Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mexican Lasagna Recipe

I love me some Artsy Fartsy Mama!  Her blog is full of fun, easy recipes.  I have now made two recipes from her website, and we all loved both!  Today, I will highlight her Mexican Lasagna.  I have made several small changes to the recipe to suit our own tastes.  The recipe I include below is my version of her recipe.  Her original recipe can be found here.


  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I use Trader Joe's fire roasted diced tomatoes)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can black olives (buy sliced, or dice on low in the food processor)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 jar enchilada sauce
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 packet Mexican-style shredded cheese
  • sour cream (to taste)
  • guacamole (to taste)
  • salsa (to taste)
  1. Brown the beef, drain, then return to pan with diced tomatoes and taco seasoning.  Let liquid mixture reduce while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Prepare casserole dish with a thin layer of enchilada sauce, so the tortillas won't stick.
  3. Layer the 6 tortillas over the sauce.
  4. Add layer of refried beans. For me, this involves spooning out many small spoonfuls across the layer of tortillas.
  5. Add half the olives.
  6. Add half the corn.
  7. Add half the beef mixture.
  8. Add half the cheese
  9. Pour on a thin layer of enchilada sauce, adding more at the edges where the tortillas might be bare.
  10. Repeat steps 3-9 for the second layer of lasagna.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Have salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole on hand as toppings.

Wow, is this a yummy meal!  Super easy and fast. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun Afternoon at Smith Play Place

We were looking for something fun to do nearby, and we came across the website for Smith Play Place. Wow! What a special place! The building itself is a huge old home, built in 1899 specifically as a play house for children.  It features three floors full of toys, giant trains, tricycles, and climbing equipment. And that's just the indoor area.

The outdoor playground is huge (advertised as the size of six football fields), and is designed for the youngest toddlers through to the older years. We stayed mainly in the "tot lot" and Luke sure did have fun climbing and running around. Since the whole play yard is carpeted in rubber mats, I could sit my big-old-pregnant-self down while Luke ran around, and I didn't have to worry at all.

While we did not visit it, as I was on my own with Luke, they also have a giant enclosed 40-foot slide! Luke would have loved this, but I could not let him go alone, and slides during the third trimester seem like a bad idea.  We will visit the slide sometime soon, though, and I am sure all will have a wonderful time.

Today was a special day at Smith because last night, 14 butterflies emerged from their cocoons in their netted cage. Luke saw the butterflies up close and personal, and we had just read The Very Hungry Caterpillar this morning before our trip! How fun!

With all these amazing things for kids to do, it is even more amazing that admission to Smith is FREE! There is a suggested $5 donation per family.  Even that is incredibly cheap considering the fun that awaits children at Smith.

For families living in the Philadelphia area, Smith is a must-visit spot for children. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sun and fun. What a great day we had at Smith Play Place!

*All images obtained from Smith's facebook page*

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Mawh, peeese!"

This is baby-talk for "more, please!"  Within 24 hours of learning the sign for please, Luke began to say it as well.  It's super cute to see and hear him ask for more food, playing, tickles, or anything at all, especially when he does so with such nice manners!  Not bad for 16 months.  I'm impressed.

For anyone thinking about using baby sign language, I would highly recommend it.  It's a lot of payoff, for not a lot of work.  I learned about 20 or 30 signs myself, and began integrating them as they seemed to fit into our lives.  So easy, really!