For a Quick & Easy Dinner, Try Enchilada Casserole

I first had this dish last spring at my friend Jan’s house. She adapted it from an old recipe. This dish is awesome! I’ve made it a couple of times since and everyone who’s tried it loves it.

Shhh. Don’t tell Jan. I didn’t get permission to share it, but it’s just too good to keep secret!

Jan’s Enchilada Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 small can green chilis (chopped)

1 can medium-flavor enchilada sauce

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 soup can of milk

1/2 bag tortilla chips (crushed)

Grated mild cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef with onion. Drain grease. Add in and stir together: enchilada sauce, green chilis, soups, and milk.

In a large casserole dish or Dutch oven, layer Doritos, meat mixture, then cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 until heated through. Time needed will depend on size of dish and depth of layers. It’s generally good to get the casserole bubbly hot and the cheese browning.

Notes: Can be made with a large can of green chilis. Recipe can be doubled for large groups.

We don’t usually use brand-names in recipes, so feel free to use any brands you like, but we prefer Old El Paso Medium Enchilada Sauce and Doritos chips in this dish.

Casserole reheats nicely in the microwave.

This casserole is not very spicy. For more heat, add some diced jalapeños or some hot pepper sauce.

For more easy Mexican recipes, try our 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes, available online for only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

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Mortal Choices Coming August 1

We are proud to announce the imminent release of our first mytery book, Mortal Choices, by D.E. Newcomb. The book will be available on Amazon in e-book form on August 1 and as a paperback August 15.

The cover was designed by D.C. Charles at BookGraphics and we think it’s stunning!

Here’s the back-of-book summary:

 

Fire destroys without conscience

Throughout the suburbs of Tulsa, people are disappearing at an alarming rate. The kidnappings spur the creation of a multi-jurisdictional task force. Who is this predator who hunts the quiet residential streets, snatching his victims without witnesses and seemingly at random?

Fire cremates victims to ashes and evidence to dust.

Detective Terry Walkingstick dreams of joining the task force, but he’s too green for the assignment.

Journalist Amanda Miller returns to her hometown for a funeral with no idea she is driving into a major family crisis, much less a murderous crime spree.

Pressure is mounting as Amanda and Terry team up, determined to solve the puzzle. When the two sleuths close in on the truth, their investigation shoots them to the top of a serial killer’s to-do list.

About the Author

D.E. Newcomb is a journalist with more than a decade’s experience and college degrees in both journalism and English. She spent many years on the beat as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor before turning her attention to writing mystery fiction. Mortal Choices is her first published mystery and it is the first in the Mortal series. The second book, Mortal Deeds, is slated for publication in spring 2013.

Light Fare for Summer Evenings

With the heat of summer, heavy foods lose some of their appeal. We naturally want lighter food. That’s what got me digging through a cookbook I picked up recently.

The Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook is no light book. The one I picked up at a garage sale is a hardback and weighs about 5 pounds or so. Or at least it seems to.

I flipped to the salads section to see if there were any fresh new salads hiding there. And there were!

Black Bean Salad

3 cups black beans, cooked

2 cups corn, cooked

1/2 cup red onions, minced

1 cup red peppers, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup parsley

1 teaspoon chile peppers, crushed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup flax seed oil

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine beans, corn, onions, red peppers, cilantro, parsley and chile peppers. Mix garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, and sea salt. Pour dressing over salad and mix. Serves 7.

The recipe doesn’t specify, but canned black beans would work just fine here and make this salad very quick and easy.

Sesame Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups cooked chicken breast, sliced

1/4 pound snow peas, sliced into strips

1 medium cucumber, cut into strips

1 medium red pepper, cut into strips

1/2 cup sliced green onion

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Dressing

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon peanut oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all salad ingredients. Stir well then toss with dressing. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Serves 6.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients in jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Yields 3/4 cup.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup salad oil

12 dried apricots, moist packed preferred

4 cups bite-size pieces cooked chicken

1 apple, cored and diced

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds

Stir together honey, mustard, poppy seeds, lemon peel, juice, and oil. Add apricots and let stand 30 minutes. Remove apricots and set them aside. Add chicken and toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Add apple, celery, green onions. and almonds to chicken mixture. Divide onto lettuce-lined plates and garnish with apricots. Serves 6.

 

Dairy Surprised is Coming Soon!

Dairy Surprised, our first hand-illustrated children’s book, will be available soon in e-book or print book formats. The artwork is starting to roll in, and it’s looking great!

Dairy Surprised is the story of mouse friends Sawyer and Finn and their adventure one Saturday. The mice live on a small farm with Sam the horse, Polly the cow, and of course Farmer Huckleberry.

While exploring the barn, the curious boys fall into a pail of milk and must use science to get out!

Dairy Surprised is the first in a series of lushly illustrated children’s books recounting the adventures of Sawyer and Finn. All the stories contain a science twist in the tale. The book are complete with enrichment materials and additional information about the topics discussed in the adventure.

Lakehouse Publishing is celebrating these books with free downloadable coloring pages and word search puzzles. Come back soon for more great free content and even more adventures!

Dairy Surpised is scheduled for publication in August.

Fighting Middle-Aged Spread with HCG

HCG is the topic of the day over at Parlez Moi Blog since Ann Chambers is the guest blogger. The article talks about the inspiration for her diet guide and recipe book 35 Quick & Easy HCG Recipes.

Here’s the beginning:

It’s stunning how middle age can creep up on a person. And with every year, a couple more pounds. Last year I went to the doctor for a checkup and the first thing the mean nurse did was weigh me. If any doctors are sitting around wondering how to get people to stop dreading doctor visits, I recommend cutting out the weigh in. It’s a start, at least. Let us lie to you. Just ask us what we weigh, then add 20 pounds. You’ll be close.

Anyway, at that weigh in, I was shocked to discover I had passed my all-time peak weight, which was set 22 years ago when I had twins. Something had to give. But with middle age came a thyroid problem that made losing weight extremely difficult. Nothing seemed to really work.

The rest of the article is here: http://parlezmoiblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/guest-blog-using-hcg-to-fight-middle.html. Parlez Moi Blog is the creation of author Kathleen Valentine and it features her fiction books as well as her family cookbook and several knitting books and original patterns.

Any readers who are interested in the HCG diet will find helpful articles, bonus recipes, and downloadable HCG diet tracking and shopping forms here at the Lakehouse Publishing blog. Just click on the HCG category to have a look. And come back soon because we are adding more content regularly.

35 Quick & Easy HCG Recipes is available online for only 99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo or Smashwords.

 

 

July 4th Celebrations Deserve Great Ice Cream

When I think of July 4th and food, the first items that come to mind are corn on the cob, watermelon, and ice cream!! The corn on the cob and watermelon pretty much take care of themselves, but not the ice cream. So many choices, so many flavors!

I think I made a great find at a garage sale when I purchased the Complete Book of Homemade Ice Cream for a quarter! It also includes Milk Sherbet and Sherbet recipes. This book dates from 1973 and boasts 300 recipes!

With the 4th right around the corner, I thought I’d share a few recipes from this book that look the tastiest!

First, a few ice cream making tips from Carol Anderson, the author of the Ice Cream book.

  • If no cooking is required, often the ingredients can be combined right in the freezer can, which means fewer dishes to wash.
  • If ice cream is to be hand-stirred during freezing, or if it is to be removed from one container to another, use a wooden spoon to prevent transfer of heat to the mix.
  • Always allow space in the freezer can for expansion of the ice cream when it freezes. Approximately 1/3 of the can is needed for the swell.
  • Cool the mix to room temperature or slightly lower before freezing. Churn-freezing a warm mix may cause a buttery texture due to the increased freezing period.
  • Rock salt can be saved for later use by pouring the used ice and salt mixture into a burlap sack. The the ice melt to leave the salt.
  • Lightly whipping ingredients such as egg whites or cream before adding them to the mix makes a creamier frozen product.
  • Chill serving dishes for 5 minutes in the freezer if the frozen dessert is not too firm.
  • To decorate ice cream, work on a cookie sheet over a pan of ice.

Okay, ready to make some ice cream? Try these recipes on for size.

World-Famous Philadelphia Vanilla

6 cups light cream

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 vanilla beans (3-inch size), split

1/8 teaspoon salt

In top of a double boiler, combine 3 cups cream, sugar, vanilla beans, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Remove beanpods, scraping pulp and seeds into the cream. Cool.

Add remaining 3 cups cream to the cooled mixture and mix well. Churn freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

Anderson notes that this is a key recipe, so cooks can use their own imagination to add fruits, nuts or flavorings to the vanilla to create many other great ice cream treats.

Banana Marshmallow Ice Cream

Anderson marked this one as a favorite of hers. It is certainly unusual.

1 cup milk

30 marshmallows

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 cups sliced bananas (about 4 bananas)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 1/2 cups heavy cream

In an electric blender, combine milk, marshmallows, sugar, sliced bananas, and lemon juice. Blend on high speed.

Whip heavy cream and then stir into blended banana mixture. Still-freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

Anderson notes that still-freezing is just what it sounds like. You make the ice cream mix, put it in a container, and freeze it in the freezer. No churning required. You can churn ice creams mixes that are made for still-freezing, but don’t still-freeze a mix that was created for churning. The still-freeze mixes have a lot more air whipped into them.

Blueberry Ice Cream

2 pints fresh blueberries

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped

1 cup evaporated milk

Mash berries and cook with sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Press berries through a sieve. Cool.

Add salt, lightly whipped heavy cream and evaporated milk to the berries.

Churn freeze. Makes 1/2 gallon.

For more great freezable flavors, try Gourmet Ice Pops for Kids and Adults. It’s full of great flavors, from kids’ favorites, to more sophisticated flavors, to naughty but delicious alcohol-infused party pops. Available exclusively through Amazon. On sale for the 4th at 99 cents. Now that’s a great party waiting to happen!

Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Pops-Kids-Adults-ebook/dp/B007SPP0I2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341240133&sr=1-1&keywords=gourmet+ice+pops+for+kids+and+adults