Making a Mexican feast

This weekend was ordinary and I say that with an excited smile in my voice, because running a graphic design and handmade business with your husband is not exactly high up on the ordinary list. Between packing up your car so full with product you can’t see out the back window, then driving hundreds of miles for craft shows several times a year; to meeting with clients on skype to discuss color and font choices for their logo, I never thought this would be a way of life for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I just mean, I don’t really think many in my generation grew up saying they wanted to be a business owner or freelancer and blogger wasn’t even a term thought of yet.

We were in LA on a very hot July weekend this year and during one of the shows (maybe I was wary from the heat) I had this moment in my mind that drifted to looking at the two of us sitting there from another prospective. I turned to Jared and said “We live such a weird life. It’s kinda like we’re modern day gypsies that have iphone’s, mac computers, and tweet. I wonder what everyone here thinks when they see this (amazing) group of people all spread out selling their products?” It’s not that I really care what other’s think, but I think there are a few who don’t realize this is how we make a living, it’s not just a hobby for us. And it’s really true, we’ve made friends with artists from OR, to CA, to TX and NY doing the same thing. We all travel to these shows and each time we get the same questions, “You actually made this?” Our response, “Yes, we did.” Some people really get it and it’s such an amazing experience to see something you’ve made go from your hands into another’s. And then there’s those that don’t. We take it with a grain of salt.

Roasted Acorn Squash & Black Bean Tandoori Enchiladas / Good Things Grow

We’re trying to get into the habit of no work on the weekends, unless we have major deadlines. So, when I woke up on Saturday, to the sound of rain on the roof, I took it in. The house was cold and made me linger under the covers just a little longer. We haven’t needed to turn on our heat yet, we’re trying to see if we can make it to November and I keep counting the days off in my head. Luckily, the temperature hasn’t dropped down below 60 degrees, but still, I’m dressed in layers and keep my hands wrapped around endless mugs of tea.

We spent the day doing odd chores around the house. I pulled up the last of the tomato plants and admired the progress of the brussels sprouts. I made applesauce from a large box my mom dropped off for us the week before. Scott discovered a new treasure buried in our yard. It was an old Ford model T wheel with wooden spokes. I think we may give it to my dad. Sunday, Scott left around 6am to go fly fishing with a friend. I was out of bed not to long after and enjoyed the morning and afternoon reading, sewing, making enchiladas, and filling the silence with a little of this, this, and this.

Roasted Acorn Squash & Black Bean Tandoori Enchiladas / Good Things Grow

A couple weeks ago I made Marina’s (from My New Roots) Tandoori Cauliflower. It was a pretty fantastic way to serve cauliflower and it left me with a little jar of the tandoori spice mix leftover. Considering I really like my winter squash cooked with lots of spice, rather then the sweet side, I thought it’d make a good fit. Keeping with the warm comfort food theme, I decided to roast some acorn squash, mix it with black beans and the tandoori, wrap it all up in corn tortillas, smother it with fresh tomato (last ones from the garden) enchilada sauce, and top it all off with cheese. It was the perfect ordinary weekend if you ask me.

Roasted Acorn Squash & Black Bean Tandoori Enchiladas / Good Things Grow

Roasted Acorn Squash & Black Bean Tandoori Enchiladas / serves 6
I think any Winter squash would work great in the recipe, besides spaghetti squash. And to make this quicker feel free to use your favorite enchilada sauce from a can, I just couldn’t bare to let my last tomatoes go to waste.

1 acorn squash, sliced in half, seeds removed then sliced into 6 wedges
olive oil for brushing
2 cups (or one 14oz. can drained) black beans
2 heaping teaspoons Sarah’s Tandoori spice mix
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided (more or less depending on preference)
about 2 cups enchilada sauce (recipe below) or from your favorite enchilada sauce
10-12 5-inch corn tortillas
cilantro, for garnish (optional)
avocado, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the squash on a baking sheet and brush generously with olive oil. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Turn the oven down to 350F.

While the squash is roasting I like to lightly char my tortillas by heating a cast iron pan over high heat and letting them get all toasty and browned/gently blackened on each side. This is totally optional, but an easy step if you want to add some visual appeal and a little smoky flavor.

Cool the squash enough to handle, then either peel the skin and chop into pieces or scoop it out and combine with the black beans, tandoori, and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Fill the bottom of a baking dish with enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom. Grab a tortilla and fill it with about 1/3 cup of the black bean mixture, carefully roll in the sides and lay it seem side down in the sauce. Repeat until you’ve used up all the filling. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cheese has melted and the filling is warmed through. Cool slightly and serve with cilantro and avocado.

fresh tomato enchilada sauce
2 1/2 pounds tomatoes
olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Roast the tomatoes at 425F for about 20-25 minutes or until the skins begin to split open.

Meanwhile, heat a sauce pot over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom, then stir in the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion softens and starts to turn golden. Stir in the chile powder and cumin and cook another minute.

Toss in the roasted tomatoes and gently smash with the back of a wooden spoon. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in salt to taste. Gently simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. Use immediately or let cool and store covered in the fridge for several days.