Friday, 26 December 2008

It's a wonderful Christmas (I love my dishwasher almost as much as my family)

I want to say all the very best of the season to anyone who has stopped by. It is wonderful to think about the people we love and hold them close to our heart, whether they are close enough to hug or simply at the other end of the telephone line.

Our Christmas dinner was Mexican in flavour (suggestion from Cara).

  • Tortilla Soup

  • Quesadilla Pie

  • Guacamole

  • Salad

  • Caramel Flan for dessert (remember to use pyrex since regular dessert bowls will crack when the hot caramel cools - 6 bowls we did not have to wash)



The Tortilla Soup was wonderful, the Quesadilla Pie was tasty and filling; we ate so such of this we had hardly any room for Flan. Since the rest of the family that was sharing dinner table had dietary restrictions I was able to make this and separate all the sensitive components so everyone could personalize their meal.



Easy Tortilla Soup - inspired by an online friend, Leslie in Houston (12 servings)



-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, prepared separately. Cut into small strips: saute in olive oil with a couple of crushed garlic cloves and sprinkled with chipotle chili pepper, when nicely browned I added some water to dissolve the caramelized bits and keep the chicken pieces moist


- 1 cup chopped onion


- 4 cloves garlic, minced


- olive oil


- 8 cups water


- 4 chicken flavoured (vegetable based, meatless) bouillon cubes


- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes


- 1/4 cup chopped jalapeno peppers


In a stock pot, saute the onions in the olive oil until they are nicely browned, adding the garlic and cook till it turns golden; add the water, the bouillon cubes and stir the caramelized bits into the broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, pour in the can of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers. Let simmer until you are ready to serve (whether 10 minutes or an hour, it will be okay).



Accompaniments:


3 Avocados cut into small cubes (sprinkle with lime juice to keep from turning brown)


1 cup chopped FRESH Cilantro


8 or 10 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4" strips and toasted in the oven till crunchy


1 lime cut into very thin slices


1 cup Shredded cheese such as Monterrey Jack, Cheddar to be used as a topping



To Serve: Prepare separate bowls for the chicken, cheese, diced avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips and limes. Everyone can prepare their bowls with their chosen fillings, ladle the soup over it all and top with the shredded cheese.



Quesadilla Pie



6 - 10" flour tortillas (use corn tortillas for a gluten free version)


1 cup (or 1 can) Refried Pinto or Black Beans


1 /2 plus 1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey Jack)


1/2 cup corn (sprinkled with a dash of crushed chilies)


1/2 rice (seasoned with chipotle chili pepper, Mexican Oregano and some garlic)


1/2 cup browned chopped beef or chicken


2 to 3 tablespoons chopped onion


1 tomato, diced


1/2 cup salsa



Lay the first tortilla flat and spread with refried beans, continue layering the tortillas alternating with the above ingredients, mixing in salsa where needed to help the other fillings set and reserving the last 1/4 cup cheese and some salsa for the topping.



Bake at 325 F for approximately 20 minutes, Let set 5 minutes after removing from oven. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges (like a pie)



Serve with Guacamole, Sour Cream and Salsa.




That was Christmas Day. 2 dishwasher loads and a full sink of pots and baking stoneware.

The Boxing Day menu was fresh turkey with stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, gravy, Apple Danish and Pumpkin Pie. This day required 3 reloads of the dishwasher.

Grammy's Nativity Set

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