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Creamy Chicken Enchiladas – A dish worthy of Kings and Cinco de Mayo!

Hi Friends! So, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo! Did you get a chance to celebrate? Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is the holiday most often celebrated, but least understood? Although many believe it is a celebration of Mexico’s Independence, that isn’t actually the case – that celebration takes place on September 16th.

Cinco de Mayo literally translates to “the Fifth of May,” and is traditionally a holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla. In 1861, the Mexican army overcame overwhelming odds and managed a victory against the French at Puebla, despite the fact that the French were better trained and equipped. In Mexico, the battle has been largely forgotten, except for in Puebla itself. Ironically, Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated in the US than in Mexico!

For those of us in the Northern parts of the continent, it is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican culture and way of life, with music playing Mariachi bands, traditional Mexican food, and fun all around.

We weren’t really up for too much of a party – we’ve had two in the past two weeks – but In our home, as you know, we lovvvvve us some Mexican food. We don’t really need an excuse to have it, but Cinco de Mayo gave us one anyway.

I’ve already shared one of our other favorites, but this one.. it’s one of those that you don’t share because being the only one who knows how to make it makes you special. I like to be special. But, I’m trying to look at this in a new way.. if I share, then I’ll be special because I shared every one’s favorite recipe.. and that’s not so bad either. I’ll still be special. So, without further adieu, our all-time favorite Mexican dish, although hardly traditional, is Creamy Chicken Enchiladas!

My family would probably do just about anything I ask if I promise this for dinner. I’ve been scheming all week to come up with my list of demands.. weed the front flower bed.. wash the car.. paint my toenails.. brush my hair for hours, just because I really like it.. the possibilities are endless for what I can ask for!

I think it’s the creamy, cheesy, slightly chewing texture that gets them every time. I love it because it’s a simple recipe that I can double – one for now, one for the freezer. I also often gift this casserole as a thank you gift, or housewarming, or just simply because. Everyone loves a night off from cooking! Getting your toes painted isn’t too shabby either. I hope you’ll give the recipe a try!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas 

What you’ll need:

1 10.75 ounce Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup 
1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup Salsa – I like Jack’s Special Salsa 
2 teaspoons chili powder 
2 cups chopped cooked chicken 
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese 
1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chillies 
8 flour tortillas (6″), warmed 
1 small tomato, chopped 
1 green onion, sliced

What to Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, salsa and chili powder to create a sauce mixture. In a large skillet, combine the chicken, and 1 cup of the sauce mixture, heating until warm.
  2. Prepare an 11 x 8″ baking dish by spreading 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining sauce mixture on the bottom of the dish.
  3. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam side up into the dish, and pour the remaining sauce mixture over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes, remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes. or until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are hot and bubbling. Top with the tomato and onion.

Lemon Cupcake with Strawberry Lemon-Curd – It’s like Spring in your mouth!

Scrumptious Spring flavored lemon filled cupcakes with strawberry-lemon curd filling and lemon frosting, perfect for all of your Spring gatherings.

Hey, everyone! I hope everyone had a fun weekend! It was a busy around here! It all went by way too quickly, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be complaining if it lasted another few days. #Wecan’talwaysgetwhatwewant

lemon filled cupcakes with lemon buttercream and strawberry-lemon curd

Sunday afternoon had us celebrating the next birthday in line for our birthday season. Seriously, it’s like a new birthday season! This time, we caught a Diner dinner with my lovely Mother-in-law. I had the Cheesesteak – it was divine. Dessert was on me. Perfect, Lemon Cupcakes with a Strawberry Lemon curd filling, topped with a lemon buttercream. It doesn’t get more spring-like than that!

The cupcakes were moist, with a perfect crust, and a delicious tartness. They smelled delicious. They barely made it out of the oven, not alone to dinner. Shay wasn’t even open to bringing any to work this morning. When I suggested it, I got a resounding, “Mine.” The recipe comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction – I followed verbatim with excellent results. The lady knows her stuff! You can find the recipe here.

I had originally wanted to fill these with my favorite lemon curd, but decided to switch things up a bit when I came across this recipe for strawberry-lemon curd from Serious Eats. It was a nice change and added a nice sweet contrast with the tartness of the lemon. Again, perfect recipe, just as it was.


lemon filled cupcakes with lemon buttercream and strawberry-lemon curd

I finished it off with a Lemon Butter Cream that is as easy as it is yummy. Not too sweet, just a hint of tartness – a perfect accompaniment to the cupcakes. That recipe is below, along with a quick note on how I fill my cupcake liners, with practically any texture of batter, with next to no mess or fuss!

perfect cupcake frosting

First, prepare your cake pans by filling each cup with a liner. Set aside. To cleanly and evenly fill your liners, you will need a large Ziploc bag and a large-mouthed cup or jar. Place your Ziploc bag into the container or jar and fold the opened edge over the lip. Set aside and prepare your batter.

Spoon your prepared batter into the Ziploc bag, lifting carefully to fill completely. The bag will be approximately half full. Carefully lift out of your cup or jar, press the air out of the bag and close.

lemon filled cupcakes with lemon buttercream and strawberry-lemon curd

To fill, carefully clip one corner of the Ziploc bag and carefully pipe the batter into the liner by squeezing through the hole. To stop the flow, pinch the hole closed and tip the filled bag backward before moving on to the next cup. Repeat for the remaining cups and until all batter has been used. To clean up, discard the Ziploc bag. Voila!

If you love lemon flavors as much as I do, you’ll love these cupcakes.

The best part of the evening though was spending time with the birthday girl. She’s just the right amount of tart to make her one of the funniest people I know, but perfectly sweet, too! Happy Birthday! We love you!


Lemon Butteream

2 sticks unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
4-5 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and cream. Slowly, add 4 cups of sugar, beating on low until well combined. Add additional confectioners sugar as needed, stopping when you’ve reached your desired consistency. Place frosting in a piping bag (I like to use Ziploc bags!), or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Cupcake Display: Flowers = Pretty

With all the time we’ve been spending in the bathroom, we were all super excited to step away for a little family fun! As I mentioned, February is the start of birthday season for our family. I don’t think all families have birthday “seasons” but with seven of us, all with birthdays in the first six months of the year.. it’s a season. This past weekend we celebrated Megan’s birthday, with these OMG-get-in-my-mouth-I-can’t-stop-eating-you cupcakes, in a cute, girly, floral display, that you can easily make yourself!

This is my sweet girl, Megan. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding this little cuddle bug, wondering what the future held for her, dreaming of the spit-fire and the funniest person in our family that she’d turn out to be, and bam! I looked up to find she is now 21-years old.  It literally happened that fast.

I don’t really know how that happened exactly. For starters, since I’m only 29-years old, the biology is mind-boggling. Still, that beautiful baby has turned in to this gorgeous young woman.

Sharing her first glass of champagne!

Our tradition is to share a dinner decided upon by the birthday girl or boy, and for me to bake a cake of their choice, decorated in whatever reminds me of them for the year. For her birthday, she requested Italian food – it was so yummy – and these Ultimate Salted Caramel cupcakes from The Baker Chick, which are filled with salted caramel and frosted with cream cheese caramel frosting – the recipe for the frosting is below!

One of my favorite memories of Meg is that she loved flowers. She loved flowers and anything with flowers on it, the bigger the better. She equated “floral” with “pretty”. As a matter of fact, nearly every picture I have of her for a three or so year period has her holding flowers. She’d scope out the room or area for a floral prop. When buying things, if you asked her if she wanted a plain one or a floral one she’d say, “the pretty one” – always the flowers. Its funny the things that come to mind with your babies, but that is what came to mind on this birthday, as I was facing my baby being a real bonafide grown up now. Her cake – or cupcakes as it were – had to have flowers.

It was easy enough to create a cute little banner using a glue gun, different floral card stock papers, two lollipop sticks, this printable and tulle.

I cut two tulle lengths – about 8-10″ each – and knotted them about every 1.5″ or so along the length. Then, I cut 13 triangles from the card stock, alternating the pattern. Then, I glued the triangles on to the card stock, spacing between the knots. Finally, I attached the cutout letters from the printable and tied both lengths to the lollipop sticks, leaving an inch or so on each end to dangle.

It was a super easy way to dress up cupcakes.. but most importantly, she loved it!

I used the Baker Chick’s recipe for the cupcakes and filling. The only change I made to her recipe was to use Ener-G egg replacer in place of the eggs in the cupcakes and to skip the Swiss butter cream, which is made with egg whites – my son has an egg allergy.

The cupcakes were really, truly, and honestly, some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. I’ve had a lot of cupcakes. They crusted beautifully and were nicely sweetened and moist. Shay, who isn’t usually a huge cake lover, was scraping the sides of the cupcake liner with a fork. He also may have eaten the liner while I was looking away, I’m not sure.

There is never a project completed without a fail moment – I frosted the cupcakes then realized I’d forgotten to fill them with caramel sauce. DOH!

I was all over the caramel sauce. The directions for making it made the whole thing SO simple. I was so excited! It is the first time I’ve made from-scratch caramel without burning it. Audra is now my caramel idol.

I will tell you that when she says “swirl the sugar around”, this is what it should look like, in case you’ve not made it before.

The frosting was my own recipe – a salted caramel cream cheese frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 7-8 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  1. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the caramel and heavy cream, mixing well.
  3. Mix in vanilla.
  4. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and blend on low speed until combined and desired consistency (you want your frosting pretty thick).
  5. Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy
  6. Pipe caramel frosting on top of cupcakes with an extra large star pastry tip,


I filled them, frosted them, then drizzled them with caramel. Yum!

For display, I placed the cupcakes into coordinating liners and cupcake wraps and arranged them on a tiered platter. On the top tier, I placed a tiny vase to hold a handful of cut, fresh flowers.


Yellow pleated eyelet cupcake liners |
Pink lace filigree cupcake wrappers – similar |

We pulled off a cupcake display befitting of a princess who loves everything floral. The best part?  When she saw it, she said.. “It’s pretty, mommy.” and gave me one of those super amazing smiles that makes you forgive her everything. Suddenly, she was my baby again. Just for a second. And, I began dreaming of all the things the rest of her life will bring..

My favorite part, though? Celebrating with these crazies, minus one who had to work.. there’s my heart, right there.  Two birthdays down.. five to go. Maybe next time around I’ll remember my camera!

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