Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Easy Baked Chicken Taquitos (in which I channel my inner housewife despite utter exhaustion)

Do you ever have days where you get home from work and get this huge burst of energy and motivation and inspiration to do all that needs to be done at home?

No? Me neither. But dinner wasn’t going to make itself, so I picked myself up from the heap where I had fallen the moment I walked into the door and dragged myself into the kitchen.

I may be acting a little dramatically here, but it is true that I was Tired. With a capital T. I don’t really know how this happens, since I sit at a desk and tap-tap-tap away at my computer all day, but it just does.

Anyway, Kenny said he’d “eat this again,” which is, of course, the mark of a successful meal. I’ve adapted the recipe to suit my purposes but it is based on a typical Baked Chicken Taquito recipe that I found in several different places (with no real “first” source to link to…although I did just find this one, and it is dated 2009, so maybe try here for the original? Or just use mine…and I’ll stop babbling now).

Here’s what you’ll need for the filling:

1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 C salsa
1T fresh lime juice
1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t garlic powder or 2 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 T dried cilantro
2 T finely sliced onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (I just used 2 medium boneless skinless breasts)
1 C grated cheese


Here’s what you’ll need for the…not filling part:

small flour tortillas (I had enough filling for 9)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all filling ingredients together (sidenote: did you know you can shred chicken in your KitchenAid? You can. I’m speechless.) and then put 2-3 T of the filling on the bottom third of a tortilla (it might be necessary to microwave your tortillas for 10-15 seconds to soften them enough to roll without cracking).

taquito assemblage

Place tightly rolled taquitos on your baking sheet and then mist them lightly with cooking spray. Or, if you’re like me, use your handy Misto filled with olive oil. This gadget is on my top 10 favorite wedding gifts for sure.



Found here.


After you’ve misted your oil, lightly sprinkle salt on each taquito and bake them all for 10-15 minutes or until the tortillas begin to brown. You could also freeze these for an easy meal later, and rumor has it that you can just pop them into the oven without unthawing them! I haven’t tried it yet, but there are 3 taquitos in my freezer so I’ll let you know how that goes.

taquito finale

Top with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever your heart desires. I elected to eat mine plain so I could actually taste it, but Ken like his smothered in salsa. I only judged him for it a little bit for that.

And once the dishes are washed and the plates are loaded in the dishwasher, you can then collapse onto the couch and call it a day.

I cannot even imagine adding offspring into the equation. Good for all of you parental-type for surviving!



Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (in which I narrowly avoid a career change)

This weekend, I made a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (recipe from Taste of Home).

It turned out just fine, but while making it, I had a bit of an epiphany.

I am not a food photographer/blogger.

But that didn’t stop me from taking photos of the process anyway to gross you out (like I did here) and explain myself.

Here are a few reasons what it is a very good thing that I work in a cubicle on a computer and why I can never, never consider a new career in this field.

First, a real food blogger and photographer would not have started with the ingredients already half mixed up, though I’m not sure why–this looks pretty appetizing, right? I think the blend of raw eggs and pumpkin puree is divine.

They would have begun with a nice photo of all of the ingredients arranged nicely on the counter, with each portion pre-measured in white bowls.

They would also probably mix things by hand, to have a better feel for the recipe, probably using a wooden or bamboo utensil.

What can I say? I’m pretty barbaric, I guess–no nice white bowlfuls of ingredients, and gasp! I’m using a machine to mix them up. Furthermore, I also used a neon green spatula (not pictured).

Here, at least this looks a little better with all of the ingredients mixed together. I do think that pumpkin recipes in general are difficult photography subjects, in my defense.

But unfortunately for me, a real food photographer/blogger would have documented each stage of the recipe, with each ingredient being added.

//picture “ain’t nobody got time for that!” meme here.//

And NO real food photographer/blogger would EVER show the internet a picture of their whole kitchen during the process, like this:

Uh, surprise…kitchen reveal!? Cannot believe that this is the first picture of the kitchen I’m letting the internet see.

And even if they did, their kitchen wouldn’t look like this anyways. Let’s just say I get REALLY into the whole baking process and can’t be bothered to clean.

It normally doesn’t look like this, Mom. Promise.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Hey! No picture of the final product sliced, buttered, garnished, and with a pumpkin in the background?”

I rest my case.