Widgets Magazine

Mar 24, 2011

Food for Thought: Green Chili Enchiladas and Rainbow Cupcakes

Every year during March we go through about half a bottle of food coloring turning our regular dishes into a very unhealthy shade of green. On Dr. Suess’s birthday we always eat green eggs and ham and this year we added purple pancakes. My sweetie has a real problem eating food that is not the right color. When he called me from work on St. Patrick’s Day I told him so far I had only planned green jello and green bread. "That’s good," he said, "Most of the green will cook out of the bread." 

Boy was he wrong! I put the loaf of bread into the breadmaker but when I took out the food-coloring bottle, I didn’t notice that the tiny pour spout to keep me from dumping in half the bottle was not there. Oops! Then I got a phone call from Bossy. They were making green chili enchiladas and she wanted to bring her stuff over and share. Never one to turn down a free meal, I was happy to let her cook. 

Working on this particular dish reminded me of another time we were cooking together. The Gym Rat was in charge of the Munch ‘n Mingle for his church group last year. Now I raise my kids to take these sorts of responsibilities very seriously. Most people would simply arrange for milk and cookies every week…not my Gym Rat. He decided he was personally responsible for feeding more than 100 people every Sunday after church. So about 10:30 one Saturday night he showed up on our doorstep with grocery bags full of chicken, enchilada sauce, and tortillas. He figured we needed to make 130 enchiladas before we went to bed. 

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Bossy and Gamer came over to help. We finally finished around 2:30 AM. Since I knew he was tired, I offered to ride with the Gym Rat for 30 minutes to his church building so we could fill up the two large refrigerators with a dozen foil pans full of enchiladas. Unfortunately, someone had also decided to fill up the refrigerators with pies, so we had to arrange and rearrange to try and fit everything in. We got back to our house about 4:30 AM. It was a crazy night, but the enchiladas were a huge hit with his friends. After all of his hard work I don’t think he even got to eat one! 

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We are also including a new tradition Bossy started just this year. She found a recipe for Rainbow Cupcakes that are truly amazing if you have the patience to make them work (and you still have some green food coloring left). Remember there is only one more day to get yourself entered into the Easter Giveaway!

Chicken Enchiladas

2 large chicken breasts (cubed)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese or 1 can of cream of chicken soup (milder version)
1 4 oz can of diced green chilis
1 28oz cans of Enchilada sauce (we prefer green chili)
1-2 14 oz. packages of flour (or wheat flour) tortillas
Shredded Cheddar Jack as desired.

Cook chicken in a large skillet until juices run clear.  Add can of chilis and 1/2 can of enchilada sauce to chicken.  Stir.  Bring sauce to a a boil.  Spoon in cream cheese (or soup) stirring constantly.  Simmer until cream cheese is fully melted.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13 glass pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray.  Place tortilla in pan spoon in about 1/4 cup of filling directly into the center.  Fold the tortilla in 1/2 and drag the top half lightly over filling slightly wetting the tortilla. Roll burrito style so enchiladas are about 1 inch thick.  Leaving ends untucked. Slide rolled enchilada edge side down to the bottom of the pan.  Repeat until pan is full.  Smother enchiladas with remain enchilada sauce and top with cheese as desired.  Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

(If you have left over sauce and don't want to make another pan it freezes well.  Use within a month.  Do not freeze rolled enchiladas they just fall apart.)

Rainbow Cupcakes

White Cake Mix (as prepared)
Food Coloring

Prepare cake mix as box directs.  Select rainbow colors.  (We used 8 colors.)  Divide batter evenly in small bowls for each color.  Use food coloring to mix colors to your preference.  The brighter the colors the prettier your cupcakes will be.  (Tip-If you hate trying to mix the perfect purple grab a box of new "Neon" food coloring.
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Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Using a standard spoon scoop 1/2 a spoonful of each color layer into cups.  We started with red and ended with purple.  The red layer is the hardest.  You will probably use too much batter on the first try.  It will be okay just use less on a different color.  spoon each layer directly on top of the other.  If the batter doesn't touch the sides of the cups don't worry.  Continue with each layer until cups are 2/3s full and all colors are used.  Take the tray and gently tap the sides so the batter settles into the cups.  Bake as directed.  Frost and serve.  

The best part about these cupcakes was comparing them to each other after taking a bite.  We all sat around showing off the centers of our cupcakes.  It was fun to see the different patterns and waves.


Katie said...

i lOVE green chili enchiladas! My recipe is very similar, but I also include black olives, tomatoes, and green onions. Mmmmm....now I want to make some :)
Those cupcakes are neat...I am going shopping today, I plan to pick up white cake mix and make some with my kids. Thanks for the recipe!

How is your family in Japan doing?

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Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

LOL! That is pretty green! We usually get green bagels for St. Patrick's! The cupcakes are very cool! That's a lot of enchilada's, they look amazing!


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