Skinny Enchiladas & Fat Cookies

Every Wednesday night my husband and I (along with two other couples) help out at our  church’s Youth Group. It is such a blessing to get to know some of the 6th-12th graders in our community. The Youth Pastor at our church does an amazing job with all the kids and we are just excited to be along for the ride and help out with trips, conferences and leading small group discussions each week.

So Wednesday nights are a bit crazy around here. Mike and Rachel (one of the other couples) have three kids. Their three along with our daughter, Kenley, head to AWANAS at a different church. My mom and sister babysit all the kids and run them to and from AWANAS. So my job on Wednesday nights is to provide a meal for anywhere from 12 to 15 people!!

Usually we just do a quick, easy crock pot meal. But last week I wanted to test out a new recipe. I was a bit nervous because Wednesday nights need to be kid-friendly meals (since there are 7 kids), but I hoped they would enjoy my new, healthy version of Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas.

Proud to say it was a SUCCESS! The kids asked for seconds, which is music to my ears! Can I get a hallelujah? 🙂

So my inspiration was a skinny enchilada recipe I saw on (what else?) Pinterest. They looked super yummy, but one major flaw: Cheese was missing! I *need* cheese with my Mexican food. How about you? I also like my cheesey chicken enchiladas to be super creamy.

So how could I avoid all that sour cream? I used low-fat plain yogurt and some melted butter instead. This way we weren’t sacrificing on taste, but we were getting 30% less fat! I also made my homemade chunky salsa and then added some fresh, diced avocado for the topping.

“Skinny” Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas


3 cups chopped, cooked rotisserie chicken

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese 

About 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 can organic, reduced-fat/reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup

1/4 cup chopped onion  

2 cloves fresh pressed garlic 

1 can chopped green chiles, drained

Freshly ground black pepper

12 (8-inch) flour tortillas 

1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese 

1/4 cup chopped green onions


Preheat oven to 350º F

I purchased a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chopped the meat in a large bowl.

Shred the cheese over top of chicken. Then pour in yogurt, butter and soup. Add onion, garlic and green chilies. Season with black pepper (I added some Pampered Chef Chili Lime Rub to the enchiladas and to my homemade salsa, you could just add some Mexican seasoning). Stir till well combined. If it seems too dry add a bit of milk to the mixture.

Reserve 1 cup of the chicken mixture and set aside.

Spoon 1/2 cup of chicken mixture onto each tortilla and roll.

Lay tortillas seam side down in a greased casserole dish. Spread the reserved cup of chicken mixture evenly over the enchiladas.

(Note: I had enough of the chicken mixture to make 12 enchiladas. I made 8 that night, since the kids all split them, and then I froze another 4 for a later date. Notice I didn’t have enough of the chicken mixture to put on top of the other 4 frozen enchiladas, so when I cook those I will just top them with some cheese so it doesn’t dry out while baking.)

Cover with foil and bake at for 25 minutes.

Uncover; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup green onions; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serve with tortilla chips, homemade chunky salsa and diced avocado on top.  


You may remember me talking about my detox/diet. I am now finished with it. I lost 20 lbs! I feel so much better, more energy, and most importantly I am not craving carbs and sugar anymore (which was my main goal). So now instead of eating something sugary,sweet every day, we are having a special Family Baking Day on weekends when we are home! We make a delicious dessert, we each have one and then bring all those leftovers to church on Sunday or to our Youth Group.

If the dessert sits around the house, then I feel like I “need” to eat them. This seems to be working out so much better for me because I am being realistic and allowing our family to indulge once in awhile. But most importantly, the church family (and not my waist line) is now benefitting from my sweet tooth 🙂

 Last weekend we made Jacques Torres’ (not so) Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is the recipe. The only thing I changed was I used semi sweet chocolate chips AND milk chocolate chunks.

Gooey, Goodness!


Posted in About Food, Dessert, Main Dishes, Sides & Snacks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Valentine Cards & Crafts

Here are my “so-not-original” Valentine’s ideas that I stole from much more creative people  🙂

Valentine’s Sucker Card

I found this idea here.

Little side note: I can’t wait till Kenley is old enough to make her own Valentines. Until then, it’s a mommy job.

I took a picture of Kenley holding out her fist (in front of my sister’s purple wall).

Then I used Microsoft Paint to type the Valentine’s message and draw hearts on the JPEG file.

I uploaded the picture to I ordered 12 sheets of wallet sized prints. (Between Preschool, Dance, Gymnastics and AWANAS we had a ton of these babies to hand out!) I ordered them a few weeks early to be safe.

When they arrived Kenley and I were so excited to get to work (she mainly just watched and commented on how much she loved them) I went to Wal-Mart to get the tiny dum dum suckers. Then I used a sharp kitchen knife to cut an “X” at he top of her fist and an “X” at the bottom.

…slipped the sucker through the picture.

CA-UTE! Seriously, who thought of this idea? I really want to know where it originated from because these are probably the cheapest Valentine’s we will ever make.

But I couldn’t stop there with just one sucker….more candy was needed for all her little friends 🙂 I put the sucker cards in plastic Valentine’s bags and dropped some red, pink, and white M&Ms and candy corn and tied it with some ribbon.

For the teachers I gave them each a little sucker card and a heart cookie from the bakery. I also threw in some of the “Teacher Gifts” my mom has at her Christian Bookstore.

Kenley was very excited to wear her Valentine’s dress and pass them out at preschool.

For the G-Parents

For Kenley’s 5 sets of grandparents and great grandparents I did the same Sucker Card but used the 4×6 prints and larger Blow Pop Suckers.

When she gave one to “Grandpa Great” he said “Oh these are so cute” and Kenley replied “Grandpa you can’t have it until after you finish your dinner” (I have trained her well)

I Love You This Much…

Every holiday I try and have Kenley make a craft for everyone. I wanted to have her make the grandparents an I Love You This Much Card.  So I took the idea I found here but just made it a bit more “Kenley created”

We painted her hands in white acrylic paint. Then “stamped” each hand five times (one for each set of grandparents) on a pink sheet of cardstock.

After they dried I cut around each handprint. Then I had Kenley use a marker to write “I LOVE YOU” on all the left hands.

I cut some purple cardstock into strips and accordion folded it. Then I had Kenley write “THIS MUCH”.

I used super glue to make sure the hands would stay connected to the accordion strip (some of these cards had to travel long distances to Florida and Arizona for the great grandparents that are “snow birds”).

So each grandparent got a Sucker Card, and I Love You This Much Card, and I also threw in some pictures of my sweet kiddos.

Every year I like to take pictures of the kids in their Valentine’s shirts. Here is last years.

And this years.

Thems some cute kids 🙂 

I Love You Because…..

Keeping with the tradition of making all the Valentines gifts this year I needed something to make for my hubby.

I found this idea here.

I used a 5×7 frame from Wal-Mart. Hot glued on a peacock feather I found in the craft aisle and some other decals I had sitting around. Then I printed out the words “I love you because…” on a piece of scrapbook paper. This gift cost me a whopping $7!

I think this is such a great way for both my husband and I to write special notes to each other. I really want him to be more aware of how much we appreciate and love him, sometimes I don’t think I say it enough. This will be a great reminder for me to always be building my man up! 🙂

I also got Marcus “The Resolution” from the movie Courageous

We just love that movie (watched it again the other night). Like I have said before, my mom owns the Christian Bookstore in town and I was working the other day and saw that we had gotten in “The Resolution” from the movie. It was only $9! I still have to go out and get a nice frame for it but my husband had been talking about doing this so I knew he would really appreciate this gift.

If you haven’t seen Courageous you should! It has a very important message that I feel EVERY SINGLE MAN should hear. 🙂 Great, great movie.

Hope you all have a great VALENTINES DAY!

Posted in About Faith & Family, About Fun Stuff, Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow Day

We had a couple Snow Days (7 inches) a few weeks back. The only measurable snow covering we have had this year in North Central Iowa. I am sad to report (well not *that* sad) it melted right away and we haven’t seen any more of the white stuff since. What a marvelous winter 2012 is turning out to be!

Here are some pics of my precious children playing in the snow. 

They played all morning with uncle Landon and then I joined in again at night while daddy snow-blowed the driveway.

Cohen freaked out when we had to go inside.

Is it bad that I laugh and take pictures of my son as he is having a temper tantrum? I can’t imagine I am the first mom to do this 🙂 Nothing a binky can’t fix.

Another Panini (you sick of them yet?)

My love affair with my panini press is well documented (read here, here, and here)

 But I created one the other day with just my kids in mind (and I ended up loving it too).

When I was a wee one my mother never made us Peanut Butter & Banana sandwiches (deprived? possibly). I thought it was really strange any time I heard friends talk about a sandwich with bananas in it?! I can honestly say I have never had one…ever!

Well that all changed the other day.

I have some bread that needed to be used and I was trying to come up with an idea for a panini for the kiddos. Then it hit me, I keep seeing Pinterest pins about PB & Banana this….PB & Banana that.

Conversion with myself: “I shouldn’t deprive my children of the same thing my mother deprived me of as a child…..Jenna, you are 26 years old…it is high time you try the dang thing. It might be good!”

(Not dissing my mama, she is an amazing cook!)

Peanut Butter, Nutella, Banana Panini

So here we have the bread, some all natural peanut butter, and as luck would have it I had a few bananas sitting around. I slathered on a tiny bit of nutella too (yum!). I spread some butter on the outside of each piece of bread.

Then let the panini press do its magic! (I suppose to could use a small skillet and make it like you would a grilled cheese sandwich…. but trust me you want one of these panini presses in your house!)

The kids devoured them. Look at those satisfied faces…

I immediately called my mom and reminded her of her “mommy faux pas”. She said “Oh yuck, I never made those for you guys because I hated them”

Well now I know her reasoning, but I can tell you my kids and I will be eating these for years to come!


Posted in About Faith & Family, About Food, Main Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

100th Post CONTEST!


CONTEST ENDED: February 17, 2012

WINNER! Nicole Steen

Hard to believe I have written 100 blog posts in the last 10 months!

I am having so much fun writing about things I am passionate about. My family, cooking, crafts, and decorating our home. I am also amazed at the feedback I have received and you all actually enjoy reading what little ol’ me has to say 🙂

So since my 100th post is a somewhat significant milestone I wanted to make sure I had a pretty sweet prize for this contest winner. But this will take a little bit more of an effort from my blog readers…..


The Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan


This can be used for so much more than “bars.” Here are just some of the recipes I use it for

White Chocolate Cake-Like Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookies (I used the round stoneware for this recipe but you can use the bar pan too)

California Club Pizza (my fave)

Pizza Burgers (my hubby’s fave)

Chicken & Broccoli Braid (all the way at the bottom of this post)

Walnut & Parsley Crescent Rolls (I made these at my mom’s house and she doesn’t have the Stoneware Bar Pan…tsk tsk! But if she did I would have used it for these)

Sicilian Shrimp & Tomato Pizza

Contest Rules:

This contest requires a bit more work since the prize is so great! 🙂

1) Become a Fan: You must be a fan of Adventures of a Domestic Engineer on Facebook

2) Share My Page: You need to share my blog’s Facebook Fan Page on your own Facebook Wall.

3) Increase Your Odds: For every friend of yours that “Likes” my page you will be entered again (and again and again!) into the contest. So you can share my fan page on your wall as many times as you want! Make sure your friends let you know that they “liked” the page.

Say something like “Check out this mom’s blog, “like” her Facebook page and YOU and I will both be entered to win the Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan!!”

5) Leave A Comment: Make sure you let me know that you shared it on your page by leaving a comment on this post or somewhere on my Facebook Fan Page. Also, towards the end of the contest let me know how many of your friends “liked” my page so I know how many times to enter you.

6) Contest Ends: I will give reminders about the contest every day for the next week. The contest ends on February 17!

7) Winner: There will be one winner and the prize will be shipped to anywhere in the continental United States. My husband will be drawing the name out of a hat to decide the winner (I know, way professional 🙂 ) The winner will be announced the next day.


Note: I am not paid or perked for hosting these giveaways, I just do them to thank you awesome folks for stopping in! 🙂

Posted in About Food, About Fun Stuff, Misc. | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Master Bedroom: Before & After

I wouldn’t technically call our bedroom a “Master Bedroom” but since my husband and I sleep there then I guess it qualifies.

Kenley actually has the biggest room in the house. But it is a weird, rectangular shape and our bed didn’t fit in there correctly. Plus it allows Kenley to have a lot of room for all her toys. So once again, we got stuck with the smaller room. Not complaining, because it isn’t like we spend a ton of time in there. Just sleeping and reading 🙂 (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

So the hubs and I were fine having the smaller room. We just dream of the day when we can have a larger (more deserving of the term “Master”) Master Bedroom. You know, a king bed, a sitting area, his and her large walk in closets, flat screen TV, whirlpool, two separate vanity areas,…yes! *that* kind of Master Bedroom.

But let me show you how I took this tiny 11×11 room and made it our own ….


Here is what the tiny thing looked like when we purchased the home.


Here is what it looked like after we moved in our massive furniture.

There is about an inch on each side of our night stands. The dog can barely jump up on our bed at night because he can’t even get a running start 🙂 Poor Colt. Then top it all off we had to fit our dresser in there. So when you walk around to Marc’s side of the bed you have to squeeze by that. 

But like I said, it is COZY and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Paint Colors

We started by painting the trim Valspar off the shelf white in a semi-gloss base. Then the walls were painted in a Valspar’s Incandescent in a satin base. (Kind of a khaki color). We didn’t paint the back wall because I had a different plan for that.

Here is a before and after of the paint/trim.



Weirdo Windows

The hardest thing to work with was the off-centered windows. No matter what wall we put our bed on, our headboard went half way up one of the windows…looks really odd doesn’t it?

But don’t worry, I had a plan! I had four apple green Pottery Barn curtains that had hung over the large picture window in our Ankeny House. I figured that they would fit the entire back wall of our bedroom (floor to ceiling)….AND I WAS RIGHT!! (This was my way of just getting “rid of” that off-centered window by covering it up but still making everything symmetrical.

I got the cheapest rod I could find from Wal-Mart  that would extend to around 180+inches.

Then I had the painter, Matt, build a valance out of wood and trim so that the rod wouldn’t be visible. Turned out great. You really have to see it in person, to notice that it makes the room look SOOOO much bigger!

New Bedding

The blue bedding we had just didn’t look right with the green curtains so I sold it.

For Christmas I asked for lots of fun, fluffy, full pillows from Pier One. (Does anyone else ask for home decor items for Christmas….why is that the wife’s job? Why can’t the men use some of their Christmas list for items like new pots and pans? Double standard if you ask me!)

Then I went out and just got a cheap white comforter from Wal-Mart ($24.99 people!).

Lastly, I spray painted the lamps (read about that here).

And Master Bedroom COMPLETE




I love our little room, even though we can barely get out of bed in the morning between stumbling over all my large fluffy pillows and the few inches of space we have working on each side. I think I managed to do A LOT with a LITTLE space 🙂

Posted in About Fun Stuff, Crafts, Decor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Too much pinning…

So has anyone seen my Pinterest lately? It is a little out of control. Too much pinning and not  enough executing. 🙂

I have a few friends that execute their pins at record speed! I am a bit jealous and very impressed at all the cute things they have done in their homes. 

I have so many projects I want to complete and recipes I want to try! We are kind of in limbo right now because we randomly showed our house last week. We weren’t expecting to put it on the market for another couple months but we had some interest so I spent all last week cleaning like a mad woman. So not really sure I want to “execute” a bunch of home projects if we do end up selling sometime soon (or preferably at least in the next year). I will keep ya’ll posted!

Ok back to a project that I actually COMPLETED!

We finally finished our (teeny, tiny) Master Bedroom! But before I get to that reveal…

Here is a before pic of the lamps on our night stands.

A really cool shape but kind of a rusty color. I liked them when I first got them for our living room. But I was getting sick of the boring color and wanted them to brighten up the night stands a bit more.

I used 4 plastic bags and green painters tape to make sure no spray paint got on the cord or the light bulb area.

Then I took them outside to the garage on a nice 50 degree (January..what?) day.

Painted on two coats of primer (dries in about 10 minutes)

Then painted on two coats Valspar Mediterranean Spray Paint.

 I waited about 30 minutes in-between coats. Then I took them inside to dry over night.

I got these cheap-o lamp shades from Target to finish off the look (I couldn’t use the original cream-colored lamp shades because my hubby broke one of them during the move.) I actually like the smaller, white ones better because then the base of the lamp shade is showcased better!




Posted in About Fun Stuff, Crafts, Decor | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oven-Baked Bruschetta Chicken

Here is a simple, easy, yummy recipe from Pinterest for Grilled Bruschetta Chicken.

My husband loves Bruschetta anything, and the kids are obsessed with chicken…so the whole fam was pleased! (And mommy, especially because she is always searching for new ways to serve chicken.)

The original recipe had the chicken being grilled but I used the oven instead.

Here ya go…

Oven-Baked Bruschetta Chicken


4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves 

1/2 cup Newman’s Own Sun-Dried Tomato dressing

2 tomatos, chopped

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves


Preheat oven to 350º F.

(Note: I had 5 chicken breasts I wanted to use so I added a little bit more of all the ingredients)

Place chicken in zip loc bag. Add 1/2 cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. I actually let it marinate all day.

Remove chicken from bag and place in a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Bake chicken in the oven for 30 minutes.

 Meanwhile, combine the chopped tomatoes and fresh basil.

Take chicken out of the oven and top with tomato mixture and then sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is done (has an internal temperature of 165ºF)


P.S. The leftovers are really good on this one 🙂

Posted in About Food, Main Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment