Happy New Year – Recipe: Taco Dip

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With the exception of taking Gabriel to the doctor for bronchitis, we had a quiet, peaceful New Year’s Eve at home.

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We had delicious snacks,

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watched football,

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and celebrated the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

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I made this delicious taco dip, which we all love.  It is so easy to throw together, and it can easily be adapted, according to what toppings each family member desires.

Taco Dip

Taco Dip


1 pound ground beef

1 package of taco seasoning

2/3 cups of water

1 can refried beans (we usually use black refried beans)

16 ounces of sour cream

1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded







  1. Add ground beef to a pan and cook over medium high heat.
  2. Drain the grease and add the taco seasoning and water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. In an 8x8 glass pan, spread the refried beans and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  4. Spread the sour cream onto the beans.
  5. Add the taco meat to the top of the sour cream.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese onto the taco meat.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  8. You can stop there, or you can continue to add your choice of toppings - salsa, avocado, jalapeno, onions, etc.
  9. Serve with your choice of chips.

The Amazing Ethan

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Ethan had a great 2015.

Yes, he still continues to have his struggles, but he also continues to have his triumphs.

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He loves to cook, and he is always the first one in the kitchen whenever I need a helper.

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He is learning how to utilize his iPad more and more for communication and academics, and he is learning more sign language, as well. He can still approximate words.  However, he has become lazier at it because of knowing that he has other back-ups (iPad and sign).

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However, his speech and academics are so not what makes Ethan who he is as a person. His heart takes care of that.

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He truly is a breath of fresh air every single day.  His smiles still light up the room, and his laughter could (and should) create world peace.

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He is his family’s number one fan.  He is always there to support his siblings during soccer games.  Actually, even when it is freezing, we cannot convince him so stay at home.  He loves Gabriel and Summer with all of his heart, and he would do absolutely anything for them.

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When I think about his future, I am only certain of two things.  He will continue to guide this family with his magic, and we will continue to know that he is absolutely good and perfect in every single way.

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Winter Break – Recipe: Bourbon Chicken

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We have had such a good winter break.

We spent time with Sean’s family and my family as we celebrated Christmas together.

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We went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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We made s’mores.

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We played games.

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We started the process of re-decorating rooms.

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We have simply enjoyed being together as a family.

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We have really enjoyed cooking again. Sean made a delicious Bourbon Chicken.  I have started taking quick pictures of food again because I realized that we often cannot remember the food that we liked, and, without documenting it, we often cannot find the recipes either.  I am sure that I will get busy again, and food will not become as much of a priority.  However, it is one of my goals to try to capture our family food life as often as possible because food has always been one of our family love languages, and that is important to me.

Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken


2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into bit-sized pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup apple juice

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

2/3 cup soy sauce

1 bunch of green onions, chopped


  1. Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat.
  2. Add the chicken and cook until browned.
  3. Remove the chicken (at this point, we set some aside for our picky eater).
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and then add it to the heated pan.
  5. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with green onions.


This recipe was adapted from a recipe on food.com - Bourbon Chicken.