Thursday, June 12, 2008

This hit the spot

[ This beautiful picture is from Tastespotting, posted by, "". I didn't have my camera...I mean phone...handy.]

Summer is a crazy busy time for me and my family. Wednesday night's are especially hectic as we have 7 PM Bible Class at church. I usually work all through the day, pulling 12-14 hours, and don't stop just to attempt staying ahead of the game.

We usually have a Wednesday night meal at church and my family eats there because it's the easiest thing to do, not necessarily the most delicious mind you. Kendra called and asked if I wanted to join her at Taco Bueno for dinner with the kids, "...I had a big lunch today and I'm not really that hungry, just run through the drive through and get me a coke and I'll be fine." Translation: I hate Taco Bueno and can't really stand the thought of eating there--too gross for me. "Are you sure?" "Yes, thank you I'm sure." About twenty minutes later she pulls up with Wendy's--now I would have gone for Wendy's! Thunk.

Needless to say by the time we got home I was really hungry! Titus wanted to ride his bike and I didn't deny him this one love of his life. We were only outside maybe 20 minutes and it was time to go in and get ready for bed. Chubbers went down, Emma went down, and Titus was hungry. "Dad, what'ca makin?" "A cheese quesadilla." "Can I have one for after my shower?" "Sure." I had scoured the fridge and pantry for something to eat and came up with nothing that wasn't involved and I was ready to eat NOW! That's when cheese quesadilla came to my mind because it's fast...filling...and really good. Sold.

Titus likes his Quesadilla straight forward with just cheese and nothing else. I usually like to add shaved ham or something to the mix to give some more flavor. But what to do? Spice cabinet. I had recently bought some Fajita seasoning to make beef fajitas for a church pot luck, the recipe I was using called for fajita seasoning and I found this bottle at the store and had some left over. Not a bad plan I must say.

I decided to sprinkle some of this seasoning on my quesadilla and see what happened. The most prominent flavor coming through for me in this seasoning is cumin, which I love, so if you aren't a huge cumin fan I don't think this is for you. I can see me putting this on corn for a mexi-style side dish one night, or in refried beans to kick up the flavor--ok just give it flavor period. I'll be keeping this seasoning blend in my pantry for a while especially after the terrific results I had with the quesadilla.

Cheese Fajita Quesadilla

2 8" flour tortillas

1/2 cup shredded cheese

McCormick Fajita seasoning


Place a small skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, butter one side of each tortilla. Place the tortilla, buttered side down, in the hot skillet and immediately add the shredded cheese. Shake fajita seasoning over the cheese. Place the remaining tortilla on top of the cheese, buttered side up. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Flip over and cook 1-2 minutes more until golden and crispy.

I cut these into fourths and had some sour cream and salsa to dip. They were delicious! I could have eaten more than one, but resisted. Of course, you can use any size tortilla you want, and you could add an endless list of ingredients to this.

I also wanted to make you aware that Kraft is marketing hormone free cheese. I jumped on this bandwagon when I saw it. It's really good, not loss of flavor or texture, just a loss of all the weird stuff mass dairy farmers have been feeding cows for years. Why do they do that? This is what the package looks like. I think that Kraft is ONLY making hormone free 2% cheese now, but I could be wrong. Kendra has also found and loved Weight Watchers cheese, it's pretty good but not Kraft. I would still rather grate my own cheese like I did when I was a kid, but I just don't want to hassle with the mess. True it's much better, but not that much better I must say.

Here's an idea for you. Have a Quesadilla party! I jsut thought of this a few paragraphs up. You would need to borrow two or three griddles (you could use electric skillets) so everyone could whip up their quesadillas quickly. All you would need to have on hand are tortillas, and butter, plus cheese, and then have folks bring their own topping to add to the quesadilla bar. Chorizo, grilled sliced fajita beef or chicken, onions, mushrooms, peppers, ham, spinach, artichokes (I just thought about an artichoke spinach quesadilla: spinach, nutmeg, swiss cheese, and chopped artichokes--yum) just leave it up to the imagination of your guests. Then have salsa, guacamole and sour cream for the condiments and you have a party! Sounds fun.

One more recipe for you:
Fajita Marinade

1 bottle Kraft Italian dressing (15 oz I think, it was the "regular" sized one)

1 T Fajita seasoning (or one packet if you can't find the shaker bottle)

1 T cracked black pepper

In a zip top bag, add all of the ingredients, whisk with a fork. Add chicken breasts or beef and marinate for two hours up to overnight. Grill and slice for great fajita flavored meat.

This marinade is awesome! You aren't saying, "man this Italian dressing is really great!" You can't tell it was Italian dressing--promise. I like to use flank or skirt steak for my fajita beef and always use chicken tenderloins for my chicken. They cook super fast and I don't have to worry about under cooking them. You could use thinly sliced ribeye or sirloin steak if you wanted to.

Give this quesadilla a wont be sorry. Man...I'm hungry!