Do-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas. Listening To The Peach Kings.


Hey Dana! Have you seen this hilarious video yet?

Chicken Enchiladas are a staple around my house. There are so many versions out there that they are never boring even if you serve them a couple of times a month.

Today’s Chicken Enchiladas are perfect for entertaining since they can be made ahead and they serve a ton. I love the filling combination of rice, beans and chicken. Cream cheese adds a delectable creaminess and pepper Jack a nice spicy bite.

I roasted some cherry tomatoes tossed with olive oil in a pan alongside the enchiladas. They add a pop of color as a simple side.

Do-Ahead Chicken Enchiladas


1 (6.8 oz) box of Spanish rice
1 cup chopped onion
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
8 oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz pepper Jack cheese, shredded and divided
8 oz Colby Jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro
1 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs ground cumin
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
16 burrito sized flour tortillas
1 (19oz) can enchilada sauce
Garnish: chopped cilantro and sliced pickled jalapeños


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 x 13-inch dishes.

2. Prepare Spanish rice according to package directions. Add onion to hot rice.

3. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, beans, cream cheese, 2 cups pepper Jack Cheese, Colby cheese, cilantro, lime juice and cumin. Add chicken, stirring to combine.

4. Spoon 1/2 cup filling into center of each tortilla and roll up tightly.

5. Place enchiladas, seam down, in a single layer in prepared baking dishes.

6. Top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with remaining pepper Jack cheese.

7. Bake enchiladas for 35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeños, if desired.

Note: To make enchiladas ahead, prepare through step 5. Freeze pans in resealable plastic bags. Thaw in refrigerator overnight, top with enchilada sauce and cheese, then bake.

Serves 16

Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking With Paula Deen Magazine
I’m grooving to this messy, garage heavy tune from LA-based band The Peach Kings. Slinky and super.

Check out The Peach Kings on the band’s Website where you can buy their music.


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Short And Sweet. Simple Turtle Cheesecake.


Short. Sweet. Simple.


And Utterly Fantstic.

That pretty much sums up this super easy dessert.

Just take a store-bought frozen cheesecake and glam it up, Turtle-style, with some easy chocolate ganache, toasted pecans and swirls of caramel sauce.

Simple Turtle Cheesecake


1 frozen New York-style cheesecake (30 ounces), thawed
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup


1. Place cheesecake on a serving plate.

2. Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate and stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.

3. Pour melted chocolate over cheesecake and sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until set.

4. In a small saucepan, melt butter then stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stir in remaining cream and return to a boil. Remove from heat. Serve sauce warm with cheesecake or, if desired, cool completely and drizzle over cheesecake.

Serves 8

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine

Here’s a short song.

And a sweet song.

“And when our time does end
’cause bodies fade and falter
I just can’t imagine
the pain of loss I’ll put you through
Just know
it goes
but my love stays”

Check out Joshua Jesty on his Website where you can link to buy the music.


Posted in Cake, Dessert, Short And Sweet | Tagged | Leave a comment

Easy Skillet Mexican Cornbread. New Music From Herbert Bail Orchestra.



In Friday’s post for Ranch Style Brisket With Beans I promised to share the yummy recipe for Easy Skillet Mexican Cornbread that I served alongside.

Here it is.

A super hot cast iron pan gives the exterior a lovely crispness, green chiles add some heat, and Mexican-style cheese adds to the moistness within.

Easy Skillet Mexican Cornbread

1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 boxes cornbread mix (such as Jiffy)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
Butter, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Pour oil into a 10 inch cast iron skillet and place the skillet in the oven while it preheats.

3. Combine the corn bread mix, eggs, buttermilk, chiles and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir just to combine.

4. When the oven temperature reaches 375°F (about 10 minutes after turning oven on to preheat) carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the batter into the skillet. Return the skillet to the oven immediately. Keep oven set at 450°F.

5. Bake the cornbread until it is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and run a knife around edge of skillet to loosen the bread. Invert the cornbread onto a plate. Invert the bread again on a cutting board so that it is right side up.

6. Slice the cornbread into wedges while hot and serve with butter.

Recipe from The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn

This new slice of gypsy folk from Herbert Bail Orchestra is downright awesome. Stay still. I bet you can’t!

Check out Herbert Bail Orchestra on Facebook and the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming west coast US tour dates and buy the music.


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Ranch Style Brisket And Beans. New Music From Kalle Mattson.


Ranch style beans, a Texas staple, are pinto beans cooked in a highly addictive tomato-chile gravy. In this slow cooker dish, dried pinto beans are transformed to their tender end state without getting mushy. No soaking, no worrying. Add beef brisket into the mix and you have an easy, satisfying meal that gets rounded out with some coleslaw and cornbread.

Stay tuned for the delicious Mexican Skillet Cornbread that I served alongside the brisket and beans.

Ranch Style Brisket And Beans


16 ounces dried pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups hot water
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 pounds boneless beef brisket, trimmed of fat
Coleslaw and cornbread, to serve


1. In 5-quart slow cooker, combine the pinto beans, water, and onion.

2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar.

3. Stir half of the ketchup mixture into the beans in the slow cooker. Place the brisket on top of the beans. Spread the remaining ketchup mixture over the top of the brisket.

4. Cover and cook on low heat setting 9 to 10 hours, stirring once or twice, if possible, until the beans and beef are tender. Skim off any excess fat from the top.

5. To serve, slice the meat across the grain and serve with the beans.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from Recipe Lion

Ottawa-based artist Kalie Mattson has a new EP coming out next week titled ‘Avalanche’. A little bit pop, a little bit soft folk. It’s really good.

‘A Long Time Ago’ highlights the quieter side.

All you album cover loving peeps are going to like this clever video.

Check out Kalle Mattson on his Website where you can learn of upcoming world tour dates and buy the music.


Posted in Beef, Slow Cooker | Tagged | 1 Comment

Chocolate Chip Scones. New Music From Patternist.


Remember the other day when I shared the Fruit Crostata recipe that my son made at King Arthur Flour baking camp? Well, he also made these incredible Chocolate Chip Scones. They are probably the best scones I have ever had. Packed with chocolate chips, tender inside, crisp on the outside. Just fantastic.

Chocolate Chip Scones


2 cups flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 egg yolk (reserve the white for topping)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Blend the butter, working it in until the mixture is crumbly.

4. Blend in chocolate chips.

5. Whisk together the egg yolk and buttermilk. Stir into the butter mixture until just mixed.

6. Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface. If it seems too dry add a little more buttermilk.

7. Gently form dough into a flattened round and cut into 6 pieces, leaving them attached.

8. Brush the dough with the reserved egg white and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

9. Bake the scones for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 6 big scones

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Here’s a little laid back synth to groove to.

Check out Patternist on the Website. You can buy the music here.


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Baked Soy Lemon Chops With Roasted Potato And Green Bean Salad. New Music From Memoryy.


I think this summer might be the most hectic one I have ever experienced. My daughter is leaving for her first year of college. I had to take over finances for my ailing father from 3 states away. My boys were in summer soccer leagues and both of their teams made the championships which meant a school year style sport schedule way into August.

You get the picture.

So dinners have been on the very simple side the past few weeks. An example are these soy sauce and lemon pork chops served alongside a roasted potato salad. The pork chops get so much flavor from the simple marinade and they bake up meltingly tender. The potato salad is packed with bacon and tossed with a delicious Dijon vinaigrette.

Baked Soy Lemon Chops


1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 pork chops


1. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, lemon juice, pepper and oil. Add pork chops, and turn to coat evenly. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375℉/190℃.

3. Place marinated pork chops in a roasting pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, basting meat often with marinade.

Serves 4

Recipe from
Roasted Potato And Green Bean Salad


6 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)


1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Place potatoes, onion and green beans in a greased 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat.

3. Roast 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring twice.

4. Transfer to a large bowl and add bacon.

5. Pour vinaigrette over potato mixture and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Serves 7



2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


1. In a small bowl, whisk the first six ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until blended.

Recipes from Simple & Delicious Magazine

I love the word sinister. It sounds just like what it means.

The song ‘Feeling Sinister’ is new from Brooklyn-based Shaun Hettinger aka Memoryy. It’s just the kind of light synth pop I need to elevate the mood and help me chill a bit as I slog on through some life challenges.

Check out Memoryy on his Website where you can buy the music.


Posted in Pork, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pasta With Swiss Chard, Eggplant, And Mushrooms. New Music From Ben Lorentzen.

As pasta dishes go, this one is packed with lots of thrilling flavors. There’s plenty of veggie action from the chard, eggplant and mushrooms. A triple cheese combination of fresh mozzarella, Gorgonzola and Parmesan takes everything over to the top of the goodness meter.

Pasta With Swiss Chard, Eggplant, And Mushrooms


4 Tbs olive oil
1 lb Swiss chard, trimmed, washed, and cut into 1-inch crosswise pieces
6 tiny (2- to 3-inch) eggplants, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 large fresh wild mushrooms, sliced
1 lb orecchiette pasta
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet, heat, and sauté the eggplant and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the sautéed Swiss chard and cook for 1 minute longer.

3. While the vegetables are being sautéed, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil.

4. Immediately toss the hot pasta with the mozzarella and Gorgonzola. Stir in the sautéed vegetables and season to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with additional extra-virgin olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

What first caught my attention was the song title, as is commonly the case for me.

‘The Ugliest Girl In The World’

One would think you would be hearing about some unattractive beast. Not the case at all.

The singer loves his girl and lets us know she is pretty darn special.

“You never saw such a girl
You never met such a girl
You never knew such a girl could survive
But she’s more beautiful than anything
in this fucked up and Godforsaken world.”

‘The Ugliest Girl In The World’ is one of 11 thoughtful, bare to the bone tracks on the new album “America” by NJ-based artist Ben Lorentzen.

Check out Ben Lorentzen on Facebook. You can buy his music here.


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