Category: Just For Fun

Traditions (Enchiladas, Spoonbread and More)

Christmas is a time when we think about traditions.  The memories mix with the moment and nostalgia dodges our steps.  This week nostalgia filled the air of my rental home here in Wales with the smells of green chili chicken enchiladas, sweet corn spoonbread and peppernuts.  Oh the joys of diversity.  My California upbringing and my Mennonite heritage collide at Christmas and I can hardly begin to celebrate without this delightful mix of culture and flavor.  We’ll leave the peppernuts for another day, because today, by popular demand, I want to share the recipes for this weeks “traditional” Christmas meal.  Honestly, tamales would be more traditional (Teen Challenge used to sell them as a Christmas fundraiser), but I’m much better at making enchiladas.

Yummy

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces of green chilies (rinsed, chopped and seeded)
  • Small Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp leaf oregano/crushed
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cilantro
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I use a gluten free mix)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup (approx) Cooking Oil
  • 8 large Tortillas – (I use gluten free homemade flour or corn tortillas)
  • 3 to 4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Mozzarella cheese

Method:

  • Cook chicken in olive oil on stove top or in slow cooker. Shred finely. Set aside. (For extra flavor add an extra 3 to 7 ounces of green chilies to the chicken while cooking)
  • Make Green Chili sauce: Saute small diced onion in olive oil or butter until clear or golden brown. Add  green chilies.. Add cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and cilantro. Cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in flour until well combined. Cook 1 minute.
  • Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In another pan bring cooking oil to a medium heat. Do not overheat – it should not smoke. Add tortillas to oil and quickly turn them over and remove them to your baking dish. (This softens the tortilla and keeps it from tearing when rolled)
  • Place tortilla in the pan. Add meat, sauce and some of the grated cheese. (Reserve enough sauce to pour over top when done) Roll the tortilla and continue until the pan is filled.
  • Cover with remaining grated cheese and the rest of the liquid mixture. Cook in oven on low heat until warmed through and cheese is melted.
  • If desired (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t) Top with homemade guacamole before serving

Sweet Corn Spoon Bread

(Recipe credit: Lee Ann Clark = Allrecipes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/3 cup masa harina
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:

  • In a medium bowl beat butter until it is creamy.  Add the Mexican corn flour (Masa Harina) and water and beat until well mixed.
  • Using a food processor, process thawed corn, but leave chunky.  Stir into the butter mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, mix cornmeal, sugar, cream, salt and baking powder.  Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour batter into an ungreased 8×8 baking pan,  Smooth batter and cover with aluminum foil.
  • Place pan into a 9×13 baking dish filled a third of the way with water (water bath)
  • Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven F (175 C) oven for 50-60 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes.
  • Use an ice cream scoop for easy removal from pan.

Great Poetry Reading Day

I still don’t have internet or phone at home, but it’s a pretty day out (at the moment) and I’ve found if I take my computer to just the right place I can connect to someone’s WIFI through my internet provider’s website.  (It’s a service they offer, rest assured – I’m not stealing someone’s signal).  And I just couldn’t pass up the fact that my Hoops and Yoyo calendar tells me that today is “Great Poetry Reading Day.”

So here’s one of my favorite poems.

Maybe you’d like to share one of your favorites in the comments?

Sabbath Poem I: 1979 by Wendell Berry

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

Another reason to have a cat

I don’t like spiders.  I’ve had a number of them around the house lately.  They don’t last long if they come inside and climb down the wall to within cat range, but the ones on the porch are another matter.

So today I searched online for natural ways to get rid of spiders and one of the suggestions was, “get a cat, they eat them.”  It made me laugh.  Then I saw today’s Rose is Rose.