October 27, 2010

Words for Wednesday

Back from vacation in Arizona with a little Fall related quote from my favorites over at quotablecards.com.

October 12, 2010

In the Kitchen: spicy chicken enchiladas

I think it's pretty obvious I've got a real obsession with Mexican food. See here if you don't believe me! It might not be normal that I could easily eat something mexican-ish every day of the week! My quest for simply great Mexican food led me here. I've tried countless chicken enchilada recipes and haven't been able to quite achieve the taste I want. This one, is the best I've made. Really delicious. It's a Tyler Florence recipe from Food Network.com (and has a 5-star rating on their site).

- Few tablespoons olive oil
- 1 & 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoons Mexican spice blend
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 5 canned whole green chiles (I used jalapenos, hence the "spicy" in the title!)
- 4 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and minced
- 1/2 can stewed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon flour
- 16 corn tortillas
- 1 & 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (canned)
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
- Garnishes, cilantro, scallions, sour cream and anything else that sounds good!

First things first, get those chicken breasts cookin'! Season them with salt and pepper. Before turning the chicken sprinkle with cumin, garlic powder and Mexican spices. When the chicken is done, remove to a plate and let cool.

Now it's time to get the filling together. Saute onion and garlic in chicken drippings until tender. Add the corn and chiles. Add the canned tomatoes. The original recipe calls for 1 can, but I don't care for really sauce-y, tomato-y sauce, so I used very few. Stir all this together well.

Pull chicken breasts apart and "shred." Add chicken to the saute pan with the vegetables. Sprinkle flour over the pan to set the filling. You can also preheat the oven to 350 now.

Now it's time to get the tortillas ready to be filled. Take a stack of tortillas and wrap them in a damp paper towel. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spread some of the enchilada sauce into two 13x9 inch pans. Also, fill a low shallow bowl with sauce for dipping the corn tortillas in. Spoon some of the chicken mixture into each tortilla, wrapping up and placing seam side down in the pans. Now pour sauce over the enchiladas in the pan. (I noticed a lot of people on foodnetwork.com were ticked Tyler used canned sauce, personally I like canned enchilada sauce! Hey, the rest is still homemade.)

I had way too much food for just me, but the tortillas fit perfect in little ziploc square containers. I covered in sauce and froze a few. I will add the cheese when I take out to cook.

OK, one more step before putting these guys in the oven. Generously sprinkle cheese over the top. Yum.

Bake in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. While baking, whip up some guacamole. I just can't have homemade enchis without the guacamole! Don't these look good? Fresh out of the oven. Sadly, this picture is actually making me hungry!

I served with blue corn chips, guac and sprinkled the enchiladas with cilantro and scallions. Another delicious Mexican dinner!

Linking up to "Tasty Tuesdays"!

And Tasty Tuesday Parade at Beauty and Bedlam!

October 11, 2010

A girl, her bike and lake michigan

We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend in the city! I think we even broke a few records with our highs of 80+ on both days. I was loving it! I'm such a Summer girl and am always sad to see it leave. Knowing these are the last warm days we'll get for a long while, I took full advantage. I hit the lakeshore path for a nice bike ride.

Dusk sets in...

October 9, 2010

The big matchup, michigan state vs. michigan

If you've been around the blog for awhile, you know I bleed green. I LOVE football and basketball season and cheering for my Alma Mater, Michigan State. We've got a big game today, our once a season match-up with the hated University of Michigan. It's a tradition that's been going on for over a 100 years! And we're sitting pretty, having won the last two years in a row. I think today will mark the third consecutive win!

 And just to give you an idea of how "big" this game is around here -- check out this super fan. He's putting off his pacemaker surgery, just to make sure he catches the game. That, my friends, is dedication.

Today I'll be cheering on the boys from one of the State bars in Chicago. Enjoy the Spartan pictures! All from coachdantonio.com

And this guy. I love me some Dantonio. I've been keeping him in my prayers because after our sweet win over Notre Dame, he landed in the hospital with a heart attack. He will be back for the first time since then this week and coaching from the coaches box.

Go get 'em Boys!!

October 5, 2010

In the Kitchen: the best meatloaf

That's right, you read the title correctly. Let's bring meatloaf back. It's the perfect season for it. Just starting to get that chill in the air and the craving for good ol' comfort food. Enter meatloaf. This is a seriously delicious recipe from Pioneer Women. And you know she never disappoints. Here's the details:

- 1/2 cup Whole Milk
- 3 slices White Bread
- 1 pound Meat (I used half turkey and half beef)
- 1/2 cup (heaping) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Few pinches of Seasoned Salt
- 1/4 teaspoons Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Ha;f of ⅓ cups Minced Flat-leaf Parsley
- 2 whole Eggs Beaten
- 6 slices Thin/regular Bacon

- 3/4 cup Ketchup
- Half of ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard
- Tabasco To Taste

As a side note, I halved P Dubs recipe and it is the perfect size for two. if you're cooking for more, go with her full recipe.

Soak the slices of bread in milk for a few minutes. Next get out a large bowl and add in the beef, soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, salt, black pepper, and parsley. Separately beat up the eggs and then pour those in as well. In true PW fashion I used Parmesan Reggiano and shredded it myself.

Here's where it gets interesting. You have to get in there and mix together the meatloaf with your hands. I didn't think I could do it bare-handed, so this is when latex gloves come in very handy. After you mix it together, get out your broiler pan (very important, the slots in this type of pan help the grease drain!). Form the meat into a loaf and put on your broiler pan. Of course this step was when I discovered my oven didn't come with a broiler pan? I improvised...

OK and here is the good part, layer on the bacon now!

Next, put together the sauce. Mix the ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard and the best part, Tabasco sauce.

Reserve a little of the sauce for dipping, and spread the rest generously over the top of the meatloaf. Then put this little nugget in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes, then pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Make sure to let this get almost a little browned on the edges, that's the best! And again, you can see all of PW's pictures here.

I think this goes great with potatos and if you're going to make potato's try this way. It was honestly the most delicious red skins I've had in a long time - and so simple. Slice up a few red skins into wedges. Throw them into a baggie with olive oil and coat well. Then put them in a baking dish and season generously with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they look done. Sprinkle parsley over the potatos when they are done. YUM. These were seriously better than fries.

Linking up to "Tasty Tuesdays" over at A Beautiful Mess!

And linking to the Trendy Treehouse's "Creative Share Wednesday"

Steal of the Week: lands' end tote

I've had a Lands' End tote for quite a few years and I love it! I think the quality on the bag is unbeatable. Something you can use for years to come and it's a classic design that will never go out of style. Pretty excited to see that the special this week on Lands' End is their medium sized tote bag for only $12! I believe it is regularly $20 or so. Lands' End describes the medium size tote as good for every day use, it fits the same amount as one paper grocery bag. I always bring my tote with me to the farmer's market.

Loving the yellow color. You can choose from basics like navy or black and a variety of other options. Of course the monogramming is key. What's a tote without your initials?

With this deal, I'm thinking it's never too early to start Christmas shopping! Cute hostess gift filled with goodies for Holiday parties too.

A few details on the bag from Lands' End:
  • Batter-proof, 24-oz. cotton canvas
  • Reinforced, rip-resistant bottom and handles
  • Sturdier seams help Tote stand upright
  • All sizes except Small have four pockets inside to help you organize
  • An antimicrobial finish helps keep fabric fresh
The deal goes until this Thursday, the 7th!


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