Sunday, April 27, 2014


I was first introduced to Chilaquiles by my sweet mother-in-law (thanks, Cheri!) about two years ago. Up until then, I had never even heard of Chilaquiles, much less tasted them.  But once I heard that they consisted of pretty much everything I love in a Mexican dish (cheese, chips, and more cheese) I knew immediately they were going to be a favorite.  And I was right! Unfortunately, since we moved to DC, we haven't been able to have her version.  And so, I decided it was high time I tried to figure out my own!  These are easy to throw together (30 minutes tops) and super delicious!  Here is what you will need:


1/2 sweet onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced 
3 TBS olive oil
1 14 oz can of yellow corn
1 cup black beans
1 4oz. can of green chiles
1 1/5 cup chicken broth
1 jalapeño diced
1 avocado
5 grape tomatoes halved
2 TBS Adobo sauce
1 bunch of cilantro
Cacique queso fresco (to taste)
14 oz. crushed tortilla chips


Preheat oven to 375.  In a thick bottomed pan, sauteé the diced onion and garlic cloves for about 5 minutes.  Then, add the corn and jalapeño and continue cooking for another 5-8 minutes.  Add in the beans, corn, adobo sauce and chicken broth and let simmer for about 8 minutes.  Once the corn is soft, begin adding the crushed tortilla chips one handful at a time, making sure to completely coat each batch before adding more (Reserve a few to add later).  Once you have added your tortilla strips, add the remaining handful to the top and sprinkle with cacique cheese. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes (or until the cheese has completely melted).  NOTE: about halfway through you can add the halved tomatoes. I prefer adding them towards the end so they don't become over cooked.  Remove from stove and top with avocado and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vegan (flourless) Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie

For some reason I have had a serious craving for brownies this week. I knew I wanted something flourless (so they would be super dense and chocolatey) but I also wanted a healthy twist so that I could enjoy them guilt-free.  After compiling a ton of various recipes (thank you Pinterest), I decided to combine the elements I liked from each and make my own version.  Not only are these beauties vegan, but they are the perfect way to satisfy a chocolate craving. So go ahead, eat a couple... I know I will!

 Here is what you will need:
2 cups walnuts
2 cups dates (I used Medjool)
1/3 cup almonds (whole)
1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces
3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used ghiradelli)
2 TBS. honey


In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they form a flour-like consistency.  Then, add in the almonds and pulse about 4-5 times (or until they are in chunky pieces).  Next, add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined.  Pour the mixture into an 8X8 baking dish (lined with parchment paper for easy removal) spread evenly and press down with a spoon.  Place the plan in the fridge for at least an hour.  

Once solidified, top with peanut butter (I combined mine with a few TBS of hot water to get a runny consistency) and melted chocolate (I melted mine in the microwave using 20 second intervals. Make sure to watch carefully and stir in between.  Once all the pieces are almost melted, remove and stir until the mixture reaches silky smooth consistency)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chicken Tostada with Mango Salsa

This recipe is a knock-out.  It has everything I love in a salad/meal.  Lean protein, tons of veggies, and completely filling.  When I saw that the mango's at my local grocery were on sale, I knew I had to whip up some kind of salsa and of course, the idea of a tostada immediately followed.  What I love about this dish is how vibrant it is on the plate.  I mean, do you see those colors?! You just look at it and know that you are doing your body good! Here is what you will need:

Chicken Marinade
3 chicken breasts (lean)
2 TBS. cilantro
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBS. grated ginger
2 TBS. canola oil
1 TBS. Sriracha

Mix ingredients together (I used a ziploc for easy clean up) and toss the chicken in the marinade.  Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour.

Mango Salsa
1 cup fresh mango, cubed
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 jalapeños (de-seeded and diced)
2 green onions
1/2 cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS. lime zest
1 TBS. orange zest
OPTIONAL: I mashed up 1 avocado to use as a base for the tostada and also sprinkled some Cacique cheese on top. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Because of Him

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as a Christian, Easter has always been a special time of year.  Not only does it mean the start of Spring and new beginnings, but also a time to reflect on the birth and life of Christ.  This past week, the LDS church released this video which encapsulates the true meaning of Easter and how truly miraculous Christ's life and ministry was.  I have watched it many times since first learning about it, and each time I am struck by the joyous message of hope it conveys.  I invite you to watch and remember how blessed we are because of Him. Happy Easter!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Steel Cut

As i've gotten older, I've really come to appreciate having a good breakfast to start my day. As someone who is usually rushing around in the morning, preparing a smoothie or oatmeal the night before makes actually having time to eat that breakfast more plausible.  In the recipe i'm sharing today, I used steel cut oats instead of quick oats simply because I prefer the added nutritional value and texture.  But feel free to use whatever type of grain you prefer!  Here is what you will need:

1 cup steel cut oats (or grain of choice)
3 cups water (or the amount recommended on the packaging)
1 banana *see note
4-5 strawberries *
5 frozen blackberries *

* each of these toppings are optional, and can be exchanged for your topping of choice!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cherry Blossom Festival

In DC, during the beginning of Spring, there is a wonderful period of time in which beautiful Cherry Blossom Trees bloom. It is by far the prettiest time of year, and people from around the world travel to the city in the chance of catching them at their peak.  Because Stephen and I moved to DC in June of last year, we missed this incredible time of year and knew that we had to make up for it! Yesterday, we decided to wake up early and try to make it into the city before it became too crowded.  Little did we know that hundreds of others would have the same idea!  Even with the tourists, the Cherry Blossoms were incredible.  Here are some of my favorite captures!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sunday Mornings and Waffles

This past Sunday was General Conference, a weekend I love!  We get to listen to Church Leaders share messages of faith, hope, and the knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father.  Usually on Sunday mornings, my family (and Stephen's) makes a big breakfast to eat together.  I decided that even though Stephen and I were alone this year we could do the same!  So I decided on waffles! First of all, it had been forever since I had made them and they were so so so delicious I just had to document them! Of course, it helps that I had strawberries, maple syrup and whipped cream on hand :)

Wedding Season

This Spring seems to be the season for weddings! In the past few weeks I've been to two bridal showers, and both of their weddings will be held within a week of each other!  I have to say, I am beyond thrilled to have an excuse to dress up and celebrate such a happy occasion with two of my best friends from high school! Anyways, this past weekend I had the honor of co-hosting a bridal shower for my dear friend Olivia.  And we had a blast!! Her Maid of Honor is so wonderful and together we made a great team!  Here are a few photos of the decor from that night!

How cute are these buckets we used to hold some homemade chocolate covered popcorn?  

Fresh Flowers!