HAPPINESS JARS + CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

I recently read a post by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of ’Eat, Pray, Love’ and was inspired to create a happiness jar. Every night for one year, Gilbert wrote down her happiest moment of each day and placed it in the jar. You are never too busy to take a few seconds to reflect on the day, write it down, and drop it in the jar. You may also be surprised at what your happiest moment was – sometimes the best moments occur in the crappiest of times. There is no right or wrong way to do this – your happy moment can be written on anything, the important thing is that you write it down.

So, what is the point of having a happiness jar, you ask? Not only does this practice require you to be thankful for at least a tiny sliver of your day, but it also serves as a great record of your life. On a day when you’re feeling down, open up the jar and re-live a few of those moments. Remembering the little moments that once made you happy are guaranteed to make you happy again.

Here’s what you need:

  • A jar – any jar will work. TJ Maxx always has some interesting glass canisters in their kitchen goods section. I made a happiness jar for a friend and for myself and just used a large mason jar.
  • Scrap pieces of paper, pens, and markers.
  • Your happy moments!

That is all you need, so you have no excuse. You can also put special memories in the jar, such as concert tickets or a name tag from an event.

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Paper to write our happiness on

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I made a pan of chicken enchiladas for a friend that has visitors this week assisting with her doctor’s visits. I thought enchiladas would be easy to heat up and filling for the fellas. I also made chocolate chunk cookies because a cookie never hurts. This friend means the world to me – we’ve had 11 years of laughs, happy times and sad times, and enough adventures to talk about for the next 11 years. She’s the kind of friend that has forced me to be strong when I felt helpless and encouraged me to spread my joy. Never let anyone dull your sparkle.

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Recipe inspired by Epicurious  and tweaked by me

  • olive oil
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1  green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2-3 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce (next time I might make it myself)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 3 cups packed grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream (for topping)

I decided not to fry the tortillas in oil first – I wanted to keep this fairly healthy, but you can follow the original recipe if you want a crispier enchilada. Heat a pan with olive oil, the onion, green pepper, oregano and basil until they are tender.

Lightly oil a glass baking dish. Spoon half a cup of enchilada sauce into the dish. Next, make your assembly line.

Place a spoonful of sauce on each tortilla, black beans, chicken, pepper and onion mixture, and top with cheese. Roll up and place in the pan. Continue this process until the pan is full.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Cover with foil. (Can be made 1 day ahead, placed in the refrigerator)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake enchiladas, covered, until sauce bubbles and cheese melts, 20-30 minutes. Serve hot and top with sour cream.

The perfect card for my BFF

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“I like your shoes, lady!” – A man walking downtown

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Left a little kindness at Marsh

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The assembly line!

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Dessert because after an enchilada, a cookie just slides right down.

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