Monthly Archives: July 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is probably my all-time favorite, and is also my mom’s original recipe. Not only is it delicious (probably because it’s so cheesy!), it’s also insanely easy. Although this is a semi-homemade recipe, these enchiladas are so amazing and taste so authentic that any Mexican guest, or anyone for that matter, would surely give it two thumbs up! And because it’s so simple to put together, you might just make it a weeknight favorite.

Chicken Enchiladas
Serves 4-6

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (alternatively, you may use a whole roasted chicken)
  • 1 16 oz bottle Herdez® Salsa Verde
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 19-20 6″ corn tortillas (if using a 13″x9″ pan)
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese

If you are using uncooked chicken breasts, place them on an ungreased baking sheet and season the chicken (I like to use Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, but you’re welcome to use whatever you’d like). Broil for about 30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Let the chicken cool then shred into fairly small pieces.

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Meanwhile, heat the salsa verde in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream (adjust to fit your/your family’s heat tolerance). Cook until the salsa and the sour cream mix together well, about 5 minutes. At this time, preheat your oven to 375°F. Ladle in some of the salsa into the pan and spread it around so the salsa thinly covers the bottom of the pan.

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Heat 5 tortillas at a time in a paper towel for about 40 seconds. The tortillas will be very hot when you take them out, so be careful! Place some shredded chicken into a tortilla and roll it up. Place into the pan, seam-side down. Repeat until the pan is full.

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Cover the enchiladas with the rest of the salsa (or as much as you want) and top with the Swiss cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

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Serve hot with sour cream and enjoy!

 

Easy Outfit for Cooler Days

Living near the coast in San Diego, most days this summer are in the 70s. On particularly overcast days, it can get a little chilly! This is one of our go-to outfits for days like this.

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Simple black leggings are a must-have for any fashionista. I got these for $5 from Wal Mart years ago, but you can find a similar inexpensive pair almost anywhere. The white knit slouchy sweater was purchased for $10 in the Netherlands. While we weren’t able to track the exact sweater down, this is a similar option from H&M for $24.95, and here’s one from Forever 21 for $19.80.

Lace-up boots complete the outfit. Admittedly, these were a bit of a splurge from Steve Madden, but they’re such a versatile staple in our wardrobe, we don’t regret it! Accessorize with a long chain necklace and a slouchy beanie. You’ll be the cutest (and comfiest) girl in the room!

Maxi Skirts

This summer, we are obsessed with maxi skirts! You can find them at affordable prices at places like Target and Forever 21.

We got this black maxi skirt for $13 at a local boutique called The Closet. It’s super versatile and so comfy! We loved it so much we went back and got it in different color combinations.

IMG_3610Pair it with a crop top, bralette, or cami, and top with bohemian accessories for an easy breezy summer outfit.

We also love this maxi skirt we got from Foreign Exchange for around $20. It has an opaque thigh-length skirt beneath, but boasts a sheer and sparkly layer above that. We took a more revealing route by pairing it with a simple black bralette, but you can pair it with any blouse – just tuck it in so the embroidery remains the focus! 

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We can’t find the skirt on Foreign Exchange’s website anymore, but here is a similar one on sale for $18. Happy shopping!

Ulta Liter Sale

Ulta recently had a sale on liters of some of their highest quality shampoos and conditioners. Most were $15. We printed off coupons for $3.50 off in addition, and scooped up these two liters: AG Fast Food shampoo and Redken All Soft conditioner.

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Needless to say, we love these products! They smell great and our hair has never been healthier.

These liters are still discounted online (and possibly in stores?). I recommend signing up for their rewards program. You quickly accumulate points that you can use towards cash off or discounted services, and you get generous coupons in the mail.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Eyeshadow Palette

We love this Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in Comfort Zone. It transitions easily from day to night, and adds a hint of warmth to any skin tone.

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Our favorite shade is the definer in the bottom right – it’s multi-dimensional with a hint of sparkle. At only $4.99, this palette gives designer eye shadows like Urban Decay a run for its money!

You can purchase this palette at drugstores, or here, in three different color collections.

Skincare Routine

If you’re looking for an alternative to face cleansers that are harsh on skin and expensive on your wallet, I swear by the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). The combination of oils I use are Jojoba and Raw Virgin Coconut Oil. You can find these at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc. The best part is these oils were about $5 each!

OCM

For those of you with acne-prone skin who are skeptical, fear not! The concept underlying OCM is the basic chemistry principle that “like dissolves like.” Just choose non-comodegenic oils, and you’ll find that OCM actually improves your breakouts. Jojoba is one of the least comodegenic oils. I have acne-prone skin, and this has really helped improve the health of my skin. Proponents of OCM suggest using castor oil as the base for your oil mix, but I skip this, as it is considered relatively comodegenic.

This method of face washing is good for any skin type. Those with aging skin might consider mixing Vitamin E oil into their mix. Make sure any oil you use is unadulterated – the only ingredient on the back should be the oil. They can also be used to moisturize your skin.

I wet a washcloth with hot water, then steam my face. Then I massage the oils into my skin for 30-60 seconds. Be sure to rub gently on your eyes and eyelashes to remove makeup. Then I steam my face again with the washcloth, and rub the oil off with the cloth thoroughly. Your skin will feel fresh and rejuvenated.

For more info on the Oil Cleansing Method, click here.

 

Cuban-Style Picadillo

Picadillo is a Cuban dish (but makes many other Latin American countries its home) that is a staple in my house. My mom makes the easiest, most delicious Picadillo – and she’s not even Cuban! When my All-American mother married my Mexican father, she learned how to make many of his childhood dinners from his Cuban-Sicilian mother. My mother absorbed these recipes like a pro, and this recipe is so easy that you can too!

I love this dish not only because it represents part of my heritage, but also because it has olives and capers! Serve this on a bed of rice and do not forget to squeeze some extra lime juice on it at the end – the acidity cuts through the oiliness of the meat perfectly and pairs well with the capers.

Note that I suggest you use Mexican oregano. Although it tastes similar to Italian oregano, Mexican oregano is actually a completely different plant. However, do not feel obligated to run to several different stores to find Mexican oregano if your local grocery store doesn’t sell it. Using Italian oregano won’t throw off the taste of the dish.

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 1-1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2-3 Russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp Mexican Oregano, crushed
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 10 (or so) olives
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

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(The green pepper is missing from the photo above but don’t forget it in the dish!)

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Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the ground beef and cook over medium-high heat. Once the beef is mostly browned, add the green pepper and finish browning the meat. Once the meat is browned, add the tomatoes in juice.

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Stir in the potatoes and add the oregano, bay leaves, lime juice, and capers. Make sure the potatoes are submerged in some liquid. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste, then simmer over medium-low heat until the potatoes are cooked, about 20-30 minutes. Stir in olives (as many as you’d like!) 5 minutes before serving.

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Serve hot with rice and beans. Enjoy!

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Arugula Pesto

This is a quick and delicious week night meal. In my house, we are arugula fiends – we use it liberally in salads and pastas. It has a peppery bite, and is much healthier than just your run-of-the-mill iceberg lettuce. Plus, it’s affordable: we can usually find it for $2 at Trader Joe’s.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 cups fresh arugula
  • 5-6 crushed garlic cloves (or less, depending on how much you like garlic)
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of almonds
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Vermicelli noodles, or pasta of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Put the first 4 ingredients into a blender. Pulse until roughly chopped. Then drizzle in olive oil until it is the desired consistency (we like a thicker pesto, but you can do it thinner if that’s what you prefer).

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Add salt and pepper, to taste. I recommend being stingy with the pepper, as the arugula is already naturally peppery, as is the raw garlic.

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Boil vermicelli, or whatever pasta you have on hand.

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Drain pasta, and add a few tablespoons of pesto. Toss, and top with extra parmesan.

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And voila! A unique and delectable twist on a traditional pesto.

As an added twist, you can roast the garlic to add a more nuanced flavor. You can also substitute different kinds of nuts for almonds, or exclude nuts altogether if you are allergic.