The grind of parenthood is starting to get to the senior Sanders staff here at home. Just two years into the virtually endless responsibility of parenthood is proving a challenging task.

On one hand, we have a 2-year-old boy who is figuring things out faster than Skynet and its terminator crew. On the other hand is a very needy 4-month-old figuring out how to roll over and get out attention, almost constantly.

By the time you are done with work and wrangling them back up, you’re just about beat. For some reason, my wife and I decided to wait until our mid 30s to have kids. While we enjoyed our 20s mostly carefree, the decision to have kids so late in life is catching up with us.

It’s kind of cruel like that, life that is. When you’re young, you have no money, you’re just starting off and have loads of energy. Sure, you can have a kid, live in an apartment and try to get a foothold into whatever career you will spend your life doing, but that takes a while. You may move a few times, hit some snags in the road and are generally just trying to figure it all out.

I have known plenty of people who faced all those obstacles and still managed to raise fine young adults and head their life in a great direction.

Then there is the other group of parents who spent their early years figuring it out — or slacking in my case — before having kids. Now, later in life, we are in a good place where the kids can grow up worry free about their next meal or if they will spend the next school year in the same town. All that is great, except by the time they go to bed, you feel like you just ran five miles.

It is all a give and take in life, I suppose.

So, finally onto why you read my column, the amazing five-star recipes you have come to know and love. For this week’s Blockbuster, I made some low effort but amazing chicken flautas.

What are flautas? Flautas, traditionally, are a rolled-up tortilla with filling inside them. In our case, we will be using flour tortillas but you can substitute corn if you wish. Personally, I’m in a minority of people who don’t really enjoy corn tortillas and that’s why they aren’t used here.

To keep it in the quick and simple category, I used canned chicken. We have plenty of it on hand because it just happens to be a low point Weight Watchers food as well, so I work with what I have. This recipe would be on another level entirely if you happen to have a leftover rotisserie chicken laying around needing to be used.

If you are in a pinch on time and need a quick and yummy cold weather dish, try this one out!


Chicken flautas

2 cans chicken, drained & flaked

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup salsa

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

12 8” flour tortillas

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine drained and flaked chicken, cream cheese, salsa, cheese, cumin and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Stir together until well combined.

2. Spread 3 tablespoons (a large spoonful) of chicken mixture onto a tortilla. Roll up tightly and place seam side down on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

3. Spray the tops of the flautas with cooking spray. Don’t soak them, but you want them to have a decent coating of cooking spray so they will get really brown and crispy.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they reach the desired crispness that you want. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving so the filling can cool and come together.

5. Enjoy!