Do you ever get in a cooking rut? Cooking the same meals over and over, dreading leftovers and wishing your “eating out” envelope wasn’t empty?
We definitely go through those phases at our house. The best fix is not visiting our favorite restaurants or resorting to cold sandwiches and frozen pizza – although this does tend to be our first response.
The solution for a cooking rut is simple: try new recipes. That’s why I’m looking forward to trying several new dishes over the next few months. I’ve got a stack of printed recipes from websites and magazines, plus months of bookmarked meal ideas saved in my Delicious account, and they’re calling my name.
Several years ago, I’d tried even fewer new recipes and had even fewer meals in the rotation. So we got into ruts – and relied on restaurants – even more often. [See Credit Card Debt, exhibit A.]
One weekend, we visited my cousin and her family, and she made beef enchiladas for us. It might seem silly, but we were So Excited about those enchiladas! First of all, they were good, but second of all, they looked pretty easy to make. And, as you know, that is my favorite combination for a recipe.
Before I left her house, I made sure to write down the recipe – and a few others, for good measure. And over the years, I’ve made the enchiladas, lost the recipe and tried to remember all the ingredients, tried a different recipe from one of my many, mostly unused cookbooks, asked my cousin for the recipe again and found the original recipe filed in the wrong spot in my recipe binder.
It’s been an enchilada whirlwind. [Yes, that’s right, I can create drama from enchiladas.]
Last night, I decided that instead of ordering pizza – sadly, our Sunday night ritual – I’d make a nice dinner for us. When I told Mark that I was making enchiladas, I was actually debating between beef and chicken. But his response was, “Beef?” in the tone of voice that really meant, “Please tell me you’re not going to make me eat chicken?”
And so, beef enchiladas it was.
Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 package taco seasoning
1-2 cups shredded cheddar (or other cheese)
1 can cream of celery soup
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. Velveeta
1 can green chilies (or diced tomatoes with green chilies)
12 Mission large flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef, drain, and add onions and taco seasoning. (When I made them last night, I added two packages of taco seasoning and left out the onions.)
Warm tortillas in microwave (about a minute, wrapped in a paper towel). Spoon hamburger into tortilla and sprinkle some shredded cheese on top. Roll it up and place seam down into greased 9×13 pan.
Mix other ingredients in saucepan and warm slowly until cheese melts. Pour mixture over enchiladas. (The trick is to make sure every inch of tortilla is covered. It won’t look pretty, but it will taste good!)
Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa. (Although you might reconsider if your two-year-old will be tempted to eat both the sour cream and salsa with a spoon and ignore her enchilada. I’m just saying.)
To make this cheesy meal a little more healthy, I use light Velveeta, 98% fat free soup, light sour cream and Mission’s 96% fat free tortillas.
This post is sponsored by Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of tortilla products, producing almost a quarter of all tortillas sold in the world, and offers a full line of flour and corn tortillas. However, the experience and opinions are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.
Over the next few months, some of the new recipes I’ll be trying – and sharing with you – will use Mission products. Honestly, this probably would have happened anyway, since I’m a well-documented lover of pretty much all kinds of Mexican food.
But what I especially love about Mission (other than 96% fat free tortillas – hello!) is their commitment to supporting Share Our Strength and its goal of ending childhood hunger in America through employee volunteerism and nationwide fundraising efforts. I hope to share ways to get involved with Share Our Strength, as well as ways to enjoy new Mexican dishes!
What do you do to get out of a cooking rut? And where do you find new recipes?
This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Friday Food, Foodie Friday and Food on Fridays. It will also be linked to Ingredient Spotlight at Eat at Home Cooks.