Quick Homemade Enchilada Sauce

enchsauceDespite living just 4 miles from the Taco Bell Test Kitchen, we were not among the lucky few who were able to get one of the 32 reservations to the, usually closed to the public, secret spot to eat for free. #Damn! #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Since we missed that #GoldenOpportunity, I decided to make a favorite Taco Bell guiltytaco-bell-logo pleasure of my Mom’s for #CincoDeMayo, the Enchirito the only problem?  I forgot to buy enchilada sauce. UGH!

I’m brave and my husband was hungry, so into the pantry I waded for some staples and the result was a thick and flavorful sauce.  Overall, it wasn’t bad at all!

Last Minute – Forgot to Buy it Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 – 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/3 Cup Canola Oil
  • 2 TBLS All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 3 TBLS Chili Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt to taste
  1. In medium saucepan, heat tomato sauce and oil over medium-high heat
  2. Whisk in flour, stirring until well blended
  3. Stir in water and return just to a boil
  4. Add the spices and reduce heat to low
  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes
  6. Add salt as needed

Tip:  If sauce is going to be used for enchiladas in a casserole, you may want to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water to thin it down a touch.

Sauce will keep up to a week in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator.

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Tales of Kitchen Disasters

My motto is, “If it tastes good, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look like the picture.”  Chatting with the girls before Thanksgiving dinner we all got giggles talking about the things we’d tried and failed (Pinterest Fails) to create in our kitchens.

pnterestfailmissyBut once I shared the story of a friend’s attempt at a turkey shaped cupcake creation with a neck just a touch too broad and amgplumage shade too brown with feet on a pair of stones that ended up looking like a really well endowed man’s crown jewels adorned with flaming red, orange & yellow feathers (like Mardi Gras Plumage)….well, let’s just say the wine bottles emptied a little faster and the conversation went downhill from there. 😉

None of us can point fingers.  We have all had kitchen mishaps:

I know that I have failed spectacularly!

  • Spent a fortune on the ingredients I’ve needed to make a recipe that got rave reviews
  • Bought special pans and/or cooking devices
  • Slaved all day to make it
  • Tasted it when it’s done, gagged, called a neighbor over to confirm my opinion that it sucks
  • Thrown it in the trash and
  • Ordered Pizza for dinner;

I’m sure we all know others who’ve committed these kitchen crimes too:

blender-mess-1Thrown things into the blender, turned it on and forgotten to put on lid or not put lid on tight enough; spent an hour cleaning the ceiling, cupboards and everywhere else

microwav-edisasterOpened a can of Chef-Boy-R-Dee (No judging, we were all starving college students once), poured it into a bowl, set the microwave for 2 minutes (uh oh), and walked away. #CleanUpAisle5

burnedmicrowavepopcornThrown popcorn into the microwave, set the timer for too long and had to live with burned popcorn smell in the whole house or the office for days.

While these are all funny when they happen to someone else, they all share a common problem: They can leave you with a lingering odor reminding you that you aren’t quite yet Julia Child or Rachel Ray in the kitchen.

Luckily there are a few great tips for helping to rid your home (or the office if you have fouled the air & microwave of the lunchroom with your culinary disaster) of the smell left behind.  Unless you are covering up something else you’ve left in your wake….then, rock on with your bad self. 😉

excessgas

If you’ve microwaved something smelly (especially something with a heavy garlic or tomato smell) and an odor has been left behind, or if you’ve burned popcorn: Soak a sponge in vinegar then coat the top of the sponge in baking soda. Place the sponge on a plate in the microwave and set to run on high for 30 seconds.  Wipe the interior of the microwave with the sponge and leave the door open to air dry the inside.

Another option is to take a one cup measuring cup, slice a lemon or orange and squeeze both halves into the measuring cup, place both halves into the measuring cup,  and fill the cup up the rest of the way with water.  Cook on high for 5 minutes.  The steam will clean the microwave and the fresh citrus will deodorize.  Wipe with a cloth when the cycle is over.  Pour the remaining water and citrus into the garbage disposal with 1/4 cup baking soda, run the disposal with hot water and deodorize your drain.

lemonandrosemary

If you’re trying to remove the odor from a room you can fill a stockpot about 2/3 up with water, 3-4 tsp of vanilla, 2 to 3 sliced lemons and 4 to 5 good sized sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden.  Simmer it for a few hours (or all day if you’re home to make sure that the pot doesn’t boil dry) an your house will smell fresh and inviting.  If it isn’t too cold and you can bring some fresh air in for a few hours that would help too.

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How to Ruin Chocolate Chip Cookies

THCookiesAnyone who cooks or bakes regularly should be able to whip up a batch of Toll House Cookies without incident, right?

Today I proved that assumption wrong.  UG!

First you preheat your oven to 375° and gather your ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup (2 Cubes) Butter – Softened to Room Temperature
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup (Packed) Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Large Eggs (at Room Temperature)
  • 1 –  12 oz Package (Appx 2 Cups) Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 Cup Chopped Nuts (Optional)

OK, so far I’m good to go!  Oven is on & I have everything I need on hand.

I pulled out my baking sheets, lined them with my trusty Artisan Metal Works Silicone Liners, got the measuring spoons, measuring cups and bowls out of the cupboard.  Time to make some cookie dough!

Minolta DSC

I measured out the flour, baking soda and salt and put them into a medium sized bowl.  Gave that a quick stir to combine and set the bowl aside.  No problems with this step!

The butter had been sitting on the counter for a couple of hours and was nice & soft.  Into the stand mixer bowl it went along with the brown sugar, the granulated sugar and vanilla.  A minute or two of beating and a quick bowl scrape and I was ready to add the two eggs. Everything is going great!

At this point I notice  batter isn’t as light and fluffy as it usually is.  No problem, the butter just must have been softer than I thought. No problem, time to add the flour mixture – full steam ahead.

This is when the wheels fell off….

I dropped the bowl on my stand mixer and began adding the flour mixture.  Just as I lifted the bowl into place to start the mixer I noticed that a blop of the vanilla, sugars, butter & egg mixture had flown off the beater onto one of the cookie sheets.

I defied the rules regarding not eating raw cookie dough (GASP!) and swiped the blop up and into my mouth.  UG!  WTF? ICK!

Expecting a buttery sweet taste, I was horrified to instead have a mouth full of salty yuck!  What in the world had I done wrong?

I glanced around the counters checking off ingredients and came upon an empty Ziplock bag.  I immediately realized what I had done wrong.

For the last month I’d been moving the Ziploc bag full of a white granulated substance around in my spice cabinet everytime Iassuming that it was The superfine C&H Baking Sugar that I routinely have on hand.  I never thought to check for it to be anything but that, as I often pour the last bits out of the larger carton and into a Ziplock Bag for storage.  This time I was oh so wrong!  I got a flashback of a day, only a few weeks ago when I had accidentally pushed the metal pouring spout all the way in to the container of Morton’s Iodized Salt.  I then poured what was left into a Ziplock bag and went back to what I was doing.

To be fair, I haven’t bought a container of Morton’s Salt for some time, as we’ve changed to salt and pepper grinders when we use salt at the table, so I wasn’t so far off assuming the bag was baking sugar.  But UG!  I should have tasted it first.

I’d already poured 1/2 of the flour mixture into the ruined butter and sugar mixture so everything had to be thrown away.  SUPER FAIL!

Lessons learned:

  1. When putting things into Ziplock Bags, MARK THE CONTENTS & Date.
  2. Always taste mystery ingredients if you’ve failed to follow #1
  3. When in doubt, like I was when I noticed a different consistency, taste the wet ingredient mixture before adding (and wasting) your dry ingredients

I guess there won’t be freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in my house tonight. 😦

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