Cinco De Mayo Enchiladas

Tomorrow is Cinco De Mayo or May 5. Here in Texas it is an excuse to eat MORE delicious Mexican food. So in honor of Cinco De Mayo I made up a pan of my enchiladas.

enchiladas

Here it is:
1 pound of meat (I use leftover roast and shred it)
1/2 pound monterrey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 onion, chopped (if your family doesn’t like onions then leave it out)
18 corn tortillas
3 cans hot enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour a little enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan. Warm up the corn tortillas in the microwave. Take some shredded meat, a little chopped onion and a little cheese and put it in the center of the tortilla. Carefully roll tortilla up putting it seam side down in the pan. Keep doing that until the pan is filled up. Then pour more enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled up enchiladas. Sprinkle top with any remaining cheese. Cover the enchiladas with foil and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Note: The recipe is extremely versatile. The meat I used in these enchiladas is leftover from our Easter pork loin. I had frozen the leftovers and thought I would do something with them later. I didn’t have quite enough meat for the enchiladas so I thaw out some venison roast that was leftover too. I combined the two meats together with a little enchilada sauce. These enchiladas turned out wonderful. This is a good way to use up any leftover meat.

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Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf

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This is a basic recipe for meatloaf.    I dressed it up a little though.  I didn’t have 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef in the freezer but I did have 1 pound and I found 1/2 pound of ground veal.  Mixing two different meats together was really good.  A 1/2 pound of ground pork would be good too!  The thought of adding 1/2 pound of venison crossed my mind but I decided not to since I like to eat venison with spicier ingredients to hide that wild taste.  Some people probably wouldn’t mind it though.  I put everything else in the meatloaf as the recipe calls for except I had 1/2 of a green and red bell pepper leftover in the refrigerator that just seemed to be crying out to me.  So I chopped those up and put them in the meatloaf.  Most leftover veggies go well in meatloaf.  This recipe was enough for supper for hubby and I and then sandwiches for lunch the next day.  Half of the meatloaf was still leftover so I put that in the slow cooker spaghetti the following morning.  This meatloaf could easily feed a family of 4 with enough leftovers to make spaghetti the next day minus the sandwiches.  I served the meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and peas.  Yummy!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk, and bread or cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5×9 inch loaf pan, or form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

What to do with leftover cranberry sauce……

Love, love, love cranberry sauce.  I can’t eat turkey without cranberry sauce.  Just have to have it.  This year we had quite a bit of leftover cranberry sauce and I decided to do something with it.  I also had 3 very very ripe bananas that I needed to do something with very quickly.  I made Banana Cranberry Bread to use up both ingredients.  This bread is excellent for breakfast and freezes well.

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Banana Cranberry Bread

2 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
3 mashed bananas
1 cup cranberry sauce (I only had about 1/2 cup but it worked out fine)
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, and mix in bananas, cranberry sauce, milk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gradually blend flour mixture into the banana mixture. Fold in walnuts. Pour into the prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, and cool completely.

What to do with leftover Sweet Potatoes……

I love sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving.  I just have to have sweet potatoes along with my turkey on Thanksgiving but for some reason the rest of my family isn’t too wild about eating it so I have lots of leftovers.  Here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole.  It is a wonderful recipe.  I had lots of leftovers this year and I couldn’t eat it all by myself.  I decided to make it into something different.  I decided to make Sweet Potato Bread.  This bread will be perfect for breakfast on a rushed morning.  This is also a freezable bread.

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Sweet Potato Bread

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or use leftover Sweet Potato Casserole)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I didn’t add any because I added pecans to the casserole)

Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts. Pour batter into greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour.

Coming up tomorrow: what to do with leftover cranberry sauce!

Leftover Mashed Potato Soup

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It isn’t often that I have leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving but for some reason I did this year.  I had enough mashed potatoes to make a good potato soup.

I added some milk and water to the mashed potatoes.  I didn’t have to add much seasoning to the soup because the mashed potatoes already had lots of seasoning in them including cream cheese, sour cream, and butter.  I did add more salt and pepper.  I also added a few dashes of garlic powder.  I also added about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese to the soup.  Cook this until the cheese melts.

The soup can be topped with chopped cooked bacon, more cheese and chopped parsley.

This turned out so good and it used up the rest of the mashed potatoes.  Even better yet was, it made one meal.

Turkey Soup

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After Thanksgiving there is always the dilemma of what to do with all the leftovers.  This year I decided to make turkey soup instead of turkey and dumplings like I did  last year.  One advantage to make turkey soup is being able to put all kinds of vegetables in it.

This is the first year I made turkey soup and did not follow a recipe.  This turned out to be the best soup I have made.  I will briefly explain how I cooked it but really you can pretty much put whatever you want to in it.

To begin with I cooked the turkey carcass for about 3 hours.  After the 3 hours I took the carcass out and placed it in a bowl to cool off.  I strained the broth to make sure all bones were out.  Then I skimmed the top to remove the fat.  When the carcass cooled off enough I got what meat I could off of it and put that in the soup.

Then I added what veggies I had.  It ended up being 1 chopped onion, 1 package of sliced mushrooms, sliced carrots, sliced celery, about 8 cut up red potatoes and here is the best part.  I put the rest of the leftover green bean casserole in the soup too.  Green bean casserole has all the ingredients for a good soup already in it like cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions.

For seasonings I put in what I thought my family would like, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, parsley, cumin, rosemary, thyme and no telling what else I put in there.

Then I simmered all that until the veggies were tender.

I added 1 cup of rice to the soup and cooked it until it was done.

Oh my!  This was good soup.  I made a huge pot full and ended up freezing some too.  Oh yes, serve with any leftover dinner rolls if you have any!

So this recipe used up the rest of the turkey and the green bean casserole.  Next post will be about what to do with leftover mashed potatoes.

Split Pea Soup

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This is a good easy recipe and a wonderful way to use up the rest of the Easter ham.  It was cold and rainy here all last week so this soup really tasted good.

8 cups water
1 pound of dried split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 pounds of smoked ham
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium stalks of celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

Heat water and peas to boiling in Dutch oven; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour. Stir ham, onion, salt, and pepper into peas. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until peas are tender, about 1 hour. Skim fat if necessary. Remove ham; trim fat and bone from ham. Cut ham into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4 cups). Stir ham, carrots and celery into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Serves 8

June Monthly Menu 2012

My plans have changed for this month.  I was going to clean out my freezer by cooking up all the food I had in there but after being sick for an extended length of time a lot of my “loot” in the freezer is gone.  While I was sick I didn’t do any cooking and my family raided what was in the freezer.  It was a good thing that it was there.  Do you have extra meals frozen for backup just in case??  Now I need to concentrate on filling the freezer back up again.

This month is only partially complete as I have not been able to do much planning.  As the days go by I will be updating the menu so by all means—check back!  I will also be adding some recipes with pictures.  I had cooked these dishes before I had gotten sick but never got the chance to upload them.

Recipe for using frozen tomatoes:  Pizza Sauce

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Mexican Casserole, Beans 2 Leftovers
3 Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork served over hamburger buns, beans (I like to cook the pork in the slow cooker.) 4 Enchiladas (use meat from yesterday and some cheese rolled up in a corn tortilla then pour red enchilada sauce on top with cheese. ) leftover beans from Sunday 5 Lemony Shrimp Scampi, salad with balsamic vinaigrette 6  Mixed green salad with sliced apples, walnuts, blue cheese bits, some shrimp from Tuesday drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette (recipe coming soon) 7 Pan Roasted Chicken and Salad (This is so good and easy to put together on a week night.) 8 Fried Crappie, Corn on the cob, green beans 9 Hamburgers, potato salad, watermelon
10 Company Casserole, Salad with Ranch Dressing, Garlic Bread 11 Penne with Shrimp, Feta and Spring Vegetables 12 Submarine Sandwiches, Chips and Soft Drinks to be taken to concert in the park 13 Leftovers 14 Tuna Fish Patties, Corn on the Cob, Beans 15  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup 16  Homemade Spaghetti O’s (mmm…this brings back memories!) and some good garlic bread
17 Forgotten Chicken, Green Beans, salad 18 Pasta with Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes, Salad 19 Fish Vera Cruz, Salad 20  Sauteed Chicken with Spinach 21 Baked Ziti, Salad, Bread Sticks 22 Leftovers or go out to eat 23 Pizza
24 Take out Lasagna from Johnny Carinos 25 Bubble Up Enchiladas, corn on the cob 26 Picnic dinner to go watch concert in the park-Fried Chicken and potato salad 27 Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce, Salad 28 Breakfast for Dinner  29 Angel Chicken Pasta  30 Firecracker Casserole, Salad, Watermelon (fireworks display is tonight)