Vegetarian Mini Enchilada

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I “Stomp”ed around Chicago with td (my husband of 41+ years!) and some friends for a few days just before the 2017 New Year. We happily played the usual suspects tourists…

beanposed with The Bean (formal name “Cloud Gate”) created and installed in 2006 by the amazing Anish Kapoor,

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hung out with blues great, Buddy Guy, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor Recipient (please watch this video with Morgan Freeman presenting Mr. Guy with the Honor), seized this magical photo op with him at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends), bavettesand hopped from one fantastic restaurant and hotel bar to the next. No lack there, my friends! BONUS, we enjoyed dinner one night with James Beard Award winning chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill. I mean, we just couldn’t even decide what to order; it all was so tempting…so we began with hand crafted margaritas. I was so inspired with our dinner, that I flew home and waked up my own kitchen, and prepared this concoction. So…take this little jewel to the bank and thank Rick B. and Peg all the way! And PtotheS…

Be Sociable, Share This! Everyone has been sharing a LOT lately, so let’s unite and share something yummy, just a nice little recipe-no politics ever on this blog-just joy and fun!

southwestern-mini-black-bean-enchiladas10 miniature 4” flour tortillas
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can refried beans
8 oz can red enchilada sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs chopped avocado
4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or melted butter.
Tuck tortillas gently into cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes until crisp and browned.
Stir together black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles in medium bowl.
Divide mixture evenly among baked tortilla cups.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Back at 350° until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Transfer enchiladas to serving platter.
Top evenly with lettuce.
Drizzle with sour cream.
Sprinkle with green onions, avocado, and cilantro.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
Garnish with fresh lime.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.

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3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.

Love Your Melon Beanies

Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zach and Brian. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.

peg-love-your-melonFifty percent (50%) of the profit from sales of Love Your Melon products is given to Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer. Their nonprofit partners work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer.

To date, over 1.5 million dollars and over 80,000 hats have been donated. (Excerpted from the Love Your Melon website.) Read the entire story here! And go shop here and keep raising monies for childhood cancer. Kudos to these fine gentlemen. Pass on some good karma people. That’s all.

Yep, that’s me sporting one of my Melons last week in Chicago. Race to order yours!

The Great Swan Adventure, 23 Years and Counting

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Hardee Swan Sporting a Fantastic Mignonne Gavigan Scarf Necklace!

Exactly 23 years ago, on this 23rd day of December, PaPa took Brenton, William, and me on a swan hunt. We set out around 5am for the drive to Lake Mattamuskeet, where we met up with Tony, our guide for the day. It was a misty morning, perfect for the shoot ahead. PaPa, the very definition of gentleman, sportsman, and teacher, was thrilled beyond words! We were settled in the blind by 7:45, and before 9:00 both Brenton and William had “bagged” their first swan, at the wonderful, adventurous age of nine! And that mount has lived in my dining room ever since the taxidermist delivered it a few weeks later! We have decorated that swan with lots of neck-pieces over the years, but I do believe that this necklace of Mignonne Gavigan’s is the best look that the Hardee Swan has ever sported. So…happy December 23rd to each and every one of you, and may you have a Merry Merry Christmas! Memories…may we stack them up every single day until the pile is so high it touches the Heavens!

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PtotheS…Since we completed the hunt so early, we rode around with Tony is his big ole truck listening to Aaron Neville and shooting mistletoe out of trees!

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What The Doctor Ordered…sortof!

For all that ails you during this coughing, sneezing, wheezing, sickly season…I tried this last night, after suffering for over three weeks. YES, darn it, three weeks. So I was game for anything. Well, it didn’t heal me, but it sure as heck suppressed my cough…and I think I may just sip on it every night until I’m well! Thank you Woodford Reserve and brown sugar. Packing a punch there my friend. Hello Christmas!

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4 cloves
1 lemon twist
2 t brown sugar
1/4 t lemon juice
2 oz Bourbon (the finest you have on hand!)

Fill a mug with boiling water and let stand for two minutes to warm.
Meanwhile, place cloves in lemon twist and set aside.
Empty the mug and fill halfway with fresh boiling water.
Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add prepared lemon twist and stir.
Add lemon juice and bourbon.
Stir to combine all.

Call your cough quits!! (Almost!)

Cinnamon Sugar Crisps (Mexican Toast)

A little sweetness for your morning or evening. Here’s the perfect little “pick me up” after a long day of errands that is inherent this time of year. And the bonus…your smallest children and grandchildren can participate in the creating. Spread the joy. Share the love.

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1/2 stick butter
6  7 inch tortillas
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Place oven rack in center position of oven.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Melt butter in shallow baking pan in oven, about 2 minutes.
Spread tortillas in baking pan, overlapping slightly and turning each to coat both sides with butter.
Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Sprinkle evenly over tortillas.
Bake until golden and puffed in spots, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully!dessert-mexican-cinnamon-toast-iv

Slice into wedges and watch them disappear.

Turkey Posole

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Here I am just hooking you up with plans for your turkey left overs! Just turn it in to a Southwestern Posole. I concocted this version with rotisserie chicken, as indicated below, but I guarantee it’s the perfect solution for the day after the turkey exits center stage. You’ll have everything you need right on that spice turn table and in your pantry, except perhaps the hominy. Now I know you still have to make a grocery run, so grab a can of hominy, next to the corn on the veggie aisle. And go on, mix yourself one of the cocktails on the blog, fire up the stove, and enjoy your fam, friends, and all of the togetherness. Hold them close, whoever is near; love them hard. Gobble Gobble Baby!

Breast meat of 1 Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 t chopped fresh thyme
1/2 t chopped fresh oregano
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 t cumin
1 t salt*
3/4 t chili powder
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 can hominy, drained and rinsed
Zest of 1 lime

Topping Options:
Diced avocado
Lime wedge
Halved cherry tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Dollop of Mexican Crema, or sour cream
Tortilla Chips, on the side

Add the chicken broth to medium soup pot.
Bring to rapid simmer.
Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano, garlic, cumin, 1/2 t salt, chili powder, coriander, and red pepper flakes.
Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.
Add chicken, drained hominy, and lime zest.
Increase heat to medium.
Warm everything thoroughly.
Discard bay leaf.
Serve in individual bowls with desired toppings.

*I prefer lime sea salt, or Pink Himalayan Salt.