Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Making the Most of Leftovers

After being thoroughly inspired by this post at Modobject at Home, I decided to try cooking a whole chicken last week. It must have been providential, because whole chickens were on sale for $.79 a pound that weekend! I cooked my chicken in a crock-pot, and it worked wonderfully. We had delicious, tender chicken that night for dinner, and we had plenty of pulled leftover meat for a big batch of white chili soup.

Now I am keeping my eyes open for recipes that can utilize pulled leftover chicken. Casseroles are so unhealthy, so I want some less fattening options. I was excited when the July issue of Real Simple arrived. It contained a delicious looking recipe for chicken enchiladas, and it called for rotisserie chicken. Instead of purchasing a rotisserie chicken, what could be more frugal than using my chicken leftovers? I tweaked the recipe a bit, so here is my variation of it. We enjoyed these enchiladas for dinner last night, and they were really tasty!

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Flavored Dip
(Adapted from “Chicken Enchiladas” in Real Simple, July 2008)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 small zucchini, diced
1 small onion, chopped
¾ cup frozen corn
1 ½ cups shredded chicken from a whole or rotisserie chicken
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
10-12 tortillas
¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 small tomato
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup low-fat sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and onion, stirring until the onion begins to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the chicken, corn, and ¼ cup of cilantro leaves. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
  3. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas, sprinkle some cheese inside the tortillas, roll them up, and place them seam-side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake until heated through, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the remaining ½ cup cilantro with tomato, lime juice, and lemon juice until finely chopped. Add this mixture to the sour cream and mix thoroughly. Serve this dip cold with the enchiladas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sewing Projects – Making a Gift for Yourself or a Friend

I’ve seen tutorials for several cute sewing projects recently on the web. These three are my favorites. I would love to have these items for myself, and they would be perfect gifts—thoughtful, pretty, and frugal. I can’t decide which one to try out first!

Elle Tie-On Slippers by Tissuepapers
Linen Pear Sachet by Dacia Ray
Japanese Knot Bag by Show Your Workings

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Price Are We Paying?

Photo from

The Atlantic recently published an article entitled, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” The article discusses how the internet has diminished our attention span and our ability to concentrate. It is worth reading.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Eating Responsibly

Wendell Berry’s collection of essays published in What Are People For? includes a particularly interesting essay entitled “The Pleasures of Eating.”

In this essay, Berry asserts that our culture has turned the act of eating into an utterly passive act so that the eater becomes merely a passive consumer. This problem results from how little most eaters know about the agricultural process of producing food. He writes, “When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous” (What Are People For?, page 146). He warns that there is a danger in not knowing about the food process, whereby we support an industry that only concerns intself with volume and price.

Photos by my husband.
Berry gives seven tips on how to eat responsibly:
  1. Participate in food production to the extent you can. He suggests having a little garden and making your compost to fertilize it.
  2. Prepare your own food. This gives you measure of “quality control” because you know what has been added to the food you eat.
  3. Learn the origins of the food you buy, and buy the food that is produced closest to your home.
  4. Whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchardist.
  5. Learn as much as you can about the economy and technology of industrial food production. Berry says this is a matter of self-defense.
  6. Learn what is involved in the best farming and gardening.
  7. Learn of the life histories of the food species.

Monday, June 9, 2008


We have pretty limes growing from our lime tree. Now I just have to decide how to use them, although I already know that I’ll make raspberry-lime freezes. They are so tasty!

Photo from Martha


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