Sunday, July 31, 2011

chiles rellenos casserole

this is such a yummy recipe...not for the faint of heart and may cause some hair on your chest...but de-lish!!!! i think you could tone down the "heat" a little bit by using mild rotel, less cayenne, and monterey jack cheese instead of pepper jack!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 pounds 90% lean ground beef (i used laura's 92% lean and it worked perfectly!)
4 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (i highly recommend using gloves to avoid the stinging me on this!!!!)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (10 oz) can rotel tomatoes
10 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese (2 1/2 cups) (monterey jack cheese can also be used)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup skim milk
2 large egg whites

1. adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. stir in beef, breaking up meat into small pieces, and cook until no longer pink. using slotted spoon, transfer beef mixture to paper towel-lined plate. pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet.

2. add poblanos and cook over medium-high heat until browned, 8-10 minutes. stir in beef mixture, garlic, cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, oregano, 1/2 tsp pepper, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. add tomatoes and cook until beef mixture is dry, about 1 minute. off heat, stir in 2 cups cheese. scrape mixture into 9x13 inch baking dish, pressing into even layer.

3. combine flour, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp pepper in bowl. slowly whisk into flour mixture until smooth; set aside. using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites on medium low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. whisk 1/3 whipped egg whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining whites, 1 scoop at a time, until combined.

4. pour batter over beef mixture. bake until topping is light golden and puffed, about 15 minutes. (mine took a bit longer!) sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. let cool for about 10 minutes.

this would go great with a lemon oil salad and some chips and salsa!!! we will definitely be making this again...but probably need to tone it down a notch if we are going to share!!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

soaking up the last rays...

there is nothing ever great about only having "one more day" at the beach...but we did have a great last day!! i literally only left the beach for one small moment all. day. long. it was positively delightful! ava, madeline, & myself lived through an "almost drowning" of my tiny one...which caused this momma to have to sit down for a while (talk about true "sea legs")...but it didn't take her long to face her fears! she wanted to hit the waves again!

i tried to relish every sight, sound, and smell...knowing that the next day would bring paradise to a screeching halt! the kiddos bounced between the beach and the pool and enjoyed their last day as well!

we headed to baytown wharf in sandestin for dinner that evening and had a blast! the kiddos all remembered the fun things to do from the time we had been there before. our dare devil, ella, decided to try out the zip line (eeek!) and madeline and nate did the euro bungy! they all were so precious! it makes me feel so warm and fuzzy to see my children having such a great time.

i know i won't soon forget the memories made on this trip. each one just another page in the book of life. our life.

i am so very blessed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

livin' the good life...

in my just doesn't get any better than the beach. was no surprise that we hit it early on our third day! by this day, the kiddos wanted to spend part of their time at the pool and part of their time playing in the surf and the sand!!!! thanks to candace (our a.M.a.Z.i.n.G babysitter) that was completely possible!!! we just divided and conquered...and i'll have to "office" was beachfront!!!!

searching for shells, feeling the sand on my fingers and toes, listening to the waves crash on the shore, building castles, watching the seagulls, soaking in the shade of an umbrella...just a few of the reasons i. heart. the. beach. it was so great to see my little girls loving it as well...sMiLe!!!

after our day of "play", it was time for "business"! another round of pics! the adults were going out to dinner (thank you, "candath"), but we got the girls dressed again and headed back to the beach! i am SO happy we did...because we caught some treasured moments!

after we got the kids settled for their "nighttime" swim...all the "big people" headed to grayton beach to "the red bar"! we had such a great time and enjoyed such a delicious meal! it was nice to have some relaxed adult conversation in such a fun place!

we headed back to catch a few zzzz's...because we were planning to set up shop early for our last day of, the days fly by...

***even though it doesn't seem like it...i truly left off LOTS of pics that i love...sigh***

Sunday, July 17, 2011

sun, sand, & surf...

we all couldn't wait to hit the beach on wednesday morning...and that's just what we did!

the kids absolutely LoVeD the beach...every. one. of. them! i was oh so happy! they had the best time riding the waves on "shelly" (the lovely "sea turtle" raft) and building sand castle after sand castle!

our smallest beach bum, ava, was a trooper! she wasn't phased by the gritty sand or the big waves...although i think her favorite part of the beach was the snacks!!! :) baby "lukey" loved the beach too...and found it quite hard to keep his little eyes open while he listened to the waves!!!

after soaking up all the rays we could possibly take...and desperately needing to give our big kiddo's eyes a chance to heal (you seriously should have seen them!)...we got dressed for our first round of photos!!!! even though my husband would strongly disagree with me, this is my favorite thing to do at the beach! i don't think there is a more beautiful backdrop & i just love letting the girls have fun...while snapping LOTS of pics!!!!

after our family photo shoot, we headed out to a new restaurant, stinky's fish camp, for dinner! it was so yummy and lots of fun!

it seemed like we had so much vacation left...but we all knew that it was going to fly we nestled in for the night...and rested up for our next day of "beach bumming"!!!! :)