Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Nachos

It's already November! Where does the time go?

In the last few weeks Jon and I have passed a few anniversaries- A year ago mid-October, we sold the majority of our "stuff," packed up what remained in a U-Haul pull behind trailer, said good-bye to our friends and family, and started a road trip across country. We landed in a town we didn't know, to a cute little condo we'd never actually seen before our arrival. (Thank goodness for the Internet! And  two wonderful parents who were willing to be our eyes and ears while we searched for the house God had set aside for us.)

Part of our move involved Jon transferring down to a new store and a new position, again where we knew no one. I am so proud of him! Side note on this one- Jon was apprehensive about the move until his transfer went through. When it did, it wasn't quite what we had expected. But he hung in there until God told us it was time for a new chapter. I am continually amazed at how God uses time and circumstances to bring us closer to himself as long as we are willing to trust Him.

With-in hours of our arrival to GA I applied for a job and received a call for an interview. I recently celebrated my 1 year anniversary with Michael's Arts & Crafts. :) And for this crafty girl, it's a wonderful job.

With a year of seasons under our belts, I am very happy with the move. I love the sun and there is plenty of it to go around down here. I must admit- in the summer I did long for some rain to break up all those blue skied days. When the rains did come, they were always welcome. I, unlike my husband, have become acclimated to the warmer temperatures. Most days now I have to bring a jacket to work- early days or later nights mean temperatures in the low 50's. Daytime temps of high 60's and low 70's are a far cry from the 105 degree days of summer. Another happy benefit of the cooler days? The windows stay open most of the time. YAY! (Great for us, apparently not for our kitty. Charlie was greeted by a neighbor dog licking the screen the other night. Needless to say he was less than thrilled for the company on the other side of the window.)

Another mini-anniversary for me? I have been gluten free for just over 4 months. It's been a challenge, but it's been fun. I have learned how to cook with new flours and baking mixes. I can adapt most supper recipes to gluten free versions. I've been able to keep family classics alive by tweaking just an ingredient or two. I feel blessed to have a good set of cooking skills and an openness to new techniques.

One thing I had to get used to while changing over to gf was non-traditional supper ideas. Sometimes you just need to change things up. I read a recipe for tater-tot nachos over on Lynn's Kitchen Adventures. I got to thinking, why don't we have traditional nachos for supper? It's a fun finger food, and they can be healthy for you.

I like to make a weekly menu list. I say list because I don't like my menu to be so rigid there is no room for real life. With a special diet and a grocery budget I need to have some organization, but I want some freedom to choose what fits best for that day. Here's a peek at this weeks list (Yes, there are more than 7 days on here, it allows for less grocery shopping trips. And I always make enough for leftovers for lunches):

-Homemade Phillys (Gf hoagies, thin sliced beef roast, onions, bell peppers, provolone), baked chips
-Lasagna Soup
-Loaded Nachos- build your own
- Pork Chops, mashed potatoes, corn
-Shrimp Pad Thai with rice noodles
-Grilled fish, grilled veggies or potatoes
- Chicken Quarters, salad
-Ham, gf pasta/veggie toss
-Build your own omelets, toast, fruit
-Jacksonville Fair Food

This gives me a broad range of supper plans while still having some clue what I can make when I get off work. It also allows Jon to be involved in what I prepare, and not eat my supper ingredients LOL.I leave a few of the meats open- pork chops, chicken quarters so we can decide that day if we want it breaded, grilled, broiled etc.

You'll notice fair food on the menu- we are heading to the Jacksonville, FL fair tomorrow with my parents for the evening. You can't go to the fair and not eat fair food. Jon is particularly excited about that one.

We chose to have nachos on Sunday night while watching football. Jon said it was a great "man day food."(Sunday has been deemed "Man Day" at our house in during football season.)

So, there you have it. A quick review of  some of our accomplishment anniversaries and a peek into my menu for the week.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Loaded Nachos

1 lb lean ground beef, pork, or chicken
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1 envelope taco seasoning or fajita seasoning*
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
chopped banana peppers or jalapeno peppers- drained well
cheese sauce or shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream + milk
thicker tortilla chips- we like Mission tortilla strips (they are certified 100% corn chips with no wheat flour)

Brown meat, onion, and garlic together. Add seasoning and water according to package directions.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream with skim milk to thin. Add a tablespoon at a time until it is thin enough to drizzle off a spoon.

To build your nachos-

Make a layer of chips. Top with desired amount of meat.

If you are using shredded cheddar cheese- pop the nachos under the broiler to melt the cheese.  If you are using cheese sauce, drizzle over the meat mixture.

Load up the veggies! Top everything off with a drizzle of thinned sour cream. Enjoy immediately.

*If you don't make your own seasoning mix- be sure to check for gluten. Some brands do have thickening agents in them.

** I listed our favorite nacho veggies- but you can use whatever you like- olives, avocado, bell peppers, refried beans are all great additions.

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