Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


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Fun Book Recommendations: Mainly Focused on Food and Love

Curling up with a riveting book is a great autumn activity, now that you might have more time as the kids are going back to school! (I have been getting back into reading–especially during my one year old’s two-three hour naptime!) Here are some fun and entertaining books that I have read recently:

My Italian Bulldozer: A Paul Stuart Novel (1) (Paul Stuart Series)

Besides having a great title, this quick to read, unique romance novel takes you to Italy where a newly-dumped food writer gets persuaded by his editor to finish his latest cookbook in Italy. The man gets conned at the rental car desk, gets thrown in prison, but because he befriended a stranger on the plane, he calls this guy (who has connections) who gets him out and helps him find a vehicle: A bulldozer! As he drives through the countryside to the town where he is going to write for three weeks, he has time to think. He also enjoys that people respect him more and drive more politely around him because he is in a bulldozer, not a dinky rental car! After arriving in the town, he comes down with a big crush on a fellow writer he meets while working on his book, and then more unexpected ladies show up in town to get his attention. This food writer figures out himself more while eating and writing about mushrooms, wine, and more and enjoying driving his Italian bulldozer around the countryside. It’s a fun book. Check it out here:

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Hot Chipotle Beef and Bean Enchiladas

Need a spicy recipe for someone who loves food that has a kick? This is your recipe! If you don’t want the heat level to be high, then don’t add the jalapeno pepper, just add the chipotle peppers. I created this recipe recently, and my husband loved it. It makes your nose run a little bit, but it is a smoky, protein-filled dish that is great to serve this fall.

1 lb. ground beef

2 cups cooked pinto beans (or a can of refried beans would work too)

1 tsp. salt

15 medium-sized flour tortillas

¼ cup. oil

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Enchilada Sauce:

1 small onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, chopped small

1 tsp. oil

1 small can (7 oz.) chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes

1 ½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Brown the ground beef, and then prepare the enchilada sauce so that it has time to simmer. Over medium heat, sauté the onion and jalapeno pepper in the 1 tsp. of oil in a medium saucepan for 2-3 minutes or until starting to brown. Next add the chipotle peppers, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes while you finish browning the beef and beans.

Add the beans to the browned beef, and brown together for 5-10 minutes (or until your sauce is done!)

Place the ¼ cup. of oil on a plate and dip each of the tortillas in the oil (this will help them get crispy when baked.)

Mix about 2 cups of the enchilada sauce in with the beef/bean mixture. Taste and season with salt to taste.

Now, take a tortilla, place 1/3-1/2 cup of the beef/bean mixture,  1 Tblsp. enchilada sauce, and 2 Tblsp. cheese inside, and then roll it up and place it in a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat until done. Save a little sauce to pour over the top, along with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20-30 or minutes until the tortillas are browned, cheese is brown, and it looks ready to eat. Serve with sour cream. Serves about 4-5 people.

Copyright 2019

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope