Friday, October 24, 2014

Stacked Enchiladas - A Favorite For My Dad

Today my dad would have turned 72 years old.  Unfortunately, as many of you know, he lost his {almost year long} battle to esophageal cancer earlier this year.  He was a fighter though. In the past 8 years he went up against prostate cancer, melanoma, and did his best to beat this one - but couldn't win the battle.  He and I were very similar.  And as much as we butted heads, he is still one of my number one inspirations.

This was one of his all time favorite dishes that my mom would make for him.  These Stacked Enchiladas would be perfect for my dad if they were made with blue corn tortillas - but I couldn't {readily} find any locally.  I decided to purchase mini corn tortillas from Alejandro's Tortilla & Bakery out of Tucson, AZ that I found at my local Safeway.   They worked perfectly.  My dad was a sliced-avocado-kind-of-guy as a garnish on his Stacked Enchilada - I added more to mine, and made a couple of other suggestions in the recipe. He would have also enjoyed a margarita with his dinner over my choice of Corona Light.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday, Dad - I know you would have enjoyed these with me, but I'm also certain that you would have made a comment that the blue corn tortillas would have been better!  ;)

Stacked Enchiladas
Serves 4

12 blue corn tortillas (yellow or white corn work too!)
Small jar or can of green enchilada sauce or green chile sauce.  My mom uses 505 Green Chile Sauce
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced (or shredded).  I had some Pollo Asado from Sprouts that we grilled and diced small
10 green onions, sliced thin (white and green parts)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (get the block and shred it - so much better than the bag!)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Shredded lettuce, diced/sliced avocados, thinly sliced radishes - for garnish (diced tomatoes, sliced  jalapeƱos would be good too)

In the end, you will have 3 tortillas, 2 layers of chicken, green onions, and slivered almonds, and 3 layers of cheese for each stack.  As you are building them, parse out the ingredients accordingly. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, heat the green chile (or enchilada) sauce.  Working one at a time, dip each corn tortilla into the warmed sauce and flip, covering the tortilla.  Carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Do this four times so that you can create the four stacks consecutively.

Onto each of the first tortillas, add some of the diced/shredded chicken, green onions, slivered almonds, and shredded cheese.  Repeat this layer one more time with another tortilla, chicken, green onions, slivered almonds, and shredded cheese.  Add the final tortilla and top with cheese.  Spoon some of the remaining sauce over the top.

Place serving platter into the oven for 5-7 minutes until cheese has melted.  Using a spatula, transfer each stack to individual plates and garnish with lettuce, avocados, and radishes on the top of the stack.  Serve immediately.

Note: For more heat, feel free to add some of your favorite hot sauce to the enchilada sauce!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tabasco Flavor Bowl - My 1st House Party!

Over the weekend I hosted my first House Party!  I applied a couple of months ago for the Tabasco Flavor Bowl and was selected to be a host.  I quickly sent out my invitations, confirmed the attendees, and my House Party Party Pack arrived a couple of weeks before the party.  If you haven't heard of this, it's pretty cool!  House Party coaches you along the way, provides activities to complete, suggestions for your party, and lots of fun party favors and goodies in your party pack!

The hosts had a couple of dates from which to choose to hold the party - I chose Sunday so that we could pair it with watching a football game on TV.  It worked out perfectly that the Arizona Cardinals were playing at the same time I had planned the party!  But we also had a challenge of our own....

Tabasco's Original Red Sauce was up against their Chipotle Pepper Sauce in the Tabasco Flavor Bowl. I went to their recipe page and came up with 2 drinks, 2 dips/salsas, and 2 meat dishes to serve at the party.

The Tabasco Flavor Bowl Challenge

While prepping for the party Sunday morning, I asked my 8 year old son to get the contents of the party pack and and to place around the house.  He went above and beyond with this task!  Not only did he create different stations (like the picture station and cheering stand), but he also created 3 Tabasco-themed games....and to top it off - a schedule of events!  The apple does not fall far from the tree.....

He was so excited about all of this and made sure to remind me that we should stay on schedule to make sure we got through all of the games and activities that were planned!

Picture Station with Props from Party Pack

Cheering  Stand with Props from Party Pack

Our games included:  Pin the Cap on the Tabasco, Hot Tabasco (like Hot Potato but with the red Tabasco football included in our Party Pack, and Tabasco Says (like Simon Says - that included an example!).  The games were stationed around the house - and even one outside.  Super proud mom!  :)

Tabasco Themed Games and Activities Created by My 8 Year Old Son

Now for the food!  I am sharing my images with you - but sending you straight to the Tabasco site for the recipes!

I offered two cocktails, yes, both with Tabasco sauce in them!  I served a wine-based Tangy Sangria that featured the Original Red Sauce.

Tangy Sangria

I also served a Chipotle Bloody Mary that included a good dose of the Chipotle Pepper Sauce, of course!

Chipotle Bloody Mary

The Guacamolillo is more of a sauce, then a dip - but everyone thought it was great with the tortilla chips!  I will certainly make this again to serve with tacos!   This was another dish with a dash of the Original Red Sauce.


The Chipotle Salsa was also delicious with the tortilla chips!  Super fresh and the right amount of smoky flavor from the Chipotle Pepper Sauce.

Chipotle Salsa

In the crockpot, I served another easy dish using the Original Red Sauce - Sausages in Beer.  I modified the recipe some by using just over two pounds of Italian turkey sausage from Jennie-O - one package of sweet and one package of hot.   It was great!  And - a bit of a surprise as to which one you were actually going to eat when choosing them!  :)  

Sausages in Beer

Last but not least, I used the Chipotle Pepper Sauce to make Smoky BBQ Wings.  These were delicious!  

Smoky BBQ Wings

I also knocked out a homemade cheese pizza for the kids - but most of them ate all of the food with the Tabasco sauce in it!  Once they knew there would be a vote - the definitely started to eat more of the food to make sure they were making the right choice!

The voting closed at 4:00 p.m. and by a win of just 3 points, the Chipotle Pepper Sauce beat out the Original Red Sauce.  

It was a very fun afternoon - topping it off with a win for the Arizona Cardinals, and of course, the history making play of the night, Peyton Manning's record breaking touchdown!  Go Broncos!

We wrapped up the party with a group photo (taken by The Hubby) with all of our fun photo props from our Party Pack.

Group Photo with Party Pack Props from House Party

As our guests were leaving, they were able to take great party favors home with them including: coupons, coasters, Koozies, recipe cards, and these miniature four packs of Tabasco samples!

Party Favors from House Party

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Arugula, and Burrata

As you may know, I recently purchased some Burrata, made a few different dishes with it, and now I am here to share the recipes and photos!

I put together this appetizer, fully knowing that I am not a huge fan of tomatoes - but - I need to start eating more foods that I don't usually eat, so added them to the dish.  Guess what?  I enjoyed them.

Any baguette type of bread will do, but Safeway had this Artisan Kalamata Olive Bread that looked delicious, so I tried it - and loved it!

This would also be good with a slice of fresh mozzarella instead of the burrata - I hope you'll try it and share back with me your thoughts!

Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Arugula, and Burrata
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer

1 loaf of baguette style bread - the kalamata olive loaf I used was wide, so cut the pieces in half
8 ounces of Burrata, sliced (one slice for each piece of bread)
Small bunch of arugula - stems removed
4 ounces of cherry tomatoes, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar - for drizzling

Arrange the slices of bread on a large serving platter.  Layer the ingredients on the slices of bread with the Burrata first, then 1-2 leaves of arugula, then 3-4 slices of the cherry tomatoes.  Drizzle each piece with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Serve immediately.