Two Lives, One Lifestyle

Love is in the Air by Katie
July 26, 2010, 5:43 pm
Filed under: Katie, Kelli

Just wanted to shout out a happy anniversary to Kelli and Stephen!  She has been MIA from the blog because she’s making crazy amazing changes to her new house- like ripping out entire shrubs and planting nice trees and flowers.  The first time Kelli announced that her and Stephen were planning to get engaged, I was in shock and it took me awhile to not be freaked out that one of my best friends was getting married!  I still have no idea why I was so weirded out?  But now… I mean, obviously they made the right decision.

Still such little lovebirds, these two!

The Spaghetti of Mexican Food by Katie
July 26, 2010, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Katie

John’s favorite meal when we go out is a big plate of cheesy enchiladas.  Since my mom had never made enchiladas and I learned to cook mostly from her, by default I assumed they were complex.  I reserved them as a indulgence worthy of a restaurant trip (we rarely ever went out to restaurants growing up, it’s pretty impressive on my mom’s part now that I realize what cooking every night after work and driving around 3 kids would take).

Anyway, tangent over.  Enchiladas are to “Mexican” food as spaghetti is to “Italian” food in terms of  easy pantry items.  All you need are tortilla shells, meat or beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce.  Just like spaghetti sauce, you could make your own more time-consuming enchilada sauce.  However, many jarred enchilada sauces have the same minimal ingredients as tomato sauce.

First, cook some chicken. This could be done ahead and then marinated in a bit of enchilada sauce.  Use a little thinned out (add water) sauce to coat the bottom of a baking pan.  Then, roll a bit of chicken with a tiny sprinkle of cheese in a tortilla and place seam-side down in a pan.  Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkles of cheese.  Put it in the oven.  Since the chicken is pre-cooked, decide when the cheese is melted and bubbly enough for you.

Making enchiladas at home where you can control the amount of cheese and oil makes them infinitely healthier than most restaurants.  Unless your home is with Paula Dean. I used a few tablespoons of guacamole and Greek yogurt (sour cream) to finish mine off.

On the side I made black beans.  I saw some delicious looking black beans at the Whole Foods hot bar recently and instead of buying them, read the ingredient list. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 can black beans
  • few shakes of chili powder
  • ~1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion, sauteed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped jalapeno, seeded and sauteed
  • 1/8 c. orange juice

I brought it to a boil and then reduced it to medium to simmer.  The orange juice is what I remembered from the WF ingredient list- it gave the beans a really nice citrus sweetness!

John said that the meal looked like it was from a restaurant which I took as a great compliment!  So glad I have leftovers for lunch too!