Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simple, Perfect Enchiladas

So the Enchiladas were a success.  Sorry it took me so long to post this but I've been sick all week so I had to wait until tonight to make this dish. So let's get started.

I started with the sauce! I didn't really notice a huge difference with adding in the flour/canola oil rue mixture to begin with so I don't know if it was worth doing? Any thoughts?

Then the meat. I only had 1/2 pound of hamburger and since no one really likes onions I got rid of those. But let me tell you--the smell of the meat and the green chilies were divine! It smelled like a really Mexican restaurant.

I agree with Jacki that it was really difficult dipping the tortilla's in the enchilada mixture, but I stuck it out and did it anyways. This is worth getting messy for! I wish that I had used a more Mexican cheese mix other than just plain sharp, but it was still yummy.

 The picture above was before I poured the extra sauce on...which by the way was WAY too much extra. I like my enchiladas smothered, but I ended up scooping a lot off before putting it in the oven. This was another recipe where I had to cook them for longer and ended up turning up the oven to 375. Also since Doug doesn't like olives I had to leave them off part of them and then I had to make some without cheese for Paige and then I made some with just cheese for me. We're so picky! But everyone says that this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Audrey's Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

I decided to try the meatloaf and mashed potatoes tonight as Doug is out of town and doesn't like meatloaf. It was just Brock and I, so I have a lot of leftovers :) I followed the recipe for the meatloaf, but added extra hot sauce, but could have used even more, according to Brock. It was a very easy recipe to follow, which is good. I wasn't sure about all that parsley, as I am not a big fan of it, but it was very tasty cooked. I liked the flavor and thought that it was very moist. I also put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes to cook the bacon a bit more and help with the sauce on top. Brock wasn't too sure about eating the meatloaf, but he must have liked it fine, since he had 2nds :)
The mashed potatoes turned out well also. After reading others comments on the cream cheese being too rich, I cut back on the amount that I used. I thought that it had a good flavor, but they are rich. Normally I use my mixer to mash up the potatoes, but I used the potato masher and they turned out real well. I liked the potatoes fine with the meatloaf, but I think others in my family would be wondering where the gravy was :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two dishes

Ok…. Trying to catch up with you guys…
We had the enchiladas today and I changed a couple things….. I used bison since I don’t buy ground beef, also don’t use cheddar so I used my Mexican blend of chesses (mixture of Asadero, Panela, Requeson, Cotija and if I can get my hands on it Chihuahua cheese) I always use this mixture on my Mexican dishes, I learned this from a Mexican chef when we lived in Iowa. Using the right cheese can make a huge difference. I decided not to add the oil/flour mixture and just stick with a simple enchilada sauce recipe that I haven’t used in many years (mix in blender can enchilada sauce, can stewed tomatoes Mexican recipe and can of stewed tomatoes with peppers and spices, add salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and coriander to taste). As far as the meat goes, I sautéed onion and garlic first before adding the ground bison to the pot and after the meat was cooled I added the olives, cilantro, green onions and can of green chilies. It was a lot easier to assemble the tortillas . I also learned from my friend to just roll the enchiladas quickly as they are being fried and dipped in the enchilada sauce, your fingers get a bit messy but the tortillas don’t fall apart.
We served the enchiladas with sliced jalapenos, sour cream, and a nice salad with fresh sliced avocados and a cilantro lime dressing.
Everyone enjoyed the dish but declared that it was not as good as the recipe I usually make, They much prefer chicken so I may try to make this again using chicken instead and see what they think.

Now the chicken spaghetti was not so popular, everyone agreed that the dish would have tasted so much better without all the cream of mushroom and cheese. I am not a big fan of cream of mushroom/casserole dishes and to me this was too much like a casserole. I only use it on the canned green bean dish that my boys like to call “Relief Society beans”. Even then I don’t prepare it!!!! Leon (My Husband) does.
I didn’t have time to go to the store so I just used the chicken tenderloins I had in the freezer, I sautéed them in olive oil, onion and garlic and proceeded with the rest of the recipe and I had some homemade chicken broth in my freezer. I double the recipe and took a dish to a family in our ward, I used whole grain pasta since they really like that so I am curios to find out how they liked the dish. I’m sorry but I am sure I will not be making this dish again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jacki’s Review of Enchiladas, Crisp and Ree

Jacki's Pics 430 

Jacki's Pics 431

First of all – I took the above pics at the National Book Festival this past Saturday in D.C.  It is held every year on the Mall and is a wonderful event.  All sorts of authors (usually have a new book out) come and give short (30 min) presentations and sign books.  The hard part is there are several authors presenting at the same time in different pavilions so choices have to be made.  I had to choose between Laura Bush and Ree Drummond.  Due to metro delays I made it just in time to hear Ree speak but the pavilion Laura Bush was at was clear at the other end of the festival so my choice was made for me!  Ree was absolutely delightful and after cooking from her book and reading her blog I felt like I was listening to my neighbor speak:)  I was unable to hang around afterwards and chat and take a pic with her because I had to catch the metro again to get back to drive down to Tommy’s football game.  But I did snap the one pic of her chatting with others and speaking.  She said she has another cookbook coming out next year (2011) , a children’s book about her dog, Charlie as well as a memoir type book titled From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels.  She has also sold the movie rights to that book which looks like it will proceed.  She said her message is that if she can do it anyone can meaning she started from scratch on everything – cooking, photography, writing, blogging etc.  She figured it out as she went.  Very down to earth and likeable. 

Onward to my cooking….Another save- the- recipe meal at out house last night.  I made the enchiladas and as Leslee mentioned, they were time consuming – something that would improve after making the recipe again I am sure.  I followed the recipe as directed.  I have never fried the corn tortillas before filling them just because it is more fat.  I just heat them in the microwave and roll.  But, I decided to try it and it really does add to the taste.  With frying the tortillas and then dipping them in the sauce they were getting too soggy so after a few I started skipping the sauce dipping and just put the filling on and rolled them up.  I also didn’t end up pouring all the sauce on – just until it seemed enough.  I usually only put cheese and/or chicken in mine but the ground beef filling was really good.  I liked the flavor of the whole dish.  I am also not a huge fan of canned enchilada red sauce but the addition of the chicken broth and cilantro produced a good, flavorful sauce. I didn’t feel like they were too spicy.   I would definitely make these enchiladas again.

Jacki's Pics 434

The Peach Crisp was delicious but I had a bit of a problem with mine.  I used fresh peaches and they produced so much liquid that I couldn’t get the crisp part to crisp even though I cooked it for an extra 30 minutes.  The liquid just came up and overwhelmed it.  I think my problem was that I put it in an 8” square pyrex dish and the 7 x 11 dish would have been better because it would have spread out the peaches layer and therefore the liquid so it wouldn’t drown out the crisp part – does that make sense?  I probably would have been better off to not put the foil on at the beginning.  The maple sauce was heavenly!  I did add a little more maple as Tarin suggested.  I also liked the hint of lemon in the peach filling.  I definitely want to make this again and get the crisp part crisp!  I guess I could have stuck it under the broiler for a few minutes?

Jacki's Pics 435

I am loving all the postings and reviews – thanks everyone!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Peach Crisp

The kids and I made this earlier today for a Family Night dessert.  I haven’t been on the internet much but looked at this blog today and was feeling motivated.  Luckily I am the kind of person who just happens to have a giant container of heavy cream in the house.  You never know when it might come in handy.

It was great to have someone to tend the pot of cream while I did the rest.  First of all PW wasn’t joking when she said the maple cream is basically the best thing ever.  It was delicious.  For the crisp part I had five peaches that looked good but they were all  mushy inside so I use some canned peaches.  I have done this in the past too and I just drain them and there you have it.  I also did not have a lemon so I just used some lemon juice I had in the fridge. 


Here is the crisp ready to be cooked.  I actually put it in the fridge for awhile until I was ready to cook it.  That worked out just fine. IMG_2422

Max really enjoyed it as did the rest of us.  You can see he really feels like he conquered the dessert here.  


Audrey's Blackberry cobbler

Yesterday we celebrated Brock's 18th birthday and for his dessert he wanted Angel food cake with strawberries and ice cream. I decided that since there would be 6 of us there, it would be a good time to try out Patsy's blackberry cobbler. It was so easy to make and everyone that ate it, really liked the crispy crust. I just used frozen blackberries that I thawed out some and then blotted off the extra juice. I have made a cobbler like this before except that you put the fruit in first and then poured the batter on top, but the crust didn't get as crispy. We like PW's version better. I will certainly fix this again. Good pick Heidi :)

Calorie Overload!!!!!!!!

Oh my, I felt like a hypocrite teaching my class this morning telling everyone to control their calorie intake…… My arteries are still trying to function as I type our review…….The boys LOVED IT!!!!!!!! Every single bite, especially after fast Sunday!!!….. I don’t use Lawry’s salt so I looked up the ingredients online and made my own, very easy.
The gravy was definitely too thick so I added 2 cups of chicken broth and that was perfect. I also seasoned the beef overnight since we were going to be in church all morning and I like more flavor in my dishes. I kept the mashed potatoes light with “can’t believe it’s not butter”, half 1% milk and half chicken broth. Alexandro made a delicious salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and tossed it with butter lettuce pears and feta cheese. We also had a side of sautéed asparagus in garlic and olive oil. It was definitely a very rich meal for us. Not sure I can make this dish too often.

Lawry's The Original Seasoned Salt Ingredients:
Salt, Sugar, Paprika, Turmeric, Onion, Cornstarch (I left this out), Garlic.

The cobbler was so EASY!!!!! Love the simplicity or it…. Don’t want to know how many calories on this one!!!! I had some apples and blueberries that need to be used so into the cobbler they went…. We had ours with vanilla ice cream, can’t wait to make this again with blackberries. This recipe is a keeper!!!!

Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce

Let me start out by saying that this is not a "Crisp", I might have mentioned a few times before that her names for desserts are not accurate (i.e. the blackberry cobbler was more of a buckle, and her "flat apple pie" is actually called a galette. It might just be the baking snob in me, but this bugs me. That being said...

This was a delicious Peach Crumble.

I started out with the Maple Cream Sauce since that had to sit in the refridgerator for so long. Being on the tempermental stove that we had it took a little longer to get to a steady boil than I would have liked so it took more like 30 minutes to get to the thicker consistancy that I was looking for.

 The only thing that I think I'll change next time is to add more maple syrup. It was a really faint flavor and I wanted it too be a bit more obvious.

Moving on to the crumble was a really great combination for the topping and really easy to mix up. The only thing I would recommend is to just go ahead and use your fingers to make it a really beautiful consistancy.

I used peaches out of a jar that I drained and it took 2 jars for this size of pie pan. Also I didn't have any lemon so I used orange instead.

For a really awesome crumble, you really want a nice thick layer (at least 1/4 inch thick) that covers the entire top of the fruit.

And here it is right out of the oven! Nicely browned on top :)

Here it is scooped up!

And finally already to eat with ice cream and the cream sauce on top.

And I promise that this treat will not last long! The pie serving size was enough for 6-7 people. And I didn't change any of the recipe to make it fit in that size.

This was a great recipe and definitely a keeper. Perfect for a great fall meal! The only other thing that I might do next time is to make a crust on the bottom--I've done this for other crumbles (this also works really well with cherries and blackberries, but with those I normally just use the pie filling cans) I've made and you just use the same crumb recipe for the crust as for the top. Extra yummy!