Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mexican Casserole (freezer meal)

I was looking for a good freezer meal that would use things I had on hand (though I did have to restock a few things before I made this).  I found this recipe, and of course tweaked it quite a bit.  Here's what I ended up doing.

1.25 lb. ground turkey, browned
with 1 diced onion and a couple good spoonfuls of minced garlic

3 cans of diced tomatoes (I started with 2 but added a 3rd because it was too spicy)
2 cans of corn, rinsed and drained
3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained (really it was 1 can plus two can-sized bags I had in the freezer from a pot I had made from dried beans)
about 16 oz. of picante sauce
5 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I mix my own, and I think I made it extra spicy this time)
a little salt to taste (I went light on the salt in my taco seasoning)
Simmer a bit to let the flavors combine. 

This made a huge pot of filling, which was what I was going for.  I wanted the meat to go a long way, and it really did distribute well so I didn't think it was lacking in the final product at all. 

I layered the filling with flour tortillas in 3 baking pans (8x8, and two 9x13 foil pans) according to the instructions in the recipe: start with a little filling, add halves of tortilla with straight sides along the outside of the pan, add more filling, etc.

I almost forgot the cheese, so only the top couple of layers had it.  I think if I did this again I would use more cheese, but I only had 2 cups to go between all the pans and I think it worked fine.

I baked the 8x8 pan for supper for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  The other two I covered in foil, let cool down a bit, and put in the deep freeze.  I wrote the directions from the recipe on them (40 minutes at 350, pre-thawed).  We enjoyed the one we ate that night with a little plain Greek yogurt (a.k.a. sour cream).  I'm hopeful the other two will turn out well when we need them too. 

I calculated the approximate cost of making the entire recipe (my canned goods are from Aldi so much cheaper than the average), and I think it comes to about $12.  Not too shabby for 3 good meals!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Blog posts- why there haven't been and won't be many

I haven't been posting very much, as you may or may not have noticed, depending on who is paying attention to what is posted.  I'm guessing that's not very many people. 

As you might have noticed I try not to share personal details online "in public," therefore it's sometimes hard to write about life in general.  Because of that, I will probably be only posting once in a great while about something I want to "spout off" about, or about food and cooking.  Sometimes I run across articles online that don't fit under the Common Cents categories and so I'll probably be using this blog as I place for those. 

If I write something that bothers you, please take it in the spirit in which it was written: I have strong opinions and sometimes the anonymity of the internet is the best place for those.  I may or may not be correct about them, and I realize that.  Please respond if you want, and I will look forward to reading your thoughts.  (Oh, and it goes without saying that any comments should avoid personal details.)

If you're still reading, thank you!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kids in Church

I ran across this piece and thought it excellent.  It's from a Catholic perspective, so there are some obvious points about which I would differ from the author.  However, in the big picture I think she makes some excellent points about bringing children to church. 

It does bother me that it has become so automatic to so many to drop their children off in the nursery every Sunday.  I won't go so far as to say there shouldn't be a nursery.  I know there are cases where it might be best. I'm sure some days the parents just need a break, or the baby needs a nap.  But in general, I think it would be ideal if using the nursery were the exception and the occasional circumstance rather than the rule. 

Certainly children aren't good at sitting still for so long.  But if they aren't made to try sometimes, how else are they going to learn?  Young children won't understand everything.  I wouldn't say they have to sit and listen the entire time as if they did.  I think coloring books and Bible story books are perfectly acceptable ways to keep children quiet during a sermon.  As they grow and mature, more will gradually be expected of them.  But I do think that if it is at all possible they should be there.  Worshiping as a family is an amazing blessing that is available to us.  Many people don't have that, and I think that can be easy to forget.