Potato enchiladas and chocolate-dipped strawberries

We usually go out for Valentine’s Day, but since funds are a little tight this year we decided to stay in and cook for each other. I requested Mike’s potato enchiladas, one of the first dishes he ever made for me. They are dee-lish. And I decided to make chocolate-dipped strawberries because, well, I don’t think I need to explain myself.

We also remembered that stuck in the back of our fridge was a bottle of $45 champagne (and it’s actually made in Champagne) that we never opened. Man, was it good, especially with a couple of strawberry slices dropped in.

Should you ever want to make the potato enchiladas, know that it’s a time-consuming process, and you will be left stealing bites of stuffing out of the bowl and staring longingly at the oven door, even if you do have guacamole to snack on. I’m just sayin’.

Potato Enchiladas

2 cups golden potatoes, boiled and diced
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped (dried is fine in a pinch, just use less)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Enchilada sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup salsa
6 ounces of tomato sauce (we used a little leftover pasta sauce)
1 1/2 cups of water

While you’re boiling the potatoes, make the sauce: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a couple minutes. Add the oregano, chili powder, basil, pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce. Mix together and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens a bit.

After you’ve drained the potatoes and let them cool a bit, combine the first 7 enchilada ingredients in a large bowl and mash them up good with a potato masher.

Spoon equal amounts of potato mixture into tortillas and roll up. If you’re crazy like Mike, you will have made your own tortillas with masa flour and a tortilla press that weighs a ton.

Place enchiladas seam-side down in a shallow baking dish. Top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melty.

As for the chocolate-dipped strawberries, you don’t even need a recipe really. I unwrapped a package of Dove dark chocolates and tossed those in a bowl with some leftover Hershey Kisses.

Then I microwaved it on 50% power for about 3 minutes, stirred it up and called it good.

After you dip the strawberries, lay them on parchment paper and stick them in the fridge to cool. These were divine, as good as any I’ve bought at a chocolaterie. I don’t even want to tell you how many of these we ate.

Loving: Orla Kiely casserole mitt

OK, file this under things I never thought I would own. But I think it’s so adorable. I was perusing the Orla Kiely endcap at Target last weekend with this overwhelming feeling that I just had to buy something. But most of it was placemats and dish towels and aprons, which I already have too many of. But this guy, this I NEED. I mean, what a shame to have to use two oven mitts to grab a casserole out of the oven when you could just use one?

Plus, it was only $5 or $6.

Potatoes, eggs, peas and cheese

My friend Erin made this recipe for me over the weekend (a favorite from her childhood), and I realized this morning that I had both leftover potato fries and peas, so I made it for myself!

It is certainly not the most beautiful of dishes, but it’s a very satisfying breakfast that tastes great with a spoonful of salsa or a few shots of hot sauce.

You can make it in any amount, depending on what you have around. Just figure about one tablespoon of butter for each medium sized potato.

Potatoes, eggs, peas and cheese

1 Tablespoon butter
1 baked potato (cooked) cut into chunks
1/2 cup cooked peas
2 eggs
1/4 cup shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When it’s melted, toss in the potatoes and let them warm up for a few minutes. Add in the peas. Next, crack in the eggs and quickly stir them around so the yolk and white scramble together. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, mix in the cheese, and serve.

Yes, I am still a blogger.

It’s true, I suck at blogging lately. With everything I put on my plate, something always gets pushed off. But I can’t seem to give up anything (what should I get rid of? My incomes? Going to the gym? Doing the laundry?) I find it’s really hard to get away, too, because I just think about everything I have to do when I get back. Sundays I spend the whole day thinking about going to work on Monday. I’m sure you know this feeling.

On behalf of pretty much everyone, I would just like to say, screw you economy. Screw you for making us feel like we don’t have choices anymore. Screw you for making us feel guilty if we do still have a job. I did not get an adjustable rate mortgage or have any part in the auto industry tanking. Why do I have to pay for it?

OK, mini rant complete.

But seriously, I feel like I am working my ass off to claw my way out of debt, just to have almost nothing left for myself at the end of the month. And now I have to take a week of unpaid vacation. Soon we will be building Hoovervilles in Rice Field.

I am trying to stay positive, but it is really tough some days. I try to think about fun things, like planning a wedding (woo hoo!) and Orla Kiely at Target. I try not to think about the $45 in parking tickets I just added to my tab.

This is gonna get better soon, right?

Valentine’s Day candles added to the shop

Need a gift for your sweetie? I have just added some more recycled candles to my Etsy shop, all in V-Day friendly colors, and with adorable fabric lids.

They’re also quite affordable gifts, just $6-$10 plus shipping (and if you live locally I’ll knock that off and deliver them to you).

Get ’em while you can!