beka stays hungry : weeknight enchiladas

I actually made something that did not require the use of a crock pot this week.

And I actually made it from a recipe designed for the use of a crock pot…but that also had adaptations for non-crock pot cooking.

Shock and awe!

What can I say? I was hungry and short on time! I didn’t have 6 hours to wait for dinner!

I’m sure this recipe would turn out great in a crock pot, but I’m actually glad I went with the just-stick-this-pan-filled-with-enchiladas-in-the-oven method (that’s the scientific terminology, for those of you who were wondering). The hardest part is willing the tortillas into submission without all of the filling spilling out everywhere.


Clearly, I have some room for improvement when it comes to willing tortillas into submission.

But really, this was beyond easy. And the best part is that they really held up well all week long. I made them on Sunday night and just had one of the last ones for dinner last night, and it was as good as the first!

That’s the mark of a staple recipe, right there.

Weeknight Enchiladas

lightly adapted from the Kitchn

Serves 4-6

1/2 yellow onion, diced small
1/2 bell pepper, diced small (any color)
1 clove garlic
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used Adzuki beans. I’m a rebel. And they were on sale.)
1 cup frozen corn (I used canned. See: rebel. See also: sale.)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cheese, shredded (I used low fat mozzarella, but I’m sure they would be great with any shredded cheese.)
1 cup salsa
6 6″-8″ tortillas, flour or corn (I used Father Sam’s Whole Wheat Wraps for the first time ever…SO good!)
Optional: 1 cup leftover meat – chicken, pork, hamburger, or shredded beef (I opted for chicken.)


To see the real slow cooker directions, click on over to the Kitchn’s recipe here.

To make these bad boys in the oven (preheated to 400), I started by sauteing the onions, peppers, and garlic in just a little olive oil. Then I added some uncooked chicken breast strips and the seasonings and let that sizzle for about 5 minutes or so, until the chicken cooked through. Removing from heat is a good next step. Then, in a large bowl, I mixed the corn, black beans, 1/2 of the salsa, and 1/2 of the cheese. Once the pepper and onion mixture had cooled slightly I added it to the aforementioned bowl and mixed everything together. Then, with some degree of vexation, I rolled each enchilada until I had enough to fill a 9×13 pan, which turned out to be 6 enchiladas. Wonderful! Here is where I would have hypothetically put the remaining 1/2 cup of salsa on top the the enchiladas had I not forgotten. But I apparently decided to skip that step and went straight for covering the pan with foil and putting it in the oven for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes have elapsed I removed the foil and added the rest of the cheese to my otherwise naked enchiladas and let them bake, uncovered, for about 3-5 more minutes, until the cheese was melted and tortillas were a bit toasty.

The fact that I just narrated that entire paragraph instead of giving you actual step by step directions illustrates perfectly why I will never write my own cookbook. Good luck!

But really, if you can figure those instructions out, it’s super easy and well worth trying.

Rating: 4/5, with the potential to be 5/5 if I remember to add the salsa to the top next time. Great weeknight dinner!

(But if you decide to eat them on a weekend, that’s ok too.)

beka stays faithful : even better easter inspiration!

While I was searching for Easter inspiration on Pinterest yesterday I came across so many scripturally-based designs. These are the real gems!


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John 16:33

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Philippians 4:8

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Jeremiah 29:13

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(which you do not know)

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Isaiah 43:1

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always loved this verse

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Matthew 28:6 "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."

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Enjoy celebrating Easter, friends! Yellow daffodils and jelly beans and hopping bunnies and all – but especially the hope we have in Christ!

(That’s the best part…even when Easter candy is involved.)

beka stay creative : pinterest easter inspiration

People…how is Easter here already?! I don’t feel like I’ve even begun to adequately celebrate and it’s only a week away!

Which means it’s time to bring in the big guns. Pinterest, I’m looking at you.

What better solution to this problem (and really, all problems) than a quick trip around Pinterest to round up some Easter inspiration? These were a few of my favorites; stay tuned for a second installment tomorrow!

Easter egg banner from Creations by Kara. So sweet!

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mason jar easter baskets

(Mason Jar Easter Baskets?!?! Be still my heart!)

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Jordan Almond bluebirds!

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Easter place settings

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Bunny Wreath

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Origami Flower Easter Eggs

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Easter Candy Bark

(fantastic idea for using up loads of Easter candy – make Easter bark!)

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beautiful. soft. colors.

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Fun party favor for Easter Brunch :-)

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Easter Place Setting...He Is Not Here. For He Is Risen!

(This one’s my favorite idea! LOVE everything about this place setting!)

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Also (sugar coma) inspiring: this oldie but goodie, an ode to Easter candy.

(And really, isn’t Easter candy one of the best things about life? Thank you, egg-shaped treats of all kinds, for being so wonderful.)

good things : DIY chocolate ice cream

I’m sensing a trend here: making chocolate things out of things that are not chocolate.

I mean, isn’t that what life’s all about?

This time around, it’s a bit of a repeat, but I can’t help but share this again and IMPLORE you to try it, asap.

This is ice cream made out of a frozen banana.

Ice cream…from a BANANA! I’m so tempted to quote Gwen Stefani right now but I’ll refrain.

And I promise – cross my heart and hope to (not) die – it’s every bit as good as any frozen dessert you’ll ever eat! It’s perfect for the upcoming warmer months. Which means it’s also perfect for fitting into things that are not sweatpants and sweatshirts while still eating ice cream.

Really…does life get any better?

Here are the basics:

Combine everything in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth, adding more almond milk if needed.

Top with anything you want! I’ve tried fresh fruit, peanut butter, granola, and pictured above is a mix of large flake coconut, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and triple berry jam.

People, if this blog gives you anything, let it be the gift of frozen banana ice cream. Your life will change for the better.

(Unless, of course, you’re allergic to bananas. In that case, please refer to my close personal friends, Ben & Jerry.)

beks stays compassionate : and stylish!

The Noonday Collection is beautiful. It’s fashionable. And, more than anything, it’s compassionate.

Here’s a quick blurb straight from Noonday’s website:

“Our passion at Noonday Collection is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way. Fashion and design are a vehicle for opportunity and change. You, too, can be a voice for the oppressed!”

When you buy pretty things from Noonday, you are doing the following:

  • Providing jobs that create a pathway out of poverty for families. A stable income means a family is less likely to abandon their child.
  • Helping families raise money for their own adoptions. We give 10% of trunk show sales directly to the adoptive family when they host a trunk show.
  • Aside from donating 10% towards qualified adoptive families, Noonday Collection also gives towards orphan care and prevention.

It’s a win for everyone!

I first heard about the Noonday Collection from Paige Knudsen’s blog, simple thoughts. She’s a Noonday Ambassador so I clicked over to the Noonday link on her blog and couldn’t help pouring over all of the beautiful products they offers. These were some of my favorites!

Twisted Necklace

twisted necklace : $44

Bouquet Necklace

bouquet necklace : $36

Beachside Necklace

beach side necklace : $24

Whitney Earring

whitney earrings : $34

Bone Carved Leaf Earrings

bone carved leaf earrings : $26

The D'Orsay Bangle

the d’orsay bangle : $20

Threadwork Duo Scarf

threadwork duo scarf : $54

These gifts would be perfect for a birthday, anniversary, housewarming, wedding party, or just because present! You can see all of Noonday’s Collection here. Happy shopping difference-making!

beka stays hungry : for new cookbooks

If I could fill a room with cookbooks from top to bottom, I absolutely would.

However, since I live in a space where the only room that actually has a door is the bathroom (seriously), this dream will not be coming true any time soon. Which is totally fine, since I supplement my cookbook-looking needs with regular trips to Barnes & Noble to page through cookbooks for hours on end.

Beautiful food photography + creative recipes = vortex in which time has no meaning.

I feel like there has been a deluge of new, wonderful cookbooks published lately. Here are just a few I’m pining after:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier

I’m so glad Ree met Marlboro Man and started cooking delicious things in Oklahoma. Her first cookbook was filled to the brim with decadent recipes and gorgeous photography, and I’m sure this one is filled with more of the same!

Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker is one of my favorite food blogs, so it only follows that her new cookbook will become a favorite as well. I mean, with a recipe for single lady pancakes, how can you go wrong?

One Girl Cookies

I kind of want to move to NYC just so I can go to One Girl Cookies any time I please. But since I don’t foresee a transplantation to the Big Apple anytime soon, I’ll have to settle for their cookbook instead…which is probably the better (and far less expensive) of the two options.

Weeknights with Giada

For some awful, unfathomable reason, the Food Network moved Giada at Home from it’s previously schedule slot at 1:30pm to a new, far less convenient, time. (AKA, a time when the kids I nanny for are not napping.) I miss you, Giada! The only solution I can think of is to purchase this cookbook asap. (Or, Giada, we could just be friends in real life. That’ll work too!)

So, that’s the short list. Any others you guys would add to the roster?

inspired : 3.25.12

this birthday party is beautiful!

elizabeth ashleigh, you are a gem.

terrific wrap-up of tim tebow’s time in denver by woody paige

and speaking of our friend tim, love this video he did for nascar

oh. my. goodness. the packers signed JEFF SATURDAY!!! i can hardly believe it!

(tim, we wish you were headed our way too.)

and one more nfl related entry…this video is priceless

oh my WORD…can i move here immediately?

more lara casey wisdom : anything is possible

anything named “healthy breakfast cookie” is a win in my book

pin of the week:

i can’t get over how adorable this is!

teddy bear toast

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beka stays hungry : chicken stir fry with goat cheese and raspberries


Oh. My. Word.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

As soon as I saw this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats I abandoned my former Diner Challenge plans for this week and switched to this recipe. I just couldn’t wait to try it!

My instincts have never served me better.

Chicken Stir Fry with Goat Cheese and Raspberries

mildly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 cup chicken broth

dash garlic powder

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 chicken breasts, sliced

salt & pepper

1/2 small red onion, sliced thin

1 scallion, sliced diagonally

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 bag (6oz) baby spinach and arugula

1/4 cup bottled fruity dressing – I used Annie’s Fat Free Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1 oz goat cheese (or feta cheese)


1. Combine quinoa, chicken broth and a dash of garlic powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then cover and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer until quinoa is tender and all the broth has been mostly absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Turn heat off and let the remainder of the liquid soak into quinoa, about 2 minutes. Fluff with fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season chicken slices with salt and pepper. Add chicken, red onion, scallion, and minced garlic to the skillet and stir fry until chicken is cooked all the way through.

3. Add salad dressing and baby greens to the skillet and toss until wilted, about 1 minute. Divide quinoa among plates, then top with the chicken stir fry, raspberries and cheese.


5/5. AMAZING!!! This dinner is spring. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making it again (and again and again) throughout the spring and summer…and fall and winter, too.

beka stays real : two stories that made me laugh out loud

Story 1:

The family I nanny for had the sad task of deciding to put their dog to sleep last week after her valiant battle with cancer. When explaining to their four year old that their dog had died, she replied, “But that’s ok, because in 3 days they’ll roll the stone away and she’ll rise from the dead!”

Apparently we’ve been hitting the Easter stories a little too hard.

Story 2:

During a Skype conversation with my parents over the weekend my dad mentioned that someone he knew was looking for advice about going into full-time ministry. Having spent over 20 years in full-time ministry, my dad had a few thoughts to share, one of them being a precautionary tale about the financial toll on a family. Then my mom chimed in:

“Yeah but it’d be harder for them because they have kids.”

My dad looked at her, paused, looked at me and then asked, “…who do you think we’re talking to right now?”

To which my mom replied, “Oh, well it’s just Beka.”

Which either means I’m extraordinarily low-maintenance as offspring or extraordinarily forgettable as offspring. One way or the other, I think this can definitely be used as blackmail for the future.

(I love these stories. And these people. And my life.)