Jazzin it Up with J9 Guest Post

Jazz it Up With J9 – Post 6

This is a very popular Pinterest recipe and there are a lot of variations. The recipe comes from Slender Kitchen and I think it is really delicious. I modified it a bit and I “Jazzed it Up” with some great tasting sour cream. Enjoy!
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Chicken Enchiladas
Servings: 8 servings

2 cups shredded chicken or turkey breast (I used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken in order to save time.)
14 oz can red enchilada sauce (I used a 28 ounce can because I like my enchiladas to be very saucy.)
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp ancho chili powder, if you want extra heat
1/2 tsp cumin, if you want extra heat
1/2 red pepper, minced (I used an entire red pepper)
8 tortillas, corn or whole wheat (I used regular flour tortillas because its what I already had at home.)
1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the onion, red pepper, and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion softens.

Add the enchilada sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season with cumin and ancho chili powder for additional heat. (Here I added the whole can of enchilada sauce 28 ounces and I also added garlic salt, cayenne pepper and more cumin.)

Get out your baking dish and spray with cooking spray. Add enough sauce to just cover the bottom of the dish.
Then begin assembling your enchiladas. Either microwave the tortillas beforehand for about 30 seconds so they are pliable before rolling them, or for more authentic enchiladas carefully dip each tortilla in the sauce before adding the chicken and rolling them up.

Cover the enchiladas with the additional sauce, leaving some extra for serving alongside the enchiladas.
Sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and toasty.

Jazzin It Up:
I served the enchiladas with an awesome sour cream that I made. I use one cup of sour cream, one cup of mayo and 2 tablespoons of cumin. Mix it all together and you get a creamy zesty topping for any Mexican food meal.


Creamy Garlic Pasta

I will start this out with saying I LOVE garlic, I use more garlic in recipes than most. (When a recipe calls for 2 cloves I use 4 – no joke)
Give this one a try, it turned out deliciously!

Creamy Garlic Pasta

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 chives green and white
  • 7 mini bell peppers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cups chicken stock (I used a homemade one that I had saved)
  • 1 lb spaghetti or angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream



Cook your pasta as directed on the box, drain and set aside

In a food processor put in your peppers and chives and pulse them so that they are roughly chopped (You can also just roughly chop them by hand)

Chives and peppers

Chives and peppers

In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the pepper and chives mix and cook for about 3 more minutes.

Let pepper and chive mixture cook for 3 more minutes

Let pepper and chives mixture cook for 3 more minutes

Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock.
Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Reduce the stove to medium heat and mix in the Parmesan until completely melted.

Add Parmesan

Add Parmesan

Turn off the heat and stir in the cream slowly.

Stir in cream

Stir in cream

Now you can toss in your pasta until it is fully coated in your sauce.

Toss in pasta

Toss in pasta

We paired this pasta with some pork chops we made on the grill that were so delicious. (I will post that recipe soon-don’t you worry) I was inspired to try making this pasta from a recipe I saw online but changed it around to work with things I had in the pantry as well as amp up the flavors!

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Creamy Garlic Pasta


Squash and Zucchini Au Gratin

So much to Jake’s dismay I am not much of a potato fan, he on the other hand could eat them every day, in every way. So, I decided to do things a little different and replace potatoes for zucchini and squash (the upside they were on sale at the market for 99 cents a pound)

This recipe turned out to be just as delicious, Jake did not have one complaint!


  • 2 tbsp. Butter
  • 2 large Zucchini (sliced)
  • 2 Squash ( sliced )
  • 3 Shallots ( minced )
  • 1 tablespoon garlic ( you can use fresh or jarred)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese (you can use what you prefer but mozz melts really nicely)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • A sprinkling of Oregano
  • Parmesan cheese (about half cup)ImageImage


  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  • In a large skillet or pot (I had to switch to a pot- which you can see in the pictures- because I had a lot of things I was working with) saute your shallots and garlic in your butter. Cook until shallots are translucent.Image
  • Add your zucchini, squash and heavy cream. Add your salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.Image
  • Cook 7 to 10 minutes or until your mixture is bubbly and your zucchini and squash begin to soften.
  • Transfer to an oven safe baking dish and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and some of your shredded cheese.
  • Mix in your cheeses with a spoon so it incorporates with the veggiesImage
  • Now sprinkle the rest of your shredded cheese on top.Image
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and golden brown on top.

I thought I would have to broil this baby up- but I turned off my oven and let it sit in there for another 3 minutes or so and that magic happened all on its own!Image

Enjoy and Salud!

Honey-Lemon Salad Dressing- Jazzin It Up with J9 (Guest Post)

Jazzin It Up with J9 – Post 5

As I was making dinner Trevor says to me…”This is like a Semi-Homemade Meal!”  Sandra Lee would be so proud of him.  Yes, this was a dinner that was put together with as little effort as possible.  I had frozen perogies from a Farmers Market and salad.  So, I made this dressing…and it turned out great.

This website has tons of salad dressings that are categorized by creamy or oil based.  You should definitely check it out! http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/honey-lemon-dressing-recipe

Remember you can follow me on Pinterest

Honey-Lemon Salad Dressing:

1 tablespoon(s) plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon(s) finely grated lemon zestImage

1 tablespoon(s) honey

1/2 teaspoon(s) chopped thyme (I used dried thyme because I didn’t have any fresh thyme. I just used a little less than ½ teaspoon)Image

1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepperImage

These are the tools you will need:Image


1.      In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey, and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Image2.      After whisking together the ingredients I chopped up an avocado, peppers, and a tomato for the salad.Image3.       I decided to “Jazz it Up” by adding chopped scallions to the dressing in order to give it a slightly different feel.Image


Then I cooked my perogies and plated it up!  This was a great light summer dinner.



High tea at The Brown Palace

Sometimes in life you just have to take a drink with your pinky out and really soak in the moment. At high tea that is just what I did with my sister and my mom for her birthday.High Tea

We enjoyed black currant tea, green pomegranate tea and a Brown Palace special honey tea. We of course drank some champagne to top it off

.Tea and champagne

We had all the accompaniments, the cute little sandwiches with cucumber and sliced turkey as well as an egg salad sandwich.


We enjoyed some to die for scones as well as desserts. I think we all agreed that we will remember each decadent flavor for a long time to come.

Dessert at High Tea

At one point my sister Janine looked over at us as she was leaning back in her chair and said “I could sit back and sip this tea all day.” It was true, we could have done just that.Black Currant Tea

High tea was a new experience for all us. We all had a “spot of tea with our pinky out”

Cheers to my mom on her birthday and Thank you to my sister for setting up a great day for all of us.Birthday Cupcake at High Tea

Cheers to looking up every now and again and not worrying about what might be going on right now, and just letting a little tea wash away the problems.

Looking up at The Brown Palace

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing- Jazzin It Up with J9 (Guest Post)

Jazzin It Up with J9 – Post 4

My friends Vanessa, Kirsten and I went on a road trip to see our best friend Kristine (AKA-KPG!) in Alburquerque, New Mexico.

I decided to make this salad for a light dinner so we could try and avoid fast food joints with greasy food…and so we could make it to ABQ
quicker and get the party started.

I found this recipe on Pinterest originally posted on the Ambitious Kitchen Blog.

You can also follow my on Pinterest at: (My post count is quickly increasing…I am a pinning fool!)

Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing {vegan & gluten-free}

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (I used red peppers and yellow peppers because I had some on hand.)
  • ½ red onion, diced (I did NOT add any red onions because my sister and mom HATE red onions.)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang (I used bottled lime juice. It worked just fine!)Image

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup all natural peanut butter (Mine was not all natural.)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I only had White Wine Vinegar on hand and it worked fine.)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (I used Toasted Sesame Oil and it was just fine.)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin, if necessary (I didn’t end up thinning it out. I liked the consistency.)Image

To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil.
Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.Image
To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a
medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. (Oops! I forgot to do this step and it was OK. I just put the entire mixture in the microwave afterwards.)
Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil. (No need in my opinion.)Image
Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.
(I ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of dressing in order to give the quinoa flavor…but I preserved the rest since we were eating it on a road trip.)Image
Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. ImageImage
Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.Image

Things to Consider and Ways to JAZZ it Up:
Use can really use any ingredients you have on hand at home. I saw that someone used radishes instead of red slaw!
You can JAZZ it Up by adding some grilled chicken or even shredded chicken from a pre-cooked rotisserie from the grocery store.

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade- Jazzin It Up with J9 (Guest Post)

Jazzin it Up with J9 – Post 3

Our AC is broken…so we are trying to beat the heat in anyway possible.
That’s where this AMAZING Sparkling Ginger Lemonade comes in. I saw this recipe on Pinterest…of course…
and I decided to give it a go!

The pin originally came from The Tasty Bite Blog
Also, you can follow me on Pinterest and see if you can guess what my next guest post will be.

Sparkling Ginger LemonadeImage
(yields about one cup of ginger-lemon flavored syrup)Image

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2-in piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Sparkling water

In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.Image Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Stir in lemon juice. Pour the mixture through a sieve and store in a clean jar with a tight lid. Store in the fridge for up to one month.Image
To serve, mix syrup (depends on how tart/strong you like your lemonade) with ice cubes and sparkling water.

Things to Consider and Ways to JAZZ it UP:

  • Use fresh ginger and fresh lemon juice. It will really make a difference.
  • Jazz it up by adding a splash or more of vodka!Image