But not always, right? I mean, there are times I do alright. But I think we discovered last year that I don't blog well during the holidays. And you understand that, I know you do. We all have our obligations, our family time, our needs and parties and whathaveyou's. So there's no news here, just my admission that I really am a crummy blogger around this time of year... We hosted Thanksgiving. Then came mini's birthday (more later), on Saturday I'm in charge of this crazy big activity for the kids at church which is a Christmas Carnival, the Friday after that I am partially in charge of the Christmas party for our whole congregation at church, then of course comes Christmas (which we are hosting... wait, how did THAT happen??) and right after that is bug's birthday. Add to that all of the gifts I'd like to make myself instead of just buying and I am, of course, a crazed lunatic. You read about all of this already, didn't you? I believe I complained a few weeks ago... so what's new? Well, I DID cut my finger pretty badly and it hurts to type... ok, I'm just going to stop there. That's a pathetic excuse.
I do have a recipe for you today, though.
As you've read (and reread) we just celebrated mini's 2nd birthday. We threw her a "Busy Bee" party - it seemed appropriate because not only IS she a busy bee (constantly) but she also LOVES bees. She's enraptured. She calls anything with wings bees.
More details to come - whether you want them or not - but I thought I'd share our dinner with you, since I missed yummy monday yesterday.
I had to feed quite a few people on a budget, and this is what I came up with. It is 100% originally MINE. (not to brag. I was just really excited that I came up with something so yummy on my own.) I like to call it "Food Storage Casserole" because you probably have almost all of the ingredients sitting around in your pantry - at least if you like Mexican food like we do. I think the "official" name is going to be "Taco Dip Casserole."
I know it doesn't look like much, but I attribute that to really bad lighting and not the food. I swear to you, my entire family ate it and raved. Not kidding. And not only did the kids like it enough to eat it that night, but they have also had leftovers TWICE this week - without complaint. A small miracle. The best part is that it is inexpensive and easy. It also has complete proteins even without meat, but I am not claiming it's good for you. It's not. But it is yummy. Don't be daunted by the lengthy list of ingredients. Ok. Here you go:
Taco Dip Casserole
4 flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
2 packages of cream cheese (or neufchatel cheese for less fat), softened
1 package taco seasoning
3 C minute rice
1 can chicken broth
1/2 C water
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomatoes and chilies
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 T minced garlic - or to taste
1 T lime juice
4 green onions, chopped finely
1 bunch cilantro, chopped well
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
4 T sour cream
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
A handful of tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 375. Prep the softened cream cheese by using an electric mixer to cream it. Add the taco seasoning and mix well. Heat the refried beans in the microwave for 30 seconds - 1 minute to soften them. Combine the chicken broth and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice and take it off the heat, covering it. Let it sit. In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, shredded cheese, garlic, lime juice, green onions, 2 T of the chopped cilantro, cumin, paprika, and salt. Stir it really well. Add about 1 T of the cilantro to the rice and fluff. Spray the bottom of a casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Lay two large flour tortillas on the bottom. Spread the beans over the top, evenly. Spread 1/2 the cream cheese mixture over the top of that, evenly. Spoon out 1/2 of the black bean and corn mixture and spread that out evenly. Spoon out 1/2 of the rice mixture and cover evenly. Then lay another two flour tortillas. Spread the rest of the cream cheese mixture evenly, followed by the rest of the black beans and corn mixture and then the rice mixture. Dollop the 4 T sour cream on top, in each quarter of the pan. Sprinkle with some cilantro and the 1/2 C cheese. Pop it in the oven. Cook it for about 20 minutes. When you bring it out, the sour cream on top will have melted a little, so spread it around. Crush up the tortilla chips and sprinkle all over the top. Serve it with more sour cream and cheese, if desired, and salsa.
And there you have it! It sounds much more involved than it really is, I swear. It'll breeze by once you start it. I may have skipped dessert so I could have 2 helpings. And by may have I mean "definitely did." Which, if you know me, is really weird.