Monthly Archives: April 2014

Annette’s Enchiladas

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have something special for you.

So special that I made this sucker twice in one week and ate it for leftovers FOR DAYS.

And those of you that know me, know I don’t do leftovers. But this? This I can stand in the kitchen with a fork eating it straight out of the pan. Which, is exactly what Shauna Niequist warned me would happen when I read about these initially. Yes, this is another incredible success from Bread and Wine. Yes, she has the recipe on her blog here. Go. Read. That. Book. Now.

Or, just run straight to the grocery store to grab these ingredients and happily make this at home instead.

You’ll thank me later.

I’d read about these in Bread and Wine initially. Then I’d heard friends rave over these. And then I saw them as a suggested dinner for an If: Gathering and I finally cracked. They just sounded like warmth, home cooking and happiness… and every once and awhile that just sounds fantastic. Plus, I was going to have dinner that night with a new dear friend and I just knew she’d be game for staying in with wine, trying a new recipe and laughing in the kitchen together (and God bless those instant kindred spirit type friends). So I ran quick to the grocery store on my way home, prepared to wow her with this meal when I showed up on her door step with it perfectly cooked and ready to enjoy.

Well Praise the Lord that she’s good humored, because within five minutes of arriving home I realized:

  • Chicken takes twenty minutes to boil and I didn’t budget pre-cooking chicken time, so dinner was just going to be late. (Side note: The dreaded ghetto Safeway that I live close to doesn’t have rotisserie chickens just hanging out at the checkout isle. Deep Sigh. I hate you Safeway. Even if you are quick and easy.)
  • I no longer own a 9×13 pan. It seems mine has wandered off.

So! After a quick text to my new BFF I packed pans, bowls, measuring cups, all of the groceries, and headed over to steal her kitchen (and her pans!) and finish the meal there. See. Total new best friendship.

We laughed, we discussed hopes and dreams, we dug deep. Seven hours of friendship total and she knows me better than some people I’ve known for years. Which might explain how we missed the very crucial step of turning on the oven. Which may or may not have doubled our cook time. Which is exactly why you should also grab chips and salsa as a compliment to this meal. Perfect appetizer and accidental tide over when dinner takes an hour!

I remade it that same weekend when The Boy and I decided to do dinner and a movie in on a rainy lazy Saturday. It was perfect. I don’t want to say we both got up for seconds (and maybe even thirds). But so far, it’s gotten some serious stamps of approval. And there’s just something about a meal that you have the ability to throw together quickly, that you know people will love and will turn out well that that warms my heart.

So my friends, I give you this meal. Perfect for making and enjoying with new friends and loved ones. Or making and taking to friends with new children. Or who have recently lost loved ones. It’s comfort food. Through and through. It tastes like happiness, it’s easy to reheat quick. And it honestly might be better day two after everything has perfectly jelled together.

Looking at this again is making me want it again for dinner tonight. Okay. Someone might need to stage an intervention.

Looking at this again is making me want it again for dinner tonight. Okay. Someone might need to stage an intervention.

Happy eating.

Annette’s Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 28-ounce can green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is best)
  • 2 4-ounce small cans green chilies, diced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas (I’m using 18 little guys)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Mix green sauce with chilies and sour cream.
  2. Smooth 1 spoonful of the sauce mixture around the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.
  3. Simmer the chicken broth in a skillet, and before placing each tortilla in the 9 by 13 pan, use tongs (or fingers if you’re less fancy and don’t own tongs) to pass the tortilla through the broth for just a few seconds. If you leave the tortillas in the broth for too long, they’ll fall apart, so just dip each one in for a few seconds to soften it before putting it in the enchilada pan.
  4. Layer 4 tortillas over the first layer of sauce. (Here’s where I’m adjusting, 4 doesn’t make sense to me if you’re using the little guys, so I use 6 little guys and it works wonderfully)
  5. After tortillas, add half the chicken, then one-third of the sauce, then one-third of the cheese.
  6. Repeat so there are 2 full layers.
  7. Finish with a layer of 4 more tortillas (or six!), the remaining third of the sauce, and the remaining third of the cheese. – Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through and the cheese is melted, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting. Top with chopped cilantro.
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OVERNIGHT BLUEBERRY FRENCH TOAST

You know how every once and awhile you do something accidentally genius?

Well, today I feel like an accidental genius.

Because I found the best, most easy and totally inexpensive breakfast dish ever. And it tastes amazing.

Let me just summarize: carbs, cream cheese and blueberries… Yeah. It’s that good.

And when I say ‘I found’ I mean that in strictly the loosest terms. Because what really happened is this incredible lady sent it to me (as she’s been reading my cooking adventures) IN JANUARY with the suggestion that I try it because it was a sure fire win… and it’s taken me this long to try it.

Which, to be fair, it serves eight. And let’s be real, I’m not around eight people for breakfast that often. Ain’t nobody need to see me that bright and early, let alone seven poor souls hanging out with pre-caffinated Betsy.

But, what I realized was, I am hanging out with a group every week that was already used to seeing Betsy before the sun rises… and that they’d totally be the right crowd for this job! My Friday morning Bible Study. I sort of wish we had a catchy name for our crew to insert here, but we don’t. We’ll work on it.

Basically, it’s the most amazing group of women that has come together with the most amazing fearless leader. We meet before work every Friday at 7am and we’re having so much fun that we keep accidentally not leaving until 8:30am. We totally lose track of time as we chat – and that, my friends, is the sign of a great group! We laugh. We cry. We’re struggle together all while diving in and really focusing on some great scripture. Truly, it’s the highlight of my week every week and I just feel so darn lucky to have these girls loving on each other, pouring into one another, praying for each other and encouraging one another in every aspect of life.

Phew. Not to get too sentimental there, but gosh, they are just the best.

AND the most loving.

So! If I was going to have a cooking fail, then this felt like the perfect crowd to do it with. You know, the kind that would laugh with you as you all took the first terrible bite together? And then you’d joke about it for years to come.

Great news: That didn’t happen. And spoiler alert, I ::might:: have gotten called Betsy Crocker this morning. Yup. True story.

And all after minimal effort. Let’s just say, this sucker is going into rotation for everything! The blog that it comes from, Real Mom Kitchen, says she makes it for Easter every year. And since Easter is sneaking up on us, I’m taking that as a sign (thanks Jesus) that I have to make it for Easter brunch this year!

Overnight Blueberry Casserole

French Toast:

  • 12 slices bread, cut into cubes (I used Texas Toast and you should too.)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup blueberries (use fresh! come on, you know you want to!)
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk (why yes, that is the size of the little drinking containers at the grocery store!)

Syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh!)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

 Arrange 1/2 of the bread cubes in a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Sprinkle cream cheese cubes and blueberries evenly over the bread cubes. Top with remaining bread cubes. Mix together eggs, milk, and syrup. Pour over bread cubes and cover pan with foil. Let chill in refrigerator overnight. Bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes or until fluffy and golden. Top with sauce.

Serves 8.

Sauce: Cook water, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened. Stir in blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Serve over the french toast. (Important Note: ‘cook until thickened’ requires more time than one minute… but if you’re, let’s say, in a hurry and you have to sort of just boil it together with the blueberries for a bit… it’s just as tasty!)

And this my friends, is what it turned out looking like:

Yuuuuuuuuuuum.

Yuuuuuuuuuuum.

See the melty cream cheese? See those fresh blueberries? CHECK OUT THAT TEXAS TOAST THAT SOAKED IN THAT EGG?! Delish. I don’t want to say that everyone had two servings, because we’re ladies. But you know, we totally did.

So thank you Kara for sending that my way and for making me look like a total rock star. I so appreciate it. You’re awesome.

And note, if you have something that’s a staple in your life, I’m so game to try it out. Just send it my way! Not only will you receive a shout out (I mean, take that for what it’s worth!), BUT you could contribute to altering my entire cooking future. And that’s really worth the investment… (maybe, probably, most likely)

Happy Friday my friends! T minus not too many hours before the weekend begins!

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