Shut the Front Door!

Shut the front door! You could be one fall away from a new dishwasher. A few months ago when I posted guidelines for kitchen safety, it appears I missed some things. I’m going to remedy that now.

Late in the afternoon a couple of days ago, I unloaded the top racks of the dishwasher. The phone rang. I left the door open with the bottom rack pulled halfway out and returned to my desk to take the call. After that, I did some related email follow-up.

By then, it was evening and I was hungry so I grabbed some leftovers out of the fridge and ate them on the couch in front of the news which led to an idea for a blog post. Dirty dishes forgotten, I picked up my laptop and started writing.

Once I finished much of a draft, I stopped working and started watching a documentary series on the brain. Apparently, I was either very tired or not all that interested…I fell asleep. About 10:30 I woke up and walked through the dark kitchen on the way upstairs for bed.

Then I walked back because I realized I was definitely thirsty & possibly a little hungry. I didn’t bother to turn on the light. There’s a totally obnoxious security light at the church next door that shines in my kitchen windows. It seemed bright enough for the tasks at hand. After all, I was in familiar territory.

In the process of getting a glass and a knife, I groggily followed the familiar path from the peninsula to the silverware drawer. I turned around to go back to my most used prep surface next to the stove, the peninsula, and suddenly I was prone on my stomach arms stretched out and something was making a crashing noise.
front door
Those moments are always so weird. You feel and hear what’s happening, but your mind is trying to catch up to both the events and their significance while your body is simultaneously registering and masking what is happening to it. It all feels like it happens incredibly fast but also like you’re in slow motion.

As I realized I had full body fallen face-first onto the dishwasher door, I also realized I didn’t really feel like I was hurt. Of course, I wasn’t sure. I stood up, turned on the light, and observed that my lower left shin had a knot on it. That seemed to be the only thing hurting so I moved on to assess the damage to the kitchen.

My first thought after I realized what was happening had been crap, I’m going to have to buy a new dishwasher! Soooo, that was correct. I pushed the bottom rack back into the dishwasher and tried to shut the door. Not only would it not latch, it wouldn’t go near the latch without significant force.

That came as no surprise. What did surprise me was that lying on the floor a few feet away was a section of the silverware basket complete with a sharp knife tip sticking out of the top. Of course, that’s when you get scared. Your body has relaxed a bit and your mind suddenly recognizes how bad this could have been.

That portion of the silverware basket was literally broken off. I must have hit it with my left hand, causing it to break? I have no idea. I’m just exceedingly grateful that I didn’t land on the knife with my wrist, neck, face, or eye. Any of those were possible given the circumstances.

I checked and rechecked to make sure I wasn’t bleeding and just hadn’t noticed given the surprise and shock. I was not. I reached into the freezer, pulled out some corn to put on my shin, got the laptop, and reclined on the couch with my foot elevated.

Laptop, you may ask? Naturally, I was no longer sleepy so I decided to research dishwashers. A couple of years ago I wrote a post for in which I listed the features to look for in appliances. Of course, I started with my number one dishwasher difference-maker—the third rack.

I’ve had a third rack dishwasher for the past 12 or 13 years. I use that extra every single load and I love it! It’s the perfect place for large knives, serving spoons, spatulas, small measuring cups, kitchen shears, and more. Mine is somewhat shallow. The Bosch version is deep enough to accommodate shallow bowls.

This time, I’m going to add bottle washer jets. These were not available in any price range I considered last time around and back then I didn’t have grandchildren. Now that I do, I’m thrilled I’ll be able to place their bottles on a jet that will spray directly into the bottle and get it squeaky clean!

Online, I narrowed the field to the Bosch 800 series and a couple of KitchenAid models, but I wanted to see some in person. Walking into the store last night, I was leaning toward the quieter rated Bosch. I went down the line opening dishwasher after dishwasher.

I like the handle shape of the Bosch SHXM88Z75N. It has the features I want, plus a leak sensor that sounds like a smart perk. And yet, I ended up purchasing a KitchenAid KDTM404ESS. When I tugged and pulled on the parts inside, it just felt more solid. It was also less expensive and on sale.

Until the end of next week, I’m washing dishes by hand. That will serve as a reminder to follow the safety guidelines I previously failed to mention: always turn on the light if it’s dark, place any sharp knives that must point up at the back of the silverware basket, and shut the dishwasher door!

Be safe out there!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Fall is a great time for easy enchiladas!

Ahhh, fall is here and finally it’s getting cooler. In the summer, my whole kitchen feels like an oven. Located on the southwest side of my house, the heat gathers and hangs there or swirls there when the ceiling fan is on. The heat even spills over into the breakfast room.


Of course this means that I avoid using the oven as much as possible in the summer. That’s why it feels so good when fall rolls around. Now I can try out all the recipes I’ve been wanting to try, but avoiding in an attempt to stay cool. Or, I can throw something together that needs to be baked without the fear that I’ll be a melted puddle on the floor before it’s done.

I’ve been hungry for enchiladas. I want them quick, easy, and I don’t want to have to go to the store.

After rummaging through the cabinets, here’s what I came up with:





Makes 10

Olive oil spray



1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped

1 lb ground turkey or ground beef

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

1/4 tsp paprika



2 avocados

1 cup sour cream

Sprinkle of salt

Sprinkle of garlic powder

1/3 can + all the liquid from 10 oz can Rotel diced tomatoes and peppers


4 oz cheddar cheese, grated

10 white corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 350º.  Spray baking pan with olive oil spray.

Prepare the filling

Heat olive oil in medium skillet. Add chopped onions and cook until they turn clear.  Add ground turkey or beef, breaking apart with your fingers as you add it to the pan.  Once meat has browned on one side, use spatula to stir and continue to break meat in to smaller pieces. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and paprika. Continue to stir and cook until meat is browned through.


While meat is browning, cut avocado in half. Remove pit and scoop out of skin into a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado until it begins to become creamy. Add sour cream and stir until mixture is smooth. Add salt, garlic powder, and 1/3 can Rotel tomatoes plus all the liquid from the can. Mix well.

Lay a tortilla on the countertop or a plate. Place a spoonful of filling in the tortilla. Top with about 1 1/2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese. Roll tortilla closed and place seam down in baking pan. Continue until all tortillas are filled an placed in pan.  Top with sauce and any remaining meat or cheese.

Bake at 350º for 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove and serve hot.


Now the kitchen smells delicious, and my mouth is full. Give these a try and let me know if you think they’re as tasty as I do.