We made chicken enchiladas last night (see recipe below), to which I have some memories attached.  I think food can be strong memory keepers for us.  It reminds us of good times, bad times, special times.  So your next assignment is to share with us a dish that you have memories with and share those memories with us, too.  

And thanks to Jenny for that photo!  I haven't tried that recipe yet, but I want to because it looks SO good!  I've been wanting to take photos and post them with my dishes but haven't gotten around to it.

Chicken Enchiladas

I got this recipe from my college roommie Eva. Whenever I make it for my family I always think of her and the delicious things she made us whilst in college. When I got married this was one of the recipes I tentatively tried out on my husband, hoping with crossed fingers and bated breath that he would like it, and he did! When we were first married we made it all the time. He would hold the tortillas while I spooned the filling in and then he'd roll them up and put them in the pan. So, I always think about that, too, when I make these.

You Will Need:
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can cream of chicken soup
Milk (enough to fill soup can 1 time)
1 small can green chilis
A whole heap of grated cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix chicken, soup, milk, chilis and half the cheese. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll them up and stick them in a 9x13 pan. Pour remaining mixture over the enchiladas and cover with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes up to 10 enchiladas.

*This can also be adjusted so that you can make more or less. When I make it for us I only make about 5 and put them in a 9x9 pan. Be sure to spray the pan so they don't stick!


Not A Recipe...

I tried something out, it worked, and I thought I would pass it along. Last time (okay, the only time) I made the sweet yeast rolls, a thought struck me. Could I underbake them by a few minutes, freeze them and then finish them in the oven when I want to serve them, a la those bagged frozen heat & serve dinner rolls? The answer, my friends, is yes. Yes, I can. And so can you. I think I took them out of the oven about three minutes early (would've been a good idea to write it down, huh?), and after they cooled I froze them in a ziploc bag. When I wanted to serve them, I baked them at 350 degrees (F) for 7 or 8 minutes. They tasted exactly like the freshly-made ones. So, you can bet I'm never paying $3 for a bag of ten frozen rolls again. Or at least not until I need them and haven't made a new batch and don't have time to make them at that moment. But, you know, other than that- and a few other forseeable scenarios- NEVER AGAIN.


Brown and Wild Rice Italian Chicken Salad

After just having a baby, I have not been in the mood to cook and make things in the kitchen... So I came across this website and found this recipe, ( It's super easy to make, if you have things on hand and no cooking needed! It's fabulous and it's also my husband's latest favorite dish (we'll see how long that lasts). I'm also posting a picture, doesn't it make it even more tempting?

Brown and Wild Rice Italian Chicken Salad

2 Cups uncooked brown rice

8 oz cooked wild rice (I get it precooked at Trader Joes)

1 ½ Cups cooked shredded chicken breast

3.5 oz package of crumbled feta cheese

10 oz package of grape tomatoes, quartered

10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

½ Cup-3/4 Cup Italian Dressing (I used Ken's Italian)

Pinch of salt and pepper

Fresh Baby Spinach leaves

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions (use rice cooker, if available, much quicker). Let cool or refrigerate. Once cool, place all ingredients except spinach, into a large bowl. Lightly toss to coat. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste and serve over a bed of fresh baby spinach leaves. Drizzle top with additional dressing if desired. Serve cold.


Tangy Pork

Serves: 8
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

2 small onions, thickly sliced and separated into rings

3—4 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs. boneless pork loin, cut in to 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

Hot cooked rice

  1. Sauté onions in 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. When tender and lightly browned, push to outside edges, stirring occasionally.
  2. Into middle of skillet add 1 tablespoon of oil and pork cubes (this may need to be done in batches). Sprinkle with salt and sauté until browned on all sides and loses pink color inside (about 3-4 minutes).
  3. Watch onions so that they don’t burn, but they should become quite dark. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar, heat to boiling over high heat, stirring until brown sugar dissolves and mixture thickens. Onions will look almost burnt, but will be tender, caramelized and delicious. Serve over rice.

Allison Tiek’s Party Rice

I love this. Ryan doesn't care. It is incredibly easy (maybe that's partly why I love it so much!)

Allison Tiek’s Party Rice

Serves: 4

Time: 30 minutes

1 10 ounce package of Saffron Yellow Rice

1 can black beans

8 ounces fresh salsa

2 chicken breasts

1 bag of tortilla chips

  1. Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is steaming, cook chicken. Shred chicken; add black beans, salsa and chicken.
  2. Eat with chips.

Sorry that all of these recipes are showing up funny. I'm currently typing up all of my recipes and organizing them in to a book of my own and when I copy and paste them they come out chaotic. I don't know how to correct it.

The Best Enchiladas Ever

These are amazing. Because they are so time consuming, this is a birthday dinner item. It is also the husband's favorite. That and fettuccine alfredo which is ultimately, the easiest dinner you can make. Also the most unhealthy (you know, more cream).

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Serves: 4

Sauce and Filling:

1 ½ tablespoons vegetable or corn oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

12 ounces chicken, cut into thin strips

2 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces each)

½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 can (4 ounces) pickled jalapenos, drained and chopped

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)

Tortillas and Toppings:

10 six-inch corn tortillas

Vegetable or corn oil cooking spray

3 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)

¾ cup sour cream

1 avocado, diced

5 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat until hot and simmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt and sugar; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with spices, about 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and ¾ cup water; stir to separate chicken pieces. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked and flavors have melded, about 8 minutes. Pour mixture through medium-mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on chicken and onions to extract as much sauce as possible; set sauce aside. Transfer chicken mixture to large plate; freeze for 10 minutes to cool, then combine with cilantro, jalapenos, and cheese in medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. TO ASSEMBLE: Smear entire bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish with ¾ cup chili sauce.
  4. Place tortillas on two baking sheets. Spray both sides lightly with cooking spray. Bake until tortillas are soft and pliable, about 4 minutes.
  5. Place warm tortillas on countertop. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place 1/3 cup filling down center of each tortilla.
  6. Roll each tortilla tightly by hand and place in baking dish, side-by-side, seam-side down.
  7. Pour remaining chili sauce over top of enchiladas. Use back of spoon to spread sauce so it coats top of each tortilla.
  8. Sprinkle ¾ cup of grated cheese down the center of the enchiladas.
  9. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake enchiladas on lower-middle rack until heated through and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover and serve immediately, passing sour cream, avocado, lettuce and lime wedges separately.


Un-Fried Chicken

My husband's favorite dinner changes weekly, but when I asked him, this was his current favorite. Most of you probably have this recipe, but in case you don't, here it is. It is from In The Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes by Rosie Daley.

Light vegetable oil cooking spray
6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
3 whole chicken breasts, halved and skin removed
3 1/2 cups ice water
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 cup dried Italian bread crumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with 3 sprays of the vegetable oil.
Put the chicken in a large bowl with the ice water. Put the yogurt in a medium bowl. Set both bowls aside.
Toss all the breading ingredients into a large, tightly-sealing plastic bags. Seal and shake well to mix.
Remove two pieces of chicken from the ice water. Roll each piece in the yogurt. Put the chicken in the plastic bag, reseal and shake to coat thoroughly. Transfer the breaded chicken to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process until all 12 pieces are breaded. Spray the chicken lightly with the vegetable oil.
place the baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for one hour, turning the pieces every 20 minutes to allow even browning.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wendy Says: I love serving this with baked or roasted sweet potatoes. Serious yum.


Chicken Pot Pie

This comes from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas and carrots
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
Pastry for 9 inch two-crust pie

1. Rinse frozen peas and carrots in cold water to separate; drain.

2. Melt butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in flour, onion, salt and pepper.  cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat.  Stir in broth and milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in chicken and peas and carrots; remove from heat.

3. Heat oven to 425.

4. Make pastry.  Roll two-thirds of the pastry into 13 inch square.  Ease into ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches.  Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pan.

5. Roll remaining pastry into 11 inch square.  Cut out designs with 1 inch cookie cutter.  Place square over chicken mixture.  Arrange cutouts on pastry.  Turn edges of pastry under and flute.

6. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Since I am pastry impaired I used ready made pie crusts I found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store (by the biscuits and roll out cookies).  I didn't take the time to roll it out to the correct dimensions, so it didn't fit very well and wasn't very pretty, but tasted delicious anyway.  I also used dried onion instead of fresh.  If you use dried onion be sure to reconstitute it according to the package.  


Mama Jarman's Taco Salad

Here is my husband's favorite meal. Whenever I tell him we're having it he goes "Yesssssss!" We don't have it all that often because I only kind of like it, but I guess the infrequency of it makes it even more of a treat for him. It's really simple.

Salad greens; we usually just get a bagged salad
Veggies; tomato, cucumber, carrots, etc. (whatever you like)
Grated cheddar cheese
About a half pound of cooked ground beef.
Dorritos cheddar chips

Combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, breaking up the chips on top. Serve with Ranch dressing.

There's a debate in the Jarman family as to whether or not you combine everything in one bowl or if you let people build their own salad, but I have it on authority from Mama Jarman herself that it should all be combined in one bowl.