Wednesday, September 3, 2008

iEnchiladas Deliciosas!

So, as some of you know, I am really trying to live a more organized life [code language for anal retentive, OCD, etc.]. In the process of organizing, I stumbled upon the concept of "prepare ahead meals." So, I decided to print out a calendar and actually sit down and plan out a meal for each day of the month [this goes back to that whole OCD concept above]. Lo and behold, about 45 minutes, the Publix ad, and two cookbooks later, I had chosen dinner for every night in September. This has completely eliminated the "what's for dinner" quandry that Marc and I go through each and every night. Not to mention the ease of grocery shopping, as well.

So, with my two weeks worth of groceries in hand [well, not literally...], I attempted to prepare a few meals and freeze them. As we go through the meals, I will post them here if the recipes were keepers. Last night we enjoyed these amazing Vegetable Enchiladas! Good thing I froze two batches of those! Here is the recipe:

Vegetable Enchiladas (a recipe copied directly from Everyday Food and Martha Stewart)

To freeze: Prepare enchiladas through step 3; top with cheese, and cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Place sauce in an airtight container. Freeze enchiladas and sauce for up to 2 months.

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight (or microwave on high 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dishes, and pour sauce over enchiladas; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil, and bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dishes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cups grated pepper Jack cheese (12 ounces)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 box (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 box (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated [I substituted one white onion, chopped]
16 corn tortillas (6-inch)


1) Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, flour, and tomato paste; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2) Make filling: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, spinach, corn, scallion whites, and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and pepper.

3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square baking dishes; set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in damp paper towels; microwave on high for 1 minute. Or stack and wrap in aluminum foil, and heat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and arrange, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes.

4) Dividing evenly, sprinkle enchiladas with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with sauce. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; serve garnished with scallion greens.

These are absolutely delicious and freeze so easily!!! Marc even reheated them for lunch today! Definitely one of the best Enchilada recipes I've tried. Enjoy!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Honeymoon Day 7 - Junneau, Alaska

Our final port: Juneau, Alaska! We were so excited to see this [relatively] big city in Alaska! As soon as we got off the ship, we signed up for a bus tour of the city and a ride to Mendenhall Glacier. The tour was great!!!We saw great scenery, but the most wildlife we saw was some salmon swimming up-stream and a pile of bear droppings . . . .

After a long day in Juneau, we got back on the ship to get ready for dinner. The family that we sat with in the main dining was so kind, and treated us to a delicious dinner at Chops on-board. There even was a surprise dessert with happy honeymoon wishes!!!

Thanks to Marc's parents for a wonderful trip, and thanks to my parents for a beautiful wedding!!!! We couldn't be happier!!!!

Honeymoon Day 7 - Skagway, Alaska

We were so excited for Skagway - we had watched a little bio about the city at least twice on t.v. [hey, the channels on the ship were limited!]. We were up early and ready to get off the boat a.s.a.p. Of course, the city didn't look quite as it did on t.v., but, nonetheless, it was WAY better than Icy Straits (scroll down if you forgot about that "port").
From Skagway, we took a bus tour that took us deep into Alaska (so deep, in fact, that we ended up in Canada . . .). The tour was great!! We saw such beautiful scenery, and got a few great photos, too. The only downside was the large number of mosquitos we encountered along the way . . . .

After a long day touring the Alaskan wilderness, we headed back to the ship to find a pretty cool surprise waiting for us in our stateroom . . . .
We spent the rest of the evenings watching the scenery from our balcony as we made our way to Juneau . . . .

Honeymoon Day 6 - Hubbard Glacier!

Seeing the Hubbard Glacier was quite possibly the highlight of the entire trip!!! We got up super early and waited on the deck for at least an hour to make sure we had a prime glacier-viewing spot. Not to worry, there was plenty of hot chocolate available . . . .

We had such a wonderful time looking at the glacier!!! It was SO cold though - it had to have been at least 40 degrees with the wind chill out on the deck. We toughed it out though...and then spent the rest of the day eating and sleeping. Duh.

Shera and Marc, Landscape Extraordinaires

Well...we can't take complete credit for our newly crafted landscape - the plants and placement were my parents' idea. But hey, Marc and I did plant all the dang things [and Marc mowed that jungle of a lawn all by himself]!! Oh, one more thing....we can thank my parents for their flamingo donation, too . . . .
Now back to cleaning up the inside of our house . . . .

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We are sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled honeymoon photos . . . .

This just in! A cephalopod has landed at the Anderson residence! The octopus was seen for the first time the night of Aug. 22, 2008, and has introduced himself as Reggie "Mush" Anderson.

Apparently Reggie is a retired musician - he used to play the steel drums and marimba with a calypso band. Now he has retired in South Florida.
Here are pictures of the few sightings we have had:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Honeymoon Day 5 - Icy Straits (Hoonah), Alaska

I have to admit, it was pretty amazing to wake up and see trees and mountains everywhere - we had arrived in Icy Straits, Alaska!

We were so excited to finally get off the ship and start exploring! It was pretty cold and overcast. Nonetheless, we were determined to be amongst the first to head off the ship.

We hadn't signed up for any excursions, so we started walking around and exploring. After throwing a cedar chip into the fire, and talking to a "local," we decided to catch a bus to "downtown." Little did we know that there was nothing to see downtown, with the exception of a few dozen dilapidated homes, two bars, a church, and a mini-mart . . . .

Apparently, however, we were lucky as there was a lot going on in Hoonah that day - we witnessed a [minor] mudslide [as we were walking the few miles back to the port to get back on the dang boat!] . . . .
Needless to say, we were [extremely] happy to head back to our beautiful stateroom . . .
. . . and sleep . . . .
When we awoke, we were pleasantly surprised by the scenery as we left Icy Straits (Hoonah), Alaska.

After a strange day in Icy Straits, we enjoyed a great dinner and some wonderful entertainment before going [back] to sleep!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Honeymoon Day 4 - At Sea

We spent the entire day at sea, but that gave us plenty of time to explore the ship and take in the scenery.After a relaxing day, we got all dressed up for the first formal night on the ship - I wore glitter, of course! Before dinner the captain hosted a little champagne party in one of the lounges. My favorite part, however, was meeting an authentic Canadian mountie. I totally thought of Dudley Do-Right . . . .After a whole day of doing nothing, and eating a delicious dinner at formal night, we were exhausted and called it a night!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Honeymoon Day 3 - Off to Alaska!

After eating the usual Denny's breakfast, we [excitedly] waited in the hotel lobby for our transportation to the port to board the Serenade of the Seas! We waited for awhile . . . . This was my first cruise [ever], so we went right out to the deck before exploring the rest of the ship. I was excited just to see the port . . . .

We had some time to explore the ship before our stateroom was ready. The ship was beautiful - and our stateroom was great! We especially loved the balcony - we had breakfast on the balcony almost every morning. Woohoo for room service.

At about 5:00pm, the Serenade of the Seas set sail for Alaska. We went up to the top deck to join the party! I thought it would be a good idea to get one of the Margaritas in the fancy glasses that they were selling - that drink was wicked strong!

Needless to say, we called it a night shortly thereafter . . . .