Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

Today is a scorcher here in Connecticut. Trevor and I saw Wall-E today at the movies and it was really sweet. I'm sure I'm not the first one to gush over Pixar movies being really good but...it was great and if you can manage to pull together some dough for really overpriced movie tickets it's well worth your time. Even though there is minimal dialogue the story is actually quite strong and heartwarming.

Even though I have annoying moaned and groaned about the fact that I'm done with invitations I have only just finished doing my last wave of invitations since my mom's been bugging me about a few more. I hate it when a few more becomes a few more on top of that becomes...30 more. But I'm pretty much out of invitations anyway so even if some obscure family members make their way out of the woodwork, I'm sorry to say that the good invites have already been sent out.

Liza's sent out the shower invites already. Since I very literally have like 4 female friends that I consider near and dear to my heart I didn't invite very many people. The shower is really Liza's event so I figure she can take the reigns and invite whomever she feels is appropriate to invite. I've been warned I will probably not know many people there. lol But it should still be very entertaining. Ultimately I didn't want to invite every single female person I invited to the wedding anyway because I didn't want to come off like one of those girls who just want to shake out presents out of everyone. The fact is that I want to share this special time in my life with people are just as excited about it as I am. I don't want to drag people who don't really know me and who don't really care to an event just because they'll bring a present.

Of course presents are nice, but as nice as they are the key is getting a present that you honestly think the recipient will like and I can only imagine the difficulty with getting a present for someone you hardly know. The fact is that I can buy my own cookie cutters and my own blender. If I weren't getting married I could buy a ton of quality kitchen tools, towels and sheets.

And trust me that I would. I really love kitchen tools. I'm pretty in love with my Kitchenaid Mini Food Prep processor (that my mom bought me) and no-name over sized non-stick chef's pan that I use for practically everything. I hate pans that are too small. They almost always overflow or bubble over and when I decide I want to add a bunch of random ingredients there isn't room for them. lol

I rarely cook anything by the book unless I'm unfamiliar with it and I want to see what the "right" way to prepare it is. There's really no right and wrong with cooking which is what I ultimately like best about it. When I think about it I haven't posted a recipe on here in a really long time. It's not that I don't cook but I cook so haphazardly that it'd take much longer to explain my madness than it does to actually just do it. But since Trevor was so fond of it I figure I'd share my recipe for Mexican Lasagna that came as a result of wanting to use of burrito ingredients.

Mexican Lasagna
Burrito sized flour tortillas, at least 6
1 can of refried beans
1 jar of salsa (I prefer to add more hot sauce to mine to make it extra Hot)
1 8oz bag of shredded cheese
1lb of ground beef
taco seasonings to taste
Sour Cream
(Diced Tomatoes, Onion, olives...etc. add things you like)
8" round cake, spring form or pie pan

Your burrito should fit pretty well in your pan. If you're like me and get your grubby little hands on 12" wide tortillas then you'll need to trim them down but I actually liked that they were too big. It had a very pretty fluttery edge that overflowed over the edge of the pan like a pretty flower.

Anyway preheat your oven. I like 350 on my oven. Saute up your ground beef. Drain the grease and add your seasonings to taste. I use less than one envelope because it tends to be very salty. Then it's simply a matter of layering the things you like. I did 2 layers of tortilla, beef, salsa, cheese and refried beans. I had a lot of tortillas to use before they got old so I was very generous. I also think it helped to keep things from being too mushy. I used a pie plate and could fit four layers in there. Put it in the oven until things are well heated through and the cheese is bubbly. When you cut into it you see all the pretty layers, just like a lasagna.

I topped with sour cream, shredded lettuce and dice tomatoes with extra hot salsa on the side. Olives, sliced jalapeƱos and diced onion would have been really good too. I love spicy anything so it was a nice and really easy meal. It honestly took no time to throw together and even though there's cheese in it it's also pretty easy to sneak lots of veggies into. You can also use ground turkey in lieu of beef and low fat cheese and sour cream. It's pretty easy to make it more healthy. And you can just cut out the meat all together; the refried beans give it plenty of bulk and will certainly fill you up.