Monday, August 29

Grilled Salsa

I believe Labor Day weekend is coming up. Perfect excuse to hang out with family & friends, enjoy the outdoors and try this fabulous grilled salsa!!

4 Tomatoes
4 Jalapenos
3 Serrano peppers
1/4 onion (finely chopped)
Cilantro (chopped)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

* Amount of peppers is completely up to you! Keep in mind depending on the heat these peppers
are packing & the heat levels you can endure is what you would add.
(Serrano Pepper are spicier than Jalapenos & may be omitted)

Heat up grill, add veggies (tomato & peppers)

Meanwhile chop the onion & cilantro, set aside.

Until tomatoes & peppers have a uniform 'char' (black burned sections),
you know they are ready.

*Place peppers in a zip-lock bag and close.. allow peppers to sit in this steam bath for 5 minutes.
 (This allows skins to loosen for easy peeling)

Peel & place tomatoes in a bowl and begin mashing with a cup (leave it chunky)
If you have a "MOLCAJETE" on hand, use it ;)

Take peppers out of the bag, peel & chop! (Wash your hands)

Add desired amount of peppers, chopped onions & cilantro to the tomatoes. (Season)
Mix to combine all ingredients!


I owe my FIL for introducing me to this salsa <3

Saturday, August 27

Raviolis anyone?

Next time you go to your local grocery store you may see packaged raviolis, pick up a bag and follow my easy recipe for a delicious lunch or dinner. It may seem easy to purchase a bag of these and simply add in your favorite sauce… right?? Well don’t. I always think about how can I change this dish or personalize it. That can be achieved by basically adding in your favorite veggies, some more garlic or fresh herbs.

Never settle is what I’m saying ;)

I've made this recipe with the mini cheese raviolis from Trader Joes & with the Frozen Spinach & Cheese Raviolis from Costco.. and both made a yummy dish.

Cheese Raviolis in a Veggie Tomato Sauce

1 Jar (favorite) Tomato Sauce
1 lb. of  Cheese Ravioli
1 or 2 Yellow Squash (diced)
1-2 Tb of Grape Seed oil or Extra V. Olive Oil
1 garlic glove (minced)
3 slices red onion (diced)
3 stems of Scallions (chopped)
2 Tbsp of Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Parmesan Cheese

Boil water in a large pot for the Raviolis and season with salt.
**Always season water when cooking pasta
Add Raviolis and cook accordingly. Meanwhile, chop the veggies and saute in a large skillet. Adding in garlic, onion, & scallions cook for 2-3 minutes ( lightly season with Salt & P).

Transfer cooked raviolis to a strainer or colander and set aside.
Add tomato sauce to veggies and bring to a boil (about 5 mins.)
Chop your basil!
** Taste sauce & adjust seasonings to your preference

Add Raviolis and toss to combine, sprinkle in cheese and basil.

SERVE & Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24

Baked Salmon with Fresh Herbs

Eat those Omega-3 Fatty acids.. from where?? From good old Mr. Salmon :)
Our friend here has 6 major health benefits from outer body to Cardiovascular health benefits. (Sorry for the health class, but after all I'm still a prospective Nursing student) soooo EAT up!

I have yet to show case my garden HERB collection (made up of 4 types) YES only four, however, four that I'm very proud of.... I'm the mother to Basil, Lemon Thyme, Parsley, and Mint Plants.
In this recipe I wanted to incorporate all my fresh herbs together in one dish 
(most recipes out there only included 2 herbs) and the end result -->
Mr. Salmon went to Flavor Town!
It was DIVINE (new fav. word :-p)

Parsley, Lemon Thyme, Basil, Mint

Baked Salmon with Fresh Herbs

2 large garlic cloves (minced)
2 Tb. Parsley
2 Tb. Lemon Thyme
2 Tb. Basil
1Tb. Mint
Juice of half a Lemon
Olive oil
1 Tb. of unsalted Butter *optional
Salt & Pepper

Chop all herbs finely and place in a small bowl, add minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and COMBINE.

Cut Salmon into even portions and season with Salt & Pepper.

Arrange in a Baking Dish
Spoon HERB mixture over each Salmon fillet & top with a tiny square of butter*

Place Salmon in a Pre-Heated oven @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes

* I served this with Brown Rice & Black Beans
(If your making brown rice, begin cooking after you place Salmon to bake)

Have additional questions? Comment below

Monday, August 22

Crispy Tacos

Mid-week blues... tried of meat/ chicken/ pasta!
Try these Simple CRISPY... YUMMY... DELICIOUS.. taco's !

Potato Stuffed Taco's

 2 large Potatoes (cut into large chunks)
1/4 cup of Mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt (to taste, about a 1TB. to boiling water)

  • Place Potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them & add salt. Bring to a boil, simmer for about 15 minutes (or until Potatoes are fork tender).
  • Drain water add cheese & oregano, bring out your smasher & smash away!
  • You want the consistency of dry mash potatoes. Set aside.

Refried Bean Stuffed Taco's
** You have left over beans?? (follow my easy refried beans recipe)
You may add chorizo to refried beans, gives tacos an added KICK!

OK! You have prepare both the potato and bean stuffing, now the assembly begins!
  • Warm Tortillas, begin spreading beans/ potato on one half & close
Spread Mixture on one half
STACK 1: Beans / STACK 2: Potato


  • Once you filled each tortilla with both stuffings, heat a large skillet! Begin frying 3-4 tacos at a time until crispy golden brown. (Oil must be hot or else taco's absorb to much oil.. I use Grape Seed Oil)
  • Make sure you have a plate with a napkin ready to place tacos & allow ALL excess oil to drip away!

Easy Tomato Salsa
1 large Tomato or 2 Roma Tomato's
2 Jalapeno Peppers
1 garlic clove
Splash of Pickled Jalapeno Juice
Pinch dried oregano
Salt & Pepper ( to taste)

Boil Tomato & Peppers until Jalapenos are tender.
Place veggies, garlic, oregano, splash of pickled jalapeno juice & seasonings in a blender & BLEND!

**Non-Spicy "Kid-friendly" Salsa.. omit Jalapeno peppers!!

Suggested Toppings:
Tomato Salsa
Queso Cotija (Salty Mexican cheese)

Eat 1 of each, 2 of each... or if your like me 3 of each ;)

Have additional questions? Comment below

Thursday, August 18

Seafood Enchilada's en Salsa Verde

Stuff it, roll it, EAT it....

I love all variations of enchiladas, BUT I wanted something different (a different filling that is). Once upon a time I worked in a Mexican Restaurant, I can safely say I've experienced many fillings and one that has always caught my attention is (a seafood enchilada). There are many variations of seafood enchiladas, some shrimp, others crab, maybe both, or simply fish. You get the picture.
Both my mom & I had never made these before; it seems as though seafood enchiladas are not that traditional or common (in our family). Possibly because our family didn’t migrate from a beach town or seafood wasn’t readily available.

SO... I was now on a mission to make SEAFOOD ENCHILADAS! I searched the Internet for a decent recipe, & all seemed so Americanized, however, I was eager to find something that I felt was “authentic”. Turns out I took ideas from the recipes I found & came up with this… have I mentioned I’m very picky & a perfectionist. Here's my version of Seafood Enchilada's!

1 lb. medium shrimp (chop into large chunks)
1/2 lb. crab or imitation crab (jaiba) 
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
3-4 garlic gloves
1 lemon
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

  • Saute Shrimp (3-4 mins.) and add crab cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer seafood, clean skillet and saute remaining ingredients, until onion is translucent.
  • Return seafood into skillet and combine with veggies.
  • Add the juice of half a lemon and season. Turn heat off!
Mom's Green Enchilada Sauce

6-7 Tomatillos
1 Tomato
1 Garlic clove
2 Serrano peppers
1 Jalapeno
a few stems of fresh Cilantro
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  1.   Boil Tomatillo's, Tomato, Chile peppers in water for about 10 mins or till ingredients are tender.
  2. Turn heat off, transfer ingredients to a blender (without liquids)
  3. Add garlic clove, cilantro, salt & pepper and puree until smooth.
  4.  Heat up a pot with 1-2 Tb of oil, add 1 Tb of flour and brown, pour in sauce mixture, incorporate with flour & bring to a boil or until sauce thickens. Turn Heat off and cover.
** You can add or omit peppers, all depends on the amount of heat you prefer. Make the sauce first or ahead of time :)

You now have the filling and the sauce! This recipe should yield about 15- 18 enchiladas. Warm up tortillas in microwave for 1 min. Meanwhile heat up skillet with plenty oil. Fry each tortilla about 1 minute or so per side (Pat dry each tortilla for excess grease).
Set up assembly line : Tortillas, filling, and sauce.

Seafood Mixture, Green Sauce & Fried Tortillas

Dip each tortilla one by one in sauce and stack. Begin placing 1-2 TB of the filling in between and roll.

Aline each enchilada in a large baking dish and sprinkle with plenty of Queso Fresco.
Preheat oven 350 degrees, and Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese melts.
Take out of the oven...

Garnish with fresh chopped Scallions and serve!

Tuesday, August 9

Ground Beef & Rice Casserole

This dish was very easy, delicious and comforting. The fact that it's a one pot meal makes me happy (I used a large oven safe skillet). I love Casseroles.

(serves 4)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 seeded Jalapenos (finely chopped)
1 cup water
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground black pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheese (your choice)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

I decided to blended: 2 Tomatoes, 1 large garlic clove (or use 1 (14.5 ounce) canned tomatoes)
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-heat heat.. Stir in the onion, jalapenos, tomatoe blend, water, rice, salt, cumin, Worcesterhire sauce and black pepper.
  2. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Transport this to a casserole dish. Press down and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Top with cilantro.
** I served this with sauteed yellow squash.


 Original Recipe--->
(compare my changes)

Thursday, August 4

Pico de Gallo

Here's an easy "Pico de Gallo" recipe, no more excuses to buy a jar at the store!


1 large tomato or 2 Roma Tomatoes
1/4 of an onion
bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Serrano Pepper (optional)
small garlic clove
Salt & Pepper
Splash of Lime juice
  1.  chop all ingredients (small, medium, or chunky), combine, and season to taste!

Salsa Verde

Green Salsa with Roasted Baby Tomatillo's makes
 a perfect topping for tacos or a great dipping salsa with chips!


1 cup of baby Tomatillo's or 5 regular
2 Serrano Peppers
1 Jalapeno
slice of onion
1 garlic clove
bunch of fresh Cilantro
Salt & Pinch of ground cumin

Heat up a cast iron (comal) and begin roasting the tomatillos until all side are evenly ...roasted!
Remove and add to blender, follow by adding serrano & jalapeno peppers (roast evenly as well).
(add to blender)
Add in garlic clove, onion, cilantro leaves, and seasonings.
BLEND (this salsa can be chunky or well blended)


A Salsa's spicy content ultimately depends on the heat from the peppers, you can always add more or less :)

Carne Asada Tacos

Craving Taco Truck (Tacos)?? Well then look elsewhere… totally kidding, these are delish!
It’s Thursday and all I can think about is spending the following days in Palm Springs’s with the family. To make the long story short, I’m craving a COLD beer, and that’s how I decided to make tacos.

These happen to be incredibly easy,
so if it isn’t 2am (taco truck time) then give these a try.


1 1/2 lbs. Carne Ranchera (any thin sliced meat)
1-2 Tbsp od Grape Seed oil
Salt & Pepper
Splash of Lime juice
Corn Tortillas

Toppings: Salsa Verde (Green Salsa) &/or Pico de Gallo
**look for recipes

  1. Cut pieces of meat into small cubes (wash your hands after)
  2. Heat up a large skillet & add oil
  3. Once skillet is hot add in meat, season with salt & pepper and saute until brown, cooking time may vary. During last few minutes add Lime juice. (I perfer my taco meat very brown, almost crisp)
  4. Turn off heat.
  5. Heat up Corn Tortilla, spoon in meat, and add toppings.

Note: I served these with Rice & Beans

Have additional questions? Comment below

Wednesday, August 3

Barbeque Chicken Pizza (with a kick)

Pizza Anyone....?

So I have become addicted to barbecue sauce, I love it on anything (OK not anything). To name a few: on chicken, ribs, meatballs, chicken nuggets…YUM!

 I’ve never made BBQ pizza before; however, I’ve been dying to attempt it. Yesterday the opportunity arose and the end result….was pretty FANTASTIC! I began surfing the web for ideas, because I wanted a zesty pizza, and finally came across Serrano peppers & cilantro as toppings.

1 packet of already made pizza dough (Trader Joe's)
few slices of red onion (less than 1/4)
1/2 to 1 Serrano pepper sliced
1 TB of cilantro
1/2 a cup of BBQ sauce
2 boneless chicken breast
Mozzarella cheese

**Allow dough to sit out and come to room temperature (20 mins). **

  1. Begin by chopping veggies & set aside. I purchased the (whole wheat) dough at Trader Joe's in the refrigerator section. Lets face it who's really going to make their own dough :-p (when I attempt it, I'll blog about the experience).
  2. Heat up pan, add 1 TB of oil, season chicken breast w/ Lawry's seasoning salt, and place in pan. Cook about 5-6 minutes per side.
  3. Remove chicken from pan, and cut into small cubes (bite size pieces). Place cubed chicken back in the pan and add half the barbecue sauce and mix to combine. Turn off heat!
  4. Flour a large surface and beginning rolling out the dough. (This takes a while) You may not know what your doing, I didn't my first time, but play around & have fun.
  5. Once dough is large enough to fit into an (oven) sheet pan, your ready to begin the fun part!

At this point turn oven on to 400 degrees!!

6. Add  a thin layer of BBQ sauce to the dough and sprinkle a small amount of cheese all over.
7. Add all the chicken to the dough
8. Top with more cheese (to your liking), add  red onion, and Serrano peppers ( My pizza has half Serrano peppers, I have kids).
9. Finally place PIZZA in oven for about 13-15mins (at 400 degrees).

10. Check pizza for melted chicken & semi-crisp edges, take out of the oven,
       and sprinkle all over with chopped cilantro.

I served our PIZZA with steamed corn and the cob!