elisalou designs & photography » Columbus, Ohio photographer | child and family photographer | senior portrait photographer

Masthead header
    • about elisa
    • my bag
    • shoot details

Black Bean Queso

I found this recipe on this blog (and it looks like she has TON more great ones that I will checking out!) It was SO good and it’s vegetarian which helps since Austin was home the night I made it. It also was great added to our breakfast tacos the next morning. Enjoy!



3/4 cup tomatillo salsa verde
15 oz [1 can] vegetarian refried black beans
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz pepper jack cheese, freshly grated, plus a few extra ounces for topping
1 oz grated mozzarella, for topping
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes for topping [deliciously spicy + optional!]
1/4 tsp dried parsley for topping
tortilla chips and veggies for dipping


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take out pepper jack cheese and cream cheese ahead of time and allow to soften.
Next combine your beans and green salsa in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and bring to medium heat on your stove top, stirring frequently.
Add softened cream cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper, and mix thoroughly.
Once the beans are hot and the cream cheese has fully melted, slowly add freshly grated pepper jack cheese, stirring constantly to incorporate.
Top with extra pepper jack, grated mozzarella cheese, parsley and red pepper flakes, and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly!
To make the cheese bubbly and golden, switch your oven to broil on high for just a minute or so [keep an eye on it to prevent burning]
Dig in right away and store leftovers for up to 4 days in a covered bowl. May be reheated in the oven or microwave. Enjoy!

Next time I might add jalapenos to part of it for me ๐Ÿ™‚

Elizabeth - Did u you use a cast iron bc I don’t own one. Will it make a big difference in how it tastes? Looks sooo good!!

elisa - I don’t have a cast iron so I just did it in a regular pan. Turned out fine!

Andy - This was SOOOO yummy. We need to make this again soon!

A good day and a not so good day


Yesterday we went to the Franklin Park Conservancy to check out the butterfly exhibit.

Andy was about to leave to a conference for the next 4 days and we wanted to do something as a family.


The Chuhily art is always impressive.


Austin’s Spring Break was nearing an end and it was nice to get out of house after lots of cold days.


Cole was so into figuring out how to make this work. Future engineer.


Eva was so into this little fairy exhibit but because she could touch any of it- well it was absolute torture for her. The boys kept laughing because why temp little kids with this perfect little play stuff- but they cant touch. It seriously made her crazy. We couldn’t even walk through the whole part. We had to move on.


So we went on to the butterfly exhibit. So cool


They had just released butterflies out- they were flying everywhere. But Eva was going crazy. She wanted one to land on her.


And then a couple landed on me. This did not go over well.


Thankfully there was a very nice girl that helped us move this butterfly from my hand to Eva’s.



Today was a little harder. Lots of big life stuff bearing down on me. And single parenting. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better!

Gretchen Poulson - I can’t get over how grown up Cole looks! Time slow down! Single parenting can be hard, sending hugs! Hope the days fly by while Andy is gone.

5pm on a Wednesday night

Cole’s lacrosse was cancelled because the temps were just way too low for them to play outside. So instead he helped me make dinner. I love that he has been helping more and more with things like this. Twice this week he has made brownies for the gang. They don’t last long.


He’s also good about feeding the dogs.


This night he was making Annies mac and cheese for both of them because they didn’t want what I was making for everyone else.


After that it was snuggle time with the big guy.


Big hearts ๐Ÿ™‚

Snow Day Fail

We were so hoping for a Snow Day today. We made chili and twice baked potatoes last night and Eva and Cole even tried the ice cubes in the toilet trick.


It didn’t work. ๐Ÿ™

But the good side is now Austin and his girlfriend and family won’t have to drive through a lot of snow as then head up to Cleveland to watch the Cavs game tonight.

So….since mother nature isn’t giving me snow then I want Spring. Off to restock our local store with Elisalou items and maybe even add some to the website ๐Ÿ™‚


When family dynamics change

iPhone pics ๐Ÿ™‚


It’s weird having a kid move out. But I am forever thankful that he goes to school nearby and comes home a lot. He is now home for a week and on Spring Break so invited a bunch of his friends over. Which is fun. But it’s not the same.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I mentioned yesterday that I have been reading old blog posts. I am only on 2008. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s crazy how different our lives our now. I tried to explain this to Andy last night but he doesn’t seem to get it. He is in the here and now. But me… I feel like a totally different person which is crazy. I have no idea why. Obviously we look different. Older. But it’s more than that.


I mean back in 2008 this girly wasn’t even born yet. And now she makes spaghetti.


And Shiloh is ten- the boys didn’t believe me when I told them. Actually she’s now 10 and a half.


And the posts about Barley- Hudson is a totally different dog. Like night and day. More to come tomorrow. I’m on a blogging roll people.

Speaking of Hudson- He got a weird spot on his back and the vet said he needed to wear a shirt so he would stop messing with it. He acted like it was totally normal to be hanging out in his Amy’s ice cream shirt ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_7475Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Hannah - Okay… I SO get this! Greg and I have been having the same conversation for a few months. I am REALLY struggling to pick up the camera and capture life without Dmitry in it. He still lives here but he is NEVER home. He leaves early in the morning and then either comes home and crashes or goes out with friends. It’s just different. There is beauty in different…but this mama is mourning. It sounds so ignorant, but I am. I’d give anything to have them both here with me all day again…but time does not slow down or reverse.

Hannah - PS: I know I’ve already told you…but Buddy LOVES wearing clothes ๐Ÿ™‚ They are so weird.

Kelli - I love that you are blogging again! I also super like when you make TX references. ATX represent ๐Ÿ˜€