Saturday, April 2, 2011

Easy Peasy

There's not actually any peas in this recipe, but it is sooo easy and so good that I just had to share. I nabbed it from one of my new fav's chicken ranch tacos. I used it for Taco Tuesday and then again for Friday. :) It's super easy so whether you're at work all day or, like me, chasing around a cutie patootie, you can have din din ready in like 10 minutes - tops.  The hardest part is slicing and dicing all the fixins but the best part is you can make it your own, for example, I topped mine with a little extra ranch while the hubby drowned his with Tapitio (or as my hilarious nephew calls it - Uncle Tap).

Here it is:
makes 5 servings (2 tacos each)
Recipe from Betty Crocker
1 box (4.7 oz) Old El Paso® Stand ‘N Stuff® taco shells (10 shells) - I actually used soft tortillas since that's all I had.
3 cups cut-up deli rotisserie chicken (from 2- to 2 1/2-lb chicken) - I also have used frozen chicken and cooked it with the taco seasoning and it came out just as well!
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup ranch dressing (2 T of homemade was sufficient for me) - we used homemade, also.
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped (3/4 cup)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (4 medium), if desired - I substituted the onions for avocado.Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky salsa, if desired
Additional ranch dressing, if desired
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Heat taco shells in oven as directed on box.
2. Meanwhile, in medium microwavable bowl, place chicken. Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix; toss gently to coat. Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Stir in 1/2 cup dressing.
3. Spoon warm chicken mixture into heated taco shells. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onions. Drizzle with salsa and additional dressing.

picture also taken from

Like I said...easy peasy! And really yummy.

And, just for's a pic of my big 11 month old. I cannot believe that in just one short month, I will have a one year old. Where exactly does time go?

thanks to Jen for allowing me to borrow her camera
and get some super cute pics of a super cute little boy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Poppin Up Everywhere

Starbucks has a whole new menu for their anniversary (have you noticed their new cups?). And on that new menu are a bunch of new treats, including cake pops.  Now, apparently these have been around for some time...there's even a whole cookbook dedicated to them.  But of course, when do they start becoming popular? When Starbucks starts selling them. But since I'm a newly converted do-it-yourselfer, I decided to try my hand at these tasty treats. I thought I would make them for my son's first birthday party coming up...which on a side note, it is absolutely CRAZY that my baby is going to one year old...but as any good baker knows, you need to test out the recipe before you attempt the real thing. So here's my attempt at cake pops...

Here's a shot of the can use any cake mix so I chose funfetti cake mix.

You'll have to forgive the Christmas sprinkles...they were all I had!

I think we'll file this experiment under the "Success" category. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Target Lovers Rejoice!

My obession with coupons started when I became a stay-at-home mom, or basically when our household income was cut in half! So while I was doing my weekly shopping at Super Target one of my favorite cashiers...yes, I have favorites (and not so-favorites) there...noticed my stack of coupons and she kindly suggested this website for me. It not only shows the deals of the week, coupons (which you can also get on target's website), but it also has secret deals that are not always announced for the general public. So, if you are a Target groupie, like myself, go check it out and save some of that hard earned money!

On another note...
Happy ten months to my sweet, funny, adorable, smart, wonderful boy!

Time is going by way too quickly.

And yes, it's another shot of him eating...I don't know why, but I can't resist the camera when he smiles up at me with all that food on his face!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Actually Is All Around

Yes, the title of this post is taken from the movie Love Actually (one of my favs). The reasoning behind that is because I love the message that the movie portrays...people start to focus on the hate and violence that is definitely a part of this world but that doesn't mean that we should deny the love that actually does surround us. So to remind myself of this little thing called love, I wanted to write a list of a few things that makes me remember the love that God has placed in my life. Then I thought I would share! So here goes...

*These are not in order*
1) Waking up to already made coffee...reminds me of what a good hubby I have. :)
2) My baby's laugh, definitely contagious.
3) The sound of my hubby's truck pulling up in the driveway.
4) Sunday night dinners with the fam.
5) Conversations with my nephews.
6) Holding a sleeping baby, mine in particular. :)
7) Breakfast with my girlies.
8) Thinking of and remembering my grandparents.
9) The smell of my baby boy...sounds kinda weird but other mommies you know what I'm talking about!
10) Realizing that how much I love my family is how much (and more) that God loves His children.
*There are so many more things in life that I could list, but these ten are a just a glimpse of how blessed I am.

Now, since Valentine's Day was this month and the saying goes that to get to a man's heart, you go through his stomach - I decided to try out a special dinner for my valentine.  Without even knowing if I was a fan of eggplant, I went with a stuffed eggplant recipe. And guess what? I am a fan! It turned out so good that it will definitely be a recurring dinner in our house.  Healthy, somewhat easy and delish! Check out Rachael Ray's website for the recipe if you already know your're an eggplant fan or if you're willing to find out!

reading is one of his favorite things to his mama!
Also, this month by baby boy turned 9 months old (he's almost ten months, now).  It's just absolutely insane how fast little sleeping babies grow into babbling, crawling, chewing on everything infants! How I admire those with more than one little one at home because, man, this one keeps me busy. He is now realizing that he's a big boy and getting braver by the minute, trying to walk, finding his vocal cords, reading the many books around the house and eating just about everything he get his little pincher fingers on....including dirt on the floor, which is my new motivation for keeping a clean house. Here are a few recent pictures of my ever-growing baby boy in action.

he also loves being outside...that he gets from his dada!

another favorite pastime, eating!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cozy Up!

I know it's been month since I've last posted...but cut me some slack! I'm a new mom with a long list of to-do's and who also enjoys her afternoon naps. :) I will try to do better this month.

With that said...let me share with you a bit of what's been happening in the Souza household.

If you have talked with me recently, you know that my sweet baby boy is not a very good sleeper.  For awhle we were ending up on the recliner after battling it out with the crib so, taking the advice of a few people, I decided to try co-sleeping.  If you would have asked me while I was pregnant if we were going to co-sleep, I would have given you a firm no.  That was pre-baby, and well-rested me talking...this is post-baby, would like to sleep at night me saying that co-sleeping has been a good thing in our house.  He actually starts off in his bed and then ends up in ours halfway through the night.  But, we all get the rest we need (with the exception of those restless, teething nights) and wake up happy! Surprisingly, I actually enjoy snuggling up to my baby and waking to see his smiling face! It's a really good way to start my day and's one way to cozy up on these cold winter nights!

Here's another way.
Another thing going on in our house is my cooking...surprisingly, it's going pretty well.  I've had several successes and only a few failures in this cooking quest.  One of those successes was Fantastic Black Bean Chili (fyi, I didn't name it).
I actually made this for dinner last night and with a side of cornbread, it was delish! I substituted the crushed tomatoes with two cans of tomato sauce (because I didn't have any tomatoes) and it can came out really good especially since my hubby is not a big fan of tomato chunks.
Go ahead, go try it!!
What you need:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey

3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried basil leaves

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Make it!
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; cook onion and garlic until onions are translucent. Add turkey and cook, stirring, until meat is brown. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, basil and vinegar. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 60 minutes or more, until flavors are well blended.
  2. Top with your favorite shredded cheese and enjoy!
Snuggling with a warm baby, making a bowl of yummy chili, drinking a cup of chamomile tea.  Take your pick and cozy up!
Me, I choose all three. :)