Enchilada Lasagna Recipe

This is the recipe for our delicious enchilada lasagna mentioned in the Mouse post. It was written mostly by Husband.

What you need:

2 large red onions
7-8 cloves garlic
16 oz can pinto beans
16 oz can pink beans
16 oz can vegetarian refried beans
32 oz can pureed tomatoes
Bag of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
8 oz Queso Fresco
bag of Quorn crumbles
8 oz jar Cilantro Chutney (in Indian food section of your grocer)
3 – 4 chipotle peppers & sauce OR good chipotle salsa
Small can mild salsa
Chipotle chile powder
Cumin
Oregano
Sal e pepe
24 small corn tortillas

Filling:

Medium dice one large red onion. Add salt and sweat on low heat. When translucent, add minced garlic, a 2 tablespoons of chipotle powder, a tablespoon of cumin and a generous grind of pepper. Cook until the garlic starts smelling sweet. Add the mild salsa. Stir and cook for a few minutes. When the salsa cooks down a bit , add a splash of water and the drained beans. Cover and cook for twenty minutes. Incorporate the quorn crumbles. Cook for a few minutes, check for seasoning, then cover, remove from heat and set aside.

Sauce:

Fine dice half a large red onion and sweat over low heat for a spell. Add tomatoes, chipotles, two heaping spoons of cilantro chutney, some chile powder, cumin, oregano and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.  Give it a taste; if needed, add some sugar or BBQ sauce to balance out the heat.

Bean spread

Combine refried beans, cilantro chutney and half of a finely diced red onion in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes.
Assembly:

Ask wife for help – especially if you live in a city and your kitchen is the size of most suburban bathrooms – as you’ll need to assemble the lasagna without dropping something on your dog and without the benefit of ample counter space. Or move to a larger condo.

In a large Pyrex baking dish, layer sauce, tortillas (6 should cover the layer), more sauce, black beans, other beans, shredded cheese. Repeat until full. On the final layer place only tortillas and sauce then cover with thin slices of queso fresco.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes . Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving as the layers will glue themselves together. Cut and serve with a spatula.

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Mouse Update

The mouse is not trapped under the cabinets. Nor is it starving.

Living in Boston we have limited cabinet space so we’ve resorted to storing the dog food in the oven while not in use. We have a separate container that we fill for daily feedings. Tonight we’re making enchilada lasagna which requires the use of not-oft-exercised oven.

As I was emptying it to pre-heat, I discovered a hole had been chewed in the bag of dog food. This is Super Mouse. His love of dog food is such that he has found a way in and out of our oven. The little bugger is teleporting.

I’m standing there telling husband about my findings and he’s telling me no way when the mouse darts out from behind the oven and hangs a hard right around the corner. Our little doxie does see it this time and semi-quickly follows it into the bathroom.

Guess what? We can’t tell where the damn thing is. Husband concludes that he must be under the sink so he opens the cabinet and conducts a search only to remember that the cabinet is full of stuff – mostly mine. He begins an expedition which mostly involves picking up random objects and asking what they are and why I need them.

Finally, he points to a box of tampons. “I get those. I don’t get the rest of this shit.” And with that, he gives up.

We went back to cooking and put the food in the oven (it smells delicious).

Long story short, we need not have worried. The mouse is in the hizzouse.

And apparently he didn’t get my note.

P.S. I found a place to buy him clothes.

There’s a Mouse in My House

What happens if you feed a mouse a cookie? We’re feeding ours dog food.

A few days ago Husband and I were standing in the kitchen when we heard a strange sound. After some searching I saw the tail end of a cute little mouse scurrying away behind our microwave. We pulled out the microwave to discover that he had disappeared. We pulled out the refrigerator as well. We could hear him but not see him. Suddenly all was quiet. Husband was scared that he’d squooshed him when he pulled out the fridge. By now our doxie has come to investigate and stands in front of the refrigerator whining to alert us.

As we stand there discussing the possibilities, the mouse suddenly scampers behind my husband and into a hole next to the cabinets we’d never noticed before. Brilliant hunter that he is, my doxie does not take notice.

After that, Husband starts shredding up last weeks’ Time magazine to fill the hole, despite my telling him that it will never work. As he sets himself to the pointless task, I hear the mouse traipsing around under the sink. Oh, so that’s why we keep getting holes in the trash bags. The futile task is now abandoned and we pull everything out from under the sink to discover mouse poop.

As we clean it up, Husband starts talking about capturing it and releasing it outside. How does he plan to do that, I ask? He has no idea. Hilarity was about to ensue but the mouse got smart and went somewhere more quiet where he couldn’t be detected. We give up and go to watch TV.

The next day I tell my co-worker about the mouse (I’m shameless) and she tells me that we need to get spray foam and fill the hole. Now that makes sense! I tell Husband and surprise! I’m sent off on my lunch break to procure it in the freezing cold Boston weather (on foot). The hardware store is, of course, located roughly half a mile away.

That night we plug the hole but discover that there is a hole around the water valve under the sink that the foam is no way going to fill. Husband tries anyway, despite my protests, emptying the can and no doubt creating a huge pain in the ass for any plumber we might need in the future. Sigh.

All this morning I hear a strange sound from the kitchen. I imagine that the mouse (mice?) is trapped under the cabinet now. I start to think how much it’s going to suck when it starves, dies and starts to stink. Then the cost and annoyance of having someone come in and rip out the cabinet s to remove the body – but only after my totally unhandy hubby tries to do it first, bungling the job and making a huge mess.

Tonight I discovered mouse poop under the sink again. So. The mouse is able to get into the cabinet but probably can’t get out to the rest of the house (we think). I tell Husband and now he says that we have to feed it, lest it starve, until we can go get a humane trap and release it somewhere whereupon it will most likely beeline back to our condo and find a way back in.

So what did we do? I put some dog food under the sink. Husband said I should have used crackers because he thinks they would like them better. I respond that dog food probably has more nutrients. He agrees.

The dog food is gone.

So I asked Husband again where he plans to release them when they climb politely into the no kill traps he plans to buy. He suggested an aquarium if there are several of them. I promptly vetoed this idea in light of how aggravating this would be to our doxie. He then, quite seriously, stated that it would need to be somewhere warm. Boy, did they wander into the right condo.

If our dog is any indication, they’ll soon be wearing clothes.

Dear mouse (or mice),

I don’t want you to die. I just want you to get out of my house. We should talk.

Love,

Me

A Year in Reading: 2010

The following is an incomplete list of the books I’ve read this year, not entirely in order, accompanied by a loose grading system.

  1. Sellevision – Augusten Burroughs – C
  2. Dry – Augusten Burroughs – B
  3. Autobiography of a Fat Bride – Laurie Notaro – A
  4. Son of a Witch – Gregory McGuire – A
  5. Mirror Mirror – Gregory McGuire – B
  6. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory McGuire – B
  7. Son of a Witch – Gregory McGuire – A
  8. A Lion Among Men – Gregory McGuire – A
  9. You Suck – Christopher Moore – B
  10. Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs – Chuck Klosterman – C+
  11. Lamb – Christopher Moore – B
  12. God id Not Great – Christopher Hutchins – C
  13. A Dirty Job – Christopher Moore – C
  14. Heat – Bill Buford – A
  15. Wicked – Gregory McGuire – A
  16. The World of Karl Pilkington – Karl Pilkington – A
  17. Gerald’s Game – Stephen King – D
  18. Such a Pretty Fat – Jen Lancaster – A+
  19. Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs – B+
  20. The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury – B
  21. Good Omens – Neil Gaman – B
  22. Save Karyn – Karyn Bosnak – A
  23. We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier – Celia Rivenbark – C+
  24. Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera – A
  25. When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris – A+
  26. Pretty in Plaid – Jen Lancaster – A+
  27. The Carrie Diaries – Candace Bushnell – B
  28. Inappropriate Men –Stacey Ballis – B+
  29. Not Tonight, Honey – Susan Reinhardt – B+
  30. 20 Times a Lady – Karyn Bosnak – B
  31. The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith – A+
  32. Ripley Under Water – Patricia Highsmith – A+
  33. The Boy Who Followed Ripley –Patricia Highsmith – A+
  34. Ripley Underground –Patricia Highsmith – A+
  35. Ripley’s Game –Patricia Highsmith – A+
  36. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden – A+
  37. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami – B
  38. Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood – B+
  39. Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett – A+
  40. World Without End – Ken Follett – A+
  41. The Bourne Sanction –Eric Van Lustbader – A
  42. Return from the Stars –Stanislaw Lem – A
  43. Monster, 1959 –David Maine – B+
  44. The Giver –Lois Lowry – A+
  45. The House of the Scorpion –Nancy Farmer – A
  46. The Children of Men –P. D. James – B-
  47. How Proust Can Change Your Life –Alain De Botton – A-
  48. The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein – C+
  49. You Better Not Cry –Augusten Burroughs – B+
  50. My Fair Lazy – Jen Lancaster – A+

The Denim Guide

Every woman’s worst shopping nightmare, second only to the bikini, is designer jeans. I have literally tried on 20 pair in one visit to Saks and found only pair that fit. True story. 

If denim’s on your wish list this year, this guide is here to help you find the right pair of jeans for your body type – with as little pain and suffering as possible.

 I’ll warn you, they aren’t cheap, but they’re designer jeans. You only need one great pair, maybe two and you’re all set. They’ll last forever and get butter soft – so worth it.

Be sure to wear the shoes that you will wear most with them so that the store attendant can mark them for the tailor and send them on their way that day. I also advise that you wear a light weight comfortable shirt. You’d be surprised how hot it can get trying on jeans.

 For women with curves

It’s amazing how many denim manufacturers don’t seem to think that women have hips and thighs. News flash – we do! Most of us anyway… *cough, bitch, cough*

 Joe’s – Honey Fit: sizes 25-32 ~$174

Citizens of Humanity – Kelly Bootcut sizes 25-32 ~$198

 Larger sizes

CJ by Cookie Johnson, Plus Size Grace Bootcut: sizes 14-22 ~$174

CJ by Cookie Johnson, Plus Size Faith Straight Leg: sizes 14-22 ~$144

 For petites

Obviously all jeans have to be hemmed but if you’ve found that they don’t fit right in other places due to your vertically challenged stature, try…

 Citizens of Humanity Petite’s “Dita” Bootcut: sizes 24-32 ~$189

 For the stick figures

Yes, I do kind of hate you (joke!) but that’s not why I chose the term. There are women out there who must have a hard time shopping because they have such slim features that jeans don’t look very feminine on them. Try…

 AG Adriano Goldschmied “Stilt” Straight Leg: sizes 24-32 ~$178

Citizens of Humanity” Avedon” Slick Skinny Superstretch: sizes 24-32 ~$209

 Women with thighs and small waists

Again with the overly slim thigh cut. If you have a slim waist but your thighs are a little out of proportion, try…

 Citizens of Humanity “Ingrid”: sizes 24-32 ~$149

7 For All Mankind Bootcut sizes 24-32 ~$159

Mention Monday: @ChicagoStyle

Last week I explained that I would be choosing one tweep to spotlight for Mention Monday each week. Last week it was @RachelintheOC. This week I’m recommending @ChicagoStyle.

This windy city woman loves fashion and has a great sense of humor. I can always count on her twitter feed for snappy comments, a good laugh and a sneak peek into the event planning world.

Her blog http://www.midwesternfront.com/ covers trends, designers, shoes, accessories and a living look book. What makes ChicagoStyle so unique is that she video blogs via YouTube.

You should definitely check her out and if you like what you see, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel where she’s been known to give away prizes.

Mention Monday Weekly Posting

I’ve decided to start a weekly post dedicated to Mention Monday (that’s twitter for you non-tweeters). Each week I’ll spotlight a blog that I follow and tell you why I like it.

As a new blogger I understand the desire to increase blog traffic and build your reader base. In the spirit of giving I’ll do my part to help my fellow writers in their quest. Check back weekly to see who I cover – who knows? It could be you!