Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

SHREDDED BEEF ENCHILADAS



Must be fall, right?  Not around here, the temperatures are still in the 90's, but school has started, Yankee Spiced Pumpkin candles are burning, yes, with the AC on....and I have decided whether or not the weather cooperates, I will keep on pretending....

We LOVE Mexican food around here, actually, to be truthful, we love ALL types of food, but Mexican food is the one that we crave periodically, I mean drool for.....Scott at my request has always made cheese enchiladas when we have the hankering, or for large gatherings......THIS is my GO TO for parties, the prep is a bit messy, but it can be done a day ahead, then pop it in the oven before your friends and family arrive....You can cut them into halves or thirds to serve to a large gathering.  Drooling again, excuse me for a minute.......

  Ok, back.....I had just made a crock pot roast with carrots and onions (basic) to be served over rice, had a bit of leftovers and was thinking tacos.....The request came in..."How about beef and cheese enchiladas".......I can do this..Now, when I mentioned that I wanted to make these, asked for a few pointers from Scott, then went my own way....  First, I did NOT have enough meat left, AND I had one in the freezer..... Thawed it and put it in the crockpot with some Taco Seasoning and covered it with canned diced tomatoes.  Cooked it overnight on low so it would be juicy and 'shreddable' by the time I was ready to assemble....

The easiest way when assembling is to have EVERYTHING at hand, still messy, I use my hands, but easy!

You will need......your shredded beef, LOTS of shredded cheese, a can of enchilada sauce ( we like Rosarita), corn tortillas and some oil to 'soften' them in....then of course the toppings, or innerds if you prefer.....green onions, olives, sour cream and salsa.....OMG, found one I love at Costco...will share after.....

Let's get started.....Have some enchilada sauce in a shallow pan, I find a pie tin is perfect, your beef, shredded and ready, and your cheese next to in in your assembly line..

Heat your oil, remember, you don't want to fry, but you want the oil hot....this is a quick process.  Drop them in the oil and flip in just a few seconds, you want them soft and pliable....put it on a plate with a paper towel and continue doing this....they will keep each other warm....I did 12, so they stayed quite warm, if you are doing a lot more, you may want to do it in groups, just my suggestion.  

Dip them, one by one (remember, assembly), into the enchilada sauce, put it directly into the pan you are using (I did coat mine with Pam), add the meat, cheese and roll......continue the process
until you have all your enchiladas made.....I then drizzled more enchilada sauce over the top (more or less to your taste, I like them 'crispier', some like 'wet').  Add shredded cheese to the top, the green onions that I chopped up earlier, chose not to use the olives, although normally would have also added those to the topping.... Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.   

Now feeling inspired.....Maybe next time will use leftover (or on sale whole chickens), roasted. Shredded with ortega chilies and cheese.....Hope you enjoy.....

OH THATS RIGHT......My new FAVORITE salsa!
SO happy, we bought 2 jars at Costco!!!  This stuff is addicting!  

Well, off to eat these gorgeous looking enchiladas.....oops, there I go again, drooling.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

NEW DIRECTION, Crockpot Italian Chicken

Have you ever started a recipe, followed it, until....em...just till the end and decided...NAH....I want something different?

THAT is what happened to me this Sunday....Started my Crockpot Italian Chicken.  I am not sure why, but we are starting to get tired of meat, chicken included, but I took a chance on this recipe.....Took chicken breasts,  sprinkled liberally with poultry seasoning, smothered them in a good pasta sauce (remember it was during my big renovation of the ButcherBlock Island), and added about 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs....read somewhere that it would be good.........yeah...So this morning....after looking at it........decided to rethink that whole idea....But HOW, when I had already cooked it?.....I decided to go a WHOLE different way......

Out comes one of my favorite kitchen items, oh yes, you are right, I have many, I am a gadget person....But this one?  Sigh, can turn something of a disaster into a soup...LOLOL

NOPE, not soup, a hearty spaghetti sauce....


My HANDY DANDY Food Processor......LOVE this thing....




Adding some fresh basil and extra tomato sauce if needed.....Will toss it with pasta and add grated parmesan cheese.....

WAIT...Something GOOD is about to happen.....

Sautee your pasta in the garlic, butter and EVOO............OH heavens.....adds such another level to the flavor.....


End result? I have more then two meals ready to go....If I had bell peppers?  Which I may buy tomorrow?   Now I have three.......Pasta served with the chicken sauce....whole chicken breast over the pasta with sprinkles of parmesan....and I am sure you could think of many more uses for this simple crockpot chicken dish
ENJOY  and be brave....I know I was on this one....serving with toast and mozzarella....


Love to all.........

Sunday, August 10, 2014

NACHO ORDINARY CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

Today I decided to use a 'play on words' and to use my leftovers from my Nacho Cheese Chicken...As soon as I knew what was left? The first thought was Tortilla Soup....So my brain began the process of thinking of all the things I like in a soup.

Starting with the leftovers, went to the fridge, the freezer and the pantry...

Cut up the chicken breast, used all the sauce and about 2/3 the rice, approximately a 1/2cup of the sour cream, the whole bag of corn and just enough of the chicken broth to cover all.
Salt and pepper to taste, and WOW, is it delicious....Now THIS is a good leftover dinner!  Will serve with some tortilla chips, hence the name....Again, feel free to add any other ingredients that make it your own.... Another super easy and quick meal....letting this simmer, while I do some laundry and enjoy this weather!  Love to all <3

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Passion or Obsession

I woke up this morning determined to post another recipe....Then I realized....SLOW DOWN....ENJOY the writing, the time spent researching and experimenting......Another lesson learned and appreciated.......So.....Hope you are enjoying your day....YES, I DID ponder over my cookbooks, but then?  Took a swim.......OF COURSE....I wrote on notepads.....used my highlighter....and contemplated on some fun things to try....... love to all <3

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

EASY CHICKEN TACOS

I LOVE Mexican/Salvadorian food....I could eat it every day, we all could....BUT, when it is THIS easy?  Come on, stay in the comfort of your home, put on "Napoleon Dynamite" and enjoy....HERE is my recipe....


First take your chicken breasts and grill them until close to done, add salsa....MY favorite is HERDEZ, it has the best flavor....I add a good Taco Seasoning Mix...(mine is from Costco, but you can buy the packaged brands too....all made with the same basic seasonings......Let it simmer and 'marry' ( cute, right?)
Once it is cooked thoroughly, shred those chickens to the consistency that YOU like.....Some like chunky, some like fine....At this time, I might add more salsa to let it simmer......ok....I WILL, because I ADORE salsa....ON EVERYTHING!
This is the time that I get out the goodies.....Haas avocados with fresh tomato/onion mixture, BIG splash of lime......WHAT, You ask is in that white bowl with the cover?  LATER, my friends...


Take corn (or flour) tortillas and cook them on the fire until they are the 'color' you like......
Now, STUFF, it....YUM
Now to that covered bowl? THE BEST chips you will EVER eat is when you make them yourselves....Take those leftover corn tortillas, cut in strips, triangles, or whatever shape you like......put them in a small pan of oil and wait until they crisp up, salt.....HEAVEN, for CHEAP....Ok, there is the mess.....but when you are eating this delicious meal, and trust me, I add a packaged spanish/mexican rice........CLEANUP doesn't matter..... Enjoy!!  Just a note....If you want to do a LARGE batch and want some free time?  Cook the chicken with the salsa in the slow cooker for 10 or so hours and it will be ready to shred when you are....Just check periodically to see if you need to add more 'salsa/juice'....Easy Peasy.....
Love to All <3



PASSION FOR COOKBOOKS

Retirement has been good to us, traveling, spending time with our family (actually spending HOLIDAYS with them), and getting back into the 'cooking/baking' mode.  When Scott was working, he would work at least 24 hour shifts, there would be times he wasn't home for days/weeks... Cooking large meals wasn't top priority for this mom of a young child/teen....Quick, easy, because the words "I'm HUNGRY" were thrown about every few hours.

Now for MY new beginning!  I have ALWAYS loved to bake, it has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  Cooking on the other hand has been a chore, I never felt that complete abandonment of fear regarding spices, measurements, etc.  Crazy?  I know, but my husband is an excellent cook....REALLY good, he has NO fear.....I on the other hand am a great baker....in the kitchen with my apron on, I feel no fear in throwing in a dash of this, a pinch of that..NOW? This girl is learning to get rid of the fear.... I started with soups/stews.....

THIS my friends, is my adventure with my experiments, including successes and failures.....Hey, I am not afraid to share what I will be learning, or have learned....I enjoy writing and t a l k i n g....so this affords me the ability to do both....OH, and do NOT even get me started on INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST.....LOL

Now, back to COOKBOOKS, which fit right into my ever expanding BLOG, BOOKWORM...I can sit for HOURS and read cookbooks, writing things down, taking notes, using my 'highlighter' (remember school?)....Then, in the middle of the night, when all is quiet, a recipe or idea comes to mind.....and coffee in hand, I am ready to figure it out....Therefore, I felt this was the perfect venue to expand....and to become more adventurous myself.....Years ago, I helped compile a cookbook from many women who I knew and they shared their favorites.....I STILL refer back to that book.....and smile each time I recognize the women who contributed, many gone now, including my mom, ...WHAT joy it is to remember the laughter, the 'secrets shared', the good and bad with these special women.

Let the adventure begin....Love to all......

Monday, March 4, 2013

Life Long Love

I love reading and critiquing stories that others have written, then I decided.....that today?  I was going to write 'our story'

                                                      The Retirement

Retirement, just the word, opens up a 'can  of worms'.....It means you are old, older, out to pasture...oooh....such negative words, such negativity to the entire process.......


We have been called Grandma, Grandpa.....for 8 years now.....no problem!  We love being parents, grandparents, but when you add "RETIREMENT"......We are NOW in a different category.....We are not the affulent grandparents who work, and spread the wealth, we are in the retired grandparents who are on a budget.....WTHECK???????  

We HAVE saved....so we are not broke?  BUT....I feel that pull.... that pull to say...."Really? You want that gum that 1 year ago, I would have paid $2 for, NOW,,, think that is crazy!  

I now respect my hubby even more.....he has allowed me to be the free spirt that decorated and spent money without worrying....ok, not in the early years.....I have learned to love decorating and experimenting with color...and....well....destroying things when he was gone....He NEVER criticized......EVER!  He is always supportive of my 'tangents'...But he sees my vision.....that is awesome....

So....here is too our traveling, our, ok, my tangents on decorating......HERE is too retirement!