Italian Enchiladas

italian_enchiladas

We’ve been on an enchilada kick around here! They are absolutely delicious and easy to make ahead. Make ahead is so important when you are wrestling with a 1 year old and 2.5 year old at 5:00. I always try and prep dinner during nap time to make the witching hour easier, so this recipe is perfect for all of our sanity! We’ve been eating both green chile and red sauce enchiladas, but I decided tonight I would mix things up a little bit. I decided to take one of our other favorites, chicken Parmesan and turn it into an enchilada recipe! Are you ready for this? 
walmart_pic I was recently introduced to Tortilla Land ® flour tortillas. Have you heard of them? They are in the refrigerated section of your local Walmart (I found them near the queso & cream cheese). I love that they are refrigerated because that means less preservatives. Also they are made from 5 simple ingredients (all of which I’ve heard of!). They take one extra step (you bake them on 30 seconds per side in a skillet), but it is well worth it! While I was toasting the tortillas I microwaved some Tyson ®, Grilled & Ready ® chicken. I always have a bag in the freezer. It makes chicken meals quick and convenient.

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I shredded it into a bowl. I added Wish-Bone ® Italian dressing, mozzarella cheese, parmesean cheese, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, & spaghetti sauce and mixed it all together. The Wish-Bone ® dressing adds all the seasoning you need to take this meal from good to great!

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Then I filled the tortillas with the chicken mixture and wrapped them up. In a glass baking dish I poured a little more spaghetti sauce and placed the filled tortillas, seam down, into it. Top the tortillas with a more spaghetti sauce and a mix of the mozzarella and parmesean cheeses. Bake on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

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I was a little unsure about this recipe…it doesn’t come from a recipe book, it just came from my head. But, y’all, it was so good! I am so proud of myself. Try this one for dinner soon. Your family with thank you! 

Italian Enchiladas
Yields 4
A combination of enchiladas & chicken Parmesan!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Tortilla Land four tortillas
  2. 2 cups Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken
  3. 1/4 cup of Wish-Bone Italian Dressing
  4. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  5. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  6. 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  7. 1 cup spaghetti sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare 4 tortillas according to package instructions
  3. Microwave 2 cups of chicken
  4. Shred chicken and mix with 1/4 cup Italian dressing, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce in bottom of an 8x8 baking dish
  6. Fill tortillas (splitting chicken mix into fourth) and place in the baking dish
  7. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce and cheese
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

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Sprout | 15 months

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Dear Sprout,

July 11th you turned 15 months old. I am pretty sure that gives you toddler status to most, but to me you are still my baby boy. I think the time between your first birthday and today has been some of my favorite months with you. You are becoming more and more full of personality. We are starting to see how you think, what makes you tick, and what makes you giggle uncontrollably. You have likes and dislikes, interests and fears, and the ability to love fiercely as well as throw a little fit. You are my favorite little guy.

Your mobility has grown dramatically. You took your first wobbly steps May 10th, were able to go from sitting to standing by yourself on the 16th, and by the 30th I declared you a walker. In the last few months you have gone from taking cautious steps to running around the house in excitement. You still fall occasionally and your poor little head gets bumped quite often, but you are doing your best to keep up with Chickadee. Playgrounds and the backyard are so much fun now that you aren’t eye to eye with the wood chips and dirt :)

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You’ve begun talking a lot since your first birthday as well. You first word was Mama (YES!) on May 31st. You also now say Dada, Chickadee, Bubba (for brown bunny), and attempt to say most of what we ask of you. You “talk” ALL the time and I have a feeling you will be an extrovert just like your daddy. You also sign. “More” was first on May 23rd and since then you’ve also learned milk, all finished, sleep & down. We are still working on please and thank you. You also communicate with us by waving bye bye and blowing kisses when you leave a room to go to sleep. Animal sounds have also been fun…your favorite book is “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle. You’ve learned to act like a gorilla, monkey, and seal from that book. Also the sounds of an elephant, cow, lion, and sheep are the cutest coming out of your little mouth. Not only has your ability to communicate with us grown, you also are understanding SO much & following directions.

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Your sleeping continues to be up and down, but I’m happy to say you have been in an upswing the past week or two. Currently you sleep about 11.5 hours at night and take a 2-2.5 hour nap in the afternoon. You are in the fun will he/won’t he take a morning nap stage and most days it ends up being a no. I think you will officially drop it all together pretty soon. You have started sleeping with Bubba, the brown bunny & I think you are attached. He brings you comfort and a smile and I know that is reassuring at night!

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You ventured back to the beach in June. You absolutely LOVED the sand and the ocean. Standing in the waves and letting them crash into you was probably your favorite. You squealed and asked for more constantly. The sand you found to be quite tasty and were not happy we wouldn’t let you eat it, but took to playing with a shovel and bucket instead pretty well. We all four slept in a room together and while I was pretty nervous, besides the crazy early wake up calls by you it all went okay.

You are now in the walking room at church. You do pretty well most Sundays and Tuesdays. They have you “coloring” and sitting in a chair for snack. It’s pretty cute. However, I’m pretty sure your favorite part is when we come back to pick you up!

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Our last doctor’s trip was at 14.5 months. You weighed in at 22lbs 8oz and were about 30 inches tall. That puts you in the 50% for weight and 25% for height :) We love you our little chunky boy. You had a pretty bad cold/cough and received your first dose of amoxicillin. We are thankful it cleared things us for you!

You continue to eat everything we do at the table. You love using a fork & I think I’ll take an adventure with you, a spoon, and yogurt soon. Your favorite food right now is anything on my plate not matching yours. You also are a big fan of sweet potatoes, string cheese, avocados, peanut butter sandwiches, and you can slurp down a smoothie in 10 seconds flat! You aren’t loving meat as much as you used to, but I am sure you will come back around. I think your sister went on a similar meat strike.

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God is so good little guy and we are so blessed he entrusted us to be your parents. You are thriving and it is pure joy to watch you take in the world each and every day. We are praying for the day you come to know Jesus and pray that in the days to follow you move mountains in his name. We love you sweet boy. 

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

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I haven’t given up the OREOs yet, but we are making steps towards a lifestyle where we make healthier food choices. It seems half our friend base is trying out the Whole 30 or has decided to eat Paleo, I am so proud of you….. but not that committed yet. We are over here just trying to decide whether to give the kids regular goldfish or the Horizon cow crackers, haha. One step I have made though is making my own taco seasoning. It is SUPER easy, SUPER cheap, & SUPER better for everyone involved (except the folks making the store bought taco seasoning).

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Here is what’s in my bowl….6 tablespoons of chili powder, 4 teaspoons of cumin, 3 teaspoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of black pepper. If you like your taco seasoning with a kick add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. 

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Mix all the spices together. I store mine in a small jelly jar (any air tight container will work). Use 2 tablespoons of mix per every pound of meat. Enjoy!

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I bought several of these spice at Dollar General for only 99 cents each! I hear Aldi has great deals on spices too!

Tips for Surviving Two Under Two

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Hey Mama,

I’m so glad you are here! Are you stressed? excited? scared? tired? overwhelmed? I hear you! When Chickadee was 10 months old we found out we were pregnant with Sprout. It was a little bit of a surprise & while I was excited I was also pretty overwhelmed. I mean I had just written that post about surviving the first three months with a newborn; we weren’t even to a year yet, and now another one little bundle was coming in less than 9 months. But here is the deal. I am here to tell you…YOU CAN DO IT. Sprout has turned one and Chickadee is 2.5 and we made it! And while there have been ups and downs and a lot of sleepless nights, the last year has been the most perfect gift from above. And for that reason I want to share what I have learned. 

So all of the tips I shared after Chickadee was born are still ESSENTIAL to bringing home baby number two. So make sure and check out that post also! These tips below are in addition…. I must note that all families are different, just like all babies, so what works for one doesn’t work for all. Please take all my advice with a grain of salt!

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  1. You will feel like a failure. YOU AREN’T. There will be days when you haven’t showered (a lot of days), dinner won’t be ready on time, you have both spit up and boogers on your shirt, the baby didn’t nap, and the toddler isn’t listening. I am not here to tell you it will be easy…it won’t be. BUT you are not a failure. God chose you to be the mama to these two little ones and for that reason you are exactly what they need. So take a breath, pull up those yoga pants, order a pizza, and just BE with them. Play. Give lots of hugs. Read lots of stories. and remember you will never get these crazy days back.
  2. Find something to entertain your toddler & keep them still, while you are feeding the baby. So I was one of those moms who thought their children would never watch TV. Well, I was wrong. During those first few months with Sprout, Curious George on PBS became our best friend…with Daniel Tiger coming in a close second (he is on Netflix!). She didn’t watch a lot, but during at least one of Sprout’s feedings we snuggled on the couch and let George and/or Daniel allow us all a moment to rest. A few other ideas are coloring, reading a book, or playing in a gated playroom!
  3. Get a good baby carrier. For Chickadee I LOVED the baby K’tan when she was little. But Sprout was an infant during the summer and I found it to be too hot. So I tried the Solly Baby with him instead & I LOVED it. The fabric is a lighter weight and very breathable. Now that Sprout is bigger I still carry him but use the Ergo instead. It is especially great at playgrounds! A baby carrier is a must when chasing after and trying to play with the toddler!
  4. Grocery/Errand Shopping. Okay…this one is tricky if you are trying to do it with both, but it is possible. And I HIGHLY suggest getting out to save your own sanity. You can do it! You really have two options. First, you can wear the baby in a carrier and let the toddler sit in the front of the buggy. This is a must if you are trying to do a BIG shopping trip. If you are just going for the essentials you can place the baby down in the large basket portion of the buggy and let the toddler sit in the seat (or you can wear the toddler on your back if you have an ERGO!). Other tips would be to bring snacks to keep the toddler busy. Also park near the cart return. That way you can get a buggy and load everyone up before you have to walk into the store (which is really hard carrying a newborn and holding the hand of a toddler). Once the baby is able to sit, we LOVE Publix, Kroger,Target and Costco around here because they all have the double buggies that have the double seats for two kids!! This is a must. Having the toddler try to walk & baby ride is a recipe for disaster around here. 
  5. Naps. Now that you have two instead of one you won’t hear anyone telling you to “Nap when the baby naps.” Let’s face it, for a while that will not be an option. For the first few months make sure you keep your toddler on the SAME sleep routine. They need to continue to nap and go to bed at the same time. Once the baby is a few months old and you’ve worked out a “routine/schedule” your main goal should be getting them both to take their afternoon nap at the same time. I was able to do this around the time Sprout was 4-5 months. They now both nap about 1:00 from anywhere to 2-2.5 hours. Here is an example of our routine/schedule when sprout was around 4 months. two_under_two_schedule
  6. Bedtime This will be different for you depending on how much help you have for the bedtime routine. I can only speak from experience, so I will share how we do it. I am super blessed to have a husband who is home most nights by 6/6:15. When Sprout was little we started bath time with both kids about 6:45. After playing for a few minutes, one of us washes the baby and takes him into his room to change into his pajamas (about 7:10), he then will nurse or take a bottle. The other stays with our toddler and plays a little bit longer in the tub. Then bathes her and takes her to put on pajamas. Then we all congregate in one room to read a story, usually from the Jesus Storybook Bible. After that we say the baby’s prayers, one of us puts him down (7:30). With his sound machine on!! The other takes our toddler to brush her teeth and usually read another story. Then we meet up in her room to say her prayers and tuck her in. Obviously there are nights where this plan goes out the window, but if it’s a normal night…it’s what we shoot for. If I am solo I usually feed the baby in the bathroom while my toddler plays in the tub. Then get her out to help me put baby boy down for the night before starting her bedtime routine. And some nights…we just skip baths all together because it’s too much. Figure out what works for you here and stick with it. Kids thrive on routine for a peaceful bedtime experience.
  7. Who Needs You More So it is inevitable….there will be moments (lots of them) with both kids are crying at the same time. It is in these moments you have to make a motherly judgement call and decide who needs you more in that moment. This can be hard sometimes but trust it will all be okay & most likely because they are so little they will not be scarred for life…they probably won’t even remember in an hour!
  8. Make Your Home Childproof (or at least a space you can confine them too) There were more times than I care to admit that I left Chickadee alone for a few seconds to run upstairs and get a diaper, or go to the bathroom, or reheat my tea for the 27th time. However, our home is pretty childproof. Furniture is secured to the wall, breakables are far out of reach, cabinets locked. We also have gates on both doorways to our playroom to help keep everyone pinned in if need to be. 
  9. It takes a Village We don’t have any family close by, but were lucky enough to have our parents trade off staying with us for the first two weeks after Sprout came home from the hospital. Having others around to help with household chores, cooking, toddler playing and baby holding was invaluable. However, after those first few weeks they went home and we were faced figuring out our new reality. Thankfully, our Sunday school class had a meal plan set up that took us through the first 3 months (2-3 meals a week). So that took cooking off of my to do list for a while. (Now I food prep during naptime!) If your husband suggests you have someone come clean the house, take it! If a friend says “Why don’t you drop off big brother/sister and run your errands with just one little one?” Say OK! Asking/accepting help does not mean you are failing. It only means that you realize it takes a village to raise little ones. Be thankful you have a village!
  10. Remember it will get easier! You will figure our your groove, your routine! One will become potty trained (less diaper deliveries!!!!). The nursing sessions will spread further out and everyone will start eating solid food. The baby will start sleeping through the night and your will remember to ALWAYS park next to the cart return at the grocery store. You will embrace your new normal and realize YOU CAN DO THIS. Soak it in. Enjoy two little ones snuggling in your lap during a story or splashing in the tub. They will be the best of friends and you won’t be able to imagine life any other way!
  11. ish…take lots of pictures, get a good double stroller (we love this one…and this one), remember to spend time with each child one on one, leave them with grandparents or a babysitter and go on a date night, ALWAYS have a change of clothes for everyone and lots of snacks, do the best you can and remember you are doing the best you can!!

YOU HAVE THIS MAMA!

Any other tips for new mamas joining the two under two club?

**This post contains affiliate links**

Quick Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

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Popping in to share a quick recipe with you today. Do you love Costco? This week was my monthly trip. I think my favorite purchase is always the $4.99 cooked rotisserie chicken. Have you tried it? I always pull off all the chicken when I get home and separate it into THREE freezer bags. I’ll use one bag for that nights dinner and freeze the rest. It’s amazing to pay $4.99 for three meals worth of chicken. My money saving heart LOVES it! This is one of the recipes I use a bag of chicken for.

QUICK Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Yields 4
Quick, easy, and delicious green chile chicken enchiladas
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1lb of cooked and shredded chicken (I used the already cooked Costco rotisserie chicken)
  2. 2 10 oz cans of green chile enchilada sauce
  3. 4oz of cream cheese
  4. 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese
  5. Salt & Pepper
  6. 4 - 6 Flour Tortillas (depending on how full you fill each one)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl mix shredded chicken, 1 can of enchilada sauce, cream cheese & 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt & pepper or season to taste.
  3. In a 8x8 or 9x13 casserole dish pour 1/2 of the other can of enchilada sauce.
  4. Scoop a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into each flour tortilla and roll them up.
  5. Place them in the dish with the seam facing down.
  6. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese
  7. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes
Notes
  1. You could also add onions, tomatoes, or rotel to the chicken mixture for even more flavor!
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

 

Grab a bag of frozen Mexican rice & some seasoned black beans your meal is set! Oh, and if you want to double the recipe it heats up GREAT and freezes perfectly as well!