Monday, April 25, 2011

Easy Enchiladas

I'm going to be honest. I love Mexican food. And by Mexican food I mean our completely Americanized version of Mexican food. I'm sure I'd love the authentic stuff, but I've just never had it. Or maybe our Americanized version isn't really that different. Either way all of my ramblings about this come to this: I LOVE MEXICAN FOOD. I think about it constantly. Specifically, queso dip. But I also love tacos, chimichangas and enchiladas. Among other things.

But that's definitely not the point, is it?

The point is that I have a REALLY easy recipe for enchiladas. It's a super easy dinner that you can put together, and I promise you will love it.

I made this the other night when I was craving Mexican. Of course, I couldn't find any corn tortillas (gluten-free!!) that weren't tiny, so I had to put two together using refried beans as glue (innovative?) because you have to be able to use a ton of filling, right? Right.

And I had to use two different kinds of salsa because I couldn't decide which one to use. Obviously. What can I say? I'm a salsa lover.

I also had to use too much sour cream. Because I honestly don't believe there's such thing as too much.

Easy Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings

4 tortillas
1 lb of ground beef
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can refried beans
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Cook the beef and drain. Add the peppers and onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the black beans and turn down the heat. Cook until beans are thoroughly heated.

Spread the refried beans on the tortillas. Add the beef/veggie mixture. Roll tightly and place in a greased, glass baking pan. Repeat with all 4 tortillas. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas; then, pour salsa over the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese over entire pan. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Don't worry I ate the entire pan to myself. What? It's not my fault that I live alone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Balls

I decided to start off on a sweet note.

Okay, fine, I needed an excuse to make cookies. But does anyone really need an excuse to put peanut butter and chocolate together?

I found this recipe while obsessing over Food Gawker. If you haven't seen this website, go there now. And be prepared to drool. I could pretty much gain ten pounds just browsing all the deliciousness that this site contains.

As I mentioned before, most of my family has Celiacs, which makes me want to try to find a way to convert every recipe I find into a gluten-free recipe. Did I mention that a lot of gluten-free flours are really gross? It's actually pretty difficult to find a good balance, especially in cookies.

Anyway, I think I struck the perfect balance in this recipe, using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour and Xanthan-Gum. I love Bob. I eat his oatmeal every single day.

These cookies are super easy and insanely addictive... maybe I've already had 5 in the hour it's been since I made them. Just maybe.

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Balls
adapted from What Megan's Making

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp Xanthan-Gum
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, xanthan-gum, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Combine butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon of dough at a time, make balls and place an inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes (they'll still be light in color, but lightly browned on the bottom; you want the center to be nice and gooey). AFter removing them from the oven, place on a cooling rack.

**Warning: these are insanely addictive. I'm not joking, I ate another 2 while I was writing this.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh, hi :)

Hellooo blogging world!

As you can read from my tiny little bio, I'm Lauren. And I love food. I love everything about food; looking at it, smelling it, eating it and cooking it. I love sharing food with friends and family. I love that it brings people together. And I love how many different things you can do with it. I'm a senior at IU doing the journalism thing and after I graduate in May, I'm going to start saving my money to attend culinary school. I couldn't be more excited.

Food... I think about it often. Okay, fine, I think about it all the time. Right now, I'm making homemade granola bars at 1 am because I could not stop thinking about them. I watch the Food Network every single day, and sometimes I get so excited about what I see that I drool. TMI? That's okay, that's what blogs are for!

I also come from a family full of people who have celiacs. For those of you who don't know, celiacs disease is essentially an intolerance to glutens, which are found in wheat and barley products. There's actually a good chance that I have the genetic markers for it as well, so I try really hard to find ways to convert the foods that we all love into gluten-free delights. So you will probably see that occurring often on my blog.

As I said before, I love cooking. But more importantly, I love sharing what I'm cooking, baking and eating with others, and I would love to share all of this with you!

I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say and trying what I recipes I'll be posting :)