king ranch chicken casserole

It's been a hot minute (or months, rather) since I posted a recipe on here and I'm glad to have a new one to share with y'all! The only reason why I do is because, disclaimer: I didn't actually make this myself. YET. Our nanny, Bethany, is the sweetest human on earth and made this King Ranch Chicken Casserole from the Magnolia Table cookbook the other day for us for dinner. We loved it and when I shared a video on Instagram, so many people asked for the recipe that I thought this would be the easiest way to share it. The casserole is so cheesy and delicious- we devoured it and kept going back for seconds and even thirds. My picky boys were even big fans, and that's saying something because they rarely love a new recipe. Just in case some of you are behind on the times (like myself) and don't have the Magnolia Table cookbook, I'll share this comfort food goodness below! And a big thank you to Bethany for not only providing us with a delicious meal, but also letting me share your masterpiece on the blog. :) I think we need a weekly "Cooking with Bethany" series, what do y'all say? You should taste her snickerdoodles! And now I'm officially starving. 

If you're not a bean person, you could definitely leave the black beans out of the recipe and it would still be amazing (same with onions). This dish is comfort food at it's finest- a twist on Mexican food (enchiladas) in the form of a hearty, Southern casserole. The original recipe paired with a salad, but we loved it as is without anything with it. I can't wait to make this casserole on a cold winter night!

You'll need:
Vegetable oil spray
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
One 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
One 10.5 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
One 16 oz. jar salsa verde
One 15 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
One 8 oz. container sour cream
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups shredded meat from store- bought rotisserie chicken or poached chicken breasts
Two 4 oz. cans fire roasted dice green chiles
20 corn tortillas, cut into 3/4 inch wide strips
4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups grated monterey jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 in. pan with vegetable oil. In a 7-quart soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. 
2. Add the broth, beans, chicken soup, salsa verde, enchilada sauce, sour cream, paprika, garlic salt, kosher salt, and pepper. Stir until well incorporated. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, chiles, tortilla strips, and cheddar until well combined. 
3. Pour into prepared baking dish and scatter monterey jack on top.
4. Bake until heated through and monterey jack is melted and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
*Store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days

Cheers to almost the weekend!
xo, Britt

girls day at river oaks shopping center

Being a mom is my very favorite thing in this world, but it's also the most exhausting. Sometimes I need a break to recharge and come back ready to be the best mama I can to my boys! That's why I cherish the occasional "girls day", and there's no better place to have one in Houston than at River Oaks Shopping Center. A few weeks ago, I met my girlfriend Alice Kerley of at River Oaks Shopping Center for a fun-filled day of shopping, food, and mani/pedis. I was running a little early for once (this never happens) and grabbed us some iced coffees from Starbuck's right there in the shopping center.  Sharing more from our outing below!

We started the day off at Francesca's, one of many boutiques River Oaks Shopping Center has to offer. Alice actually used to work for Francesca's (how I met her 2+ years ago!) and we are both obsessed with the store- it has the cutest current trends from fashion to home décor and lots in between. It's also my favorite spot to pick up gifts- they specialize in all kinds of presents for grads, brides, dads (amazing Father's Day selection right now), and more. I picked up a little something for Zach and my Dad for Father's Day that I think they'll love! And of course I couldn't resist a few things for myself that you'll be seeing soon. :)

After popping in a few other of our favorite River Oaks Shopping Center stores (Hemline & White House Black Market), we headed to Nail-tique for a relaxing mani/pedi. This is one of my very favorite nail salons in Houston because they take their time and do such a great job, and the atmosphere is something out of a magazine. I get the Milk & Honey manicure; it's under $35 and such a relaxing treat! Nail-tique also offers a variety of specialty pedicures that you can't get at a regular salon (check them out here). You know it's a good day when choosing your polish color is the toughest decision you have to make.

All that shopping and relaxing worked up quite an appetite, so we walked over to La Madeleine for a delicious lunch on the patio. We were worried it might be too hot out but the patio was completely shaded, even at noon, and the breeze was so nice that we sat and chatted for over an hour. If you've never had a blueberry muffin from La Madeleine, you are truly missing out on one of the finer things in life. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it- I've gotta get back soon! 

River Oaks Shopping Center truly is a gem of Houston- I love the mix of historical relevance with all the new, modern amenities the center has to offer. Had Alice and I not stuffed ourselves so much at lunch, we'd hoped to hit up a class at Pure Barre, as well. There's something for everyone in River Oaks Shopping Center which is one of the many reasons why it's the perfect place for a girls day! Whether you're into fitness, shopping, dining, or all the above, you're sure to find the very best of it in River Oaks Shopping Center.
xo, Britt

*This post is sponsored by ROSC, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

the best patio eats in houston

A little over 2 years ago, my girlfriend Dede invited me to lunch with several other local bloggers at her favorite restaurant (and now mine, too), Brasserie 19 in River Oaks Shopping Center. Never having really tasted such authentic French food, I wasn't sure what to expect or if I'd find anything on the menu to my liking. I've never been more pleasantly surprised from the moment we walked in the door- the entire atmosphere of the restaurant gave off such sophistication yet warmth, like visiting an old friend to catch up over tea. It was a blogger's dream: marble table tops, a palm tree lined street out the windows, and a crisp white interior with wooden herringbone floors. Perfection.

Then we got to the menu and I was even more in awe when I realized I wanted to order one of everything: tasty deviled eggs, crispy gulf oysters, tuna tartare, and croque monsieur to name a few. We all ordered different mouthwatering entrees and I knew in that moment I needed to get myself to Paris, rapidement. It only took two years to make it happen, but it did! Thank you, Brasserie 19, for sparking my love of French food. You may have created a monster. ;)

When my Mom was in town last week and we did some shopping in River Oaks Shopping Center, I knew I had to take her to lunch at Brasserie 19. It was also Boone's first restaurant outing and he did amazing, sleeping through the whole thing since the patio was a perfect 70 degrees, music was playing softly in the background, and our waitress was kind enough to talk quietly at our table. It was the perfect lunch and I'm already itching to go back while the weather is so beautiful this spring.


photos by Ban Avenue Photography

Y'all know I love River Oaks Shopping Center and frequent the area for kids clothes, gifts, nails, and of course food. All of that shopping works up an appetite and mama has to recharge with some tasty fuel! Some of my other favorite spots to visit with great patios are:
1. La Griglia- Delicious Italian food with favorites such as Stracci, Wild Boar Chop, and Wild Mushroom Lasagna. The patio is really spacious and accommodating for strollers.
2. Epicure Cafe- A bistro style cafe that features fresh food that's made from scratch daily. I always get the Pistachio Cake for dessert- it's delicious! 
3. Perry's Steakhouse- This is a "coming soon" for River Oaks Shopping Center that I'm so excited about! Thinking a date night on the patio is in order once it opens.
4. la Madeleine- I have loved this restaurant for as long as I can remember because it's one of my grandma's favorites. My go-to order is the Quiche Florentine, a house-made egg spinach and Swiss custard baked in a buttery, flaky pie crust.

For other restaurants in ROSC, you can visit the website directory HERE. Bear always requests a pit stop at Marble Slab Creamery, which I never object. We are some serious ice cream addicts with no shame. With all the Marble Slab I consumed the last 9 months, I have no doubt Boone will be an ice cream lover soon, too.

Thank you for stopping by! If you're a fellow Houstonian, have you tried any of these spots in
River Oaks Shopping Center? I'd love to hear your favorite dining patio spots.
And happy first official day of Spring!

xo, Britt

*This post is sponsored by River Oaks Shopping Center however all thoughts and opinions are my own.