Making Happy!

Eleven days from today Bill and I will be on our way back to Arizona for the winter, October 18th through the end of May. We will stay in the beautiful San Tan Mountain Reserve, and again, we will work 20 hours a week in exchange for our camp space and full electric, water, and sewer hook-ups just like we did here at Quail Creek State Park. What a great way to live. Work/camping in our motorhome in beautiful surroundings, meeting so many new and interesting people every day, as we make our way across the United States and into Canada.

Bill and I just love the fact that we can work two shifts a week then have five days off to do the things we love to do. Things like exploring our new surroundings, hiking, picnics, and for me, cooking, which is one of my all-time favorite passions…

Yes, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to cook… For me cooking is a way to express creativity, especially because, with the exception of the first time I try a new recipe, I almost never follow that recipe exactly as it is written when I make the dish again. No, I almost always find ways to make it my own by adding to the ingredients or substituting one ingredient for another… Many, many, times I create my own recipes just by putting things I love together in fun and unique ways… Sometimes I end up with a big hit that my taste tester, Bill, loves and sometimes I end up with a complete flop that I won’t even let him see…. But most of the time things turn out good because the last thing I want to do is waste food..

All that said, yesterday I spent the afternoon making homemade red chili sauce that I used to make homemade ground beef enchiladas. Bill and I LOVED it!!

I can’t give you the exact recipe because, true to my cooking form, I don’t usually measure ingredients either…, but the red chili sauce was made with the following ingredients:

Canola oil

Flour

Chili Powder

Tomato sauce

Water

Cumin

Garlic Power

Onion Powder

Salt (optional and/or to taste)

Combine oil, flour and chili powder in sauce pan and heat until it turns to a paste-like consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over med-low heat for about 10 minutes or until heated throughout and all ingredients are blended well.

This is what it will look like when you get it right… Why would anyone ever use that canned stuff when they could have this?

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For the enchilada filling I browned 4-5 diced green onions, some finely diced fresh garlic, and one diced poblano pepper. Then I added in one pound of ground beef, some granulated garlic powder, and black pepper.

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When the meat mixture is done it’s time to assemble the enchiladas. I don’t roll mine because I think layering the ingredients is better and it’s my creation, so I make it the way I want it to be… 🙂

I start by spraying a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Then I put a little of the homemade red chili sauce in the bottom of the dish like this…

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Next, I soften corn tortillas, one at a time, in hot oil. The key here is to just soften them and not allow them to cook or get crispy… Put them in the baking dish over the red sauce like this..

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Now you begin layering the meat mixture and some shredded Mexican blend cheese over the softened tortillas much like making lasagna…

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Continue the process with more red sauce, softened tortillas, meat mixture and cheese making sure to end with cheese on the top like this..

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Bake in 350 degree oven until heated throughout and the cheese is bubbly and browned (about 30-40 minutes). It should look like this..

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Let it sit/rest for about 15 minutes before serving so all the ingredients are set. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of sour cream and some corn…

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According to my taste tester, Bill, I’d say this was a winner.. and one of his favorites!!!

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It made me happy to create this dish, and as you can see, it sure enough made Bill happy too!

As our time here at Quail Creek State Park is coming to an end, and because of the varying work schedules of the girls that work the gate booth as I do, we are already in the process of saying good-bye to some of the beautiful, special people we met and worked with during our stay, and that makes me SAD. I’ve never been good at good-byes…

Bill and I are excited to get back to Arizona… I need to see my daughters, Shantel and Katie, my mom, my brother, Danny, and we really need to see and reconnect with our long time friends in Arizona. I’ve missed them all and can’t wait to get back to Arizona, the place that will always be home to me, and where we will always go to spend our winters… But at the same time, I just can’t help feeling SAD at the thought of leaving the new friends we made here. But we promised to stay in touch, and that, makes me HAPPY! 🙂 🙂

Stay Tuned!

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Oct 04, 2015 @ 19:50:38

    There’s so much that makes me happy here too! 1) you’ve met so many nice people and got to really experience a beautiful part of Utah that you’d never seen before 2) you made my Bro happy! 3) your first time out you received some really good advice from experienced RV’ers 4) you will be in AZ a good portion that I’m in AZ – yippee!!! 5) you showed us that life in an RV still allows creative amazing meals! Now…next time show us HOW you cook in your RV…in such a small space! I know lots of people would love that! I’m already thinking about that delicious aroma from your outstanding jambalaya! (Hmm…a see a photo op in our future!) Counting the days…love you MORE!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Oct 04, 2015 @ 21:15:41

      Thank you GG. Yes, I can’t say enough about our experience in Utah. This being our first time out of the “gate…” and the longest time (4 months), I have EVER been away from “home” (Arizona), although now, any place we park our motorhome is now our home… But you know what I mean… We have had an amazing experience in every way… Bro and I feel like kids again… foot loose and fancy free… for the first time in a very long time as you well know.. That said, we wouldn’t change anything about what we did to get here.. but now that we are here… we have NEVER felt so FREE, and it doesn’t take much to make us happy.. I would love a photo op with you to show how I create “amazing” meals in such a small space.. Only YOU could capture that with your eye for details with your camera… Let’s do it while we are together in Arizona! Good news for Bob and Bro… they get to be the taste testers!!! 🙂 I will make whatever you, and they, want.
      As for the abstract in photo #3… I will have to take your word on that… I just pointed and shot the picture…I don’t even see abstract in it… but I trust your opinion… XoXo MORE!!!

      Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Oct 04, 2015 @ 19:52:28

    P.S. This recipe is a winner and after jambalaya it looks like this could be the next runner up! Looks FABULOUS!!! And LOVE the abstract in photo #3! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Ellen Kaufman
    Oct 04, 2015 @ 21:50:38

    So nice to have two lives that make you and Bill so happy ! That’s what I think is a very successful retirement. To feel content and wanted in both places and to be able to work and meet interesting people what more could you ask for. We are so fortunate too to live in Myrtle Beach, SC in the winter time and have our cute and cozy white cottage bungalow in Ohio around our family keeps us active and productive and loving life together. You are one great cook! That dinner looked so so good! I am going to try making your red sauce. I won’t like it too hot like Harvey does, but he can add more heat. We are leaving the same day you are to go back to Ohio as we had to come back here to get a few things for our home and besides they were doing our bathroom over so it all worked out. Take care and make some more good food to share with us. Love you guys!🍁🍂🌻🎃❤️

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Oct 04, 2015 @ 23:05:16

      Yes, Aunt Ellen, having different places to call “home” is what makes Bill and I happy… You and Uncle Harvey have been blessed in that for many years now… I hope you do try the enchilada red sauce recipe even though I couldn’t give exact measurements… I just cook to taste so you can try that too… if it tastes good stop.. if it needs something more add what you think it needs… it’s all good!! I like things hotter than Bill does so it is always a guessing game for me too… love and hugs to all… xoxo

      Reply

  4. Bill
    Oct 04, 2015 @ 22:04:23

    You have to try this recipe and don’t leave out the home made sauce it makes the dish what it is. I have to be the luckiest guy on the world to have a wife that is not afraid to try new dishes and to be so creative.
    I also can’t wait to get back to Arizona, even though we have met some helpful and nice people, it will be good to see our family and friends.

    Love you Girly for taking such good care of me.
    Love Your Bill
    P S We will dance some more!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • beyondcinderella
      Oct 04, 2015 @ 23:09:55

      Thanks Bill, as a matter of fact… we already did dance before I posted this response… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. slow dancing with you… if all couples would stop and slow dance together at any given moment… the world would be a better place… XoXo

      Reply

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