May 10, 2011

today is my birthday

and of course i didn't take any photos. i am hoping to get some from my sister-in-law who is great at remembering to take photos.

i had a great day! it began with this (the donut looks more anemic than it really was):
a HUB visitor brought donuts with her to celebrate my and another fellow worker's birthday and i couldn't snub that nice deed. I did have a latte without sugar to balance it out. husband scott, then, brought in an italian cream cake from central market for my birthday at work and i could not snub hubbie, so i had a very teeny tiny tiny slice.

afterwards, i got a little headache-y and jittery. i don't know why......

so, i stopped at a vegan diner and had a sandwich, hoping it would counterbalance what i had eaten so far.

next, i met some friends for coffee, but i had a green iced tea without sweetener, so that was better. i LOVE meeting friends for coffee. it is so much fun! i wish i could do that more often. when i got to my neighborhood starbucks, there seems to be groups that look like they meet on a weekly basis. i would love to do that. i have got to start trying to figure out how i can do this at least on a monthly basis...somehow.

i hosted my own birthday party and everybody thinks that i am crazy. but i really like doing that. i pick out what i want to have for dinner and what kind of cake i want. i feel if i give in and let someone host my birthday, i can't request that i want a homemade carrot cake or mexican chocolate cake or cupcakes. it just doesn't seem right. i did an easy dinner. i had the ubiquitous cream cheese with pepper jelly on top served with pita chips. super easy and really yummy. i made king ranch casserole, watermelon salad and chocolate cake. the beauty of this supper is that i made the casserole and the cake the day before. the cake has cinnamon in it and i think it tastes better the next day. i usually make the king ranch casserole made with rotel tomatoes, cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup which is really delicious, but can come out a little runny and sometimes the corn tortillas taste a little raw. husband scott loves king ranch casserole and when he found out i was using a different recipe, his comment was, "why change perfection?" i love him for that. he thinks i am a great cook, so it makes it easier to cook for him.

the recipe i used is from a friend and it is a little bit different, but really good and it is never runny. i don't know where she got it, but here is the recipe. it makes a 9x13" dish:

1 1/4 lbs skinned & boned chicken breasts (i used skin on & bone in chicken breast halves)
2 T olive oil ( i used 1 T)
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t ground red pepper
2 (14 1/2oz) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
2 (4.5oz) cans chopped green chilies
1/2 c butter
1/3 c all purpose flour
2 T fajita seasoning
2 c half and half
9 (5") corn tortillas, cut in half
1 (8oz) package of shredded Mexican cheese blend
toppings (optional): sliced green onions, sliced ripe olives, salsa & sour cream (if i did it again, i might add cilantro, i also only had sour cream on the side, this time, but may add the others another time)

cook chicken in 1 T hot oil in a large skillet over med-high heat 6 minutes on each side or until done. (i just baked mine in an oven for 45 minutes in 425 degrees, while i chopped up everything - i like it this way so it won't be dry). remove from pan; cool & shred chicken (removing skin & bone). saute onion & garlic in remaining 1 T hot oil until tender. add red pepper & tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. remove from heat & stir in chicken & green chilies. melt butter in heavy saucepan (i used the same skillet...lazy, i know); whisk in flour & fajita seasoning until mixture is smooth. cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. gradually whisk in half and half, & cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thicken & bubbly. spread 1/2 cup of white sauce in lightly greased 13x9" baking dish. arrange 6 tortilla halves over the sauce. top with half the chicken mixture and 2/3 cup of shredded cheese. repeat layers once. spoon 1/2 cup over cheese, top with remaining tortilla halves. spoon remaining sauce over tortillas. reserve remaining cheese. cover & bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until thoroughly heated. sprinkle with remaining cheese & let stand 10 minutes (i let it cook for 15 minutes instead cuz i like it crispy). serve with toppings.

and if course, i have no photos. when i host, i forget to pull out the camera. maybe, though, i will remember to pull out a camera now that i have this:

i don't have a fancy camera. i am not good with adjustments. i will leave that to daughter michelle. i will stick to my point and shoot.

husband scott gave me this beauty (love the color) tonight and i will be packing it for florida next week. that means i have got 2 days to figure it out...i think i can do that since it is auto everything! my kind of camera.


  1. thanks! dad thought that i would like a pretty color...not black. and he was right.