Fitness Healthy Eating Reading Recipes

Reacquainting With the Outdoors

I guess it’s been a slow week around here, because honestly, the big news here is that I am reacquainting myself with the outdoors.

The weather is so mild and delightful; I moved my home office to the patio.  We are opening all the doors and windows in the morning to let in the fresh air.  I am taking walks later in the morning. The kitties are joining me on the patio.

Coffee at Work on the Patio

I have been attending water aerobics two nights a week and class is over at 6:30.  The evenings are so lovely, but getting out of that water is tough.  Now, this is how much of a weenie I am.  The club keeps the pool temperature at about 84 degrees.  The weather outside is still around 90 degrees.  I cannot get home fast enough to dunk in the hot tub and warm up so I don’t go to bed cold.

Leaving Water Class

Yeah, I’ve lived in Arizona long enough.

What I’m Reading

I mentioned earlier that I discovered a new author who I would share with you on this post.  Drum roll, please, and let me introduce you to Michael Sears and his character Jason Stafford.  Yes, this is in my usual mystery/suspense/thriller genre, so if you hate that move along. 


If you want a different take on things and a book that teaches you something and still leaves you feeling smart, read on.

I listened to Black Fridays on audio and I am now reading the second, Mortal Bonds on my Kindle.

Jason Stafford is a bit of a likable jerk (my favorite kind of character) who served prison time for a white collar crime as a Wall Street hotshot.  He was married to an SI swimsuit model (dream on, Mr. Sears) who is nut.  They have a son who plays a big part of the story, but he is introduced in a novel way, so I won’t write a spoiler here.

Sears himself worked on Wall Street, has an Ivy League MBA degree and is a former actor.  What’s not to like?  This is where I think he lends credibility to his stories, instructs and entertains.

This series solves mysteries through numbers, math and finance.  The character has flaws to start with and then reveals interesting character traits as we move on.  It’s been a captivating series for me and I am happy to recommend it.

What I’m Eating

Chicken Enchilada Stack

I saw a recipe for a crockpot chicken enchilada stack from Cooking Light and have been wanting to try it for a couple of weeks.  There is a recommendation to use a crockpot liner to keep the stack intact so I’ve waited until I purchased that.  Those puppies are kind of pricey.  Hmmph.

The recipe called for rotisserie chicken, but honestly, it’s so convenient to keep frozen breasts on hand, I prefer to use them.  I place a frozen breast with ½ cup of water, salt and pepper in my crockpot, cook on low for 1.5 – 2 hours and voila, it’s done and ready to be shredded.  It can cook while I’m busy at my desk.

Crockpot Chicken

The chicken tastes better when you add chopped onion, garlic, celery or whatever, but for this recipe, I just salted and peppered.

Here is my adaptation of the recipe and my review:

Chicken Enchilada Stack

  • 1 Hatch chili, roasted and chopped
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes with chili
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Shake onion powder
  • Shake garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large cooked and shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 15-oz can black or pinto beans
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar
  • 6 (8-inch) corn and flour blend tortillas

Combine chili, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, spices and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Spread ½ cup sauce on the bottom, place the first tortilla down into the sauce.  Add the remaining ingredients except the tortillas to the sauce. 

Enchilada Sauce

Layer 1 cup of mixture on tortilla, top with shredded cheese and repeat until mixture is used.  Cook on low until browned and cheese is melted, about 2 hours.

In my humble opinion, what I like about using a crockpot is no muss, no fuss, one pot.  I don’t see the point of cooking stuff and then putting it into the crockpot.  It could have gone right into the oven for half the time and been fine. 

Oh, well, something new.  And tasty. But maybe not all that attractive. At least in the picture.

We are celebrating yet another quarantine birthday with trusted friends and Canadian Thanksgiving as well.  Gotta love those Canadians!

It reminds me that even in the midst of this tough year, there is plenty to be thankful for.  And I know I ended that in a preposition. God bless you and happy weekend.