Friday, November 6, 2009


I did not post a Friday Recipe last week since I was at First Monday in Canton. However, I have a special treat for this week. As I mentioned in my last post, I did find a few cookbooks in Canton to add to my collection. I was very excited to find "The El Chico Cookbook". Now there are still a few El Chico Restaurants around, but they can be hard to find. Let me give you some background information so that you can understand why El Chico holds a place in my heart.

My husband and I hated Mexican food of any kind when we were children. We connected Mexican food to our Mother's tacos. Both of our mothers bought those hard shell tacos that came in a package, added ground beef to them and baked them in the oven. Can you say gross? As teens, Monterey House was as good as it got for us. Then El Chico came on the scene. It was Tex-Mex at it's finest. They featured Quesadillas, Chilies Relleno, Mole Sauce, Empanadas and Flan before there was a Pappasitos.

I dug this El Chico cookbook out of a pile of books on a shelf from a vendor that had tables full of, well, junk. This cookbook is from the 1970's. Since I missed posting a recipe last Friday, I will post two today.

The first recipe is for regular cheese nachos. My husband and I recently were complaining that Mexican Food restaurants seem to have forgotten how to make plain, old fashioned nachos. They pile them high with meats and Guacamole. There is nothing better than the simple nachos from the 1970's. Simple can be better.  Here is El Chico's recipe.


Grated Cheddar Cheese
Corn or Flour Tortillas

Spread grated cheddar cheese over tortillas cut into the shape of triangles. Place in oven at 375 degrees until cheese is melted. It takes 3 to 5 minutes. Place a small jalapeno pepper atop each nacho once the cheese has melted.

The next recipe is a favorite of my husband. It may sound different but it really is good.


2 cups Enchilada sauce
3 cloves garlic chopped very fine
1/4 cup chopped almonds
3 Tbs. peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 tbs. chocolate syrup
2 tbs. sesame seed, pureed
2 tbs. coriander of fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Saute the almonds in the oil. Mix all the other ingredients and add sauteed almonds. Serve over chicken or enchiladas.


Thursday, November 5, 2009


Last week I went to Lake Livingston to visit Bubba and Dorothy.  On Thursday, Dorothy and I got up early and went to Canton for First Monday Trade Days.  The threat of rain kept alot of people away, which made Dorothy and I happy. 

There are always fads and trends at Canton and I thought that I would share some of them with you. 

The first thing we noticed was that an unusual number of women were sporting these boots.  Now granted, it was suppose to rain, but all too soon it became clear that these were more of a fashion statement than a way to keep your feet dry.  These boots came in a number of colors and styles.  The animal prints were very popular and most booths were sold out the first day.  Many of the women wore these with their jeans stuffed in them so that the whole boot was displayed.  Also, a number of ladies had shirts that matched their boots.  However, we were really amazed at the ladies that wore these boots with dresses.  As usual, Dorothy and I were way ahead of the trend.  I bought pink rubber boots in Galveston 4 years ago, but I used them when I beach combed in the winter.  Dorothy also has a polka dot pair that she has worn for several years while she dug clams in Oregon.  We were so silly - we thought these were for muddy activities! 

On the craft scene, old silver platters were re-purposed.  I really loved this as I love menu boards of all kinds.  This is so cute and so simple.  Why can't I think of these things!

Of course, what would Canton be if it did not have tons of booths selling dry mixes of all types.  You know the ones!  You only have to add a few ingredients and presto, you have a gourmet dish.  We saw booth after booth displaying samples of every kind of soup or cheese ball known to mankind but we were very skeptical.  Then we discovered Homemade Gourmet.  Dorothy and I were very unsure about these mixes as they are just so "instant" to us.  Not that we are against easy, but we want a homemade taste.  We had to be coaxed into trying the samples but one taste and we were sold.  We really loved the Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake Mix.

Of course, Dorothy added to her wrought iron collection and I added to my vintage cookbooks.  Yes, it was a successful trip!