Sunday, June 27, 2010

Recipe: Enchiladas that taste better than the ones you get at restaurants

We haven't posted a recipe in a while, so here's a most delicious one that's supremely easy and quick.

1 pack of whole wheat tortillas
2-3 green onions, finely chopped
2 cans fat-free refried beans
1 can of diced tomatoes OR 3-4 medium tomatoes, diced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, finely choppe
1 can enchilada sauce
1 bag shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese
large handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

In my opinion, the enchilada sauce in the most important ingredients. Enchiladas are just not enchiladas without the sauce. Do not attempt this recipe without it. I find it difficult to make my own that has the right taste and super-smooth liquid texture, which is why I use the (delicious) stuff in a can, but if you can do it, go for it (and send me your recipe!)

  1. Heat the beans in a pan just until warm and soft.
  2. Line an oven dish with aluminum foil and preheat your oven to 350.
  3. One by one, prepare your enchiladas side by side in the oven dish, making sure to place them snugly; this will help hold the tortillas in place so that they don't unfold. Spread refried beans down the middle of a tortilla. Follow with a spoonful of enchilada sauce, a scoop of diced tomatoes, a sprinkle of green onions, and a sprinkle of cheese. Roll tortilla closed and repeat to make the next one.
  4. When all the enchiladas are made and in the oven dish, pour the enchilada sauce generously over the whole lot and sprinkle cilantro and cheese on top of the sauce.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted.

Serving Suggestions
Try these accompanied by rice, salad, and fried plantains.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Money-Saving Laundry Tips: Quick Tips for Saving Your Cash and Your Clothes

  1. Use less soap. Detergent makers want as much of your money as they can get. One way of accomplishing this goal is to advise you to use much more of their product than is necessary. For a large load, 1/2 cup is usually plenty. Too much detergent (often the advised amount) can actually leave your clothes less clean and cause them unnecessary wear and tear.

  2. Use cold water whenever possible. Unless your clothes are seriously soiled, cold water works just fine.

  3. A little soaking goes a long way. For particularly dirty laundry or tough stains, instead of using hot water, soak the load for a couple of hours before washing. (Follow the instruction on your washing machine to load, add detergent, and fill as usual, but stop the cycle before it starts agitation.)

  4. The sooner you treat a stain, the easier it will be to get out. Whatever your preferred method of stain-fighting, do it as soon as possible. Set-in stains are very difficult to get out.

  5. For organic stains, such as blood, do not use hot water. Rinse immediately with cold water and wash as soon as possible. If you can't wash the item right away, soak it in a bucket of cold water and a sprinkle of soap until you can.

  6. For particularly potent items (think day-old, soaked-in-sweat soccer socks), before washing, soak for at least one hour in a bucket with either a capful of bleach or 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup vinegar.

  7. If you want to use fabric softener, go with dryer sheets instead of liquid softener. They're almost always much less expensive (and easier to lug home from the supermarket).

  8. Line-dry your clothes whenever weather permits. Do your washing in the morning to allow for drying during the sun's most intense hours. My laundry often dries in under two hours this way. If you're like me and don't like the slightly stiff feel your clothes get drying in the sun, just pop them in the dryer for 5-10 minutes afterwards, along with a clean, damp (not wet) rag, and a dryer sheet (if desired).
Know any other money- and/or environment-saving laundry tips? Leave them in comment below!

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