Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


Tonight’s dinner:
Beef Enchilada Casserole

from Best Mexican Recipes (America’s Test Kitchen)

Waiting for it to cool down enough for me to eat it is killing me. It’s probably a little more work than it really justifies (especially since regular beef enchiladas would probably be less fuss), but god it looks good.

Basically, you one by one toast 20 corn tortillas in a skillet over medium high heat, which right there is probably at least 15 minutes. Then you tear 8 of them into pieces and pulse them with a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and some beef broth in a food processor to create a substance that remarkably resembles vomit, and put that in a big bowl.

After that, you brown a couple pounds of ground beef in the skillet and add that to the tortilla mixture. Then you add some oil and sautee a couple chopped onions in the skillet, then add garlic, cumin and chili powder, and finally three cans of tomato sauce and some more beef broth and simmer for several minutes to thicken it a bit before moving it to a different bowl.

You add half the tomato mixture, a bunch of Colby Jack cheese, 1 and a half minced jalapenos, some hot sauce and a bunch of chopped cilantro to the beef mixture and stir it a bunch to combine. Then you put half the remaining tortillas in the bottom of a greased 13x9 baking pan, overlapping a bit, top them with the beef mixture, add the rest of the tortillas over the top, and finally pour the other half of the tomato mixture over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Then you top it with even more Colby Jack and another jalapeno and a half minced and bake for another 15-20 minutes before taking it out and letting it cool for 20 minutes or so.


Malkav, im hungry right now, and you’re pic looks so damned good. Everything about this dish screams awesome. Thanks for the detail!

Tomorrow for me, taco chili mac, or whatever you call chili mac with taco meat.


And done. Comfort food heaven. I’m working from home today so got fancy and layered my taco chili mac.

The money shot:


Fuck yeah, @Skipper, that’s gorgeous! I would like to go to there.

I made some slowcooker pulled pork tonight, along with BBQ baked beans, and spicy bacon collard greens. Plus some green beans for my gf, twice-baked potatoes for both of us, and some baked frozen fish she bought for herself.


I’m not sure if ever turn down pulled pork for frozen fish. So i wrote a haiku:

You cook pulled pork tonight.
But the girlfriend won’t eat it.
Should you trade her in?


She’s like eight leagues out of my league and puts up with me. I figure she can stick around.

Besides: more pork for me!


I’m with her. I can’t really tolerate pulled pork, shredded chicken or shreded beef. The texture is just… ack. That’s a fancy fair for a weeknight though, looks great!


Tonight I made pork
The girlfriend won’t eat it


Nights I’m home, I figure I should make something of it and cook. So I generally do :-)


My little sister just got a new apartment, so her older sisters bought her a Instant Pot. She grilled zucchinis and the biggest trip tiip skewers with vegetables I have ever seen (I call them kebabs). Most days I work between 9 and 10 hours… just don’t have it in me, but I cook on the weekends. I might have to visit her more often during the week.


Cooking and time with friends (generally playing tabletop RPGs, but we often go out to eat, watch movies, go for walks, or have fun little themed parties, too) are basically my two ultimate stress-relievers/mind-relaxers, so even though most of what I cook is very high-effort, I find it extremely relaxing/zen, somehow.

Upside is that means that I get to eat tasty food a lot. Downside is that I have a lot of tasty food to eat. . .

Very cool about your little sister getting a new place. And I mean hey, if she’s cooking :)


She’s studying to be an MA and then nurse is her current plan, and yes she loves to cook. Actually, both my sisters and myself are cookers, video and board game players. One loves gardening/plants, the other is a baker/cake decorator, and I got the fun task of doing and fixing anything tech. I remember one night other sister had a problem with her disc drive years ago. I drove to her house with a replace, ripped my hand open trying to get it out, it was stuck in there good. I told her next cases would have folded metal or I was helping her again. She had no idea what I was talking about.j

I believe she is doing Christmas cake again this year. We’ll see if she sends me pics.

She was getting pretty good until a baby then toddler sucked up her time.


We will be having a lot of vegetables for dinner since it is our green day today.


Welcome to paradise.

In other news, I tried my hand at doing a stir fry with tofu for the first time since I can remember. It really worked well. Using extra firm tofu is key for me, and slicing it up and drying it a bit on paper towels makes a huge difference. I heated up my wok with some olive oil and sesame oil, and then put in the tofu squares I’d cut and dried, keeping the wok moving. The pieces didn’t stick at all, which I really liked, because sometimes that’s an issue. So after the tofu set for awhile I tossed it over. Nice browning made me very happy. So then I put in the mushrooms and let that sit for a bit. And then some sugar snap peas. And then some edamame. It turned out very green, but I’m cooking for a vegetarian. Still, I’d like to vary that a bit. I don’t think carrots will work. Maybe some bean sprouts or water chestnuts?

I have to be careful because of the various folks I’m cooking a large dish like this for. So I cannot put a lot of spice into it. Kids and such. So really it was just a little low sodium tamari sauce and a couple other things. Other than that–chili sauce, or whatever–goes on the table. Which is frustrating, but what can you do when a fleck of pepper or a slice of scallion makes a kid say it’s too spicy?

Sorry I don’t have pictures, I just wanted to share because I was so happy with it. It came out tasting really fresh. The tofu was nicely browned. The mushrooms tasty and firm and meaty. The sugar snap peas–trick there is to dress them properly and take off all the strings–were perfect.

Damn I love cooking with a wok. I do think I need a new wok though. I have no idea how to go about shopping for one. I should probably just go to a store and choose whatever feels good when I hold it.



Nesrie your sister’s cakes look awesome!

Speaking of siblings that cook, I feel like mine are the opposite. Both cooked more when their kids were younger, but now prefer whatever is easy/quick, and a lot of times that might be eating out.

I was the opposite when younger, preferring not to cook at all, then as I’ve gotten older want to cook more and more. Probably the saddest story is my mother, who was a fantastic cook that could pull anything out of her head on a whim now never cooks at all. :(

That’s rough. Hopefully you can spice up at least part of the dishes for yourself?


My daughter thinks vinegar is too spicy. So I understand.

A lot of times what I do is cook the stir fry rather plainly, put aside 1/3 of it for her and then add the rest of the sauce that my wife and I want, and that usually is okay. It gets tricky because it can undercook the veggies for my daughter and overcook them for us. But you can also stage adding the veggies too.

Carrots can work in stir fries. Julienned or thinly sliced on the bias seems to work best for me. Diced carrots don’t work so well. Bean sprouts and water chestnuts work well too. Personally I’m not a fan of water chestnuts and so instead I’ll use jicama. Red bell pepper too is nice.


I didn’t know you could have tofu in other than mush form until I went to Japan. I like the extra firm myself too. I feel like it’s food for people with teeth again when it comes out with some firmness. One of my nephews, 3, picks out anything in his pasta he doesn’t recognize. He just says there is something in his food and sets it aside like they’re little bugs. My other nephew, 8, tried to explain to me why he loves the tomato sauce in ravioli but thinks the sauce in spaghettios is completely different.

At that point, I get to remember they’re not mine. I am just the fun auntie, and that battle is their mothers’.

My little sister loves to cook, has time to cook. I think she’s getting a set of cookware from her older sisters this year, but we’re battling on which one. There is one vote for pretty girly colors, sea mint and etc, and another one, mine, for quality stainless steel or the charcoal grey neutral color sets (this is my vote). Then we realized we don’t know if she likes the foo foo stuff Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and etc. push or the the other stuff. Now I have homework.

Her tri-tip kebabs were awesome. I cook well myself but her approach is very different, lot more free form and it worked beautifully.


It took me some time to ‘get’ what the kids mean when they say something is too spicy. I think of too spicy as the equivalent of too hot. Sometimes what they mean is that there are too many tastes, and they cannot handle them all.

An example would be the mozzarella sticks from Trader Joe’s vs. those from the regular grocery store. The former are too spicy. They aren’t hot at all. Just have too much oregano or something. Also with soup. I have to hit it just right or it’s either too spicy or not tasty enough.

I freely admit I’ve made my own bed on this. As a parent I’ve cooked to my son’s tastes so carefully, because we’ve gotten this weird fear that they’ll starve immediately if they don’t eat at a certain meal. It’s dumb, and I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t remember being catered to like this as a child. My mom made what she made and I ate it. I didn’t always like it, but too bad. If I was hungry I ate.

I love carrots in stir fry, just the way you describe. It provides another texture and color. I also love peanuts, depending upon the sauce I’m using. Broccoli too. But that won’t fly with the masses unfortunately.

I tend to spice after the fact for family meals. When I cook for myself I get to take out the arsenal.

I find that even when I have a bunch of folks over and make a simple tomato sauce for them I have to be careful about spice (as it relates to heat). A spicy sausage that I find tasty but on the low end gets pushed to the side by many. And then there’s the vegetarian thing too. Last time I just made a meaty tomato sauce for the meat eaters, and an Alfredo for the vegetarians. It was mostly great, because the meat eaters loved the tomato sauce, and one of the kids got his first experience with Alfredo, which he totally loved. Surprise!

This made me smile. Thank you, Nesrie.



Hey, what’s funny is that in one of the short cooking classes I just had, we went through this with two of the adults in the class of six. But I thought the chef handled it very well. Essentially it was the use of salt and pepper in a dish. And the chef described why it needed more of each, and had the entire class taste before/after. I could imagine that teaching a child to cook might work the same way, assuming they wanted to learn and could understand the complexities of having balanced tastes in a meal; sweet, salty, acidic/sour, savory, etc.

But, I don’t have children. And I’m betting if I did, they would throw their chicken nuggets at me in protest if the ranch dressing was the least bit peppery.


Dating someone whose tastebuds were trained on a steady diet of freezer-born pizza, chicken nuggets, and mac n cheese (girl LIVED on TV dinners till her 20s), slowly expanding the scope of what is acceptable fare and what isn’t has been a real adventure. Most weeks, there are 2-3 dishes that are shared, 2-3 that are “mine,” and usually one cooked thing to supplement for her. Plus some TV dinners, for old time’s sake :)