Enjoying Life with Layered Enchilada Bake Recipe

“Another key to true happiness lies in the understanding that most of life is ‘everyday.’ Most of our lives consist of a routine – an unremarkable series of events that take place day after day. So if we are going to enjoy every day, we must learn to embrace the ordinary – to delight in little things, to appreciate small blessings, and to find pleasure in the circumstances and situations other people might overlook.” – Joyce Meyer

I will say I love most things about the routine of January. It’s structured, full of hard work, it’s when I’m motivated to hunker down and get necessary projects completed.

I also find myself rummaging through the pantry for dinner some nights. Sometimes with a dreaded “oh, it’s time for dinner” feeling.

Dinner time can be so routine, I get into ruts. Do you? I can’t be the only one! :)

How I shop each week
My shopping for groceries each week usually consists of planning 3 meals ahead, and then winging it the rest of the time. I say winging it, because we often get invited out, or my husband and I will go on a date, or we’ll take a frozen pizza from the freezer and add pesto and fresh tomatoes – nothing fancy, but nourishing all the same. I also tend to over-cook so we always have leftovers. We love leftovers!

I keep my pantry and freezer well stocked, so there’s usually something I can whip up for a quick meal.

Like earlier this week, when I made a delicious Layered Enchilada Bake. So yummy!

Keeping & storing food
One thing I learned from my Mother was to always keep Mexican Food ingredients on hand.

For example, here are the items I had for the recipe today, and how I store these items:

Ground turkey – I buy the “4 pack” of ground turkey from Costco and freeze in 1 lb. increments
Onions – my large basket in the pantry is always full of onions, sweet potatoes, and russet potatoes
Salsa – I buy Costco’s 2-pack Organic Salsa

Tabasco Sauce – I always keep 2 bottles on hand

Beans – I keep an abundance of different varieties of Bush’s Beans in my pantry
Corn Tortillas – you can buy these for $3.65 at Costco and freeze what you don’t use
Cheese – I also buy cheese in bulk from Costco and separate it into Ziploc bags and freeze
Fresh ingredients: I was lucky to have iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and sour cream stocked in my refrigerator. (Remember to store your fresh herbs this way.

So back to the ‘routine’ or the ‘mundane’, things in life. I’ve really learned to view each day with joy, like pulling out an old recipe and cooking for the family with love and gratefulness.

It starts with a decision to be joyful.

A decision to be happy and to work hard, do my best, and keep a good attitude, even though it may be over tasks that I dislike.

Do you think being prepared for dinner affects your attitude toward your family, or your ability to enjoy the day?

   

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27 Responses to “Enjoying Life with Layered Enchilada Bake Recipe”

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    Lori H — January 16, 2013 @ 4:49 am

    My level of preparedness for dinner definitely affects my mood and therefore the mood of the family. I hate having to say “I don’t know” to the everyday question “What’s for dinner”. And I hate standing in front of the refrigerator looking for something to throw together. This recipe looks easy and yummy too!

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    Kim in MD — January 16, 2013 @ 5:21 am

    I always have Mexican/Southwest ingredients on hand, too. I can easily throw together my favorite turkey chili or tacos with everything on hand. I like to have dinner planned most nights, but sometimes I wing it, too. I feel more organized when I know exactly what is for dinner, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you’ve got! :-)

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    Kim | At Home With Kim — January 16, 2013 @ 7:38 am

    Ok first of all, there are few things on earth that bring joy to me the way Mexican food does. :-) Cannot wait to make this (which will probably be Friday, since that’s usually our Family Mexican night). And YES I so agree that living in the present and appreciating the day to day is so important. My husband and I were just talking about that yesterday…. we don’t want to get so caught up in the doing, that we miss living it. One way I make sure to get our family to stop is to make sure our meals are planned. I LOVE making dinner and having that time together!

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    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 16, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    Oh mommy.

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    Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — January 16, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    Love the advice – I think taking a few minutes to plan for the week ahead eliminates so much unnecessary stress! I also love the freshness/motivation of January. :)

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    susan — January 16, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I am off to mentor a group of ladies this weekend and will be MIA for my family – great recipe for making ahead so my family will be taken care of. I tend to be a planner, but have taken the approach of just looking in the freezer too!! I am big on making double batches and freezing, so helpful when life gets busy!

    • Sandy replied: — January 16th, 2013 @ 10:47 am

      Freezing food is such a help in crunch times! Doubling up this recipe and freezing would be a great idea! :) Have fun this weekend, Susan!

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    Heather @ Heather's Dish — January 16, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    Being prepared is HUGE for me, especially right now when I’m trying to find that balance between working from home, being a mommy, and just being sane. We really need to get a Sam’s membership now (no CostCo in Arkansas…) so that I can buy in bulk and freeze – it really helps so much!

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    Heidi @foodiecrush — January 16, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    Pre-child, my husband and I went to the grocery store every night after work, took a look at what freshness looked tasty for dinner and then went home to cook, drink wine and bond. Since the child—8 years now—we don’t have that luxury. And its definitely affected our time together and our relationship, in the thumbs down way. Now we’re tag-teaming to get homework, dinner and a quick swipe of the house done each night. Planning ahead isn’t something we really do well, but its become more of a necessity than we’d like compared to our free-flying childless days.

    • Sandy replied: — January 16th, 2013 @ 10:48 am

      Awww, child-free days. What’s that? LOL

      Eating fresh every night would be a luxury for sure.

      Thanks for sharing Heidi! :)

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    Teresa — January 16, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    Hi Sandy,
    I’ve just learned that my future stepson likes enchiladas. This looks amazing and I’ll most definitely give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
    Teresa

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    Aggie — January 16, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

    This is a wonderful post Sandy, wonderful. I enjoy the everyday (truly, most days), however dinner time without a plan is definitely a stressor. It throws me off. 3 days at a time is usually what works for me, especially knowing leftovers or an easy sandwich or frozen pizza night is an option. Love all these tips!

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    Shari Kelley — January 16, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    I love that quote at the beginning of your post. It is so true. Most weeks I plan what we will be having for dinner a week ahead of time, but on weeks where I don’t get this done, it drives me crazy. Then I am always at the store trying to figure out what to make. I also make sure at least 1 or 2 meals are very simple for the days I’m really busy or just not very motivated to cook. It helps not being tempted to eat out on these days.

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    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — January 16, 2013 @ 7:35 pm

    I love this! I hardly ever plan in advance. I have a stocked freezer and pantry because we live so far away from town. I didn’t know you could freeze corn tortillas, I will be trying that!

    • Sandy replied: — January 16th, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

      They are so easy to freeze and you’d never know :)

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    JulieD — January 16, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

    Love love this, Sandy!! We always keep Mexican ingredients on hand too! I need to try your Mexican lasagna soon!

    • Sandy replied: — January 16th, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

      It’s easy. Love that you could probably freeze it, too!

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    Cassie | Bake Your Day — January 17, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

    I do plan my meals out most of the time but I usually account for one “wing it” meal too. You just never know :-)

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    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — January 17, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    Meal plans are totally the way to go and I love this enchilada bake!

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    Isra {TheFrugalette} — January 17, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

    I like that you meal plan only 3 days, it makes sense because really something always comes up! I also love that happiness quote you posted. Im doing a 52 weeks of get happy for free on my blog(not meant to advertise!) But it’s just so true, happiness is in the everyday- love that.

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    Tara @ Unsophisticook — January 18, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    Must try this — looks so yummy!

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    Paula - bell'alimento — January 18, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

    Enchiladas remind me of my Mom, she used to make them about once a month growing up. Love this version (and that it freezes well).

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    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — January 18, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

    Our weekly shopping and meal planning strategy is very, very similar. It’s necessary to map out a few good meals, for nourishment and anti-boredom at the table. And, yes, I do think being prepared for at least a few good meals a week affects my attitude. I get cranky if we eat out too much, or eat too many quick and boring meals at home. :)

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    Angie — January 19, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    I would love this! Perfect flavors and so easy!

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    Kate — January 23, 2013 @ 9:57 am

    Hi Sandy,

    We just made this for the first time on Monday and it is delicious! The problem is that it yields way too much for my husband and I. What do you think about freezing the leftover portions? Would that still work after baking?

    (Sorry if this is a dumb question — I’m a freezing newbie!)

    Thanks!

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    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — May 7, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    I just drooled.

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