Summer Veggie Quesadilla

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Summer is here. And with summer comes fresh yummy veggies.  There are lots of vibrant, crisp, colorful vegetables during this time of year.  So why not make a quesadilla?  Why not indeed.

This recipe uses summer staples like squash, mushrooms and chiles.  Sauté them babies and stuff them into a homemade flour tortilla (or corn).  A fresh simple recipe for all those summer vegetables. Continue reading

Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)

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Venezuelans know how to make a good pot of black beans.  Mmmm, nothing like a pot of sweet, smoky, salty, hearty black beans simmering on the stovetop.  Caraotas Negras are very versatile as they can be served as a side dish, over rice or stuffed into cornmeal arepas.
And when black beans are this delicious and this easy to make then they are a must in my book.  Just a little chopping and a little spice and boom-tasty black beans! Continue reading

Huevos a la Mexicana

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Huevos a la Mexicana are simple to make.  The traditional recipe calls for eggs, tomatoes, onions and jalapenos, scrambled together.  Nothing fancy just a hearty and fresh breakfast dish.  However, I decided to take it up a notch.  Incorporate a little more veg and a lot more flavor.  For starters I added some red bell pepper for sweetness and green chilies for tanginess.  Then I added some salsa to give it an extra kick.  Finally my secret weapon: always add spices to the beaten eggs.  Always.  The spices always make eggs taste better.  Not much to it and quick to make as well. Continue reading

Mushroom and Corn Tostadas

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Picture this: a crispy, crunchy tortilla slathered with warm beans, then topped with earthy mushrooms, sweet corn and a little punch of heat.  A mountain of lettuce, tomato, cheese and cool yogurt gone on next and voila!  Mushroom and corn tostadas.  What a fantastic meal for a warm day.  These mushroom and corn tostadas are easy to make and are very satisfying.  You got flavor and you got texture making these tostadas delicious. Continue reading

Sopa de Azteca (Aztec Soup)

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Sopa de Azteca, or Aztec Soup, is a very easy and tasty version of tortilla soup.  A simple tomato-based soup is topped with tortillas, avocado and a sprinkling of cheese.  All there is to it. The key is to have a well seasoned, tomatoey base for flavor.  Lots and lots of flavor.  The rest is pretty straightforward.  Nice, crispy tortilla chips (homemade or high-quality store-bought are best) add a good bite, the cool, creamy avocado lends this great flavor and brightness to the soup and of course the cotija cheese does what cotija cheese does best-gives the soup a tangy pop of flavor.  Yum yum. Continue reading

Calabacitas (Squash)

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Calabacitas, or squash, is a perfect side dish or appetizer for springtime.  This dish brings clean flavors together to make a very simple yet tasty dish.  I grew up eating this delicious mix of flavors.  Squash just works great with sweet corn and the acidity in the tomatoes. Continue reading

Black Bean & Mushroom Chile Rellenos

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Chile Rellenos are about traditional as Mexican cooking gets. Who knew stuffed peppers could be, not only delicious, but filling as well. Spicy. Saucy. Cheesy. What is not to like about them? There are many variations as to how to make chile rellenos and what to stuff them with but most recipes call for roasting the peppers, to bring out the most flavor, and using some sort of cheese. This recipes calls for earthy flavors, like black beans and mushrooms, and sweet onions to balance it out. A generous sprinkling of creamy cheese finishes the peppers off. Add a tangy tomato sauce to the plate and goodness has been reached. Yum, yum. Continue reading

Huaraches

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Huaraches are a Mexican specialty that is easy to make and really delicious. A perfect combo. So huaraches are super easy to assemble. It is all in the prep work. Lots of chopping and heating up but once that is done you are good to go. These bad boys are named huaraches, or sandals, for the huarache-shaped oblong the masa is shaped into. How cute is that? Continue reading

Mexican Capirotada

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Mexican style bread pudding, capirotada, consists of a mixture of veggies and fruits such as onions, tomatoes, apples and raisins on top of stale bread, nuts and cheeses. It is a staple during lent. The day old bread is moistened with a simple syrup infused with several warm spices. Capirotada is a balance of sweet and savory; although this recipe lends more to the sweet side. For this recipe I used apples and apricots and a bit of mild Monterrey jack cheese in order to keep it more on the sweet side (that’s how I like it) but some recipes involve sharper flavors like onions and cotija cheese. The ingredients are up to you. I am sure there is no way to ruin bread pudding! Continue reading

Warm and Fuzzy Comfort Food: Lentil Soup

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It is raining.  So naturally soup is in order.  Warm, comforting soup.  Something earthy, spicy, chunky.  Lentil soup is perfect for a cold, rainy night.  The chile flakes offer some heat while the onions and carrots give it a touch of sweetness.  Add cumin and garlic to the mix and you have the perfect soup to dish up.  Ideal when it is raining.  Just curl up on the couch with a bowl full of lentil soup and watch the rain cascade down.  Did I mention it’s raining? Continue reading