Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iron Chef Challenge...Nettles

I received the greatest email this past weekend form my good friend Lea. She gave me my first Iron Chef Challenge, now if you know me you would know I have watched so many episodes of Iron Chef I cannot say Nettles in this context without a horrible reproduction of the way they would present the secret ingredient in the actual show.

Furthermore, Lea has decided it was time for us to take our hippiness to the next level...foraging. And what would be better than to begin this voyage in her backyard, you see in Leas backyard she as a nice little grove of trees and within that grove of trees you can find plenty of nettles.

THe secret ingredient.
The parameters are as follows, I had to think of a recipe that was not so out there and family friendly.

So I took on the challenge, which was exciting, seeing as I had never cooked with nettles before.

Immediately I thought of pesto, in the kitchen we make pesto out all sorts of leafy green herbs and so why not nettles? This would follow all of the rules as well because pasta tossed with pesto is a family friendly meal.

I had to have the recipe to her by Tuesday morning, so I packed up so things and headed over for coffee and nettle hunting. The gathering part was a bit comical because they are stinging nettles and so you can't just pick them with your hands. Tongs and a pair of scissors were our tools of choice. For the pesto recipe we needed about 6 cups of nettle leaves and thankfully we had no problem gathering that much.


Now the secret to keeping pesto bright green during storage is to blanch whatever leafy green product you are using before processing. So we took all of the leaves off the stems, blanched them until they turned bright green, spun them in the salad spinner and threw them in the food processor. To that we added the usual ingredients for pesto making, toasted pine nuts, parm, olive oil, and garlic. Next time I would add one glove of garlic instead of two because the nettles do not pack the same flavorful punch as basil.

And this is what it looked like. Not the best picture, but isn't it a pretty green.

Well we didn't waste anytime so we enjoyed it for lunch with some pasta and sundried tomatoes.....yummmmmmmm!
Pasta with Stinging Nettle Pesto. Yum!

So keep the challenges coming folks, this was a ton of fun.

Pesto Recipe
6 cups - Nettles, Basil, Tarragon, Mint-you choose
1/3 cup pine nuts
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup parm
pulse these ingredients in a food processor or blender.
slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil.
Toss or spread it on whatever you choose. You could also use it on homemade pizza instead of red sauce.

And by the way neither one of us experienced any sort of health or digestive upset in the consumption of this recipe:)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcome to our nightmare.....soon to become dream kitchen.

So we are in the process as you know of remodeling our kitchen. So instead of our Monday date, I went to work(cook) and Brian stayed home and ripped out our surprise chimney. I know the jealous bug is starting to nip you again;) But as a promise to document the process I thought I would document the nightmare. I must preface the following pictures with some fine print....we are no longer eating in our house and I am no longer making anymore than cold cereal and school lunches in our house. These decisions have been made in hopes to avoid anyone being poisoned in this process:)

I must warn you the picture that follow are graphic!

First up is what we like to call our surprise....a chimney hidden in the existing cabinets. Not the kind of surprise we would describe as positive or exciting though. More terrifying and exhausting.
So Brian spent most of his day removing it.
How I remember life before.
The Surprise....nothing ever goes as expected in this beautiful old house. Thankful for the millionth time that my husband is handy and capable!
After removal.
The empty chimney shaft. And just to clarify he had to remove bricks from the kitchen all the way up to the rooftop. Which included cutting holes in other walls. Damaging and breaking things, cuts and bruises and much more. But now its done. He texted me a picture of the chimney shaft this afternoon with the sunlight coming through and told me he had found the light at the end of the tunnel:)

Now on to the other side. This wall was an original wall to the original house so all of the wood is original. It is pretty interesting to rip things out in this house because we always find layers of floor, wallpaper, paint etc. we try and leave as much as possible so others behind us can find the same types of reminders of kitchens past. This 105yr old house holds a lot of history.

And my pantry, I mean dining room, filled with everything my cabinets used to hold, I also have to ginormous rubbermaids. The scary thing is my lower cabinets are still full to the gills with stuff and I need to find room for it somewhere, I think a few more bins will do the trick.
So now you are caught up. I will keep you posted we are 7 days out from the new cabinets coming in and we still have electrical work, a new wall to built, ducting etc. to be done. Please pray for my amazing hubby and all of our various helpers, they are working hard all the time to make this deadline!! I am a lucky woman, even when I am surrounded by chimney soot on every surface of my home:)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


You know what romance is? Romance is toasting shots of Nyquil as soon as you get your kids to bed. That's truly romantic. Romance is even hotter when you are practicing synchronized nose blowing. Yep its real sexy around here. Bet your jealous (wink wink).

Hopefully that explains the lack of posting around here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Where Did We Go For Breakfast?

Its Monday and that means it was date morning and that means I have a great review for you of a great little breakfast spot. And I will tell you that Brians first impression comment was classic. Smells like Hippies in here:) Gotta love that man, I swear sometimes my delight is his fear, but his breakfast made up for it.

And this is where we went. If you read my last review on Rocket Donuts, it would be easy for you to find Old Town Cafe, they are on opposite ends of the same block.

This restaurant is great they make the same pledge to their customers as The Angry Blueberry and that is they try to use the freshest ingredients possible, also utilizing local ingredients whenever possible. This speaks to my heart because fresh food is good food, in my opinion. I really have a hard time with boxed food and restaurants that claim to make things home made but that really means they reheated something from Food Services of America. But I will save this whole viewpoint for another soapbox.

Something I really appreciated about this restaurant was the prices. Most menu items were under $10 in fact my breakfast was $6.75. Fabulous!!!

I ordered Huevos Rancheros. I have ordered this dish many times in the past and let me tell you it can go all wrong so quickly. In my opinion this menu items success is determined by the sauce. Now some places take the sauce in the direction of a mole, this is not my first choice, it is thick and almost rich...don't get me wrong I love mole just not on my eggs. The other way to do is to make a almost a chile based salsa, this is my favorite and that is how they do it up at Old Town Cafe. It was smokey and fresh tasting and wonderful. The perfect amount of heat. The eggs were cooked over easy the traditional style and then they were laid on top of two house made corn tortillas. On the side were black beans that they also prepare in house. I loved this dish, it was the best breakfast I have had in a while!

Mr. Husband ordered the Farmers Skillet Deluxe, for $9.25, if you skip the eggs and toast you can get the dish for $6.50. The portion on this dish was generous to say the least, Brian took have of it home and ate it for lunch. The potatoes in this dish were tastefully seasoned with fresh herbs, I tasted fresh dill even when I sampled. They use Great Harvest Bread at their establishment which I thought was interesting seeing as Avenue Bread has become the mainstream. However Brian got a Rye Blend Bread for the toast and it was awesome.

We ordered their coffee to drink and it was a little on the strong side(even for Brian) but good none the less. I also like that they have a self serve water station, just makes for less waiting and also gives that homey feeling.

I would totally recommend this place for a treat breakfast out with your kids, they even had a small play area/reading nook, for kids to play in while waiting for breakfast. The roomy booths also leave plenty of space for wiggling. And all of the items on the kids menu are under $4, actually most are under $3.

I would go back I will go back.

P.S. Iphones became available for employees, and since I was up for my nine month upgrade I traded up. So all of the pictures were taken with my iphone and if you ask me I am getting better at my photo journalism on these trips.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I thought I was a rockstar.

Yesterday after I blogged I approached my day as a rockstar and God was the lead singer. I thought I could go out and do it and nothing could touch me. God had other plans though and what I thought would be an uncomfortable coffee date turned into an earth shattering news report. So there I was in Woods oblivious to the other 20 people in Woods and I am having a breakdown (lovely), in fact I am crying so hard some man offered me his hankie and then promptly left the scene and Woods without getting it back. I was a mess...I felt unprepared for the news I received and I felt vulnerable. It was ugly and confusing and emotional, but I knew God was there he was hugging me and holding me and when I got up from my chair and realized two people I know well were sitting behind me, and embarrassment attempted to crawl in, he told me it didn't matter.

You see I knew this information was coming. I knew the walls I built for myself to protect me would be broken. I knew that all I would have was God. I knew that I would be angry. I knew that I would be even more confused. But what I knew most was that God was going to ask me to do something that would shake me with fear...and I wasn't ready in my own mind, nor would I ever be.

I heard Gods voice so much yesterday, more than I have ever heard Him in one day. He knew I would need Him, that no matter how others tried to comfort me He would be the only one that could.

You see my childhood was nothing close to storybook. There is so much dirt and grime that even though I do have good memories it never fails that the grime tries to sneak in. And even though I am a nearly 30 yr old woman it follows me. Even though God has blessed me with the most amazing little family and life in the world, the grime follows. Because it is not mine to get rid of it is inescapable. Sin is real! And believe me when you read in the Bible that your sin will affect the generations to come, God is not kidding around. That is what I am dealing with, others sin. And it seems that every time I become ok with things and get close to forgiving in comes another blow.

The grime is what found me yesterday.

I am not complaining I have come to know that it is through these circumstances that God refines me the most. I am thankful for my beginning, in fact I know that although in this community in which I live most people would cringe at the picture of my life, -and this is where the embarrassment and shame tries to creep in I am not feeling those things anymore because those feelings are based on pride which is a sin- I can walk tall and proud because God chose me and He continually pulls me through. We all have our own stuff that we go thorough at different times and my stuff is no different than anyone else's, except that it is mine. Our stuff is what makes each one of us different from the other and what makes us different makes us stronger and more capable of doing God's will.

It is in these times that I know that He is with me the most and He does not leave my side. He is constantly prompting me and comforting me and giving me the strength to keep going. In fact it would have been easier to crawl under a rock yesterday, but instead I moved forward. It was difficult. But moving forward is the only choice I have really. My children will not be affected by this. They will instead live the legacy of perseverance and hope and strength through a Savior that is so much bigger than the sin in this world. And that is one of the ways I can be a true rockstar.

I still have to deal with the news of yesterday what God has asked me to do is still in my near future. I will have to face it and what results there after. And event though I am scared I know that I will be ok.

The verses I turn to the most for strength are found in 2 Corinthians and I like how the Message says it the best.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 from the Message
Satans angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think it a gift, and begged God to remove it Three times I did that, and then he told me, "My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take my limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size-abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

This is how I have felt for some time and even though I fall from my knees to my face from time to time I can still raise my head. Because God will lift it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Me?

A conversation I had with God this morning.

Why Me?
Because I said so.

My lack of acceptance and fear that this was the best answer I would get led me to ask again.

No But Why Me?
Because I chose you.

Simple answers were not going to be enough so I asked again.

Why Me, is this really your prodding or something else?
Because you are the only one.

It is interesting how clearly I heard His voice this morning. I have been through the mill with a certain situation in the last few weeks and it has been relentless. Just when I think the worst has come and the most discomfort has been put upon me, the phone rings and my world is shaken and I have fear and uncertainty.

Yet the only certainty I need is my loving God who has allowed this to come into my life. And he knows I can handle it and sometimes we are chosen because we are the only ones who have the cards to play with. And so I will take this day by storm with God going before me. And he will be the one who smooths the path before I even get there.

It is so interesting to me that being chosen for certain experiences can be so terrifying yet so amazingly comforting all at the same time. Being through storms before I know that no matter how scary it is at the time, with Gods provision I come out stronger in the end.

Onward...that's the word.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It feels like Christmas around here...

without the biblical meaning and family obligations. It mostly feels like Christmas because packages and deliveries keeps coming. Why you ask? Because my kitchen remodel project is starting in t-minus 14 days. Woohoo!

Remodel = Renovation and Renovation = complete demo and removal of everything old in the space:) And I couldn't be more excited.

So I thought I would share some of the pieces that have arrived over the last three days.

Number 1 and what may have been the biggest decision for me.

My range:) It came today and even though it is now a piece of furniture staged behind my couch for 14 more days I am so excited I could pee my pants. That's right people I said it, I could pee my pants. I spend at least half of my life in our kitchen by free will and to have appliances that do what they are supposed to do is a huge bonus for me.

I chose a KitchenAid Convection Gas Range form their Architect Series. It has so many amazing features I can not hardly contain myself.
I was toying with two different ranges the other one didn't have quite as many raving reviews, and the only difference was rolling shelves and a perfect turkey button, and not to toot my own horn but I have been making a pretty close to perfect turkey in my hunk "o" junk oven for 5 years now so I am pretty sure I don't need a button to do it for me.
Notice all of the torn up packaging, told you its like Christmas. Did I mention it has a warming drawer? Perfectly warm buns,pancakes, and waffles for us:) It also has a built in temperature probe, wok compatible cooktop (yes I own and use a wok on a regular basis), the ability to dehydrate food and about a million other options:)

Next up and a another difficult decision was a faucet. I do not understand why something that provides one luxury is so expensive. So after looking at two million different ones I chose one in the correct color that was on sale(I use this word loosely). It also has a retractable spray nozzle(Brian's requirement).

Last but not least on our given date day we drove to Aberdeen to pick up our counter top. It was one of the longest dates we have taken on date day, and after 12 plus hours mostly spent in the car we couldn't wait for to get home. We chose a Mocha colored Paperstone. It is made completely out of recycled paper. It is for the most part a sustainable product which was important to me. We got a couple of friends to help us move it onto our patio which was no small feet at about 500lbs.

Lat two things I need to pick out are the back splash and the sink. So more to come on the kitchen remodel.

Friday, March 11, 2011

How Mama Is Going To Attempt To Get Her Groove Back

I am attempting to chill out!!! This is how I will get my groove back. Over the last year I have had to be more organized and scheduled than ever in my adult life and I am just now starting to feel the effects of the evil beast squeezing the life out of me. It effects everyone. So a few weeks back I took some steps to make that load lighter and be able to enjoy my life within the walls of my house more. It is taking adjustment and I struggle to regain purpose in my quest to find the joy of just being still. But I will get there.

I feel as if I am conditioning myself with drop therapy. I am forcing myself to be okay with saying no to things or requests (this is a life long battle it will take time), I make myself allow time for mornings with not getting dressed until we have to (my Grace is a homebody and I need to do this for her), ignoring outside pressures to live up to some ideal I can not and allowing for mess and chaos and just flowing with it (my husband needs this).

So yesterday Grace and I had a giant tea party in the kitchen she got more than 40 pieces of dishware out of the cupboards, filled my fiesta carafes with water, set up all of her stuffies and dolls, and threw the grandest kitchen floor tea party one has ever seen. And although it was hard for me to put aside my assembly line of lasagnas, I did it and we were late later on because of it but who cares sometimes, my girl needed me to bring crackers and polish to her tea party and so obliged and I did. I laid on the floor in between a bear and a dog and acted like a lady because you can't put all your crackers in your mouth at one time at a tea says Grace.
I am learning to enjoy and relax and its hard but I will get there. I let her leave her tea party and giant fort up all day by the way.....and I my husband left it to because he knows about my quest, and he is the other half of this dynamic duo.

When I put Grace to bed she told we had a pretty good day except for the time she got a tiny bit grumpy and the other time she got a little bit sassy, she followed this by saying I was a little bit sassy to:) And this is why I love Grace shes always brutally honest.

And she knows how to throw a mean tea party as well;)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kitchen Must Haves..Sharp Knives

Every Kitchen Must Have Sharp Knives. Dull knives drive me crazy. You also do not need to be equipped with 10+ to have what you need.
I have owned Cutco, Pampered Chef, Henckel, and numerous other brands of knives but about two years ago I found the ones I find to be the best for home use. I also use them commercially but that's a completely different arena knife wise so we will stick to home use.

The knives I use are made by Victorinox and have a lifetime guarantee. They are NSF rated so they are completely versatile in what you can use them for. NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation and they rate different kitchen products based on food safety regulations. This is a great thing to look for in kitchen supplies, it also pertains to how well things can be cleaned. Knives especially need to be able to be completely sanitized in between uses, especially after contact with raw meat.

Why don't I show you what I have...
Victorinox Santoku Knife
This knife is really nice for making thin slices, chopping (the design of the blade allows for fast chopping because of its ability to rock), I have broken down chickens with it, and slicing. This is also a great knife for fish filleting. It is a fabulous all-purpose knife.

Victorinox 8inch chefs knife
This knife is amazing. It can do anything mince, chop, dice,etc. I love it because it has a nice think sturdy blade which makes it nice for dealing with big hunks of meat, potatoes and the like.

Victorinox Bread Knife
Everyone should have a great bread knife. A sharp bread knife makes bread cutting a whiz, you can also use a bread knife for flaky pastries, or anything else with a crusty outside and soft inside.

All of these knives are on sale on Amazon right now. We purchased mine in Fairhaven at Pacific Chef.

Every kitchen should have a couple of paring knives as well, brand and quality doesn't really matter though because you can really use them and abuse them and get a new one. You can usually find a decent paring knife for under $10 so just pick one you like.

Remember a dull knife is a dangerous knife. So sharpening is very important. In a normal house you can probably get them sharpened every year to 18 months. In our kitchen we get them sharpened every 2-3 months and during wedding season we get them sharpened every month. It only costs $2-3 a knife to have them sharpened so it is really a small price to pay to keep your knives in good working order. I have a knife guy his name is Elmer....if you need help in that department let me know I can get you his info.

Last little tidbit on knives. Storage......knives should not be thrown in a jumbled drawn. As they rub up against each other the blade dull. I know knife storage can be tricky especially with little ones in the house so I have two recommendations. One is a magnetic strip that you can hang on the wall (not the kid friendly option), or in a knife roll that you can keep on a high shelf or in your pantry. At work we use a magnetic strip and at home I use my knife roll.
This cute little guy is mine. They make them in all sorts of colors and sizes. Most basic ones can be purchased for under $20.

So here's to having sharp knives. I promise a sharp knife in your kitchen will change your world.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monday Breakfast Date Reviews

Mr. Husband and I have a standing breakfast date on Monday mornings after the kids go to school. It is something I look forward to. The only rule is we have to go someplace different every week.

Now I see how I have left this great opportunity for a blog segment and I am apologizing that I have left you wonderfuls out of the loop.

I mentioned the idea of doing a weekly review to Brian and he thought it was a great idea, so you won't be intruding.

So we are going to go back and document the places we have already been. And then we will move forward.

This week we went simple and had doughnuts and coffee. Although simple, I must say they were from Rocket Donuts in Bellingham. And if you are asking me they are the best in the West! They are light and fluffy and if you get something frosted it isn't overly sweet. The establishment is decorated with old sci-fi movie posters and the like. I promise the experience will be out of this world;)

Mr. Husband had an apple fritter, which is his favorite.
This is where I wish I would have taken my real camera out of the car. This is a photo from my phone.

The apple fritter was so nice. It was full of cinnamon, and the apples were of good size. It almost had the flavor of apple pie wrapped in a doughnut.

I had the maple bar because I think you can judge a place on the quality of their maple bar. It was so light and airy, with the perfectly sweet slathering of maple frosting.....yum!

Rocket also serves wonderful organic free trade coffee in their own signature blend so make sure you get a cup if you go.

In the neighborhood you will find a row of wonderful antique stores, and although most of them aren't open on Mondays I have been in them before and they are all fun to browse through.

So make a date of it grab a doughnut and sit for a bit or take to go and browse around downtown for awhile:)

Public Service Pledge...From here on out I promise to bring my real camera in order to capture presentable pictures of the venue and the food:)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Sleddin' We Will Go.

We decided yesterday if the snow wasn't going to come to us, we would have to go to it.
We have yet to take a family trip to Mt. Baker, so this would be a first and boy were the kids excited.
We had so much fun and if the season allows I think we will try and go again soon. I forgot how much work it is to climb up a powdery hill of snow, especially as you watch a five your old (in envy) slide down and scamper back up with little effort.
To avoid any confusion over my sunglasses, my eyes have been super sensitive to light lately, not sure why so the sunglasses were incredibly necessary (Brian likes to tease me for wearing them all the time). Comment number two I can't find my tuc, but a plus side to my hippie hairstyle is that it keeps my ears warm;)

We ended our fun day with a stop at the Everybodys Store, for GIANT pickles and pepperoni sticks....I have never been so excited for a stop at the Everybodys Store. And the kids were over the moon thrilled with the pickles, especially Grace. As most of our family knows a good pickle throws her over the edge.

On a completely different subject, I am on a quest to claim a truth for myself everyday. I hoping to share them with you. I can get caught up in the lies society feeds me so often, as well as the lies that Satan tries to bring. And after my retreat two weeks ago I really want to keep my eyes on Jesus and to not be distracted by the daily grind. So in all of that I am hoping that the Truth Claiming Challenge will help. Today's truth was God has a plan for me. The truths as you can already tell are not going to necessarily profound, but rather simple things that I can apply easily to my day. Things that make my bond with God more real and complete.

So there you have Truth for today God has a plan for ME!

Friday, March 4, 2011



As I was tucking my little sassyfrass in last night she began to cry. Why you ask? Oh because she doesn't ever want to get married or move out of the house. Brian told her maybe she could buy a house next door (this did not help). She said she never wants to be without sweet(I say). Brian says hes O.K. with her thinking she never wants to get married but she may not live here forever.
I mentioned that some day she would grow into a Mommy sized woman and meet a nice man that would want to marry her. She said she didn't ever want to be a woman and she never wanted to meet a silly man:) I giggled (this did not help either). Because she is serious you know.
This conversation is the second we have had in covering this topic. Last time she told me she would get married but live in her room upstairs still. I asked her where would her husband sleep she said in a sleeping bag next to her kids. I guess she has it all figured out.
Don't tell Brian but at this point the empty nest thing sounds terrifying so in my opinion she can stay as long as she wants;) She is 5 1/2 so she has some time to figure this all out.

This is the only guy she needs in her life right now anyway. She is totally a Grandpas girl right now.

Kitchen Plans and What Not.

I know I have not done my kitchen must have for this week..I know what I am going to do though, so maybe tomorrow.

I was hoping to share the plans for the new kitchen but I am experiencing technical difficulties so you will have to live with the picture of then new stove for now. We are having brand new cabinets put in (can I get a woo woo?). My goal was to get all of the appliances purchased first so we could build the kitchen around there dimensions and now that I finally chose the range, my goal is complete.

This is the range.

The drawer is actually a warming drawer and it has a triple rack, I am excited its super nice and after living with apartment ovens and the oven I have now, lets just say I could pretty much throw up I am so thrilled:) Its a Kitcheaid

This is the dishwasher we purchased.

Its a Kitchenaid. Ours is white though.
Its virtually silent when it runs and gets my dishes cleaner than I could have ever dreamed. I may be in love. It has a pot scrubbing feature and a food grinder, which is great because Elliot has started loading the dishwasher and although he is a whizz at puzzling everything in there the rinsing gets forgotten. When we moved into our house 5 years ago the dishwasher was the first thing we replaced, not having bought kitchen appliances before we for the middle of line, thinking no big thing. Well we found out about 6months later it was a big thing because the electrical panel went out and when faced with a hefty repair bill we decided to put the old one back in and throw the new one out:) We now buy protection plans and research what other people are experiencing. It seems to work better this way:)

So far I love all the new appliances. I haven't tried the oven yet I suppose, it will be here in a few weeks..right about the time the new cabinets will be put in.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Yummy Recipe.....Verde Chicken Lasagna

Ok so this recipe was so awesome. I took another recipe and jazzed it up adding some more sophisticated ingredients and taking out some of the less desirable ones.

Now with this recipe you could totally add frozen or canned or fresh veggies in between the layers. I just find that my kids don't like to come across unannounced veggies so its better if I serve them on the side. Don't get me wrong they love an odd amount of vegetables they just would rather not have them mixed in. Also even though the recipe calls for a bit of mild salsa feel free to use as spicy or as mild as your family likes. My kids gobbled it up and asked for seconds.

Anywho onto the recipe. I would give you guys pictures of the recipes I share but for some reason food photos and I don't mix...they never turn out that well.

Verde Chicken Lasagna
425 degrees for 15 minutes

1/2lb - 1 lb chicken cooked off and taken off the bone. I used 6 boneless chicken thighs. This would also be a chance for you to shred up some chicken leftover from another meal.
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup goat cheese
dash of cayenne - the size of the dash is up to you
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups chopped onions
6 garlic cloves
1 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup verde salsa
1/4 cup water
9 corn tortillas
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a pan saute 1/2 cup of onion for about 3-5 minutes, then add 3 cloves of garlic-minced stir together quickly and place it in a bowl.

To the bowl add shredded chicken, 1/2 of the cilantro, and seasonings and mix it up.

Combine remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, remaining 3 cloves of garlic-minced, chicken stock, salsa and water in a saucepan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and either blend in blender, food processor, or if you have an immersion blender nows the time to use it.

Warm tortillas, in the microwave or in a fry pan(I used a fry pan and that's what I suggest it crisps them up up just a bit) Cut them into 4 pieces each.

Spray 8 x8 casserole with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of salsa mixture in the bottom of the dish. Arrange 12 quarters of tortilla to cover the salsa. Spoon 1/2 of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, then 1/2 cup of black beans and repeat the layers ending with tortillas and remaining sauce. Top it off with the shredded cheese and voila you have a yummy meal ready to go in the oven.

Bake it for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees or until the top is a bit bubbly.

Like I said the whole family loved this one. And as always leave me a comment letting me know if you tried it. I love the feedback!