March 2015 archive

Spicy Mexican Casserole


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I’ve shared my Mexican casserole recipe before on the blog, but this is a different, spicier variation that uses ground beef instead of chicken. It does have a kick, but if you prefer it to not be as spicy, you don’t have to add jalapeños.

1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup diced Jalapeños
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 dozen corn tortillas
3 peppers chopped (I get one orange, one red, and one yellow for color)
1 medium onion chopped
1 large can of black beans
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 can Rotel
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your black beans in a pot on medium low to cook. While those are cooking, brown your ground beef in a skillet and drain. Add seasoning packet, jalapeños and Rotel to ground beef. Put one layer of corn tortillas down in the casserole dish and layer the beef mix on top. Sauté your peppers and onions in butter and add that on top of the ground beef mix. Add 1 cup of cheese on top of peppers and onions. Put another layer of tortillas on top. Mash the black beans and sour cream together and layer that mixture on top of the tortillas. Add the remaining cup of cheese and put in oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Positive Thinking


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Make positivity a priority! There truly is power behind positive thinking. How many times have you caught yourself in a negative self talk cycle that leaves you feeling stressed, self conscious, and overall icky? We tend to let our thoughts take the reins and control us when, really, we can and should be in control of our thoughts.

Here are some journal activities to help bring more positivity into your life and help you regain control:

  1. Cognitions journal—Keep this on your phone or in a small notebook that you can carry with you easily. The idea is that you catch yourself as soon as you start thinking negatively and you replace it with a positive truth immediately. An example would be, “I can’t believe I screwed up that presentation like that. I’m such a failure.” You could replace this with, “I know I can succeed and I have succeeded many times in previous presentations.” It is a tough practice at first, but as you continue it daily, it will become routine and you will, overall, think more positively and start to regain cognitive control, which in turn will lead to better emotional control.
  1. Positivity journal—Take note of all the positive things that happen to you during the day. It can be something small such as, “I caught all green lights on my way to work “ to something large like, “My boss told me how well I’ve been performing.” It’s a time to reflect on the goodness of your day—a time to take notice and celebrate the big and small joys of your daily life.
  1. Blessings journal—I started using this journal in my practice after being inspired by the book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. If you haven’t read it, go to the store right now and buy it! It really changed my outlook on life. All you do is write a few things down each day that were a blessing to you and that you’re thankful for. Voskamp notices the smallest things such as the beautiful colors that the light reflecting off the bubbles makes when she is doing dishes. She is truly thankful and looking for ways to remain thankful. It’s hard to be negative and down when you’re busy being grateful. This practice will help you start to find the blessing in your ordinary activities.
  1. Personal qualities journal—Remind yourself of all the positive qualities that make you the incredible person you are today. It’s just one word a day that states a positive characteristic about yourself such as strong, imaginative, empathetic or God’s beloved. Instead of recalling your weaknesses, reflect on your strengths.
  1. Triumph journal—Record all the times you have succeeded in something big or small. When we come up against a hurdle, which is inevitable in life, it’s nice to have personal encouragement from a previous obstacle that you have overcome. When troubles come and we find ourselves in the middle of the storm, it’s easy to feel like we are drowning and we can’t get through it. But wait…you have been through many storms before and you’ve come out alive and probably stronger and better because of it. So write those times down so you can have encouragement for later. You have the evidence to support your newfound “I can do this” attitude.

What is one thing you are thankful for today? Share it below and continue to seek out the positive!