Monday, February 1, 2010

Forgiveness

I told you all in a previous blog that I would learn more about football. In keeping my promise, I set out to get my football knowledge on! I started by asking friends what the tight end position. I knew what my definition was, but I wanted to know the football version. My friends began describing a tight end in these words (I kid you not); "It is a football player who is an eligible receiver." They went on about the difference between the tight end and the wide receiver. There was this long explaination and at the end the end I said, "All I heard was that a tight end can be an eligible receiver. You lost me after that." I couldn't help it. I thought this was hilarious! We all laughed and that was as far as my football lesson went.

Next step was watching a game. My mom is a huge football fan so we went to our local bar to watch the play-off games last weekend. As much as I tried, I didn't get too far past watching the colors on the screen and chatting with everyone else at the bar. The second game came on and we went home. The truth came out when the second game went into overtime.... I was FURIOUS! I just wanted the game to be OVER! Okay, that was the truth of how I felt. I know that Brett Farve (my long lost husband although he isn't aware) lost and the other team won, but other than that; I am at a loss. I know when Superbowl 44 will be. I also know what I plan to cook, but otherwise what I can confess to you is that I have not become the astute student that I hoped for.

I made a vow that I am not going to be able to fulfill, but what I can tell you is that I am going to forgive myself for this. I am forgiving myself for the decadent tiramisu I ate a few nights ago even though I didn't need it. I am also forgiving myself for sleeping in, not working out every day, and getting lost on the way to Helena. What I have learned is that forgiving myself is critical. I have looked at myself in the mirror and admitted that I am not the Super Football Fan that I hoped I would become, but I am a great cook, a wonderful listener, and an even better friend. I am throwing away the guilt that I don't need. I know some great cheers that I use when watching the superbowl and I can entertain friends with fabulous food. Truth is, I believe in focusing on strengths, which may be why I can't really relate to the new Food Network show Worst Chefs in America. Cooking isn't their strength, so leave them alone. I want to know what they ARE good at. Don't you?

Please follow my lead and forgive yourself for what ever you think are your shortcomings and focus on what you ARE good at. That is what I want to hear about. Throw away your concept of failure and treat yourself to the weightlessness of forgiveness. You deserve to create your own rainbow.
Because I am good at cooking and entertaining; I am sharing my fabulous Chicken Chimichanga - Cha Cha Cha recipe along with a new twist on Guacamole that I recently discovered. I encourage you to serve the chimichanga alongside our Mexican Black Beans. It was a delicious combo. Since I did admit to my desert indescression, I have gone out of my way to create a healthy and lighter version. Enjoy this recipe and you too can indulge guilt free!

Enjoy Cha Cha Cha!

Chicken Chimichanga - Cha Cha Cha!

1/4 cup red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno; diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
3 cups roasted chicken (can be rotisserie, grilled, or canned chicken)
1 can salsa de chile fresco (8 oz.)
2 cups cheddar cheese; shredded
phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large sauce pan combine the onion, garlic, jalapeno, chicken, salsa de chile fresco, and cilantro. Stir all ingredients together until incorporated and the onions are softened. Will be approximately 5-7 minutes.

Next, lay out phyllo dough on a flat surface. Separate 3 sheets of phyllo dough and lay on a greased cookie sheet. Place a 1/4 of the chicken mixture along the left side of the phyllo dough in a straight line. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheddar cheese over the chicken mixture and roll up the phyllo wrapping up the chicken mixture. Continue this process using the remaining chicken and cheese. This will make 4 chimichangas.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

You will save yourself tons of calories using phyllo to get the crisp outside instead of frying! It is BRILLIANT! You can also convert these into appetizers by using less filling and make them into flautas!

Cha Cha Cha Sauce

This is great served with this easy Cha Cha cah sauce!

1 can enchilada sauce (14.5 oz)
1 tsp. garlic
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup amber beer

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat for approx 10-15 minutes to all all flavors to marry. Smother this sauce over the top and you will swear you are at a 5 star restaurant!

Mexican Black Beans
 
1 can black beans (14.5 oz)
1/2 jalapeno; diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp garlic
 
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and heat on medium heat until all flavors are combined and the beans thicken. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Serve alongside the chimichanga for a perfect marriage of flavors and textures!
 
*Bean Bonus: Beans are touted as containing the highest antioxidants. Plus they are low calorie and fill you up! So dig in without guilt!
 
No Horsin' Around Guacamole
 
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 tbsp. horseradish
2 tbsp. garlic
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
2 avocados; mashed
 
Combine all ingredients listed above and voila! Instant delicious and light guacamole. Serve alongside the chimichangas or make extra and serve as an appetizer with chips!
 
 
T'Abbymisu
*The lighter version, yet still irresistible!
 
For Crust:
 
12 phyllo sheets
olive oil spray
cocoa powder
cinnamon
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cake pan with olive oil and lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the cake pan. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with cocoa and cinnamon. Repeat with the next 11 layers of phyllo. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Once this is complete, cool the crust either outside or in the fridge for 15 minutes.
 
Meanwhile....
 
For the filling:
 
15 oz. container skim milk ricotta cheese
12 oz. light/sugar free vanilla yogurt
1 cup plain fat free yogurt
4 packets of Splenda
2 tbsp. vanilla
1 angel food cake (sliced into thin peices)
1 cup coffee (use decaf if you are worried about caffeine content)
1 cup coffee liquor
 
Combine ricotta cheese, yogurt, splenda, and vanilla in a food processer and process until smooth. Next place slices of angel food cake in a large backing pan. Combine coffee and coffee liquor. Pour the coffee and liquor mixture over the angel food and allow the cake to soak up the liquid as the crust cools.
 
To assemble; place a thin layer of yogurt mmixture over the cooked phyllo. Next layer the saoked angel food cake on top. Cover with the remaining yogurt mixture and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for up to 3 hours or even overnight will work if you want to get a head start! Enjoy!
 
Mental Health Tip: It doesn't matter what you are struggling to forgive yourself for. You are the only one who can do it. Don't waste any time and just do it! Look yourself in the mirror and give yourself the guift of forgiveness. And before you bite into that decadent desert, make this T'Abbymisu and eat guilt free. There is no forgiveness necessary here; just delicious!
 
Peace and forgiveness from our kitchen to yours!
 
~"Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the kitchen

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