Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Night Mexican

My daughter, my mom, and I LOVE Mexican food, and since Ed spends 55+ hours at a Mexican-ish restaurant each week, we indulge in it Friday nights (as said restaurant is crazy busy serving $.10 beers on Friday, preventing Ed from being home for dinner). Yesterday, Em requested Enchiladas for Friday Night Mexican; I later found out from her that she actually wanted empanadas, which is not something I ever consider for Friday night dinner, since they take ALL day long for me to make. Thankfully, she misspoke. So enchiladas it is!
Anyhooo....I don't know if you have ever read a can of "enchilada sauce", but it consists of only about 20% of what I would actually consider eating, so we make our own. And it goes a lil' sumpthin' like this (queue beat box):

1 T olive oil (spanish, if you have it)
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
~1/2 onion, diced teeny weeny
1 t dried oregano
1/4 cup-ish chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 t ground cumin
1 t garlic salt
a little more than a half a can of beer. Yep, beer - I used my favorite Rocky Mountain Pale Ale. You could also use some sort of stock if you choose (forgoing beer, I personally would use the organic vegetable flavored "Better than Boullion" + water, but I use that for EVERYTHING that I don't use beer for).

Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat and saute the onions gently until they are soft. Add the tomatoes and spices, and then, when hot, add the beer or stock. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

That's it! You now have some yummy sauce! Fill up some tortillas with whatever you want, put 'em in a pan, cover them with sauce and cheese, bake for 30 at 350, and you have dinner!

Tonight, I stuffed them with some refried black beans and leftover red jasmine rice pilaf that I stuffed some acorn squash with last night.

Here they come!

Let me finish by saying, since this is just my second post, I am not a measurer. Unless I am actually making little baked goods, I rarely measure anything (and sometimes even then I don't). I use what looks like the right amount. Please understand this if you see the word "-ish" listed anywhere.....well, anywhere, because it just occurred to me that I am not really a timer either. It's just cookin' ya'll.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Wow! What a gorgeous day we had here yesterday! According to my car, while running errands WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN, we reached 68 degrees!
After scenes like this from last week,

it was so welcome! We celebrated with a fantastic grilled dinner, and Ed couldn't have been happier to man the grill!

All the warm weather we had this weekend has got me daydreaming about getting my hands all kinds of filthy and transforming a good portion of our lawn into our own veggie garden. Soon, the ground will be thawing out, and we'll be digging in! The kids started yesterday, by excavating some mud to build themselves some life sized mud playhouses. Yes, really. We visited an exhibit in the fall at the North Carolina Arboretum that detailed Native American dwellings. This was very inspiring to Em, who is convinced that she needs one of her own in the backyard!
Here is the future garden area (the big brown patch WAY down there), and possibly future mud house village site.

It looks like the weather is going to be "cooling" down again this week. For now, I guess I will hold onto the inspiration and be working on the garden plans from the cozy house!