Cinco de…Uh-oh!

My mouth waters as I write this…

Living in Southern California afforded me the chance to not only indulge in your typical homemade Mexican fare on a daily basis, but also to learn how to make it. From salsa to guacamole to refried beans..I learned how to whip up a Mexican Feast in no time flat. Sauces? A cinch. Rolling taquitos or burritos? No problem! Making tortillas from scratch?

Making tortillas from….SCRATCH? HUH?

That WAS my attitude – past tense! Now, I’m proud to say no longer a tortilla-making novice. Not at all! The Kiwi BF and I have been so into making our favorite Mexi-Cali dishes, that we grabbed Tio Pablo’s Instant Corn Masa Mix (ok, not quite from scratch, but close enough!).

We wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, except I wanted to make the tortilla’s from this mix for the authentic vibe we were aiming for with the meal. We rounded out our tortilla making kit with a press and I was good to go.

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This is my new boyfriend…Don’t tell my current one!

This was so easy…as in, ridiculously easy! The mix, which is gluten free, makes life simple: You mix 2 cups of the Corn Masa with one cup of water, mixing the ingredients until they form a firm ball. Separate into 12 smaller balls then …press away!

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So..the beans aren’t quite homemade…This time! They are gluten free, though 🙂

Pressing tip: Use parchment paper on both sides of the dough, and press. This helps keep the tortilas from sticking and makes clean up a lot easier. Lift the press and move the tortilla a quarter turn and press again, repeating these steps a few times to get the tortilla just thin enough, but not too much!

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Seriously, everyone needs a tortilla press!

 

The batch we made gave us 12 tortillas – add some grilled chicken, roasted onions and red peppers, homemade (for real!) guacamole and salsa and you get a perfect Cinco De Mayo – or anytime – meal. The tortillas we made came out soft and pliable, delicious and fresh!

Once you have food this fresh, there is no return 😉

Are you a fan of Mexican food? Share your fave dishes in the comments below..we love hearing what you think 🙂

 

 

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BBQ Root Beer Chicken (Gluten Free!)

My mother is from North Carolina, so I’m born and bred to LOVE BBQ! Of course, nothing compares to being at a drive-in diner in the South and getting pulled pork BBQ sandwiches with some cole slaw on the side or piling it on top of your sandwich.

However, I do my best to try and recreate this loving feelin’ at home. 🙂

I found this recipe on Pinterest (surprise, surprise!) and wanted to give it a go because it uses two ingredients I really like: Root Beer and BBQ sauce. I do tend to steer clear of soft drinks, as a general rule, but using it in this recipe only adds to the flavor of your meal.

You can throw this in a crockpot or make it in your oven..either way it’s truly all about the BBQ Sauce! This recipe uses the crock pot, so get out the slow-cooker and let’s do this!

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Chicken breasts (thawed)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce
  • 6 oz. Root Beer (I used A&W)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Throw the chicken breasts, thawed, into the crockpot for three hours on high. Drain juices out when time is up, then add Root Beer, 18 oz of BBQ sauce, salt and pepper. Cook for another 30 minutes in the crock pot, then voila!

Dinner is served…

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Going Gluten-Free (as posted on “Life…My Way”, Frederick News-Post)

Going to the doctor can bring up lots of issues…well I guess it depends on what Doc you go to, huh? For me, it was a routine check-up that involved some lovely testing. I’ll just ump ahead to the part where I was told I get to eat fully gluten-free for the next three months.

I’ve had gluten-free foods a lot over the last few months on my own for other reasons, but having someone tell you that you have to do it makes it so much different (I have some commitment issues – I’ll just get that out there). Having to actually fully commit to no gluten sounds AWFUL, mainly because I hear “no bread, no beer.”

I’m not an idiot – I do know this doesn’t mean that I am going to be starving. In fact most grocery stores and a lot of restaurants actually carry many gluten-free options now, with so many folks out there having no tolerance for gluten. I’ve tried the gluten free beer before and frankly, not impressed. I will be heading back to Whole Foods in the next few days to stock up on a few supplies, so I’m hoping to find some other options available now. If not, well, I’ll just take it a day at a time.

As I get started on this journey on a personal level, I decided I’m going to take you guys with me…Why not? Let’s see what I can share every Wednesday with you all about me trying out new gluten-free products or attempting to cook. I think I may just post some pictures as well. Think good thoughts for my poor family and friends – they are the ones that might just suffer here.

In honor of my first Gluten-Free Wednesday Post, I’m posting a shopping list which is found on the The Gluten Free Chef – it’s here for anyone else wanting to give this a go. As I find other info, you can bet I’ll post it. If you want to write in and share your own discoveries or suggestions, please do! I’d love them, and I’m sure other readers would love to check out new ideas as well.

Well, time for breakfast…Thank goodness there’s gluten-free Bisquick (and this recipe for some fabulous cheesecake pancakes!) cause I’m making pancakes!