So, Friday morning I flew to NY with Sean Penn -- hey, it's one plane, so that phrasing is accurate, if perhaps slightly misleading -- and even got to help him when we landed at JFK. He went out some wacky center staircase which is not where the human traffic flows (normally, past baggage claim and out to the curb at the end of the taxi queue, so all the drivers wait by that one double door). I, having followed him onto the plane (and tripped over his suitcase, but let's not dwell), knew he was with us, of course, so when I simultaneously saw his driver (with the S.J. Penn sign) while seeing Sean walking waaaaaaay down the end of the concourse, I said to the guy "Your guy's walking away down there -- blue jacket, silver suitcase." The driver, in a virtual whisper, looks down the terminal and says "Sir! Sir!", which, unless you were 2 feet from him or less, you'd never hear. So, as Sean gets still farther away, I yell, "SEAN!" and he turns around. I point to the whisperer and project (I wasn't shouting, I promise), "This is your driver." The whisperer thanks me, Sean starts walking back towards us, and says to me, "Hey, thanks. That helps." I nod, and leave the terminal -- did I mention I was on the phone with my sister this whole time? Waiting to cross the street, I turn to see the whisperer and Sean walking toward me. The whisperer salutes me (what the??) and Sean says, "Thanks again" whereupon I, very coolly, I thought, said, "No prob; I thought you guys wouldn't connect for awhile" and walked away.

Ok, but THAT is not where the title of this post comes from, because, frankly, although I think Sean Penn is a tremendous actor, and I admire his profound convictions on things, I'm not a huge fan, otherwise, 'cause sometimes I think he's pretty flappy for a guy who pretends to be other people, for a humongous salary.

However! Friday night!! Lili convinced me that going to sleep at 9 would be a wienie way to spend my only free evening in the city, so we went and had dinner at Dervish (yum!! Turkish food!!) and saw The Vertical Hour, a play starring Julianne Moore and Bill Nighy that closed today. The play? Meh, not so much. BUT. In the audience!!! LAUREN BACALL, a childhood idol of mine, with her son, Sam Robards. Ron Silver, whom I find tiresome. John Shea, who's a very good sort of utility emotive actor. And, last but certainly not least: MERYL STREEP. Yes. Lauren and Meryl, both, just 20 feet from me.

I don't mind telling you that it took ALL I could do not to go fall at Ms. Bacall's feet, thanking her for letting me interview her when she was doing previews in Boston for Woman of the Year back in 1981 , making me believe anything was possible (I was doing a magazine project for school, and when I found out my heroine was going to be in Boston for a 3-month run, I figured out how to contact someone in the production and got to get out of school for a day and interview her at the Schubert -- so cool). Also, I would have told Meryl I thought her Prada ensemble at the Oscars looked good in pix, but did nothing for her on TV. Tee hee.


Turkey. It's what's for dinner!

So I've taught this recipe I invented (borrowing the flavors from my sister-in-law but jazzing it up a little) to a bunch of my friends, including Heidi, who is a self-described kitchen incompetent. [Let's not talk about the substitution Eric made of blue corn tortillas for plain ol' corn tortillas, and focus on the fact that it tasted good even though it looked like an alien life form.] Since I can't write about what I want to tonight -- no time, must dash, etc. -- but I had pictures I took a couple of weeks ago, I decided to post them and the recipe, despite Maggie's exhortation that no one cares what I had for lunch likely meaning they care even less what I made for dinner....

Does it help that I have before and after pictures??


2 cooked & shredded turkey breasts (Trader Joe's sells nice big raw ones that you can grill, cool, and shred) (ok, that's a little gross, since I'm talking about breasts, but move on)
12 white corn tortillas
1 small can roasted green chiles, mild or spicy, as you prefer
1 small can low-sodium corn kernels
1 large can green tomatillo salsa or green enchilada sauce, mild (spicy would be too much)
reduced fat or non-fat sour cream, approx 1 cup
8 oz reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (you can use a "Mexican mix" cheese variety, but I've experimented with about 5 different blends and always come back to Monterey Jack -- it just works best, taste and texture-wise)

Before leaving for work (or setting out however you spend your day): in a large bag or bowl (depending on fridge space!), combine the cooked turkey, the drained cans of chiles and corn, and about a cup of the green enchilada sauce. Mix very well, and let marinate in the fridge for the day. Refrigerate the rest of the enchilada sauce so you don't get ptomaine poisoning.

Welcome home! Did you have a good day at work? Good, good. Ok, preheat your oven to 375. Get out the turkey mixture, the sour cream, the tortillas, the enchilada sauce, and the cheese out on the counter. Because the enchilada sauce in so acidic, I recommend using a 9x13" Pyrex dish for assembly, baking, and storage.

Now. There are two assembly methods. One takes longer than the other, so I'll tell you both and you can decide which works for you.

Both start with putting about 1/2 c. of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and tilting the pan this way and that, to cover the bottom completely.

EASY assembly (requires 18 tortillas, not 12): put 6 of the corn tortillas on the bottom of the pan, and cover with 1/2 the turkey and 1/3 the Monterey Jack cheese. Using the back of a tablespoon or a rubber spatula, spread sour cream on one side of the second 6 tortillas and lay them sour cream side up on top of the cheese. Cover with the rest of the turkey and 1/3 more of the cheese. Put sour cream on 6 more tortillas and lay them sour cream side down on the casserole.

MEDIUM assembly: Using the back of the spoon, smear about a tablespoon of the sour cream inside a tortilla. Fill with about 1/2 c. of the turkey mixture, and roll into a cigar, laying seam-side down in the pan. Repeat until you have two rows of 6 "cigars," then proceed with directions below, using all the cheese just on the top layer after you cover the casserole in enchilada sauce (this will probably allow you to use just 1/2 the amount of cheese in the "easy" assembly method, but make sure you use enough cheese to really cover the saucy tortilla rolls you've created).

Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce (remember you have that big can -- 30 oz or so, and you've used about a cup and a half of it) over the whole casserole, making sure you wet all the top layer of tortillas thoroughly. Put the rest of the cheese over the top of the casserole, and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, making sure the cheese doesn't get too dark. You want it golden, not brown.

Serve with a green salad. Bon appetit!