Enchiladas Suizas Cassarole

One of my favorite ingredients to work with are tomatillos.  They have a sweet yet tangy flavor, and if place under the broiler, they become quite juicy.  This recipe has a lot of ingredients, and it is a little time consuming....but its real good. This is also a great make-ahead recipe.  Just follow all of the steps, and instead of sticking it in the oven, cover with foil and place in the fridge.  Left overs are great too.  Why do you think I make so much for only two people? ;]

Los Ingredientes

4 medium poblano peppers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 medium-large tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and quartered
2 small handfuls cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful
2 teaspoons honey
1 quart chicken stock-in-a-box
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds cooked chicken, meat pulled or shredded
12 corn tortillas

Las Direcciónes 

Heat the broiler to high. Arrange the poblanos on a sheet pan, put them under the hot broiler and char until blackened an all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave the door of the oven cracked to allow the steam to escape. Peppers can also be easily charred over and open stovetop flame if you have gas burners. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to sit until cool enough to handle. Peel and seed the peppers.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno, onions, and garlic and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.  Put the tomatillos and a small handful of cilantro in a food processor. Coarsely chop the poblanos and add them to the processor. Process until almost a smooth sauce forms, about 1 minute.

Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir to combine. Stir in the cumin, honey and stock, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes, then add the lime juice and turn off the heat.

Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of a medium casserole and place 4 corn tortillas on top.Note: In the picture you see I used 6 tortillas. I did this because that is how many I use for my traditional enchilada casserole recipe, but I would advice not to do this.  They absorb a lot of the sauce.

Top with some shredded chicken, dot with some sauce and small spoonfuls of Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream and sprinkle cheese. Repeat twice more.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the casserole on a baking sheet and bake until heated through and bubbly on top, about 40 to 50 minutes. The baking sheet will catch any drips of sauce or cheese. 

I know it looks messy, but it was great!  I couldn't believe I used all of that sauce, but I found myself wanting more when chowing down.  Like I mentioned above, it may be because I used  more tortillas than the recipe called for.  If I made this again, that would be the only change I would make.  Rachael Ray, you've done it again.

<3 Saleena
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I Hear Wedding Bells Springing

Matthew and I attended a wedding a few weeks ago, and, because I'm such a DIY junkie, I had to share some of the great DIY touches this bride and groom incorporated on their big day.

As guest walked in, they were greeted with a welcome sign made from an old window.

As you continued to walk in, you couldn't help but notice their bikes lying against the same tree the welcome sign was hanging.  If you knew the couple, you would know they ride their bikes everywhere.  They even had them when they got engaged. :]  

The alter was a vintage desk with flowers and the elements for communion.  The red wall created a nice backdrop, and drew your eye up to the hanging hydrangeas in glass jars and jute twine.  The scene was complete by a wall of colorful streamers that blew in the afternoon wind.

The beautiful bride and her papa.

Once the ceremony began, the bride and groom partook in communion. After that, they had the bridesmaids and groomsmen serve the guests as they watched.  I loved this idea!

The exit

I LOVE these boutonnieres! 
They are so unique, and because they aren't perishable like flowers, the guys can hang on to them as a keepsake.

The reception was so intimate and cozy.  White lights were strung across wooden beams and candles in glass jars were draped over tables. 

Love the Mr. & Mrs. sign

The favors were awesome. Homemade strawberry jam and honey, plus a honeycomb stick with a personalized tag.  Too cute.  They also had pictures on the tables of each of them growing up, and we passed them around from table to table.  That was so fun.

We had a great time!

Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Springs! 

<3 Saleena
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BBQ Chinese Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is so easy to make, very affordable, and it tastes great.  If you are a vegetarian, just substitute the chicken for some tofu.  It would work great in this dish by Rachael Ray.


2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 pounds thin-cut chicken breasts, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1-inch piece of ginger root, finely chopped or grated 
Zest of 1 orange
1 red bell pepper, diced small
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup chives, chopped
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce)
1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, core removed, head quartered

First, chop the head of lettuce into quarters and separate pieces.

Pre-heat a large skillet or wok to high.

Add the oil to the hot pan. Add the chicken to the pan and sear the meat by stir frying for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two. Add the salt and pepper to season, then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute more. Zest the orange into the pan, then add the bell pepper bits.
  Next, add the chives and bean sprouts. Cook for another minute, continuing to stir fry the mixture. Add the hoisin sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly.

Once everything is mixed nicely, remove from heat.  Serve BBQ chicken mixture on top of lettuce.

Yay for healthy cooking!

<3 Saleena
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