This week I took some time puttering with the fireplace mantel in the family room. It was time to put away all the greenery and glittery Christmas stuff and get out some fresh, new things. While I do love Christmas, I’m always ready to move on to January and all the newness that comes with the beginning of the year.
I created this sign using a round, salvaged piece of wood. Behind it, I hung a window frame and a flag banner inspired by all the banners at the wedding on the season premier of Downton Abbey on Sunday night. Best show ever.

And I put out my little collection of old green bottles.

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I’m not a great cook. Honestly, I just don’t really enjoy being in the kitchen and coming up with new meals day after day. But this dish makes me feel like like super woman. And it’s so easy, I just had to share it with you. It’s crockpot chicken enchilada soup, and I found it here.
{Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup}
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes and jalapenos
1 package (10 ounce) frozen or canned corn
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup bell pepper, diced
1 can (10 ounce) Enchilada sauce
2 whole chicken breasts (can be frozen)
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour; keep stirring until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and add the chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring to keep smooth. Return to heat. Bring sauce to a gentle boil; cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. In a large bowl, whisk together the enchilada sauce and chicken broth mixture . Gradually whisk in remaining milk until smooth. Set aside.
In a crockpot, combine drained beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, and bell pepper. Place the chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Pour sauce mixture over ingredients in cooker. Cover; cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, remove chicken and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken back into the soup, mix together. Top with cheese and serve. I topped ours with slices of avocado, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.

January 10, 2013 — Aimee Weaver