Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Cake Pops

Or Cake Pops Redux.  My first cake pops were successful in that everyone enjoyed them.  I on the other hand felt there were a few tweaks that could be done to make them more successful in my eyes.  Last time the cake pop dough was very moist and keeping them on the stick was difficult.  Good thing I didn't have any Styrofoam and stood them up as they probably would have all slide down the stick.  This time I decided on a less gooey dough and a smaller dough ball.  I call it dough, because it reminds me of cookie dough in it's consistency.

I baked a Duncan Hines Devil Foods cake in a 9X13 inch pan.  I then crumbled the cake into tiny little bits in a large bowl.  I had bought some store bought chocolate frosting.  I added 1/2 the plastic container to the crumbled up cake bits.  I found no easier way than just sticking my freshly washed hands in the bowl and squishing away.  The amount of frosting I thought was just right.  Not too gooey this time.

After washing the chocolate goo off my hands I got out my cookie scoop and portioned out the dough.  This time I made balls that were more quarter size as Bakerella suggested and I ignored the first time.  I rolled each ball by hand to create a nice smooth round ball.  I thought the smaller ball wouldn't be much of a treat, but it takes me 3 bites to eat one.  So, even someone who put the whole thing in their mouth would find it to be a delicious mouthful.

This time I had the chocolate melted in a double boiler and ready to go when it was time to put the candy sticks in the cake balls.  I dipped the stick in chocolate and then into ball.  The chocolate did pool up around the bottom of stick.  This concerned me that there would be a lump on the bottom of each Cake Pop.  Once I started coating the Cake Pops with melted chocolate I quickly found out it wasn't a concern and covered up quite nicely.

When I dipped Cake Pop in melted chocolate one wants it in the hot chocolate as little time as possible.  I found it faster to use a spoon.  I would dip the pop into the chocolate.  I then rotated it quickly as I pushed the chocolate up on the Cake Pop.  I then pulled the Cake Pop out of the chocolate shook it gently to remove any excess chocolate that might drip down the stick once standing in Styrofoam.  Next I quickly pushed a small piece of pretzel stick into the top of my Cake Pop.

To get a smoother look to the chocolate I ended up adding a small about of Crisco.  This made the chocolate smoother and shinier on my Cake Pops.  When I say small amount I used about 2 T to 1/2 a big of Wilton's Candy Melts.  I find the candy melts in the Wilton section of either Michaels or Joanns.


I had precut the pretzel stick bits to have ready when it came time to push them on top of Cake Pops.  Bakerella had used green Tic Tacs for the top of hers.  For some reason I got it into my head that lime, spearmint whatever flavor green Tic Tacs would be just didn't appeal to me with a chocolate cake pop.  Now pretzels and chocolate is a great combo.

(Only one casualty this year slid down the stick)

I had wanted to draw Jack O Lantern faces on the pumpkins, but the Wilton's FoodWriter Edible Color Makers Fine Tip totally suck.  Suck suck suck.  I know you're saying, "Come on Lynne don't sugar coat this tell us how you really feel."  They did not work at all.  This was all that was available in the stores around me.  I will find my receipt and return these as we found them to be a complete waste of time.  I really don't know what they could be used for. 
Fortunately, the pumpkin look of these Cake Pops was good enough to amaze and treat all our friends to some Halloween fun.
(Do we really need to show the empty stick?  Yum!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Barbecued Pork Buns... in your spare time

OK I jest about making these in your spare time.  I won't lie these take some time to make.  What I do is get the whole family to help.  They are made up and ready to bake in no time.  Totally worth the effort they are SO good.

I usually make these for Chinese New Year.  When we were writing up this month's menu plan though my daughter asked if we could make them to go with Hot and Sour soup.  I thought why not.

As my son and daughter were preparing the filling I was getting a little bit of guff.  First comment was from my son, "Black mushrooms! I don't like black mushrooms in my Bao (pronounced wow with a 'b' the word bao simply means 'bun' in Chinese)."  My daughter's comment, "Chopping why all this chopping?!"  My son, "Hoisin sauce?  Why Hoisin sauce it tastes nasty."  My comment, "This is the recipe we eat every year and you guys love it.  Keep chopping and stop the kibitzing."

(2 ounces of dough, 1 T of filling)

We like the baked bao better than the steamed bao.  My only problem is probably half of mine usually burst open during the baking.  Not badly, but enough I'd like it to stop.  No one has ever said, "My bun is broken I'm not going to eat it."  I was watching a cooking show with Ming Tsai.  I've always enjoyed him.  He was making bao and said to not only pinch the bottom of the bun, but twist it.  My son sealed the first batch of bao I sealed the 2nd.  I not only pinched and twisted, but I put a smidgen of water to help seal them too.  End result more of my son's buns stayed sealed than mine.  He kind on pinched and folded his quickly.  I put a lot of effort into making mine seal.  Geeze!  So, I'd say from now on I'm not going to spend as much time sealing it's a waste of time.

(my son's folded seal was better than my pinch and twisted)

I got this recipe at a community center class back in 1989.  It was a class on how to make Chinese Appetizers.  It was a great class.  I got several great recipes.  This being one of them.

(pinch and twisted baked bao and this is as much as they leak if they are going to)

Barbecued Pork Buns

3/4 cup Bar B Q pork (chopped)
2 T green onions (chopped)
3 dried black mushrooms (Soak in warm water for 30 mins.)
2 T Hoisin Sauce
3/4 T Soy Sauce
1/2 med. onion (chopped)
2 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
1/2 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 T peanut oil

Squeeze excess water out of black mushrooms and mince.  Combine pork, green onions, mushrooms, Hoisin Sauce, soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar and oyster sauce in bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Heat wok or skillet; add oil and stir fry onions for about 4 minutes until soft.  Add chicken broth, water cornstarch and remaining sugar (1 1/2 tsp).  Cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and  add pork mixture; mix well.

Cool meat mixture.  Using Bridgeford bread dough, cut and flatten dough to make 2 1/2 inch diameter shells.  Place 1 T filling into shells and seal by gathering.

Place on small wax paper squares on baking sheet gathered side down.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 -13 minutes.  Can steam 20 to 25 minutes.

(We made about 32 and after 2 days there were none to freeze)

Lynne's notes:  I buy the BBQed pork premade from local grocery store with a Chinese food section.  Dried Black Mushrooms are easy to find in most grocery stores in the Asian food section.  Same with Hoisin Sauce and Oyster Sauce.  I seldom have peanut oil in my house and vegetable always works fine.  Bridgeford bread is frozen bread at the grocery store.  I usually whip up a batch of white bread in my bread maker.  This time I grabbed a bag of pizza dough at the grocery store.  It worked well.  About 2 ounces of dough per bao.  I usually make a double batch of bao.  While you're doing all this chopping may as well.  If they are not all eaten they freeze well and heat up in the microwave well.  I bake mine now on a Silpat and skip the wax paper.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cookie Fail

Upper right cookie is the cookie fail, bottom right cookie is what color it should have been, cookie on left is my famous Gingersnap.

That's what my kids called the cookie dough my husband made last night.  DH needed to make a dessert for a potluck at work.  I suggested the very easy Chocolate Chip Cookie.  He liked that idea.  I suggested he use a large cookie scoop, so the cookies look real impressive. 

He used my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but I was shocked by the color of his cookie dough when he asked me to come in and help him get them baking.  The dough was a chocolate brown.  I started questioning his ingredients.  Which I got a snarky reply "I know how to read."  I said, "I know you know how to read, but clearly there is something drastically wrong with your cookie dough.  It should look like this!"  I held up the rubber spatula he had used early on before things went terribly wrong with the proper colored cookie dough clinging to it.  The dough tasted fine.  OK it wasn't so terrible, but it wasn't very appetizing and with food things need to look good as well and taste good.  I could see this sad look come across his face.  The one my children get when they feel like they've made a big cooking mistake and think everything is ruined.

I found out he had put the chocolate chips and pecans in the mixer turned it to high and let it go for a few minutes.  When I went to make the Gingersnaps 30 minutes later the mixer was still hot to the touch.  I said, "Chocolate chips and pecans should be hand stirred in at the end."  He said, "The recipe should say that."  I replied dryly, "It does."  At this point I knew there was no reason for continuing this line of conversation.  He was looking defeated.  I took another tack and said, "The cookies will be fine they're just extra chocolaty.  If anyone says 'what's wrong with this cookie' snatch it away from them and say, 'thank you more for me.'"  He chuckled and we starting scooping the dough on to the cookie sheets.

I have to say they did taste fine.  They were a bit tough and they did look oddly colored.  BUT I sent him to work with 30 good sized Chocolate Chip Cookies and 20 good sized Gingersnaps.  There were only 3 cookies left.  Chocolate Chip of course.


Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

PREPARATION DIRECTIONS:

1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.

2. COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

3. DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

4. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.

TIP* If nuts are omitted, add an additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Make Your Own Pizza Night

Always popular at my house.  For years I made my own dough in my breadmaker.  I've had a breadmaker since 1991.  Now at my local market they sell pizza dough for about a buck.  Can't hardly beat that.  So, for "make your own pizza" night I got 3 bags of dough, Boboli Pizza sauce (I like the flavor and that it's packaged in small servings if you don't use it all it saves for next time), and all the various toppings my family likes.  Tonight we had pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, green pepper, purple onion, mushrooms, black olives, and green onions.  My daughter also wanted an avocado, which she slice and put on her pizza after it was baked.

(Sure love my convection oven.  I can bake multiple racks at the same time without having to shift things around.)

We were SO hungry I barely got any pictures of this adventure.  The kids helped slice and grate the cheese while I rolled the dough out on the Silpats.  I love rolling pizza dough on Silpats.  When it is dough it sticks to the Silpat.  You don't have to fight with it shrinking back quite so much.  When it's baked it doesn't stick and slides right off on to a cutting board.  Do not cut on a Silpat!

Next each kid got to top their own pizza.  I topped one for my husband and me.  Because the husband I generally share a pizza each kid has to give their dad a slice of the theirs.  That way he gets to sample their pizza and he gets enough to eat.  He even ate my daughter's slice with avocado on it.  Even though he doesn't particularly like avocado.  He said it was a pretty good combo though.

Gingersnaps


I discovered this recipe when I was a teenager.  My mom bought me a cookbook from a used book store.  This purchase combined our 2 loves.  Mine of cooking and hers of used book stores.  The cookbook was called "Spices of the World by McCormick."  It was copyrighted in 1964, but still had recipes that sounded great.  I loved the book, because it pushed one into the spice rack with both feet.  Of course their purpose was to sell spices and herbs.

From this book came the most beloved recipe of all.  The recipe for Gingersnaps.  I always thought it was good.  During my poor years I used it quite a bit as a gift.  Buy a cheap nice looking plate or container and fill it with Gingersnaps.  It was ALWAYS a hit.

It wasn't until my kids were in Elementary school that it's greatness was truly felt.  For the yearly carnival I was toying with what I'd make for the bake sale.  There were always a lot of chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  I decided to do something different to offer some variety.  I made the Gingersnaps. 

My job at the carnival was to run the Silent Auction.  That's where I was the whole night pretty much.  Someone came up to me and had a question.  About the Silent Auction of course.... no the question was "Are you the lady who made the wonderful Gingersnap cookies?"  At that point I wasn't sure how many people made Gingersnaps and said so.  They said, "Oh no there is only one Gingersnap and they are great.  I was told to come ask you for the recipe."  At this point I was shocked how did anyone know I had donated the Gingersnaps.  I was happy to take their email with a promise to send the recipe.  I walked out to the bake sale and behind the table was a friend of mine.  She's standing there with about 6 people around her purchasing goodies.  She looks up, points and joyfully yells, "THAT'S THE LADY WHO MADE THE GINGERSNAPS!"  The 6 people turn and coming running at me!  I knew my recipe was good great even.  I just didn't know how great until I turned into a Gingersnap Celebrity at my kids' carnival.

This went on for about 4 hours.  At the 3 hour mark I said to the person who was asking me for the recipe, "Haven't they run out of Gingersnaps by now?"  She said, "Oh yes they ran out a long time ago, but I was told I could get the recipe from you."  Fortunately, I'm not one of those people who believe in secret recipes.  I like to share.  I want everyone to go home and make something delicious for themselves.

Gingersnaps

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground ginger

Cream shortening and sugar together.  Add molasses and egg, beat well.  Sift flour, measure and sift again with remaining ingredients.  Add to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.  Roll into small balls and dip into additional granulated sugar or leave plain.  Place 2 inches a part on greased baking sheet.  Bake in 375 degree F oven 10 to 12 minutes.  Makes 6 to 7 dozen.

Lynne's note:  This recipe doubles and triples well for making larger cookies.  They are beautiful rolled in sugar and just as good if you're in a hurry not sugared.  I don't sift.  I put all ingredients to be sifted in a big bowl and stir them with a wire whisk.  Use a cookie scoop.  It saves a lot of time and everyone is so impressed when your cookies are all the same size.  When I don't sugar them I don't roll them into a ball either.  Just cookie scoop them right onto cookie sheet.  If you're going to sugar them.  Use cookie scoop to measure all the dough.  Then roll into ball and roll in sugar.  I found it faster to use my good sized flat bottomed round plastic bowl.  I put a few tablespoons of sugar in plastic bowl.  Then I throw in 3 or 4 balls and swirl the bowl like I'm panning for gold.  Make sure to keep balls from sticking together.  Separate and swirl if needed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grandma Parker's Macaroni Salad

I'm not a big macaroni salad person.  In fact until my Grandma started making this recipe I didn't like it at all.  She brought it to nearly every family get together.  Finally when she was 70 years old and I was 27 years old I got to thinking I better get that recipe while the gettins' good.  I asked her for the recipe and she said she really didn't have one.  I asked if I could watch her make it some day and she said yes.  Next family party she called and asked if I wanted to come over and help her make the macaroni salad.  I jumped in my car and came right over.  As we made it I wrote down the measurements of all the ingredients.  I don't cook much without a recipe.  If a dish is delicious I want it to turn out that way every time.  I don't want it to be kind of sort of like the original.  I think that is why my friends turn to me for recipes.  They know it's good and they know I'll have a recipe!

There has only been one wrinkle with this recipe.  There is one ingredient it has to have in order to have the right taste.  That ingredient is McCormick's Vegetable Delight.  Well, the wrinkle is they stopped making Vegetable Delight about 5 years ago.  Fortunately, they made something called Vegetable Supreme.  It was very similar to Vegetable Delight.  Only difference I could tell was it wasn't quite as buttery in flavor and they added sesame seeds.

Now I've found out from an urgent call from Portland, OR they don't make Vegetable Supreme any more.  On the McCormick website it is listed in the Discontinued Product list under Seasoning Blends.  Be still my heart!  I was told by my friend's in Portland that they wanted to make my Mac Salad and couldn't find the seasoning at any store or on the internet.  They instructed me to quickly search the stores in my area for it.  I went to Raley's today and McCormick had a whole new display system.  It was clear that Vegetable Supreme had long been squeezed out.

This recipe is even more precious to me as my Grandma passed away last year at the ripe ole age of 92.  It seems so sad that McCormick feels there is no market for this Seasoning blend.  I've contacted them and hope to find out how I can make this seasoning on my own.  I have a precious 2 tablespoons left.  Just one recipe of my Grandma's Macaroni Salad.  I may have to sniff and taste and figure it out on my own, because I refuse to let this recipe die.  I have many friends and family that love this recipe and make it themselves.  Without further adieu...

Grandma Parker's Macaroni Salad
Over the years friends have made the salad and on occasion I'll be at the event.  Certain liberties have been taken with the ingredients over the year, but not so extremely as this one occasion.  I got to the party and was quickly grabbed by the elbow and whisked into the kitchen.  My friend says hurriedly, "I made your mac salad and it doesn't taste quite right could you take a look at it and give me some pointers."  I said, "Sure."  I took one look at the salad and wondered why she would need my help.  It was obvious what was wrong.  The salad was made with bowtie pasta, red onion, no pimento and sliced dill pickle.  She's looking at me with that "Well?" look and I said, "You used bowtie pasta instead of salad macaroni.  She says defensively, "Well, I didn't have any and I wasn't going to make a special trip to the store."  Again, she gives the the "Well?" look.  I said, "My recipe calls for green onion."  She says again defensively, "I didn't have any green onion and I wasn't going to make a special trip to the store."  Now I don't want to say anything else, because she purposely didn't follow the recipe.  BUT she continues to look pleadingly at me for help.  I say, "What's with the sliced pickle?"  She say excitedly, "I like sliced pickle so I threw it in."  In my head I threw my hands up in the air and then I said, "I'm sure it's going to be a wonderful salad it's just not going to be my salad," and I walked away.  Everyone enjoyed the salad.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

She likes me. She really really likes me!

One of my daily blessings is my adorable poodle Little Star.  As you can tell she's my bud.  Last night I was working on Clue #3 in the Bernat Crochet Along and there she was keeping me company.  I kept thinking the yarn would tickle her nose and she would get up.  She actually stayed there quite a while.  Probably because I thought she was absolutely adorable and she loves it when I notice that fact.

Truth be told her 5 O'Clock shadow was poking threw my pajama bottoms and was a bit prickly for me.  I wasn't about to shoo her away though.  I could endure it to enjoy such cuteness.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Western Meal-in-One

Monthly meal plan going well.  Only one hitch I was looking at the September calendar when I made my plan, so I wasn't so far behind when I made it.  Added 2 more meals to the plan to compensate for flipping calendar to new month 3 days late. :)

This meal was already on the list though.  I got this meal from my MIL's stash of recipes.  I don't know where she got it.  My MIL passed away about 6 months into our marriage.  My FIL has passed 6 month before we got married.  There was DH and I newlyweds living 2 1/2 hours away in an apartment and a whole house and garage of stuff to tend too.  I felt so bad for my husband.  He's an only child and I know he was feeling like an orphan at this time.

He put me in charge of sorting the kitchen.  I got to thinking what reminds one of home?  Mom's favorite recipes!  Only problem was DH and his family ate breakfast, lunch and dinner out everyday most of his childhood.  I know weird huh?  Or maybe I think that, because my family ate every meal in.  The amount of times I ate "out" as I child I can count on one hand. 

DMIL did start cooking when she retired, which had only been one year.  She also cooked sporadically over the years for special occasions.  It was a challenge finding recipes.  I found a few written recipes and then I looked through the few cookbooks she had for pages with splatters on them.  Always the sign of a recipe that's been used and could potentially be a good one.

Some where in there I found "Western Meal-in-One."  DH remembered liking it.  I made it a few times as newlyweds and we liked it.  The recipe however had languished in my recipe box for years when I came across it again on meal planning night.  DH and I wondered why hadn't this been made in years?  It was in a category called "Casseroles" in the recipe box.  There were only 2 recipes in that catagory and neither had been made in years.  I mostly look under the type of meat or style of cooking when needing a recipe.  So, this recipe has been refiled under "Beef."  It was very good and hope to make it again in the near future.

Western Meal-in-One


(The colors in this dish were just beautiful.)

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can petite cut tomatoes, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Brown ground meat in oil until crumbly. Add garlic, salt, onion, green bell pepper and chili powder. Saute for 5 minutes or until vegetables are limp. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans and rice. Add a little water or tomato juice as needed. Turn into a greased 2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Sprinkle with olives and cheese. Uncover. Bake 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serves 8.

Lynne's note:  I worried there wouldn't be enough liquid to soften the rice, but there was.
(Recipe calls for 2 quart dish.  I only had a 3 quart (9X13).  It worked fine.)


Check out Mommy's Kitchen for some more delicious recipes.

Mommy’s Kitchen

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Menu Planning not a new concept

I've tried menu planning in the past and it never works out too well for me.  Seems like a great idea.  I think I've figured out that I've been too rigid in my planning.  I found a gal who does a list of meals mainly dinner and they eat from the list.  She has a blog called "Mommy's Kitchen."  The meals are not assigned a day.  That was our problem.  We may not be in the mood for or have the time for say Chicken and Dumplings the assigned meal of the day.  Something so simple and yet it made me smack my forehead "Of course" when I was reading her description on how she creates her menu plan.

This way I can pick a meal that suits the schedule and mood of the family.  She also made the suggestion to not to plan all 30 or 31 days of the month.  (yes I know one month has 28 or 29 days)  She plans for 25 of 30 days.  Things happen.  Sometimes we eat out.  Sometimes not everyone is home.  Life of having teenagers and a husband who refs soccer.  One can grab something simple maybe even eat some leftovers rather than cook a whole meal.  Since I was getting a late start on the month I planned 17 meals for the remaining 25 days.

I quizzed the family as to what they'd like to eat this month.  I also looked through my recipes and recipes I'd like to try.  Made a list and an accompanying grocery list.

Here's what we're having...

*Uncle Brad's Spaghetti Sauce, Green Salad and garlic bread
Baked Chicken, mashed potatoes
*Chicken and Dumplings
Pot Roast
Paninis and Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
Cheeseburger Casserole (Paula Deen Recipe)
*Hamhocks and Chili Beans, cornbread
*Beef & Bean Enchiladas
*Hot & Sour Soup, *BBQ Pork Buns
Nachos
Make your own pizza night
Marinated Tritip, Cheddar Potato Slices
Chicken Caesar Salad
Hot dogs and Hot Links, Coleslaw, Ranch Beans
*Western Meal In One
*Mexican Lasagna
*Fideo

Once I started making my grocery list I realized I may need to adjust the menu next month for more variety.  We are going to eat an awful lot of ground beef and cheddar cheese this month.  Not that anyone will complain, but just doesn't sound too healthy on a regular basis.  Since the family was excited to be a part of the process I decided to leave it as is this month.

As we were making suggestions we came up with a couple ideas one was the power of one veto.  I suggested one veto, because we'd never get enough recipes if we let everyone veto anything they didn't like.  I also said one can not veto the same meal 2 months in a row.  Some meals most of us love and would hate to never have them again.

This month DS vetoed Chinese Simmered Chicken (one of my personal favorites that hurt), DH vetoed One Dish Chicken and Rice, DD vetoed Curry (DH's favorite).  My son jokingly suggested BBQed poodle ribs and I vetoed it.  Not that I didn't think they wouldn't be delicious and tender, but my DPoodle looked up at me with adoring eyes and I vetoed for her. :)

Here is one of this month's recipes.  Been a family favorite for years.

Beef and Bean Enchiladas

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
1 (1 lb.) can refried beans
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. taco sauce
1 c. ripe olives, quartered
2 (10 oz.) cans enchilada sauce
Salad oil for frying tortillas
12 corn tortillas
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Crumble ground beef in a frying pan; add onions. Saute until meat is browned and onions are tender. Drain off excess fat. Stir in beans, salt, garlic powder, taco sauce and olives; heat until bubbly. Heat enchilada sauce; pour half the sauce into an ungreased shallow 3 quart baking dish.

In small frying pan, heat salad oil about 1/4" deep. Dip tortillas, individually, in hot oil to soften; drain quickly. Place 1/3 cup beef filling on each tortilla; roll to enclose filling. Place seam side down in baking dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the filled tortillas. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

To Serve: Top each serving with sour cream combined with green chili salsa. May garnish with sliced, pitted ripe olives. Serves 4 to 6.

Lynne's note:  I have microwaved and warmed tortillas up in the enchilada sauce in an effort to skip frying.  Both methods lead to fragile tortillas and frustration.  I stick with frying.  How often does one have enchiladas?  I have found frying them all up and draining them allows them to cool off.  Enough so as to not burn my fingers and they stay flexible enough to roll.