Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Old Friends: Crockpot Enchiladas

When Thatbaby started at daycare, his class was comprised of two age groups.  There was the "older kid" group - kids born between January 2011 and August 2011, and then the "younger kid" group - kids born in October 2011.  Thatbaby fell into the latter group, along with four other kids.  When Thatbaby started, all those kids were around 5 months old.  And now they're all working on 20 months!

I've watched them all grow together, their little personalities developing, friendships forming. (Thatbaby is apparently part of a three-some known as the "three amigos" who love to get into trouble together)  When they were 11 months old, they all moved out of the infant room together and into the "Wobbler Room." They started walking, talking, and dancing together.  They held each other's hands to play rousing games of "row row row your boat."

At 18 months, they all moved into the "Toddler Room."  Well, all but one.  Smiley, one of my favorites (I hate saying that, they're all my favorites) didn't move up with them, instead she left the daycare to head to one closer to her parents' workplace.  I missed Smiley.  She used to greet me and Thatbaby every morning by running up to us.  I got hugs.  She held my hand.  She played "row row" with Thatbaby and I.

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Smiley's mom to see if there was any chance of getting the little ones together.  She was thrilled at the suggestion and on Saturday we headed to a nearby playground to meet up with them.

It took them both a little bit to get reacquainted.  I think Smiley recognized me before Thatbaby.  But before long they were chasing each other and fighting over playground balls.  We already have plans for the next playdate.

When I was in girl scouts I remember singing the Silver and Gold Song - "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other's gold."  Like everything else in girl scouts, these are words to live by.  And it makes me happy for Thatbaby to keep up with good friendships. 

Likewise it's good to be reacquainted with other old favorites.  Like food favorites. When we go to a Mexican restaurant, I usually order fajitas.  Thatboy usually orders enchiladas.  I rarely order enchiladas because I feel like they're something easy to make at home.  But I don't make them all that often.  So I thought I would revisit them before Thatboy headed out of town.  For him.  I'm lazy though, so these enchiladas are made in the crockpot.  They are just as good as the kind you make in the oven though.  So in a way these are old friends, made in a new way!

Crockpot Enchiladas
1 lb ground beef
1 can whole tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
6oz tomato paste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
9 corn tortillas

  1. Brown ground beef in a saucepan.  Remove ground beef from pan.
  2. Place tomatoes, onion, and garlic in a food processor and puree.
  3. Heat tomato sauce in the saucepan.
  4. Add cayenne, salt, and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes.
  5. Place 3 tortillas in bottom of crockpot. 
  6. Top crockpot with a third of the ground beef, a third of the sauce, and a third of the cheddar.
  7. Repeat layers two more times.
  8. Cook on low for 7 hours.  


  1. This looks great... We have a rice cooker/steamer/slow cooker but it only has one setting.. So we get a little nervous using it... Really only left it cooking with recipes that have allot of liquid.. Maybe its time to invest in a real crock pot..

    1. We have an old school rival crock pot, but also the rice cooker/steamer/slow cooker. I tend to use the rice cooker more, because it's smaller. I've found the "one setting" is "low" so don't be afraid to use it!

  2. Aww seeing toddler friendships form is so cute. It always amazes me that they really do have preferences even though they're so little!