Crock Pot Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans


Last night my nephew Jackson made the Fox 4 news. It was so fitting that it was a story about the freezing cold weather that had blown in and he was out playing soccer in shorts.    He was a pro!

His Story….


Super quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve this alone or with chips or tortillas.

1 cup Dried Pinto Beans, rinsed
1-1/2 cups Salsa
2 tablespoons Canned Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce, chopped
2 tablespoons Flour
1-1/2 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
1 cup Water
1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper

In crock pot, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour and water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Place onion and bell pepper on top of chicken.
Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to crock pot.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 6
Calories 300
Total Fat 6.4g
Total Carbohydrates 29.7g
Dietary Fiber 7.2g
Protein 30.4g
Nutrition Grade A

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Kitty A GoGo Cat Litter Box – Leopard Print

Chicken Bacon Mac and Cheese


Very productive day…finished up some book fair stuff, vented about a lot of things, movie night and tried to weed out some of the girls books. Taylor is a speed reader so we buy a ton of books. She has decided she doesn’t like her Nook, so that didn’t work out like I had planned. The books are multiplying like bunnies. Now I just need to get her to realize that we really don’t need to keep all of them.

I’ve never met a mac & cheese I didn’t love. This one was great.

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni Pasta
1 slice Bacon
8 ounces Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Flour
1-1/2 cups Fat Free Milk
1/3 cup Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Salt

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Chop bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until done.

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup and gradually add to saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, dill, salt, monterey jack, colby cheese and 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Mix in pasta and chicken.

Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and sprinkle evenly with bacon and remaining cheddar cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Servings: 6

Calories 347
Total Fat 14.9g
Total Carbohydrates 26.5g
Protein 26.1g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find:

Gouda Macaroni and Cheese


My two weeks of Book Fair started yesterday. That means two weeks of no exercising. I see lots of juicing in my future. That and a lot of crock pot meals. Yesterday I think I made enough shredded chicken to last for 3 weeks.

I’ve only been allowed to make one kind of macaroni and cheese for the last 21 years because Johnny has the one he likes. But I love gouda and had some I needed to use up. He only complained a little.

8 oz Elbow Macaroni
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups Fat Free Milk
8 oz Gouda, Grated
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
1/8 tsp Paprika
2 Tablespoons Breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, in a large pan, melt butter. Add flour, whisk together until blended. Add the milk and continue whisking for about 10 minutes, on medium low heat, until the mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in the cheese until melted. Add in salt, pepper and paprika.

Add pasta and stir until combined.

Pour into baking dish or individual dishes.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and olive oil and mix together. Sprinkle over the pasta and bake 20 minutes.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

Servings: 6
Calories 362
Total Fat 15.8g
Total Carbohydrates 36.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.4g
Protein 17.7g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Steve Madden Tote Bseriana Handbag Purse Leopard

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins


Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year…the Daddy Daughter Dance. This was their 7th one. They only have 2 more to go to.  I cried when they left. They look so grown up! I still picture them like this….















So while they were at the dance, I had my own party and watched Magic Mike. I have a new appreciation for Channing Tatum, but wow was that a horrible movie! Such a waste of a Matthew McConaughey. I’m still not even sure if the movie had a plot or not.

I know we are kind of past the pumpkin time of year, but I still had so much left! This will make 12 smaller muffins or 9 regular size muffins.

1 cup Flour
1 cup Oats
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1-1/4 cup Canned Pumpkin
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 cup Walnuts

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with muffins cups.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and oats in a large bowl.

In mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, pumpkin, egg, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Servings: 12
Calories 132
Total Fat 4.2g
Total Carbohydrates 20.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.9g
Protein 3.5g
Nutrition Grade B+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Vintage Pin-Up Style Beaded Leopard and Solid Satin High-Low Formal Prom Dress Pageant Gown Junior and Junior Plus Size

Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese


I had to take Megan shoe shopping for the dance yesterday. Not an easy task at all. Bless her heart, she knows exactly what she wants but we can’t find it anywhere. She’s a women’s size 5 (which is hard to find) and the girls shoes aren’t as grown-up looking as Taylor’s (who is suddenly wearing a women’s size 6-1/2). We have one more place to try today. Crossing my fingers that we find something so that we don’t have an unhappy Megan tonight.

You can’t go wrong with pasta, cheese and bacon. This was super yummy. Perfect comfort food for after-shoe shopping.

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni
1 slice Smoked Bacon
1/2 lb Chicken Breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 tablespoon Flour
1 1/2 cups Fat-Free Milk
1/3 cup Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Dill, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Colby-Jack Cheese, shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, do not add any salt.

While pasta is cooking, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon, reserving drippings in pan. Chop bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Pre-heat broiler.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes. Add cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, dill and salt. Stir until cheese is melted. Stir in pasta and chicken.

Spray 8″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with bacon and Colby-Jack cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 6
Calories 359
Total Fat 12.3g
Total Carbohydrates 34.2g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 26.8g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Gloveables Dish Gloves — Red and Leopard with Black Bow

Roasted Tomatoes


I took the girls tiara shopping. Not because of our newly discovered Royal roots, but for the Daddy Daughter Dance this weekend. This year’s theme is The Royal Ball so Megan insisted they had to have tiaras. (and necklaces, earrings, gloves, shoes….)  I think we have it all covered now. I can’t imagine what Prom will be like.

A quick and easy side dish. Only 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to make.




2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and halved
2 Tablespoons Pesto
4 teaspoons Parmesan Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Place tomato halves, cut sides up, in a non-stick muffin pan.

Top each with 1-1/2 teaspoons of pesto and 1 teaspoon of parmesan.

Bake for 10 minutes or until roasted.

Servings: 4
Calories 57
Total Fat 3.9g
Total Carbohydrates 4.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.2g
Nutrition Grade B+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: leopard-print vase
by The Macbeth Collection

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie


Johnny was given an article to read at work. It was about finding things that truly make you happy. Determining what your long term goal are so that you have something to work towards. I think his plans involve us moving to Austin to room with the girls when they go to UT. Are you truly happy now and if not what can you do to change that? Life is too short to not be happy.

Smoothies make me happy! This was delicious. The perfect combination of cherry and vanilla.

1-1/2 cups Frozen Pitted Cherries
1-1/4 cups Fat Free Milk
3 Tbs Sugar
3/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Crushed Ice
Whip Cream (optional)

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Servings: 2
Calories 197
Total Fat 0.1g
Total Carbohydrates 43.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.2g
Protein 5.9g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Cheetah Pink and Brown Fabric Memory/Memo Photo Bulletin Board by Sweet Jojo Designs

Chicken Tamale Bake


Okay, just catching up on The Bachelor…..Sean surprising Sarah with her dog was the sweetest thing ever! We raise them right in Dallas. Bless his heart for having to deal with the crazy girls though. Ugh it is so painful to watch sometimes.

I loved this! It’s not as cheesy as it looks in the picture. (I’ve got to figure out a better lighting set-up until we get to daylight savings time.) It was even better the next day. Only 297 calories too!

1 oz Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1 oz Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
2 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Fat-Free Milk
1/4 cup Egg Substitute
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/8 tsp Ground Red Pepper
14-3/4 oz Cream-Style Corn
8.5 oz Box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
4 oz Can Chopped Green Chiles, drained
Cooking spray
10 oz Can Red Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Cooked Chicken Breast, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.

Toss the 3 cheeses together.

Combine 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture, milk, egg substitute, cumin, red pepper, corn, corn muffin mix and chilies in a large bowl; stir just until moist. Pour mixture into baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Servings: 8
Calories 297
Total Fat 10.3g
Total Carbohydrates 33.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.7g
Protein 19.3g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Foxcroft Women’s Leopard Print Cardigan

Super Moist Pumpkin Banana Bread


I found this dress from Ooh La La Couture at Nordstroms yesterday. I was so excited! Then I got home to show the girls to see if they wanted it for the Daddy Daughter Dance and they both said no. I thought I had done a much better job at raising them. The little tiny ones were even cuter!! The other thing I was excited about…my pumpkin bread! It was delicious. It’s not going to last very long. Thankfully I have an emergency spare in the freezer!













1 cup Applesauce
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Ripe Bananas, mashed
10 oz Canned Pumpkin
2 Tbs Unsalted Butter, softened
3-1/2 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Jamaican Allspice
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 cups Pecans, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix applesauce, sugars, banana, pumpkin and butter.

Sift all the dry ingredients (except the pecans) together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir just until all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Stir in pecans.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Servings: 32
Calories 164
Fat 5.4g
Carbohydrates 28.0g
Fiber 2.0g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Juicy Couture Nicola Tote

Homemade Baked Donuts

Are you a donut person or a doughnut person?? I personally have an aversion to “doughnut” but after some research I discovered that “doughnut” is the correct spelling and “donut” is kind of like the nickname. I think the two of us are close enough that we passed the point of being able to go by nicknames long ago. So donut it is!

I had the pleasure of meeting Tori Spelling. Since her real name is Victoria and she introduced herself as Tori, we have reached the nickname stage too! The girls have become huge Tori Spelling fans now because of her furry silky chicken and her pig. They would leave me and move in with her in a heartbeat. She’s a complete doll by the way.
Most likable star I’ve ever met.


Mehran – Tori’s BFF.
























Megan and Taylor with Jo Pearson of Craft Wars and her zebra car. Notice her leopard?? I’m sure she did that just for me….

Wilton Baked Cake Donuts

2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray donut pan with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs and butter. Beat until just combined. Fill each cup approximately 2/3 cup full. Bake 7 minutes or until the tops of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing. Finish donuts with chocolate glaze, cinnamon sugar or confectioners sugar. Makes 12 donuts. Cinnamon Sugar: 2 Tbs sugar 1 Tbs cinnamon 2 Tbs butter, melted In a shallow bowl, stir together the sugar and the cinnamon. Dip the donut in the butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Calories 185
Fat 4.9g
Carbohydrates 32.2g
Fiber 0.9g
Nutrition Grade B-

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs corn syrup
1-2 tsp hot water

In medium bowl, microwave chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup on 50% power for 1 minute, stirring frequently until completely melted. Stir in 1 teaspoon hot water, until the glaze is thick and smooth. Add another teaspoon of hot water if the glaze is too thick.

Calories 231
Fat 7.6g
Carbohydrates 38.0g
Fiber 1.1g
Nutrition Grade C

Confectioners Sugar:
2/3 cup confectioners sugar

Put sugar in a ziploc bag. Add each donut separately and shake to coat.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 231
Fat 7.6g
Carbohydrates 38.0g
Fiber 1.1g
Nutrition Grade C

Today’s Leopard Find: Car Shade