Now that the wonderful tidal wave of family visits has receded, we are busy finding our new normal. Most days, we are home, with no plans to leave the house again until mid-April when we no longer need eighteen layers of boots and hats and mittens and coats.
These days are full of nursing sweet Elsa and laughing with Owen at her catastrophically loud belches.
They are full of playing cars, castle, and “backetball” with Owen…of endlessly finding more tractors & that sneaky Goldbug in his favorite book.
They are full of trips to the potty with Owen, who has a sudden and intense interest in using it. We are riding that train as far as it takes us.
The days are full of naps…one for Owen, and most days, one for me, as I snuggle Elsa on a sun-lit couch.
They are full of shoveling…for Eric.
Our days are full of “Bumpa” – Owen wants his Grandpas drawn; he wants to talk to them on the phone, and every pick up truck in every book belongs to Bumpa.
They are full of laundry. I cannot believe how adding just one little tiny person has pretty much tripled our laundry needs.
The days are full of cheering Eric’s return as he walks through the door at night.
They are full of not going through the growing pile of mail that is taking over my desk.
They are full of snow and ice and those piercingly beautiful blue skies of late-winter.
They are full of marveling at all of the language tumbling out of Owen’s mouth.
The days are full of food; so many people have been so gracious to bring us such delicious food, I couldn’t even get over it if I wanted to.
And on the days in between, we are eating up our freezer meals. Let me tell you, for someone who loves cooking as much as I do, this little hiatus as been nice. Maybe it’s not even so much the cooking as it is the dishes. We’ve been giving ourselves the luxury of using paper plates in this newborn time, so between that and not cooking, I have like seven dishes to do every day, and I love it.
We recently enjoyed these stacked enchiladas from our freezer. This recipe comes from Margie over at Toads Drink Coffee. Simply put, if I could be some combination of Margie and my own mother when I’m older, I’ll have done my job in life. I love Margie’s writing and got to know her through the process of reading her amazing memoir (and attending her author’s reading at a friend’s home). She is full of grace and wit and charm…and she was kind enough to share this recipe with me.
When I first made these stacked enchiladas, I emailed Margie and told her what a happy combination of Mexico and Minnesota this meal was. Simple enchilada fixin’s are made and stacked – none of this time-consuming rolling. But then you add cream of chicken soup, and it turns into something of a hotdish, and a new comfort food is born. We loved eating this dish with some salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and using it as almost a dip for for tortilla chips.
This dish freezes beautifully, and it’s super easy to make two at a time, freezing one for later. I’m pretty sure this will be in our regular rotation going forward…especially in these full, full days.
(recipe from Toads Drink Coffee )
(yields one 13x9" pan or two 8x8" pans)
An easy and mild enchilada dish that freezes well. You can either make one large 13x9" pan or make two 8x8" pans and freeze one for later. This dish also works well in a cast iron pan (if not freezing, of course).
1 lb. ground beef
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper to taste
2 (10.5-oz) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (10.5-oz) soup can's worth of milk
10-12 small corn or flour tortillas (I used flour)
1 1/2 c. (12 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles (more to taste)
1 small onion, diced
Prepare the Beef:
Brown the ground beef with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Drain and set aside.
Grease your pan(s) and preheat oven to 350*.
Mix the soup and milk in a large shallow bowl. Dip a tortilla in the soup mix so that each side is drenched. Place in bottom of dish. (Don't be afraid to tear tortillas to fit the shape of your pan). Sprinkle a bit of the ground beef mixture, app. 1 tbsp. diced onion, 1 tbsp. green chile, a little sprinkling of cheese. Repeat layers until the tortillas are used. Pour any remaining soup and a generous amount of cheese over the top.
If freezing this dish, let it cool completely; then cover with a layer of plastic wrap and then a tight layer of foil. When ready to cook, let thaw completely (I'd give it about 24 hours in the fridge, or the better part of the day on the countertop). Then bake as directed below.
Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling.