Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Don't water down that glass of wine with ice!


AUNT BETTY'S BEST PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES


The hubs loves peanut butter cookies.  He of course prefers my homemade ones, but stoops so low as to buy store-bought when I'm not in the mood to make cookies.  I have promised him these cookies for quite a while, so a double batch was whipped up tonight.  First batch, and at his request, my fabulous recipe with Reese's Pieces mixed in.  Second batch, the regular way.  After it was all said and done, he still prefers the regular ones.  And I do too.  Don't mess with my peanut butter cookies.   Years and years ago, I started with my maternal grandmother's recipe, but of course I had to tweak it here and there.  These are so light, crispy and absolutely melt in your mouth.  Make some for your family~~ they'll love you even more!



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Ingredients

1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter flavored Crisco (I use the pre-measured sticks)
1 cup extra-crunchy peanut butter*
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Directions
Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Mix together thoroughly or sift after measuring.

Cream your sugars, Crisco, vanilla and peanut butter until very light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Switch to your dough hook and begin adding your dry ingredients, one third at a time and beat until well combined.

Scoop with 1" cookie scoop or roll into 1" balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Flatten with tines of a fork.

Bake 13 minutes until light golden brown for a wonderfully crisp cookie that will melt in your mouth as soon as you bite in.

Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

*NOTESI prefer to use my stand mixer.  The final batter is pretty stiff.  I use the beaters first to cream the sugar, crisco and peanut butter, then switch to the dough hooks when I start to add the dry ingredients.  That last third of dry ingredients is a booger to combine by hand or with regular beaters unless you are using those hooks.  Almost too stiff for a hand mixer.  I also use a stainless steel cookie scoop for size uniformity.  *If you have some roasted peanuts, you can add about 1/4 cup of chopped additional peanuts for more crunch.  Fold them in after adding your dry ingredients. I just use my little electric Handi-Chopper or my food processor for this.  And like I did, you can add in Reese's Pieces, Chocolate Chips, Toffee Chips or whatever your preference is and make them your own.  I did. 
As a personal preference, I always bake cookies on 3 cookie sheets.  I use Air-Bake brand cookie sheets and absolutely love them.  You should never put cookies on a hot pan, as it causes them to collapse.  This way, you can rotate one pan to cool while loading another and the third in the oven.  Lickety split and you'll be finished.
Enjoy~~ Aunt Betty

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Aunt Betty's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies take a high place in my house, followed by a close second, Mr. Jim's favorite, Peanut Butter cookies.

Years ago, I of course started with the famous chocolate chip cookies, and haven't strayed too much from the original.  The perfect cookie must start with being perfectly crispy, it must begin to melt in your mouth the second you take a bite, and the flavors must explode in your mouth.  This cookie does all that! Definitely not diet friendly, but satisfies that craving we all have for homemade cookies.  The cookie jar is full, so I have a week or so reprieve.  


Ingredients


2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup of butter-flavor Crisco (1 stick)  or 1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 cup (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips


Combine all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Directions
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugars, Crisco and vanilla until very light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  This is my secret to "melt-in-your-mouth" crispness.  It should be very light, and fluffy like icing.  You should feel minimal grit from the sugar in the batter.



As you can see from the above picture, the batter is light and fluffy.  Not the best pic, but I hope you get the idea.

Once your basic batter is ready, begin by adding your dry ingredients one-third at a time, incorporating well after each addition.  Clean beaters into bowl.  Fold in by hand the chopped nuts and chocolate chips, hand mixing until thoroughly combined.



Now, the fun part.  I always use three (3) cookie sheets when making cookies.  This is because you should never put cookie dough onto hot cookie sheets.  This will cause the cookies to fall and not retain their shape.  So after first batch comes out of the oven and is on the cooling rack, I leave the pan to cool before refilling.  I always also use 2 different sizes of cookie scoops to make the sizes uniform.  Today, I used an inch and a half scoop to make larger cookies and a 1/2 inch scoop to make smaller cookies.  The photo below is a pan of 1-1/2" cookies ready for the oven.  Additionally, I prefer baking cookies on my Air Bake cookie sheets.  I have had these for many, many years and they are awesome.  I do not like dark cookie sheets or pans of any kind.  They brown the pastry and dough way too fast.  As in all things, bright and shiny objects are good.


Ready for the oven
Load your cookie sheets, and bake about 13 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Less time makes them more soft. Not our preferred cookie.  The basic recipe says 10-12 minutes, but I will even sometimes go about 14 minutes.  I strongly recommend you invest in an oven thermometer so that you will know exactly how hot your oven is cooking.  Test by turning your oven to 350 with the thermometer in the oven.  After 15 minutes, look at the temp.  Adjust your settings accordingly.



Remove baked cookies from the cookie sheet to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing.



If you can keep your husband and/or children away from the cookies right out of the oven, fix yourself a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Those dirty dishes will wait.  A dose of chocolate will make the effort worth while.



~~Enjoy~  Aunt Betty

********************************
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Ingredients

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

2-1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup of butter-flavor Crisco (1 stick)  or 1 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 cup (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips


Combine all dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Directions
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugars, Crisco and vanilla until very light and fluffy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  This is my secret to "melt-in-your-mouth" crispness.  It should be very light, and fluffy like icing.  You should feel minimal grit from the sugar in the batter.

Once your basic batter is ready, begin by adding your dry ingredients one-third at a time, incorporating well after each addition.  Clean beaters into bowl.  Fold in by hand the chopped nuts and chocolate chips, hand mixing until thoroughly combined.

Load your cookie sheets, and bake about 13 minutes in a 375 degree oven.  Less time makes them more soft. Not our preferred cookie.  The basic recipe says 10-12 minutes, but I will even sometimes go about 14 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely before storing.  Guard against lurking husbands and children.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Peanut Butter & Butterfingers -- nothing could be better!

















In my world, anything with peanut butter AND Butterfinger candy must be perfect. And perfectly capable of ruining any diet, including mine. Must put these on the to-do list. They look scrumptious. Thanks to InsideBruCrewLife.com for this wonderful recipe. Visit their page. You won't be sorry!  It is one of my new favorites.  I have linked to their page on our links.


Ingredients

1 white cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
1 c. crushed butterfingers (10 snack size)
For the Butter Cream
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/4 c. shortening
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. water
3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. crushed butterfingers (6 snack size)

Instructions

For the Whoopie Pies
Preheat oven to 350*. Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl for about 2 minutes. Form into 1 inch balls and place on a non stick baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then remove to your wax paper lined counter to cool completely. Fill with Peanut Butter Butterfinger Butter Cream. Enjoy.

For the Butter Cream
Cream butter, shortening, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add in honey, vanilla, and water and beat again. Slowly add powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Beat in the crushed butterfingers.

Source & Thanks
http://insidebrucrewlife.com/2012/01/butterfinger-whoopie-pies/

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Homemade {Velveeta} Cheese


Homemade {Velveeta} Cheese -- Juanita's Cocina


This recipe comes from Juanita's Cocina. Who knew it could be so easy. Definitely doing this. The processed stuff is so expensive. Homemade is ALWAYS the way to go.


Ingredients
• 1 Tbs. water
• 1 1/2 tsp. powdered gelatin
• 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. whole milk
• 12 oz. Colby Jack cheese, shredded
• 1 Tbs. milk powder
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions
Line a very small loaf pan (mine is approximately 3×6) with plastic wrap, covering the edges and allowing some excess to hang over the sides. (You’ll be covering the cheese with the plastic wrap)

Combine the water and gelatin powder in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and begin to bring it to a simmer.

Meanwhile, place the cheese, milk powder, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the ingredients together a few times just to distribute ingredients evenly.
Once milk has begun to simmer, remove it from the heat and add it to a small, heat-safe glass or measuring cup for easy pouring. Turn the food processor on and slowly begin to pour the hot milk through the feed tube. Once all milk has been added, add the gelatin mixture to the food processor.

Continue processing the cheese for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese has turned into a very smooth mixture (stop to scrape down the sides a few times during processing).

Pour the cheese mix into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer throughout the pan. Wrap the excess plastic wrap over the cheese, ensuring that all of the cheese is covered.

Refrigerate the cheese for at least 3 hours, or overnight, until it is chilled and set firm. Slice cheese and use as desired.

Check out their other recipes and ideas  http://jcocina.com/homemade-velveeta-cheese-cheese-cake-cheesecake-sundaysupper/

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Peach Glaze


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Peach Glaze~~Aunt Betty's Kitchen, July 2013


I was inspired yesterday while hopping around the internet looking at and for new recipes to try, and the fact that I had some fresh peaches and a pork tenderloin all defrosted and ready to go started my inspiration.  I found lots of ideas for making a different tenderloin, and took a little of this one, some of that one and what I had in my pantry and created this winner.  This serves 2-4 people.

1-3/4 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce, diced fine
2 Tbs Adobo sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs lime juice or 1 fresh squeezed lime
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 Tbs +/- of the pre-minced stuff)
1 Tbs red wine 
1 fresh peach, peeled, pitted & sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Ready for the oven

Mix preserves, chipotle pepper, Adobo sauce, olive oil, lime juice, red wine and garlic in a small bowl until well combined and incorporated.

 Place your tenderloin into a baking dish and top with a few slices of peaches. Pour the peach preserve mixture over the top.   Cover.



Bake about 30-45 minutes until internal temperature of the meat reaches 145 degrees.  Pull out of the oven and let meat rest about 10 minutes.
Sauce cookin' up

While meat is resting, pour pan juices into small saucepan while meat is resting.  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  Add remaining peach slices (or chopped peaches). Turn heat down and simmer until slightly reduced.


When meat is ready, slice into 1/4"-1/2" medallions.  Put reduced sauce on top and serve. (You could serve up in a gravy boat and let each diner put on their desired amount of sauce.  


Finished, without sauce and ready to slice

The ready plate -- Dive in~
 I served with fresh steamed asparagus and long grain and wild rice.  It was heavenly and deserved a second trip.  If you do not like really spicy foods, reduce the amount of Adobo sauce to 1 Tbs.  But seriously, don't omit it unless you are just super wimpy. I really think the Adobo made the sauce.  

Enjoy!  ~~ Aunt Betty

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Different Sort of Treat

While doing a little blog-hopping today, I came across a terrific blog (WhiteonRiceCouple.com) and some fabulous recipes.  This particular one I thought sounded terrific for those 'other' members of our family, our canines.  And of course mine in particular love their treats.
Buddy & Mitzi, my treat mongers


You will definitely want to give this recipe a try.  It is kitchen-tested, dog approved and you too may have to start spelling T-R-E-A-T or "incentive" as the recipe author has had to do.


Turmeric and Flax Dog Biscuits - The Best Dog Biscuit EVER*!


YIELD: A COUPLE WEEKS WORTH OF GOOD DOG TREATS
TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR

ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) hot Water
  • 1 teaspoon Beef or Chicken Bouillon Powder
  • 1 1/3 cup (175g) all-purpose Flour
  • 1 1/3 cup (175g) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (55g) ground Flax Seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 cup (130g) Peanut Butter
  • 1 Egg

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Dissolve the bouillon in the hot water. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flours, brown sugar, ground flax, and turmeric in a mixer bowl. Using a dough hook, mix in hot water mixture, peanut butter and egg. Continue mixing until the dough ball is smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl to help everything mix together.
  4. Roll out the dough to 1/2" thick. Cut into desired dog biscuit shapes (we use hearts for "good dogs" and small circles for training incentives). Place the cut out dog biscuits on the prepared sheet pans.
  5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the biscuits feel dried and fairly hard (they will harden a bit more after cooling).

RECIPE & PHOTO SOURCE: WHITEONRICECOUPLE.COM.   Dog Biscuits recipe from White On rice couple

Please take a moment, or an hour out of your day to visit this great blog. it is full of gorgeous photographs, interesting stories, and of course, delicious food! ~~ Aunt Bettyhttp://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/best-dog-biscuits-recipe/

Sunday, July 21, 2013


PEACHES N CREAM & PEANUT BUTTER TOAST
~~Aunt Betty's Kitchen, July 2013 

This is something I grew up with. There is nothing better than the taste of fresh summer peaches combined with the taste of peanut butter. I swear.  You will want more and more and although some scoff at the sound of it, it will make you want to slap yo momma for not teaching you this easy and delicious way to eat peaches. Good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a dessert or a mid-day snack.  NOT for the calorie conscious, though.  

6 medium sized ripe peaches, pealed & sliced up 
1 half-pint heavy whipping cream
4 slices of hot buttered toast
Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter

Prepare your peaches and sugar them down for about 45 minutes to make their own syrup.

Prepare your toast.  Butter it. (I especially like this with 'broiler' toast).  Then quickly spread peanut butter over the slices.

Dip up prepared peaches into a bowl.  Pour on some heavy cream

Dive in.

You can thank me later. <3 


TEXAS FRIED CABBAGE
--Betty Richardson (Original recipe)

1 pound pepper bacon, fried crisp & crumbled (set aside). Retain drippings.
1-2 large Texas 1015 onions (or other sweet onion like Vidalia), coarsely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cabbage, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper

1.  Brown bacon in large skillet. Remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble. Set aside.  Leave drippings in skillet.  If there is too much, you can drain off some and save for later use.  Store in fridge.

2.  Put in onion and minced garlic in hot bacon drippings.  (You can also use the prepared garlic, and dip out a couple tsp fulls if you don't have fresh garlic).  Stir to start cooking process and when about half-way translucent, add the cabbage. Turn the cabbage over/over in skillet to coat.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir frequently & turn over as cabbage begins to wilt so you don't burn the garlic.

3.  Remove all from pan when cabbage is tender crisp.  Turn out into large serving bowl and top with crumbled bacon.

Serve immediately.  Excellent side dish with some pan fried steak, mashed taters and cream gravy.

SUMMER SQUASH CASSEROLE

This recipe was given to my by my husband's biological mother, Mary.  Easy and delicious and another wonderful way to use up that summer garden bounty!

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced
1 small onion chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 can cream chicken soup, undiluted
1 (8 oz) carton sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped pimento
½ cup melted butter
2 (8 oz) pkg herb seasoned stuffing mix [divided use]
3 slices velveeta cheese, cubed
sage

Cook squash, onion and salt & pepper in small amount of boiling, salted water until tender.  Drain.  Put 1 tablespoon of melted butter on squash. Add cubed cheese and stir to melt.   Add cream chicken soup, sour cream, pimento.  Mix well, but gently.  In separate bowl, combine ½ cup melted butter with 8 ounces (1 pkg) stuffing mix. Add sage to taste ***Careful not to put too much, or it will be bitter***  Spoon mixture into 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with ½ of remaining package of stuffing mix.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Julia Child is one of my cooking heroines!

REESE'S OVERLOADED CAKE


REESE'S OVERLOAD CAKE


OMG!  This is not your diet cake. This is "I died and went to heaven" cake.  Get the coffee ready!






Recipe and photos courtesy of Hugs & CookiesXOXO

Peanut Butter Blondie Layers-
Butter 2 9 inch pans and line with parchment. Butter the parchment. Preheat oven to 350
2 sticks butter
1 c. SKIPPY peanut butter
6 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. sugar
2 c. flour (USE C4C FLOUR TO MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE)
2 tsp. baking powder

Melt butter and Skippy. Put in mixer and add sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour and powder. Divide into 2 pans. Bake approx 35 mins. Cool completely. I like to freeze the cooled layers for easier frosting.


Crustless Cheesecake portion:
1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2- 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 oz. package cook and serve vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder

2 melted Hershey Bars
1/2c. melted ghirardelli bittersweet chips, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease ONE 9" pan with shortening, line the pan with parchment and then grease the parchment. Lightly butter the pan and Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add cream cheese a little at a time until smooth. Scrape bowl down and beat again on medium speed, adding eggs one at a time. Add remaining ingredients. Mix again until smooth.

Pour in pan. Smooth batter with offset spatula and bake for 50-55 mins. Cheesecake will puff up during baking, then deflate when taken out.

Do not turn out cheesecake when finished baking. Put directly in the freezer, and leave until frozen solid.
 Remove for assembly.


Peanut Butter Frosting

4c. confectioner's sugar
1c. SKIPPY peanut butter
2T. soft butter
1 tsp. vanilla
few T. of milk

Beat peanut butter, butter, vanilla and 2c. powdered sugar. SLOWLY add rest of sugar and then the milk until the desired consistency to spread on. Add milk slowly. Beat on high till fluffy!

Chocolate frosting:

  • 1/2c. + 6T cocoa powder
  • 3/4c. confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • dash salt
  • 1 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat cream in microwave and pour in mixer with cocoa powder and 3/4c. confectioners. Mix well. Add butter, salt, 1c. confectioners, vanilla and whip on high. Set aside.

Assembly!!!
Split chocolate frosting between one peanut butter blondie top and the top of the chocolate cheesecake. Layer it: pb blondie/choc frosting, chocolate cheesecake/frosting/pb blondie. Frost entire cake in pb frosting. Push peanut butter chip and dark chocolate chips into the sides and top with 8 chopped peanut butter cups. keep chilled!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mother's Carrot Cake


My mother loved carrot cake and she must have had about 20 different recipes, but she almost always came back to this one. It is moist and delicious.  You can substitute 1 cup finely grated fresh carrots and add about 1/2 cup applesauce if you don't want to use baby food carrots.  Pecans are usually our nut of choice, but Walnuts or Almonds work equally as well.

MOTHER'S CARROT CAKE

Image courtesy of Cooking.com

2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 (6oz) jars baby food carrots
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Cream Cheese Frosting (follows)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x13" pan. (or a bundt pan) Set aside.

In large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside.  In another bowl, mix baby food carrots and pineapple; set aside.

In another large bowl, blend sugar and oil. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients alternately with carrot-pineapple mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40-45 minutes.  Cool; top with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Yield: 16 servings

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla. Gradually add 1 (1 pound) box of confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar). Beat thoroughly. Add a few drops of milk if frosting seems too thick.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More fun with cans!!!!!!   RECYCLE, RE-USE, REPURPOSE!  Save up those vegetable, tuna and soup cans and turn them into interesting patio lanterns using tealight candles.  Choose your color palette and make something beautiful for your garden or patio.  Maybe for a party, get some small shepherd hooks at the dollar store, and hang along pathways, your driveway, all around your patio.  Just a thought. ~~Aunt Betty


To see the full tutorial:  http://growcreative.blogspot.com/2012/07/tin-can-lanterns-tutorial.html

For this and other fun and interesting project ideas, visit the link for INTERESTING PROJECTS AND IDEAS on this page.

MIRACLE PAN CLEANER



~How to clean your Cookie Sheets~

Kitchen "Miracle" Cleaner!

You put about 1/4 cup of baking soda in a small glass bowl and squirt in hydrogen peroxide until it makes a nice paste. Then you rub it on the offending dirt/stain/grease...whatever! You can usually just use your fingers...but you can also use a small sponge as well.

This will work on nearly any pan that has grease build up.

Courtesy of ------> Natural Weight Loss Friends

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hanging Planters

How clever is this?  I can see these holding small flowering plants easily.  Coffee cans would make an excellent start.  Poke some drainage holes in the bottom. Cover with decorative fabric and trim with your trusty hot glue gun.  poke holes in the top sides and attach some twine, and voila!  hanging planters.  Or just cover some cleaned out vegetable cans and decorate and add cut flowers.  Without the twine, would make clever tabletop decorations for an outdoor picnic or pool party.   And for those patio parties, fill with a little sand, and add in your citronella candles for a lovely ambient light with a purpose.

 For these and other decorating ideas, click on the link  INTERESTING PROJECTS AND IDEAS on the right side of our blog.  I am a collector of interesting projects and ideas with an artistic or creative bent.  I especially love turning nothing into something.

Sweet Tea and Cornbread: Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas!

Sharing a delicious recipe from my friend Kathy at Sweet Tea and Cornbread.    If you haven't visited her blog, you should.

     Sweet Tea and Cornbread: Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas!As you can tell, if you have followed this site and my recipes for very long, I love spicy foods.  My favorite ethnic food is probably Italian, but I would have to say Mexican is a close second.  The city I live in has grown a lot over the last twenty five years or so and even though it's still just a midsized southern city, we do have a large Hispanic population and a lot of restaurants that offer some really good Mexican cuisine. 
 
 I like to try to recreate some of their dishes at home and I have even been known to ask some of  the Hispanic ladies about various ingredients at the local WalMart or grocery store.  The funny part is that many of these folks do not speak much English and my 2 years of high school Spanish and 1 semester of college Spanish is pretty much long forgotten, so  it can be difficult to communicate at times.  
 
 One day, at the cheese case, I was pondering over which white Mexican melting cheese to buy to make queso dip, because mine just never tasted like the kind you get in the restaurants, and there was a family there buying some cheese also.  I watched what they picked up and  I just asked them if what I had was good.  They looked at me blankly, so I picked two kinds and said this one or this one?  It was instant understanding.  The older woman took both of them and put them back on the shelf and then picked out two completely different things and put them in my cart.  She was talking the whole time and the younger girls with her were just smiling.  I thanked her with my best gracias...I did remember that much and we parted.   My husband had been waiting by the freezer across the way for me, watching and wondering what was wrong with me.  He said, I now know there is not anyone you  won't try to start a conversation with about food (or anything else really)  and succeed...even those who do no speak a word of English.  I now know the right Mexican cheese to buy though.  I like to go to the source of the best, authentic information.
 
These chicken enchiladas are one of the dishes I use one of those cheeses in and it makes them so creamy and good.  The rest of the recipe is adapted from a recipe my sister makes and gets rave reviews on from her family and friends.  I did use the chicken that I made for the Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos , but you can also just roast some chicken breasts seasoned with some taco seasoning. 
Here is what you will need for these yummy enchiladas.
 
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken seasoned with taco seasoning (3-4 breasts work for this)
6 large flour tortillas  (10 inch)
3 cups white shredded Mexican melting cheese or Monterrey Jack cheese (If you like spicier dishes you can use Pepper Jack Cheese)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
3 cups half and half cream
8 oz. sour cream
1  (4.5 oz) can of green chillies
1/2 tsp. hot sauce (I used Tabasco sauce, increase if you like more spice)
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
 
Spray a 9"x13" baking dish with nonstick spray.   
 
Divide the chicken evenly between the six flour tortillas and sprinkle with the white cheese, reserving 1 cup for the top of the dish. 
 

 I used the slow cooker chicken that I prepared for chicken tacos.  If you bake your chicken or use a rotisserie chicken you may want to add some taco seasoning to it for flavor.  Just mix in about 1 - 2 Tbs. with the chicken or sprinkle the breasts with it before baking.
 
Divide the chicken between the tortillas and sprinkle with some of the white cheese.  Roll them all up and line them up in the baking dish side by side.
 
This is the white cheese I used, if you can get it, it's really good, but you can use Monterrey Jack or even Pepper Jack for a little more heat. 
 
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the flour, cook for a few minutes.  Add the half and half, salt, pepper, garlic powder,  and cumin.  Whisk until it bubbles and thickens.  Turn heat off and add hot sauce and sour cream.  Whisk until smooth.  Add green chillies.
 
Pour the sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the reserved cup of white cheese and the 1 cup of shredded cheese over the top.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. 
 
Uncover and bake for about 10 more minutes or until the cheese is just starting to brown.
Sprinkle with cilantro and salsa or pico de gallo and serve with rice and or refried beans.