Sunday, October 25, 2009

Houston We Have a Problem -- Swine Flu has landed

Hi All ~

The H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, has arrived in my home. Our first, and hopefully only victim, is my oldest daughter. As there are so many kids out sick at her school, I knew it was only a matter of time before one of my kids served as host.

The bottom line ... she's doing okay. She's definitely sick, but she is not experiencing the gloom and doom scenario broadcast across every media medium in the country. So far, the rest of us are hanging in there. I've stocked up on juice and a homeopathic product that combats the flu like symptoms. It's really helped my girl a lot. The weather, thankfully, was gorgeous on Saturday, so I was able to "air out" the house. I've disinfected door knobs, etc. and she's worn a face mask that she coughs into, but we can't live in a bubble. As with all things, we'll just do the best we can and enjoy our extra time together. My silver lining here, and I know this sounds weird, is that I no longer have to worry about her "catching it". She's caught it! That girl has always been an over-achiever!!!

Here's what she has experienced, in case you are on the lookout yourself:

- symptoms come on suddenly
- sustained fever of 100+
- body aches
- sore throat (and ears)
- cough
- bad headache
- fatigue
- slight dizziness when standing
- slight nausea, but no vomiting (whew)

So, I'll be taking a couple days off blogging to take care of my oldest daughter (who just so happened to have been my littlest baby). My youngest daughter complained of a bad headache at bedtime, my son was coughing, and I've started coughing. If we are all going to get it, I'd just as soon we get it all at once and be done with it. Even so, send all your healthy thoughts our way.

I've got lots to share when I return, including a lovely back to basics, step by step, mashed potatoes recipe. With the U.S. Thanksgiving right around the corner, plus the holiday season gearing up, mashed potatoes are a great side dish to serve yourself and your loved ones. YUM!

See you in a couple of days!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It Needs a New Name: Homemade Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup!

If you could have your dream job, what would it be? No limits here, let’s just assume that you have every quality and skill bestowed upon man. What job would you pick? Would you go for a high profile job? A behind the scenes job? Would you be an action hero? An artist? A rock star? A painter? A writer? An Accountant? An Olympic Athlete? A hair stylist? A cabinet maker? A farmer? A rancher? A park ranger? Adog trainer? A scientist? An archeologist? A musician? An actress? A preacher? A teacher? A ... A ... ???

Did you answer right away? Or are you leaning your head to the side, index finger tap tapping your chin, emanating lots of “hmms” as you mentally scroll through the possibilities? I always thought it would be fun to be in the travel industry, tooling around the world ranking hotels, restaurants, cruises, beaches, etc. Then again, I’ve also often wondered who names things? That’s a cool gig. For example, who picks the moniker for the latest and greatest crayon color? And what brainy person picked the illustrious name, H1N1, for the latest flu bug? Did the first guy who called it swine flu get dismissed? Was there a flu naming show down? Will there be a film at 11 about this?

With two girls in school, I’m being inundated with flu prevention notices from school. That nasty H1N1 is getting closer and closer to home and I’m sure it’s just a matter of minutes before some poor student at our school gets it and shares the love with the entire student body. The school has upped it’s prevention tactics by installing hand sanitizer dispensers about every 2 feet, and parents have been advised to keep their kids home if they show anything other than perfect health. My homeschooled son, who you’d think would be at lesser risk than my girls, has actually been exposed to the virus because 2 boys on his soccer team have confirmed cases of it, plus 1 boy who is sick but hasn’t gone to the doctor as of yet. A sibling of a gal in my youngest’s class has a confirmed case, too. The phrase “you can run, but you can’t hide” comes to mind. My older daughter’s class had 6 kids absent today, and my youngest one’s class had 5 out. G.R.E.A.T.

My wee one was one of the five absent. Said sickie woke up at 6:45 am this morning complaining of a sore throat, aches and pains, and extreme fatigue. So, back to sleep she went, and she stayed asleep until 12:04 pm. So, what’s a mama bear to do? Well, feed her the age old cure all ... homemade chicken soup.What makes today’s soup post-worthy is that it’s made with rice noodles. While I LOVE homemade noodles, especially the thick ones, I’ve found that these rice babies are actually easier to digest particularly when dealing with upset tummies and overall malaise. While I like chicken and rice soup, there’s something special about eating noodles. This is a very easy soup to prepare, especially because it involves just 3 steps: Step one: Making the liquid part of the soup; Step two: Deboning the cooked chicken; and Step three: Making and adding the rice noodles. It’s really easy.

I implore you to give this a try. It’s good for the soul. It’s good for the tummy. It’s good for the taste buds. It’s ... well, it’s good! Now I just need to come up with a good name for it. Something really witty. Any suggestions?


2 generous tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken thighs
½ large onion, chopped medium dice
2 large carrots, sliced medium thin
1 ½ quarts chicken stock
1 quart water
2 teaspoons chicken base (I used Better than Bouillon brand, organic)
1 garlic clove, sliced super-d-duper thin
1 tablespoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dill
½ teaspoon celery salt (I was out of celery so I tried this ... yum!)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 package Asian rice noodles, vermicelli style

In a large stock pot, turn the heat to medium high. When the pan just starts to get hot, add the oil, onion and carrots. Remember, hot pan – cold oil – food won’t stick. Let those veggies start to wilt just a bit, about 2 minutes, then add the chicken, skin side down. Try to make four wells in the veggies so that the chicken skin comes in contact with the bottom of the pan. Let those sit for a minute or two. Then add the broth, water, chicken base, garlic, parlsey, dill, celery salt, and ginger. Stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Remove the four pieces of chicken to a bowl and let cool slightly. Start to make the noodles according to package directions.

Let’s talk about those noodles for a second. This is the one that I use. You can find rice noodles in the Asian section of your grocery store.That they are gluten free is an added bonus.See what they look like? White in color, but sort of translucent, too. They are very brittle in this dried form, and near impossible to pull apart.Once they hit the hot water, though, it’s barely 8 minutes until they are ready to eat. Do NOT overcook these babies.Since the noodles are super long, I just take my shears and cut them up right in the water. Easy peasy. I do recommend draining and rinsing these babies, as the water is starchy. Be sure to use a mesh strainer because these noodles are so thin that they will slide right through a traditional strainer.

While the noodles are getting ready, debone and de-skin (is that a word?) the chix thighs. Put the meat right back into the pot, along with any juices that accumulated in the bowl. When I was a kid, my Italian grandma used to put the skin back in the soup, too. Everyone slurped it up without a second thought, and no one had any cholesterol problems. Of course, the birdies of today are a far cry from the chickens of my youth. Did your grandma have any cooking habits that are now a thing of the past?Stir the strained noodles right into the pot. The soup is now finished. You’ll note that I didn’t add any salt. The soup gets all the sodium it needs from the soup base.The broth is a gorgeous golden color and very full flavored. This will taste even better the next day.Here’s my little sickie poo eating her soup. Um, doesn’t everyone eat their soup in pasta bowls? Yeah, that’s what I thought. She perked right up after filling her tummy with two large bowls of the noodley goodness.Isn’t this a pretty soup? It’s not fancy, but my gosh it is so good. Not too strong flavored and not too bland, it’s perfectly seasoned which is nice if you’re feeling under the weather. It’s got all the healing and comforting properties of soup, and really hits the spot.

So, now it just needs a really snazzy name. Help me think of one, will you? Perhaps I need to rethink that dream job again. Wait, I have it already. It’s called “mom” and the pay is great! (You saw that coming, right? ... Yeah, I know you were thinking "rock star" for me, but this mom stuff is a pretty good gig!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Redemption Recipe: AuGratin Muffin Tin Potatoes

Oh geez. Please tell me I am not standing alone on the blog blunder podium. I just made a huge typing error when commenting on another blog. I'm not talking about transposing a couple of letters. Ooooh nooo, that would be too easy. No, I went for the gusto. I left out a word that completely changes the meaning of what I was ineptly trying to convey. I left out the word “not”, so now my comment appears to say one thing when I meant to say the exact opposite. Argh!!! Why. Is. There. No. Edit/Erase/Delete Button on Wordpress? Picture me with my face buried in my hands. Perhaps the blog owner will edit it for me. If she’s still speaking to me. So I now just look like a flaming idiot. Don’t you just LOVE it when that happens. Um, I don't mean ... I don’t want you to enjoy my flaming moment. What I mean to say is, oh never mind, forget it. Obviously, I’m continuing to experience a communication malfunction.

*Update* All is well in my world again. The blog owner mercifully corrected my mistake. I can go out in public again. Whew!Well, I hope today's recipe will offer me redemption. At least I can still cook without sticking my foot in my mouth. Give me time, though, and I’m sure I can dazzle the masses with a faux pax here, too. Luckily, today’s recipe is a real show stopper, in a good way. It’s homemade augratin potatoes that are prepared in muffin tins. Did any of you see The Next Food Network Star program where the lady, Melissa, who ended up winning, prepared muffin tin augratin potatoes as part of her final competition? I thought it was a brilliant idea.

I’ve made this a few times since then, each time tweaking it more and more. You can find the original recipe posted on the Food Network website, but mine is a little different. To be honest, I’ve enjoyed every variation so far. This is a no brainer recipe. It’s not fast though. It takes a bit of time to prep everything and then requires 40 minutes to bake plus 10 minutes to sit, so keep that in mind.
Making this in tins is pure fun, and there is an advantage to it as well. If you have picky eaters, everyone can play sous chef by customizing their own little cubicle. Let’s say you like onions, but your kids don’t. If you were making this in a casserole dish, you’d either have to a) leave out your yummy onions or b) put in your beloved onions but have your kids turn up their onion-free-zone nose. With the tins, you can customize each one, and then everyone walks away happy. Plus, it will teach those up-and-coming sous chefs how to cook this marvelous dish.It’s so simple. All the basic recipe contains is: ultra thinly sliced potatoes, seasoned salt, shredded cheese, butter, and cream. That’s it. That’s all I put in my kids “pots” as they call them. Hubbyman and I like a little more zip, so I put some crispy fried onions in ours. Oh, I’ve also made this in regular size muffin pans as well as the jumbo ones. The results of both are magnificent. Also, fyi, my muffin tins are heavy duty, non stick. If you use regular tins, you might want to grease them first.

To fill a 12 cup regular tin, or a 6 cup jumbo one, you will need:

5 good sized russet potatoes, peeled
about 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, divided (I used CoJack, Sharp, and Medium cheddar cheeses)
Heavy cream – about 2 generous tablespoons per tin
2 scant tablespoons butter, melted
Seasoned Salt
Optional: Crispy Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a mandolin, slice your potatoes ultra thin.See how thin they are? Place in your largest mixing bowl.Here are those crispy onions I was talking about. YUM!Toss with melted butter, ½ the cheese, seasoned salt, and onions if using. Spoon into the muffin tins.Really pile them in because they will settle and compact down during cooking. Top with a bit more cheese.Pour 2 tablespoons of cream over each one. Be patient, it will soak in. Uh, yeah, I know the photo above this one already shows the cream in it. Well, let's just say I'm keeping the momentum moving forward on my faux pax's today. Cover with foil and place the muffin tray onto a rimmed baking sheet. Place both in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let sit at least 10 minutes. The longer you let them sit, the more likely they will hold their shape when removed. Serve and garnish as desired.I just love crispy edges! And that color speaks for itself!Just look at these layers! It really packs down as it bakes.I love the different strata going on here.Here you go, try a bite. Oh, don't you just love that golden, crunchy bottom? This makes a great main course for a luncheon or a side course for dinner. This dish plays well with others ... beef, chicken, pork, and fish.I like it paired with a vinaigrette laced salad. Naturally, this is gluten free, all the way. YUM! (And thanks for putting up with me, faults and all!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Move over Starbucks, it's Mocha time!

Before we get to today’s yummy recipe, let’s stir the pot a bit, shall we? Ooooo ... controversy a-brewin here at It’s All Gouda. A couple days ago, an article ran in the local newspaper that one of the local high schools has banned the use of student cell phones inside the school. Students violating the policy will have their phone confiscated and their parents have to pick up the phone during school hours if they want it back.

Halleluiah was my reaction. Actually, my first reaction was that I thought cell phone use was already a no-no in the classroom. Keep in mind, my blogging buds, that the bulk of my professional career was spent in the cellular phone industry, so it's not the phones themselves or even the technology that makes my eyes roll. In addition, I love my little antiquated, dinosaur of a cell phone. I keep it with me, and in the years that I’ve carried it, I’ve been reached four times for serious emergencies and used it twice myself to call for assistance. When used properly, it's an awesome tool. But cell phones in school ... in the classroom? Nah, I don’t think so.

The root issue here revolves more around texting, not talking, on the phone. I’m not put off by kids using cellular devices after school. But in the classroom? All access all the time? Can you imagine the teacher’s frustration trying to present a lesson while kids are texting back and forth, phones are buzzing, pictures being taken, etc.? Does anyone else find this, well, downright rude? I mean really, really unacceptable?

Texting is the current hot communication medium. Do you remember the hand signal for “call me”? You know ... you make a fist but extend your pinky and thumb while holding said hand next to your head? I imagine prior to that, it was "write me" with someone making writing motions with their hands. So what’s the gesture for “text me”? Do you wiggle your thumbs or something?

What's happening to face to face communication? Get this ... I’ve been told by many carpooling moms that the kids INSIDE the car are texting the other kids INSIDE THE SAME CAR! One mom was so flabbergasted that she told the kids no phone use in her car. It’s a kind of addiction of sorts. School bullying has taken on a whole new life with instant messaging at students’ disposal. And that’s scary in a whole new way.

So, my blogging friends, what do you think about this whole thing? Speak your peace (or is that piece?) Is this just a phase? Are kids at risk? Pros? Cons? Some parents are very upset that the high school mentioned above has banned phones. What would your reaction be if this was your kid’s high school policy?On a more upbeat note, another thing that kids like to do, and I’m referring to young teens, is walk to Starbucks with friends and get mochas. Where I live, there are Starbuck coffee houses about every 3 feet, and they are usually packed with people of all ages just hanging out and talking. While I’m not crazy about the Starbucks part, I do remember what it was like to be a young teen and wanting to venture out on my own with friends. When I was growing up in small town middle America, the cool thing to do was walk downtown and hang out at the A&W Rootbeer Stand. I had a lot of fun in those days. So, when my 14 year old teenage (sob!) daughter asked if she and the neighbor girl could walk to Starbucks, I gave her the okay.

She had a blast. She loved it. She loved the experience of going off on her own. She loved ordering at the counter. She loved using her own money. She loved finding a seat to share. She loved hanging out and feeling cool. And ... she loved her mocha.

I mean the child really loved her mocha. It’s all I heard about for days. I know how to take a hint; time to learn to make mochas. This could be tricky, because you may recall that coffee rarely passes my lips. I don’t know how to make coffee. Not to be deterred, I set out to make my mocha bigger, better, and more affordable than Starbucks. The end results, well let’s just say it’s time to restock my mocha pantry ingredients. Move over Starbucks; it's Mocha time!

My youngest daughter, who naturally wants to do everything her older siblings do, of course wanted to try a mocha.Here’s the first sip. So far, so good.Oops, a bit of cream on the nose ... we’ve all been there, babe.Yeah, it’s right there.Go ahead and take another sip.I’m not too close am I?Yes, to answer your question, I will blog about this.Okay, I’ll give you some personal space.

This is so easy. Really, really, REALLY easy. Let’s do a check and see how many times I’ve used the word ‘really’ in this post. Really, let’s do it.

1 cup hot coffee (I used decaf)
2 cups prepared sweetened hot chocolate
¼ cup cream
¼ cup chocolate caramel liquid coffee creamer (gross I know, but hey I’m bad)
¼ scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract - optional(hey, at least I used the real stuff here)
whipping cream
shaved chocolate (I put my veggie peeler to work on a chocolate bar)Combine the hot coffee, hot chocolate, cream, creamer, and vanilla extract. Pour into mugs, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. To shave the chocolate, just get a chocolate bar, any kind will do, and using your veggie peeler, just push it against the chocolate as if you were peeling a carrot.

Oh, it's so good. Rich and creamy and chocolatey! It's very smooth going down, and pleasantly slightly sweet. All three of my kids love, love, love these. Even my husband, who can't stand coffee, enjoyed this.Sip. Sigh. Repeat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pork Bliss! Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry (gluten free)

I get asked gluten free questions often, especially from folks who have just started to embrace a gluten free diet. I’m a newbie at this as well, and my motivation comes straight from my heart ... my littlest chow hound. I’ll climb any mountain, cross any sea, forge any storm to help my kidlins, and since my wee one can’t eat wheat, a gluten free lifestyle has become my best friend.

One question that I get asked often is, “What CAN you eat?” The answer is lots of stuff. Lots and lots and LOTS of stuff. Think meat, fish, veggies, dairy, nuts, rice, and potatoes. There are lots of grains, too, such as quinoa and gluten free oats, that pack a whopping flavor punch into our diet. As I get more experience under my belt, converting recipes is becoming easier and easier, too. So you can see that we aren’t withering away to nothingness, gnashing our teeth, or sobbing in despair. Nor are we really missing wheat in our tummies. Our gluten free lifestyle is, well just good food! No special requirements here, all that’s needed is a hungry tummy to fill.

Take last night’s dinner for example. Sweet and sour pork stir fry. This was a quick, easy, colorful meal that came together in less than 30 minutes. Most of the time was spent on prep work and cooking the rice. I based this recipe on one found in the 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes cookbook by Carol Fenster. I tweaked it just a bit and was pleased with the results. This serves 4-5.


3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 onion, cut vertically in ¼ inch slices
1 carrot, sliced super thin on the bias
1 red pepper, seeded, and chopped into larger sized squares
1 green pepper, seeded, and chopped into larger sized squares
2.5 lbs thick pork chops, sliced into strips (I prefer strips, but you can cube these)
1 20 oz can pineapple chunks in juice, including the juice
1/3 scant cup cider vinegar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons wheat free tamari soy sauce (I used San-J brand)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger (can use fresh – I was out)
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water until smooth
Hot cooked rice

In a wok or very large skillet, heat 1.5 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat.Cook the onion, carrot, and red and green bell peppers, stirring frequently, until they are just start to loose their raw-ness and the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Make sure you leave the veggies somewhat crunchy. Transfer the veggies to a plate.Add the remaining oil and stir fry the pork strips, until cooked through and nicely browned. Season with white pepper.

Add the pineapple chunks, including the juice, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the skillet, continuing to stir until the mixture thickens slightly. Return the vegetables to the work, bring to serving temperature, and serve over hot cooked rice.Now, I will point out that when I served my older children, aka Members of the Foods Should Not Touch Club, I placed it next to the rice. Actually, I tried to segregate the food before placing it on their plates. Hey, although it gets old doing that, most of the time I don’t mind and they actually eat that way. I pick my battles, and food is not one of them. I remind myself that there are foods that I don’t care for, and since I wouldn’t appreciate someone trying to force me, well, I won’t force them. I don’t want any bad Karma. These are the same children, after all, who just might be in charge of me when I’m a little, ancient, toothless woman. Ew, let’s skip the toothless part, shall we. I can handle little and ancient, but I’d like to keep my chompers.On a more pleasant note, this dish is delightful for anyone’s chompers. Lots of texture at work here. The crunchiness of the veggies pairs wonderfully with the chewiness of the pork and rice. I find stir fried pork to be pure bliss. The pineapple adds a nice bit of zing, and plays nicely with the saltiness of the soy sauce. I think a garnish of green onion would be nice here, but I was out.

I served my starving family and while they started to chow down, I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple pics to share with you. My youngest daughter was fascinated with the chop sticks, and asked if she could use them, too. I have to admit, they make meal time fun. Usually my kids set them down about half way through the meal, and revert back to silverware. Hmm ... I wonder if kids who usually eat with chopsticks ever ask their mom’s if they could try silverware?With or without chopsticks, this is a great gluten free meal to be enjoyed by the entire family. Quicker and cheaper than ordering take-out, this is perfect for those busy weeknights when you are tired and want to pull something nutritious together quickly. YUM!

What do you like to make on those nights when you want something quick and easy?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enchilpaula’s – Chicken Enchilada Casserole (Gluten Free)

Hola! It’s enchilada day here at It’s All Gouda! Well, actually, today’s recipe is kind of an enchilada wanna-be, but it’s a taste bud pleaser nonetheless. Actually, I had planned to post a different recipe (Hot Mocha Beverage), but was so pleased with the results of this baby that I changed plans mid stream. The Mocha will be posted later.Yesterday, I was craving Mexican food. I am so fortunate to have many wonderful Mexican taquerias near my home. We’re not talking Taco Bell here. I’m referring to the little mom and pop restaurants that offer addictive fixin’s that are beyond compare. Dark rich moles (mole-lays) and tangy verdes (vare days), spicy salsas and home made tortillas that elicit dreamy smiles on the patrons. Mmm, mmm. mmm. Since going out to eat is not an option on a school night, I thought I’d whip up something using ingredients I had at home. I had just made chicken broth, so I used some of the chicken from that process to complete this recipe.Now, let me be up front here. My recipe today can’t compare with the genius that comes with authentic Mexican cooking. I chose to stick with tried and true flavor combos, and based on the stunning number of servings that my hubby had of my wanna-be creation, I think it was a hit.My plan manifested into a casserole of sorts. Instead of rolling each enchilada individually, I layered corn tortillas and other ingredients lasagna fashion. Now I know I’m not the first person to discover this method, but I just went with my gut, and the rest is history. Don’t you just love it when you throw something together and it is a success? This is gluten free all the way, too.Just look at the top of this baby! Alrighty then ... enough chatter from me. Lots of photos today to help demonstrate how to assemble this goody. Let’s begin, shall we!


1 package corn tortillas (I use pure corn tortillas to keep it gluten free)
1 can La Victoria Green Enchilada Sauce, Mild
½ jar Trader Joes Salsa Verde (Medium – more tangy than hot)
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup sour cream
2 cups (approximate) cooked chicken
1 can whole green roasted and peeled chiles, mild (I like La Victoria brand)
1 lb Mont. Jack cheese, shredded
½ cup Cotija (Co Tee Ya) or Ranchero Cheese (can substitute parmesan)
1/3 brick Cream Cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350.
Here’s the chicken that I made when making soup! If you get out your magnifying glass, you can see little bits of orange in there ~ that's the carrot bits from the broth. In a large bowl, whip the Enchilada Sauce, Salsa Verde, chix broth, and sour cream together until smooth.
Here’s the brand I used. No, they don’t know me, but I wouldn’t say no if they offered to send me some of their yummy products.I like Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde. Any type of green salsa will do. Drain the canned whole chiles and dice fairly large. Note: I recommend buying the chiles whole. The ones that come diced, I find, are tough and not appealing. I get the feeling that they are the bits and pieces left over during processing. Ick. Time to assemble. Ladle about a 1/3 cup of your sauce mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish.Cover completely with one layer of corn tortillas, tearing some pieces to make it fit.Layer chicken, green chiles, and cotija cheese. Try not to take a nibble. I nibbled. *sigh*Now put on a nice layer of shredded Mont. Jack. Try not to take a nibble. I nibbled. Don’t judge me.Add some sauce, not a lot, just to keep it moist. Repeat the layers, adding the cream cheese this time. Try not to nibble. I nibbled. Hey, if anything, I’m consistent.End with a layer of tortillas. Squish down firmly. Uh, what’s up with the pink skin? Somebody, get me some moisturizer!Ladle some sauce and then the remainder of your cheeses. Try not to nibble. Do I even need to add that, oh yeah, I nibbled?

Cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes.Remove the foil. See how yummy and gooey it is? I suppose you could serve it now and have it be an uber-cheesy event. I like the word uber. Try to use it in a sentence today, 'kay?But it’s not done yet. Return the pan uncovered to the oven, crank up the broiler, and broil until golden brown ... less than 5 minutes.See how puffy it gets? I like puffy. Do you like puffy?
I also love this golden brown spot. I claim this piece.This was really terrific. I served this with additional salsa and some of the sauce. This was soo full flavored. The texture was wonderful with the chicken, chiles, and tortillas. The flavors bursting forth from this reminded me not only of enchiladas, but also of tamale’s.The cream cheese just about sent me over the moon.Mmm, take a bite and see for yourself! You’ll note that I didn’t layer in any onions or peppers. Knock yourself out and add them. They would be a great addition. Actually, corn would be great, too, and maybe even some grilled zucchini. There’s always next time. I had just a little left over today, and it reheated beautifully. If anything, the flavors were even better after sitting over night.YUM! And it’s gluten free!

NOTE to all my readers: I’m so happy that you come to visit, and take the time to leave a comment or send an email. I read each and every comment you send my way, and marvel at how lucky I am to have “met” people all over the world. Who would have thought that I’d connect with so many wonderful friends this way. Thanks for stopping by!