Trees of Transition

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


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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…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

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

~Mary Hope

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Beef Italian Meatballs

Meatballs are GREAT to make and freeze for later! You can double this recipe and use some for dinner and freeze the rest for in a couple of weeks.

1 lb. ground beef (I used 80/20)

1 ½ cup. Italian panko bread crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup. milk

1 cup. finely chopped onion

1 tsp. powdered garlic

¼ tsp. dried red pepper flakes

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 Tblsp. dried basil

1 tsp. salt     Continue reading


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CrockPot Corned Beef and Cabbage

I grew up on canned corned beef, but fresh corned beef is so much more tasty! Cooking this beef in the CrockPot makes it easy, and it makes the house smell wonderful for hours. This is wonderful comfort food, so if you are having a down day, this meal will perk you right up!

3 lb. fresh corned beef in brine with a seasoning packet

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1 onion, sliced

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped in 2” chunks

5 medium red potatoes, sliced

½ medium green cabbage, sliced into 1” slices

1 (12 oz.) can beer

Place the corned beef with the brine in a 6-Quart Crock-Pot and sprinkle with the seasoning packet, salt, and pepper. Then place the onions, carrots, and potatoes on top. I like my cabbage well cooked, so I add the cabbage on top and let it cook the whole time (if you don’t want it over-cooked, add the cabbage in after 2 hours). Pour the beer over it all, and turn on high and let cook for 5 hours (or until the beef is tender). Serves 5-6 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…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

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

~Mary Hope




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Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini

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Is pasta one of your comfort foods? It is for me; the zing of red pepper mixed with garlic and lemon on the pasta helps bring me comfort during a hard time. This week I just was tired, but making this dish that has amazing flavor cheered me up for days! I created this recipe this week using the pasta and white wine we had leftover from having family dinner at our place.

1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked

4 Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

12 oz. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 cup. white wine (chardonnay works well)

1 tsp. salt (and more to taste—as needed)

½ tsp. ground pepper

2 Tblsp. dried parsley flakes

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2 small lemons)

Prepare the pasta if you do not have leftover pasta.

Melt 2 Tblsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes, and cook together for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are pink and cooked through. Place this mixture in a medium bowl and keep warm while you make the sauce.

In that same pan, place the other 2 Tblsp. of the butter and the oil and melt. Add the zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the wine, lemon juice, parsley flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 3-5 more minutes.

Then add the shrimp mixture and the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes until hot and thoroughly mixed.

Serve immediately and enjoy with your favorite wine or sparkling juice! Makes 4 large servings.





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…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

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

~Mary Hope





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Valentine Strawberries

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

These strawberries are great if you are single, married, or anywhere in-between! Celebrate Valentine’s day with these easy to make treats. My husband and I already started celebrating yesterday by eating a whole patter of these (we finished them off at breakfast this morning!)

1 lb. fresh strawberries

2/3 cup. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Wash the strawberries and pat them dry with paper towels to make them completely dry before you dip them.

Place the chocolate in a 2-cup glass measuring cup; place it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Check the chocolate. It probably will need 1-2 more minutes so that all the chips start melting a bit. Stir them and if it all starts getting creamy and the final hard chocolate is melting, then you don’t need to heat them any more. If they need more time, put it in for 30 second intervals until fully melted.

Prepare a platter covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

Scoop a teaspoon of chocolate onto a teaspoon, and swirl it around a strawberry to cover the berry (or just dip it in—this way is my favorite). Place on your platter to harden. Cover all of the berries with the chocolate.

Let the berries sit for an hour, and then they are ready to serve. They are best eaten within 24-hours. Makes 12-16 berries depending on the size of the strawberries you choose.

I like this cup-measure because it keeps the chocolate together and holds the heat nicely to help finish the melting process:  

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup

The red platter I used in my photo was a wedding present that I love:

Fiesta 9-5/8-Inch Oval Platter, Scarlet

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

~Mary Hope

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…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

–shop at my Etsy photo card shop: Trees of Transition Art & Design

–keep on reading this blog.

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

~Mary Hope


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Spicy Beef Crockpot Chili

I cooked up this chili to celebrate that I can eat tomatoes again!! After realizing last winter that my breast milk made my son spit up and have burps when I ate tomatoes, I stopped eating tomatoes for 11 months. (I sure missed chili, pizza, and spaghetti). Now that Joel is one, he seems to handle tomato-y milk better. He even had a couple of bites of the chili, but isn’t a fan yet.

Yay for tomatoes!!!

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Rice Crispy Trees 🌲

What’s better than crisp rice treats?!? Rice crispy trees!!! We had a woodland themed birthday party for our one year old, and I had to make some tree treats.

This is what I did: Continue reading