Chicken Black Bean Nachos + 5 Things I’ve Learned Dating an Engineer

It’s almost Superbowl time. Chicken black bean nachos are always a staple on our Superbowl menu. So in honor of the diets we are all starting this week and ending by the Superbowl, I’m not posting a healthy recipe. I will soon. I’m working on some changes behind the scenes that will hopefully make the website more user and mobile friendly. I’m excited!

chicken black bean nachos

Many of you know I separated from my then husband close to two years ago. Our divorce was completed in June and signed in September. It has been a really rough road and adding on the stressors of school and internships these past couple of years has been a great distraction but added an extra layer of difficulty. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve met along the way and for those people who have been amazing blessings in my life since then.

chicken black bean nachos

About a year and a half ago, I decided to go for a hike. And in the process met a friend. He and I weren’t interested in anything serious and it wasn’t until a few weeks before my divorce finalized that I finally felt I was in a place to start to seriously date him. I am so excited that my best friend is now the guy I get to go out with. I’m glad we had the time to be friends first because dating after divorce is much more difficult and the friendship has made us more united when trying to work with the kids and work through some of the hard times we still experience.

chicken nachos

So…about this guy. My guy is an engineer. Which comes with some…quirks. After having several engineers in my family I’ve heard enough stories from my aunts to know what I was in for. Today, in addition to sharing one of our favorite Superbowl recipes (he’s NOT a cook so I made this as SIMPLE a recipe as possible for him to make) I’m also compiling a list of five things I’ve learned while dating an engineer. He’s SO thrilled to be a part of this website now. I think. He might change his mind.

  1. Meticulous, but Perfect: Back when I had to move out of my house and into my new house, he called one night and asked how it was going. It was a difficult time because a lot was going on and I had had to find the place I’m in now very quickly. I moved over Mother’s Day weekend and when he called to see how the move was going and how I was holding up with finals, the kids ending school and me ending one of my jobs and signing on for my internship along with court stuff he asked what the one thing that would make it a good Mother’s Day for me. I said that I just wanted to be able to relax with the kids in the living room. That the rest of the house could be chaotic and filled with a million boxes but I just wanted one place of peace for the kids and I to hang out on Mother’s Day. I told him I didn’t know how to mount the TV on the wall and that would help me put the living room together so we could all relax. He came over and said it ‘wouldn’t take long.’ (Ha ha, I’ve heard this from my aunts before–it will ALWAYS take double the time). But I didn’t realize it would be HOURS of putting up the TV. He had to devise a way to mount the TV on the wall. Trip to Home Depot. Home. Measure, measure, measure. Another trip to Home Depot. Mount TV. Measure. Measure. Measure. Trip to Home Depot. Hours after the hour he said it would take to install I had a TV. Since then I’ve learned that ANY project will be a meticulous undertaking. (He will say I’m exagerating but there are no cutting corners on ANY project. So I’ve just learned that projects will be P-R-O-J-E-C-T-S). But my TV is secure, it is level (verified 18 times that is was level) and it is dead center in the middle of the fireplace at an appropriate level above the fireplace. And if the kids hang off it it’s going to stay on that wall! Image result for comic engineers working on a project
  2. You Won’t JUST Have a TV… You Will Have THIS TV: He doesn’t JUST have a TV. It’s a 4K HD BluRay 3D DVD smell the freaking ocean through the TV kind of a TV. I’m okay with it. I was married to a guy who loved electronics. But the couch isn’t just a couch. It’s a soft leather reclining couch with extra wide comfort seats and I swear it fetches the remote too kind of a couch. And there aren’t just 3D glasses for the TV. There are all sizes of 3D glasses and I swear Channing Tatum comes through the screen and high fives you kind of 3D glasses. Electronics are an engineers friend. And the great thing is the kids friends will always want to come to your house.  tv engineer
  3. Gadgets EVERYWHERE!! Gadgets are an engineers best friend. Go floating down the river, you will have a waterproof phone case that floats. Go to the gym? Leather lifting gloves. Need a car charger? Dual iPhone and Android charging capabilities. Want to open a bottle of wine? My uncle breaks out his ultra cool wine bottle opening gadget thingey that would take me a year to figure out. My other uncle’s office is filled with robot gadgets, cords, and other gadgetry that makes life run faster, smoother and more efficient. The problem is once you figure out what that gadget or thing is used for, you can’t live without it either. Engineers are also great handymen which help when things go wrong. Just expect there to be a lot of gadgets and a lot of meticulous detailed hours to go into any job that is done.
  4.   engineer gadgets  Rational Thinking: I am a psych major. He is an engineer. I view the world from many different angles. Everything in my world has a gray area. The one thing I like is that he listens well and analyzes the situation and offers a solution. Sometimes it doesn’t compute in my way of thinking, but it offers a great balance to my way of thinking. Just expect there to always be a solution offered. There is always a solution to every problem. Because of that, the truth can hurt sometimes. But if he’s wrong, he admits it. engineers rational
  5. Spreadsheets And Organization : Engineers and their spreadsheets. I really have hesitated to look and see how many Excel spreadsheets he has. I’m mildly afraid. Whenever we go hiking, the meticulous organized method to his hiking bag blows me away. I could ask for food, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a charger for my phone or even a mattress and it all somehow fits in his bag. I barely get my water and food and a hoodie to fit. And my backpack is larger than his.
  6. Best Darndest Faithful Guy Around: Above the quirks, I’ve never seen anyone I know work harder. Engineers are hard workers. They love their job and sometimes it can be difficult to be put behind a job. But I remind myself that a hard worker, someone who cares about people and is faithful and there in tough situations. (With a solution of course) are things that are important to me, quirks and all.
    engineer spreadsheets


Chicken Black Bean Nachos + 5 Things I’ve Learned Dating an Engineer


  • Baked tortilla chips (We used Tostinos whole grain scoops)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup 2% monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a cookie sheet or in a 9×13 inch pan, line the bottom of the pan with tortilla chips.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix the two cheeses together. (You can also substitute 2 cups of 2% Mexican cheese blend). Sprinkle one cup of the cheese over the tortilla chips. Sprinkle chicken, beans and scallions over the chips. Spoon salsa over the chip mixture. Top with remaining one cup of cheese.
  3. Bake chip mixture at 350 degrees approximately 6-8 minutes if cooking on a cookie sheet, and 10-15 minutes if cooking in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cook long enough that the cheese is melted and chicken is heated through.
  4. Remove chips from oven and serve immediately with additional salsa if desired.


Adapted from January 2011 Family Circle

Nutrition Facts: (Per serving, recipe makes 6 servings) Calories: 230, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Protein: 33g, Fiber: 3g, Sodium: 597mg, Cholesterol: 70mg

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