Where’s that take out menu?

Yesterday was a whirlwind of a day. I had been waking up sans alarm around 7-7:30am for the last few days and of course the one day I needed to wake up early, my body turned against me and I slept in until almost 9am. Drat! Oh well, I’ll just get my coffee and be about my day. I decided to call Josh’s sister, Jess and all of a sudden it’s 12:30pm. D’oh! I wouldn’t trade that chat session for the world, it was good to catch up with her.  When family and friends live hundreds of miles away you take any phone time you can get.

Get off the phone, shower, GO! I had exactly one hour before my first music student arrived.

I had to run to the grocery store for rotisserie chicken and corn bread (essentials for dinner!); I like to buy it fresh.  I don’t know what I was thinking but I went to the commissary. Retreat (something to do with basic training graduation) turns the base in to a zoo… no, airport… no, post office.  Common sense has gone out the window; as soon as visitors come on to base I kid you not, they forget what their right hand is vs. their left foot. It takes forever to go through the gate and the driving slows down to about 15-20mph (30 is the usual) … ohhhh airplanes! YES! You’re on an Air Force base! What were you expecting?! The base needs a pull off area so people can stop to look at the planes; I think those are called parking lots. BT-dubs, there are parking lots all over base but then again visitors don’t know what the paved open lots are for as their brains have been beamed up to space.  P.S. NEVER EVER EVER EVER go to Lackland on any given Thursday or Friday.

Here’s the rest of my afternoon in a nut shell:

My teaching schedule changed without prior knowledge and I had to roll with it.  I would have 20 minutes to get dinner ready … originally 35 minutes. Listen, as a music teacher I live by 30 minute increments.  Ask any private teacher, it’s how we plan our lives; needless to say 20 minutes to do something is like turning a 30 minute TV show on about half way through… what’s the point of watching it now?

With those 20 minutes I managed to get dinner ready… opening cans & rinsing beans is obviously easy but I had to shred the darn rotisserie chicken. Those chickens are always greasy so I like to pat the meat dry but time didn’t permit for that. In went the greasy chicken, oh well … hopefully the enchilada sauce would cover that taste. At the 19 minute mark, I was washing my hands and wiping down the counters. PHEW, MADE IT!  We won’t have to order take out.  Why did I bore you with this side story? To prove that you don’t need a ton of time to prep a decent meal.  Crock pot meals are essential in this house when I have marathon lessons; yesterday was 9 lessons from 2-9:30pm.  I did omit the corn bread topping only because I didn’t know if I’d have time to make it (it goes on half way through cooking); hence the muffins I ended up purchasing. The topping is totally necessary; the casserole didn’t taste as sweet (maybe it was the greasy chicken) but it was still really good.  I could have actually made it, I found myself with 30 minutes between two other lessons since traffic wasn’t bad however I always plan for traffic. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

I’ll leave you with pictures from my first attempt cooking this meal, cornbread topping included.  It was so delish, everyone went back for seconds proceeded by games of naps (that’s the name for nap time in our house).  I’ve made this dish with FROZEN shrimp as well which I added to the crock pot right before pouring the cornbread mixture on top. No one likes rubbery shrimp.

Image    Image     Image     Image

I always double the recipe so we have leftovers. You can make it as spicy as you’d like, opt for HOT enchilada sauce and HOT salsa.  I use MEDIUM enchilada sauce and MILD salsa, I also get the gourmet salsa with added veggies and beans, so tasty. The rice was a side dish… not part of the crock pot recipe; you’ll be too full to eat it.

RECIPE: the original blogger won’t get credit due to the page not working half of the time.  Too bad.

1 small can diced green chiles, divided
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
3 to 4 chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or omit for vegetarian)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn with red & green peppers, drained (or 1 1/2 cup frozen)
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce

1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy… follow the box recipe for corn bread!!! You’ll need eggs)
2 T chopped roaste red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Mexican cheese
for garnish – sour cream, more sliced cilantro

1. Place half the chiles and the rest of the ingredients through enchilada sauce into the cooker; stir well. Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 4 hours.

2. Combine the rest of the chiles, corn muffin mix, and chopped red pepper in a bowl. Spoon batter evenly over the bean mixture in the cooker. Cover and cook 1 hour until the crust is done. (2 hours if you double the recipe!!!)

3. Sprinkle the cheese over the corn bread, turn off the crockpot and let it sit 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Top each serving with a tablespoon of sour cream and additional cilantro, optional. Makes about 6 servings.

**in my opinion: 6 small servings… doubling the recipe is the way to go.

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