Rejuvenation

Today’s post is going to be quick and easy. You see, you may notice a few changes on the blog today – a new look, new features and finally…index pages! As most bloggers know, changes like that are not so quick and easy. They take time…lots of time. But we had some this weekend and we figured it was time to liven things up a bit around here, make some improvements, get around to the things we’ve been procrastinating. Frankly, we were ready for a little rejuvenation. So was this recipe…

Seafood enchiladas have long been a favorite summertime dish for us. My grandpa passed along a recipe to me years ago after clipping it from a magazine in the lobby of the hospital where he volunteered. He saw it, knew my affection for seafood, and thought I would like it. He was right. (He found at least 50 recipes…perhaps he was trying to tell me something.) Well, my cooking skills have much improved since then and I opted to scrap the pre-mixed seasoning packet and put my own spin on these babies.

cream cheese enchiladas

The original recipe calls for regular cream cheese, butter and a ranch dressing seasoning packet. I typically swap out the regular cream cheese for reduced fat cream cheese. I’ve even used the fat-free or a mixture of the two and the results don’t vary at all. I also usually switch out the butter for oil. Now this time, having worked my way around a kitchen a bit more these past few years, I decided to bag the ranch seasoning mix and all its sodium for my own mixture of spices. So in place of the ranch dressing mixture I combined parsley, dill, chives, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder.

enchiladas

As for the recipe, it’s simple. Mix the cream cheese and spices with a bit of milk in a large bowl. Reserve about a 1/4 of the mixture in a small bowl to the side. Next saute the cayenne, onion and garlic in a skillet. Toss in the crab meat, sliced black olives and Salsa Verde. The original recipe called for green chilies, but we’re rejuvenating, remember. ūüôā (Next time, I’ll make my own salsa too….) Cook this mixture for a few minutes and then add it to the large bowl with the cream cheese and spices. Fold in some Colby Jack cheese and spread the mixture evenly in the center of about 8 to 12 tortilla shells.

Crab and dill enchiladas

Next roll the enchiladas, place them in a baking dish seam-side down and top with a bit more Salsa Verde, the small bowl of cream cheese mix and some more Colby Jack. Bake the enchiladas covered for 25 minutes at 350F. Finally, uncover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. And you’re done…see, quick and easy.

Seafood Enchiladas

Mike and I have enjoyed these enchiladas numerous times over the years, but this was the kids’ first experience with them. I was a little skeptical. I knew they would enjoy the crab, but I wasn’t so sure about the salsa and dill flavor. Well, I should have remembered Mr. N’s affection for ranch dressing, he really liked the enchiladas and gave them 3 spoons. Miss A liked them too, but not as much as her brother. She rang in with 2 spoons. Mike and I both really enjoyed the freshened up version of the dish. I gave them 4 spoons and Mike a strong 3 spoon vote. Overall, a very successful meal. I bet Grandpa would have enjoyed them too – or at least the fact that I still make them!

Have a great week everyone. We’ll be back next week with our first recipe from our Thai cooking adventures. In the meantime, we hope you have as much fun checking out the indices as we had making them. We didn’t realize just how many states and countries we’ve visited – and just how much the kids have changed!

Print this recipe: Seafood Enchiladas

Salsa – Almost as Much Fun to Say as Sriracha

Miss A¬†rollin’ in her signature laid back¬†style¬†– 2009

There’s a story behind this – every time¬†we go to the grocery store and get to the Asian food aisle, Miss A starts yelling¬†“Sri-chacha” – and I mean yelling. We can’t help but laugh every time, even while trying to shoosh¬†her just a bit. Then she continues for the next few aisles whispering “Sri-chacha.”

While we¬†didn’t use Sriracha¬†tonight,¬†it was Miss A’s pick for our stateside adventure. We asked her what state she wanted to cook from and without hesitation she said very matter of factly, “California.” Dad and I both turned and looked at each other in shock. You see she usually picks places we’ve recently talked about or visited, or even one she flips to in the atlas, but today was straight out of her own little mind. So even though we already visited California once before, we figured we’d give it another go because Miss A said so.

Every time¬†we visit California we eat lots of fresh Mexican food – especially fresh salsa. And since we’re really full from eating¬†desserts the past few weeks and weekends, we’re going to feature a healthy California side dish this week in its place – Pineapple Jicama Salsa. (Don’t worry…we’ll have another dessert soon. ūüėČ )

This recipe is courtesy of our good friend, Linda, who shared this wonderful dish with us last week after I devoured quite a bit at their house. We started by dicing some tomatoes, jicama and pineapple. Continue reading

A Healthy and Tasty Enchilada

After our big British feast this past weekend, and its piles of leftovers, we’ve been preparing meals a bit on the lighter side. We also decided to break from our usual state night dinner in honor of Cinco de Mayo and cook another new recipe from Mexico. Mr. N was very excited about this because Mexico was his first choice at the start of this adventure. He’s a big fan. So for our fiesta we tried a recipe from Parents Magazine from March 2010. It’s a low-cal take on a traditional Mexican favorite – the enchilada. These Gooey Enchiladasreportedly lost 131 calories, 14 grams of fat and 400 mg of sodium from a standard Enchilada recipe.

Dad started by heating the oil in a large skillet to cook the onions and garlic. After about 7 minutes he added the fire-roasted tomatoes, coriander, cumin, oregano and pepper; and in a separate skillet he was browning the ground chicken and black beans. In the meantime, Miss A and I chopped up the cilantro which was added to the sauce. She was on a chopping kick this week. Continue reading

One More for the Teachers

Feliz¬†Cinco de Mayo! We wanted to share one other dish that we whipped up for the teacher’s today. This one was again from The “I Don’t Know How to Cook” Book – Mexican by Linda Rodriguez, Green Beans with Pine Nuts.

We started by washing and cooking the fresh green beans. Continue reading

Amamos a los Maestros and Mexican Food

We love teachers! Amamos¬†a los maestros! This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and in honor of the fabulous individuals¬†that guide, teach and mentor Mr. N, we cooked up a few Mexican dishes for the PTA’s teacher appreciation lunch today. We also couldn’t pass up an opportunity to explore a few more Mexican recipes in honor of Cinco de Mayo. We once again consulted the book Mr. N gave me for Christmas, The “I Don’t Know How to Cook” Book Mexican by Linda Rodriguez for ideas.

As the primary appetizer we selected the Mexican Roll-up. It’s easy to serve whole, or sliced into appetizer-sized bites. The first step was to chop the jalapeno peppers and green onions. Then we combined¬†all the ingredients, including cream cheese, spices and veggies,¬†into a large skillet. Continue reading