Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guest Post: Laura's "Fiesta on the Fly"!

Today is the first "guest post" feature on The Eating Keatings Blog! Written by my friend Laura - Navy Wife, Mother of Two adorable kiddos, Jewelry Stylist, Tread-Mill Master, Talented Decorator, Fantastic Home Cook, Hostess Extraordinaire, and more!  She's kind of like the real life version of "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee" and I adore her!! 

Look Out, Sandra Lee!!!
I met Laura through the hubby  (both of our Men went to the Naval Academy, and were stationed on the same ship back in San Diego...the hubby was actually their roommate for awhile). When they moved to the DC area and then to Annapolis a couple years ago, we struck up a friendship, and I'm so glad we did!  Laura is an amazing lady and an amazing friend, and I'm so happy to share her 'fiesta on the fly' with all of you.  This chica can put out a kick-ass spread, so I really hope you give this a whirl!

Fiesta on the Fly!
By the Lovely Laura

"I am a stay at home mom of 2 beautiful children...well 3 if you count our lovely yellow lab, Leia. Ask anyone, I love love love to entertain and try new recipes! However, the days of prepping and baking for hours on end are long gone…. so when company is headed our way I usually try to keep it really easy and delicious, and stick with a theme with either an all-appetizer evening, Italian deliciousness (my husband makes the best homemade pizza) or spice it up with a Mexican night……and who doesn’t like a fiesta? So here are a few of my favorite Mexican dishes that are low stress and simple to prepare:

First and foremost…..a COCKTAIL or 2!!!!!!
I love Bettheny Frankel and she is the SKINNYGIRL Margarita guru…and yes it is available bottled for sale at liquor stores, and very delicious, so you can always go that route…however, I am a strong advocate of a fresh margarita, so here goes it:

The Skinny Girl Margarita
  • 2 ounces of clear premium tequila (I enjoy Patron)….and really don’t measure, just count to 2.  I tend to count SLLLLOWWWWLLLYYYY!!!!
  • Tiny splash of triple sec
  • Juice of a half of a lime
  • Big splash of club soda

Shake in a martini shaker, and serve on the rocks, garnished with a lime wedge.
ENJOY!!!!! and sip slowly if you count like I do  :) 

As far as appetizers are concerned, this is a no fail recipe and everyone loves it!!!! (Also great for a football party or tailgate!)  I am HUGE on appetizers… if I could live on appetizers alone I would! But like I said, time is of the essence, so I usually would go to the frozen food section for TGI Friday’s jalapeno poppers which are a big hit with the men!!...and I’m not above telling you that I find a delicious guacamole in the vegetable section in a box and bag (“Holy Guacamole”). VOILA……3 easy appetizers if you so desire!

Taco Dip
can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to bake
  • Lightly greased 8x8 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • 2 (8.0 ounce) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
  • 2 cans of Hormel Chili (I use Turkey Chili when it’s just us girls, but for the boys or a big group I use the HOT with beans)
  • 1 package of shredded Mexican blend cheese

Spread cream cheese at bottom of pan evenly, then pour chili atop the cream cheese. Finish with shredded cheese and use as little or as much as you want. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble. Garnish with chopped green onions and/or olives if desired and serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

The Main Course:
Now onto the main course. I figured I would suggest 2 entrees, one that’s pretty traditional, Enchiladas, and then a little different avenue; a Tamale Casserole that is one of my very favorite  receipes from “Cooking Light” Magazine!  So pick one, or pick both if you want left extra leftovers for lunch or to send some home with your guests!

Chicken & Green Chile Enchiladas
From Southern Living Magazine
  • 3 ½ cups of cooked chicken  ( I usually but the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the store and shred it….so EASY compared to cooking!!)
  • 3/4 cup of onion-garlic mixture* (see below)
  • 2 cans (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
  • 1 tbsp. of fresh cilantro
  • 3 (10 oz) cans of enchilada sauce (divided)
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) of shredded Mexican four-cheese blend, divided
  • 9 (9 inch) burrito sized flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 425, stir together first 4 ingredients, 1 ½ cups enchilada sauce and 1 cup of cheese. 

Spoon about ½ cup of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; roll tortillas up and place seam side down in a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish; pour remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas; sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.

Bake covered at 425 for 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

* Onion Garlic Mixture:
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped

Sauté onion in hot oil in a 3 ½ quart saucepan over medium heat for 8 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in refrigerator.

Who's Hungry!??
Chiken Tamale Casserole
From Cooking Light Magazine
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided (I like to use the Sargento, reduced fat)
  • 1/3 cup of fat free milk
  • ¼ cup egg substitute
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. of ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1 (14 ¾ ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) box of corn muffin mix (JIFFY is my personal favorite)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles drained
  • 1 10 ounce can of enchilada sauce ( I like old el paso)
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken breast (again the rotissere chicken in the store is GREAT)
  • 1/2 cup of fat free sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine ¼ cup of cheese and the next 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until just moist; pour mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish (I also use a 2 quart casserole as well) coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 15 minutes or until set; pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top; top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake at 400 for another 15 minutes or until the cheese melts; remove from oven-let stand for 5 minutes; cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Enjoy!

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