Creamy Chipotle Stuffed Peppers

IMG_4740.jpg

Good Morning! And Happy Hump Day! I've finally gotten some work done around the house that I've been avoiding... It feels good to check some things off your list! But, I wanted to take a break and come on here and share a new recipe I came up with last night.  I absolutely LOVE Mexican food, but y'all know it's not always the healthiest thing you can eat... Cooking it at home allows me to be creative in the kitchen, while also paying attention to what I'm putting into my recipes. These stuffed peppers are SO delicious, you would never guess they are less than 200 calories each!

Creamy Chipotle Stuffed Peppers

6 servings: 1 Pepper 183 calories - 9g Fat - 6g Carbs - 18g Protein - 1g Fiber - 5 Smart Points (Weight Watchers)

Ingredients:

3 medium bell Peppers, any color 1 tsp olive oil 1/2 medium onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound 93% lean ground beef Salt & Pepper 1 10oz can mild enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso) 2 Tbs chipotle peppers in adobo sauce , chopped 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese 1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tops off your peppers and then slice them in half, removing the seeds and ribs. Place them in a 9X9 baking dish.

   

Over medium heat, add olive oil and cook the onion for 2 minutes before adding the garlic. Cook an additional 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and the onions are soft and translucent. Raise the heat to medium high. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper to taste, and break up the meat as it cooks.

Once the meat is cooked all the way trough, add the enchilada sauce and chipotle peppers. **These peppers can be found in the Mexican food section of any grocery store. They are delicious! But they are a little spicy, so use less or omit them if you don't like spicy food : )** Let that simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

   

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cream cheese and shredded cheese. This is the cream cheese I used. It's an added boost of protein, which is why I like it, but any whipped cream cheese will work!

Once cheese is melted and fully incorporated, scoop the filling into the peppers evenly among the six. Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the filling is bubbling.

These are delicious with rice and beans or a salad on the side... Topped with sour cream, salsa, cilantro... Really, the possibilities are endless! And to top it all off, they were husband approved! ; )

Hello Summer!

IMG_3114.jpg

May was a strug.

I never thought summer break would come. After our beach trip, I knew time would tick away slowly. The last month of school is full of fun, but also a lot of chaos. The kids have summer fever, the teachers are tired and everything is ready for a break. I had countdowns on my phone, my white board, my desk calendar, and even in the bathroom... You could say I was ready : )

In the midst of the chaos, there were moments of peace. I walked outside one evening to find this sunset, and I had to take a picture. Of course, a photo doesn't do it justice... Does it ever?

Sunday night Supper Club is still going strong. We had a fake low country boil at the beginning of May.. I say fake because we got the crab legs steamed at Kroger and just boiled the potatoes and corn separately. This was so good! And it just signifies summer for me...

   

The most exciting part of the month was (of course) Mack's 3rd Birthday! Mack is officially a "big boy" and he will tell you so... : )

We had BBQ at his party and it was so good! If nothing else, my family knows how to throw a party.

   

Mack's Birthday present was a little gator. He fell in L O V E immediately. He was so cute! The 2nd picture was from the next morning before 7AM... He woke up wanting to ride! I love him more than words can say.

The last day of school! We made it. I'm not being dramatic when I say, there were days I didn't think I'd make it to May 24th... But we did it! Together.

   

A lot of change is coming our way next year... We will no longer be Blandy Hills and will have a new name, as well as be converting to a K-2 school rather than K-5. It will be different, to say the least, but change is not always a bad thing.

    

    

Another change going on is in our youth group! For the summer, we will be having small group Bible study in people's homes rather than meeting as a large group at church. I'm excited to be hosting the High School girls at our house! Week 1 we had a Luau theme... I served "Maui" Onion Dip, Hawaiian punch,  Tropical fruit and Hawaiian pork (cocktail wienies). I love a theme.

    

Week 2, we did a Fiesta themed nacho bar! We also combined with the boys since their regular hosts were out of town. This was so much fun. I wish I could have people over every night!

   

   

   

For Memorial Day, we had a little get together at the house. B smoked a butt (which took FOREVER) but it was sooooo worth the wait! We listened to some classic Patriotic hits and even said the Pledge of Allegiance before we ate supper. It was a great day to be an American.

Nothing Goes Faster Than a Vacation...

IMG_2957.jpg

I realize I just shared a post about our cruise, so I know it seems redundant to share our vacation so soon... But it was a quick weekend getaway, and we probably won't go on another one for a while, so you'll just have to get over it : ) I'm so grateful for mini-vacations like this. At the foundation of my soul, I am a homebody, but I still love traveling. Weekend trips are the perfect thing for me, because it's enough to relax and recharge, but you get to sleep in your own bed a lot sooner. Plus, I had a personal day left for the school year, and I didn't want to let it go to waste!

   

I took Friday off, so we left Thursday afternoon. We stopped at one of our favorite little spots right outside of Savannah. This place is special to us, because the first time we went to Savannah, we needed to stop for a bathroom break and all 3 gas stations on the exit were closed. We were hesitant to go into Ronnie's because it doesn't look like much from outside, but we were surprised to find out they have awesome milkshakes! So now, anytime we got to Savannah or Hilton Head, we try to make a stop.

Friday morning, I woke up early and just hung out on the balcony for a while. I've been here 1 million times, but it never gets old.  Even with a storm rolling in, it just seems right.

We stopped at Panera for breakfast before we stopped by Kroger for a couple of things.

  

We finally made it top the beach! The weather turned out to be so nice, but the wind was out of control. We ended up moving to the pool for the rest of the day. Also, those chips are bomb.

Friday was Cinco de Mayo, so obviously we had to hit up Mexican. Asking a stranger to take your picture is always a crap shoot. This isn't my favorite picture of us, but I'm glad we got one!

  

As an appetizer, we got the grilled Mexican street corn! Oh, yes. And for dinner we both got different tacos to try. My favorite was the Southern Fried Chicken. It had pimento cheese, collard greens and boiled peanuts. It was amazing.

My favorite.

I've always wanted to eat at Harold's Diner. We pass it every year and say we are going to go, and then forget. I'm so glad we tried it. It's the epitome of a "hole in the wall", but it was some of the best breakfast I've had in a while. The griddle is old and well seasoned so all the food tastes amazing. The coffee was good, too, which is always a plus.

Day 2 on the beach. And also our last day. The wind was bearable this day, so we stayed laid out all day.

After we packed up, we headed to the Sea Shack for supper. I would never go to HHI without stopping here. It's our absolute, 100% fave. And this Crab Bisque is absolute perfection.

   

If we were responsible adults, we would have left right after we ate dinner so we could get home at a reasonable hour. But, we are not responsible and very impulsive, so we decided to play a round of mini golf before we headed home.

(I won't talk about who won, but if you're wondering, it was the person with the black club.)

Love of my life.

Leaving around 10PM means stopping for coffee before you hit the road.

I feel like a new woman after our trip. So thankful for a getaway, even if it is only 2 1/2 days. Now, let's get through these last 12 days of school! Come on, summer.

Cruisin': Spring Break 2017

IMG_1765.jpg

I thought Spring Break would never get here!And then, just like *that* it was gone.

We left around lunchtime Saturday. Of course, the plan was to leave a lot earlier, but you know how that goes : ) By the time we got to Miami, it was about 9:00PM, and we were starved.

  

We wound up at a Cuban restaurant called La Carreta. We were extremely underdressed in our "riding clothes" (AKA: Tshirts, flipflops and tennis shoes) but no one there seemed to mind. We got fried plantains, a Cuban sandwich and fufu (mashed green plantains). It was all so good! I wish I had pictures.

Sunday morning was very exciting and we started the day at an Urgent Care center.  B got into poison ivey 2 or 3 days before we left, and it was just not letting up. He couldn't sleep at night from wanting to scratch the rash, and he didn't want to spend his entire cruise miserable. Thankfully they gave him a shot and he got relief immediately! Thanks MD Now!

       

   

We didn't board the ship until 1:00, so we stopped by another Cuban spot for brunch around 11:00 before we headed to the port. Versailles is owned by the same people as La Carreta, so their menu was similar but more extensive. We got several appetizers to share and Cuban coffee. Those yuca fries were b o m b. I could have eaten 3 plates of those myself!

We finally boarded the ship and headed straight to our room to relax. The weather was humid but nice, so we sat on the balcony for a little while before we pulled out. Can I just shout out to Miami real quick? It is such a cool city. I hope one day we can go for an extended time and really explore.

Our ship was really great. It was the Carnival Vista, their newest ship, and I was very impressed! Everything is very pretty and clean, and the ship is HUGE so there's always something to do. I was very happy with it, and I hope we get to cruise on that ship again!

If you cruise for any reason, people watching has to be at the top of your list. I was fascinated by the different people on the cruise. This family was especially intriguing to me because they all had on jeans, boots and some of them even had on sweaters. It was 89* the day we pulled out of Miami. Come on, y'all. Hot mess.

We weren't scheduled to leave port until until 4:00, so we headed out to explore the ship.  Of course, we ended up at the food. Guy Fieri has a burger restaurant on the ship, and I'm not lying when I say it was one of the best burgers I've had in a long time. The line there was always super long, but it was worth the wait.

  

Finally at sea! It was so nice to just sit with B and enjoy no stress, no busyness, and just be.

  

Sorry, but food is the key to a good vacation so you'll see a lot of that in this post : )

Our first dinner on the cruise was fresh seafood. Isn't this the cutest little spot?

  

We split a pound of crab legs and crab cake sliders.

   

Our wild first night: A movie by the pool and then BINGO! Ha. We didn't win any $, but we had a good time!

Monday morning we woke up on the ship to this beautiful sunrise. We didn't do much this day, but lay by the pool all day. Sounds perfect to me.

I have been into audio books these days, so I made sure to have a few loaded on my phone before we left. This book, y'all. If you've ever struggled with your weight or with food in general... I cried (several times), I laughed and  I nodded my head constantly. A great read.

Sushi for lunch! I loved how may different options for food there were on our ship. It was nice to get a little taste of everything!

   

For dinner Monday night, we went to one of the specialty restaurants and got Italian food. Look at my handsome date!

    

I am not a big pasta person, but this was seriously some of the best I have ever had. The restaurant was so nice, and you honestly forgot you were on a cruise ship.

I loved getting dressed up every night... Not the best background, but I made sure to get a photo every night!

Of course, when B found out they were showing the NCAA Championship on the ship, we had to watch! Poolside: Even better.

Our first stop was Jamaica on Tuesday, but we didn't get off the ship that day.... We laid by the pool and did pretty much nothing.

   

Our first meal in the actual dining room... That bread pudding, y'all. And the coffee is shockingly good on the cruise! I loved getting a cup everything night after our meal.

I'm pretty sure sleep deprivation caught up with us this night and we rented a movie on demand and went to bed around 9:30... We are officially old. I'm not mad about it.

  

Wednesday was Grand Cayman! We got off the ship and I got a fresh frozen strawberry lemonade. I was surprised and excited when I saw her really squeezing the juice out of a real lemon. I am a food nerd. That thing put Minute Maid Frozen Lemonades (my favorite) to shame. My shirts says "It's a Great Day to do Nothing" and man, it was.

We laid on the beach all day. Perfect!

Thursday was finally the day I'd been waiting on: Cozumel!

I have wanted to go to Mexico forever, and I finally made it!

 

I got to eat REAL Mexican food at a local place called La Choza and it was so, so, so good! We got fajitas, a chile relleno and guacamole. They don't have "salsa" like we have in the states, which was very sad to me because I live and breathe for some good chips and salsa, but everything else was spectacular. Everything had so much flavor and was so perfect. I was one happy girl.

  

Mexico was actually beautiful. I loved it so much.

Asking strangers to take our photo was such a pain... But it was worth it : )

  

Friday was our last day, and we planned on spending the entire day laying out by the pool, but it was windy and actually kind of cold! So, we decided to just hang around the ship, explore a little more and just relax. Friday night was definitely my favorite night of the cruise. It was our last night, so we stayed out later than the other nights! We went to a comedy show, listened to tons of live music and I even convinced B to dance with me for a while at 70's night. September by Earth Wind and Fire better get you off your feet! : )

We woke up in Miami to this gorgeous sunrise. It made it a little easier to get off the ship. I'm so grateful for time to get away, just me and B. We truly have so much fun just being together, but the pretty views and the fun ship make it even better!

Oh, Spring Break, I miss you so much... But, Summer Break is so close I can taste it!