Mexican Black Bean Casserole

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 7:01 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 1 comments
on the dinner menu tonight! Had this before and super yummy!!


Mexican Black Bean Casserole


1 can 16oz black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 large green onions, sliced
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup diced tomato
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup shredded mexican cheese blend
2 flour tortillas, diided
1/4 cup chopped celantro (I left this off)



Heat oven to 375. Place beans in large bowl; partially mash with potato masher (I left mine unmashed).
Add chicken, green onions, salsa, tomato, and cumin, mix well. Spoon 1 1/3 cups mixture into 9 inche round glass baking dish; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Arrange 1 tortilla over mixture tearing to fit size of dish. Repeat layering with 1 1/3 cups bean mixture, remaining tortilla and remaining bean mixture. Cover dish with foil and bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

Remove from oven, uncover and top with remaingin 1/4 cup cheese. Return to ovena nd continue to bake 5 minutes.

Crock Pot Royal Round Steak

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:39 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments




haven't used this recipe in awhile! Trying to clear out some of the meat in my freezer!

Royal Round Steak

1-2 pounds round steak or stew meat cubes
1 to 2 tablespoons oil
1 envelope 1oz dry onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
Hot cooked ricek or cooked egg noodles


Cook Time 6-7 Hours

1. Trim roundsteak and cut into cubes. (partially freeze meat for easier cutting)

2. heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and brown meat on all sides.

3. combine dry soup mix and canned soup in mixing bowl. Pour into 4 quart corck pot slow cooker. Added browned meat. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours.

To serve, spoon over prepared rice or egg noodles.

makes 6 servings.

A new home and a test of life

Sunday, April 3, 2011 9:49 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments
This weekend I attended a garage sale around the corner from where we live at a local church. The people were very friendly and we got to talking and I asked what they were raising money for if anything. Found out it was to help the youth go to camp on scholarships. So I brought them some donations that did not sale from our garage sale last weekend. They raised $2100 this weekend at their garage sale!!

The more I talked to them and met the youth director the more comfortable I started to feel. I told her about how we hadn't been to church in awhile and how mostly it's because our 2nd child is autistic and he doesn't do well in large crowds or groups in places he doesn't know anyone or is unfamilar. He has a comfort zone. That the last time we attended he was split up from his brother and I briefed the sunday school teacher on how he was and to please page me if he did anything like trying to hide. They did not and I came back to get him and he had hid under the table the entire time. He refussed to go back to church after this. I told him he could then stay with me in big service. We tried that and that didn't go well because the music was to loud and it was to crowded for him and he had a melt down. So we had to sit in a banquet room alone and listen on the speaker while the siblings attended. This got to be a hard route to go on my own with my husband gone and I just eventually gave up. My oldest had begged and begged to go back to church and I just didn't want to push it with my other son but really did not want to go alone. I felt like the more I talked with her and learned she was a teacher and had some children in her youth who were autistic that she could relate to him and understand him and make him feel comfortable.

I told them about the church and he yet again refussed to go. We told him we were going anyways and continued to prep him this weekend and told him he'd be in the same group as his brother and it would be fun. Things went some what okay till we got there and he went in with us then had a complete melt down and didn't want to stay and started shaking.

Dad had to stay with him for about 20 minutes to try to get him eased in and calm him down. He eventually left and told him it would be okay and he would be back. He had another melt down after he left.

When we came to get him we saw him having a great time. But then he said he didn't and refussed to go back ever again. All of the kids did well and really want to go back. The youngest didn't even cry when I dropped her off but she did cry off and on while I was gone but probably because she was tired because she wound up passing out on one of the ladies lol

Later this evening my oldest asked to go back on Wednesday and to my surprise the one who refussed to go says he wants to go now! Maybe he just needed time for it to settle in more?

I really liked the church and so did my husband. It was very laid back, very casual, very welcoming and a lot for the kids. I really hope that it will work out.

But it is days like this that remind me that my son is still autistic. I look at him and he has come so far from when he was diagnosed 3yrs ago that it's almost like he isn't autistic at all. People in fact look at me very stange when I tell them he is unless they know him on a more personal level or have seen him at these moments. But then something like today hits and I am reminded that he is still very much autistic in many ways and still has little quirks. Still has to have some things routine. Still has to be eased into things. Still has to have his comfort zone. Still needs his stimming items to help him calm.

I look at days like today and I feel so frustrated. I wanted to pull my hair out with the whole day. Not because of him. He can't help it. But because of how the rest of the day went around it and when he is a hand full in itself when he is like this I just can't handle much more on top of it. I am often very very thankful things have come so far and that my husband is home to help me when there are moments like this. But I look back and think how did I make it the last 6yrs? How did I make it before we knew what was wrong? How did I make it when he was first diagnosed and had such a heavy therapy schedule and heavy demands for how things had to be ran? How did I not lose it? Because one day like this out of nowhere makes me feel like sometimes I could just break down. It makes me emotional. I just start crying at how things are. Not because I feel sorry for myself but because I feel sorry for him and how he feels and I want things as normal for him as possible. I feel sorry for him and how people might treat him when I'm not around if he is having one of his moments. I worrie like nothing else. I don't want to push him at all in the areas he is not comfortable but I'm also trying to do my best to be the best mother and raise them the right way. I do not expect my children to grow up and go to church if they choose not to or choose a different religion but I do feel it's my responsability to expose them to our believes and raise them with them to be able to make their own choices in life and pray that they make the ones we wish. How do you do something like that when you have an obsticle like this? I guess in a way I'm trying to understand why when I'm trying to do something God would want me to do and be where God would want me to be I feel like at the same time God is making it completely impossible for me to do! Not a blame on God but I just don't understand! Is it a test to see how strong my faith is? Is it a test to see how much I can handle? What is it?

When Keagan was diagnosed my mother said that my sister made the comment that God gave him to me because I always had a way with special needs children growing up. I always accepted them as friends and always took them under my wing and was very good with them and never treated them different and she knew I was given Keagan because I could handle it and I would love him no different.

I feel like so many people, including some family members have almost shunned him in some ways. Distanced themselves. And it hurts. It hurts that some people never got to know what an amazing amazing little boy he is. How he has really made a difference in my life to wake up and realize what is important in life. What is worth fighting for and what is worth letting go. The innocence he has yet so very out spoken and honest at the same time. He amazes me every day in everything he does.

It was almost like the service today was meant for us too because they mentioned several times and played this song twice about coming back to worship and being sorry to God for almost giving up or not coming back and how you're coming back to him. I am trying so hard to come back to him now. I feel like I am a christian and I have never stopped but I won't say I haven't strayed in the way I live my life to some points. I don't think I'm a bad person. I think I live my life well and I think I raise my children well but I also think that it could be much better. It can always be better. There's always room for improvement. There's always room for more time with God and God has been on the back burner in so many ways. Not because I want him to but the obsticles. I'm trying to be strong. I'm trying to fight and get back there. I need him in my life. I need him with everything going on. The battles I faught getting Keagan help and getting to where we are now. The battles with me and my thryoid condition before I had surgery and then going through a partial thyroidsectomy. And now the battles I have every day with living with having Tachycardia. And now the battles we are having with our youngest and not knowing if she has something wrong with her like cystic fibrosis and her being failure to thrive. It's a constant battle of life lately it seems. But we will get through it just like we have everything else that has come along on our path of life and I think this is just an open door for us to get through it just a little easier and hopefully become the family we once were again.

9:43 PM Posted by The Cookie Cutter Diva 0 comments



This has got to be one of the coolest doll houses I have ever seen and the best thing is, it's made from items you would recycle at home every day! I found this in my April issue of Family Fun Magazine and had to share it! I want to make this!