Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Layered Cheesy Salsa Enchiladas

Tonight I tried a recipe I found at  I tweaked the recipe a wee bit with chicken instead of beef.  We have had a hard time finding good beef here in Janesville and so we have started using turkey instead.  Its much less fatty than beef and has a great taste!

So here is what you need!

Of course you don't use the whole five pound bag of cheese, but I like my cheese so...

And here is what you do...

Boil two frozen chicken breasts for about 45 minutes depending on the size of the breast...

After you take the breasts out, put them in a bowl and cut them up or shred them with your fingers

Add salsa, rotel, and shredded cheese

Spread the chicken on top of the shells which you will bake in a 9x13

You should have enough chicken for roughly two layers of enchilada. I put LOTS of sour cream on the top before putting it in the oven.  Put in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes!

The end result is DELICIOUS!

My apron my sister Jaqui got me in Cyprus!
 Can't cook without an apron!


I Think Spring...

I think spring.  I have to to keep from going mad at the thought that winter may never end.  Yesterday was cold and nasty here in the "North Country."  And what made it worse was that I had to be out in it running errands.  It was one of those type of days where you just want to snuggle in with your hubby, watch a good movie, and drink Russian Tea (see end of post for recipe).  Yesterday, though, was not one of those days.  Beau had call til 10pm last night and I was lonely.  So I did the only thing I know to do in this situation: skype or message all your friends, and if no one is on, drown my misery in fudge and Gilmore Girls.  So I did both, but as I am not a sweets person, I didn't find the comfort I was looking for.  So I decided a bubble bath was the way to go.  Even that didn't pull me out of my mood, but JOY OF JOYS Beau came home around 7pm!  It was like a light switch had been turned on.  What can I say?  I love my husband.

Last night as we were turning in for the night I started to get bummed AGAIN!  So after he was sound asleep I got up and went downstairs and was relieved to see I had an email from a wonderful friend of ours who I don't see near enough.  She always makes me laugh.  She has a knack for words and every email I get from her just makes me "lmao."  As I was returning her email, I heard a funny noise.  I stopped typing and listened a little closer and to my amazement it was RAINING, and not just a pitter patter, but a full out torrential downpour!  I LOVE thunderstorms and I so badly wanted to run upstairs and start kissing on Beau and tell him it was storming but instead I crawled back into bed and just laid there listening to the rain and dreaming about spring.

This morning when I got up I couldn't believe my eyes when almost ALL the snow was gone!  The sun was shining beautifully and it was warming up the living room.  So I made a cup of coffee and just basked in the beauty of the morning and thinking how I absolutely cannot wait for winter to be OVER and for flowers and leaves to start budding.

You avid gardeners out there probably know what Gurney's is, but to those of you who aren't too big into gardening let me just tell you what it is...its AMAZING.  My mom and I look forward to it coming in the mail every single year.  It is pretty much the single most reliable symbol to the pending change in season.  Forget the groundhog...Gurney's means SPRING!  I am looking at the catalog as we speak and am getting so excited!  Not only that, but all the stores have begun stocking their shelves with seeds, planters, and even lawn furniture.  I love to take a deep whiff in the garden department.  Its almost as though it begins the thawing process in my frozen bones and I start to feel a glow.

For those of you who are looking to start gardening, I recommend picking up a catalog or going to the website posted above.  Its a bit overwhelming for me, but luckily we have a horticulturalist in the family who has promised me she'd help me pick out some beautiful flowers and veggies that can be grown as pots as we can't have a garden here.  Am I excited?  You BETTCHA!

Its clouding over now and I think we are going to get more rain but I will take that over snow ANY day of the week.  My mom had the foresight to bring my golashes (um...water boots, ya know!) and I have my big umbrella so BRING IT ON SPRING!

I have LOTS of cleaning to do today.  My dad, and possibly my mom are coming up this weekend for a visit and as ever, I want the place spotless.  AND, my beloved aunt and uncle are stopping through to see the place on Monday as they drive back from Indianapolis where my cousin and his family lives.  I CANNOT wait to see them...I'll introduce them later but I'll just say now, they are amazing people.

And here is the recipe I promised!  We call it "Russian Tea" in my family.  Turns out Beau's sister makes it too but I don't know what she calls it. Here it is:

 Russian Tea
2 Cups Tang
1 Package Lemonade Kool-Aid
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Instant Tea
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

add to taste to a cup of hot water and ENJOY!

I wanted to share this with you all quick.  Well, since we have a "washroom" now of COURSE you need a little something to make it cute right?  I have a passion for antiques and pick them up whenever I can (hence the tin the tea is in) and even though this isn't a antique, I HAD to get it.  It was $3 AND it has a Beagle on it!
Check out Hobby Lobby if you like cute home decor too.  I try to support this chain as much as I can because of their Christian beliefs.  And they're prices are so great, you really can't beat them!

Alright!  Well, I am off to vacuum and then head to the store to pick up ingredients for yet another new recipe!

In God's Love,


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

All Kinds Of Good Things...

What a nice day!  I have all kinds of good things to write about today!  Yesterday our washer was delivered.  It was the final appliance we were needing and we are starting to get settled in!  It feels so good to be all set up.  I feel so domestic! :D

YES!  I have a washer and dryer now! Thanks baby!
Ever since we moved here, I have been glued to my kitchen.  My grandma always cooked big, yummy meals for my grandpa and I remember how she used to just glow when she was happy with one of her creations.  I want to do that for Beau and because of that I have been trying new things.  The grocery stores here are so much cheaper and now I feel like I can truly get out all the recipes I have been saving and give them a whirl.  Recently I tried twice baked potatoes.  They turned out delicious, but they were a bit complicated.

Twice Baked Potatoes- a little complicated, but SO worth it!
You could make an entire meal out of these alone! Here is what you need:

1 super large baking potato
1/4 Cup of sour cream
2 Tbsp of milk
1 Tbsp of butter
1/8 tsp of garlic powder (I used a great deal more)
1/8 tsp of pepper (again, I used much more than that)
1/4 Cup of cheddar cheese
green onions

1) preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Stab the potato multiple times with a fork before rapping in foil and bake for an hour.
2) while the potato is baking, fry up the bacon.  Drain, crumble, and set aside.
3) when potato is done, scoop out the insides and use a hand mixer to combine it all
4) fill skins and bake another 15 minutes. And...YUMMY!

Sunday I had made a pot roast.  It is sort of a family tradition to have a nice family meal on Sundays and its something I really want to carry on.  The pot roast was perfection if I do say so myself.  The meat just fell apart and you didn't even need a knife.  Beau was able to come home yesterday for lunch and so we munched on the leftovers of pot roast, home made mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.  I have a new onions!  And I used those in my mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.  YUM!

Anyway...I didn't think Beau would want pot roast two nights in a row, so I decided to try a new recipe last night!  Baked Spaghetti courtesy of Jenna Beck!

Baked Spaghetti-a new hubby favorite
Beau liked it so much he asked me to add it to my special cookbook of all his favorites!  You can find the recipe here:

Beau is on call this evening so it looks as though I may have to take some to him for dinner!  And in the meantime I have LOTS of laundry to do!  AND I should really try and get my workout in.

Once upon a time, I started working out to this video by Denise Austin.  I LOVED it and really saw some great results in no time.  I want to try the rest of her workouts because I cannot believe how great she looks at 55!  I hope that's me when I am that age!

Well, I am off!  Have a blessed day!

In Gods Love,

Beau and Kenz

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Inspiring Song

Lately I have been listening to a lot of worship music.  I never used to listen to it but lately there have been a lot of great releases.  Even Beau has been listening to it and has our local station programmed into his car stereo.  A few days ago I heard this song called "Rise" by Shawn McDonald and couldn't help but sing along to it even though I had no clue what the words were.  There is something very, I don't know, contagious about this song.  It just always make me feel good whenever I hear it.  I hope you like it too!

Shawn McDonald-Rise

Friday, February 24, 2012

Our First Wisconsin Snow!

New York winters are a little...lack luster, so to speak. Keep in mind when I write this that I am by no means complaining about the lack of snow that falls upon the city, even in the dead of winter. I am actually grateful for the "warm weather" on the east coast and the fact that winter actually translates to "rain" in New Yorker. However, I was hoping for at least one good snowfall this year.

Last night we got our first really great snowfall. I would say about 4 inches worth. When we woke up this morning I looked out the window to find our trees covered in snow and the huge back yard covered in an untouched white blanket of fluffiness. It was beautiful!

In other news we had a special visitor on Tuesday. Mom my came up from Iowa and spent the night with us. She got in Tuesday evening and Wednesday we spent the morning shopping at Goodwill where I found my "dream jeans." I had been lusting over them for months after I saw some lady wearing them on the Subway. And I got 2 PAIRS for $7.99 EACH! I was SO EXCITED!!!! Sadly she couldn't stay long. I was so bummed when she had to leave that I didn't even walk her out to her car... I love my momma...

We also made our first "grown up" purchase this week: a new dryer! We are still down a washer, but keep hunting for one on craigslist.

Well, I suppose that is all for now. I need to psych myself up for a workout and then a good tidy so I can enjoy the weekend with Beau.

In Gods Love,

Beau and Kenz

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Domestic Goddess, Crazy Weekend, and Valentines Day...Basically A Lot Of Content in One Entry...

I guess its been about a week since I last posted! I swore that I was going to be better about blogging on a regular basis since moving, but I guess daily activities have been keeping me busy enough that I haven't been able to do so!

I will start off with Domestic Goddess. I would consider myself a self proclaimed domestic goddess for the following reasons: since getting all settled in I have been cooking and baking non-stop. I have tirelessly maintained the cleanliness of our 1,100 square foot home, and have done bargain shopping like a pro. Yes. I am thinking quite highly of myself right now.

I fully believe that when you are a child you think you won't be anything like your mother, grandmother, etc. And I fully believe that one almost always picks up some of the traits that they found annoying as a youngster and will more often than not pass them along to their own children. My grandma, bless her soul, was the most incredible woman. My mother, the most beautiful woman in the world, is a saint in her own right. I see that now. Now that I am grown woman myself and can truly appreciate they beauty and servitude they possess.

Now that I have my own home I have noticed how much I am like my grandma and my mother combined. I am perhaps OCD in the way I keep house, I even dry out the sink after doing the dishes (Laura I know you do this too) and I make sure that people leave their shoes at the door. Although, I don't have a baggie of socks for people to wear so their foot oil doesn't get on my carpets (one of my grandma's things). I have even picked up on how many times I call my mom asking for her advice in all things domestic. She is a fantastic cook and I hope I do her proud in the kitchen. I love my mom. She has been such a role model for me, even though I said I never wanted to be like her (I was really mad at her at the time of course).

I LOVE being a housewife! I love cooking and baking and making sure that my husband has a meal every night when he gets home (delicious I am not sure but its the thought that counts right?). I love that I have all my kitchen toys about me. We had almost forgotten all the great things we got as wedding gifts! I love that I can use my awesome vacuum cleaner that we got from my parents a couple years ago. I love that I use biodegradable cleaning supplies that are good for the environment. I love that we have a home. Wisconsin truly feels like home to us now. We couldn't be happier!

Now on to the crazy weekend. Beau had his test in Chicago this past Friday. We ended up driving down the Thursday before and stayed at the O'Hare Marriott. It was such a nice hotel! It was in the perfect location as it shared a parking lot with the testing center. Well, as Beau was in his test the snow started to come in. I had been watching the news earlier that morning and even though my cousin had assured me that it was the lake effect and that it would probably hit more in the downtown area than where we were, I began to have my doubts as I watched the huge flakes start to stick to the ground and cars. Hmmm. I couldn't wait for him to get out so we could book it back to Iowa before too much snow had fallen and made the roads slick.

Chicago is a nightmare on Friday around rush hour. Yes, rush hour. Beau says that its not near as bad as New York traffic but I beg to differ. To me it was much worse. Maybe its because Midwest divers are much more cautious when it comes to winter driving. It took us a ridiculously long time to get out of the city and by then the snow storm had definitely rolled in and we were driving in some not too preferable weather. By the time we got to Iowa though we had driven through it and we couldn't wait to get to my parents. I even took gravel roads as soon as I could because it just felt so good to be home. Mom and dad had dinner ready for us when we got there and we were welcomed by a very happy beagle. He missed his mommy so much. Although he seems to be holding up okay, he even had a new pillow and blanket courtesy of his Babbi. We sat around with my parents, Oliver, and my brother and watched TV. The following morning my "other mother" came over and we all hung around and chatted until it came time for Beau and I to pack the car with more of our wedding gifts and then head North.

We went straight to his sister's house and had a great dinner with the family. We played some xbox with the kiddos and then headed to his parents house to spend the night with his dad. It was wonderful to be home. We had wanted to get together with his other sister and her family, but they were all sick with the flu :(. It is such a blessing to be so much closer to home now. At least we don't feel like we're missing out on so much anymore.

The next morning we woke up and drove different cars back to Wisconsin. It was such a long drive when you don't have the other person to talk to and it felt so great to get back to our own home.

Monday I spent the whole day running errands, doing laundry, and finding spots for the stuff we had brought back with us.

Tuesday of course was Valentines Day. The day before I had gone to Dollar Tree and loaded up on all kinds of goodies to surprise Beau with. I sent him to work on Tuesday loaded with cupcakes and candies for his colleagues. He wasn't suppose to be on call last night, but one of his colleagues wife went into labor and so he took his hours for him. It was a little disappointing that he didn't get home til late but it was well worth it. I had made a huge dinner for him and he surprised me with the most beautiful bouquet and the most touching card. I am blessed to have someone to celebrate this holiday with.

I interviewed for a few positions at Mercy a couple weeks ago and was saddened to learn that one of the positions has been filled. Bummer o-megga. BUT, there is always the other position. I hope I hear from them soon. As much as I love being a house wife, I do miss working and I am so eager to get back out there again. I feel a little defeated, but... "for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to hurt you, plans to give you hope and a future."-Jeremiah 29:11. Amen. As my mother in law says: "God has the perfect job for you." Oh how I love her.

Til next time!

In Gods Love,

Beau and Kenz

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Beau and Kenz" Chapter...oh....?

Sorry all! I have been meaning to blog for just about forever but we have been SO busy!

The month of January was ridiculous. It seemed to go by so quickly. To recap...

We learned we were moving to Wisconsin right after Christmas. The second week of January I flew home to take a trip to our new town to find us a place to live. The following week I flew back to New York and finished packing up our apartment as my father in law was getting there later in the week to load up a bunch of our stuff to take back to Iowa and then the following week we left New York!

We left the city the evening of the 27th. As soon as Beau got off work we finished loading Ruby and our landlord came to wish us off. Luckily he had a much quicker route out of the city than the one we had given dad. Poor guy...the route we gave him took him right past Macy's on 34th street in Manhattan. We knew we didn't want to go that way since we were leaving on a Friday evening. After a heart felt good bye we left New York City through the Bronx. It only took us about 20 minutes which was an insanely quick route. Before we knew it we were out of the city and in New Jersey. We were on our way! Seeing the city out the back window, the lights in all their glory was very bitter sweet. We had taken that route when we had moved there approximately one year earlier and even though we were both so anxious to get to Wisconsin and start the next chapter of our life there, I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic. Not sad at all that we were leaving Queens, but definitely sad that we were leaving Manhattan. So much we wanted to do and see. But we'll be back again for graduation.

So we were out of Jersey and into Pennsylvania. It is a BEAUTIFUL part of the country. It was dark out so we could only see the outlines of the mountains, but they were still breath taking. Jaqui, Sarah, and I had driven that route back in August and I wish Beau could have seen the beauty. The Alaghany Mountains/Appalachia...I HIGHLY recommend seeing them in person.

We drove all through the night and eventually pulled off at a truck stop just inside Ohio. Poor Beau was about ready to drop and he fell asleep pretty much immediately. Me on the other hand, well I couldn't get comfortable and I was too anxious to get to our new home. Beau hadn't even really seen pictures of the place yet and I was so eager to see his reaction. So I sat there...

A couple of hours later I woke him and we were back on the road. I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer and drifted off for about a half hour. Good thing. When I opened my eyes and looked out the window there was snow everywhere. It was snowing so hard! Beau told me he was glad I fell asleep because apparently I had slept through the worst of it. I was worried enough as it was so I am glad I missed out on the worst of it too. Ohio apparently has the safest interstate in the United States and I believe it. The road maintainers had been out constantly salting the interstate and the other drivers on the road were leaving each other plenty of room. We had driven out of it by Indiana. Chicago had a traffic jam and FINALLY...


We made it into our new town and found our new place. The blinds on the sliding glass window were open so Beau was able to peek in and he had just the reaction I'd hoped for. We were so excited to start moving in! The new landlords and my dad and brother pulled up at the same time and we got the keys, handed over the check, and started unloading! I haven't seen Beau so excited in such a long time. He was like a kid in a candy store and I was so happy that I had found a new home that made him so happy.

We took dad and Dylan out for lunch and then they headed back to Iowa. And there we were...Beau looked at all the rooms and we started the moving in process. We have become pro's when it comes to moving and we quickly had the boxes in their designated rooms. We unpacked late into the night and running on only a half hour of sleep in the past two days I started to feel like a zombie around midnight. I was determined to finish our room at least that night to make it nice for Beau and we finally turned in around 1am.

The next morning we had our first guests! Our wonderful friends the Coleman's dropped by and even brought cookies! They stayed for a while and then we headed out to stock up on groceries.

The 31st I had my interview with Mercy! It went so great! I am currently waiting to hear when and where I will be working.

The 3rd we had game night over at the Coleman's with our friends the Bly's.

The 5th we had church with the Coleman's and then had a super bowl party with the Bly's.

The day before yesterday Beau started at Mercy. He is already doing amazing and I think Janesville is going to be a "permanent" place for us. At least for a year or two. We love it here. It reminds us so much of Ames (where we met) and its the perfect location. Everything is so much cheaper and convenient.

Pictures to come!

In Gods Love

Beau and Kenz