Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Here is one of our family's favorite meals! It is also what I most often take to friends who just had a baby, or have been sick. We serve this with refried beans, and with some salsa and sour cream on the side.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Original recipe by Terri Cendejas

Makes 12-20 servings (2 13x9 baking dishes)

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup flour
1 Tb ground cumin
1 Tb chile powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup canned green chiles, pureed or chopped (or 8 oz chopped green chiles)
6 cups water (or 3 cups water & 3 cups chicken stock)
7 cooked chicken breast halves, cut up into small cubes (or 2-3 cups diced turkey or chicken)
1.5 lb grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
1.5 lb grated mozzarella cheese (about 3 cups)
16 large (12”) flour tortillas, use more if they are smaller (Can also use corn tortillas)
Heat olive oil over medium heat in deep fry pan. Whisk in flour and dry spices to form a roux. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring. Slowly add liquid to form sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add green chile and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Cool.

Toss together chicken and 1-2 cups of sauce. Add ¾ of the cheeses, and toss gently. Reserve 2 cups of sauce. Add remaining sauce to the chicken and cheese mixture and combine.

Ladle ½-¾ cup sauce on bottom of each baking dish. Spread evenly. Taking one tortilla at a time, spoon filling along one side and roll up, leaving ends open. Place enchilada in baking dish. Repeat until all the filling is gone, squeezing enchiladas into the pan if necessary. Top both pans of enchiladas with even layer of remaining enchilada sauce... it won’t cover completely, but each enchilada should have at least a little dab. Finish with remaining grated cheese spread evenly on top of both pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browning slightly on top. Once assembled, you can refrigerate the enchiladas and heat later. Heating will take 10-15 minutes longer.

Make one and freeze one! After assembly, only put cheese on top of the one you will cook immediately. Wrap the second one with plastic tightly over the enchiladas (no air space), and then tightly with foil. With a Sharpie, write the meal name, baking instructions, and date directly on the foil before putting in it the freezer. If you put the second set of enchiladas in a disposable foil pan, you will have a meal you can give away, too.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Love Displayed in Meaningful Gifts!

During this wonderful season of giving (and all year, actually), I love to give gifts that are unique and meaningful. Here are a few fun gift ideas for you. {Bonus, I can help you with any or all of them!} If you are looking for information on my Beautiful Blog Books, click here!

Personalized photo gifts always are a favorite and much enjoyed by the recipient! Here are a few gifts I made this past year. The Photo Panel is wood and acrylic, but also comes in metal. {Free templates make it easy to put together yourself, or custom options can be designed.} Look here, and you will see how I am using another Photo Panel as my countertop dry-erase board!

The Custom Album Coverset can hold scrapbook pages or digital page prints. It can also be designed online, or made completely to your specifications.  Items like mugs, mousepads and t-shirts are always fun, too! Who wouldn't want to enjoy daily seeing their favorite people on an everyday item???

Photo Calendars are another wonderful gift! Pictured here is a 12"x18" calendar... the page can then be inserted into a 12"x12" scrapbook when the month is over. This style is also available in 8"x12", for an 8"x8" album.

The calendar plus an album makes a wonderful gift for grandparents. {I like these luxurious 12"x12" Picfolio albums -- they will hold almost three years' worth of calendar pages!}

Another idea is to use the calendar pages for heritage photos... walk down memory lane with all your pictures from growing up, and give the calendars to your siblings. In 2-3 years, you will all have your own completed family album!

The desk calendar is new! It has it's own easel, and the 4"x6" images also tear out. It is a great size to put on a desk at work, or to carry when traveling. Every month can highlight a special memory or cherished person.

All of these calendars can be customized with one or more photos, words and quotes, as well as special dates and events. You can go here to see more info about them. Again, I am happy to help you with your custom calendars!

Now, here is another fun and personal gift! The Simply Said books are sweet little 7.5"x5" books ready for you to fill in the blanks with your photos and feelings. Don't know what to write? It is easy with the prompts that are provided!

So do you have a special person you want to bless this holiday season? These are all fun and easy ideas... and of course, there are also photo books, cards, photo displays albums, and more! I would be pleased to help you with your personalized photo gifts... in person or by email {terricendejas at gmail dot com}!

{If you create a Creative Memories Digital Center account, please use my Consultant ID: 24915986}

Sunday, November 27, 2011

non-traditional tradition

Here is one of our post-holiday traditions! We scour the supermarkets looking for marked down fresh turkeys after the holiday is over. This year we {meaning Gil, who so graciously went out shopping for me!} found two 20lb turkeys for $.39 a pound. Since we ate our Thanksgiving dinner at the home of a friend, we didn’t have our own turkey leftovers. Which leads to another tradition… having to cook a second Thanksgiving meal just for our family!

Saturday we enjoyed our second Thanksgiving meal. And then I used the turkey to make my famous Green Chile Chicken {in this case, turkey} Enchiladas. They were yummy!!! {I’ll post that recipe soon.} The rest of the cooked meat from the turkeys will be frozen for future meals. I love a good deal!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Evolution of a Photo Panel

This photo is one from my surprise birthday party earlier this month. What sweet friends I have! What you may not have noticed in the picture is up behind me on the mantle -- it s a photo panel that I designed last year and gave to my family for Christmas. A photo panel is either wood coated in acrylic, or metal, and makes a wonderful display in several sizes. I just love ours! 

Well, I had a product credit toward another photo panel that needed to be used, so I decided that I would make a special one for myself.

I thought it would be fun to show my design process from the beginning, to the final outcome. And, even though it is called a photo panel... I didn't plan to include any pictures on it! I looked through my digital artwork collection to see what embellishments and papers I wanted to use. I knew I wanted colors that go with our other decor since I would have it in the kitchen. I also love hearts. And these little birds were so cute! So that was my starting point.

I found some other embellishments I liked and played around with the center shape. I needed more area in the middle than the first big heart had provided. I liked the paper with the writing, even though you can't read it.

I decided the first background looked too solid, so I swapped it for a different patterned paper. I also went with a simpler shape in the middle and tweaked the other elements. I am liking how this looks!!

Now I am starting to get excited because I think it is looking really cute. I love the little bunting and the scallop backing gives it a nice touch.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to include scripture. If you go back to the first draft, I actually had scripture running around the outside of the heart. Since I also liked the look of the paper with writing, I decided I could make my own. So I added a bunch of my favorite verses in a variety of fonts, and it was done! I love it!!!

And here is my photo panel on my kitchen counter. So pretty!

Oh, did I mention that I can use it as a dry erase board?!? Acrylic photo panels can be written on with dry erase markers! This makes a great place on which to write my list of tasks for the day.

I am so excited that I can post my nightly menu and stop all those repetitive questions from the kids about what I am making tonight! This just makes me happy. What could you use a little dry erase board for? You know what else makes me happy about this? I used host credit toward the product credit, so all I paid for my fun little project was tax & shipping!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Since our first Thanksgiving in Charlotte in 2006, we have been blessed to have friends with whom we could share the day. This year we were invited by our friends and neighbors, Sean & Julie, to have Thanksgiving with them. They had two other families coming, as well as our good friends, Alan & Jennifer. 

We all divided up the cooking -- I was assigned rolls, cranberries, and pies. But, I also had to add in our family's traditional deviled eggs and my sister's famous stuffing, as well as whipped cream for the pies. Thanksgiving day was actually pretty relaxing because I was able to get most of my preparations done the day before. {I have been asked to share my recipes, so expect some of them to appear here soon as I type them up!}

Sean getting ready to bless the meal, what a spread of food!, Julie serving her son

We gathered around 4pm. Soon, Julie's kitchen was filled with all sorts of yummy foods! We truly had a feast of flavors. Everything was so good!!!

Julie, Alan, Jennifer

Dinner was so good that I don't think any of the adults even ate any dessert! I know I couldn't. {But that's ok because pumpkin pie for breakfast is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving!!!}

Our sweet kids shared their own table. Jacob and Julie's daughter are in the same class, and were in kindergarten together.

We enjoyed spending time with Alan and Jennifer!

Me and my sweetie! I wish I had gotten a photo of Sean and Julie together.

Abbie & Zac didn't have to sit at the kids' table! I love this picture and love these kids!!!

After dinner, my friend Yogi and her family stopped by Sean & Julie's for dessert. Yogi also brought along her sister and family. It just added to the fun!!!

I just love my friends!

We had a fun, full evening. The kids ate dessert, and roasted marshmallows at the firepit. Each family signed Julie's tablecloth, which is such a neat tradition. I feel so blessed to have my community of friends who are becoming like family. I am thankful for all the many blessings the Lord has given me!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is a wonderful day to spend with family and friends, filled with memories and the tastes and smells of wonderful food. I am so blessed! I pray that we all are thankful, not just on this day, but throughout each and every day. Happy thanks-living!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Coffee Girls

"Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you." ~2 Corinthians 13:11

As humans, and especially as women, we have a hunger and craving for fellowship with one another. As followers of Jesus Christ, that fellowship is even more of a necessity as we navigate through our busyness and this worldly culture. I know I need connection, encouragement, comfort, as well as other people with whom to share joys, frustrations, concerns, and a few giggles. Truly connecting and making heart-friends has been one of my most fervent prayers since moving to Charlotte from Colorado over  five years ago.

Our church is wonderful and filled with the Spirit of the Lord. I have met many amazing people. But I have found myself dissatisfied with the lack of time and opportunity to go deeper than the quick greetings in the hallways as we pass to and from our classes and worship services. I have even found myself envious of our Tuesday morning "MOMS" class, a wonderful fellowship and Bible study for mothers of preschoolers. With kids in elementary and middle, and now high school, I'm past the point of play-dates, which were probably more for the moms than the kids in the first place!

And then, last fall, a casual acquaintance invited me, along with several other women, to coffee at McDonalds. We were all from the same Sunday school class, lived in adjoining neighborhoods, and had kids in the same schools, but we all really didn't know one another. The plan was to meet on a Wednesday morning after the kids got on the bus. I suddenly found that I had my own MOMS (Mothers of Middle Schoolers) group! We began meeting twice a month and became dependent upon and so thankful for our regular fellowship.

On any given first or third Wednesday, you will find between three and ten of us gathered at our local McDonalds. We share, we laugh, we seek advice, we support, and we care. These ladies, virtual strangers to me not so long ago, are now counted among my closest friends. We're all striving to be godly mothers, wives, and women. Just as Paul did with the Corinthians, I share my heart with my "coffee girls." I am so looking forward to tomorrow morning!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Good morning!

Today is our last day of flag football! Jacob has a 9am game, and while it is beautiful and sunny, it is just barely 34 degrees outside!!! Here is a quick thank you card I made for Gil to give to the team mom for this season. Here is hoping we {finally} get a win today!

{I used the CM Day to Day Digital Kit.}

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am still in shock!

I am so blessed with an abundance of wonderful friends, an amazing, thoughtful husband, and sweet, wonderful children. Sunday was my birthday, and I am still in shock and having a difficult time expressing myself. We enjoyed a pleasant morning at church, had a meeting after, then went to lunch to celebrate my birthday. As we headed home, I was looking forward to our relaxing Sunday afternoon. We turned onto our street and I saw a long line of parked cars... "Someone's having a party," I said. I kept looking at each house on the left as we passed by, trying to figure out just WHO was having a party {I'm nosy like that!}.

As we headed toward our cul-de-sac, Gil said, "Why are those people standing in the street?" I was so busy looking at the neighbors' houses that I didn't know what he was talking about. I looked around, but didn't see what he meant. Then as I looked more carefully, and we got closer to our house, I noticed that in the shadows of the trees, people were indeed standing in the street. With the sun shining right at us, it took a second for it to register that I knew these people! WE were having a party!


My husband surprised me for my birthday, big time! It is absolutely amazing to stand in the street and have your friends sing "Happy Birthday" to you! I pulled out my camera and snapped a few photos. {Even in my shocked state, I remembered the camera!!!}

I was pretty much in a daze throughout the party. I am not sure I even said more than five words. But I smiled and laughed a lot. Our home was filled with wonderful people, and the kitchen counters were overflowing with lots of yummy treats. 

My husband was very sneaky and managed to pull this party off without a hint to me! I was shocked to learn that my kids were even in on it. But my husband also utilized his resources very well. He knew he needed help, so he enlisted some of my best friends to help with food, invites, setting up, and spreading the word. I had no clue!

Gil was even sweet enough to have them all gather around me and say a few words on my behalf. Oh, how I wish someone had a video camera going.... I can't remember all the words, but I sure do recall the love that was shared. It was overwhelming. But I really needed the tissue box handy when Gil started talking, and prayed for me. What a wonderful, precious gift it is to have a husband who loves me and prays for me.

It was a fun, fun afternoon that passed much too quickly!

And even in the midst of the huge crowd that gathered to surprise me, I realized that so many others were missing and not able to attend. I am loved and so very, very blessed!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Zac got a phone!

Tuesday we finally broke down and bought Zac a cell phone. We had actually hoped to get him one two years ago when he turned 13, but it just wasn't in the budget. He has been very patient, and willing to borrow one of our phones when he needed to be out and have a phone with him.

My cell, and Gil's cell, were both very old, and the batteries were not holding a charge. So we needed new phones. We had looked at them last weekend to get an idea of what our options were. We were pretty sure that we would go ahead and get a phone for Zachary as well, but wanted to get his input so that he would have the phone he wanted.


It turned out that we all were happy with the exact same phone. Even better -- we were able to get all the phones for free! So we added Zac's line and texting to our plan, and entered the 21st century!

Zac was happy to come home from school on Tuesday and find his new phone waiting for him.

We are all getting used to our new ability to text. A perk I didn't expect is that now I am getting all kinds of cute texts from my husband throughout the day! He didn't think he would text at all. Instead, I think he is finding that he enjoys the instant access to me while he is at work. It's been fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Oct 31 Fun

Last night, my kids dressed up and went around the neighborhood in pursuit of candy. They each came up with their own outfits.

Here is my cute, 7th grade nerd! {I love that she can fit into her baby brother's size 4 sweater vest!}

She went around with a couple of friends from school {with her friend's dad supervising}. She said that the question she received most was about whether or not her hair was a wig! {no!}

And here is my 3rd grade Snowboarder! Gil and I walked around with him, and I can honestly say we did not see another snowboarder anywhere. Pretty original!

The medals were a nice touch.... a gold medalist snowboarder!

We had a fun night seeing neighbors. Since Jacob ran up to every door, he tired out pretty quickly, which was just fine for Gil and I. We were happy to get home to where Zac was passing out candy.
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