Grandmother’s Enchiladas…

These stacked enchiladas come from my great-grandmother; but not Baba, the one who’s recipes I post so often – my other great-grandmother (my Daddy’s grandmother). I probably owe a lot of my culinary curiosity to Grandmother. There were three things I always wanted to do when I visited Grandmother- 1. put on one of her long, comfy nightgowns, 2. root around in her jewelry boxes, and 3. get in her kitchen and make a giant mess. She would let me put practically anything I wanted in her frying pan and “cook” my own little recipes (under her supervision, of course…I probably would’ve burned the house down had I been left alone. I was that kid) – one time in particular I remember making an epspecially large mess with a tub of marshmallow fluff. There was nothing I enjoyed more than having free reign in a grown-up’s kitchen. Good times….

Anyway, on to the enchiladas. When I was first married, my mother gave me a stack of hand-written recipes (all of her favorites) in my stocking at Christmas. A lot of the recipes have little stories written along with them, explaining where they came from or how they got to be so loved. Here is the story my mom wrote on the back of the recipe card for these enchiladas:

“Grandmother would call us and say, ‘I’m making enchiladas” – usually sometime after Christmas when Mexican food tastes so good after all the rich Christmas food, or the first really cold day in Winter. She never had to ask twice; we couldn’t get there fast enough!”

The best thing about these enchiladas (besides the taste, obviously) is how easy they are. They’re made with simple stuff you probably already have in your pantry. I like to use ground turkey and turkey chili to make them a little healthier. They’re just perfect when the weather is really cold and you need a quick, comforting dinner. They also make a great Super Bowl meal – a couple of years ago we had our friends over to watch the game and I served these along with hubby’s homemade salsa, guacamole and margaritas. That was one successful Super Bowl party.

Grandmother’s Stacked Enchiladas

1 pound ground beef
1 – 2 tablespoons minced onion (I use onion flakes or onion powder)
1 teaspoon salt (you can also add a little cayenne pepper if you like extra heat….I do)
2 tablespoons flour
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can chili (we like the kind with no beans…these ain’t no “Yankee enchiladas”!) ;-)
1 can tomato soup
corn tortillas (I use flour)
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Brown meat in skillet and drain fat; stir in onion, salt and flour. Add enchilada sauce, chili, tomato soup and one can full of water and stir over medium heat until combined. Cook for 2 or 3 more minutes then turn the heat off. On oven-safe plates, layer one tortilla, then the meat mixture, then another tortilla and more meat mixture, then top with cheese and place in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and the cheese is melted. * If you don’t have oven-safe plates, I’ve found just popping it in the microwave will work just fine too. Some good toppings are sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro…whatever you want! Enjoy!

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Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-ups

A few weeks ago, we had our good friends Michael and Andrea (who happens to be a fantastic photographer) over for snacks and a Harry Potter fest. I had no idea what I was going to serve, but I knew I didn’t want it to be too fussy or involved – it was supposed to be just junky snack food, after all! So I decided to flip through one of my Gooseberry Patch cookbooks that is specifically for having company and found this recipe. Cream cheese, chicken, cilantro, rotel tomatoes….how can you go wrong with that cast of characters?! Sure enough, this was some seriously good dip – in fact, these little roll-ups didn’t even make it out of the kitchen! Once hubby and Mikey got a taste, they pretty much devoured them in no time. So, needless to say, I didn’t wait long before making it again – this time for my mom, who was visiting for a couple of days (the ultimate test, mind you).  Thankfully, she loved it too! In fact, she didn’t wait long before making it herself! This is good dip, people.

The recipe is for dipping, but they also suggest spreading the dip on torillas, rolling them up and slicing them to make roll-ups, which is what I chose to do – perfect for parties!

Festive Chicken Enchilada Dip
– Gooseberry Patch “Come On Over”

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped (I used onion powder)
10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel tomatoes)

Mix cheeses together until well blended; add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serves 6-8.

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“Holy Enchiladas!!!”

Sorry for the cheesy title….you can thank Joel for that. :-) Hey, I guess I should just be thankful he takes an interest in my blogging, right? Anyway, tonight’s dinner got off to a very rocky start, but finished strong. I had a hankering for chicken enchiladas and discovered a really delicious-sounding recipe from Renea of Sweet, Savory, Southern

So, everything was going along great – Joel had just walked through the door, I was really organized, dinner was just about ready – all I had to do was make the sauce and throw the enchiladas in the oven. I had just started my sauce – I added the oil to the pan, then the flour and spices, yadda, yadda… as I was stirring, I happened to notice the mixture seemed a little thin, even after adding the flour. So I went back and checked my recipe…um, ¼ cup of oil…NOT ONE cup!!! Yeah – I used an entire cup of oil as opposed to the ¼ of a cup that the recipe called for. I have no idea where I got that….so, to try to fix things, I just added a whole bunch more flour…and spices….and used up all the rest of the chili powder I had. I ended up with a giant saucepan full of MUCK. Poor Joel had to get back out and go to the store for me (since I had used up all my chicken broth and chili powder) so I could attempt the sauce again. Luckily, the second time around was muuuuuuuuch better (and didn’t end with me dumping the pan in the sink and throwing kitchen utensils every-which-direction).

This isn’t your usual, run-of-the-mill Sour Cream Chicken Enchilada – in fact, that’s why I chose this recipe – there’s no sour cream! Now, for those of you who can’t fathom a chicken enchilada sans the sour cream, don’t worry: this dish definitely delivers (Renea knows what she’s doing!)! The chili gravy topping is full of flavor and spice – topped with gooey, melty cheese and a dollop of cool sour cream (so, I guess there’s a little sour cream in the recipe…), its a perfect enchilada, in my opinion (and Joel’s). Even though this recipe calls for chicken, I think it would be fantastic with beef or ground turkey as well – whatever tickles your enchilada-fancy!

    Chicken Enchiladas

    (from Renea at Sweet, Savory, Southern)

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

    1/2 a green bell pepper, finely chopped

    1/2 onion, finely chopped

    2 Tbsp olive oil

    1 tsp garlic powder

    salt and pepper to taste

    2 cups chili gravy (recipe follows)

    4 flour tortillas (I had enough filling for 5-6 tortillas)

    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

    Add onion and peppers and cook for about 5 min. Add shredded chicken and stir. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Remove from pan and set aside. Using the same pan, make the chili gravy as follows.

Chili Gravy

    1/4 cup lard (she used vegetable oil and so did I)

    1/4 cup flour

    1/2 tsp black pepper

    1 tsp salt

    1-1/2 tsp powdered garlic

    2 tsp ground cumin

    1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)

    2 T chili powder

    2 cups chicken broth (or water)

    Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.

    Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients. Add chicken broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes.

    Once the chili gravy is done, add 1/2 a cup to the chicken mixture and stir. Spoon the chicken mixture into the flour tortilla shells and roll up. Spread another half cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and place the rolled tortillas in the dish. Top with the remaining cup of sauce and shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 min. (I baked for 15 minutes minus the cheese, then added the cheese and cooked for 5 minutes more – just to melt the cheese)

Prep time: 12-15 minutes

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Serves: 3 to 6 (depending on appetites)

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It’s ‘Crack Dip’ Season!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

YEEEESSSSSS. Blame it on the pregnancy cravings (give me all things Buffalo!), or the Super Bowl season, but I am PUMPED about Buffalo Chicken Dip, aka, Crack Dip. I only make it once a year for the Super Bowl, but I crave it year round. Don’t forget to make some for your Super Bowl bash! It’ll be the hit of the party!

Here’s a few more of my favorite football foods that would be equally as awesome for your party:

Baked Tex-Mex Pimento Cheese Dip

Cheesy Pepperoni Bread

Bananas Foster Nachos. These are seriously AH-MA-ZING.

Bananas Foster Nachos

BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos

Baked Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Enchilada Dip Roll-Ups

Happy Super Bowl party planning, everybody! May you enjoy your fatty dips, quesos, and deep-fried stuff as much as I will! :)

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Smothered Burritos…

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for sloppy Tex-Mex. I love pretty much anything doused in enchilada sauce covered in cheese- it’s my weakness (well, one of ‘em). The other night I was craving Mexican food pretty bad (it happens a lot lately) and I decided to whip up these burritos. They took no time to make and tasted awesome. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I had to photograph them on a paper plate…we’ve been in the middle of having some renovations done and I packed all my dishes up temporarily. If you’re in need of a quick, delicious meal, try these burritos- they won’t disappoint!

Smothered Burritos

1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
half a (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
burrito-sized flour tortillas, warmed
shredded cheddar cheese

Garnishes:
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoes
shredded cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
sliced black olives
cilantro
avocado

Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat and drain.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the green chiles and turn off heat; keep warm. Warm the refried beans in a small skillet over low heat.

In a saucepan, combine the tomato soup and enchilada sauce. Mix well, and cook over medium heat until heated through.

Place a warmed tortilla on a plate and spread some of the refried beans into the center; sprinkle with cheese, then spoon some of the ground beef mixture onto the center. Tuck in the ends of the tortilla and carefully fold into a burrito. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the burrito and top with additional cheese and garnishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serves 4-6

Recipe source: Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Some Super Bowl Favorites…

Super Bowl season is seriously one of my favorite times of year. Around New Year’s Eve I start craving football food- buffalo wings, dips, fried stuff, etc. I thought it might be helpful to some of you who might be preparing for a Super Bowl party if I posted a few of my favorite snack-type foods. Give you some ideas, maybe.

Starting with my favorite: I love buffalo sauce – I would seriously eat just about anything dipped in buffalo sauce! So naturally, my all-time favorite Super Bowl food is “Crack Dip” (click for recipe). Yeah, it’s fattening; it’s tacky; and let’s be honest- it sounds kinda gross; but you can’t argue with the fact that it’s down-right delicious. And yes, there are a few “snoots” out there who have a real problem with this recipe; to them, I say….bite me. Please. And thank you.

Number 2, my Chicken Enchilada Dip (click for recipe), which can also be rolled into tortillas and sliced, which make excellent finger foods for football parties! I make this stuff, ALL the time and we never get tired of it. It’s totally addicting!

Number 3, the best darn chili (click for recipe) I ever ate. Sure, it takes a lot of preparation, but if you have a big strong man handy to dice up your meat for you, the hard part’s over! And trust me, it’s worth every bit of the hard work – you won’t be sorry!

Number 4, Chewy Chex Mix (click for recipe). This makes a GINORMOUS batch, so it’s perfect for large crowds. Plus, it’s really hard to stop eating the stuff…so it’s good to have lots. It’s chewy, salty, not too sweet, and like I mentioned before- completely addictive!

Number 5: You’ll definitely need sweets at your Super Bowl party. Personally, I think cookies are the way to go – they’re portable, easy to eat, and really, who doesn’t love a cookie?? Really. My favorites – my winning Toasted Oatmeal Cookies, really, really good M&M Cookies, or everybody’s personal favorite, the BFCCCC’s (that’s Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies -click for recipe and scroll down a ways). I love a good, chewy chocolate chip cookie and these really fit the bill. Everyone absolutely loves them.

So there you have it; my personal favorite football-approved recipes. Nothing fancy or difficult; just really simple, really good recipes that I guarantee everyone will really love. Everybody ENJOY your Super Bowl festivities!! Go Saints! ;-)


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Is It Fall Yet??

I have a tendency to jump the gun sometimes…my husband would tell you I start listening to Christmas music entirely too early (which I think is debatable), I always buy Spring flowers and potted plants when it’s still too chilly out, and I start cooking/baking with pumpkin, apples and butternut squash when it’s still 90 degrees.  It’s just that I get excited about seasons! It happens every year (especially when Fall comes around!) and this year is no exception.

cornpie1

I’ve had this recipe saved for about a year now.  I copied it out of my mother’s Southern Living magazine last Fall and somehow just now got around to making it. Chicken and Corn Pie with Cornbread Topping…mmm, now doesn’t that sound yummy?? And it was, too – really yummy, actually! But after making it, I realized (ok, ok, so I pretty much knew all along…) that it really is a dish that is better served when it’s chilly or cold outside – however, I just couldn’t wait that long! I’m ready for Fall now! The filling is more like a thick stew (which I love!) and the cornbread topping is really cheesy and yummy- and the great thing is, it’s really versatile- you could put in ground beef, or another kind of vegetable…lots of possibilities! I think this would be a perfect dish for watching a football game when it’s nice and chilly outside! In fact, I’ll probably serve this again when the hubby and I are at home watching the Fightin’ Texas Aggies one saturday!

cornpie2

Chicken and Corn Pie with Cornbread Topping
-Southern Living Magazine, October 2008

1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce
1 (10-oz.) can Rotel Tomatoes
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (2- 12.5-oz. cans chicken, drained, may be substituted)
1 (6-oz.) package Mexican-style cornbread mix
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Mexican four-cheese blend, divided

Preheat oven to 375°. Stir together enchilada sauce and next 3 ingredients in a 3 1/2-qt. saucepan over medium heat until combined; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in chicken.
Whisk together cornbread mix, next 3 ingredients, and 3/4 cup cheese in a small bowl just until blended.
Pour chicken mixture into a lightly greased 11×7 inch baking dish. Spoon cornbread mixture over hot chicken mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Serve with sour cream and jalapeno peppers if desired.

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Another Quick Casserole…

Here’s yet another winner from Renea over at Sweet, Savory, Southern- I think this is something like the fourth or fifth recipe of hers that I’ve made and loved. This time around, it’s her Mexican Casserole – we had it last night with homemade guacamole and raspberry margaritas…a very pleasant meal, indeed! The recipe made enough for us to have it again tonight – yippee!!

Mexican Casserole
-Sweet, Savory, Southern

1 lb lean ground turkey (I used really lean ground beef)
1/2 an onion, diced (As always, I used onion powder)
1/2 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen) *I also added a can of black beans
1 bag Mintute rice
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own with chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder and paprika)
10 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies
14 oz can enchilada sauce (small can)
shredded mexican cheese
6- 8″ tortillas

Preheat oven to 375. Begin by sauteing the onion in a little olive oil until it begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground meat to the pan. While the meat is browning, cook the rice according to the package directions and set aside. Once the meat is browned, drain any fat or liquid from the pan. Add the corn kernels, taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water. Stir to combine. Add the rice and stir. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Add 1/2 the can of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Next, make a layer with two tortillas. They should overlap a little. Add a layer of the meat mixture and then 1/2 the can of diced tomatoes with chilies. Add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add two more tortillas and repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas. Top with the additional enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

YUMMY! Like I said earlier, this goes great with some homemade guacamole and a big ‘ol pitcher of margaritas (just don’t take the plastic pour spout-thingie off your tequila bottle…because then the cap wouldn’t fit back on and you’d have to duct tape it so it would stay on. Makes no sense to you? Yeah, me neither, but somehow it happened….) Enjoy!

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