Fiesta, Etc.

I’m in the super-home stretch of finishing the Bittersweet manuscript, which means it feels like I’m working/writing/editing all the time.  It’s hard work, and at the same time good, energizing work.  I’m beginning to see things come together, ways to fix things, ways to sharpen and tighten, ways to rip out the stitches and start sewing again.  That’s a good sign, after a little stretch of staring at the stack of pages blankly, like “uh, what next?”

And so, last weekend, after a long week of writing in the morning, writing at naptime, writing after Henry’s bedtime, a dinner party for fifteen was a very welcome change of scenery.   And because we closed on our house last week, it was fun to celebrate our first official gathering in our very own house.

Dinner was a group effort: friends brought the makings of beer margaritas, mango salsa, seven layer dip, guacamole and queso with lime-and-sea-salt-chips.  And then enchiladas, green salad, and black beans, and for dessert, Mexican hot fudge sundaes.  Yum.

These are my favorite enchiladas–they’re not rolled up, but instead layered like a lasagna.  I like that because then you just take a scoop, instead of trying to wiggle out one rolled enchilada and missing all the good stuff around it.  You’ll see that the amounts aren’t very precise–that’s how the recipe came to me.  I make it a little different every time, and it’s delicious every time, I promise.   

Enchiladas Verdes with Chicken

corn tortillas

cooked chicken, shredded or diced

sour cream

green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is best)

diced green chilies

shredded cheese

Mix green sauce with chilies and sour cream (3-4 parts sauce to 1 part sour cream, sauce should be green)

Pass corn tortillas through a skillet of simmering chicken broth, then layer in a 9×13 pan.

After tortillas, add a layer of chicken, a layer of sauce, and a layer of cheese.  

Repeat, so that there are two full layers.  Finish with a layer of tortillas and a layer of cheese.

Cook at 350 degrees until warmed though and the cheese is melted, about 30-35 minutes.

Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting.  Top with chopped cilantro.

(adapted from a recipe that I got from Annette, and that she got from her sister Tina, and that Tina got from someone in Mexico.  I think.)


Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes

1 cup half and half 

1 11.5 oz bag dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup Kahlua

2 tsp. cinnamon

4 tbsp. honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, warm the cream to a simmer. Off heat, stir in all other ingredients, and adjust to taste.

Serve vanilla ice cream or coconut milk ice cream and top with toasted coconut.  

(Put flaked sweetened coconut under the broiler just for a tiny bit–keep an eye on it.)

(adapted from my cousin Amanda’s recipe. I doubled it for our party–feel free to cut in half)

PS–  Why yes, that is our friend Jon Peacock eating an entire serving bowl of black beans  with a serving spoon while wearing a sombrero.  It was that kind of party.  :)

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