Saturday, May 18, 2013

Engagement Enchiladas

Can I just say that I miss blogging? I do. I feel like real life has just been getting in the way lately. My schedule goes something like this: work three or four nights in a row, recover for the next 24 hours, clean the house, do some laundry, cook some food, see my husband, hang out with the dog. Rinse, repeat. I'm certainly not complaining, but working nights has kind of thrown things a little off. I normally like to blog in the mornings. And I don't really have mornings anymore. But that's ok. The night shift paycheck makes up for it. And my fantastic coworkers. I'm trying to remember that this is just a season. I won't always work nights. And for right now, it really is ok.

I was going through my camera and found these photos that I meant to share awhile back. These enchiladas are one of the top five reasons my husband picked me to marry. They are filling and simple and feed a bunch of people or make great leftovers. And I've memorized the recipe. Perfect.

You've heard of engagement chicken? These are my engagement enchiladas. Lock it down, ladies. Lock it down.

Easy Engagement Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef, browned
1 onion, diced
1 can refried beans
2 cans enchilada sauce
8 oz shredded cheese
10 tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Dice up the onion, like so. You could omit the onion if your family hates onions. Or just use half an onion. Or you could add some diced bell peppers. I made this recipe up and make it different almost every time. Freedom!

2. Brown up the ground beef and the onion together. I like to leave a wee bit of pink in the meat since we are throwing it in the oven later. Drain off some of the fat. Or all, if that's what you are about.

3. Mix up the refried bean and enchilada sauce. I mix them in a pie plate for reasons you will see later. It takes a couple minutes for them to really get together. Just be patient and keep stirring.

4. Shred up the cheese. You could skip this step by using pre shredded cheese, I do it so I won't judge. But the kind you shred yourself really tastes better and melts so much prettier too. Here I just used a medium cheddar but I've been known to use any variety of cheeses. (Within reason of course. Feta, stay out of my enchiladas!)

5. Make your assembly line. Get out a 9"x13" pan. Put your tortillas next to your bean mixture. Cheese and meat within reach. Your hands will get messy. Beware. Disregard how I did not crop this photo.

6. Ok. So take a tortilla. You really can use any tortillas but I love the whole wheat or whole grain. I think they stand up well and don't get all mushy and just taste great. Your tortilla fits perfectly in the pie plate, so dip it in there and get the bean mixture all up on it.

7. Put it in the bottom of the pan. Add about a 1/4-1/3 cup of meat and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll it up. Repeat times nine.

8. Mix up any remaining meat mixture with any remaining bean mixture. Spread it on the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top. Cover with foil.

9. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The cheese should be all melty and bubbly when you take it out.

10. Serve it to your man. Eat it. Be happy. Get engaged. Get married. Have lots of babies. Live happily ever after. Make him enchiladas every once in awhile, just to remind him how good he has it.

You could put cilantro or sour cream or guacamole on top. That would be delicious.

Or you could eat it out of the pan. Whatever.

Just make these soon. Your stomach and your man will thank you.

Happy Weekend friends!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sophie the Doggler

Listen. We are obsessed with this dog. We call her a doggler because she is like a toddler...but a dog. Ha. I know you are laughing. Or rolling your eyes. Whatever. This is the cutest thing you will see all day. Here is an overflow of doggler photos for you to enjoy. Since I'm bad at blogging. I just had to get something up before she is completely out of that adorable doggler stage. Doggler. Ha.

First off, here is our house after one of the snow storms. So pretty, but I'm so over it.

And here is my little doggler who loves the snow. For reals.

We had tons of snow and snowmen building was a popular activity. One afternoon of walks and we found this one. Hilarious.

Ok, get ready for cute overload. We bought Sophie a backpack. It carries water, treats, keys, phone, poop bags, ect. It gets her tired quicker, which is awesome. And its adorable. Double awesome.

I think she looks like she's ready to go to school. Enjoy.

Sophie loves to cuddle and take over our bed. Don't judge. If you had an adorable doggler, you would let her on your bed too.

 During all that crazy snow, she loved getting cozy by the fire. And eating homemade treats that one of my coworkers spoils her with.

Snow number three?? Late March brought more snow. Gross.

My two favorites.

So she got spayed a couple weeks ago. I cried when I dropped her off. I was fine and then I said something like "please call me as soon as she wakes up!" and started sniffing and walked out with tears running down my face. So that's how that went down.

When we went to pick her up, she walked around gingerly for awhile. We put a t-shirt on her so she wouldn't lick the site. Also KU was playing. So it worked out.

A few days and she is back to normal. Sophie the spoiled doggler. Right now she's basking in the sun taking an afternoon nap. Kinda like this picture.

We originally were told that Sophie was part lab and part German shepherd. Which is probably true, we can see both those breeds in her. But at six months, she is only about 35 lbs and the vet expects her to get no more than 50 lbs when she's fully grown. We're thinking she has some beagle in her. Whatever she is, she is super cute, so sweet, has lots of energy and picks up on new things really quick.

We don't care what you are, we'll keep you Sophie!

Hopefully that's enough puppy love for the day! Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Caleb's 25th Birthday

My husband is getting old. Twenty five to be exact. So actually not old at all. Marrying a younger man seems like such a good idea until you are closer to thirty than he is and you realize he will never catch up to you. Ha.

But we celebrated it up, Caleb style. Facts about Caleb: he loves KU, he loves his friends, he hates going out, he hates cake, he hates healthy food,. So I decided to throw him a party at home. KU themed, watching a KU game, with a bunch of friends, an ice cream cake, junk food, and a day where he didn't have to go anywhere. Perfect.

I made them take a group photo. Because that's just who I am. I realize now that its a little blurry, but you have to work with what you've got.

DQ makes a mean ice cream cake. And candles make everything look magical.

We went out for dinner the next night with Caleb's fam and I caught this sweet photo of Caleb and George. It also is blurry. But that's because George sits still for about 0.0001 seconds and iphones just aren't that quick yet. Get the technology, iphone. 

I think it was a pretty good birthday, if I do say so myself. I also got him a pretty sweet present (a cordless drill) back on Black Friday. I cleverly hid it in the basement and forgot about it. Then we were unpacking and organizing the basement back in January and he found it. So there's that. Moral of the story: hide your gifts better.

I love this man, love a party, and love throwing a birthday party for my man. Happy birthday Caleb!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Best Sugar Cookies Ever

Snow Day!!!! What? I hate snow. For reals. I'm such a big Scrooge when it comes to snow but for real, I hate it. Because I have to go to work. Have. To. Go. There aren't snow days in a hospital. I'm finally off tonight after working four in a row. Including Snowmageddon, Part 1. I'm ready to hunker down with the hub and the pup and watch KU in front of the fire.

If you are, in fact, enjoying your snow day and you are stuck inside, make these. You already have all the ingredients in the pantry. These are the best sugar cookies. Ever. They are my mom's recipe and they are so so so good. I made them for the neighbors at Valentine's Day and it got me like 1000 good neighbor points. And now neighbors are reciprocating and we've been getting lots of delicious treats. So win win win.

Mom's Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
4 tablespoons milk

Cream sugar, butter, add eggs and then all other ingredients.  Mix well, then chill for at least half an hour.  (I would divide the dough in fourths and then wrap in plastic.) Roll out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. (Or the top of a glass works!) Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. 

-To get your cookies to keep their form, chill again before baking!

Mom's Butter Icing

1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 to 6 tablespoons milk

Sift sugar, then add melted butter and milk.  Beat on medium speed until creamy.  If necessary add more milk to increase creamy texture.  Add food coloring if desired. Beat well until well blended.

We ate the rest of the icing with graham crackers. Who even knows how many Weight Watcher points that is. But it was delicious.

So please be safe and enjoy your snow day tomorrow. And thank a nurse or doc or EMT or police officer. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Breckenridge 2013: "To the Suburban!"

Our first trip of 2013 was to Breckenridge, Colorado to ski with our friends Paige and Andrew. The Rocky Mountains are such a sharp contrast from flat Kansas and we love it. I think mountains are just good for the soul. I'm pretty sure Caleb would move there in 2 seconds if I would agree to it. But that darn cold...

We road tripped it out in a rented Suburban, which seemed ridiculous on the way out. Then we loaded everyone plus all their gear in it and we felt super smart and awesome.  

Caleb snowboarded and I skied. We only did two days because we are weak. And one can only take some many nasty falls on an icy mountain. But we loved it.

PS. the best pictures are taken on the tops of mountains. Here is us with Paige, who is like practically Olympic level snowboarder.

We stayed in this insanely cool cabin with these lovely animals hanging out. It had a hot tub. Which feels sooo good after a long day of skiing. I think I skied partially (or mostly) for that amazing feeling of getting in the hot tub afterwards.

On the last day we were there, Caleb and I went to a tiny bar to watch the KU and eat a massive amount of fried pickles. Jake's Dive Bar allows dogs. Everyone brought their huge dogs in there and it was hilarious and awesome.

There was also a big snow sculpture competition in Breckenridge the week we were there. Teams from all over the world competed. The sculptures were amazing and we loved watching them come together as well as the super cool (ha).

We had so much fun and just loved getting away and hanging out with friends. Breckenridge is the sweetest little mountain town ever. I loved it. It was getting ready to snow as we left on Sunday morning. Of course.

Whenever we go on trips, we buy a new album to listen to the whole time. Then whenever we hear that music after our trip, it makes us think of a fun vacation. We listened to Mumford and Sons the whole trip there and back, which seemed perfect for road trips and mountains. Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" also may or may not have been played frequently.

As much as we love vacation, there's something nice about coming home and cuddling up with our puppy. I think its good to miss something for a little bit. (Sorry for the grainy Instagram. I just love this sweet pic.)

Colorado, we miss you already!

 (No helmets, we are risk takers!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What to wear to a Kiewit Christmas Party

Oh you thought I was done blogging about the holidays? Wrong. I'm so behind. I blame it on having a puppy. And working nights. And a dirty house. And nice days. Anyway. I'm almost done. I promise. But honestly, I just hate letting these moments slip away without documenting them. Because I'm super sappy like that.

Topic at hand: Kiewit Christmas extravaganza. Once a year, we all unite for a few days of meetings (for the employees) and parties (for the spouses). This year was definitely my favorite because I got to spend time with some of my favorite ladies that I hadn't seen since Tennessee. There's something about being in a strange far away land that unites us together. We drank wine at 11am, baked cookies, drank coffee, shopped, partied at Power and Light, lunched, and generally had a wonderful time for a few days.

And on the last night we dressed up. Sometime in the middle of all this, I found out that if you google "Kiewit Christmas Party," my blog shows up. And I look like the queen of Kiewit. Kiewit, you are welcome. Kiewit Christmas Party. What to wear to a Kiewit Christmas party. Is that good for now?

In case you were actually wondering, here is the answer. From left to right: LBD (on me, with a fantastic hair day I might add), something sparkly (on Emily, who just had a baby and looks fantastic), something bright (on Christi, who looks like Barbie every single day of her life!), LBD sparkly combo (on Jami, who looks gorgeous par usual).

The other part I love about the weekend is staying in a hotel just miles from my home. Who doesn't love someone cleaning up after them? I also love this elevator. And taking silly photos in it. Since we all know Caleb just doesn't have it in him to take a sweet pic with his wife.

(As you can see, he is carrying my shoes. He really is sweet.)

Love my husband. Love my Kiewit ladies. Love the continuation of the holidays into February.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas 2012: Perfect.

So this year, I had five magical days off for Christmas, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This is the first time I've had the whole Christmas holiday off since we've been married. And it will be the last time for a few years. I'd say we celebrated accordingly. 

We started off Christmas week with an amazing Christmas wedding. Caleb's sweet cousin Emily got married and it was totally gorgeous. I took the opportunity to get my sparkle on. In other news, I just took the rest of that black glitter nail polish off yesterday. I'm on top of things.

My nephew was the ring bearer and he was awesome. As he walked down the aisle, he saw the whole row of us and we were all smiling and waving at him and he just walked right in to sit with us. Hilarious. (Congratulations Emily and Peter!)

We spent the weekend shopping and wrapping gifts.

Pinterest always makes you think your life is not quite as good as everyone else, but it did inspire my wrapping theme for the year. I actually like wrapping with a "theme." It made things a little simpler and easier.

We hit up Crown Center to hang out with the Bellinder side of the family (Caleb's mom's side). I love that place at Christmas. And my husband is clearly dressed ultra festive.

We spent Christmas Eve with my family. We dressed up Sophie for the occasion.

My three favorite guys on Christmas Eve.

Obviously I had to get my sweet pup into a stocking for Christmas. Just tell me she isn't the cutest.

Can I just say that Christmas was perfect? Christmas Eve with my family. A sweet relaxed Christmas morning with my husband and my pup. Cooking all afternoon. I used the deck as a fridge because it was so darn cold. (I made deviled eggs, PW's potatoes au gratin, and strawberry pretzel salad)

Here's a glamour shot of us on Christmas morning. I know you are all super jealous that you don't look like this in the morning. But it was perfect.

We spent Christmas night at Caleb's parents house and had a blast playing nerts and watching the babies open gifts and trying to not let Sophie destroy things. And I took zero pictures. Fail.

Being home for Christmas was perfect. We managed it the last few years being far away in Tennessee, but this year it was just so so sweet. There really is no place like home for the holidays.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Red Velvet Cheesecake

When I called my brother up on Christmas Eve morning, I asked him what he wanted me to make for dessert that night for our family dinner. I wanted to steer away from cake or pie because Caleb isn't a big fan (so weird, I know). Brent threw out "chocolate cheesecake."

Challenge accepted.

I did a sweet little Google search and found this deliciousness and adapted it just a little. So so so yummy! I wasn't planning to blog this, so the pics aren't fantastic. But after I Instagrammed it, so many people wanted the recipe that I just had to share!

Red Velvet Cheesecake (adapted from McCormick's Red Velvet Cheesecake)

1 package of Oreo cookies (minus a couple that you eat before you make it)
1 stick of butter, melted


2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon red food coloring (I just used a whole container of it, you know the kind that comes in a package with yellow, blue, red, and green. I think it actually was a little less than a tablespoon.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar, more or less to taste
raspberries or other garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop up the Oreos in a food processor until pretty fine, then pulse in the melted butter. (You could also just take a rolling pin to a ziplock filled with Oreos!) Press the Oreo/butter mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie plate and bake for about 7 minutes, just to get it set.

Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time on low, just until blended.

Take out one cup of the cheesecake mixture and into that one cup, stir in the melted chocolate and red food coloring.

Pour the red cheesecake mixture into the crust, top with the rest of the cheesecake mix. 

Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate for a few hours or over night. (Or just put it outside like I did, since it was super cold on Christmas Eve!)

Right before serving, make the whipped cream! Just beat together the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until you see some good stiff peaks. Cover the whole cheesecake with it. (My cheesecakes always get cracks on the top so I love covering them up.) Garnish with raspberries. You could also just use cool whip instead of homemade whipped cream! (But the homemade stuff is so darn good!)

This was super easy and super yummy! It would be a great dessert for Valentine's Day. Or for this weekend when you will be huddled inside because its supposed to be insanely cold out.

Get your cheesecake on, friends!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Aaaaaaand its already January 7th! What?! Happy New Year! 

I feel like time goes super fast. I'm so behind on all my holiday happenings that I am going to chronicle them in reverse. Starting with New Years, obviously.

Caleb went to Wichita to spend New Year's Eve with some of his college friends. Super fun. And I holed up at the hospital taking care of sick people. Also super fun. But in a less fun kind of way. Ha.

We made the best of it. As you can see, we celebrated with a massive bag of M&Ms, veggies, chips, and sparkling grape juice in Styrofoam cups. Classy.

Toasting at midnight. Love the graininess.

Sweet coworkers. Love them.

It really wasn't bad at all. I did end my night telling a patient to "make better choices next time." I'll just let you guess what that was about.

I came home to this. Perfect snow. Clean roads, but so so pretty!

I have a couple resolutions for 2013, short and sweet.

1. Read the whole Bible in a year. I know it sounds a little hard and it kind of is. But I've never done it before. And really, it just takes 15 minutes for me to read enough to stay on track every day. A whole seven days in, I'm still on track.

2. Become a runner. I hate running. You probably already know this about me. But I made a horrible error in getting a dog that loves to run, even at three months old. So she's teaching me to run. Mostly by nipping at my heels when I go too slow. So there is that. Running is free. Lots of people do it, so it can't be that hard. And I have to walk the dog anyway, so why not run? This is what I keep telling myself.

I'll be posting more about the holidays all week. I have lots of good stuff. Happy New Year! Yay 2013!