Thursday, October 31, 2013

A "Good Morning" Flower {It's the little things in life...}

I woke up early the other morning to the beep beep of my phone receiving a text message.  Sleepily I rubbed my eyes, rolled over and looked at the screen.  As my blurry eyes began to focus I saw a "Good Morning" flower from my love!  It's those little simple things in life that mean the most!  Having a long distance relationship is not easy but it makes you more mindful of each other as we find lots of creative little ways to say "I love you!"

Monday, October 21, 2013

Persimmons, Pumpkins and Pomegranates oh my!

This is "Fall" in my neck of the woods!  Colorful roses are blooming along with the pretty "dancing ladies" tree.  It is still warm with temperatures hovering around 80.  The persimmon tree is full of delicious fruit and the pomegranates are bright red.  My landlady and I will be squeezing them soon and making our yearly batches of pomegranate jelly.  Pumpkins have appeared (thanks to Charlotte and Bill) and some very strange looking gourds.  Fall is here!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

What's for Dinner?

With October well on it's way I get in the mood to make more dishes in the oven.  One of the recipes that I tried last week was a new take on enchiladas.  The original recipe was  called Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Enchiladas and was posted on the food blog In Sock Monkey Slippers.  I've tried several of her recipes in the past and they've turned out great.  A friend of mine had grown some butternut squash in his garden and gave me a couple. They had been sitting on my counter staring at me  so here was the perfect recipe to use them up!  I changed it up a little bit to adapted it to my own taste.  I added roasted chicken which can be optional if you want a vegetarian dish.

Here how I made mine:

Preheat our oven to 400 F.  Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.  Get a whole head of garlic and cut off the top (about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch) then place on a piece of parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil and course sea salt.  Gather and twist the paper together like a little package.  You can also use foil but I didn't have any.  Cut the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and place facing down on the lined baking sheet.  I did learn a great tip from Meredith: Placing the whole squash in the microwave for 45 seconds before cutting will make slicing easier."   So true!  Bake for about 45 minutes.  Your house will smell delicious as it bakes!

After taking it out of the oven let it rest and cool off for just a bit so you don't burn your fingers.  Gently scoop out the squash away from the skin and put into your food processor.  (A blender will also work)  

Squeeze the garlic cloves from the head into the food processor with the squash. They will just sort of pop out of the casing. Process or blend and test for salt.  Add is needed.  I also added black pepper, a bit of cayenne pepper and some ground cumin for extra flavor.

I had some roasted chicken breast that I coarsely chopped to add to the enchiladas.  This is optional but it sure made them delicious!  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and then get everything ready to assemble.

Heat up tortillas in a pan or the microwave.  Take one tortilla and place a generous scoop of the squash mixture.  Sprinkle some chopped chicken on top and carefully roll.    

Place in a greased 9x14 baking dish. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are used up.  I got 12 rolls in the baking dish. Pour a jar of salsa verde (about 2 cups) all over the top.  

Then for a final touch sprinkle about a cup and a half of monterey jack cheese and pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Let it rest for a few minutes and serve.

Enjoy a very delicious meal (or six meals if you are like me and are cooking for one!)

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pound butternut squash
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • course kosher sea salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • ground cumin
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • cooking oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups salsa verde