Sweet Potato and Chilli Enchiladas with Old El Paso

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I’ve long been a fan of Old El Paso products, having used their kits in the past many times and I love their enchilada sauce so when I was approached to take part in a recipe challenge I couldn’t refuse.

The idea behind the challenge was to try out some of the products from their range of separates (sauces, tortillas, condiments, spice mixes etc) rather than the kits. I was able to chose from a selection of of recipes and was provided with all the Old El Paso ingredients.

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I decided to go for the veggie option of Sweet Potato and Chilli Enchiladas. Not because I am a veggie (I am clearly not!) but because I am having a major love affair with sweet potatoes at the moment and also because I can’t resist an enchilada when it’s on offer! I was very interested to see how this would turn out having never used sweet potatoes in enchiladas before, or any other Tex-Mex dish actually!

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Here’s the recipe I tried;

Sweet potato and chili enchilladas

and here’s how they turned out

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Not too shabby huh?

I possibly used more cheese than the recipe states, but well, you know me and cheese.

They turned out really well, I was super pleased with them and they were SO spicy which is just how I like my Tex-Mex. Mr M wasn’t as keen as me because he’s a man and must eat meat, he also had texture issues because they are so smooth and mushy so I’d probably add some kidney beans or maybe cooked chicken in future to keep him happy but they are definitely a keeper!

I will just take a moment to discuss refried beans though. This was the first time I have used them and was I foolish to think they would actually look like beans?

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Totally not what I would have expected!

We really enjoyed trying out these products and also eating the enchiladas, ha! I’ve also just discovered the great selection of recipes available on the Old El Paso website so do make sure you take a look – I’m going to be trying a few more for sure!

Thanks to Old El Paso for supplying the ingredients and inviting me to take part in this challenge.

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Fake it until you make it?

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That.

Up there. That’s my new motto in life.

And boy am I living it!

I recently took a new job. It was a pretty amazing offer in terms of work/life balance, getting to learn new skills and actually having a job working in the area I want to, even with limited experience, but something in me nearly made me say no. Lack of confidence I guess after many years of being told (even if not directly to my face) that I was pretty much of no value to the business that I had worked and sweated my ass off for literally decades.

After receiving that kind of treatment for a couple of years, I really felt like I couldn’t add value, that I had nothing to add anywhere and I was destined to go from one crappy job to the next. I was feeling really quite despondent, in all areas of my life and the I was offered this opportunity.

Someone was willing to take a risk, give me a chance and see how it worked out. No CV, no interview. Nothing. Pretty cool huh.

Scary too.

Except it wasn’t that scary. Well aside from the first day at work, that’s scary for anyone isn’t it?

On my 3rd day I was working from my usual office (home) and left to my own devices. I’m 8 weeks in now and I feel immensely capable, I’m actually shocked at how well I have settled in and how I feel I can handle almost anything. Sure I don’t know how to do everything but so far I’ve always managed to find out how.

Go me.

At times I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed like this post mentioned but on the whole I actually feel pretty damn incredible for the first time in years. I CAN do something. I DO add value. I AM worth employing.

That feels good.

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Meal Planning Monday (18th May 2015)

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Good morning!

Monday comes around quick doesn’t it? What’s the weather like for you today? It’s piddling it down here so I’ve definitely got that Monday morning feeling for sure!

Hope you all had a great weekend, it was a busy one for me, all good fun though so mustn’t grumble.

Meal planning has occurred and here is what it looks like;

Salmon wellington with new potatoes
Pizza (not a week goes by where we don’t eat pizza)
Camembert with bread, new potatoes and salad (dippy night!)
Tomato and mozzarella pasta bake
Hot dogs and onions
Pizza tortilla sandwiches & salad
Chicken curry & rice

The last three are camping meals – yes we’re off on our first camping trip of the season and personally, I think this weather really needs to warm up a few notches! Oh well, I’m sure we’ll have fun whatever, we’re packing the warm clothes and blankets for night. I’ll just be glad to get away from home and work for a few days to be honest!

Okay, over to you lot.

If you want a recap of where to find #mealplanningmonday all over your internet, the details are on this post.

The all-important instructions… If you’re new to my blog or #mealplanningmonday all you have to do is this – write a blog post about your meal plan for the week and submit the URL of your post using the Linkytools below. If you’ve not got a blog but want to join in, that’s fine – just leave a comment below telling us what you’re planning this week.  Any questions, just holler at me via email (in the contact page) or on Twitter @madamding.

I have another Meet the Meal Planner coming this week – if anyone else is interested in getting involved, drop me an email!

Have a great week everyone!

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A quick round up of dining at Walt Disney World – Part II

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Hello and welcome to Part II of my Disney Dining round-up. It feels like such a long time ago now but reading about Disney restaurants is still one of my favourite things to do. If you’re interested in reading Part I you can find it here!

Picking up where I left off….

Chefs de France

Chefs de France

Chefs de France
World Showcase, Disney’s Epcot

I’d heard rave reviews about Chefs de France so thought I’d give it a whirl. We had to wait for ages for our table despite having an ADR. When I say ages, I mean a-g-e-s. It was so busy inside. Food was good though and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not sure it was special enough for me to warrant a revisit but it was great all the same. Even better was the cocktail stand outside the restaurant – Grand Marnier Slushies rule.

Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest

Be Our Guest
Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Be Our Guest is one of the newest arrivals at Walt Disney World and the jewel in the Magic Kingdoms crown. We visited twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. Lunch was a debacle of the highest standards and the less said about that the better. Dinner was a better experience. The restaurant itself is not to be missed – it’s got some pretty incredible theming and of course you get to meet the Beast. The food was good but the dessert trolley did it for me. I loved it that it was an old fashioned style dessert trolley – and of course, you must try the grey stuff, it’s delicious*

*Kind of. Didn’t really taste of much.

T-REX Cafe

T-REX Cafe

T-REX
Downtown Disney

If you like peaceful, quiet, relaxing dinners then you’re not going to like this very much. What with the roaring dinosaurs and meteor showers accompanied by screaming kids in every direction. Of course with all that in mind, my children loved it. Actually we all did. This was our second visit and I still think the theming is fab. The food is your usual TGI/Rainforest Cafe style burger and chips but it’s great and you’re more there for the experience. And for the fact that you can get absolutely fleeced in the Build-a-Dino shop that is attached to it.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I flipping loved the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Who wouldn’t want to sit in fake cars watching old black and white movie clips on a giant cinema screen? As I was having a cocktail (a glow-tini, which was useful in the dimly lit theater) the kids had to take the driving seat, they even got their license. So you can’t quite see what you’re eating, who cares! Fun experience.

Chef Mickeys

Chef Mickeys

Chef Mickeys
Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Right before hell, Chef Mickeys was created. Harsh, and probably controversial. Everyone loves Chef Mickeys right? This is THE character restaurant. We’ve tried both breakfast and dinner here, both kind of made me want to lie in a darkened room for a good while after. The kids love it though, it’s all for the kids right? If it wasn’t for the decent amount of characters you see here I’d probably not come here. The food is average and the mayhem when the characters come round is pretty crazy. My children wouldn’t let us miss this if I begged and bribed them.

Garden Grill

Garden Grill

The Garden Grill
Disney’s Epcot

A new experience for us – The Garden Grill is unique in that it is a revolving restaurant. It turns ever so slowly, you hardly notice, but turn it does and we thought that was rather novel. Food here is served family style and you get what is on the menu dished up to share amongst you. We had a fantastic server and he was only more happy to bring us extra meat (sans gravy for our fussy eater). They also have characters here – Chip’n’Dale are the main ones but Pluto and Mickey also stopped by.

And there you have it. My quick-fire round-up of where we ate at Walt Disney World.

If you’ve been recently I’d love to hear about your experiences – or even better, if you’re planning a trip, come talk to me about it. I love to plan, even if it’s just vicariously!

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A quick round up of dining at Walt Disney World – Part 1

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This post is probably only relevant or interesting to you if you’re planning on going to Walt Disney World anytime soon. One of my favourite parts of planning a Walt Disney World trip is researching where we are going to eat. Some people don’t like this form of regimented planning, which includes booking your restaurants 180 days out but it suits me down to a tee as a) I am a GIANT planner and b) I find that have a set itinerary really helps you get the best out of Disney. I’ve done it both ways, unplanned and planned and I’d go with planned every single time. Anyhow, this post is just a quick round-up of the restaurants we dined at a mini-review of what we thought!

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Tusker House

Tusker House Restaurant
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

This is a family buffet restaurant situated in “Africa”. At breakfast and lunch it’s a safari-themed all-you-can-eat breakfast with Donald Duck and friends. There’s plenty of opportunity to meet and greet the characters, take photos and autographs and the food on offer is the usual breakfast offerings alongside some unique African influenced dishes. Some of my favourites were the coconut & sweet potato casserole, the sausage patties, banana & cinnamon bread pudding with vanilla sauce and we all love the jungle juice! Our waitress even gave us all a big takeaway cup filled with juice when we left. We love Tusker House and we’d definitely go back.

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Whispering Canyon Cafe

Whispering Canyon Cafe
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

This was our second visit to the Whispering Canyon Cafe. They describe it as being for a “rowdy, rootin’ tootin’ good time” and that’s not wrong. This isn’t somewhere to go if you want a quiet, peaceful meal. It is however a great place to take children as there are lots of fun and games to join in with and the cast members are tons of fun. We had the popular “Build-Your-Own All-You-Care-To-Enjoy Platter” which is served family-style and features pork ribs, barbecued pulled pork, roasted chicken, beef strip loin, and western-style sausage served with lots of veggies, corn and beans. Don’t forget to ask for ketchup!

Yak and Yeti

Yak and Yeti

Yak and Yeti
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

One of my absolute favourites to visit, it’s such a blessed relief to sit in here on what is always a super hot day in Animal Kingdom. Just me or the hottest park ever? Try the honey sesame chicken and the cream-cheese filled wontons. OH MY.  Yes, they are deep-fried and basically a heart attack right there on the plate but they are so good. If you can’t get an ADR when you’re there, they also do a (more limited) counter service option.

Sanaa Lounge

Sanaa Lounge

Sanaa
Kidani Village, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

A tucked away hidden gem of a restaurant, this restaurant is in Kidani Village, the DVC part of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s beautifully themed and the food, which is a kind of African/Asian kind of hybrid, is delicious and feels quite different from anything else I’ve had at Disneyworld. Also pleasantly quiet and beautifully air-conditioned!

Boma

Boma

Boma
Jambo House, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

We ate at Boma twice, once for breakfast and once for dinner. Both were an absolutely crazy hectic experience but both were worth doing. Boma is a buffet restaurant and there are an amazing array of African-inspired goodies are on offer.  You’ll struggle to know what to try but make sure you try lots of little bits – I didn’t want to miss out on anything!

Grand Floridian Cafe

Grand Floridian Cafe

Grand Floridian Cafe
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

I love the Grand Floridian Resort, if I had the money I would stay there every time, the smell of the Grand Floridian is incredible, very floral. Unfortunately I don’t have the money to stay there for two weeks, so I just eat there instead.  It’s worth a visit when you’re at Magic Kingdom as I don’t particularly rate the restaurants within Magic Kingdom itself, it also had the bonus of being super quiet when we were there on an August lunchtime.  Have the Cafe sandwich – ham, turkey, bacon, tomato, Boursin sauce and fried onion straws! Yum.

Teppan Edo

Teppan Edo

Teppan Edo
World Showcase, Disney’s Epcot

Teppan Edo is a fantastic experience. As the name suggests it is a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant in the heart of the world showcase. The menu is relatively limited – you basically choose from chicken, steak or shrimp –  they cook it before you’re very eyes. So entertaining, the children love it. Tables seat eight, it’s likely you’ll be sitting with others but it’s a great friendly experience and chance to get to know new people.

 

Join me for Part II tomorrow….

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