<img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55413e07e4b0cd39c01f4040/5546dc6de4b09a1d83e23aad/5546dc76e4b09a1d83e23d23/1430707593284//img.jpg. I was so grateful for all of their help but also a little bit freaked out about how we would function after they left.
Sunday was our first test and with JiT home, I think we passed with flying colors. I’m pleased to say that in addition to feeding/burping and generally caring for Lilly we also managed to get three loads of laundry done and fix ourselves a decent dinner (more on that later).
Monday was my first full day ALONE with Lilly and that went well too. After a long morning of marathon feeding/crying/burping, we were both able to get a nap around noon and I also managed to get a shower for myself, a bath for the baby, eat lunch, do some laundry and fix dinner before my in-laws arrived that evening. They’ll be here for the rest of the week, so we have another round of helping hands right now. But starting next Monday I’ll be working “without a net” for the long haul. As one of my mom friends suggested, I guess I need to learn to adjust to “a new normal,” where the bed doesn’t always get made, the laundry may go undone and dinners are a whole lot simpler and (obviously) food styling and photography are taking a back seat to actual eating. But as long as we’re getting clothes on our backs and dinner on our plates and the baby isn’t crying (too much), I guess we’ll survive for now.
I’m still amazed that someone so small can create so much chaos…but then I see this face and I don’t care:
<img src="http://static1.squarespace.com/static/55413e07e4b0cd39c01f4040/5546dc6de4b09a1d83e23aad/5546dc76e4b09a1d83e23d24/1430707596924//img.jpg cheap and easy to make, it goes in the slow cooker so we don't have to turn on the oven and its pretty darn tasty ( even if we're not going to win any awards for culinary greatness). For all of those reasons, I figured it would be a good choice for my return to the kitchen as a new mom.
A simple combo of black beans, corn, jar salsa, cheddar cheese and corn tortillas, this is one of those dishes that definitely outweighs the sum of its parts. After a few hours in the slow cooker, this stuff turns into a melty, spicy, hearty dish. With JiT’s help, we even managed to top the finished product with fresh cilantro, avocado, salsa and Greek Yogurt for a complete meal.
Of course, you don’t have to be a new mom to appreciate the virtues of a cheap/easy/tasty/insanely simple dinner. Do you have a favorite easy meal or a favorite slow cooker meal? Please share!
Slow Cooker Enchilada Casserole
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or diced (completely optional)
1 teaspoon chile powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 jar taco sauce (we use Ortega medium but any will do)
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 corn tortillas, cut in half
Optional garnish: fresh chopped cilantro, diced avocado, salsa, sour cream
In a large bowl, combine corn, beans, chicken (if using), chile powder, cumin and 1 cup of the salsa. Set aside.
Spray the stoneware sleeve of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray then pour in a small amount of taco sauce and stir to coat the bottom. Place 4 tortilla halves over the taco sauce to create an even layer. Spoon some of the corn/bean mixture over the tortillas in an even layer. Top with a hand full of cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, then taco sauce, then bean mixture then cheese. Continue layering until all of the bean mixture has been used. End with a layer of tortillas, then taco sauce and a layer of cheese.
Place lid on the slow cooker and turn to “High” setting for 3 to 4 hours (alternately, you can use the “Low” setting for a longer time frame but the tortillas may get soggy in the center). Casserole is ready to serve when the top layer of cheese is evenly melted and bubbly and the edges are golden and slightly crunchy. To serve, scoop into individual bowls and top with garnishes. Also wonderful reheated the next day.