From Monica’s Kitchen

We were recently invited into Close To My Heart President Monica Wihongi’s home to see how she’s using her Kitchen Traditions Cut Above® recipe kit. Watch the video below to see what she’s cooking up!

After seeing all of those mouthwatering dishes on Monica’s kitchen counter, don’t you just want to give them all a try? For those who do, here is a complete list of all of those yummy recipes straight from her recipe book! Enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:
  • 5 chicken breast, shredded
  • ½ white onion, finely diced
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1-2 large can(s) Old El Paso mild red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 package white corn tortillas
  • 3 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions:

Preparing this dish can get really messy, so make sure you have everything close at hand. You will need an apron and a lot of paper towels!

 In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken, onion, and taco seasoning. In one large frying pan, start heating the enchilada sauce. In another frying pan, heat the canola oil. Once the oil is hot, fry a tortilla, for approximately 20 seconds on each side, using tongs to flip. Transfer the fried tortilla to the enchilada sauce. Dip the tortilla in the enchilada sauce so that both sides are covered. Transfer the tortilla into a 9 x 13 pan and lay it flat. Put a tablespoon of the shredded chicken mixture and ½ tablespoon of shredded cheese on the flat tortilla. Roll the tortilla and lay it in the pan with the seam facing down. Repeat this process until your pan is full. Sprinkle the top of the tortillas with the remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Mexican Rice

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups long rain rice
  • 1 Knorr Tomato with Chicken bouillon cubes
  • dash of cumin
  • 4 cups chicken broth (can substitute with water)
Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium heat. Combine rice, bouillon cubes, and cumin in the saucepan and fry until golden, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Pour broth into pan and cover. Lower heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes.

Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 6 green onions, sliced to stem
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cilantro bunch, pulled from stem and chopped
  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 avocados, chopped (optional)
  • garlic salt, to taste
Directions:

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Salt to taste.

Steak Fajitas:

Ingredients:

2 flank steaks
2 oranges, juice only
2 lemons, juice only
3 limes, juice only
4 garlic cloves, quartered
8 cilantro sprigs
1 white onion, sliced
4 green onions, cut in half lengthwise
3 tablespoons soy sauce
garlic salt, to taste

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt, to taste
lemon pepper, to taste

Directions:

Lay steaks flat, each in its own glass pan. Combine juice of all citrus with soy sauce and mix well. Pour evenly over steaks. Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt (to taste). Lay garlic, cilantro, and white and green onions on top of steak and cover pans. Allow steak to marinate, preferably over night or for a minimum of 8 hours. Grill steak on medium heat to an internal temperature of 138°. Cut peppers and onion in half and lengthwise. In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium and sauté the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the cooked steak into strips and add it to the frying pan. Sauté for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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Crafting Celebrities: My Crush® Books on Studio 5!

The My Crush® For Her and For Him books had their spot in the limelight today when Close To My Heart Chief Communications Officer Monica Wihongi brought them in to show the folks on the KSL Studio 5 show. While they were filming the segment, our Creative Communications Manager Jill Broadbent snapped a few behind-the-scenes shots of Monica on set! Doesn’t she look like a natural? Some people are just made for the lights. 🙂

As Monica mentioned in the show, we’re offering a special My Crush® bundle giveaway in this post! Scroll down to the bottom to get more details on what’s inside and how to enter.

For those of you living outside of Utah (and for those in Utah who just missed the show), watch the full segment below.

Watched the show and still left craving to know more? For intense crafting scholars like you, we’ve provided a breakdown analysis of a few highlights from each of the books below.

My Crush® For Her Book

Start Here

Who wouldn’t want to open a book with this masterpiece on the cover? There is definitely something magical about a beginning as beautiful as this one.

All the Extras


Gold Shimmer Trim and Coral Reef sequins are your best friends when it comes to dressing things up. All you’ve got to do is peel and stick, and they’ll take care of the sparkling and dazzling. And can we just say how much we love these vellum overlays? Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.

Breathing Room
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There’s room for your creativity to exhale on the open, designed pages that are perfect for adding your own journaling blocks, photos, or anything else your heart desires.

Goodbye, Writer’s Block

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The journaling prompts scattered throughout the book help you document new insights into your relationships and share the things you might not have found a way to say otherwise.

Pinterest-Worthy

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Designed quotes make lovely companions to your treasured photos. They add drama, sentiment, feeling, power, and beauty—the whole shebang.

 My Crush® For Him Book

 To Boldly Go

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We will gladly follow these bold, authentic shapes to the end of this book and back again.

Be Brave

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Add a touch of bold dimension and color using the Brave enamel shapes! They’re self-adhesive, handsome, and prepared to fight the battle of visual appeal until the end of time.

Outdoors Inside

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What better way to say how you feel than with backgrounds of majestic pictures of the wilderness? Words take on new meaning when they’ve got nature on their side.

Say What You Need to Say
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Know how you feel but can’t find the words? Don’t worry—this book has got you covered. Just like the For Her book, the creative journaling prompts inside will help you find the words you know you want to say but just aren’t quite sure how to say.

Feeling satisfied yet? If not, then you know there’s only one thing left to do: Get your own My Crush® book today! Enter the giveaway below or order one from a Close To My Heart Consultant.

If you’re feeling all sorts of twitterpated, then take a chance on love! Tell us what you love most about these books by leaving a comment below, and you’ll be entered in our My Crush® bundle giveaway. This bundle includes both a For Her and For Him book! We’ll randomly select one lucky winner on Thursday, April 9. 

So don’t be shy about sharing your love! Remember, fortune favors the brave. 😉

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Close To My Heart’s Cover Boy

In only a few short days, Seasonal Expressions 1 will go live to the public! You’re going to love what this idea book has to offer. It’s chock-full of fresh products and inspiration that are a whole lot of fun. We’re excited to see what you create!

As a special treat to celebrate this upcoming release, we asked Chief Communications Officer Monica Wihongi to share the story behind the Seasonal Expressions 1 cover photo—it’s a behind-the-scenes glance with a sweet little twist!

As many of you may already know, my son Jonah is the cover model on Seasonal Expressions 1. We had been planning on using Jonah as the cover model for a while, but when the day finally came to bring him to the photo shoot, he was being less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. We pulled up to the model home and rushed upstairs to change him into his dress clothes. After we were inside the house, his attitude improved a little because of how much he loved the beautiful model home. (Let’s be honest, everyone loved it!)

But he was still acting a little reluctant, so before we went back downstairs, I told him if he did his best during the photo shoot, I would buy him any treat he wanted. He was suddenly much more enthusiastic! After we finished the shoot, he said, “Mom! I figured out what I want for my treat!” “What?” I said, expecting him to say something like ice cream or a candy bar. “I want this house!” he said.

A house?! Where does he come up with this stuff? I didn’t want to dash his dreams, but a house?! I decided to play it cool, so I said, “Why don’t we just get you ice cream or something?” “Ok!” he said, and then we hopped in the car. Phew! That was easy. I drove home grateful that a successful photo shoot was something I could buy at the price of an ice cream cone.

But what I loved the most about the whole experience is that just before the photographer snapped what would become the cover photo, he said, “Jonah, look at your mom.” Jonah’s brown eyes glanced sideways at me and immediately his whole face melted into that mischievous and adorable grin. Oh, Jonah—he always brings the cute factor!

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