Grilled Corn Guacamole

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, on behalf of Amaize Sweet Corn/Golden Sun Marketing. I was compensated for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Grilled Corn Guacamole

Confession time. For the longest time, the types of corn I was familiar with was canned corn and frozen corn on a cob. I never thought to buy fresh corn from the grocery store, since those other types were what I really knew. I was pretty intimidated by fresh corn for a while, but after having freshly grilled corn a couple of years ago, I got hooked!

[Read more…]

Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas


Since we got our pressure cooker for Christmas, I’ve sadly only used it a handful of times. We don’t cook much for dinner anymore, since usually all we want after an evening gym work-out is a protein shake with lots of fruit. It’s kind of hard to stand up for 30 minutes – an hour when you’re feeling ravenous and your legs are also feeling like jello. So, usually our big meals are on weekends. When my husband came home from a conference, I decided to surprise him with some carnitas. I saw this recipe a while back on Table for Two and thought it would be nice to give this recipe a try in the pressure cooker, rather than cooking in the oven for a couple of hours. In the summer, this is so awesome, because you aren’t heating up your house for 2 hours. In Louisiana, the less the A/C has to work, the better.

This recipe came out beautifully, and I’m still so shocked at how perfect the meat cooked up in 20-ish minutes (once it reached pressure). I ended up freezing this in 1 lb. portions, because there was no way my husband and I were going to eat this much pork within a few days. However, for a party (maybe a taco bar?), this would be perfect!

Just to note: I’m going to type out the directions that I used for the electric pressure cooker (this is the one we own), however, for the conventional method, feel free to check out Table for Two’s post.

Pressure Cooker Pork Carnitas
Source: directions adapted from Table for Two, originally from Cooks Illustrated


  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves


  1. Place all of the ingredients in the electric pressure cooker (including the spent halves of the orange) and set the cooker to the “simmer” setting.
  2. Once the mixture has come to a simmer, cover the pressure cooker and seal it. Set the pressure cooker to the “high pressure” setting, and set the timer for 20 minutes. (Note: do not use a kitchen timer…it’s crucial to use the timer on your appliance since the timer starts when it reaches the desired pressure to cook.)
  3. Once the pressure cooker is done, allow the cooker to naturally release pressure before attempting to open the pressure cooker, and then uncover.
  4. Turn your oven on to the broil setting, and line a jelly roll pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cooked pork and place it on the foil lined pan. You can discard everything else (vegetables/aromatics) at this time, except for the cooking liquid. Turn the pressure cooker to the “brown” setting, which is high heat, and boil the liquid until it’s thick and syrupy (about 20 minutes).
  5. While the liquid mixture is heating, use two forks to shred the pork (and discard fatty pieces). Once the liquid mixture has thickened, add the pork back into the liquid and gently mix the pork into the liquid, to avoid breaking up the pork further.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, place the pork back on the lined pan, and place the pan in the oven under the broiler for 5-8 minutes. After that’s done, flip the pork and allow it to brown on the other side for another 5-8 minutes. Be sure to watch the pork carefully to ensure that the pork doesn’t burn.
  7. Serve immediately. You can also refrigerate (for up to 5 days) or freeze the leftovers.



Taco “Cupcakes”

Taco Cupcakes

As you may know, I’m a big fan of tex-mex cuisine. I haven’t really enjoyed much of it, though, because I can’t really trust myself in a restaurant where I can just get a margarita within 2 minutes or mindlessly eat chips and queso (I swear, my stomach is a bottomless pit when it comes to chips and queso). It’s kind of sad how much I miss it, because really, it’s just food right? At least I try to tell myself that when I’m reaching for a Ben & Jerry’s pint at the grocery store.

I first heard about these “cupcakes” when I met Emily of Emily Bites at IFBC last year in New Orleans. Emily’s blog features healthier recipes, which I can really appreciate, so when I heard about them, I swore I’d make them ASAP. Well, I sort of forgot about this recipe, like I always seem to do, until my coworker mentioned them recently. (Random thought of the day: For some reason, I find it SO weird when I find out people I know are reading food blogs. I know blogs are usually very popular, but where I live, a lot of people are really unfamiliar with the concept of a blog.) Anyway, when she brought up how much she LOVED these things, I had to make them ASAP. Unfortunately, wonton wrappers were out of stock for about 2 weeks, which really stunk. I contemplated cutting egg roll wrappers, but eventually, I found a pack in the store. SCORE!

The night I made these, my husband kept asking what I was cooking. When I said taco cupcakes, I’m sure the poor guy was pretty darn confused. :-) When they came out of the oven, I quickly threw a few on a plate and scarfed them down. These are delicious! The crunchy wonton wrappers make it seem like you’re enjoying a crunchy taco, minus getting neck aches from leaning over to eat a taco. 😛 My husband was pretty darn surprised about the taste too, so these will definitely be a part of our regular recipe rotation in our house. Besides being tasty, while these cupcakes don’t seem that large, they are pretty darn filling too! Just a small note, though…the main thing that I changed was that I used corn instead of black beans (since I am not a fan of beans, personally). I’m sure they’re wonderful with beans too, and I imagine with beans, they’re even more filling!

Taco “Cupcakes”
Source: mildly adapted from Emily Bites


  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup canned corn, drained
  • 16 wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
  • 5 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of queso (plus more for drizzling)
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Prep your muffin tin by misting 8 of the cups in a muffin tin.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then, add the ground beef as well as the taco seasoning, and cook the meat, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula, until the meat is browned. Add the corn to the meat and cook the mixture (stirring often) for a few more minutes, until the mixture is warm.
  3. Gently push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of 8 of the muffin tin cups, and spoon a tsp. of the queso into the bottom of the wonton wrapper, using the spoon to spread the queso evenly along the bottom. Add some of the meat mixture into each cup (evenly using 1/2 of the mixture for all 8 of the muffin cups), and then add some of the salsa into each cup (evenly using 1/2 of the salsa for all 8 of the muffin cups).
  4. Sprinkle some of the shredded cheese (evenly using 1/2 of the cheese for all 8 of the cups). Then, gently push another wonton wrapper on top of the cheese, and layer the “cupcakes” the same way you just did (queso, meat mixture, salsa, shredded cheese) using the rest of the layering ingredients.
  5. Bake the “cupcakes” for 18-20 minutes until the wontons are golden brown. The tips of the wonton wrappers will get seriously dark while in the oven if you want the rest of the wonton wrappers to get pretty crispy. Allow the “cupcakes” to cool for 5 minutes before taking them out of the muffin tin. Feel free to drizzle them with more warm queso after baking. Enjoy!


Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

When I was first learning to cook, I used to cook tacos all the time. I’d buy those little packages of seasoning mix and supper was figured out. The convenience was awesome. Then, I was just poking around Allrecipes a couple of years ago, and I saw “Taco Seasoning I” on the sidebar. I was totally intrigued, and made it that evening. I already had all of the spices for it, but the big question was did it taste as good as the seasoning packets I was so used to?

It did.

I love the idea that I can make my own taco seasoning, and the spices required for this particular one features fairly common spices. I also love that I know exactly what is in my taco seasoning, not to mention that it’s much cheaper to make this seasoning on your own.

I don’t use this for just taco seasoning. I also tend to use it when I make fajitas, I sprinkle a little bit in the blender before making salsa and use some of it when I’m making a quick salsa slow cooker chicken. It’s such a good seasoning blend for standard tex-mex dishes, in my opinion, and couldn’t be any simpler to throw together.

Taco Seasoning
Source: Allrecipes


  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix them together, until the seasoning mix is well blended. Store in an airtight container.


Microwave Queso Blanco

Microwave Queso Blanco

Whenever I cook any mexican cuisine in our home, it’s really hard not to grab some chips and queso to go along with it. It just feels right. Of course, whenever we go to our favorite mexican restaurant, we snack on chips and queso. Bonus points if the restaurant serves queso blanco. That’s my absolute favorite.

We’ve always wanted to recreate the queso blanco that we love in our own home, and while we LOVE this recipe, I was curious about this particular recipe that I saw, since it seemed so much quicker to throw together. You just throw the ingredients in a bowl and nuke it. And for those of you who aren’t fans of Velveeta, no worries…there’s no Velveeta in this recipe!

Microwave Queso Blanco
Source: Pennies on a Platter


  • 1 1/4 lb. block White American Cheese (commonly found at the deli counter), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 oz. pickled jalapeno juice
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin (optional)


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl, that is safe for the microwave. Microwave the mixture for 5 minutes, stopping to stir the cheese every minute. Don’t worry if the mixture doesn’t look like it’s going to come together at first. Eventually, it will.
  2. Stir the cheese well again and serve. If you have leftover queso, just stick it in the fridge and reheat in 30 second intervals in the microwave until the cheese is hot again.




Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

My husband went out of town recently, and I decided to surprise him with a homecoming dinner when he came back. It wasn’t anything like filet mignon, but that’s not something that would necessarily thrill him. You’re probably thinking, what man doesn’t like filet mignon? While my husband likes him some steak, it’s really Tex-Mex food that makes him a happy man. Oh, and the spicier it is, the better. So, I made him some crazy spicy carnitas (recipe coming soon) with homemade flour tortillas.

When I mentioned to him that I was making homemade tortillas, I think he had his doubts. Heck, I had my doubts. When I started making these, I thought…surely, they couldn’t be that easy. I must have done something wrong, but y’all..they were seriously *that* easy and they really don’t take that much time at all to come together. They’re also way cheaper than buying a bag of tortillas at the store. I always hate paying $2-$4 for a dozen tortillas (yeah, y’all know I’m cheap), so from now on, unless I’m in a time crunch, it’s gonna be homemade all the way for us! By the way, if you’d like to make these whole wheat, just sub half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat. :-)

I came across this recipe on Homesick Texan, and for those of you who would prefer not to have lard in the house (which traditional tortillas call for), this recipe doesn’t call for it. The only problem that happened with these is that my first tortillas were kind of thick. You really need to roll these tortillas THIN. Get that arm work-out in! :-)

Flour Tortillas
Source: Homesick Texan


  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and vegetable oil. Slowly add the warm milk and stir until the ingredients are mixed and a loose, sticky ball of dough has formed. Remove the dough from the ball and knead on a well-floured surface for two minutes, until the dough has formed into a soft, but firm ball.
  2. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Break the dough into 8 equal pieces, and form them into balls. Place the dough balls on a plate (where they aren’t touching), cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for 10 more minutes.
  4. After the dough has rested, you’ll roll them into tortillas one at a time. First, flatten the dough into a circle with your hands until it’s 4 inches wide. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 8 inches wide. The tortillas should be very thin at this point. Be careful not to over-work the dough, to prevent the tortillas from becoming stiff. Once the tortillas are rolled out, cover them until you are ready to cook them.
  5. To cook the tortillas, heat a skillet on high heat, and cook each tortilla one at a time, for 30 seconds on each side. You’ll be able to tell that it’s finished cooking when the tortilla starts to puff in the skillet. Once the tortillas are cooked, cover them with a napkin until you’re ready to serve.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa

Man y’all. The past couple of weeks have been crazy. I haven’t really gotten sick in a few years, and on Valentine’s Day, as luck would have it, I caught some sort of cold-like virus. Ugh. Lesson learned…do not stop taking Vitamin C gummies. (yup, I totally take gummy vitamins) I’ve recently started feeling better, which means I’m back in the kitchen! It felt so weird not cooking for two weeks, but thankfully, my husband is pretty darn awesome in the kitchen, which helped immensely when I didn’t feel like getting off the sofa.

I made this salsa one night to try a green salsa with the chicken taquitos that we fairly regularly make, which is actually the salsa intended for this recipe. However, usually I just throw in some red salsa when I’m in a hurry, but I had some time to make this. I have a confession, though…I’ve never worked with or even had tomatillos before this. I remember being in the produce section, overwhelmed by how to tell a good tomatillo from a bad one (I’m a worry worm…what can I say?), but I think I survived haha! I was very surprised at how flavorful this salsa was. I was worried I’d hate tomatillos, but it was quite the opposite! This salsa was fantastic, and really wasn’t that bad to make either!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Source: Pink Parsley, originally from Rick Bayless Mexican Everyday


  • 4-5 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt


  1. Heat a large, nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Place the tomatillos (with the cut-side down), garlic and jalapeno in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the tomatillos are well-browned. Also, watch the garlic to ensure that you don’t burn it…it will taste bitter once burned. Flip the ingredients in the pan and take a couple of minutes to brown the other side of the vegetables.
  2. Remove the tomatillos and garlic and add them to a food processor or blender. Brown the jalapeno on all sides and then move it to a cutting board to cool.
  3. Once cooled, peel off the burned skin (which should happen very easily) and scoop out the ribs and seeds (unless you REALLY like spicy). Chop the jalapeno and add to the food processor or blender with the tomatillos and garlic.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water, the chopped onion and chopped cilantro to the food processor/blender until it’s a coarse puree. Feel free to add a little water if the salsa is too thick. Add lime juice and salt to taste and serve.


Favorite Party Recipes

Part of me cannot believe that the Superbowl is Sunday. I mean, that’s the end of football season until next Fall. I have to wait at least six months to watch another game after this. Sad.  (If you know me, you know I’m being dead serious about how sad this is to me. Crazy football fan here!) A perk of Superbowl Sunday? Watching Millie run up to the TV when I randomly switch over to the Puppy Bowl.

To mourn celebrate the end of another football season, here’s some great recipes that will definitely disappear if you serve them at your Superbowl parties.

Queso Blanco
Restaurant Style Queso Blanco

Restaurant Style Salsa
Restaurant Style Salsa

Crawfish Pies

Crawfish Cheesecake

Pork and Sausage Jambalaya

Berry Mash Bruschetta
Berry Mash Bruschetta

Sugar Cookie Bars
Sugar Cookie Bars

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Oreo Cupcakes

Oh, and if you have an occasional puppy bowl break, I’m pretty sure the dogs at your party would love you for these!

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin PB Treats

Restaurant Style Salsa

Restaurant Style Salsa

Greetings from our new kitchen! We’re still unpacking boxes around the house, but the kitchen is completely set-up! The kitchen was definitely a priority for us when it came to unpacking, because take out was definitely starting to get boring. Since we moved a little further from the city, our choices are VERY limited. So yeah, it was time to turn on that stove!

Since I was in the mood to make tex-mex (and H didn’t really mind that craving either), we made chicken enchiladas one night and then chicken taquitos with this salsa the next night. Tex-mex two nights in a week? Heck yes!

This salsa is really a big favorite in our house, and I’m really not sure why I haven’t shared this recipe with y’all until now! We’ve made it quite a few times, because it’s ridiculously easy to throw together and way tastier than anything you can buy in a jar! While this salsa makes a lot (and I mean A LOT), it’s really not difficult to go through this stuff fairly quickly. :-) It’s addictive, for sure!

Restaurant Style Salsa
Source: Pioneer Woman


  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes with juice
  • 2 10 oz cans of Rotel
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin (remove seeds if you don’t want as much heat)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 of a lime’s juice


  1. Take all ingredients and put them in a blender.
  2. Pulse the blender until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Enjoy!


Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

Creamy Chicken Taquitos

It’s no surprise that my husband and I love tex-mex food. Our go-to favorite home cooked meals are usually tex-mex, and when we go out to eat, it’s usually at a tex-mex place. Obsessed, much? :-)

Whenever we go to our favorite tex-mex place, my husband either gets the fajitas or the flautas. I like to know that I can replicate what we eat when we go out, and heck, I can make fajitas, but flautas? Flautas intimidate the heck out of me! Why, you ask? Well, flautas are fried, and I hate frying. I either under-cook or burn the food. It’s always bad when I want to try to fry. I just can’t figure out frying. (I guess that’s a good thing, health-wise!)

When I saw this recipe for taquitos, flautas popped in my head. Sure, taquitos aren’t flautas, but they are pretty dang close! And the best part, these taquitos are baked. Whew…escaped frying once again! :-)

Let me tell y’all something…these taquitos are NOT the frozen taquitos that you buy in bulk in the frozen section. I swear. The ingredients sound so simple, but whoa, these taquitos are absolutely delicious. My husband even said that this may just be his favorite home-cooked meal that I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a lot of things…this is HUGE folks!)! The combination of cheeses makes these taquitos just like the title says..creamy, and the combination of ingredients just makes these taquitos so flavorful! Now, to note…for the chicken, we used an extra chicken breast that I cooked for these enchiladas, so the flavors were already in the chicken, which I think helped to put this dish over the top, but I’m sure if you use any pre-cooked chicken, these will still taste pretty awesome.

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos
Source: mildly adapted from Pink Parsley Blog, originally from Our Best Bites


  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tbsp. chopped scallions
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese
  • 8-12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.  Fold in the chicken and cheeses.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap.  Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and pliable.
  4. NOTE: Be careful when working with the tortillas…they are hot right out of the microwave! Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly.  Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
  5. Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown.  Serve with salsa, sour cream, queso and/or guacamole.