Happy Halloween!

The Roy’s Pumpkins: 2013

Tim bought two smaller pumpkins so that the kids could each do their own this year. Shay wasn’t interested, so Eden and I set to work and came up with these designs. This is the first pumpkin she cleaned and carved all by herself. Great job!

Dirty Laundry Costume:

We were talking at work the other day and I was reminded of one student’s costume from last year’s Halloween Parade. He dressed-up as “dirty laundry”. We have been struggling to agree on a costume for Shay, but when I suggested this idea, he thought “dirty laundry” might be fun. Personally, I was pulling for the Girl Guide costume, but he wouldn’t bite.

For this costume, I took one of our older (broken) laundry baskets and cut the bottom of it out. (My husband thought this was a great idea, as I actually might break down and go and buy a new one to replace the broken one we’ve been using for what seems like forever.) Here is a list of what we used to pull together this costume. It could seriously be done in under an hour.  I lucked out and had everything I needed at home with the exception of the old soap container.

  • one laundry basket with the bottom removed
  • grey pipe insulation to set along the inside of the cut basket (meant to provide extra comfort) I have an extra piece, but wanted to show the sharp edge.

    basket with pipe insulation

    Here is a shot of the bottom of the basket with pipe insulation installed around the hole for a more comfortable fit.

  • two pieces of fabric scraps (or something similar) to tie to the basket and lay across the shoulders to support the basket
  • one hoody with various articles of clothing pinned or stitched all over it randomly
  • one bedsheet (We included a bedsheet in the basket because it is large and yet very light to carry around.)
  • one large plastic empty laundry detergent container (I messaged a few friends and my neighbor had one we could use – Yay Jen!)  Cut the container below the handle to open up the tops, so that candy can be dropped in through the opening.
  • one empty stain remover bottle, hung and glue gunned to the edge of the basket
  • various clothes pinned to the sheet (to avoid losing them)
  • dirt or dark face paint to add to the “dirty” effect
  • “Dirty Laundry” sign, if you wish
dirty laundry

Here is a trial fitting, minus the face paint to make Shay look “dirty”. You can see how much fun he is having getting suited-up!

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Yippee for Pippi!

Eden loves Halloween and this year we decided to make her a Pippi Longstocking costume. She was really excited, but worried that most of her peers would not know who Pippi  was. Unfortunately, this story book heroine is unknown by most children today.  I absolutely loved Pippi Longstocking when I was a kid. In fact, I’d like to believe it was her fault that I spent so many hours of my childhood in time-out chairs or sitting in the hallway at school. (Believe me I was not always the “goodie two-shoes” you think I am.) Perhaps she didn’t make the best “role model”, but I loved the way she was able to outsmart adults. I was indeed quite a “prankster” (brat may be more accurate), but sadly, my parents and teachers didn’t find my behaviour all that amusing.

I found this original trailer for the Pippi Longstocking movie and couldn’t help but think about how much times have changed.  I look at Pippi’s pranks and antics and they really don’t seem that funny anymore. It reminds me of the times in which I’ve tried to share some of my favourite childhood family movies with my own kids only to have them complain and show no interest. It seems that kids are so accustomed to dynamic special effects and fast paced story lines, that the old movies don’t have nearly the impact they had when they were first released when I was a kid.  It is a bit sad to think how spoiled we are by technology and how entertainment has become so complex. We have a cupboard full of board games that often go unused. I often ask the kids if they’d like to play (I LOVE board games) and most often they have no interest. I think of the hours of fun that we spent playing cards or board games and honestly can’t understand why my children aren’t interested.  It seems like entertainment has to involve video making, cameras, computers, iPods or video games in order to pass the kid test these days.

If you were a fellow Pippi fan, you might enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Pippi Longstocking Costume

The great thing about a Pippi Longstocking costume is that it pretty much consists of regular clothes.  The key is putting all fashion sense to the wind as she always had a collection of mismatched outfits.  We decided to go for her classic look with a red and white striped top with a denim jumper.  We found a t-shirt and a pair of denim overalls at the thrift store.  thrift store overalls I cut-off the “legs” of the overalls and converted it into an overall jumper dress.  I also added a patch from my denim scrap collection. I cut up an old t-shirt and added a ruffle layer that extends below the bottom of the skirt to extend the length and give the dress more of a layered look.  old t-shirt for skirt ruffleWe decided to buy Eden a pair of fall lace-up fashion boots that she could use for the costume and wear throughout the fall.  We found these at Target as well as some knee-high patterned socks that were on clearance for $1.50 per pair.  The socks can also be worn after.  We also bought some orange hairspray to finish the look.  This costume cost us less than $16 (not including the new boots and socks that Eden will continue to wear after Halloween). We dumped the pennies out of the big metal pail that they were in and this will be what she’ll collect her candy in.  She will also carry her sock monkey (that I made her last Halloween to go with her Sock Monkey Costume) in lieu of Pippi’s pet monkey, Mr. Nilsson. For her braids, we simply opened up a wire coat hanger, and rounded the center around the top of her head and left the ends sticking out the sides to be shaped after the braids were done.  hanger for braids

We trimmed the ends of the wire with tin snips and sprayed her hair once the braids were in. (I added a little blob of hot glue to the ends of the hanger so that they weren’t so sharp.) This costume required minimal sewing and was among the easier ones to pull together. Eden had a Girl Guide Halloween party on Monday, so I have a picture of her all dressed-up, pre-Halloween.  Shay won’t have a final fitting until tomorrow, so we’ll have to share his costume then.

Pippi Longstocking Costume

Halloween Costume Ideas

For other costume ideas, check out my previous Halloween Post.  You might enjoy the video of Shay as Sesame Street’s “The Count“, if you missed the original post.

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Halloween Scrooge No More!

I must admit that in the past, I have been guilty of being a bit of a Halloween Scrooge.  As mentioned in a previous post, I was never a big fan of Halloween.  My own children did not participate until my daughter was in school.  My opinion was mostly a product of my bad childhood experiences with Halloween. I spent most Halloweens terrified of the older kids in town and all of their “pranks”.  The combination of scary masks and burning hay bales in the streets of town pretty much did me in.  As an adult, I had my previous experiences coupled with my desire to keep candy and treats away from my toddlers, so we just avoided it.  When we did begin to participate, I refused to handout candy – the thought of giving candy to such small children literally made me cringe. How can that be a good idea?I was adamant and found other options to drop in their bags.  So, when kids would drop by our house, they would get a mini-playdough, small toy, pencil or at the very least a sugar-free snack.  I did this for several years, but my husband “laid down the law” and told me that “our house would get egged” if I continued down this path and that I’d be cleaning it up.  Yikes! My kids also began to complain and said that playdough was for little kids, so a few years ago, I broke down and joined the masses and began to handout the sugary treats that all kids are seeking on Halloween night.  Oh well, a battle not really worth fighting, I guess.  I thought this Crest commercial was hilarious and pretty much put me in my place.

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A Salute to the Brave!

This video was shared by my cousin Lana on Facebook.  The nurses at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital decided to make a video to encourage the children who are battling illness and in many cases fighting for their lives. The video was inspired by the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles.

Children’s Hospital Nurse’s Video

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are fighting an illness or any other “storm” in their life right now.  I also give thanks for all of the people in the world with the heart of a servant.  Those who give of themselves freely in order to make a difference in the lives of others – cheers to you!

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Yummy Halloween Candy Corn Bark

I found this recipe on Your Homebased Mom, but I think the original post was found on Recipe Girl.  I made it last year and it was such a hit that I decided to whip up another batch this weekend.  The candy bark is super easy to make and so yummy.  I love that it doesn’t take much fuss to make it look good.  This is a great treat to give send to school for a class party, give as a little teacher treat, bag up and hand-out to those special kids in your life or just keep it for your own family to enjoy!

Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Leigh Anne’s Candy Corn Cookie Bark


 Please visit Leigh Anne’s site for her detailed tutorial.  Great job Leigh Anne!


  • 14 whole Oreos, broken up
  • 1 1/2 C pretzels, broken into pieces. I used the small stick pretzels
  • 1 lb. white chocolate melting discs (I used about 1 1/2 pounds for mine)
  • 1 C candy corn
  • brown and orange colored sprinkles, Halloween edible sequins or coloured sugar (Bulk Barn has a great selection.)


  • Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper
  • Mix the broken cookies, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the candy corn in a bowl
  • Spread the candy mixture onto the waxed paper
  • Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes
  • Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth
  • White chocolate melts faster and burns easier than chocolate
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula to coat evenly
  • Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the chocolate quickly before it sets
  • Place the cookie tray in the refrigerator until set and firm
  • Remove and gently break bark into small pieces
  • Store in air tight container or place in cellophane bags if you wish to share!

One thing I notice is that if you spread your candy mixture out too much, you will not have enough chocolate to cover the base.  If you look at the difference between Leigh Anne’s and mine, you will notice that her’s seems to have a thicker chocolate coating over the top of her candy corn cookie bark than mine does.  I think the key is not spreading it out so much that your chocolate will not cover the crumbs adequately.
Candy Corn Cookie BarkIf you love to share your thoughts and interests and would like to get paid for doing what you love, do what I did and find some experts to mentor you. Click here to learn how a novice like myself was able to quickly learn techniques and strategies for blogging effectively.

Creative Memories: Scrapbooking for the Busy Mom

Our Kodak Camera When I was a child, there was very little extra money and although we had a camera similar to the one in the photo, we often didn’t have film on hand or money to process the pictures that were taken. As I grew up, I found that I had a very poor memory of my childhood.  There were (and still are) countless times when we are engaged in conversation about the past and I literally have no recollection of the event.  I really don’t know why this is or if perhaps it is even normal, but I have always felt that my long-term memory was not as good as my peers.  As a young adult, my parents moved from our family home in the “country” to the city. Of course this meant doing a lot of sorting and purging.  My mom was by know means a hoarder, but we always had one room that was stacked with boxes of “stuff”.  We lived in a heritage home and the basement was not suitable for storage and so for us, one of the bedrooms became the “dumping” ground.  I hated that room and perhaps that is what shaped me into the organized person that I am today.  Sometimes, I think we grow-up reflecting on our parents and upbringing and making specific decisions about how we are going to do certain things different or “better”.  Such was the case for me when it came to organization and specifically family photos.  When my parents were preparing to move, I found a bag full of old “film” in one of the boxes. I took the film in to a processing lab, but all of the film was damaged and we were unable to have it processed and printed.  I am not sure if my lack of childhood memories is due to the absence of pictures or not, but I certainly feel that a photo captures a moment and provides an anchor that helps to engrave that memory in our hearts and minds.  My parents loved me very much, of that I am certain, but I can honestly say that my memories are random and vague at best.  I remember only one birthday.  I don’t know how old I was (maybe 12 or 14?) and my only memory is of the cake because it looked so pretty with strawberries carefully sliced on the top of it.  I remember coming downstairs late at night one December evening and catching my mom with fabric spread out on the floor making what would later become the quilt I got for Christmas that year.  I remember the one doll I got when I was quite small and a clock radio cassette player I received as a young teen.  I am grateful for the few photos that I do have, but regret the absence of “proof” from my childhood.  I can’t imagine that I didn’t have a birthday party, and yet remember none.

So, you can see why for me scrapbooking is more than a hobby, it is something that I deem essential and am passionate about.  I want to take those memories and create anchors on which my own children can track the milestones of their lives.

Setting Up a Manageable System for Scrapbooking Your Family Memories

I am not perfect, but definitely have the attitude that if you are going to do something, do it with excellence or why bother.  So, when I was embarking on this new hobby  a few years after Eden was born, I knew that I would need to have a plan in order for me to stay on top of my “scrapbooking” projects.  Here is what I do, to keep it fun and less overwhelming.

1. I have one 12″ X 12″ scrapbook for each of my children and both follow the exact same format:

  • A title page consisting of  the birth announcement
  • One two page NEWBORN lay-out (both pages when the book is open) This highlights their birth and our time in the hospital, really just the first few days of life.  It also includes a few pregnancy photos.
  • One two page layout of 0 to 6 months.
  • One two page layout of 7 to 12 months.
  • One two page layout of their FIRST BIRTHDAY party.
  • One two page layout of them as a ONE year old.
  • One two page layout of their SECOND BIRTHDAY party.
  • One two page layout of them as a TWO year old.

This process will continue until they are 18.  There are no “events” captured in these books.  I reserve it for single snapshots of the milestones, people who are important to them (pictures of them with mom, dad, brother/sister, cousins, aunts, grandparents, special friends, etc.) as well as important events and FIRSTS.  So for example, it may contain only one photo of Christmas from that specific year or one photo from a piano recital.  The concept of the ONE year lay-outs is to highlight what was important to them at that time in their lives.  What I love about this set-up is that I really only have two lay-outs to do per child per year.  Four lay-outs that I must commit to in order to stay on top of their books. This helps me to stay motivated and creative without it becoming a daunting task on my “to do” list.

Side note: Make sure you journal.  Journaling may seem like it is not important, but in order to truly capture the moment it is important to write a little about it.  When I look through my older layouts, I can see that I kept journaling to a minimum. I often just included titles and dates on my photos, but over time, I saw the value and began to write more.  I sometimes type my journal entries, but often print them myself.  Having lost my mom, I know how much a sample of her writing on an old recipe means to me.  Including your own writing is like signing it “made with love, by my own hands just for you”. I just really feel that journaling is important and needs to be included.

2. I have created one 12″ X 12″ album that is solely for Christmas.  I have a title page at the front of the book and then do one two page lay-out per year.  I love this book because it captures the people most important in our lives and shows how everyone has grown and changed over the course of a year.  Again, one lay-out per year is very manageable for me.

3. When the kids started school, I also began a school album.  I actually have both kids in the same album.  Basically, I do a two page lay-out for every grade they are in.  The photos include field trips, their teachers, concerts, assembly performances, awards, etc.  I am not sure if I will continue this after grade 6 or not.  I may just restrict it to memories from their elementary school days.  This adds two more lay-outs to the list, making it a total of SEVEN lay-outs that I am absolutely committed to staying on top of.  Luckily, the kids’ birthdays are six months apart, so it isn’t too difficult for me to pull this off.

Sample School Album Layout

This is a sample layout from the kid’s School Album.

4. In addition to the above, I do have a few other albums that I putter at. I consider them “extras” and do them just for fun.

  • Special Events album – I have only one album that I use to capture entire events.  For me, this is just too much to commit to. I have a list of lay-outs that I think would be fun to do ~ some day.  I don’t worry about these and only do them when I feel inspired.
  • School Album – I think I figured out that I have now taught well over 700 children in my years as a teacher.  A few years ago, I pulled together a very simple album with my staff and class pictures from over the years.  This is pretty easy to keep current as there are very few photos to add and the embellishments are kept very simple.
Sample Event Layout

This is a sample from my special events album. This layout features Eden’s First Lemonade Stand!

I know so many scrapbookers that try to do it all!  They try to scrapbook every thing. This just doesn’t work for me. I am too busy and too much of a perfectionist.  I would constantly feel like I was behind and this would totally block my creativity and remove the fun.  I really enjoy scrapbooking, but never want it to become so overwhelming that I resent it or the time that it requires.  My best advice is keep it simple and manageable.  One more tip ~ don’t scrapbook family vacations.  We are so fortunately that we can drag our photos into photo books and order very professional looking photo books with a few clicks of the mouse.  For family vacations or big events, go with the online photo book option.  I love that I can journal right in the book and have the whole trip captured within a few hours.  The books are generally well made and you can even order multiple copies, if so desired.

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Food For the Spirit

As a working mom, I find that I really have to be creative to find pockets of time for myself, so I can keep my “tank” full.  Sometimes, life is so busy that it is difficult to fit in those things that are crucial to my own physical, emotional and social well-being.  I have learned to read my body and gauge my state of mind, so that I can keep up the crazy pace of life. Like others, there are times when I feel overwhelmed and exhaustion sets in, but overall, I am pretty in tune with my needs.  I try to eat well, exercise when I can and feed my spirit often. For me, this often means listening to motivational and/or spiritual teachings on the way to work.  I listen to podcasts, MP3 downloads and/or CD’s and try to use my time in the car to my advantage.  Instead of seeing my commute as a waste of time, I cherish this alone time as it gives me a chance to unwind, think things through, meditate and recharge.  It is this “fuel” that feeds my spirit and helps me to face the demands of everyday life. It is also this “feeding of my spirit” that helps to me create a vision for my life and think beyond today and focus on the bigger picture, always striving to improve every aspect of my life. I already have a great life with a wonderful husband and children and many blessings, but my spirit of excellence always pushes me forward continually problem solving and determined to be the best I can possibly be.  I know I can be a better wife, mother, teacher, blogger, neighbor, friend – you name it, there is room for improvement.

I am not perfect, of that I am certain, but I am committed to pursuing excellence and at times that can become quite overwhelming. As I said previously, I can read myself well and lately I could sense that my tank was draining faster than I could fill it.  It is for this reason, that I knew I needed a good strong dose of excellent teaching to give me the turbo boost I needed.  I decided to book one of my personal leave days and attend the annual Leadership Conference at Springs Church. Springs is our home church and I had heard several of the guest speakers before and I knew I would not leave disappointed.  The great thing about a Springs Conference is that unlike most conferences where I walk away with one or two useful points or strategies that I can apply, I am left with pages of information and life strategies that I can apply to my own life today.  The speakers were so incredible and Dr. Sam Chand had me belly laughing most of the day.  He is truly gifted and his ability to share his incredible knowledge in such a straight forward and humourous way is what ranks him as a top speaker world-wide.

Dr. Sam Chand

There were so many great points, but I thought I would share a few of the points from his presentation:

1.  For all of you teachers out there who are attending SAGE workshops today, here is Dr. Chand’s note taking tip.  Beside each point you write down, use the acronym ACTS to help you categorize your points with an A, C, T or S. This helps you to move from just hearing the information, to actually applying it to your current situation.

AAction (something you can apply right away)

CConcept or Thought (a great thought, but no action required)

TThink it Through (a point that you need to ponder and reflect on)

SStrategy (the “how to’s” in the presentation)

This system for note taking allows you to categorize what you’ve learned and take action right away. You can use this when reading a great book or when taking notes at a seminar, class or conference. What a great idea!

2. As a leader (mom, dad, CEO, committee chair, PTA, etc), you need to communicate in a way that is understood by all.  Often, we can be vague (ie have this done by next week) and we need to be much more concrete and specific to avoid anxiety for the “doer” of the task and disappointment for the leader when expectations are misunderstood.  You must communicate the following in all that you ask of your team:

WHO does WHAT by WHEN.

No detail is too small to follow this system.  It creates boundaries and ensures that all parties are on the “same page”

I had such a great day yesterday and look forward to another day full of awesome teaching and learning today.  I can already tell that my “tank” is full and I feel great.  I hope these points can help you in all that you do at home, church or in the work place.


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Cutest Halloween Costume Ever!

If your house is like mine, you have been spending the last few weeks trying to decide on Halloween costumes and pull together everything you need to make it just right.  Eden decided on a costume quite a while ago, so we have most of the things we need for her Pippi Longstocking costume, but Shay just made his final decision yesterday. I will share their costumes in a future post, but thought that some of you might still be scrambling to find the perfect outfit.  This recent viral video captures the perfect toddler costume – a “stick man”.  It is too cute!

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Another Yummy Pumpkin Recipe: Whoopie Pies

I needed to bring a treat into work today. When I was searching for a cheesecake recipe for Thanksgiving, I visited the Brown Eyed Baker’s site and found a recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling.  They sounded delicious and I thought they would make the perfect fall treat.Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Filling



This recipe makes about 4 dozen assembled whoopie pies.


For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

My Observations:

These cookies were actually pretty easy to make as the cookies themselves didn’t need to be rolled. I find rolling takes lots of time. I loved that these were dropped by the spoonful.  The flip side it that they didn’t bake flat and thus I found my finished product less round and smooth looking.  Not sure how to get that perfect circle when dropping by a spoonful. Oh well! Also, I found the icing to be a bit thin.  Very creamy and delicious, but the cookies seemed to slide.  I have another recipe for a chocolate whoopie pie and this doesn’t happen.  I could have added more icing sugar, but decided to put a toothpick through them and freeze the cookies overnight.  They tasted great and I am sure they will be fine once the icing has cooled.  I am thinking the maple syrup thins it out a bit or perhaps my butter or cream cheese was a bit too soft.  It doesn’t matter.  I find these to be very tasty and would totally make them again – when I have more time to play with the icing consistency and see if I can get a cookie that is a bit flatter to make a better “sandwich”.  My other recipe is made from a rolled cookie.  They are quite sticky to roll, but do come out nice and round and a bit flatter.  I am not sure, but I think these maybe too sticky to roll into a ball.  The recipe does say to use a cookie scoop or spoon, maybe the round cookie scoop,would create a more even consistency.  I don’t have one, so I am just guessing?

pumpkin cookies

You can see that mine don’t look nearly as “perfect” as the Brown Eyed Bakers, but they still taste pretty good.

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Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

It is has just been one of those days.  I finally got a moment to sit down and post and it’s already 9pm. Actually, anyone who knows me well will be totally surprised that I am even attempting to string any words together on a page at this time of night.  Most evenings, this is my bedtime. Occasionally I make until 10, but generally speaking I am completely out and dead to the world by 9 or shortly after.  Really you say?  Oh, yeah, after teaching between 40 and 50 kindergarteners all day, making the commute home across the city, cooking dinner, tidying, running the kids’ to their activities, refereeing the sibling rivalry matches and dodging my hormonal daughter’s “bullets”, I am done by about 7, but somehow manage to hang in there until 9.  I try to blog ahead and post date if I can, but not this week.  I was recovering from parent teacher interviews over the weekend and just didn’t have the energy to spend hours at the computer.  So, this week, I am trying to fit my blogging into my already crazy schedule. Note to self….this doesn’t work well.

Anyways, the good news is that today was my day off and I managed to try two new recipes.  I had “pinned” this recipe months ago, and finally decided to try it out.  Of course, we were all going in different directions at supper time, so I don’t even know if my husband enjoyed the meal as much as Shay and I did or not.  We both loved it!  Eden refused to eat it because it was “green”. Eventually, she did eat half of an enchilada, but that was only because I told her she would get nothing else to eat unless she ate some supper.  She said it wasn’t bad and apologized for not giving it a chance.  She certainly didn’t rave about it, but I think they’d have to be smothered in chocolate sauce to get her stamp of approval these days.  All of a sudden, she is very picky – ugh!!

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

This recipe was posted by The Holzmanns, but she offers credit to Give Me Some Oven as the original poster.  These enchiladas are different from any I have tasted before.  I was totally intrigued when I first found the recipe ~ I couldn’t wait to see how so many of my favourites were all brought together in such a unique way. Mmmm….cilantro, lime, avocado, chicken….what could be better.  These almost have a “fresh” springy flavour – very different.  Creamy, yet light and oh so yummy.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  I used the rotisserie chicken like Hannah recommended and from start to finish it took me about an hour and a half to have them ready to serve.  Prep took almost an hour.  Next time, I will follow Hannah’s lead and make a double batch, so I can freeze on pan for a future meal.  I didn’t want to do this on the first go around in case they didn’t pass the family test.

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce

Enchilada Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced (I diced mine)
  • 2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced (I used one large jalapeno and omitted the poblano because I couldn’t find them)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 8-10 flour tortillas (I used 8 large tortillas)
  • 4 cups chopped cooked chicken(rotisserie works best)
  • 2-3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  • optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese, salsa

Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
First make the avocado cream sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice, and pulse until smooth and well-blended. (Be very careful blending hot liquids — the heat will expand! So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.)
  5. Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

avocado cream sauce
Enchilada Filling:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.
  4. Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla. Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.enchilada assembly
  5. Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish.
  6. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  7. Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.
  8. Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce. You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.
chicken enchilada

I literally popped these out of the oven 4 minutes before we had to leave for hockey practise. No time to take photos, here is a quick snap shot of the half I managed to scarf down before racing out the door! Delicious.

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