Monday, August 10, 2009

The Best Chicken Enchilada Recipe!!!

This is my very favorite ever! It is so filling without being greasy or overwhelming.

10 servings (serving size: 1 casserole slice and 1 tablespoon sour cream)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup prechopped fresh onion
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Dash of ground red pepper
2 (15.5-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, divided
18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, divided
Cooking spray
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (16-ounce) jar green salsa
10 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prechopped onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in beans; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chicken, 1/2 cup green onions, and 7 tablespoons ripe olives; stir well.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Layer 6 tortillas on bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread 2 cups chicken mixture over tortillas; sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 6 tortillas.
Combine milk, chopped cilantro, and salsa in a blender, and process until smooth. Pour over top of tortillas. Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, remaining 1/2 cup green onions, and remaining 1 tablespoon olives. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Nutritional Information
353 (30% from fat)
11.8g (sat 4.2g,mono 4.2g,poly 1.8g)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spicy Asian Lettuc Wraps

4 servings (serving size: 3 lettuce wraps)

2 1/2 ounces bean threads (cellophane noodles) (I used Rice noodles)
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken (I just grabbed a Rotisserie Chicken)
12 large Boston or Romaine lettuce leaves (I used Green Leaf Lettuce)

Cover bean threads with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain, and rinse under cool water. Chop noodles.
While bean threads soak, combine cilantro, soy sauce, chile paste, and oil in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add noodles and chicken to soy sauce mixture; toss well to coat. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each lettuce leaf; roll up.

Nutritional Information
213 (21% from fat)
4.9g (sat 1g,mono 1.8g,poly 1.5g)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Even if it isn't true, it's still funny :) Thanks again to cousin Marilyn, you always send the best jokes.

The first testicular guard (Cup) was used in baseball in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1934.
It took 60 years for men to realize that the brain is also important.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

24 servings (serving size: 1 square)

4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons orange juice
Cooking spray

1 1/3 cups dried cranberries (about 6 ounces)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle butter and juice over flour mixture, stirring until moistened (mixture will be crumbly). Reserve 1/2 cup oat mixture. Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. To prepare filling, combine cranberries, sour cream, granulated sugar, and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spread cranberry mixture over prepared crust; sprinkle reserved oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Fablehaven" Book 4 Review

Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary (Book 4) Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finished in a couple of days. I am telling you these are equal to if not better in some areas than Harry Potter. And this time around, the surprise came as a true surprise. Fantastic books, I totally recommend them to everyone of all ages!

View all my reviews.

Thanks to Marilyn for the joke!


Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official, 'You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done.'

The Chief nodded in agreement.

The official continued, 'Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?'

The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied. 'When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine man free.. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex.' Then the chief leaned back and smiled. 'Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.'

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Eldest" Review

Eldest (Inheritance, Book 2) Eldest by Christopher Paolini

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Usually the second book in a series suffers from not having a real beginning or closure, but I felt this book totally defied that convention. I even enjoyed it more than the first. I guessed a couple of things, but was still surprised by others. I am really interested to read the next one!

View all my reviews.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Son of a Witch" Review

Son of a Witch: A Novel Son of a Witch: A Novel by Gregory Maguire

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
hmmmm... None of the characters have anything resembling noble intentions or motivations until almost the end (even then, it only slightly resembles good). But, I guess that was kind of the point. Having said that, though, I still found the characters really fascinating, even though I couldn't respect them, for some reason, I still cared about Liir. Again couldn't think of anyone to recommend this to, but I found it an interesting read.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Eragon" Review

Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) Eragon by Christopher Paolini

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've decided to wait at least a week after finishing a book before I decide what to rate it. This wasn't as fast paced as Eon, but I still got into it and really wanted to know what happens next. Thankfully I have the next book from the Library and can start it as soon as I'm done with my current read. I do like that it has elves and dwarves in it, yet it doesn't feel in any way like it's trying to be Lord of the Rings.

View all my reviews.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Wicked" Review

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would have given it five stars honestly, but I have to confess some of the sexual stuff was distractingly out there for me. It's much darker than the musical, but if you put aside any expectations of similarities, I found it a fascinating take on the whole story of Elphaba. It's much more cynical and political. Other than Fiyero being married at the time of their affair, I enjoyed their romance more in the book than the musical, if only because you get to see it develop more. Of course, it makes their story sadder. I thought the story got the most interesting at the onset of the affair and found it even more fascinating in some ways after Fiyero is discovered in Elphaba's flat. I really enjoyed it, but don't know who I could recommend it to.

View all my reviews.

"Presidents of the Church" Review

Presidents Of The Church: Insights Into Their Lives And Teachings Presidents Of The Church: Insights Into Their Lives And Teachings by Truman G. Madsen

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Madsen brings a conversational tone to his biographies - no surprise considering his books are usually based on series of lectures. He has had personal interactions with many of the Prophets and apostles and descendants of those prophets who died previous to his lifetime. Some stories are ones that are widely known among members of the Church, but many may not be.

I felt inspired by each biography. These were exemplary men, sacrificing for what they believed in, charitable, uncomplaining, full of faith, hope, and love. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about good upstanding men, or who might be interested in learning what kind of men have been called to lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I like that Madsen doesn't feel it necessary to portray them as perfect, but he also doesn't go out of his way to dwell on perceived shortcomings - it is a positive look at them, but not a glorified worship of them.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One of those dumb-funny jokes

Tired of constantly being broke & stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young
husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance
on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and then arranging to have her

A 'friend of a friend' put him in touch with a nefarious dark-side
underworld figure who went by the name of 'Artie.'

Artie then explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a
spouse was $5,000.

The husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he wouldn't
have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife's insurance money.

Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened
his wallet, displaying the single dollar bill that rested inside. Artie
sighed, rolled his eyes, & reluctantly agreed to accept the dollar as down
payment for the dirty deed.

A few days later, Artie followed the man's wife to the local Super Wal-Mart
store. There, he surprised her in the produce department & proceeded to
strangle her with his gloved hands & as the poor unsuspecting woman drew
last breath & slumped to the floor.......

The manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder
scene. Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol' Artie had no
choice but to strangle the produce manager as well.

However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the
hidden security cameras & observed by the store's security guard, who
called the police Artie was caught & arrested before he could even leave
the store.

Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole
sordid plan, including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless
husband who was also quickly arrested.

The next day in the newspaper, the headline declared ...

(You're going to hate me for this ... )


Oh, quit groaning, I didn't write it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Eon: Dragoneye Reborn" review

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've got to stop picking up books when I'm not done with other ones. Definitely read this in 2 days and it's over 500 pages. No romance to speak of (sorry, ladies), but I was on edge the ENTIRE book and HAD to know what was going to happen next. The tension just keeps mounting and you wonder how on earth it's all going to work out. It just barely came out, but there's a sequel in the making for sure. I only got frustrated at "Lord Eon" for taking sooooooooooo long to figure out what language the Mirror Dragon stuff was written in. This was a fantastically written novel with real characters and great intrigue and action!

View all my reviews.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The movie you cannot not see!!!

"The Painted Veil"
I basically have no words. I've always thought Naomi Watts was a brilliant actress, and Ethan has told me that Edward Norton was a great actor - which gave me high hopes. How does that usually turn out? Big dissapointment. But, this lived up to and exceeded my high expectations. A beautiful story, beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, with a gorgeous score. I felt it was mostly about Kitty Fane (a naive, selfish, immature adult) growing up. I loved every minute of it (maybe not the butt, but you know...)
Make sure you have your tissue box ready!!! And as the title of the post implies - you must see this movie!
Here's the link to the trailer, if you haven't seen it...

"Brigham Young" movie

No, "Brigham Young" isn't new (hardly), it was made in 1940 and it is black and white; however, I found it very interesting. It's about the LDS prophet Brigham Young, obviously, and his leading the mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake valley. I knew about it because my dad had mentioned that there was a movie in which Vincent Price played the prophet Joseph Smith. I'm a big fan of Price and was intrigued by the idea.

I really could go on and on, but nobody would read it... suffice it to say, there were no LDS people involved in coming up with the idea to make this movie (though they did consult the church through Elder Widstoe during script drafts and filming), but I found it to be a very researched, very respectful film. It did take some artistic license for dramatic purposes (the biggest being Brigham Young's struggle to believe that he himself had been called of God as the next prophet), but I am still amazed, days after having viewed it, that it was at no time cynical of the mormon pioneers or leaders (even the fictionalized leader who is an appeaser and tries to claim leadership of the church himself).
And the actor who plays Brigham Young has an uncanny resemblance to pictures. And an LDS man who was consulted had been a young boy when Young was a very old man said that the actor not only physically resembled Young, but even had some of his mannerisms down.
Anyway, I rented it from the library and I would recommend it to anyone interested in seeing a respectful non-mormon film about a revered mormon prophet.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Advice to Husbands"

My cousin sent this to me in an e-mail. I'm not sure of the original author (if you know, let me know). I thought it was hilarious though and worth sharing:

Dear friends,

It's important for us men to remember that, as women grow older, it becomes harder for them to maintain the same quality of housekeeping as when they were younger. When you begin to notice this, try not to yell at them.

Some are oversensitive, and there's nothing worse than an oversensitive woman. Let me tell you how I handled the situation with my wife, Amy.

When I retired a few years ago, it became necessary for Amy to get a full-time job along with her part-time job, both for extra income and for the health benefits that we needed. Shortly after she started working, I noticed she was beginning to show her age.

I usually get home from the golf club about the same time she gets homefrom work. Although she knows how hungry I am, she almost always says she has to rest for half an hour or so before she starts dinner. I don't yell at her. Instead, I tell her to take her time and just wake me when she gets dinner on the table.

I generally have lunch in the Men's Grill at the club, so eating out is not a practicable alternative. Besides, I'm ready for some home-cooked grub when I hit that door.

She used to do the dishes as soon as we finished eating. But now it's not unusual for the dishes to sit on the table for several hours after dinner. I do what I can, by diplomatically reminding her several times each evening that 'they won't clean themselves.' I know she really appreciates this, as it does seem to motivate her to get them done before she goes to bed.

Another symptom of aging, I think, is complaining. For example, she'll say that it's difficult for her to find time to pay the monthly bills during her lunch hour. But, boys... we take'em for better or worse, so I just smile and offer encouragement. I tell her to stretch it out over two or even three days. That way she won't have to rush so much. I also remind her that missing lunch completely now and then wouldn't hurt her (if you know what I mean).

I like to think tact is one of my stronger points. And when doing simple jobs, she seems to think she needs more rest periods. For instance, she had to take a break when she was only half-finished mowing the yard. I try not to make a scene. I'm a fair man. I tell her to fix herself a nice, big, cold glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and just sit for awhile. And, as long as she is making one for herself, she may as well make one for me.

I know, I know..... I probably look like a saint by the way I support Amy. I'm not saying that showing this much consideration is easy. Many men will find it difficult. Some will find it impossible and nobody knows better than I do how frustrating women get as they get older. However guys, even if you just start using a little more tact and a little less criticism of your aging wife due to this article, I'll consider that by writing it, it was well worthwhile.

After all, we are put on this earth to help each other. Good luck.

Signed, Bill


Bill died suddenly on April 15 of a perforated rectum.

The police report says he was found with a Calloway extra-long 50-inch Big
Bertha Driver II golf club jammed up his rear end, with barely 5 inches of
grip left showing, and a sledgehammer laying nearby.

His wife Amy was arrested and charged with murder.

The all-woman jury took only 15 minutes to find her Not Guilty.

They accepted her defense that Bill, somehow, without looking,
accidentally sat down on his golf club.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Graceling Graceling by Kristin Cashore

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Totally read this book in 3 days... been a long time since I've gotten that into a book. It was a fascinating world (I especially thought the different eye colors on the graced was a great visual image!). I loved the writing - great detail but never overburdened by it. I loved Katsa, even if she was a little pigheaded at times, I found her a very interesting herione. And, of course her interactions with the other characters was great. The graces may put this book in the fantasy category, but even those who don't like fantasy would like this. Plus, it's always nice to see a strong butt-kicking female lead :)

View all my reviews.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Good Car Mechanic

It's always difficult to find a trustworthy and good auto mechanic, I think even more so with the economy like it is (it could be more tempting to take advantage, obviously). Performance Place has once again proven to me why we've taken our cars there for years. We took it in for some oil and transmission leaks. Long story short, there was a new leak after we got it back. I called them back two weeks later and explained the situation and they said to bring it in. I thought - no way we're not getting charged for this. Well, we didn't get charged for it. They fixed it again and charged us zilch. This isn't the first time they've done that kind of thing for us either.
So, if you're looking for a good auto place... it's Performance Place just off 10600 south and Redwood Rd. and their phone number is 801-254-0715.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What do you mean you don't care what I think about movies?

I found yet another great Masterpeice Theatre period movie (really? aren't almost all of them great?) Now, this isn't like "North and South" great, but it's a more unconventional love story. It's called "Daniel Deronda" and it's worth seeing for the haunting music alone. Daniel meets and is drawn to Gwendolyn Harleth (nice last name don't you think?), but the story takes a different route. Gwendolyn is unabashedly selfish and determined to get what she wants out of life. (She does have some redeeming virtues). She is forced by circumstances into an undesirable marriage with Henleigh Grandcourt, but she is still drawn to Daniel and they strike up a friendship. But, she finds out about Daniel's involvement with a talented jewess whom he rescued from drowning. This thing is beautifully acted, well-written, and based on a victorian novel by George Eliot that created quite the stir when it came out.

The other period movie I saw was "A Room With a View" which definitely wasn't as boring as I remember the book being. I thought it was a light and cute film and lots of fun to watch. This one is the 2007 version (there a few different versions). It was really short (only 1 1/2 hours I think), especially compared to the epic period movies I like watching. I would recommend this for a cute happy movie.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great Photography

There is a woman in my ward, Haylee Mcguire, who does photography and I wanted to post a link to her website. This isn't your normal I know someone who takes pictures kind of photography, this is really good professional quality (as you'll see when you click on the link). And yes, I have an ulterior motive, by posting this I get entered into a drawing to win a free session (the info is right there on her sight as well). Just go take a look.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"Ender in Exile" Review

Ender in Exile (Ender) Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
True rating would be more like 3 1/2 stars. This is an interesting book in that it isn't one continuous story arc, so to speak, but it felt more like little stories compiled into novel length. I guess if you view it as Ender readjusting to peace time then it could be one story arc. Having said that though, I found all of his stories interesting (sometimes when it went to other characters, I got a little antsy to get back to Ender, but not too bad). The feel of the book was a mix between "Ender's Game" and "Speaker..." through "Children..." - the latter being more philosophical in conversations and internal thoughts. There were some beautiful letters - esp. Ender to his parents - and the true arc (I felt) was at the very end when Ender confronts Bean and Petra's last child that had been thought lost. I love his dialogue, which is always sarcastic and clever, and I love Ender. It may seem that the views on society are a little more heavy handed, and though I think they are a little, one has to be careful in jumping to assumptions about Card's own views based solely on the views of his characters (a lot of them are very much different).

View all my reviews.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Smart movies

I can't even remember all the movies I've watched, but these gems came to mind. Thank heaven for refreshingly smart screenplays, acting and directing!
This is technically science fiction, so it may not be for everyone. But, I loved it! The writing on this is so smart. The villain is complex and has very fascinating motives and is creepy. It's an interesting and original idea. And like all good sci-fi it's really more about moral decisions and about characters. And if you need a little incentive to watch it, Joss Whedon wrote and directed it. He's the creator behind "Buffy" and "Angel".

"Stranger than Fiction"
I love love love this movie! Will Ferrell is able to acheive what Jim Carrey never really was - you forget that he's a comedic actor. He gives such a sincere performance. The script on this thing is just beyond awesome - it's so clever. And Emma thompson as the quirky writer makes me smile. This is a must see. It's rare that I like contemporary settings, but this is wonderful.

"The Holiday"
Speaking of it being rare for me to like a certain genre - contemporary chick flicks (aka romantic comedies). This movie had so many earnest cheesy (some cliche) moments, but I LOVED every second of it! And the cheesy parts really almost felt like they were laughing at themselves, which redeems them. The characters are typical in having no qualms sleeping together, but apart from that they were so wonderful. And I have to say, tiffany, if you're reading this, the diaz-law kissing scene, a must watch (esp. after our conversation at playdate) If you haven't seen this, take this from a person who's very skeptical about chick flicks, RENT IT NOW!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Am I the only one?...

Just a thought... why is it that when you feel fat or discover you have gained weight, the first thing you desire to do is eat whatever baked good or sweet you can get your hands on? Or, is that just me?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Secret Life of Bees" review

The Secret Life of Bees The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! Lilly's voice is so unique and strong. I have to confess I enjoyed the creative cussing (I kept thinking, man alive, if I swore, I would definitely say that). Some of the psuedo-religious stuff was a little out there for me, but it didn't even begin to interfere with my enjoyment of the story. This to me is what a "feel-good" story should be, however much I cringe at that phrase - a story where the main character overcomes a large obstacle and learns to forgive herself and others, learns to love, and even helps others not give into anger, a celebration of life, however flawed it is, a celebration of friendship, a celebration of good. Would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. I can't wait to discuss this at book club.

View all my reviews.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Call to the Temple

I went to the temple a couple days ago to do some work for my family and as I was sitting there I had a thought which I've had before but not acted on. I couldn't think of who to try and do this with and then I realized, I should just see if there's any interest from anyone I know. I would like to organize a group that switches off babysitting and going to the temple. If you're interested, just comment on the blog (I won't post the comment if you don't want me to, it will just get emailed to me) and then let me know how often you'd like to go. Even if it's only for people going once a month, then half the group could go once a month and then babysit once a month while the other half goes. Going during the day is always less busy there, and I thought it would be nice to get to go to the temple more often. Let me know if there's any interest. I hope this is something than be regularly counted on though for participants, even though we'd also try and be flexible.