Monday, April 30, 2012

Elaine's Chicken Enchiladas

I just sent my mother-in-law an email telling her how much I love her white chicken enchiladas. Seriously, they are my favorite food and would be my "last meal" if I were ever in that unfortunate circumstance.

So why the hell haven't I shared them here? Mainly because I don't have a pretty picture to accompany the recipe. I'll add one later.

In the meantime, make these. You'll be happy.

Chicken Enchiladas


2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (we buy a rotisserie chicken and shred)

2 tbs butter (not margarine)

1/2 cup diced green peppers

1 cup diced white onions

4 oz can of diced chilies

3 tbs butter

1/4 cup flour

1 tsp crushed coriander

3/4 tsp salt

2-1/2 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese (not the Mexican blend, *Monterey*)

1 cup sour cream (light is ok, fat free won't work)

12- 6" flour tortillas (soft taco size)

how to:

Bake 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) in a baking pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Shred with fork while still warm. Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, melt 2 tbs butter. Add in green peppers & onions. Stir, over medium heat, until soft. Remove green peppers & onions from pan, mix in with shredded chicken and diced chilies (in a separate bowl).

In the same large sauce pan, melt another 3 tbs of butter. Add 1-1/4 cup of chicken broth. Add in flour, coriander and salt. (It will look all clumpy, that's ok.) Now add the remaining chicken broth. Over medium heat, stir until thick and bubbly. Now add 1/2 cup of Monterey jack cheese and 1 cup of sour cream. Stir until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Let it cool down enough that you can touch it.

Mix 1/2 cup of sauce into bowl with shredded chicken/chiles/onions/green pepper mixture. Dip each tortilla in the remaining sauce. Lay flat, spoon some of the chicken/chili/onion/green pepper mixture into the tortilla. Wrap up, and push to the end of the ungreased 9 X 13 baking pan. After all twelve enchiladas are squeezed into the baking pan, pour the rest of the sauce over top. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over enchiladas and sauce. Some people add black olives and cilantro to the top, go for it if that's your thing.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Send a note to my mother-in-law thanking her for introducing these to the world. (She'll tell you they're from an old Better Homes & Garden cookbook but really, she is the one who makes them what they are.)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Because it's Friday

And we all need to laugh. And really, when I go into client meetings, my greatest fear is I will be the Tommy Boy in the meeting.

Desktop Demo

Tommy Boy


Or view the movie here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I need to stop delaying blog posts because I haven't edited photos to perfection. Or because I don't have something profound to say.

Sometimes life just "is".

It's just me feeding my baby girl. In my lap instead of a high chair because she's the 2nd child and gets the shaft. If only Rich would snap pictures of me other than first thing in the morning.

morning feed

It's just Charlie vacuuming up the stuffing from another dog toy destroyed by Cook. He just can't let it stay on the carpet. It. Must. Be. Cleaned.

clean Chazzy

It's just work and grocery shopping and watching The Voice and having lunch with your mentor and saying goodbye to fantastic bosses and reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Living the dream.

The Phees

Monday, April 9, 2012

because I'm not posting items of interest to me on Facebook

I'll do it here instead.

Way to go Sheryl Sandberg! Powerful woman in a leadership position at major company prioritizes time with her family. What a shocking headline.


Reading this for book club. Not my usual sort of book but it's stretching me to read outside my comfort zone.


Rich bought me an iPad as a 10 year anniversary gift. Any suggestions on apps? Just email me, comment here or send a private message through Facebook.


Made this Williams-Sonoma potato leek gratin for Easter. Delicious. I may have added a smidge too much salt to the leeks but other than that, I'd make it again.


My social media hiatus does not include my Pinterest boards. I heart Pinterest.


I want this Michigan pillow. Badly.
Michigan pillow, from NicoleTarasick shop on Etsy


That's all for now. My week is kicking off with lots of work and spring break for Charlie. I ought to be exhausted by 8 pm every night.

Happy April,

little ones

Not too many words on this fine Monday.

Just some photos of our little ones.

Easter photos to follow later this week. Brace yourself: Charlie is weaing a tie in them!

Charlie, 3 years old. April 2012.

Charlie, 3 years old. April 2012.

Charlie, 3 years old. April 2012.

Alice, 4 months old. April 2012.

Alice, 4 months old. April 2012.

Alice, 4 months old. April 2012.

Friday, April 6, 2012

10 years ago today

I walked down the aisle of St. Mary's in Muskegon. An old Catholic church, with a really old priest, with sunny yellow walls and bright glass-colored windows.

St. Mary Catholic Church, Muskegon Michigan

image via

My Mom, who never looked more beautiful than that afternoon, and I spent 2 months working on every detail of the day, right down to the exact ivory ribbon wrapped around each bell on each table. The drooping tulips tied to every pew.

Well over 200 friends and family were there. My flower girl, my niece, had an incident with the sponge rollers and looked like Medusa electrocuted. But she was beautiful in her champagne dress. My girlfriends dressed in apple red. My brothers shined up in tuxedos at the front. My Dad, teary eyed and proud, walking me down the aisle.

That aisle. I wasn't nervous. I was excited. I'd known Rich since I was 15 years old. Like a well-worn t-shirt that you put on night after night because it's what makes you feel like everything is the way it should be. That was Rich. It was the way it should be.

We were about to embark on an adventure. After a week somewhere tropical and beachy, I would join him in Los Angeles, having only visited a few times in my life. I left my job, my family, my friends, my home. But I knew it was the start of something great.

And 10 years later, it has been. A small apartment in North Hollywood. Dive bars in the Valley. Long days and nights of building our careers. Harley rides to Neptune's Net. Countless airplane rides into Grand Rapids. Heartache. A mortgage. Joy. A dog. Two babies.

Then (young and free and happy, ready to hit the town) -
Favorite pic of Rich & me Summer 2002

Now (older and parents and happy, driving carpool) -

An entire decade. The days pass slowly, the years quickly. I don't know where that quote is from but it is true.

It's our 10 year anniversary. And I feel so lucky.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rich's world, from his iPhone

I'm trying to post Rich's iPhone photos on a regular basis because (a) I love them and (b) it gives you a different perspective. I'm sure you're sick of potty training posts so here's some relief.

Rich's February and March 2012 iPhone Snaps

1. safe & secure, 2. hi, Pops, 3. finally fixed, 4. Kings' game, 5. Garet's bar, 6. who just peed in the bushes? i did!, 7. verde circle of love, 8. water guns, 9. Superman, there are still phone booths., 10. poker game, 11. through the looking glass