Tuesday, January 21, 2014

One Pan Creamy Chicken Burritos

These are so yummy. For reals. Last time I made them Craig declared they were the best EVER.

Let's get started. What is in this huge pan of goodness? 
(Ps. pans are Ecolution, http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005M8XWZK)

1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
3 Tbs bulk taco seasoning
Chopped rotisserie chicken, as much or little as you want. This is about 2 Cups worth. 

And....that's it! 
Please feel free to add:
Black beans, drained and rinsed
Olives, drained
Chopped onion
Chopped bell pepper
Leftover rice or quinoa
Etc. add what your family loves!

Add all to a large skillet or saute pan and cook over medium heat until cream cheese is melted and corn is heated through (remember, chicken is already cooked). Get a clean spoon and taste the filling. The best chefs taste their food! You can adjust seasoning here. If it's too salty, add some more beans or cream cheese. Not enough seasoning? Add more taco sauce. When you think it tastes yummy, turn off the burner,  you are ready to fill your tortillas. 

Ok. Time to prep your burrito area. As you can see, I am doing all of this just on the stove area. Of course you need to make sure all burners are off. Even in a small kitchen you can make kickbutt burritos!

I use large flour tortillas, the huge pack from Costco, a baking sheet, and mozzarella. Use whatever cheese you want, truly. You can even smother them with Velveeta and I won't judge! I buy a mega bag of mozzarella at Costco and freeze it. Grated cheese generally freezes really well. No need to thaw before using. 

To soften your tortillas and make them easier to roll with, microwave a few at a time for about 20 seconds. I store my extra tortillas in the freezer. They freeze beautifully!

I use the same wooden spoon I cooked with and place a good scoop of the mixture in the middle of the tortilla. I fold once the long way (yes, that is the uber technical culinary term ;)), fold one end, fold again the long way and then the final end. 

I know they look sort of wonky and there are probably a million better ways to do it, but I sort of like them wonky. While baking, they get a bit crispy on the outside pieces while still staying ooey gooey on the inside. The top two on the pan are the large flour tortillas, the middle two are little 6" flour tortillas. I decided I'd make several little ones for my 5 and 3 year old. And hot dang the mini burritos are cute!

There they are, my pretties! There were two more large burritos but I put them in the *freezer for a different day. I sprinked cheese on top and placed the pan in the fridge. They are ready to bake for dinner! Whenever it's time to eat, simply bake at 350 for about 15-20 min; until cheese is melted and burritos are desired crispyness. Yum! 
They are delicioso topped with Mexican sour cream (warning: it's freaking good!), avocado, salsa, and a big ol' side of Juanita's chips. 

*To freeze and serve later:

Place burritos on a cooking sheet and freeze them for about an hour. Remove from the freezer and baking sheet and individually wrap in Saran Wrap. Place all burritos together into a Ziploc Freezer Bag. To cook, remove a burrito from the freezer bag and remove the plastic wrap. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave 2-3min (depending on microwave). Bam- homemade frozen burritos. You're welcome!

Thank you for visiting Sparkly Granola, I hope you love the burritos as much as we do! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finding Help For a Better Life

Jan 10, 2014

I am on Zoloft*. I started it a couple months ago. I had become a person I didn't know anymore. Irritable, angry, unpredictable, a screamer, and incredibly anxious. I could hardly handle being a parent anymore. I reacted to normal behavior in my children with feelings of anger. I knew logically the feelings were out of place and uncalled for. I knew seeing myself from an outsiders perspective that my behavior and emotions were pretty crazy. Yet, I couldn't switch off the nastiness in my brain. I couldn't change the feelings and even trying to change the mean behavior (yelling at my kids, snapping at my husband, speaking rudely to people) was feeling impossible.

As I've mentioned before, I'm in a wonderful online birth group with about 150 women. We all were due around August 2013 with our babies. We've experienced a heck of a lot of life together and it's an incredibly supportive and kind group. A couple moms mentioned how they were feeling a month or so after we'd all had our babies and I read their symptoms thinking, "wow, that's how I feel." The problem I was trying to sort out, and many others were as well, is "how is it post partum depression if I don't feel depressed?"

How is a mom supposed to know to get help or that she even needs help when her feelings don't fit the questionnaires?
*Do you feel sad?
*Have you lost interest in normal things?
*Do you cry often?
*Have you considered hurting yourself or your baby?

Hmmm.....not really. I tested fine with all post partum questions that screen for PPD.

How about:
*Do you feel pissed off a lot?
*When you feel angry, can you refrain from screaming?
*How do you feel about other people, even family members holding your children (anxious?)?
*Is your internal filter of nice vs mean broken?

Those would've maybe found some telling answers. I honestly had no clue that anger and anxiousness could be symptoms of depression. Because of the support of my birth group, I called my Ob's office and got a prescription. Within a day I felt calm and like I could filter my thoughts again. Entire days were now passing without me yelling. As I have become healthy again, I've realized I probably should've been on something a long time ago. I think some of this is current brain chemistry, some of this is life, some of this is genetic.

I am able to feel intense feelings of love for Solomon and the rest of my family and I realize now I haven't been feeling that for a long time. That makes me sad....thinking what I've missed. But, how do you know you need help when you don't know the issue exists?

Ideally when someone is in this situation, a family member will speak up, with love. I think my family was too afraid of me to help me. I wish that wasn't the case and I'm thankful God allowed me to be in a group of supportive women so that I could get help. 

I am really enjoying Solomon, even him needing to be held all of the time and the fact that he still only sleeps on me (day and night). I can shrug things off easier and I'm much nicer to my children. I don't feel anxious in busy, crowded places or when other people hold my baby. I can respond nicely, most of the time, to my children. I'm not negative and mean. I am able to feel in love with my husband and my children. That is huge!

It takes a lot of guts for a mom to call her doctor and admit things aren't going well. I think we tend to justify our behavior that it's not that bad or we feel so ashamed of our actions and thoughts. We think maybe we're just mean moms. That is a heartbreaking place to be in and we end up loaded with guilt. A mother also might fear judgement from her doctor, spouse, friends, and family. There's often a sense of, "if I can just BE better, TRY harder...."

I am sharing my experience because I know others are in this position and just hanging on by a thread. I pray you find the strength to call your doctor today or tomorrow morning. Don't wait any longer. You are not a bad mom or wife. You need help and it's not your fault. 

For more information about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, see: http://www.postpartum.net/get-the-facts.aspx

*Zoloft (generic Sertraline) is considered the preferred medication for a breastfeeding mother by Dr. Hale. It is a once a day medication with minimal side effects after the first month or so. The degree of your initial symptoms (headache, lethargy) will vary and does go away. Often a mother will start on 25 or 50mg and increase to 75, 100mg, etc as needed.

The generic is very inexpensive. With no insurance, a 90 day supply of 75mg costs me less than $10.

Local mamas have an incredible resource in Crystal Gurney and Kitsap Hope Circle. If you are in or near Kitsap County, please visit this website http://www.kitsaphopecircle.org/

Thank you for sharing this blog with anyone that has a baby under a year. This might be just the help they need. ~