Wednesday, November 3

I Am Thankful For... Real Food!

I am blessed to see many people focusing their online writings this week on all the blessings for which they are thankful. If you only read the mainstream news media, it quickly becomes easy to forget there is anything good in the world at all!

One of the things I am most thankful for, and have been especially appreciative of this week, is real food. Shared meals - even simple ones - made with love should nourish both body and soul, and are a precious time for relaxation and reflection.

With that in mind, I plan to continue sharing some of my favorite recipes this month in hopes that they will bless others as they bless me.

Cheesy Enchilada Stack
This is an easy recipe to dress up or stretch as desired. If you want to bulk it up a little, just throw a layer of rice in there. This is a great make-ahead recipe because it holds well and only needs 15 min in the oven.

6 tortillas
6 oz shredded cheese (I use cheddar)
2 oz green chilis, diced (optional)
8 oz enchilada sauce
1 onion, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 lb ground beef (optional)

Grease an 8" square baking dish. Layer tortillas, sauce, chilis, beans, onions, ground beef and cheese. Repeat. Finish with tortillas and sauce. Bake 15 minutes at 400*.

Note: I have amazing and dirt cheap homemade recipes for enchilada sauce and tortillas I'd be happy to share if anyone wants them.

Crab Au Gratin
This is a new one I was inspired to try after having had a similar dish at a restaurant. I used canned crab meat and it worked fine - just make sure you read the back of the cans and get real crab meat with no scary additives! This would be an awesome holiday appetizer if you're throwing a party.

2 tbsp minced carrots
2 tbsp minced celery
2 tbsp minced red peppers
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp tarragon
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used raw whole milk)
1 1/2 cups lump crab meat
splash of lemon juice
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, cook carrot, celery and bell pepper in butter 1 minute. Add broth, wine and tarragon and boil until liquid is reduced to 1 tbsp. Add cream and 1/4 cup Parmesan and boil 1- 2 minutes. Stir in crab and lemon juice and season to taste with salt & pepper. Transfer to oven safe dish(es), sprinkle with additional Parmesan and broil 2 minutes. Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

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