Monday, May 11, 2015

10 Minutes Cheese and Onion Enchiladas

     Mexican. It is my most favorite type of cuisine. I would probably eat it every day, if I could. I love spicy, flavorful food, and it fills the bill every time. I also love it because so many things are so simple to prepare.

     These enchiladas are *so* easy! I love to order cheese enchiladas at Mexican restaurants, but I could never get them quite right at home. So recently, I took to ordering them every single time we went to our favorite Mexican place and I discovered something: unlike most recipes I had found, theirs were never soggy, and they weren't swimming in sauce. And it hit me: I didn't have to bake my enchiladas! I would get better results, and faster ones, by skipping the baking! So that led me to put these together. You melt the cheese in the tortilla in a skillet, and top it with the sauce right before serving-resulting in cheesy, but not soggy, enchiladas with the perfect amount of sauce!

10 Minute Cheese and Onion Enchiladas
1/2 white onion chopped
butter for sauteing
8 corn tortillas (I used "super sized ones, that were about 6 1/2 inches across)
8 oz. Monterey jack or jalapeno jack cheese (depending on how spicy you want them), shredded
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
16 oz. of your favorite green enchilada sauce

1. Saute the chopped onion briefly in a separate pan. The onions can be caramelized, if you like, but I only cooked mine for a few minutes because I wanted them to still maintain some texture. Set to the side.
2. While the onions are cooking, heat your sauce. Keep it on "low" while you cook the enchiladas.
3. Preheat the skillet on low, and add a *generous* 1/4 c. (or a scant 1/2 c., which ever way you would like to look at it!) of cheeses, using about 3/4 monterey jack to 1/4 amount of cheddar to the center of a tortilla. Place in the skillet. Add about 1 tablespoon of the onion in a line down the center.
4. I added 1/4-1/2 tsp. of water to the side of the skillet and topped it with the lid. Keep a close eye on it, all you want is for the cheese to melt.

 5. As soon as the cheese is melted, remove the tortilla, roll it quickly on  the plate and top it with sauce.
6. Serve with your favorite toppings-I can never resist sour cream!
     I only made one at a time, and it still only took me about ten minutes to make enough for our entire family (and Joel had three!). This is such a great vegetarian meal, truly no one even misses the meat. I added black beans and Spanish rice on the side-and some guacamole, which we ate before it made it in the photos.

      I was a little worried that because these were so easy they wouldn't be tasty-um wrong! Joel raved about them, and I will definitely be making them again-especially during the summer when I don't want to heat up the oven.

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"Thrifty Thursday" at Living Well, Spending Less

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

     I love to make candy. I prefer it to almost any other kitchen activity. Some people find it tedious, and others complain that it is hard, but I think it is one of the most rewarding foods you can make! People just don't get excited about veggies, or casseroles, or soups they way they do about candy! And they are almost always impressed when they find out you made it yourself. So, if you are in the mood to be complimented, or you want to surprise a sweet-lover in your life, make them some candy!

    I made these truffles for a tea we had at church recently. I wanted something that would appeal to the majority of women, and I have found that dark chocolate is (almost) universally loved! Since it is spring, and the tea was just for the ladies, I also decided that raspberry would be the perfect complement. Who can resist pink?

     The key to these truffles is the cream cheese. I won't sing the praises of that most delicious ingredient right now-suffice it to say, I love it! Throw that in with just a few other things, and you will quickly have candy that will amaze and impress all your friends. 

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Makes approximately 36-40 candies

5 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 tsp. raspberry extract 
4 c. powdered sugar 
Red food dye or coloring
1 package (10 oz.) Ghiradelli 60% cacao bakings chips

1. Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and raspberry extract together. 
2. Slowly add the powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring each time until it is completely incorporated. 
3. If the mixture forms easily into balls, you may want to taste it to see if you want to add more raspberry extract. Be aware, though, that the flavor will intensify as the chocolates chill, so don't add too much. I felt that after 24 hours the 1 and 1/2 tsp. amount was perfect. 
4. Add your food dye if you like. I used gel food coloring (for cakes, etc.) so I didn't have to add much liquid to achieve the color I wanted. If you are using traditional food coloring, you may have to add more powdered sugar afterwards so that the mixture will be firm.
5. Scoop mixture out by level tablespoons, and roll into balls. Place on waxed paper and freeze for 10-15 minutes, or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Don't leave them in the freezer for too long, because if they actually start to freeze, they will expand once they are dipped and crack the chocolate, and it will make the extract "ooze". They will still be tasty, but they won't look as nice!
6. Melt the chocolate according to the package directions. (Basically, in the microwave at half power, in 30 second increments).
7. Working quickly, dip the candies using two forks, top with sprinkles or edible "pearls" if desired, and place on waxed paper to set.
8. Place in fridge to set. Once they are completely hardened, they can be placed in mini muffin liners to gift, and stacked. Keep them refrigerated!

    These were a huge hit! I based them on this recipe, but found the proportions weren't tasting right. So I changed them to suit myself. And of course, I had to make them into truffles. And dip them in dark chocolate! I love it when I can start with an idea and then really turn it into something that I love. And I love these! 

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