Posted in Dumping Dinner

Dumping Dinner: Enchilada Casserole

https://thepartysinthekitchen.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/enchilada-cassarole.jpg?w=840

Yesterday, I dumped some chicken tenders into the crock pot along with a cup of salsa and a small can of green enchilada sauce. My thought was to have it ready for dinner with some left for the next day. But later in the morning, an impromptu gathering started to bubble. Before I knew it, our supper for three quickly grew to a dinner party of fifteen.

Luckily, the salsa chicken would be ready to transform into an enchilada casserole, another simple dump recipe that takes just a few items from the pantry and fridge. Tortilla chips, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, and cheese layered into a baking dish along with the chicken produced a pretty delicious entrée to feed a crowd. And guess what? We had leftovers, so I get to enjoy it again today.


Enchilada Casserole

I am giving you the amounts for a 9×9 casserole which will feed four to six. If you need to feed a crowd just adjust accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, or your choice of any cooked meat
  • 1 14.5 ounce black beans
  • 1 14.5 ounce corn
  • 1 19 ounce enchilada sauce, red or green
  • 1 cup or more shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese
  • sliced green onion

Directions

  1. Layer the ingredients into a lightly greased 9×9 casserole dish. I used garlic infused olive oil, and oh, man, did the kitchen smell good when the enchiladas were baking.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!

I have to thank my sister, Jeannie, for suggesting this recipe. It’s one of her go-to recipes.

 

 

Posted in Involving the Heart

Making Memories

memories-are-made

This week has been full of making memories with my girls in Oklahoma.

We have made good use of our short time. There has been some sightseeing, a little shopping, cooking of good food, and talking, talking, talking. It has been so much fun.

Up until just a couple of years ago, my daughters all lived near us. We did a lot of life together. But the need to find work relocated two of them, along with their husbands and our grandchildren. I miss the days when we could just drop by and spend time together. Now we must be intentional with the time we set aside for visiting and make the most of each occasion.

I often wonder why we are not more like this in all our relationships.

I suppose it is because we think we’ll have time to get together as soon as things calm down. Most of us know that a slower life is a joke. The truth is, we will be waiting for a long time for that to happen. And when things actually do get slower, our neglected friendships will be long dead and buried.

So, I propose we take this matter to heart. Let us not allow our friendships grow cold. Let’s be intention with gathering together and making memories. In years to come, it will be good to have a treasure trove of stories that always begin with “Remember when. . .”

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

Cesare Pavese

us-at-the-mercantile


Are you wondering what good things we cooked while we were visiting?

Lots of great stuff, but one thing that usually shows up on the table when we get together is Beef Enchiladas. I learned this easy recipe when the church we attended would sell these enchiladas to raise funds for an outreach to Mexico. We liked them so much we have continued to enjoy them all these years later. They also bring back the memory of doing something pretty special with a group of people who wanted to do good in the world by serving others. Ever since then, I have had an ongoing love affair with serving the people of Mexico. See Hope Under Construction and For Goodness Sake to find out more of what I’m up to and the ministry I serve with there.

Beef Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large can of red enchilada sauce or 1 recipe of homemade
  • 10 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced black olives
  • Toppings—sour cream, sliced green onions, etc.

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish or pan with cooking spray.
  2. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onions over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to season meat mixture.
  3. Spread additional 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly in baking dish. Spoon about 1/4 cup beef mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Wrap tortillas tightly around filling, placing seam side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and sliced olives.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  5. ENJOY!

This is an excellent dish to make for a someone who needs a little pick-me-up and a visit from a friend.

enchilada-fixings

Posted in Matters of the Heart

Building Hope

We sat on the floor of the newly constructed tiny house eating fried chicken legs. This was the first meal this little home would see. In a collaboration with families from California and a minister in Mexico, a young family would move from their cardboard hut to a house with screens on the windows to keep the flies out and a floor that didn’t turn to mud when it rained. It was an occasion to celebrate, the chicken along with tortillas and fresh salsa—our feast.

The day started early as we pulled up to the dirt lot where the house would be built. In anticipation of the new home that would stand in that location, red geraniums had been planted bring a pop of joy to the otherwise drab landscape.

Once decided where the house would stand, a frenzy of hammering and painting mixed with conversations in broken Spanglish and the laughter that comes with it began.  The whole process became the conduit for two cultures to come together.  And, as the house went up, so did hope for a better life.

wp-image-1088856936jpg.jpg
When noontime drew near, more friends and family arrived to witness the ‘house-raising’ and prepare a meal for its workers. The ‘kitchen’ in which the chicken was cooked that day was an open fire in the yard. This was where all the cooking happened for this family, and they were experts in dealing with open flame, creating chicken that was crispy, moist, and delicious. Every bite was savored, leaving nothing but the empty bowl at the end of the meal.

The experience of working side-by-side would change communities both sides of the border. The house, as great a thing as it was, was not the star of the day. Relationships were built with each nail that was hammered. Memories were created, and when looking back, they would be listed as some of the best.

We have always held to the hope, the belief,

the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 


 

Fried Chicken

The fried chicken served on this day was literally just chicken fried in oil over the open flame. No flour dredge. No nothing. But, YES on delicious.

! Not keen on boiling oil over an open fire? Simply bake or grill your chicken with a little seasoning for a yummy outcome.

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • freshly squeezed lime juice to taste
  • salt to taste

Combine ingredients and chill for an hour.

Flour Tortillas

This a new recipe I tried using a food processor and a tortilla press.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1.  Place all ingredients into food processor. Pulse several times until a soft dough ball is formed.
  2. Remove, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Divide into eight pieces.
  4. Press each piece between parchment paper with tortilla press. Reposition a quarter turn and press again.
  5. Cook over medium heat in lightly oiled skillet about 1 minute each side, or until lightly browned.

Enjoy!


img_20130406_134407_508See more about this ministry at Hands of Mercy.

 

Posted in Involving the Heart

Home Peace Home

There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.

Jane Austen

There are times when it is just nice to have a day at home.  In our busy world, there are so many great things to do and places to go. And with my sanguine personality, I want to be part of every gathering, every excursion, every activity.  I never want to be left out.  My motto has always been, “Never miss an opportunity for fun”. Yet, there are still times I really enjoy being at home doing homey things.

Making a home cozy is what I dreamed of when I considered what grown-up life would look like. Of course, the reality is always a bit different than expected. But when given the chance, I like to create an environment that I would enjoy sharing with others. One that brings a sense of well-being, beauty and peacefulness. To me, there is actually an element of romance in it all.

Today in my “romantic” endeavors,  I am putting some future dinners in the freezer.  Our local markets all have meat on sale this week so I stocked up.  I divided it out into meal sized portions and added some different marinades to each.  I have created tastes of Italy, Mexico and Greece. There are also some pork chops that will wait for their seasoning until the time of cooking. This will make the days, I must spend out and about having fun, easier and more interesting at dinnertime.  And I won’t be ‘driving through’ when there is something delicious that can easily come from my own kitchen.

This is the recipe for the Mexican Grilled Chicken and is now one of my new favorites.  I have used it on chicken breasts for tacos and salad.  Everyone has enjoyed it–a lot.  I did make some changes to the original.  Instead of Chipotle chili powder, I used 1 teaspoon regular. I also used smoked paprika in place of the plain.

Mexican Grilled Chicken

  • 8 chicken thighs or 4 breasts
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1 lime or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 handful cilantro, rough chopped
  1. Put all marinade ingredients in the blender or food processor and liquefy.
  2. Put marinade in a gallon-size zip lock bag and add chicken pieces. Turn a few times to distribute marinade.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours I leave it for about 10 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill. Discard marinade.
  5. Grill, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Enjoy!

If you enjoy reading this blog, please check out another blog I write.  Girlonadventure.com Girl on Adventure is a collection of lessons God is showing me as I move through life.  I hope you enjoy it.