Mini Veggie Quesadillas

I really enjoy food that is “mini”. I’m not sure why exactly. I guess I like the ease of it. Small, easy to grab, no need for a knife or fork. Typically served at fun parties. Yes, that must be it.

These mini veggie quesdaillas fit right into that mold. They’re crispy and loaded with veggies. You can knife and fork it if you want by adding sour cream and salsa. But you can also put the condiments in cute little cups for dipping. I will definitely whip up a batch to serve at my next gathering, whenever that may be.

Mini Veggie Quesadillas
Recipe type: appetizer, mexican, bite-sized, quick and easy
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese

Instructions
  1. Heat a medium-sized pan over medium high and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Lay your corn tortillas on a flat surface.
  3. Spread refried beans on two of the tortillas. Sprinkle the bell pepper and red onion evenly on the beans.
  4. Layer cheese on top of the veggies and place the other corn tortilla on top.
  5. Place the quesadilla in the pan and cook about 3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook about 3 more minutes golden on the other side.
  6. Serve with sour cream, salsa and cilantro (optional).

 

Buttermilk Biscuits with Chorizo Gravy

Lately, I’ve been a bit restless. Unfulfilled. Listless. Sort of like Lucy Ricardo pre-Vitamitavegamin debacle. I’ve been working in media research for, gosh, maybe more than 3 years now. And while a job is a job and I’m happy to have one, it is nowhere near where I thought I’d be. I’m trained to love the written word. Pen and paper are my weapons. I live to pick apart paragraphs, searching for inconsistencies and errors. And these skills, they are going to waste.

In my small cubicle, I bide my time doing tasks that feel meaningless and tedious. Tasks that feel beneath my skill level. Sure, I’ve developed some new talents. But it’s not enough for me. Where’s the next adventure? The next challenge? The next time I’ll have to actually use my brain instead of mechanically going through the motions of day to day tasks?

In the meantime, while searching for my next big thing that may never happen, I can comfort myself with food. I know, it’s never really a good thing to find solace in food. But hey, a girl’s gotta live once in a while, right? Comfort foods are just that: comforting. they are meant to warm you, fulfill you, satisfy you. This dish does just that.

The spiciness of the chorizo mixed with the warmth of the gravy makes for a great combination. The chorizo also lends a bright, nuclear-orange, Velveeta color to the gravy. Slather this on top of some homemade buttermilk biscuits and I am there. Nothing can comfort you the way biscuits and gravy can. It’s the breakfast of champions, to be eaten not only at breakfast but also at lunch and dinner. Comfort your soul and pile a heap of this on to your plate.

Recipe for buttermilk biscuits can be found here. Chorizo gravy recipe from the Homesick Texan.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy
Recipe type: breakfast, gravy, comfort food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ¼ pound chorizo, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Warm the oil in a skillet over medium high and cook until chorizo is browned.
  2. Remove the chorizo and place on a plate. Drain the oil and reserve 2 Tbsp. in the skillet.
  3. Combine the oil with flour and stir continuously until you form a roux.
  4. Add milk slowly and mix using a whisk, pressing out any lumps.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and stir until the mixture has thickened.
  6. Stir in the chorizo and mix well to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve over biscuits

 

Classic Guacamole

Did you attend Rock The Mall this weekend? I did and it was hot, hot, hot. And fun and exciting and record-breaking. 250,000 Girl Scouts, representing all 50 states, huddled on the Mall in Washington D.C., next to the Washington Monument to celebrate 100 years of scouting with a sing-a-long.

It was really cool and fun. Abby, my mom and I stood in line for almost 2 hours to meet celebrities from the Disney Channel during the pre-show hours. We did NOT meet said stars because, after 2 hours, Abby gave in to the heat and wanted to seek solace in cooler temperatures.

Days like that, so hot that you can actually feel your skin burning, you don’t want to cook or even eat. I had to throw away half of my hoagie. On days like that, you need light, easy foods.

Like chips and guacamole. Classic guacamole is really fantastic. It’s flavorful and creamy and zesty and spicy. When you spoon a big glob of it on top of a crispy chip, the taste is out of this world. Next time the heat hits 106 and you don’t want to cook, give this a try. It will fill you up and satisfy you at the same time.

Classic Guacamole
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, dip, mexican
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4 to 6
 

Ingredients
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 Tbsp. salsa of your choosing
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions
  1. Slice and pit your avocado. Scoop the flesh out into a small bowl.
  2. Mash with a fork until it has reached the consistency you like.
  3. Add the salsa and stir well to combine.
  4. Add juice of lime and stir slightly.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips.

Notes
Some people like their guac very smooth. I like mine a little lumpy and didn’t mash it as well.

 

Beef Tostada

My Valentine’s Day was so lovely. It started at 5:30 in the morning with a very cold wake up call, since I didn’t turn the shower to hot. It continued on in the form of massive amounts of work piling up on my desk. Even better, I left work to find someone sideswiped my car. All of this loveliness was topped off by Lego, going potty all over my guest room (I forgave him, since he looked really sorry).

You’d think all of that was me, griping about a crummy day, right? One would think. But really, it worked to my advantage. The cold water made my hair really shiny. The massive amounts of work on my desk made the day fly so fast. And the person who sideswiped my car submitted a claim to their insurance to have it fixed before I even left the office.

It just goes to show that sometimes, you think something is going to be terrible but can end up being awesome. Case in point, these tostadas. I love Mexican food but especially tostadas. The crispy tortilla gives an awesome crunch. And when have refried beans ever been bad? Then again, I’ve got an 8 year old to please. No easy task, as I’ve mentioned before. I really though there would be screaming and tears over this dinner.

Instead there were jumps of joy and proclamations that I am the best mom on the face of the Earth. Thank you, I’ll accept that award willingly. Note, tostadas typically use a fried shell. I am still on a semi-eating healthy kick and baked mine instead. It was even better that way. We’ll probably never go back to fried.

Beef Tostadas

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef (or ground turkey, whatever you prefer)

3 Tbsp. taco seasoning of your choice

1 can refried beans

4 tortilla shells

4 cups coleslaw

zest and juice of one lime

cilantro for topping

4 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese

4 Tbsp sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

While your oven heats up, brown your ground beef over medium high heat. Once it is completely browned, drain the fat and add your taco seasoning and about 1 cup of water.  Turn the heat down to low and cover. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through.

In a small sauce pan, place your refried beans and heat them over medium high until heated throughout.

Place your tortillas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put them in the oven for about 5 minutes, then flip and bake for another 5 until they are golden brown and crispy.

In a large bowl, combine your coleslaw with the lime and lime zest. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro in for flavor.

Once your beef and tortilla shells are finished, you can begin assembling your tostada. Of course, you can assemble it any way you choose. We make ours this way: refried beans spread in a layer on the tortilla, then ground beef, coleslaw mix, cheddar cheese, sour cream and a bit more lime.

These are super customizable so you could always add some avocado, a bit of red onion or some salsa. Get creative!

Santa Fe Style Egg

My healthier eating quest continues. Yesterday was a bit dicey. We visited my dad for the holidays and they twisted my arm into having a chocolate and vanilla malted milkshake. And by twisted, I mean they mentioned milkshakes and I shouted from the mountain tops that I love milkshakes. And then did a jig.

So let’s just say I had a milkshake. And maybe some tortilla casserole. There may have also been rice and beans and cheese.

It’s ok though. Every now and then, you have to let yourself indulge in those sort of treats. Especially when you are spending time with the family and when you are celebrating holidays. You can’t be expected to eat completely healthy when it is still technically the Christmas season, right?

This morning, I jumped right back on board by having a healthy breakfast. Typically, I’m an oatmeal gal in the mornings. It’s quick, it’s easy, it can be totally dressed up with tons of different nuts or berries or syrups or extracts. A great breakfast for someone like me, who can’t have a big breakfast as soon as I wake up.

The weekends are another story. I love to have a bigger breakfast. Something that I can cook instead of reheat. Something delicious. Enter, Santa Fe style eggs. These eggs are tasty. The salsa and cheese add something extra and really fill you up. If you’re in the mood for a delicious breakfast that is also good for you, give these eggs a whirl.

Santa Fe Style Eggs

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tortilla

3 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup salsa

1 tsp. butter

salt and pepper

Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Place the tortilla on an oven-safe plate and put it in the oven to warm.

Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Crack your egg into the skillet and let it cook for a few minutes. Season it with salt and pepper. When the white is a creamy color, gently flip it with a spatula. Take extra care not to break the yolk. Let it cook for a few more minutes until the white is cooked through.

Take the tortilla out of the oven. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Pour the salsa on top of the cheese. Gently remove the egg from the skillet and place it on top of the salsa.

Feel free to top this with a bit of sour cream, lime or cilantro if you’d like. You can also mix the salsa with some black beans for an added twist.

Enoy!