Monday, May 10, 2010

A Cinco de Mayo Dinner and a Yard Sale

I spent a good part of my free time last week in my mother's garage preparing for a Saturday yard sale. Over the years, my parents have accumulated a lot of stuff. My childhood toys and keepsakes, the belongings of deceased parents, and their own collections have measured up to every closet, attic space, garage space, and storage space in their house being cram packed from top to bottom. And I mean that quite literally. Last week my mother finally prepared herself for the realization that she needs to purge.

It's not as easy as it sounds. As we opened up box after box, we found ourselves picking up one little item after another and saying, "Remember when . . . " It's astonishing to me how hard it is to let go of things sometimes. It's as though we think that if we let the objects go, the memories will go along with them. Inevitably, there were a few artifacts that found their way into my car rather than priced and onto the yard sale table.

When I was little my Dad worked for an airline company which added up to lots of travel and time away from home and family. He brought me a t-shirt from every place that he visited. I came across a box of about 2 dozen of those very shirts.

They were from places like:


And often they had cute little sayings on them like:


I also brought home a mini glass tea set given to me by my Aunt Inez,

a set of mini vases that belonged to my grandmother,

two "Depression Glass" serving plates, one from each side of the family,

and my little set of miniature Strawberry Shortcake figurines.

I wish I could say that was all but I also lugged into my car my first favorite little stuffed animal and the book that I bought with my very first allowance (It was a Care Bears book - published and bought in 1984).

In the midst of all of that, I did manage to fix a Cinco de Mayo inspired dinner for my husband and myself on Wednesday evening. We enjoyed Chicken Enchiladas with Mexican Cornbread.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb. chicken tenderloins
1-2 tsp. taco seasoning (recipe below)
12 corn tortillas
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. salsa
1 can (14 0z) fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 c. chicken broth
1/2 lb. shredded cheese (Monterrey Jack or cheddar)
sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. Heat a small amount of oil in a saute pan, then add chicken tenders and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Saute for several minutes on each side or until done and lightly browned. Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly and then shred the chicken. To the same pan heat about 1 tsp. more oil then add onion and garlic. Saute until tender then add the salsa, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. In a separate pan, heat the tortillas over medium-high heat for just a few seconds on each side.

Grease a large casserole dish with oil and then add a spoonful of the tomato mixture to the bottom of the dish. Roll up shredded chicken and cheese inside of tortillas and arrange in the casserole dish. Pour remainder of tomato mixture over the top and cover with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Taco Seasoning

1 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

I love to make my own taco seasoning. It's super simple and when you make it yourself you can be sure that it doesn't contain any unnecessary ingredients like MSG.


  1. It is tough purging and reducing the things that you own especialy, when they have sentimental value. Love teh the-shirts and I can assume they were sold at the garage sale. I really like the depression glass.

    Your Cinco de Mayo chicken enchiladas look delicious.

  2. What a great post. I recently did the exact same thing. Amazing when you see a possession you have seen in years. It is an automatic time warp.

    The chicken enchiladas look fantastic.


  3. If you have old t-shirts that have sentimental memories but don't fit, you can have them turned into a quilt. My fried did this with her sons t-shirts from college and it looked fantastic.

    The enchiladas look yummy!

  4. Yummy enchaladas! Just went through all my kids' stuff that has been collected over the last 4 is amazing how many memories there are but always so freeing to get rid of everything!

  5. Linda, that's a good idea about the t-shirt quilt. Right now they're just sitting in my linen closet!

  6. I used to be really bad about holding onto things, but I am starting to see that the memories don't go when the item does. That doesn't stop me from holding on to certain things, though.... It really is a trip to go through old boxes! You just never know what you will find...

    These enchiladas sound really good - and a lot healthier than the ones I make :P