Open Face Sandwich Board

Hi all– My buddy Janet came over for lunch today so we could plan a project we’re working on together.  so instead of making her a sandwich (a little dull), I set out all the fixings on a board so we could pile up our own open face sandwiches (more fun).  And we had mini ice cream cones from the market for dessert– only 110 calories each ((but I wont’ tell you how many we ate!!).

It isn’t really a “recipe”– just an idea!

Thick sliced sour dough loaf
Sliced turkey
Sliced ham
Colby Jack cheese
Fresh mozzarella
Sliced avocado
Orange marmelade
Seedy mustard
Sea salt
Fresh apricots (for munching, not sandwiches)

Find an ample board or platter and start arranging!  Good bread and whatever options you can find in your kitchen to pile on top!  It’s that simple.


Chicken Enchilada Soup

IMG_2573Hello all–  This week our young mom’s group* got together after our summer hiatus.  I made a major pot of soup (did I really think we’d eat that much?!) and set the table, but I didn’t know it would be a celebration dinner– Esther and her Brian finally signed the adoptions papers this week for their little guy– it’s been 3 years of unbelievable ups and downs.  We all couldn’t have been more thrilled!!

So this simple chunky soup became a special occasion supper– I think it was yummy enough to measure up– along with a bright fruity green salad and some orange poppy seed cornbread.  So happy for Esther and her sweet family!

splash olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
3 cups chicken broth
14 0z. can green enchilada sauce**
14 oz. black beans
14 oz. can corn
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped to nice little bites***
1 cup cheddar shredded
salt to taste
toppings:  avocado, cheddar, cilantro, red onion, chopped tomatoes, chips…

Heat the oil in the bottom of a soup pot.  Throw in the onions and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until they are completely wilted, then drop in the garlic and cook a minute more.

Stir in the cornmeal.  Then stir in the chicken broth until it’s all blended and bubbling.  then add in the enchiladas sauce, black beans, corn, tomatoes and cumin.

I’m averse to big chunks of tomato floating in my soup, so I smoothed it all out with a stick blender at this point– but you can totally skip that if you’re found of tomatoes.

Then stir in the chicken and finally the cheddar.  Bring it to a simmer and taste to see if you want to add salt– I added just a 1/4 tsp.

It’s ready!!  So easy.  You can serve it with any or all of the garnishes– and with a fruity salad and a slab of cornbread on the side it’s a happy meal.

*It’s a young moms group– but I’m an old mentor mom in this group.

**I love Herdrez brand enchilada sauce (and their green salsa)
***Used a rotisserie chicken from the market, plus several cans of all those ingredients– makes the recipe so fast and easy.


Layered Chicken Enchiladas

IMG_7628Hi all–  I do love enchiladas– all except the part about standing at the stove forever, soaking the tortillas and rolling up all the yummy stuff inside, one spicy enchilada at a time.  It takes all the fun out of enchilada dinner.

But happily, this lazy version tastes just as good and goes into the oven pretty darn quick.  Just chop those tortillas into triangles and plop it all together in a baking dish.  Then you have time to dance to some salsa music around the kitchen and mix up a margarita to share along with your enchiladas!  That’s more like it.

1 rotisserie chicken
1 onion, chopped fine
splash of olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
7 oz. can salsa verde*
1 cup cilantro, chopped (divided)
12  6″ corn tortillas, cut in triangles
2 cups grated Colby Jack cheese**
sour cream to garnish

IMG_7641Debone the chicken and cut the meat into nice little bit size pieces.  Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and throw in the cut onion when it’s hot.  Cook about 5 minutes until the onion starts to brown.  Then add in the minced garlic, cumin, tomatoes and salsa verde.  Bring it to a simmer.

Then turn off the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the cilantro.

Scoop 1/4 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9″x13″ pan.  Spread 1/3 of the cut tortillas over the bottom of the pan.  Top with half the chicken, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/3 of the remaining tomato mixture.

Repeat with a second layer.

Then cover it all with the tortillas that are left.  Top with the end of the tomato mixture and the remaining cup of cheese.

Cover with foil and pop it into a 425 degree overn for 15 minutes.

Chicken Enchiladas

IMG_2401Hi there–  You’d be surprised how often we eat Mexican food around this house.  My “got to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes and I want some yummy comfort food dish” is a big pan of fajitas served wrapped with beans in a tortilla.  It’s our go-to meal.  When I have a little more time, we do love enchiladas.  These were nice & easy because I used a roasted chicken from the store– Add a little Mexican cilantro rice, some beans heated up, a crispy salad.  It’s dinner!   (and it makes enough for leftovers, always a good thing)

2 tab. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 cup chicken broth
1 tab. cornstarch
1 tab. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
3 cups shredded boneless chicken*
15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
12 corn tortillas
1  1/2 cup cheddar, grated
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped to bits
sour cream for garnish

IMG_2387To make the sauce, heat a pan with the olive oil, drop in the onion and cook until it starts to brown.  Shake together the cornstarch and chicken broth in a closed container until it’s thoroughly blended.  Then stir it in to the cooked onions with the heat still on.  Add in the chili powder, cumin, garlic, tomato sauce and water.  Set the stove on he lowest setting so the sauce stays warm.

Cut the chicken into small chunks.  The hold one tortilla in the sauce for a few seconds until it softens.  Set it on a plate and fill it with chicken, black beans and a sprinkle of cheese.  Roll of the tortilla into a tube and set it seam side down into a 9×13″ pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Continue with the other tortillas.  If the sauce seems to get thicker as you work, stir in a little more water.

When all the tortillas are filled and in the pan. pour the remaining sauce over them and sprinkle the top with all the leftover cheddar.  Pop it in the oven at 400 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges.  Take it out and sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the whole pan.  Serve these yummy things up hot with a bowl of sour cream.  Drop a spoonful of sour cream on the enchiladas as you serve them to the plates.  Deliciosas!!

Melty Fig & Arugula Flatbread

IMG_1305Hi there–  Is this a snack?  Is it dinner?  Or an appetizer?  Take your pick.  Tonight this flatbread is dinner for us with a bright green salad.  But cut in slices it would be lovely with a glass of  something cold, fruity and slightly alcoholic on a summer’s evening out under the trees with friends.   Got the recipe from my young mom friend– everything she turns out in her kitchen is delicious.  thanks Jenny!


1 package yeast (about 1 tab.)
3/4 cup warm water
1  1/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tab. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tab. olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, (about the perfect temperature for a baby’s bath–not too hot!)  then stir in the sugar, salt and olive oil.  Finally Mix in the flours. (You may need to add in a couple tablespoonfuls of warm water if the dough seems dry.)  Divide the dough into 4 balls and then roll them out into 10″ by 6″ ovals with a rolling pin and set them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Put them in a warm place while you fix up the other ingredients.

1/2 cup fig fruit spread (or fig jam)**
8 oz. mozzarella
4 rounded tab. of parmesan romano cheese
4 handfulls of baby arugula
olive oil

Spread 2 tablespoons of the fig jam over each of the 4 flatbreads.  Grate the mozzarella and spread it over the jam.  Sprinkle a rounded tablespoon of parmesan on each flatbread.  Then pop it all in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes– until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is browned around the edges.

Take the flatbreads from the oven and then top them with the arugula and a drizzle of olive oil on each.  Eat ’em while they’re hot!

*The original recipe had purchased flatbread or pita, which would be just grand and save some time!
**Fig fruit spread from good old Trader Joe’s

P.S. — I think this tastes so very good because the subtle sweetness of the figs is set against the salty parmesan, the wheaty crust and the slight bitterness of the arugula.  Hope you like it!

Salumeria–San Francisco

Hi there– One of my favorite outings last week in San Francisco was to the market/cafe, Salumeria.  We ducked in the market to gather supplies for an evening at home picnic dinner– Spanish goat cheese, speck, apple wood smoked sausage, boysenberry mustard…


Ani and Brian chatted with the butcher and sampled cheeses from the cheese monger.  And we all checked out the “home-canned” jams and pickled veggies.  It was a wonderous food museum (but all for sale!)  … Then home Ani rustled up one of her famous salads and a pitcher of Sangria.  We picnicked around the coffee table nibbling and talking.  Perfect.