Friday, March 27, 2009

Lumpy luggage

fifi
I think my cat missed me when I went to Washington. He is ensuring that he gets to go with me next time!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Luke!

blogDeshong Family 25

Happy Birthday to my favorite freckled skateboarding nephew, Luke.


You're double digits now, kid! Have a great day today!

I love you bunches...
Auntie K

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WDW - Extra-big & thick Rice Krispies treats

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You know you want one of these. Who doesn't love Rice Krispies Treats? They are always a hit whenever I serve them, especially when they are extra-big and thick, like these babies. But have you ever wondered, who invented Rice Krispies Treats, where and when? I'm sure you woke up wondering that just this morning. From a reliable source, I bring you the following enlightenment:

According to Iowa State University School of Agriculture it was "Mildred Day, who died in June [1996] at the age of 92, was a 1928 home economics graduate from Iowa State. Day is credited with the development of Rice Krispies Treats. She worked for Kellogg Co., the maker of Rice Krispies, and used the cereal to develop the snack as a fundraiser for a Camp Fire Girls group."

"[Mildred] Day was born in Durham, a village 8 1/2 miles east of Knoxville in Marion County [Iowa]. She was a home economics graduate of Iowa Sate University in Ames. Her family says Day, who worked at Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek, Mich., developed the recipe with Malitta Jensen as a fund-raiser for a Camp Fire Girls group. Anthony Hebron, Kellogg spokesman, says Rice Krispies cereal went on the market in 1928 and Rice Krispies Treats, a trademarked name, were introduced in the 1940s. The recipe first appeared on packaging in 1941. "Many of our employees created concoctions with Kellogg products," Hebron says.

I love that part at the end, where "Kellogg spokesman Anthony Hebron" seems to try and downplay Mrs. Day's contribution: "Many of our employees created concoctions with Kellogg products."

Yeah, like who? And what? What other Rice Krispies recipes can you think of?

Yeah, that's just what I thought. Who is this guy kidding? Mildred Day was stinking brilliant and we all know it.

We've all made the basic recipe at home, but have you ever seen these jumbo-sized Rice Krispies treats in coffee shops? They are so appealing. And yummy. And super easy to make!

With extensive experimentation, I finally developed a recipe that works just right for a 9 x 13 pan. OK, I confess - I just simply increased the recipe by proportion. It wasn't exactly rocket science.

The key to making these easy is PAM SPRAY. Tons of PAM SPRAY. Have I made that clear? Be sure you have a lot of PAM SPRAY if you want to make these.

Also, I have one more little trick - as you mix the Rice Krispies into the melted marshmallow mixture, keep the pot on the stove with the flame on low. This will keep the marshmallows liquidy and help with the stirring process. That's fun to say - liquidy.

So have some fun and make a batch of these soon. Then, share them - but watch out they'll go fast!

Extra-big and thick Rice Krispies Treats

6 Tbsp. butter
2 packages (10 oz each) marshmallows (about 80 large or 8 cups mini)
12 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or a little more if necessary)

Grease a 9 x 13 pan with PAM non-stick spray.

Spray large saucepot with PAM. Melt butter over lowest heat. Add marshmallows and stir until they are melted (the mini marshmallows melt a lot faster). Keep on the lowest heat, and add Rice Krispies, a few cups at a time, until it is well incorporated after each addition.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Spray a large square of waxed paper with PAM and use that to press the Rice Krispies treats evenly into the pan. Let cool before cutting.

And for just a bit more fun, enjoy this vintage Kellogg's Rice Krispies ad. I promise it will make you smile!


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Washington

Emma and I just returned from a 4-day trip to visit my friend Carol Blanchet in Washington. Carol has been a dear friend of mine since we met 25 years ago in college, on the steps of Delta Delta Delta sorority. We ended up being in the same pledge class and became good friends from the start. Besides being sorority "sisters" we have a sweet bond as sisters in Christ. The fact that she had just had her 7th baby combined with great airfare deals made it an opportune time to go see her.

First, I have to start off with a little story. We flew from Burbank to Oakland where we had a layover before our final flight to Seattle. On the flight up, I turned my phone off, and in the airport in Oakland, I had trouble turning it back on. I have had trouble turning it on and off before (and it's not just because I'm lame, it's lame). After much attempt to turn it on, I decided to try and find someone to help. I turned to the man next to me in the waiting area, and asked him if he knew much about cell phones. Before he could hardly answer, a woman turned around and said, "give it to me, I have the same phone." She went on as to all the trouble she had with it, and that the battery had to be replaced before hers was a year old. She suspected the battery was my problem, so she removed it and put her battery into my phone. It worked. She then put my battery into her phone, and it also worked. Kind of funny. So then she put my battery back in my phone, and it worked! Something must have gotten jarred during flight.

After the phone was fixed, and I was most grateful, we struck up a conversation. She was with her teenage daughter and was taking a trip to visit a Christian college in Canada that was offering her daughter a good scholarship. We talked until it was time to line up for boarding. We flew Southwest, and there is no assigned seating. Instead, you have a boarding number, which you receive when you check in (either online or at the airport). The sooner you check in, the better your number. The first people onto the plane get first pick of seats. I asked her what her numbers were, and she said Group B 7 & 8. Ours were Group B 5 & 6! So we lined up together, and introduced ourselves (Mom was Robin and daughter was Karianne) and decided we should sit together. We all sat on four end seats so we could talk, Robin across from me and Karianne across from Emma.

As our conversation progressed, it was clear I was talking to a woman who truly loved the Lord. She talked openly about life, family, kids and her personal walk with the Lord. I was impressed with her attitude and her desire to obey God in all she did. Meanwhile, the girls were getting more acquainted and discovered they both enjoyed photography and musical theater!

Anyways, my conversation went on with Robin, when all of a sudden the gentleman in the window seat next to Robin started talking to her. He had heard our conversation, which was mostly about our faith. I thought at first, boy this is going to be interesting! And it was. If any of you know C.J. Mahaney, imagine him 10 years older...that was Joe. It was amazing to find out that Joe, too, was a believer and for the rest of the flight we continued our conversation about God, the Bible, and what we believed. Joe has had an amazing life, he was a commercial pilot who fought in the Korean War (he's almost 80). He told of his wife leaving him because he was a believer, and raising his three daughters on his own to love Christ and see them all marry believers. What a passionate man for the gospel! By the time we all got off the plane, we had exchanged contact information and were hugging goodbye! It seemed as if a two hour flight went by in minutes. We are all friends on Facebook now! Joe even took Robin's dad's phone number down to share the gospel with him.

new friends

left to right: Karianne, Robin, me, Joe, & Emma

When Emma and I went to get our rental car, which was supposed to be a compact, we were pleasantly surprised that they gave us a convertible Toyota Solara! Not the best for Washington weather, but we had fun, nevertheless. We took the top off a few times for a short ride. I guess in Washington, a convertible is not a premium rental, but a car nobody wants, so we got it! Emma was pretty excited!

We arrived at Carol's in the mid afternoon, and had a wonderful, wonderful time. They live in a beautiful place, surrounded by woods, all lush and green. They live down a neat windy road, very secluded. They even have their own milking goats. When they need firewood for their wood burning stove (which kept the house so cozy) they just go chop down a tree on their property! Anyways, it was a wonderful haven for our extended weekend stay. We had such a sweet time with their family, sipping goat's milk lattes (insanely delicious!), talking, cooking, admiring the baby, and just hanging out and enjoying everyone. Some friends threw Carol a baby shower on Saturday, and we went to church on Sunday morning. Other than that, it was really low-key just hanging around the Blanchet homestead.

Here are some photos from our time:


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Sweet baby Abigail (3 weeks)

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Adorable Ellie (2 1/2)

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Sarah (17) & Caleb (15)

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Cuddly Daniel (6) with Emma

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Lovable Hannah (10)

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Emma and the boys (Caleb, 15, left and Matt, 12, right)

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Carol & hubby Eric

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Ellie & I...

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...and I get a kiss!

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I love this pic...sweet baby

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Me and my dear friend...I miss her already

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Sarah with the horses

blanchet 122

Eric is the best latte maker! mmm.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Companionship Principle

Click here for a wonderful work by Joel James. It is called "The Companionship Principle." You can click on the link and download this document, or even print it out to read another time. The material was originally a short book that Joel wrote. You can read it in one sitting very easily, but it is the best and most biblical essay I've ever seen on the subject of dating and marriage. You will enjoy Joel's writing style and clear thinking on the matter. Joel is a graduate of the Master's Seminary and is now a Grace Church Missionary in South Africa.

I highly recommend this read! Even if your children are still young, you should be be sure you have a biblical view of this important subject in place now. And even if you have been raised in a Christian home and a great church, you will be surprised to find out how much Christians adopt the world's thinking on dating.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WDW - Marinated Tri Tip

beef 2
Tri Tip. Everyone loves it.... few can cook it just right. I used to be one of those who would throw it on the grill, and the result would be beef jerky on the outside and tartare on the inside. Not too terribly appetizing when it looks charry-black and then when you cut it open it's a big blob of red flesh. These discouraging results caused an intimidation deep within me which eventually resulted in me giving up trying to make it entirely.

Then came along Dave Hoffman. We were over having dinner with him, his wife Erin, and their bazillion charming kids one evening and I watched firsthand how the man made a tri tip. His tri tip was tender and juicy and was cooked perfectly medium rare - I vowed right on the spot to learn from this master of meat. I let go of all memory of the tri tips I had burned made in the past and started fresh that day. It was truly life-changing.

The first thing Dave taught me was to never try to cook a tri tip whole. Yes, he puts it on the grill whole to begin with, but only for a quick sear and browning on both sides. He then removes the meat from the grill and he cuts it into steaks. He then cooks the steaks on the cut sides until done. Brilliant! The meat gets done quicker and does not get dried out. Something to do with "surface to volume ratio" which Rich has been trying to help me understand for many years. Secondly, it really helps to tenderize your meat before cooking. Dave sprinkles on Accent (msg), which I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole really prefer to use. So, I opt for the marinade route for the tenderization process.

Some of you may rely on bottled marinades like Lawry's. I want to let you know you that you can put those down...and just walk away slowly. Wait until you try this recipe for teriyaki - you will never turn to that $4 bottle of runny stuff ever again. I got this wonderful teriyaki marinade recipe from a Hawaiian friend about 20 years ago. He gave me the teriyaki recipe, and his wife, who is Chinese, gave me her recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing. Yeah, I scored. I think these were like top secret family recipes or something. I only have a vague recollection of being sworn into secrecy, so I think it's OK to put them out there into the blogosphere (the Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing recipe will be a future WDW).

Another way to deal with tri tip is to cube it up for shish kebabs. The results on the shish kebab are phenomenal because each piece gets marinated instead of just the outer layer of the tri tip. You get more flavor but it is a lot more work to cube them all up. If you feel like cutting the roast into steaks and marinating them that way, you can do that, too. Today I just went for the whole roast, since I had to trim my roses for several hours. The last thing my thorn-abused hands wanted to do was cut meat up into little pieces. If you are doing the shish kebabs, it is nice to slide some sweet yellow onion pieces on there with the meat. Today I shish-kebabed some fresh pineapple, which I put on the same time I put the meat on. They made a mighty fine accompaniment (I also served Jasmine rice and salad). By the way, pineapple is also good grilled and then nutella drizzled on!


meat 1
Brown the tri tip on both sides. I cook on high with the lid closed for 5-7 minutes per side.
beef 2
Cut it against the grain into about 1 1/2" steaks
meat 3
Place the steaks cut side down back on the grill
meat 4
Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium rare, a little longer for medium or well done.
Again, the grill is on high with the lid closed.

So here's the basic recipe for the teriyaki. I usually don't put the green onions in but the fresh garlic is a must. Sometimes I add a little ginger powder or red pepper flakes. A tip for marinating your meat - use a ziploc bag instead of a bowl or dish. It keeps the marinade in better contact with the meat, and all you need to do is turn the bag over every so often while marinating. And, no dish to wash (you know how lazy I am I like to save water.) This marinade is actually great for any cut of beef and fantastic on chicken too. Enjoy!

Ryne's Teriyaki Marinade

2 cups soy sauce
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. pepper
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients and whisk together well to dissolve sugar. Marinate meat or chicken for 4-6 hours. Makes enough for about 3-4 lbs. meat.


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Monday, March 16, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday


I got some good feedback last week with my first "Not me!" Monday. I glad you enjoy all the stupid and idiotic things I do. Don't worry, there will always be plenty of them each Monday. I won't let you down.

This week, I did not....

... go to Disneyland on Thursday even though I just went last Thursday. I would never be so self-indulgent and frivilous with my time. I am not the least bit fond of the Happiest Place on Earth, and I do not need to go there but maybe once a year. Nope, not me!

...wake up to the terrifying thought that I have been letting my daughter drive everywhere the past month without ever informing my insurance company that she was a new driver in the family. And, when I did not drop by the insurance office to give them her permit information, I did not mess up the form I was supposed to fill out three times, causing my agent to keep printing out new copies. Nope, not me!

...make myself a fresh, strong press-pot of coffee, pour myself a lovely cup, mix it with half & half and one raw sugar packet, and then proceed to add buttermilk when I decided it needed a bit more cream. I did not then dump the lovely cup of coffee down the drain. Nope, not me!

...get kind of bent out of shape when I arrived at Step Class and found that another woman had put her step right in the place I always put mine. I would never be that particular about "my" spot in the front row. I would not begrudgingly assemble my step in the back row instead. And, I would certainly not have any trouble keeping on track with the routine just because I wasn't in the usual spot. No, not me!

...pick out all the Macadamia nuts out of the Costco mixed nuts jar, in spite of the fact that my husband has asked me not to. I am the perfectly submissive wife, honoring my husband in both the big and the small. I would never selfishly take all the buttery, delicious Macadamias out and hoard them. I would not then feel extremely guilty and buy him his own bag of Macadamia nuts from Trader Joe's. Nope, not me!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Trader Joe's fan website

I just came across this great blog and I thought I'd share it. If you're a big Trader Joe's fan like me, you'll love it. It's written by two ladies who love Trader Joe's, and post interesting tidbits about items in the store, as well as some neat recipes using their products. I found this cool site when searching the net for a knock-off recipe for Trader Joe's Spicy Thai Pasta Salad. I didn't find the recipe I was looking for, but I was delighted to find this site!

What are your favorite Trader Joe's items? Here are some of my faves:

~Organic Cocoa Mix (Rich wouldn't survive a DAY without this stuff)
~Hawaiian chips- I'm partial to the salt & vinegar flavor...but barbecue and plain work for me too
~Three layer pesto/sun dried tomato torta (near the hummus) - I mix this with cooked pasta and their pesto sausage - yum!
~Mediterranean hummus
~Frozen rise and bake croissants - to die for
~Frozen orange chicken
~Frozen artichoke hearts
~Fresh salmon with citrus butter - my family loves this!
~Cooked beets - in the produce (mixed greens, beets, goat cheese salad!)
~Spicy Thai Pasta Salad (with ready made salads)
~Almond butter
~Bool Koogi Ribs
~All their amazing cheeses - and especially Cabot extra sharp white cheddar
~All their healthy sausages & nitrate-free lunch meats
~All their wonderful breads
~Tea Tree Oil Soap (if you have dry skin it's the best!)
~And lastly, I could not live without all their organic produce!

By the way, the two Trader Joe's I shop at (La Crescenta & Pasadena) are the first two Trader Joe's ever! (Pasadena was the 1st) I thought it was pretty cool when I saw one in New York and Chicago last year.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Simple pleasures

lemons


Today my nephews were over and they love to go out in the yard and pick anything they can. They mostly like the lemon tree and the roses. Vance picked a beautiful bouquet and he and Austin also both made some delicious fresh squeezed lemonade. 3 gallons to be exact! It is indeed a simple pleasure to see them enjoy such things.


Austin lemonade



boys lemonade


Vance lemonade

vance lemonade

Just look at those puppy-dog eyes.

austin lemon eyes

Vance took this photo!

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WDW - Homemade Salad Dressings

I don't buy any bottled salad dressings. Well, that isn't entirely true. I confess to sometimes buying Bob's blue cheese dressing. I can't help it. It's just something I grew up with and it's just so doggone delicious. And I just love the jar it comes in - so retro - it just looks cool in my fridge. Bob's Big Boy is still one of my favorite restaurants and I just have a very real connection to Bob personally. If you think that is strange, you obviously have never tried dipping their french fries into this dressing. Nor have you stolen the humongous statue of Bob from the front of the restaurant in the middle of the night and put him in the courtyard of your high school. Ahem.

bob

Isn't he a hunk? He truly takes my breath away.

Anyways, back on track, here.

Bottled salad dressing, besides Bob's, is not in my fridge for the following reasons:

-It won't fit in the door because I have about 8 different types of mustard jammed in.
-I can't read the super-long ingredient list on the bottle without my glasses on. Wait, I think I can make out "partially hydrogenated" and "soybean oil" ...
-I can't stand the names. Cheese Fantastico? Green Goddess? Weird.
-One word: Goopy. Artificial. OK, two words.
-I can make it for pennies and it tastes better (best reason).

I have already posted my all-time fave dressing, the one I use for my Caesar Salad. I make that about 72 times a week. I constantly crave it. No wonder I can't lose weight.

Well, today I'm going to share two other dressing recipes I go to often. One is a simple vinaigrette and the other is a creamy ranch dressing. If you have kids, you really should have a good ranch dressing in your repertoire. Every mom knows this is the secret a helpful way to get kids to eat their vegetables. And my kids still love chicken tenders with my homemade ranch dressing. And so do I - I admit it.

cilantro ranch

This ranch has cilantro added in. Beautiful color!

Ranch Salad Dressing

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 T. dried or fresh parsley
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. red wine or white wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients with a whisk or in the blender. Add more buttermilk if too thick.


For a great variation: Add 1/4 - 1/2 (depending on how hot you want it) of a canned chipotle pepper (find it in the Mexican section - they're called "chipotle peppers in adobo sauce"), and a good handful of fresh cilantro for a Mexican ranch dressing. Lime juice can stand in for the vinegar in this variation, if you like. Use the blender for this to pulverize the cilantro. Toss this dressing with romaine, corn kernels, black beans, chicken or tri tip, avocado, diced tomato or salsa, Cotija cheese (Mexican crumbly cheese- optional) and crushed tortilla chips for a truly superb main dish salad. Mmm.

vinaigrette

This vinaigrette's color is due to the addition of cumin and chili powder.

For the vinaigrette, the basic recipe is to begin with 1/2 cup good olive oil and 1/3 cup acid. The acid can be any kind of vinegar (I usually use red wine, apple cider or balsamic), or you can use a combination of half fresh lemon or lime juice and vinegar. Add some salt and pepper to taste, a clove of minced garlic, and a drizzle of honey. This is the basic dressing -whisk either by hand or in the blender. Sometimes I add a small splash of half and half, or a teaspoon of dijon or a tablespoon of mayo for a little creaminess. In addition, you can add fresh or dry herbs. I sometimes even throw in a little cumin and chili powder, like today. I seem to make it different every time. And if you don't like the garlic just leave it out. Just remember the olive oil to acid ratio, that's the important part.

Monday, March 9, 2009

"Not Me!" Monday


Well, it's probably about time I joined Mck Mama's little "Not Me!" Monday game.

Each Monday, she posts all the things she did not do (but really did do) and encourages us all to play along for a little amusement (and self-deprecating humor). Confused? You'll get it as you read.

This week,
I did not...

...take our absentee ballots to our neighborhood voting place (the elementary school down the street) on Monday instead of Tuesday. I knew very well that the election was Tuesday and that no one would be there to collect my ballots on Monday. I was not at all embarrassed when the lady in the school office gently reminded me of the correct election day. Nope, not me!

...buy a book entitled
The flat belly diet. I would never fall for any type of fad diet, knowing plain well that to lose weight I must simply eat less and exercise more. Besides, my abdomen is so ripped anyways that I would never even think of buying a book like that! Nope, not me!

...get inspired to download three
Heart songs on itunes after seeing Allison Iraheta perform "Alone" on American Idol. I did not then proceed to sing along loudly to these songs in the car. I would never listen to any secular music - especially rock - nope not me!

...go to Do-It Center with Rich, fill up our cart with stuff, proceed to the checkout and then realize that neither of us had any money on us. We did not then leave our cart, go home and get money, return to the store, and then sheepishly go through the checkout again. Not me (or us)!

...eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut, a huge ice cream in a waffle cone at Disneyland, chocolate raspberry trifle, and a dozen or so of the amazing Italian cookies that one of my Shepherds' Conference guys brought. I would never eat those kinds of unhealthy, fattening things. And I would never gain weight if I did. Nope, not me!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

WDW - Easy Enchiladas & Homemade Refried Beans

enchilada on plate

I don’t make many dinner things in 9 x 13 dishes. I’ve never been one for layering ingredients like chicken with cream of mushroom soup (gag!) and peas and weird things like Durkee onions. But, this is one of my few “casseroles” if you will, and I love to make a whole bunch and freeze a few pans. You might as well make a bunch when you do it. The way I look at it, you are making pretty much the same mess whether you make one pan or eight.

Disclaimer! These are not super-authentic Mexican enchiladas – they are more like a gringo like me made them. But, they are absolutely delicious!

You can make these out of chicken or beef. Last weekend I made both types, since we hosted a bunch of folks last night before the Shepherds’ Conference begins. To save myself time, I picked up two roasted chickens and a package of shredded cooked beef from Costco. The shredded beef can be found in the fresh section with the lunchmeat, sausages, etc. And you don't need me to extol the virtues of Costco roasted chickens. I am addicted. Have I ever mentioned the time that they were sold out and I nearly had a heart attack right there in the meat section. Mercy!


shredded beef

This is a handy product!

To begin, dump the shredded meat (beef or chicken) into a large mixing bowl. Dump in a good amount of shredded jack-cheddar cheese, sour cream, and some of your favorite fresh salsa (we like Jack’s from Costco). I used to chop up green onions, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro until I had a revelation that I could just substitute salsa. Brilliant! But, be sure to use the fresh kind. So, that’s it -mix well. Sorry for not giving exact proportions, but trust me – you can’t mess these up. Especially if you’re a gringo like me. By the way, is gringo a bad word? If someone tells me that it is, I will stop saying it. Anyways, this is what the mixture should look like:

chicken mix

Chicken filling

I use flour tortillas and packaged enchilada sauce mix from Lawry’s. I know, I know… you hear me bagging on packaged foods pretty regularly around here, but I do have my few crutches, OK? I made 5 envelopes of sauce for the amount of filling I had. I pour a little sauce into each pan before I lay the enchiladas in. These are so easy to make. Follow me...

meat in enchilada

folding enchilada

one enchilada in sauce


layered enchiladas

enchiladas sauce

Sorry for the "Chef boy-are-dee" sauce color here. I use point and shoot.

done enchiladas

And there you go. Cover with foil and freeze, or cook right away. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes (be sure to thaw enchiladas before baking if they are frozen).

This made seven 9 x 13 pans. I did myself a favor and used disposable pans. Can I tell you how much I love disposable pans? I buy them at bulk at Costco, if that tells you anything. I suppose it's environmentally irresponsible, but I'm not super-concerned with the environment. I am actually more concerned with how many dishes I have to do. Wait, doesn't using disposable pans save water? Yes, it does! See, I am doing my part to save the world after all.

If you are interested in an enchilada making extravaganza like mine, here's what I used to make my 7 pans of enchiladas:

From Costco: 2 roasted chickens, 1 packaged shredded beef, 1 package (5 lb.) shredded jack-cheddar cheese, 1 container Jack's fresh salsa (I used half), 2 packages tortillas (I used 49 tortillas).

From the grocery store: 1 container (16 oz) sour cream, 5 packages Lawry's enchilada sauce packet mix, 5 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste for the sauce, 2 large cans sliced olives.

And since I’m feeling rather gringo-ish today, I will also share my recipe for homemade refried beans to go with these delicious enchiladas. Super easy- you make them in the crock pot. All you do is simmer them all day, and mix with your boat motor stick blender. If you don’t have one, then you can use a regular hand mixer.

Refried Beans for the crock pot

1 lb. dry pinto beans, rinsed
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ lb. raw bacon, chopped
6 cups water
½ tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours, and then on low for 4 more hours. Use stick blender to puree. Adjust salt if necessary.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Note: May double recipe, but only use 10 cups of water.

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