Saturday, October 25, 2008

Latest Needlework finish

While I was out with the girls this afternoon I picked up my latest needlework finish from the framers. It's still in it's overwrap since it's going to hang on the wall of a needlework shop as a show model for the next few months but if you want to see what I do in my 'spare time' take this is the kind of "Tech Work" that I do.
The stitched area is 1.5 x 1.8 feet in size done at 40 stitches to the inch in silk fibers & represents amost 3 months worth of leisure time relaxation.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Recipes from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Layered Bean Dip Casserole


1 can of refried beans (type is your choice, i.e. spice, fat free etc.)
1 tbl taco seasoning (I use Penzy's)
1 lb ground meat (Again, I use chicken but beef or pork will work also)
2 - 3 tbl. chili powder
3/4 c. warm water
1 can corn with peppers, drained
2 c. shredded 'mexican style' cheese
1 c. black olives, sliced

Healthy version
1.5 c. lettuce shredded
1 medium tomato chopped

Fun version

1 bag of tortilla chips (what ever type you like, I use "Scoops", just NOT Fritos (tm))

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Brown meat in saucepan, when about 1/2 way there add the onions and continue browning until the meat is cooked and the onions are soft but not browned (You may need to add some oil to cook the onions depending on how lean the meat is). Mix chili powder with water and stir to remove lumps, mix into meat/onion and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the corn.

Put the bean in the bottom of a 9 inch deep dish pie plate or similar sized casserole, mix in the taco seasoning and mash together until reasonably smooth. Spread around bottom of pan and cover with 1/2 of the cheese.

Pour the meat/onion/corn mixture over the cheese layer and spread out evenly. Cover with the rest of the cheese and put the olives on top.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until hot & the cheese is melted and somewhat brown.

Serve by scooping up through all the layers and putting it on top of the lettuce, then adding tomatoes or by serving along with the chips.

Serves 4

This makes up well ahead of time and will keep for a few days. Just hold off on the final cooking until you're ready to serve.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Report from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Chicken Enchiladas

This is a great 'do ahead & freeze' recipe which will also use up leftover roast or rotisserie chicken.

Red Sauce (if you don't have time canned 'Old El Paso' enchilada sauce will do, use 2
2 Tbl of olive oil (or you can use lard but I don't)
2 tbl flour
1/4 to 3/4 c. chili powder (I use Penzy's medium salt free)
2 c. chicken broth, if you poach chicken for this dish use the poaching water

Heal oil in a saucepan & then brown the flour. Mix chili powder in the broth until smooth & then add to the flour/oil. Simmer for 30 minutes & taste, add more chili if you want. At this point you can freeze the sauce for up to 6 months or just continue with the recipe.


12 corn tortillas (not flour they will get soggy)
2 lbs cooked chicken (leftover is fine & what I normally use)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 c. grated cheese (mexican mix is fine or use Jack &/or longhorn cheddar not regular cheddar)
1 can black olives, sliced
2 c. Red sauce or canned enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Corsely shred the chicken, put about 1 tbl of oil in a pan & cook the onions until soft but not browned, add the chicken & sauce, simmer for 3o minutes. Remove the chicken & onions from the sauce, put a strainer over the sauce pot and allow the sauce to drip off the chicken & back into the simmering red sauce.

Let the chicken/onion mix cool to room tem & mix with an equal volume of cheese

Heat tortillas in the microwave (10 seconds per tortilla so 3 will take 30 seconds layered between paper towels). Dip the tortillas in the sauce and fill with about 3 tbls of meat/onion/cheese mixture, roll and place seam side down in a 9 x 13 pan. Fill all the tortillas and place in pan (at this point you can freeze the dish & keep it for about 6 months). Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas, cover with the rest of the cheese & dot with the sliced olives.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes until hot & bubby.

Serves 4 - 6

Red Sauce recipe adapted from Jean Butel's Tex-Mex Cookbook

Monday, October 20, 2008

Report from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Cajun Meatloaf

This is a recipe from Paul Prudhomme's classic cookbook, the link to the recipe has been removed from his website but I'll post it here with the appropriate references soon
My only modification is to sometimes lay slices of bacon over the top when cooking the bacon crisps up and gives a nice crunchy edge to the meatloaf.

By the way, this keeps very well and slices great for sandwiches the next day.