June 22, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

I love Mexican food.  I also love to make casseroles - a one-dish meal means less clean-up!  My hubby actually came up with this idea, and we loved it so much, it has practically become a staple around our house.  You could pretty much do this with any ingredients you like - it really can't be messed up!  Here's what I do:

  • 1 lb ground beef, turkey, or deer :)
  • 1 can beans, black or pinto (or one "can" from your freezer; see how to do that here)
  • 1 can rotel
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own - I roughly follow this recipe)
  • 12 small tortillas (we prefer flour)
  • 1-2 cups shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • combine meat, beans, rotel, and taco seasoning in skillet and cook till meat it browned, drain
  • layer your "lasagna"!
    1. in a 9x13 pan, spread a spoonful of salsa on the bottom
    2. lay 3 tortillas to cover the bottom of the pan as much as possible
    3. spread some salsa over the tortillas
    4. spoon 1/3 of the meat mixture over the salsa
    5. sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the meat
    6. repeat steps 2-5 two more times
    7. top it off with another layer of tortillas, salsa, and cheese
    8. cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutues, until hot and bubbly
       *I've also made this with larger tortillas in a pie pan, which is where the picture actually came from, hence the pie-shaped piece.  :)

Echo Canyon Spa Resort

Back in '07, as my brand-new hubby and I left our wedding, we headed off to our short, weekend honeymoon (he was starting a new job on the Monday after our wedding).  This sweet man had planned everything and kept it a secret from me, so I had no idea where we were going.  We soon arrived at Echo Canyon Spa Resort, tucked away in the country in Sulphur, OK.

Photo from echocanyonmanor.com

We loved it so much that we made a decision that year that we would make every effort to return for every anniversary!  So far we have done it!  We have spent a weekend at Echo Canyon to celebrate all six of our wedding anniversaries, with the most recent trip being just a few weeks ago.  We haven't always gone on our actual anniversary - having babies tends to change plans :) - but we've made it there every year!  It's just one of my favorite places on earth.  The second we arrive I'm immediately swept up in the same feeling I had 6 years ago as a new bride.  This place allows us to escape a bit of reality, relax, enjoy great food, and just be together.  I want everyone to know about it because we just love it that much!

They offer a variety of rooms, some which include jacuzzi tubs in the rooms.  They include a super-yummy two-course breakfast (one course is pictured below - I'm very unhappy with myself that I forgot to take a picture of the second plate when we were just there!).  You can pay to eat dinner in their restaurant, which is amazing and delicious, and includes a yummy fruit drink made from fruits from their own orchards.  There is also a spa on site, which offers all kinds of things.  We've done the couples' massage and LOVED it. 

So, if you're ever looking for a romantic little getaway, I highly recommend Echo Canyon.  It's our favorite!  Below are some pictures from our most recent trip.  Enjoy!

This is the room, "William's Wonderland", where we stay every year

First course of breakfast - I chose French toast to go with my fruit

Dinner: grilled duck, filet mignon, halibut, twice baked potato, asparagus

The best cheesecake I've ever had.  Seriously.

Delicious hibiscus drink

June 4, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

It's all in the title: chocolate. chip. cheesecake. dip.  Yum!  This dessert even got my husband's approval (the man claims he's not a big fan of chocolate or cheesecake, so his approval on this is huge)!  I found the recipe months ago on Pinterest and had it filed away on my sweets board.  Speaking of my sweets board: I now have so many pins on this board that it makes for a long search when I'm looking through it for something specific.  So I created a bunch of new "sweets" boards with subcategories, to supposedly make it easier on myself.  This sounded like a great idea and maybe it will be great when I actually get all of the pins moved to their new homes, but who's got time for that?

Enough with my Pinterest rant...back to the yummy dip!  I was looking through my boards for a new but easy recipe to take for dessert to Bible study, and came across this one.  It's easy, quick, and so delicious.

  • 1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • mini chocolate chips - the original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I rarely measure when it comes to chocolate chips, I just pour until it looks good!
  • graham crackers or graham cracker sticks, or anything else you'd like for dipping.  (we also tried nilla wafers, but thought graham crackers were the best)
  • Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy
  • Add powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until mixed well.
  • Stir in chocolate chips
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve!