New Shoes and Whole Foods

Good afternoon!!

I decided to take the day off from the gym today because tomorrow is Jaden’s birthday and I had a few errands to run. I work tomorrow and then we’re going to Dave and Buster’s with Jaden tomorrow night so it made sense to get things done today.

He’s a having a couple of friends over on Saturday and then we’re having a family party Saturday evening.

My first stop today was to get new shoes!

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My old Nikes are pretty worn out so it was time for new ones. I ended up getting the Nike Metcon 2 shoes. They are pricey but worth it. And after a $20 off coupon and a couple of gift cards, I paid less than $50.

The Nike Metcons are great for cross training and have a firm, flat heel for stability during heavy lifting. I definitely need a shoe with more support and I’m excited to try these out at the gym!

I also stopped at Whole Foods – it’s been forever since I went to Whole Foods! I got my favorite sushi for lunch.

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I also got one of these cold brew High Brew coffees to try. I haven’t been sleeping good for the past few days so I could use the kick of caffeine.

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The salted caramel flavor was delicious. Yum! I just wish they were a little bigger.

I also picked up some dog treats for Baylee and Barbara’s High Fiber Cereal Medley.

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I try to get in between 20-25 grams of fiber a day but sometimes I fall a little short. I think this cereal will be great to add to my yogurt in the mornings.

This afternoon will be spent getting ready for Jaden’s birthday and studying.

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I have to renew my group fitness certification soon and I need 6 continuing education credits from NETA so I’m taking a muscle mechanics home study course.

Have a great day!

  • Do you like sushi? Favorite?
  • Favorite brand of shoes? 

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Back, Biceps, and Salata!

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Salata as a Salata Select Blogger to bring you exciting news and information about the new salad offerings from Salata all year long. I received a gift card to purchase my salad but all opinions are my own.

Hey guys!

On Saturday, Danny and I did a great back and biceps workout at the gym. I’ve have been working hard on trying to do a pull-up (why are those things so hard?!) so we did a lot of assisted pull-ups and inverted rows on the Smith machine.

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For out workout, we alternated a back exercise and a bicep exercise, doing 3 sets of 12 reps.

Here’s the exercises we did:

  • assisted pull-ups
  • preacher curls
  • wide grip lat pulldowns
  • standing dumbbell curls twists
  • inverted rows on smith machine
  • single arm cable bicep curls
  • good mornings

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After our workout, we headed to Salata for lunch. I love that we have a Salata only about 20 minutes away from us now!

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Eating healthy was one of my New Year’s goals and Salata makes that easy – to start the new year, Salata has committed more that $1 million to further its “Fresh First” clean ingredient policy in 2016.

Some changes Salata has made includes:

  • switching to using only antibiotic-free chicken, available in herb-marinated, Asian barbecue, pesto and spicy chipotle
  • the house-made dressings that contain mayonnaise – buttermilk ranch, chipotle ranch and honey mustard – are now made with mayonnaise using cage-free eggs and sustainable soybean oil
  • cookies are now made using only real butter, premium ingredients and no artificial additives

Additional changes Salata is working on as part of its Fresh First initiative include:

  • protein marinades will be reformulated to reduce sodium levels
  •  switching to organic tea for all iced tea selections
  • though few of its restaurants offer fountain drinks, Salata will soon only offer sodas without high fructose corn syrup

 Yay Salata!!

To celebrate, Salata is encouraging fans to take a five day clean eating lunch challenge and substitute their regular lunch with a healthy Salata combination. I also love how easy it is to keep track of your Salata salad on My Fitness Pal.

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Most of their ingredients are on the My Fitness Pal app or you can get nutritional information off their website. It’s nice to be able to go out to eat but still stick to eating healthy, clean foods.

My salad included a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits and veggies are great because they contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are your body’s first defense against disease causing free radicals. People with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have fewer diseases. Good thing for me that I love fruits and vegetables!

Salata also has multigrain and asiago rolls. Danny has an asiago roll and I skipped the roll this time.

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My salad included: salad mix, strawberries, apples, pineapples, bell peppers, red onions, walnuts, almonds, cucumbers, fat-free mango dressing, and some shrimp for some protein. It was absolutely delicious!

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Danny loved his salad too. He’s a big fan of the romaine lettuce with veggies, chicken, and the salsa ranch dressing.

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Salata has a wide variety of fresh teas and I had the unsweetened green tea with a little Splenda for sweetness at 0 calories.

If you live near a Salata, I definitely recommend trying them out. They have great food while still letting you stick to clean and healthy eating. You can also turn any salad into a wrap  – I just prefer a nice big salad. :)

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite salad topping?
  • What do you usually order when you’re eating out to stay healthy?

 

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Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Product Review

Valentine’s Day Food and Treats

Disclaimer: I received the PRE 100% grass fed beef at no charge for part of a Valentine’s Day post. As usual, I only work with companies whose products I stand behind. All opinions are 100% my own…and Danny and Jacob’s. :)

Hello!

I have a fun post for you guys today – Valentine’s Day food and treats! I have always said that I believe Valentine’s Day is for celebrating all those in your life that you love – your spouse, significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, neighbor, etc.

I have a few fun Valentine’s Day food ideas that you can give to others as a gift, cook for those you love, or even cook together with someone. My little helper for a lot of these recipes was my son Jaden.

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He absolutely loves to cook and bake.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

First up, is a super easy breakfast idea – heart shaped pancakes!

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These pancakes are super easy to make. All you need to do is make pancake batter or use a pre-mixed batter and put it into a Ziploc bag. Push all the batter into the corner of the bag and cut off just the very tip of the bag.

On a hot pan, use the batter in the Ziploc bag to make a heart shape and fill it in. Cook a few minutes on both sides and you have a cute heart shaped pancakes. This is great for kids but really who can resist a heart-shaped pancake?!

  • PRE 100% Grass Fed Beef

Steak is always a great gift! Danny and Jacob love steak and when PRE Brands contacted me about their 100% grass fed beef I was so excited to have Danny and Jacob try it out! It would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner or just a great gift in general.

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Here are some of the things I liked about the PRE beef:

  • the whole package is transparent so you can see both sides of the meat. Often with cuts of meat in the grocery store, you can only see one side of the meat. PRE has a 360 degree view so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • it’s vacuum sealed which leads to a consistent quality and temperature, and a long shelf life.
  • it’s sourced from the top 10% most trustworthy sources in the world,making it extra fresh and tasty
  • PRE Brands uses a trademarked “15-point Obsessive Pick Process,” putting every single cut under a microscope, resulting in the very best quality and taste.

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(Baylee really really wanted that ground beef!)

While I don’t eat beef myself, I do believe in feeding my family quality, fresh, trustworthy food and PRE lives up to that. And Danny and Jacob can vouch for the taste – they both loved it!

I used a grill pan on the stove to cook the steaks medium-rare and the boys feasted on them with mashed potatoes. They both gave them two thumbs up!

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  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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This was my first time ever making brownies from scratch and they turned out delicious! I found a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and Jaden and I got to work making them! (Sally’s Baking Addiction has the best dessert recipes I have ever tried!)

I was worried at first that making brownies from scratch would be hard to make but they were fairly easy. You just have to make sure that measure ingredients perfectly when baking – that’s why I always measure ingredients with my food scale.

We made the brownies and then made the cream cheese topping. We swirled them together for some delicious red velvet cheesecake brownies. Just make sure that you don’t over swirl!

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  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally, we baked chocolate chip cookies because they are delicious and who wouldn’t love receiving fresh baked chocolate chip cookies?! (And yes, it’s another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

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These cookies are perfectly soft and melt in your mouth. Just to be sure not to overbake them!

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You could add Valentine’s Day sprinkles to the cookies batter or just use them to decorate the plate!

  • What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?
  • Do you have any Valentine’s Day food or treat recipes to share?

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Family Fun, Fun, Product Review, Recipes

Birthday, Coffee, Workout

Hello friends!

Birthday

Over the weekend, Danny and I went out to celebrate my best friend, Jenny’s, birthday.

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We’ve been best friends for 22 years since 7th grade.

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We went to Seasons 52 and had a wonderful dinner. I didn’t get a picture of it but I had the cedar plank roasted salmon with roasted vegetables & crushed potatoes, dill-mustard sauce, and grilled lemon. It was amazing and the dill-mustard sauce was the best sauce I have ever had. I could have ate just that sauce and been happy. Hungry but happy. :)

The waitress brought out a tower of mini desserts with a candle in the top so we could sing happy birthday.

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Those mini desserts were also amazing. The flavors: key lime pie, pecan pie, Belgian chocolate s’mores, mocha macchiato, chocolate peanut butter torte, and raspberry cannoli. Yum.

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Coffee

My UpCup came at the perfect time because I just ordered a bunch of coffee from Keurig.

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I ordered a 24 pack of Golden French Toast, a 22 count variety pack (Caramel Vanilla Cream, French Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Wild Mountain Blueberry), two 12 packs of Peppermint Bark, a 5 pack of Southern Pecan, a 5 pack of Butter Toffee, and a 5 pack of Raspberry Chocolate Truffle.

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Yes, that’s a lot of coffee. The Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite flavors and my grocery store stopped selling it after the holidays so when I saw the Keurig website had it, I had to get two boxes.

This morning I tried the Raspberry Chocolate Truffle in my favorite coffee mug.

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Usually, I’m not a fan of chocolate flavored coffee but this flavor was really good and didn’t taste too chocolatey. I also like that Keurig offers 5 packs of coffee. That way to can try it out without committing to a whole bunch of it.

Workout

This morning at the gym, I did a chest and triceps superset workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.

I did the following exercises:

  • Barbell chest presses
  • Triceps dips with feet on bench
  • Dumbbell chest flies
  • Barbell skull crushers
  • Decline chest press machine
  • Tricep rope pressdowns

And that’s all for today! Have a great day!

  • Are you a coffee drinker? Favorite coffee?
  • Any workout today?

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Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Uncategorized

Chuester UpCup

I was sent the Chuester UpCup at no charge to me for my review of the product. All opinions are 100% my own and I only work with companies whose products I use and stand behind. 

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I have a great new product to share with you guys today – the Chuester UpCup.

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My dad works with a guy who recently purchased one of these cups and thought that I would be interested in them. He gave the owner my contact information. Tom, the owner of  UpCup’s sent me a cup to try out the next day.

The UpCup originally started out on Kickstarter. Kickstarter helps creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. In this case, it was the UpCup. The UpCup was created by Tom and Jillian Kashul, two entrepreneurs from Chicago. The UpCup got funded and is now available for purchase on Amazon.

Okay, so what is the UpCup?

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The UpCup is an on-the-go mug that is double walled to keep your drink hot and your hand cool. The lid and sleeve are made of medical grade silicone. Since it is glass, you don’t have to worry about chemicals from plastic leaching into your glass. It holds 14 ounces which is perfect for your morning coffee!

I bring coffee with me to work so I was very excited to try this mug. I usually used a stainless steel to-go mug but I always felt like it kind of changed the way my coffee tasted.

The UpCup is the perfect on-the-go mug. It’s glass so I can see how much cream is going into my coffee and since it’s double walled, the coffee stays hot but the outside stays cool so you don’t burn your hand.

I put my coffee in it around 8:20 am and headed to work.

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By the time I was finished drinking it around 9:45 am, the coffee was still hot. Yay!

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This is definitely my new on-the-go coffee cup. It’s also great for tea and you could even use it for water Since it’s glass, it is dishwasher and microwave safe.

You can learn more about the UpCup on their website and buy your own on Amazon.

Have a great day!

  • Do you use an on-the-go mug?

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Filed under Product Review, Uncategorized

Shoulder, Core, and Cardio Circuit Workout

Good afternoon! This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout involving shoulders, core, and cardio.

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Here is the workout I did:

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I completed each circuit four times and I finished up my workout with an easy 12 minutes on the stationary bike.

I love incorporating the speed ladder into my workouts. It’s a great way to do something different and challenge your body.

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Post workout, I had this Powerful Yogurt protein drink that Danny recently found at the grocery store.

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I have never seen these before, so I was excited to try it and with 20 grams of protein, it’s perfect post-workout. The vanilla maple flavor was delicious!

When I got home, I took Baylee for a walk since the weather is halfway decent.

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She’s getting big!

After our walk, I made lunch.

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Egg whites with a little bit of reduced fat cheddar cheese, whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, and sugar snap peas. So good!

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Favorite core exercise?
  • What did you have for lunch today?

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Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Circuit Workout

Good afternoon!

This morning at the gym, I did a great circuit workout before teaching my Women on Weights class.

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I did the following circuit four times through:

  • 400 meter row
  • 10 box jumps
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • kettlebell farmer’s carry on track (hold heavy kettlebell in one hand and walk on the track, switching hands halfway. Great for obliques!)

I did each exercise back-to-back, rested about 30 seconds, and then repeated for a total of four times. I really like doing circuit workouts because they are a great way to combine strength training and cardio and are a great way to keep your heart rate up.

After teaching Women on Weights, I came home and had a cup of Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea in my favorite gingerbread coffee mug.

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I usually add a few drops of the SkinnyGirl stevia extract. My mom gave this to me and it’s perfect to sweeten up the tea a little bit.

Danny and I also got in some great workout this weekend. On Saturday, we worked shoulder and core. We did some of the hardest sit-ups I’ve ever done in my life. On the decline bench, we held a plate behind our head and did sit-ups. It might not look too hard but it was killer. I could barely manage two sets of 10.

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On Sunday, we worked back and biceps.

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We also did more plate sit-ups but this time we did them on the floor making it a little easier. Still hard but easier than the decline bench. If you have a chance, definitely try out these sit-ups!

Have a great day!

  • If you’re a tea drinker, what’s your favorite tea?
  • Favorite core exercise? I love planks!

 

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Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

I am so glad that it’s Friday! I am ready for the weekend. I also look forward to the weekends because I like working out with Danny at the gym. Usually I prefer to workout alone but it’s always a nice change of pace to workout with someone else. We do things I might not normally do on my own, he pushes me to do more, and I can often lift heavier since he’s able to spot me.

Friday Favorites

I have a few favorites to share with you today. First up are a couple of beauty products.

  • Real Techniques Make-Up Sponge

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When the Beauty Blender was popular a few years ago, I asked for one for Christmas. At that time, they were expensive and could only be ordered online. I loved the Beauty Blender but then Real Techniques came out with a make-up sponge for a much more reasonable price – about $6.99.

I have been using this sponge to apply foundation and sometimes concealer for a long time and I love it. I don’t apply my foundation any other way. I went to Ulta yesterday to pick up a new one and they were buy one, get one free. Yes!

  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture Eye Cream

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Every since I turned 30 a few years ago, I’ve been more conscious about using eye cream. I might not feel old but my skin is 33 years old and I feel like it’s important to take good care of it. My skin is also very sensitive so I don’t mind spending a little bit more money on quality skin products.

I’ve been using this eye cream every night and sometimes in the morning. It’s provides moisture and helps with dark circles and fine lines.

  • Target Coffee Mug

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I love coffee mugs and arrows so this mug was perfect for me and I had to buy it when I saw it at Target. Danny doesn’t share my love for coffee mugs and says I have too many…it’s not my fault our cabinets are small. :)

  • Starbucks Jade Citrus Mint Tea

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I love this tea from Starbucks. It’s a nice change from coffee or great in the afternoon when it’s too late for coffee. I add one packet of Stevia in the Raw for a great zero calorie drink.

  • Skinny Cow Chocolate Mint Ganache Ice Cream Cones

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I might have been these in a Friday Favorites before but they’re worth mentioning again. They are so good. They are perfect for an after dinner treat.

Those are my favorites for today! Have a wonderful Friday!

  • What are your favorite things today?
  • Do you collect anything?

 

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Leg and Glute Workout

Good afternoon! How are you all doing?

I’ve been working and working out. Yesterday when I got off of work, I did an easy cardio workout. 30 minutes on the stairmaster followed by 15 minutes on the stationary bike.

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After my workout, I had a thinkThin bar. I really like the salted caramel flavor.

Today I did a great leg/glute workout.

I did 4 sets and 10 reps of the following exercises:

  • Resistance band walking squats
  • Dumbbell deadlifts – 60 lbs
  • Split squats – 20 lbs
  • Barbell hip thrusts – 60 lbs
  • Walking lunges – 30 lbs
  • Weighted donkey kicks – 5 lbs
  • Single leg hip bridges
  • Leg press machine – 165 lbs
  • Seated leg curls – 65 lbs

After my workout, I took a selfie:)

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And foam rolled.

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In puppy news, Baylee loves laying on the vent in the bathroom. If we ever can’t find her, we just check the bathroom and she’s usually laying on her favorite vent…or eating toilet paper.

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Today will be her second week of puppy training school. Danny takes her every Thursday for eight weeks. Even though she can be a naughty puppy sometimes, she’s actually calmed down a bit and is very smart. She already can sit, stay, give you both her paws, lay down, roll over, and high five. She also rings a bell when she want to go outside. All thanks to Danny.

She also likes to eat toilet paper and shoes, knock over the garbage can, dig in the mud, attack slippers if we’re wearing them, chew the wall, and latch onto your pants when you’re walking. :) Fun times with a puppy.

Have a great day!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Do you have a pet? 

 

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Filed under Fitness, Uncategorized, Working Out

Chicken Enchiladas

Good morning!

This weekend, I tried out another new recipe – chicken enchiladas. If you haven’t noticed by now, I love Mexican food.

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I searched a whole bunch of enchilada recipes on Pinterest and just ended up piecing together ingredients I thought my family would like the best.

This recipes calls for cooked and shredded chicken. To make shredded chicken, I  just cook boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot with a little bit of water for a few hours and then shred them.

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Chicken Enchiladas         Serves 6-8

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can (4 oz) green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cans (or 1 large) can of red enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups shredded cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas (or you can you corn tortillas)
  • Optional: green onion or cilantro for garnish

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
  2. Add cooked chicken and chilies to the onions and stir to combine. Stir in cumin. Add approximately 1.5 cans of enchilada sauce to the chicken and stir until chicken is coated.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream and two cups of cheese (save other cup of cheese for top of enchiladas).
  4. Remove from heat. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add enough enchilada sauce to just cover bottom of dish.
  5. Take a flour tortilla, spread a little bit of remaining enchilada sauce on top, spoon chicken mixture down middle of tortilla. Roll up and place in dish. Repeat for all tortillas.
  6. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.
  7. Bake uncovered approximately 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  8. Optional: garnish with green onions or cilantro.

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Recipe loosely adapted from Popsicle Blog

Yum!

These turned out amazing! I can’t wait to make them again! :)

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  • What is your favorite food? 
  • Favorite Mexican food?

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Filed under Dinner, Recipes