Black Bean Enchiladas

I have been trying to make time while on maternity leave to try new recipes that we all enjoy and can also be frozen for future quick meals.  We had these black bean enchiladas a few weeks ago at a friend’s house for dinner and I loved them so I asked for the recipe and made them right away!  They are great re-heated and can be frozen and eaten at a later date.  Also, a side of Mexican rice and a simple salad is all you need with them since the beans are in the enchiladas already.

These are delicious and I look forward to making them again soon!  The recipe is from allrecipes.com.  I pretty much followed the recipe, but I did use low-fat cream cheese and noticed that it took me about 1.5 hours of preparation time.  I also priced out the ingredients for making a single batch (not counting the cooking spray, olive oil and spices since I already had them on hand) and the total came to $25.  I was hoping they would be a bit lower in cost since there isn’t any meat, but still pretty good for several meals for a family.  I doubled the recipe too so we were able to freeze a good amount and enjoy them through-out the week.  I forgot to take a picture of the enchilada plated, oops!  Definitely a recipe that I wanted to document because I will be making these for years to come.

Black Bean Enchiladas

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (14.25 oz) can vegetarian refried black beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels, thawed if using frozen
  • 1 (4 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup loosely packed and chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (4 oz) can of canned green chiles, undrained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tspn dried oregano
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Toppings for enchiladas:

  • 1 cup avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • Cilantro to taste, chopped
  • Sour cream to taste

 

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion and bell pepper, cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium low and add the beans, corn and cream cheese and mix well.  Season mixture with cumin, salt and pepper.  Simmer until bean mixture is hot and combined.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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Next to prepare the salsa topping; combine the cilantro, green chiles, broth, tomato sauce, salsa, lime juice, garlic and oregano in a food processor or blender.  Pulse / blend until smooth.  Spread 1/3 of the cilantro salsa mixture into prepared baking dish.

Spread the bean mixture evenly into the center of each tortilla and sprinkle 1 cup of the cheddar cheese.  Roll the tortillas around the bean and cheese and place the tortillas seam side down into baking dish.  Then pour the remaining cilantro salsa mixture over the rolled and arranged enchiladas, top with the remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese.

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Bake in preheated over for 25 to 30 minutes or until top cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.  Let sit 5 minutes before serving and top enchiladas with fresh avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream.

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Enjoy!

White Fish with Hoisin Sauce

My parents make this white fish recipe and I finally got to see how they make it when I was visiting them in Palm Desert this last month.  We really enjoy this fish dish – it is light and flavorful.  You can use any type of white fish – we have been using rock fish which is really good and very reasonably priced.  I made this immediately when we came home from the desert!

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White Fish with Hoisin Sauce

Serves Four

Ingredients:

  • 4 white fish fillets
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or garlic powder to equal clove
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-stick cooking spray
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Can you tell I primarily shop at Costco :)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a baking dish and coat with cooking spray (I use foil to make it an easy clean-up too).  Make the sauce by combining the hoisin sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning and wine.

Place the fish in baking dish and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the sauce over the fish and then take the Panko bread crumbs and sprinkle to coat the top of the fish.  I also pour a little white wine around the fish to add moisture for cooking.

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Bake for 30-35 minutes.  Turn the oven on to high broil and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the fish gets browned and crispy on top.  Serve and enjoy!

Leigh Stella {Two Months}

We have a two month old on our hands, Miss Leigh is getting to be such a big girl and so fun!  She turned two months yesterday and we took her to her two month check-up today.

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She did really well for the nurse and was cooing and smiling for her pediatrician.  The shots portion however was all crying of course, poor baby.  She did take the liquid vaccine well.  Here she is all ready for her appointment this morning!  She is doing great and as of right now we have no real concerns.  We did go through a colic phase with her from about three weeks to six weeks and boy are we extremely glad that has passed.  Two to three hours of hysterical crying is very, very hard to deal with nightly.  Now the main thing that causes her to be upset is gas pains.  Oh the joys of being an infant!

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Leigh continues to be a great eater and typically eats 4 ounces every three hours during the day.  As of a few weeks ago we have gone to mostly bottles of pumped breast milk during the day and nursing her at night.  It works for us, I can plan things out better during the day and I am not much of a feeding in public kind of person, even with my cover.  First time I have publicly nursed ever was on the airplane ride down to the desert when she was four weeks old.

She goes to bed for the night around 8 pm and wakes for her first night feed typically around 1 am.  After the 1 am feed she normally goes every two hours until a bottle around 7:30 am.  The first chunk of sleep is what gets me through – I think I am averaging about 6 to 6.5 hours of sleep a night.  Of course there are exceptions, earlier this week I had a night of maybe three hours of sleep which came in hour or so stretches.  She also ended up having her best night ever the night after that horrible night; she went to bed at 8:30 pm, ate at 1 am and then again at 5:30 am so this mama got a combined total of 7.5 hours of sleep which is the most I have gotten since little miss was born.  I also have to pump after the first night feed because she doesn’t empty the girls and I am way over producing which has made a nice supply in the freezer.

As of today, Leigh is 13 lbs, 12 oz (98%), 23.5″ long (88%) and head 15.25″ (50%).  Pretty nuts to compare her sister Livie’s measurements – Livie was huge at two months, 14 lbs, 8 oz (99%), 24.5″ long (99%).  I totally thought that Leigh would be bigger because she was over a pound bigger at birth, but I was off on that one!

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Around 6 weeks we started to see smiles while in Palm Desert and it was so much fun (recap of trip to come)!  Things really started getting better around the six-week mark with her, she started taking the bubble (binky), started to tolerate the stroller, colic finished up, started to become more interactive and playful which has made things so nice for us.  She loves her playmat and adores to be talked to – she coos and smiles and it melts my heart.

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This past month Leigh got to spend most of it in Palm Desert visiting my family.  She had lots of firsts; plane ride (which she was perfect for both ways!), meeting her great-aunt Melinda and cousin Katherine, trip to California, wearing a swim suit, Costco visit, feeling the sun, play date with friends, meeting her first-first cousin…and there are probably more.

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Leigh is such a joy, my little snuggle bug!

Of course I had to do some comparison shots of Livie and Leigh – so fun to put them side by side to see their similarities when Liv was at her age.  Leigh has lighter hair than Liv had at this time and the new hair that is coming in is blond.

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photo 2Leigh – Random Facts at Two Month:

  • Stats:  13 pounds, 12 ounces (98%) 23.5 inches long (88%), 15.25″ head circumference (50%)
  • Diaper Size:   size 1
  • Clothing:  3 months, 3-6 months
  • Likes:  getting talked to, being held/snuggling, eating, bubble (binky), playing on her playmat, baths, watching big sister, morning hours, being sang to, clean diapers
  • Dislikes:  being hungry, gas pains, dirty diapers

 

 

 

Leigh Stella {One Month}

I can’t believe that Leigh has been with us now for a month – she is one month old today!  It has gone by so fast.  We are getting ready to head to Palm Desert and enjoy some sun now!  Baby girl’s first flight and Livie’s third!  Traveling with two children two and under is a little overwhelming, trying to figure out what to pack, making room for everything and not forget anything crucial.  One thing that is working in our favor is that all we really need clothing wise are warm weather clothing that don’t take up too much room.

Let’s back track a bit!  I wanted to touch base and give an update a few weeks ago, but that did not happen so here is a recap of the last month and how Leigh is doing.

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The first few week home with Leigh were wonderful!  Jeff was home with us the first week and a half and my mom came up for a short stay too.  We all enjoyed our time together as a family of four, with all of the firsts with Leigh.

First Super Bowl Party - Seahawks Win, 2/2/14

First Super Bowl Party – Seahawks Win, 2/2/14

First Walk - 7 days old

First Walk – 2/2/14

First Bath at Home - 2/6/14

First Bath at Home – 2/6/14

First Bath at Home - 2/6/14

First Bath at Home – 2/6/14

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First Trip to Nordies – 2/18/14

Family Fun - 2/9/14

Family Fun – 2/9/14

We also got newborn photos that Grandpa Jim took of Leigh and us as a family!  I am so happy with the photos, he captured some great moments.  Here are some of our favorites.  Thanks Grandpa Jim!

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Leigh is a sweet baby, but does have her fussy moments, in the evenings hours we are dealing with an unhappy baby for a couple hours.  We are hoping this phase passes quickly!  Once she calms down she is a great night sleeper and has “slept through the night” with five hour stretches a few times which makes it nice for me to get a decent stretch of sleep before having to pump / feed her.  She is also a great little eater and has gotten pretty efficient which is real nice in the middle of the night.  I am pumping and Jeff will give her a bottle in the early evening so I can get to bed.  At her pediatric appointment on 2/17 she weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces.  pretty sure she is around 11 pounds now and over 22 inches long.

Leigh went to her first official outing at two weeks old, Aunt Jamie’s baby shower!  She enjoyed her first real outing, besides doctor’s appointments, and got to meet more family and good friends.  She slept pretty much the entire time.  She also had her first Valentine’s Day and my birthday the next day, she was sick by this point, but we didn’t know the severity yet, not until that Friday morning.

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Aunt Jamie’s Baby Shower – 2/8/14

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Valentine’s Photo!

After the first week and a half our house went through two weeks of sick kids and it was not fun at all.  First Livie got bronchiolitis which entailed a deep, barking cough and congestion that kept her and us up during the night making it difficult given that we were also up caring for a newborn at the same time.  Livie hadn’t been sick all year and it hit at the worst possible time.

The week into Livie’s bronchiolitis, Leigh developed a horrible cough and congestion.  We took her into the pediatrician and she had gotten the same thing that Livie had, poor girls.  They also checked Leigh for RSV, a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, and it came back positive.  We were on high alert for any signs of breathing problem and were instructed by the doctor to immediately head to the emergency room or call 911 if she was in need of oxygen – talk about an eye-opening experience that was so incredibly scary.  We spent the next days keeping her upright in her infant seat with her humidifier going when she was sleeping which was the only real direction that the pediatrician gave us; since she is so young they didn’t want to give her any medications, just yet.  We ended up taking her to urgent care over the weekend and her oxygen level had improved!  Then we had another follow-up appointment at her doctor’s office and that Tuesday following she was back up to 100% oxygen level and was just about over it!!  The stress just lifted and we were extremely relieved.

Valentine's Day Morning Snuggles - 2/14/14

Valentine’s Day Morning Snuggles – 2/14/14

Four Weeks Old

Four Weeks Old

Four Weeks Old

Four Weeks Old

Here we are now and both girls are healthy!  However, Jeff and I are pretty run down and are just starting to get colds.  Hopefully they will pass quickly and the sun will help us feel better.

Leigh is also cooing and she will smile when her eyes are closed due to business that she is taking care of and has shown little smirks.  We keep watching for those first, real smiles!

Leigh – Random Facts at One Month:

  • Weight & Length:  around 11 pounds, over 22 inches long (2 month check-up next month, we’ll know for sure)
  • Diaper Size:   size 1
  • Clothing:  0-3 months and 3 months
  • Likes:  eating, sucking, baths, snuggling, watching big sister, morning hours, looking at lights, being sang to, clean diaper
  • Dislikes:  being hungry, the evening hours, gas pains, getting into car seat

Leigh’s Birth Story

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I love reflecting back on both of my girl’s births.  Olivia and Leigh’s births were the best experiences and we want to be able to look back on both posts to remember every detail.  Livie’s birth story can be found here, I thought her birth was just perfect.  The day of laboring with her was a little long, but considering it was my first baby it was short compared to many who have 25-40 hours of labor.  I feel fortunate for both of my birthing experiences; healthy baby girls, no complications, natural, and to my birth plan.  For as much pain as labor and childbirth is I love the experience so much.

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Last pregnancy pictures before baby at 40 weeks

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Last pregnancy pictures before baby at 40 weeks

Day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

Day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

Day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

Day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

Family walk - day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

Family walk – day before Leigh was born, 1/25/2014

For the last several weeks of my pregnancy with Leigh I had insomnia and was up about six times a night to use to restroom.  I would wake up at midnight and be up for three to four hours.  On the day she was born (Sunday, 1/26, four days after her due date of 1/22) I was up at midnight and then thankfully fell back asleep around 1:45 am.  At 2:30 am I was awoken by a contraction.  I had experienced false labor several times at night with Leigh so I didn’t get too excited.  I tried to go back to sleep, but I felt other contractions to follow.  I grabbed my cell phone and timed the contractions – they were around 10 minutes apart and not painful, but kept coming.

At 4:00 am I decided I should shower just in case this was the day.  I didn’t want to wake up Jeff so I tip-toed in and started to get ready.  He heard the water running and woke up on his own.  I assured him to not get too excited, but I wanted to be ready just in case.  We both showered and went downstairs and rested in front of the TV.  Around 5:30 am the contractions were closer together and a bit stronger so we decided to give Jeff’s parents a heads up because they needed time to get ready and pick-up Livie for us.

We didn’t want to get Livie too excited or out of her normal routine so we did not mention anything to her that morning about what was happening.  We got her ready as usual and told her that she was getting to go to Grandpa and Grandma’s house so she was pretty excited!  Jeff’s mom came over around 8 am and just as she was bringing Livie over to say good-bye and give me a kiss I felt a gush of water (thankfully I was sitting on the leather recliner – easy clean-up!) and sure enough my water had broken!  I was so excited and thought it was pretty cool to experience my water breaking.  It was time and things were really happening – I hurried upstairs to get cleaned up, change my soaked pants and grab my bag.  At this point we were nervous that things were going to get painful quick so we were in the car by 8:30 am and arrived at Overlake at 9:00 am.

When your water breaks they don’t want to check you at triage because of an increased risk of bacteria, but they do make sure that it is in fact amniotic fluid.  They asked me some questions and put me in a gown and walked me to our labor/birthing suite.  I got all hooked up to the baby heart rate monitor and our nurse went over all of the initial admitting questions.  At this point the contractions were pretty painful and were about 2 to 1 1/2 minutes apart.  The nurse kept saying that this may happen quickly being my second baby.  Our nurse explained that my doctor was not on-call that day so we asked that they please give her a call as that is what she had said for us to do if she was not on-call.  They weren’t sure where the doctor that was on-call was and said that they needed to go let her know that we were there and progressing quickly.  There was no way that my doctor would have made it in time – she was at home with her two girls and her husband was not home at the time.  Makes me sad because I am obsessed with my doctor who delivered Livie, but at the time I just wanted Leigh out and I did not care.  It all worked out and Doctor Lacy was fabulous!

At about 9:20 am I was checked for the first time and I was at about 5 cm.  The contractions were pretty intense, close together and things were going fast.  The doctor on call, Doctor Lacy came in and introduced herself to us and checked me again at 10:20 am and I was at 8 cm and in the next ten minutes I was at 10 cm and ready to start pushing.  The doctor and nurse were not ready and were rushing around getting everything in place.  They told me when I feel the need to push to go for it.  I did a few on my own and then the nurse and Jeff held my legs and in ten minutes baby girl was out and placed on my stomach immediately, Jeff cut the umbilical cord and we fell in love with Leigh.  She is so perfect and we were so relieved that everything went so well.  She was born at 10:44 am.

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While the doctor finished with me I held our little bundle with Jeff next to me.  It was such a magical moment and we both could not believe at how quickly she came.  It was so wonderful to finally have her with us.  Once the doctor was finished with me, Leigh was taken over to get weighed, measured and a quick sponge bath.  She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and they ended up not measuring her correctly and didn’t stretch her legs out.  They measured 20 inches long, but she was actually 21.5 inches long.  At her first week’s pediatric visit she was 21 3/4 inches long already.  Advice to the dads, make sure baby is measured correctly at the hospital and watch.

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Giving birth is such an amazing experience and I feel so fortunate to have been able to do it twice now.  I was so aware this time since I wasn’t too tired with things happening so quickly.  With Livie it was a long day and I was exhausted by the time she came.  With both labors I found it super helpful to have Jeff telling me when each contraction was coming, climaxing and going down and of course to remind me to take deep breaths during each.  He is the best labor partner.  This time I also would apply pressure to the bed with my left hand, I think it made me feel like I was doing something else productive.  Whatever works to get through each contractions!

Leigh was an instant latcher and is a super star feeder.  The girl can eat and makes mama pretty tired keeping up with her, but love the special snuggle time with her so much.  At the hospital we had both of our parents there and Grandpa Jim brought Livie to the hospital to meet Leigh around 2:00 pm.  She was so excited to meet her little sister and it was such a precious moment that we will always remember.  Makes this mama so happy!  I am so in love with my two girls and absolutely love being a mom of girls.  We also had Aunt Jamie and Uncle Troy visit and several of our good friends come to meet baby Leigh!

The next morning at the hospital Doctor Werner came by to say hello and that she was sad to not have been there for us, but so glad that we were in good hands and that everything went well.  She is so sweet and I am going to miss seeing her so often for appointments.

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We did enjoy our stay at the hospital, they put us in one of two of their suites.  it was where Melinda and Bill Gates stayed with their children.  It was nice to have the extra space and the bathroom was nice and big, compared to the regular rooms.  We also took advantage of the nursery at night with Leigh and got several stretches of two hours of sleep.  With Livie we didn’t use the nursery and got no sleep at all.  We also found ourselves way more relaxed the second time around which was really nice.  We only stayed 24 hours and were out the next day around 11 am.  We were excited to get Leigh home and see Livie.

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Heading home!

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My repairs were minor, one stitch and now at two weeks postpartum I am all healed and feel great, still taking things slow to be safe.  I was in my pre-pregnancy jeans at 5 days postpartum with a muffin top of course, but felt good to be back in my regular clothes.  I am 8 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and have slowly started to do a little walking and elliptical at the house which is few and far between, but when Jeff is home I try to make time for it if I can.

We are settling into our third week at home with two precious little girls.  We are doing well and trying to get into a rhythm and learn the best way to juggle both girls.  Livie has been sick so it has been a little tougher over the weekend, but she is doing better and we are all adjusting just fine.

Leigh was back up to her birth weight at her first pediatric appointment, at 6 days old.  I will post an update soon of more details about adjusting at home and our new little bundle, but for now we are just enjoying our time together!

Baby Update {Leigh Stella}

No more pregnancy updates – we have moved on to baby updates!!!  Leigh Stella was born on Sunday, 1/26/2014 at 10:44 AM.  We are over the moon and SO in love with our sweet baby girl.  We have loved our first week home as a family of four and Leigh is such a good, calm baby girl.  We feel so blessed to have two healthy little girls in our lives.  Livie is so proud of her little sister and has been such a good girl with her.

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Leigh Stella – Stats:

Birth Date:  01/26/2014, Sunday

Time:  10:44 AM PST

Weight:  8 lbs. 15 oz.

Length:  20 inches

Location:  Bellevue, Overlake Hospital

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Leigh made us wait four days after her due date, 1/22, to meet her and boy was it worth the wait!  She is perfect in every way.  She made us wait, but when she was ready, she was ready.  Everything happened very quickly with our arrival at the hospital at 9:00 am and she was born at 10:44 am.  I will share her birth story soon, but for now I just wanted to share our special news.

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Livie & Leigh comparison photos

Sister, sister!

Leigh’s birth story and newborn photo shoot sneak peek to come!  Thank you to everyone for their kind comments and support you have shown us.  We feel very blessed to have such a wonderful support system of family and good friends.

We hope everyone is enjoying the weekend and GO Seahawks!!!