It’s been just more than a year since I last wrote you. Not bad, considering I hadn’t previously written to you in more than 35 years.
I know I’m about 11 months late in thanking you for all that you did last year. Hopefully you understand that by January I don’t want to think about stockings and mistletoe and such. But I also had a schizophrenic episode and imagined some pretty weird stuff, which is why I broke from usual etiquette. Sorry about that.
Please. Please. Please — don’t give any of these in the form of a really bad situation that I will learn from. Just cast a spell, or whatever it is that you do.
I’ve been on so many ‘naughty’ lists in 2013, I figure it’s way too late for me to ask for something wrapped. So, I’ve decided to buy my own Christmas this year. Unless you are dead-set on filling my stocking with coal, I’d appreciate you considering something else. Remember all of those lessons those kids learned from the guy playing you in ‘Polar Express?’ I’m sort of hoping for something similar.
- I’m already honest and kind and all that other Boy Scout stuff, but I might also need some humility. I’m fairly humble as it is, but I think I need to knock it down another notch, or two.
- I know it might sound cliché, but I could also use some patience. I didn’t have it for years. Then I did. Now, I don’t again. What’s up with that?
- For whatever reason — maybe because of the lack of humility and patience — I tend to open my mouth when I shouldn’t. I don’t recall who had that great quotation about remaining silent vs. saying something dumb, but it’s true and I’d like a little help in keeping my cake-hole shut.
Please. Please. Please — don’t give any of these in the form of a really bad situation that I will learn from. Just cast a spell, or whatever it is that you do. (Hey, I can’t get if I don’t ask!)
Be safe and watch out for those Festivus folks. Also, if y’all stop in at Martha Stewart’s place, I think it’d be really funny for your reindeer to ‘dirty’ up her lawn, if you know what I mean.
It’s interesting how some of the best dishes out there originated from leftovers — Bubble & Squeak (UK), anything with stale bread (Italy) and Chilaquiles, Mexico’s ingenious way of repurposing last night’s dinner. Pronounced Chee-luh-kee-les, the dish has become immensely popular in Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants across North and Central America. And there are almost countless ways to prepare it. My version takes the form a casserole.
1 – 28 oz can – Crushed tomatoes in puree
1 – Chipotle en adobo
2 TB – Chopped cilantro
1 – Small onion, chopped
2 – Garlic cloves, minced
2 cups – Chicken stock
1 – Rotisserie chicken (about 3 cups of meat), picked and boned
8 oz – Tortilla chips
2 cups – Shredded Monterey Jack, Colby, or Mild Cheddar
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour about a cup of the sauce mixture over the chicken and mix lightly. Add 1 cup of cheese to chicken mixture and combine. — In a separate bowl, pour another cup of sauce over chips, mix lightly.
Layer half of chip mixture on bottom of 2-qt casserole dish. (Do not press them down.) Top evenly with chicken. Add remaining chips. Top with remaining cheese and sauce. (You might have a little sauce left over.)
Bake uncovered on a middle rack until warmed through and cheese is bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Fresh (crumbling) Cheese, such as Queso Fresco or Queso Añejo
Sour cream -or- Crema de Mexicana
This recipe serves 5.