About this time 7 years ago I was facing the end of summer, the time that I feel as a teacher and mom is the most probable time to do a hobby if any time, and yet, alas, I hadn’t found the time to make it happen! With kids ages 1, 4 & 6 the odds were against me for launching into new creative projects. And I felt discouraged and frustrated. But I didn’t want to just give up this hope! So, the idea came to me of doing a food blog- to give me a creative outlet that I could do as part of my everyday life.
I can’t believe this is my 200th post! The first couple of years I was able to crank out a post a week and then my pace slowed down as the new recipes became less frequent and life’s demands only increased! It has been such a treat to have a creative outlet that is doable. However, there have been times I have felt discouraged, thinking “there are a million food blogs out there, why am I doing this?!” But then I’ll write a post and it feels fun to write and photograph and share and I remember that this is my quilting, or water coloring that I don’t have the time to do right now. Or I hear from a friend that something on my blog was a hit in their home or was a help to them when hosting friends, and I feel encouraged to press on! Or I evaluate my life and think, “this is an OPTIONAL thing in my life, as opposed to most of the other commitments that are required of me. And then I have to tell myself, “that’s exactly why you should do this. It’s a hobby…it’s a creative outlet…it’s not an assignment or job.” So thank you for being a part of this journey! I am grateful.
For this 200th post, I wanted to share with you 2 yummy new recipes. I have been making these for a couple of months, taking photos and working out the kinks! So, here they are:
Elote (Mexican Street Corn) and Chicken Verde Enchiladas!
Elote was just introduced to me a couple of years ago and now whenever I see it on a menu I can’t resist ordering it! I first had it at Butchertown Hall, and then at Green Hills Grille and then at the Little Donkey. Yum, yum and yum. I found a recipe that looked like what I enjoyed at these restaurants and made it at home. It’s grilled corn on the cob rolled in a cheesy, creamy sauce, sprinkled with chili powder, garlic and cilantro and served with a lime squeezed on top. Often times it is served on a stick or with the husks pulled down to create a handle. This makes it much less messy, to make and to eat, though I made these in the photograph without a handle. (Lesson learned the messy way)
4 cobs of corn
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp. chili powder (plus more for dusting on top)
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder (plus more for dusting on top)
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 tsp.)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 lime- cut into wedges
Shuck 4 cobs of corn and wash thoroughly, removing the silks as much as you can.
Grill the Corn: Rub them with olive oil and place them on a hot grill. Cook until kernels are soft and there is a little but not too much char – turning and rotating for about 8 minutes Meanwhile make the sauce.
Sauce: Mix together mayonaise through cilantro. stir well.
Use a spoon to scoop and smooth corn with sauce on all sides. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.
The Verde Chicken Enchiladas were inspired by The Raines boys (young friends from church). I was bringing a meal for their family when they welcomed home a new brother this summer and they requested enchiladas. I thought I would fill them with chicken and wanted a cream sauce that wasn’t complicated but was fresh and tangy, made with verde salsa. I poked around and came upon this recipe from one of my notebooks (my Pinterest before there was Pinterest notebooks that I wrote about HERE). I believe it’s from Southern Living many years ago (based on what I remember about the font of the torn out magazine page). They were so simple and yummy. We made a trial run first and I used a Hatch Green Salsa from Trader Joes because, well, the packing was cool. I’m a sucker for great packaging. But we decided it was too spicy for kids. So next time I went for a basic Salsa Verde.
Makes 8 small enchiladas
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (roasted, rotisserie, baked, however you like it)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or Mexican Mix cheese (1/4 cup reserved for sprinkling on top)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 taco size corn tortillas
Sauce for top:
1 8oz. container of sour cream
Stir together first 5 ingredients. Warm tortillas in the microwave with a damp paper towel around them for a minute to soften them so as to not break. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange seam side down in a lightly greased 13 X 9 inch baking dish. Coat tortillas with cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top.
Stir together 8 oz. sour cream and salsa. Spoon over hot enchiladas; sprinkle with desired toppings.
I served this with black beans– made from canned black beans drained, rinsed, with water added. I sautée onions & garlic, add the beans, some cumin and kosher salt.
a little simple green salad dressed with a swirl of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
I think the salad is a nice accompaniment to the rich, creamy corn and enchiladas!
Some of us pursue creativity more than others, but I believe that we all need creative outlets in our lives. As Brené Brown’s research has proved, cultivating creativity is one of the guideposts of Whole-Hearted Living! She says,
- “I’m not creative” doesn’t work. There is no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use their creativity and people who don’t. Unused creativity doesn’t just disappear. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.
- As long as we are creating, we are cultivating meaning. -from The Gifts of Imperfection
Let’s use our creativity!!