Confession No. 117 – A Letter to Santa, 2013

Dear Santa,

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.

For Christmas this year, I’m again asking you to take care of the children who need you most. Some of them might not have written you, but it’s only because many of their parents would rather buy rolling papers than writing paper. You’ve been around the proverbial block a few times and I’m sure you already know that drill. Still, that’s my wish.

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.

Your friend,

Adam J. Holland
Longview, Texas, USA

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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.

Chicken Chilaquiles

Chicken Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles. Mexico’s ingenious (and muy delicioso) way of repurposing last night’s dinner.


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.

Top with:
Fresh (crumbling) Cheese, such as Queso Fresco or Queso Añejo
Sour cream -or- Crema de Mexicana
Fresh Cilantro
Slice Jalapenos
Avocado slices
Fried Egg

This recipe serves 5.


  1. Santa would be moved to accept your prank for Martha. Love your work! Cheers from Tassie (Aus).

  2. More like, “watch out for those Festivus POLES” (and the airing of grievances! That always gets a bit messy ~ especially after the feats of strength.)

  3. Dear Seven Pound, Five Ounce Baby Jesus,

    Please make sure the fat man gives my friend Adam what he requested.

    Please have him send me some blush pink Lucchese cowboy boots–the ones with the embroidered flowers…


  4. Becca from It's Yummi! says:

    Dear Adam,
    Santa will grant your every wish, just as soon as you clean up the reindeer poop that you threw into your Festivus-loving neighbor’s yard last year. It should be easy to pick up, now that it’s crusted over and doesn’t smell like carrot farts anymore.
    Merry CHRISTmas!
    Love, Becca

  5. HAAA – about the Martha Stewart thing. Too funny. And loving this recipe. Have a great holiday Adam.

  6. Hey there. I see you still haven’t stopped writing well, or creating amazing looking food, or making us laugh. This calls for desperate measures… I’m therefore nominating you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You will of course have been nominated a million times before, but it’s just possible that my post will bring in a few more adoring fans: Keep up the good work, and if you need a bear trap for Santa, just say the word. K

  7. Happy Holidays! You have such a way to make your readers think.

  8. “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?”

    Adam, funniest line (actually 5 lines) in the article! You missed a chance to add, “I need an answer. Now!”

    Merry Christmas, Adam!


  1. […] chilaquiles, another popular Mexican dish of leftovers, you’d be hard-pressed to find enfrijoladas in a […]

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