Archives for August 2012

Oven Baked Chimichanga Recipe: Easy, Fast and Perfect For Weeknights

Even though Jason has a really weird work schedule and isn’t always home to eat with us for dinner, me and the kids (and Jason when he is home) always have family dinner together. I think it’s important to sit down and reconnect as a family. To chat about our day. So always having some quick meals that my family loves on hand makes dinner prep a breeze and gives us more time together. Here is one of our favorites: Oven Baked Chimichangas.

You’re going to read this recipe and think, Whoa! Too many steps! But I promise you it’s super simple to do and once you do it once or twice, it’ll be a breeze to do in just 30 minutes from start to finish!

This oven baked chimichanga recipe is easy to prep, fast and perfect for busy weeknights. Loaded with pork, chicken, or steak, beans, cheese, and more!

Oven Baked Chimichangas

Oven Baked Chimichanga Recipe: Easy, Fast and Perfect For Weeknights
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  • 1-1/2 pounds of pork, steak, or chicken, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and any other seasonings you love to cook with
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (for a little heat)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 4-6 flour tortillas
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (Don't forget you can regrow green onions , so save the last inch of the green onions to replant in the garden!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or a bag of the Mexican-style cheese you can buy at the grocery store)


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and all of the spices. Cook about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Next, add the pork and toss it with the spices until it's coated. Cook through until no longer pink in the center.
  3. Stir the chicken bouillon cube into the hot water until dissolved. Add the water to the pork mixture. Cook an additional 5 minutes. At this point, the mixture should be thick, but not soupy.
  4. Spread the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over one side of each tortilla. You can use a basting brush or a paper towel. This is just so the tortillas will brown and crisp up in the oven.
  5. Place the tortilla, oiled side down, on a plate. Add a spoonful of the pork mixture, beans, cheese, green onions, and cilantro on top of the tortilla. Fold and roll it up (just like you roll would a burrito), and place it on a cookie sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  6. Put the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the tortillas are lightly browned on the outside. Cut in half and serve along with any fixin's of your choice: hot sauce, salsa, sour cream, more cilantro, cheese, and onions or anything else your family likes!

Much to our dismay, the kids like everything separate on their plates. Clearly they must have inherited this trait from a long-lost relative because Jason and I are both mixers. So I do a deconstructed version of the oven baked chimichangas for the kids. I make a quesadilla out of a tortilla that I fill with cheese and fold in half, then bake with the chimichangas. I give each kid a spoonful of beans, pork, and anything else they like. They like this meal as much as Jason and I do!

Looking for more quick and easy recipes like these oven baked chimichangas? I have lots of recipes here on my blog as well as on my Pinterest Recipes: Tried ‘Em and Loved ‘Em board.

So my question for you is this: do you set a weeknight meal plan for those busy school nights? What are your go-to recipes?

Want to check out reader’s featured recipes? You’ll find them here. And if you would you like to get a recipe featured at Mommy of a Monster, find out how to do it here.


Where Do You Find Your Book Recommendations?

As an avid reader, I’m always on the lookout for new books to read…where do you find yours? Head over to to find out the top three places I go to get book recommendations and if you have a book recommendation for me, please leave it in the comments section!

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MobiGo 2: Perfect For Learning and Playing On The Go!

Just in time for the kids’ birthday, I was asked to check out the new MobiGo 2 learning system by vtech. Now I would never consider buying just any hand held video game for Ethan because that kid would have my iPad attached to his hands if I’d let him. And while there are some great learning games available on the iPad, he wants to play the games they don’t teach him much other than violence. But I really like the MobiGo 2…here’s why…

The MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System is a multi-functional, educational handheld system that allows kids ages 3-8 to enjoy on-the-go play and hone their creativity. Perfect age group for my young kids.

It teaches kids basic skills such as math, vocabulary, spelling, reading, logic, drawing and more. It even has a  keyboard to help them become familiar with a keyboard layout. It also functions as an e-reader, photo album, photo viewer, art studio and coloring book, and comes pre-loaded with three games.

Now all that is great, right? But there is more. The MobiGo 2 comes equipped with a motion sensor and microphone and was designed for on-the-go play. The kids have to twist and turn it, speak to it and shake it around to play the games.The microphone is cool: you can blow into the microphone to move objects, blow of dust, or initiate other special effects. Speaking into it gives commands or triggers actions. It’s a really interactive device!

I was worried that the kids might be too rough with it, but it seems that the MobiGo 2 can take a beating! They have dropped it and shaken it right out of their hands and it still works perfectly. I like that I don’t have to worry about them breaking it the same way I worry about them handling my iPad and smart phone.

It’s also lightweight and small enough to be put in my purse. It goes everywhere with us: in the car, the doctor’s office, keeps the kids busy while I’m shopping or running errands. If we go on long car rides, I can keep them occupied with educational games that I know aren’t promoting violence.

Bedhead and all, the MobiGo 2 is the first thing the kids ask to play with in the morning.

How do the kids like it? They LOVE it! Ethan got to choose a few games from the MobiGo 2 website. And every week, he can choose another one if he does all of his chores, etc. And he really wanted the game Brave, because he can’t wait to see the movie. He loves the game because it’s fun and he says it “makes me brave”. I love the game because whether he knows it or not, he’s learning about shapes, logic, problem-solving, spelling, vocabulary, and science.

The girls love the Art Master game. The love to draw and color on the screen. They also like the game Hamster Highway. Both of these games come pre-loaded and are a perfect way to introduce them to hand/eye coordination.

The only problem? I only have one and I need one for each child! This has become a hot item in our house and while each of them get time to play on it, they can get even more time by completing chores, not fighting with each other, and using magic words (please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me) without being reminded.

My kids love their MobiGo 2 and I will shout from the mountain tops that if you have young kids, it’s a learning tool worth checking out! I would recommend also purchasing the rechargeable battery kit  and car adapter if you don’t want to spend a fortune on batteries because the kids will wear them out. The MobiGo 2 can be purchased for just $59.99. A steal if you ask me. And with Christmas right around the corner, it would make a perfect gift!

Looking for another gift suggestion for young boys? They’ll love the VTech Switch & Go Dinos!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for VTech. I received product samples to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.


Happy 5th Birthday, Ethan!

Today my miracle baby is 5. How did that happen so quickly?

Happy Birthday Ethan! 





Completely 100% Boy

Mommy and Daddy love you so much and we are so proud of who you have become! I can’t believe you are learning to read and doing so well in Tai Quan Do and learning to ride your bike. I can’t wait to see what this year brings you. You are my favorite boy in the whole wide world!

You Know You’re A Mom When…

If you haven’t been reading my blog very long, you might be unfamiliar with a meme I used to have called You  Know You’re A Mom When-sDaze.

It was always fun to write, and lots of people liked to participate…for a while. Then participation started dwindling and so I decided to shut it down. But every now and then, I think: Wow, that thought would have been perfect for You Know You’re a Mom When….

Yesterday, I had a few thoughts for things that would be perfect for it. And so I looked back and found that my last You Know You’re a Mom When  post was written back in November 2011! It’s one of my favorites, and even won an award from Fadra over at all.things.fadra! It was titled What I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mom (The Things That Suck). It was fun to write and even more fun to re-read and then read the comments.

Anyways, I decided to go ahead and list some of my most recent you know you’re a mom when…moments. I bet you can relate to some of them, too!

You Know You’re A Mom When…

Finishing a cup of coffee without having to rewarm/refill/or top it off is considered a delicacy.

The 10 minutes it takes you (alone) to get home after dropping the kids off at school is considered “me” time. And you are totally satisfied with it.

You dread homework almost as much as when you were in school yourself.

You wonder how/why so many moms are so dressed up at school pick up and drop off.

As long as the kids eat something, you’re okay with not fixing a “real” dinner every night.

As fast as you clean up the house, the kids are right behind you destroying the clean.

And on that note, there’s really no such thing as a clean floor anymore.

You consider just buying new clothes for everybody instead of tackling the mountain of laundry that seems to grow overnight.

The dreaded Play Doh is considered an acceptable “activity” when it’s 110+ degrees outside.

You look forward to holidays just so you can experience them through your children.

How do you know you know you’re a mom? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! And let me know if I gave life back to this fun meme if you’d be willing to participate on When-sDaze (AKA: Wednesdays)!

Wondering if I survived the girls leaving me to go to preschool? Head over to to find out!

And just in case you missed it yesterday, do you know you can regrow veggies like green onions, celery and garlic? You can, and I will tell you how!