.  She has such a passion for it and everything she makes turns out great.  Since I have always made store-bought-marinara, I really wanted her to teach me how to make it from scratch.  Once we arrived to their house we enjoyed catching up and watching our sweet little ones run around outside. Shortly after enjoying our little ones, our husbands took over watching them and we  got to spend some quality sister time in the kitchen.

First, we got out everything we needed to make the sauce: 1 large pot, a food processor, and all the ingredients. We used the food processor to chop the onion and shred the carrots.  In the recipe below, it calls for ground beef, but when we made it last Sunday we opted to not add the ground beef because we were going to use the marinara sauce for pizza instead.  But after we made the sauce, I decided I was going to make my friend Kristan’s stromboli recipe, that my husband has been wanting for weeks now!  This marinara sauce was an awesome pare with the stromboli (join me next Sunday to get our new favorite stromboli recipe).

I made Lisa’s marinara recipe 2 more times this week.  I found it takes 25 minutes for prep and 45 minutes to simmer.  To make this as easy as possible for future meals, I will double the marinara sauce recipe and freeze it.   It will be as simple as taking it out of the cabinet.  I would suggest thawing it the night before you plan on using it.

Making a meal with your family every time you see them is not only fun, its a great way to learn a new recipe!

Have you made any new recipes with family or friends lately?  If so I would love to hear about it.  Share it in the comments below.  

Lisa’s Marinara Sauce Ingredients1 pound ground beef1 tablespoon olive oil1 small onion diced

2 carrots finely shredded

4-6 large garlic cloves minced

1 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup of water

1-15 oz can of diced tomatoes

1-15 oz can of tomato sauce

1- 12 oz can of tomato paste

1. In a large stockpot, over medium heat, cook ground beef.  After ground beef has cooked through, drain off excess grease (optional).2. Add onion and olive oil to ground beef.  Cook until onion is translucent.3. Add carrots and garlic to pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until garlic is aromatic and carrots are softened.4.  Stirring together, add salt, Italian seasoning, sugar, water, diced tomatoes, sauce and paste to pot.  Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to low, cover for 45 minutes.5. After 45 minutes, taste, and adjust salt and Italian seasoning if necessary.6. To serve, simply ladle over the top of desired dish.

click here to print Lisa’s Marinara Sauce

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