Assembly Line Chicken Enchiladas

I Mexican Food!  

While it's fun to go out and enjoy it, it's not that difficult to prepare at home.  Also, it's cheaper to make (obviously) so let's talk fake-away!  Why spend the cash on takeaway meals when you can make your own and add extra of what you like!

Photos of this meal always grabs my attention.  These enchiladas are juicy, just spicy enough and packed with protein.  Two kinds of black beans - regular canned and a can of re-fried black beans plus chicken.  Yes, protein packed.


It's not hard to put together but you do use a few dishes to sort out the ingredients.  No matter, while these are baking you can load up the dishwasher or hand wash the lot. 
First you make your assembly line.  Rice, the combined black beans, cheese, chicken or tofu and sauce.  Use a plate to hold the tortillas as you make layers.


This is what the stuffed enchiladas look like before you pop them in the oven.


And here they are after baking for a half hour.  Ooey and gooey and cheesy.


If you are having weather decent enough to sit outside then by all means, this is a lovely meal to enjoy while listening to the night birds.  Pour me some wine!


One of these fat enchiladas is enough for a meal. I served this with avocado quarters.  Can't remember which wine we opened but it's more than likely a red blend.  Love those red blends.


Chicken Enchiladas

2 cups cooked rice
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can refried black beans
a package of cheddar or taco shredded cheese
1 10 oz. can of medium enchilada sauce
6 flour tortillas

To prepare you will need to have all these ingredients in bowls so you can make an assembly line.  First I placed roughly a quarter cup of sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish.

Now place a teeny bit of sauce on the tortilla followed by some rice, beans, chicken and cheese. Roll it and place in the pan.  Repeat this five more times until you have 6 fat enchiladas. Toss some of the leftover cheese over the enchiladas and bake, covered at 350 F for 25 minutes.  Pull foil off and bake another 5 minutes so the cheese is almost browned.

Wait 5 more minutes to extract an enchilada.  Watch out, they will be hot and sear your mouth!  Serve with avocado or salad.  Wine was nice too.

I am sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Chicken Taco Chili

This. is. so. good. 

 It's probably the easiest lunch I have ever tossed together and it is definitely going on the lunch rotation for work.

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I actually prepared this in the morning while coffee was brewing, it's that easy.  If I had to cook chicken it would obviously take longer but as it happened, I had some handy so I diced it into chunks.
You toss it all in one pot to heat.  If you wanted a vegetarian version I'm sure you could use tofu as tofu absorbs the flavors of other ingredients.


Tortilla chips can be used to scoop this chili if you like eating it as a dip.


Chicken Taco Chili

1 can of red beans or pinto beans
1 package of taco seasoning mix
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups diced chicken, cooked
1 10 oz can green chilies (do not drain)
1 cup broth
tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sour cream

In a 4 quart dutch oven combine all ingredients except the tortilla chips and sour cream, mixing well.  Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Stir occasionally.  To serve place crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl and top with soup.  Top with sour cream.

 I am sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb for Souper Sunday.
Check out Deb's Vegetable Soup HERE and join in!

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Still in awe of the Falcon Heavy

This is news from last month but I am still in awe of the Falcon Heavy launch. I'm sure most people have seen this plastered over the news and on TV but I watched this video again today and had to post it.

This very cool photo is something we need to purchase.  Doug will order it and I think we will get it framed and hang it in the den.  That's where we listen to music and have drinks many evenings.


One day we would love to visit the Kennedy Space Center and if we could see a launch, so much the better. Dreaming for retirement or a vacation coming up.

Hope all is well in your world.

Seafood soup, Rogan Josh and Southern fried chicken and slaw

Recently I had the pleasure of my son's company for an impromptu dinner. Doug was out of town for business and I knew my son was on his own with leftovers for a few days.  His wife is out of town and I thought it would be a good chance to catch up and combine all our leftovers for an international  meal.

I had planned to make Rogan Josh so I'd have a hot Indian meal for dinner and leftovers for lunch.  Additionally, there were a few pieces of fried chicken and Cole Slaw in the fridge.  Tristan had made a seafood soup tossing in ingredients here and there, so he brought his pot of soup over for me to try.  Behold the international dinner.


I must say he did a good job on this soup with no recipe at all.  Since he was playing bachelor he could add in ingredients his wife doesn't care for like onions and bell peppers.  It was great!


The seafood was a frozen mixed bag with crab, oysters, fish and mussels. His base was a jarred tomato pasta sauce, chopped onions, diced green bell peppers, tomatoes, salt and pepper. It made an enormous pot of soup so he was eating it for days and days.  I suggested he freeze some before he got sick of it.  Between all the food we had it was a feast.  Lots of fun.

I'm looking forward to him joining us again for dinner now Doug is back from traveling, have a family meal as we did when he was a teenager.

 I am sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb for Souper Sunday
Check out Deb's Lentil vegetable Soup HERE. and join in!

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Taco Salads, Olives and Foxes

Here we are on a late rainy Sunday afternoon.  Tristan is coming over to dinner tonight so that will be nice to catch up with him.  I baked a French loaf and brownies so far.

Fox news - I think I am obsessed watching these foxes every night.  But I'm like that with the deer or the few turkeys we've seen, the occasional elusive bobcat.  26 years living out here and I never tire of the wildlife. We have watched a family come eat, sometimes it's only one fox, other times I see two large ones and a tiny one waiting on the sidelines until it's his turn,  Today I had the binoculars out and watched this area of toppled trees.  We had trees cleared a few years back and this place looked like cave the way the trees settled.  A big fox came out and walked along a tree laying over the "cave."  It was exciting,

Taco salad and martinis....This week was one of expectation and a bit of disappointment here and there.  Overall, it's a lesson to double check things ahead of time.  I was craving a taco salad so we went to one of our favorite restaurants.  We hadn't been there in a while so I ordered the taco salad I wanted but failed to read over the new menu carefully. 

Last time it came in an edible bowl but this time it was far too much lettuce and no bowl.  All plated up instead.  While it was good with a choice of beef, chicken or black beans (I opted for black beans) it left me wanting the tortilla chips or tortilla bowl.


Next time I think I will try the taco salad at Peppers or El Jalisco.  And maybe I can make one at home sometime too.  Lesson here is, read the menu carefully or ask questions.  Still it was a good salad.

A martini.  I have been craving one since we watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith a few weeks back and finally grabbed a jar of fat olives for the garnish. Doug makes a great cocktail and this one was a beauty.  But I  forgot to check to see if that jar of olives were pitted.  They were not.  Insert frowny face now!


 This horrific mistake has been rectified and I expect to have a great martini this evening after dinner.  Lesson here is, pay attention to labels.

The last two movie nights we enjoyed featured Casablanca and Indiana Jones.  For the Friday action flick (Indy Jones) we had bagels, Nova lox and sushi.  Fun evening!

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I've been spending more time reading and updating my book blog lately and afraid this old blog has taken a backseat. If I don't keep up regularly I may take a break for a while.  We shall see.

Hope all is well in your world. Now that we have proper olives all is well here.  Just baking breads, reading and working.  Looking forward to time at the bay near St. George Island coming up.

 I'm joining Deb at Kahakai for Soup Sunday this week. Check out her linkup HERE with the Potato Leek  soup with fried capers.

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Farm Stand Noodle Soup, Books and Walking

I am so lazy about updating lately.  What's up with that? The meals have been good, the crocheting is moving along at a glacial pace, we've watched a few movies.....nothing exciting.

The Dinner:   I had a happy accident with a dinner that wasn't up to expectations.

This farm stand pasta was meant to be the main course.  I used the food processor to shred zucchini and I used a sharp knife for the corn, tomatoes and onions.  When combined with these tiny tubular pasta it was meant to be a bowl meal.  Well, it actually was  a bowl meal but alas, it was too much of a lightweight dinner so....the obvious solution is - turn it into soup.

That's a winner for us as we bring lunch to work 98% of the time. Healthier and more economical. This is also a nice way to welcome Deb back to the blogging world by sharing a new recipe.


Add broth and more veggies to the pot. I sauteed garlic, more corn and onion and tossed in leftover green beans. It was perfect for a work lunch and transported well. Nothing hard about this "recipe". It's not vegan as I added Parmesan cheese but I did use vegetable broth so...vegetarian friendly.

Bookish stuff: Doug is reading Genghis Khan and it sounds very interesting, the bits he's shared with me so far.  I was just about to start The Dry by Jane Harper but the library just notified me of the latest Rachel Joyce novel I had on hold.  Guess I will start that book once we swing by the library.

   gengis music shop

Exercise: Still walking every day and getting loads of steps in.  Aja takes us on a whirlwind walk in the mornings.  Once home we dry her feet and chase her around house as she runs, toy in mouth and flying around corners.  Then we walk for another half hour.  Plus the FitBit reminds us to get up and walk when we get to work.  Maintaining weight in spite of getting pizza once a week. #win

After a big walk and run she is ready to sleep.  Not too spoiled, right?


Soup and Chowder: I'm making gumbo again soon so I will be sure to share that, it's a favorite.  Also, we have been freezing the leftover grilled fish so looks like another chowder is in order.  Nice winter meals.

I am linking up with Deb for Souper Sunday.  Check out her Miso Soup with chickpeas and pasta HEREWelcome back, Deb!

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Looking forward to Kahakai Kitchen coming back

I've gotten to know some good people through this online journal.  Deb at Kahakai Kitchen is one of those very nice people and this post is dedicated to her.  I am looking forward to her returning to her blog, writing cool book reviews and hosting her famous Souper Sunday series again.

Now what else could I bring to nourish Deb but a big bowl of soup made with fresh veggies. Tuck's hearty!


I make a different version of this soup not too long ago but this batch was a real treat.  It was creamier but I know why - I added some half-n-half.  Not a lot - but probably a good half cup.  A version of this soup may be found HERE and it seems almost a cheat to be posting about this again but there are a few differences.

My veggies this time are celery, carrot, garlic, onion, zucchini and green beans. After adding flour to the cooked veggies I added that half a cup of half-n-half, some vegetable broth and Silk almond milk.  Rice and potatoes were in the fridge but I opted for rice again.  Liberally salt and pepper the soup, serve with a homemade loaf of French bread.

Bon appetit, Deb! If you need anything let me know. 😉

So besides making soup and bread, you know what else I've been doing. (besides reading) I have been crocheting hats. My granddaughter liked the gray one I made her and requested a pink one.  This soft pink yarn was easier on the eyes than a hot pink color, so I am thankful she likes the softer tones.  Next hat is in progress, a burgundy one that hopefully fits me.


Happy Tuesday to all.  Deb, we will see you when you are feeling better! Aloha :-)

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Cheese loving Aja, the night sky at Oscars, Snow in Tylertown
and of course....books

I had not intended for a week to go by before checking the blog it is Thursday again!  Quick update from this part of world, 24 degrees this morning near Havana, Florida.  Wind chill to make it feel 17 F.  My friend in Alaska texted me to say we were 9 degrees colder this morning than it was in Eagle River Alaska.  Yikes!

The night sky around 6:15 in Havana Florida.  We had stepped out of Oscar's Pizza to walk Aja a bit before the pizza was ready.  Takeaway and movie night organized before the rain arrived.  This photo doesn't do it justice, the clouds were silky midnight blue and there was orange just above the treeline.

night sky

I will, perhaps, sit for you if you give me cheese.  This one is loving the cold, cold weather.  She walks so fast and shows such joy in her eyes when it's bitter cold.  I'm sure it's tougher on a dog with a double coat in the hot summers we have.  But it's her time of year now. We get back from a walk after battling a biting wind and she still runs to the back door to get back out. Crazy.


Speaking of cold - it snowed again in Tylertown Mississippi!


What a beautiful sight, this pasture covered with snow.  It would be so nice to enjoy a coffee with Aunt Ellen and our cousins, looking out at this scene.  Much thanks to Lee Ellen for sending the photos.


On the bookish front, I started the next book in the Frieda Klein series, Tuesday's Gone.  Good start to it, I can tell I will read all in the series.  Also just read that a follow up book to Silent Sunday will be published so I'm stoked about that. It's called The Day of the Dead and will be out in July of 2018.  Maybe I will be all caught up by then and read the other books on my Kindle.

Doug just finished Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and has Tana French and Andy Weir books on hold. Has anyone read Artemis by Weir?  I am looking forward to that too.


That's about it for now.  It's been too cold to ride but I have been making lots of soup and bread.  Heats the kitchen and it's good homemade food.  Hope all is well in your world.  I hope to be back before next Thursday :-)

It's Thursday - only 1 more get-up till the weekend!
{Random thoughts}

I have some great books lined up for January and February.  Soon I want to get back to the Nicci French novels, I've read the first and last one so far.  I just finished The Chalk Man and it was a page turner for sure.  As soon as this author comes out with another book, I'm on it.  The perfect balance of leaving a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter but not keeping you waiting too long to get back to it. I had participated for the first time with Sheila's First Book of the Year and actually stuck to it.


The second week of January brings us a mixture of weird weather.  High temperature today is 70 degrees but back to cooler temps by the weekend.  I wore a hat, scarf, gloves and heavy coat to walk around Havana about 4 days ago.  Now I'm in short sleeves.  You can't put clothes away for a season.....except in summer.  Then  you are certain the heavy winter clothes won't be needed.


James McMurtry is saving my sanity at work.  I listen to the album Saint Mary of the Woods and Complicated Games quite a bit while I'm working. I listen to lots of Mark Knopfler and Alison Krauss too. The cacophony of conversations that qualify as pure noise can dominate my end of the hall sometimes. I am thankful for a door I can close and create my own peaceful environment.

What's been cooking?  Well, some of our old standby meals such as this Spinach Tortellini with Chardonnay, eggplant and shepherd's pie.  Pizza is on the radar for this weekend.  We love to have pizza and a red blend during movie night.


For now that's it.  I just wanted to be sure I journaled this week.  The weekend plans include starting a new book, starting a new crochet project (pink hat was requested by the granddaughter) and making myself get the vacuum out and do some housework.  I sure hate housework but must be tackled. <big sigh> 

If the weather cooperates we may ride somewhere to eat lunch.  Definitely getting photos of that if it happens.  Doug pulled the trike up to house so he can get a charge on the battery, it's been working well so far.  The cold and lack of riding sure will kill a battery. Riding for lunch is always fun.  Hopefully I won't fall asleep afterwards. That happens most times.

Wish me luck on the Lucky Money draw with Friday's lottery.  It could change our stars to be sure!

Assembly Line Chicken Enchiladas

I ♥ Mexican Food!   While it's fun to go out and enjoy it, it's not that difficult to prepare at home.  Also, it's cheaper ...