Confessions of a Less-than-excellent Wife

O.K., so when I left off yesterday I said that I was hoping to give my husband a “cheerful heart,” a cup of coffee, and maybe some dinner when he got home.  Fail.  I had the coffee brewed, and was definitely in a peaceful mood, but by the time he walked in the door, I was zonked out on the couch, sound asleep, without a hint of dinner on the way.  Oh well…there’s always another day, right?  I’m pretty sure dear hubby wasn’t put out by my “failure” though.  As long as he’s got that welcome home cup’a joe, he’s a happy as a clam! 🙂

When I opened up my bible to Proverbs 31 this morning, the thing that jumped out at me was how the excellent wife was so great at shopping and cooking for her family.  Check it out:

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.  She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.  Proverbs 31:14-15

I have a confession to make.  I don’t enjoy cooking.  Never have.  Ask my family.  I CAN cook (except for steak…I can’t cook that to save my life!), I just don’t enjoy cooking.  My motive for cooking is, number 1, my family needs to be fed, and number 2, I like to eat.  So this whole “providing food for her household” thing is clearly something I could benefit from learning to do with a more cheerful heart.  That being said, I decided to get a little audience participation.

I’m going to share a recipe with you today, one of the handful of recipes that my family loves and I can actually make pretty well.  In return, I’m asking each of you who end up reading this post to share a meal recipe with me.  You can either post it in the comments area to share with all of us, or e-mail it to me at and I’ll share it with everyone in a separate post.  Either way, I’m committed to trying each recipe that you send to me.  I’m hoping we’ll all have a little fun together trying something new.  And if you end up trying one of the recipes yourself, let me know how it came out.  Ready?  Here’s my recipe, which, by the way, we’re having tonight:

Enchilada Casserole

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound cooked ground pork (you can use chicken or turkey as well. Diced finely works O.K., too, but I prefer ground)

1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon ground coriander

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (6 ounces)

12 6-inch tortillas

Preheat oven to 350’F.  In a large saucepan cook onion and green pepper in the 2 tablespoons butter till tender.  Combine onion mixture in a bowl with cooked meat and green chili peppers; set aside.

For sauce, in the same saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter.  Stir in flour, coriander, and salt.  Stir in chicken broth all at once; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Stir 1/2 cup of the sauce into the meat mixture.  Dip each tortilla into remaining sauce to soften; fill each with about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture.  Roll up.  Arrange rolls in a 9×13-inch casserole dish; pour remaining sauce over top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or till bubbly.

Happy cooking!


27 thoughts on “Confessions of a Less-than-excellent Wife

  1. Here’s an easy recipe for a whole chicken that I use all the time. It will literally be falling off the bones when it’s done!

    Remove the innards and rinse a whole chicken (one that will fit into your slow cooker.) Put some vegetables or potatoes in a single layer in the slow cooker; I like to use peeled or baby carrots, peeled and quartered sweet potatoes, small red potatoes, or a combination of all of those. (Don’t cut them too small; they’ll be in the cooker for long time.)

    Place the chicken on top of the veggies and season however you like: paprika, grill seasoning, salt and pepper, or italian seasoning all work well. (I sometimes stuff a lemon or orange into the chicken cavity for more flavor, too.)

    Cook on low for 8 hours. That’s it! You can eat the meat just as it is, or use it in salads or soup. The veggies will be very soft, but delicious!

    Hope you like it!

  2. yum! I just printed out your recipe, I have been looking for an enchilada recipe that does not just call for a can of that stuff so this is perfect! hmm, I will share my artichoke chicken recipe b/c it is so easy and so good! even my little girls eat it up. place 4 chicken breasts in a baking dish. in a bowl mix up 1 can of artichoke hearts that have been cut up, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, a dash of garlic powder or some fresh chopped garlic. pour the mixture over the chicken, cover with foil and bake at 350 until done, about 20 minutes. it is soooooooo good!

    • handmedowndesigns

      I’m definitely going to have to try this one! I’ve never cooked with artichokes before, this should be fun! Thanks, Angel!

  3. Malaika that sounds yummy! I’ll have to give it a go!

    I LOVE to cook…after $40,000 in tuition for Culinary School I better! Unfortunately I don’t cook real food that often in my house, since I have so many picky eaters – WHATTA DRAG! But the other night, I decided to ignore the peanut gallery…and make something fresh from the garden and yummy. It’s really a simple dish too.

    20 to 40 (depending on the size) grape/cherry tomatoes
    3 big Portabello mushrooms (or 18 of the baby bellas)
    1 bell pepper (any color would work)
    3 shallots
    3 cloves of garlic
    1/2 lb bacon (or about 8 slices) – cut it up into bite-size pieces
    1/2 lb of pasta (I like to use the shapes, keeps the kids entertained and easy to stab)
    Shredded Parmesean Cheese (about 1/2 handful)
    Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (about 1 cup)
    Olive Oil
    Salt and Pepper

    Advance Prep:
    Dice the peppers and shallots and set aside.
    Mince the garlic. (Note: you can use already minced garlic from your fridge if wanted, use about 2 tsps worth)
    Cut the mushrooms into chunks – I like to cut the baby bellas into quarters to give the dish a bit more texture and you can see the mushrooms, HOWEVER if my son is eating it, he HATES mushrooms, so I have to cut them into unrecognizable pieces.
    With the tomatoes you can either:
    1) quarter them and call it a day OR
    2) blanche them in hot water, then cold water and peel the skin, before quartering them. (here’s a tutorial how to do that

    In a large saute pan, cook the bacon until it is fully cooked and slightly crispy. Keep an eye on it, because it will cook fast, since they are small pieces. Drain most of the bacon grease out, leaving approximately a teaspoon or two in the pan.

    Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan, I use a nozzle on my bottle, and swirl it around the pan 3 times. In amount wise, it’s probably around 1 tablespoon. Then add the garlic, shallots, and bell peppers in the pan with the bacon. Saute these until they start to soften, and start to have some color. Sprinkle some salt and pepper of it and shake the pan a little to make sure everything gets mixed together.

    Add the tomatoes into the pan, and saute them for a little bit, incorporating them into the mix. Sprinkle a little more salt and and cook the tomatoes with the mix for about 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms, again, shaking the pan a little to incorporating everything. If there isn’t much oil in the pan, drizzle just a little more (about one swirl) over the ingredients and shake the pan to coat everything in it. Cook for another 5 minutes.

    Sprinkle some parmasean cheese over the mixture, and mix in to incorporate.

    Turn the pan down to low heat, and cover. Check the pan every 5 or so minutes, to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of your pan and mix it a little. (You’ll notice the tomatoes are turning very soft, and almost becoming sauce like) Cook this mixture for about 30 minutes, or a little longer if you want it more “saucy”.

    Prepare you pasta according to the instructions. Drain, the water, then pour the pasta back into the pan. Toss the hot pasta with a swirl of olive oil and the mozzarella cheese.

    Pour the vegetable sauce into the pasta and toss to coat. And then serve!

    • handmedowndesigns

      Guin, I can’t wait to try this one! Although I’m going to have to make sure to cut my mushrooms be enough for hubby to extricate from the mix…he HATES mushrooms, and I love them SO much! I’ll try to remember to let you know how this one goes over 🙂

  4. handmedowndesigns

    OH MY WORD…these recipes sound SO good! I think I might be beginning to feel a slight twinge of interest in cooking. Or maybe it’s just my taste buds longing for these amazing flavor combiniations. I think making a menu for next week is going to be a breeze!

    Thanks for sharing, everyone…looking forward to what other yumminess will pop up on this post today! Hope you all are following so you can share in the yummy goodness, too!


  5. What about steak thwarts you?

    • handmedowndesigns

      Well, Kevin, it’s just that every time I try to cook steak I find that I’ve actually purchased shoe leather. Doesn’t seem to matter what cut I buy, what method or temperature I cook it at…shoe leather, every time! Ask Gerard. I’ve given up. The only comfort is knowing that steak is expensive, so I can use that as an excuse to not keep trying. 🙂

      • I’ll need to have you over for a crash course. I cook me some mean beef. 🙂

      • handmedowndesigns

        Ooooo, Cooking Lessons With Kevin! Now that’s something I’m sure my family would not want to pass up!

      • I wouldn’t pass on steak with Kevin. Although my steak rocks! I always buy rib eye (which is pricey), use montreal steak seasoning and grill it. Grill pan will do in a pinch, or cast iron or broiler. Steak Steak Steak my favorite. MMMMNNN!

  6. Well heck, this is why I got myself a nice Jewish boy who doesn’t read the Bible. He doesn’t know I’m supposed to be cooking, so he does all of it. I won’t tell him if you won’t.

    Also we have a Keurig, so he makes his own coffee too while he’s at it.

    I CAN cook, though, don’t get me wrong. In fact you already have a photo of my favorite recipe at the top of this post:

    1. Center cherry tomato on plate.
    2. Take a picture. It’ll last longer.

    Seriously, I eat that for lunch just about every day. I do put salt on it, though. I’m not totally uncultured.

    Having special dietary needs, however (I can only eat foods that start with the word “meat,”) I sent my boyfriend a link from a Paleo diet website, and he made this dish last night. It was really good, actually.

    Not being one to follow directions, though (for example, “stop draping your socks on the furniture, for crying out loud just stop it”), he changed the cut of meat from pork loin to pork tenderloin, and added a bit more salt than was recommended. It came out perfect – very tender, and the cinnamon gave it an exotic flavor.

    He really is pretty awesome, although eating pork makes him a patently terrible Jew.

    You can come over for steak-cooking lessons anytime, Malaika – he’s really good at it.

    We’re still working on the sock thing, though…

    • handmedowndesigns

      Mmmm, roased pork is always good! Haven’t tried it on the bbq before, only pork chops.

      And good luck with the socks thing!

  7. Crockpot BBQ Beef

    4 lbs beef (roast/short ribs/stew meat)
    2 cups tomato sauce
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup unsulphered molasses
    1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    1 Tbsp worchestershire or fish sauce
    1 Tbsp dried onion

    1 Tbsp butter

    1/4 tsp garlic powder

    1/2 tsp paprika

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp pepper

    Place beef in crockpot (best if cooked on low). Mix all of the other ingredients together and pour over beef. Cook all day on low. If using a roast, you can pull it apart during the last hour of cooking to increase the BBQ flavor throughout the beef.

    Our favorite side with this dish is homemade au gratin potatoes, though the potatoes are not the quickest dish to make! So serve with your favorite potato or rice side along with a veggie!

    • handmedowndesigns

      Thanks, Megan! This sounds so yummy. Slow cooker cooking is so easy, even I don’t mind it! I think this might be really good with some cornbread, too!

  8. yummmmmm…….she made this wonderfully tasty dish for us when we visited a few years back and I have to share with all of you……………she makes it exceptionally well! It is soooooooooooooooo good!

  9. re the problem with the steak……Kevin……it’s an inherited trait….no hope at all. (I never did get the hang of it!)

  10. Awesome idea, Malaika! One of the few things we do when we both get home from work is usually whip together a meal, but neither of us are much for ‘recipes’ as much as ‘gut feelings’ which is apt when you’re talkin’ dinner prep. So here’s my no-nonsense hummus recipe (takes 3 minutes!):

    What you need:
    1 can chick peas
    1 lemon
    Olive Oil (extra virgin)
    Salt + Pepper

    1. Open can of beans and rinse well because canned beans are weird. Throw ’em in the blender! (We have a rocket blender, it rules).
    2. Crush/chop/press however much garlic you like. 1 is sufficient, 2 is bold, 3 is garlicky like crazy.
    3. Add tahini — if you like the nutty flavor, do 2 tbsp, otherwise 1 is sufficient for flavor.
    4. Juice of 1 lemon (or one good squeeze of bottle lemon juice)
    5. Salt + Pepper to taste
    6. Add 1/3 cup (??) of olive oil. Start out with less and add oil to get correct consistency for your taste.
    7. Blend!

    When it’s done I scoop it out in to a bowl, drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. If you hummus is too choppy and you feel like you’ve added too much olive oil a little water will do in a pinch. We eat it on the side of salads or cut pita bread and toast them in to chips to dip. 🙂

    • handmedowndesigns

      Oh, is this the dip you had when we got together for BIG THAW planning? That was delicious! I’m looking forward to trying this one! Thanks Audrey!

  11. Taco Soup

    • 2 pounds ground beef
    • 2 cups diced onions
    • 2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
    • 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
    • 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
    • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
    • 2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
    • 1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
    • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
    • 1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
    • 1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
    • Corn chips, for serving
    • Sour cream, for garnish
    • Grated cheese, for garnish
    • Chopped green onions, for garnish
    • Pickled jalapenos, for garnish
    Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

  12. Blue Cheese Dip

    7 slices bacon, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
    ¼ cup half and half
    4 ounces or 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
    3 tablespoons salted almonds, chopped

    Cook bacon in a skillet until almost crisp. Drain excess fat from skillet, add garlic, and cook until bacon is crisp. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add half and half and mix until combined. Stir in bacon, garlic, and blue cheese. Transfer to 2-cup baking dish and cover in tinfoil. May be prepared one day ahead. Bring to room temperature before baking. Bake about 30 minutes, until heated through. Sprinkle with almonds.

  13. […] I made Angel’s artichoke chicken recipe for the fam this week (see the comments section of Confessions of a Less-than-excellent Wife).  DELICIOUS! Even hubby loved it and said it was repeat-worthy!  Thanks, […]

  14. […] I made Angel’s artichoke chicken recipe for the fam this week (see the comments section of Confessions of a Less-than-excellent Wife).  DELICIOUS! Even hubby loved it and said it was repeat-worthy!  Thanks, […]

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