Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite days. Growing up in Texas was part of our schedule - we Heritage Days at school and piñatas and all kinds of fun things. In college, he grew inevitably something that was so funny, but included several pools and barbecues as piñatas and candy. Whatever the day included, even if it took or studying for a final (which has inevitably always been), celebrated with enthusiasm. And, of course, much of what went taste to the food.

Here is a list of everything you need to make your Cinco de Mayo An agitated.

Fajitas (pictured above) are always a welcome idea if cooking for a crowd. Most of this can be done in advance and everyone can make your own! It was the standard dinner in my college years.

Carne Asada fajita would be a good addition too.

Enchiladas are good.  

In all forms.

At any time of the day.

And they can even be good for you.

You could make taquitos.

Or Flautas.  And if you can tell me the difference I'll give you a dollar.

You could go the quick route and make these Mexican Pizzas.

Or these shrimp quesadillas.

But you could also go the low-and-slow-all-day thing and make braised pork shoulder tacos.

Or roast a leg of lamb and call those tacos.  You may even win a prize for them!

You could make my Dad's pinto beans and bake some corn bread.

You could also make Now or Never Chili.  It's delicious.

What would a party be without dip?

But for all that is sacred, do not forget the salsa.  Do not!

So, clearly I love Mexican food, which means you should be all set for Cinco de Mayo.  Make a pitcher of Margaritas and crack open a Corona and celebrate with these recipes.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! 

Chicken breast in a tomato mushroom basil cream sauce...

Chicken breast in a tomato mushroom basil cream sauce... Could sub milk for the cream and use corn starch to thicken!

 Season both sides of your chicken breasts with Oregano, Parsley, Salt, Pepper.

Heat your frying pan/skillet and pour in some olive oil and a scoop of butter...

Also pour in a little white cooking wine and some minced garlic (not pictured)

Once your butter is melted a good bit add your chicken to the pan...

Cook until done... Flip the chicken to brown it on both sides...

Once the chicken is done remove it from the pan...

Pour a little of the white cooking wine in your pan to loosen up any of the chicken bits and flavor...

For the sauce: Add some minced garlic (to taste) and dried basil (i sprinkle in A LOT) to your pan. Pour in a cup of cream. Drain a can of diced tomatoes (you can always use fresh) and add that as well. Cook this on low for a few minutes. Drain the mushrooms. Add them to the pan...

Once your sauce thickens a bit. Add the chicken back to the pan and cover it. Cook on low for about 15 minutes...

It should look like this once it is done... (I know it looks a lot like the first pic but you should see a difference.)

The potatoes were roasted in the oven and the broccoli was steamed... This chicken was AMAZING!

And I called this recipe "One Arm Chicken" because I cooked it with one arm, haha! I know this may not be the healthiest meal with all the cream but every now and then I have to cheat. I don't normally use canned mushrooms but they were a great alternative. It would have been really hard to chop mushrooms holding a baby. Normally I'm able to put the baby in one of my wraps or carriers when he's fussy but today he wanted the real thing.

Creamy Lasagna Roll-Ups Recipe

Creamy Lasagna Roll-Ups Recipe ~ Creamy cheese, pasta sauce and ground beef get wrapped up in noodles and baked in this fun take on traditional lasagna.

1 lb.  lean ground beef
4 cloves  garlic, minced
1 jar  (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can  (14 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup  KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
2 eggs
1 tub  (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Italian Herb Cooking Creme
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese with a TOUCH OF PHILADELPHIA
2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley
12 cooked lasagna noodles

Make It

HEAT oven to 350ºF.

step 1

BROWN meat with garlic in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce, tomatoes and 1/4 cup Parmesan; set aside. Combine eggs, cooking creme, shredded cheese and parsley.

step 2

SPREAD half the meat sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

step 3

SPREAD each noodle with 3 Tbsp. cheese mixture; roll up. Place, seam-sides down, over sauce in dish.

step 4

TOP with remaining sauce and Parmesan. Cover. Bake 45 to 50 min. or until heated through.

Slow Cooker Melt in Your Mouth Pot Roast

Slow Cooker Melt in Your Mouth Pot Roast


1 chuck roast (mine was 3 pounds)
Olive oil
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks (optional)
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoons corn starch


2 tablespoons steak seasoning (mine has a blend of peppercorns, garlic, paprika, parsley and salt)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary


Combine together seasoning mix in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Coat both sides of meat with olive oil.  Sprinkle on a third of the seasoning mix onto each side.

Sear both sides of the meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Transfer roast to slow cooker.

Place the vegetables in a large bowl.  Drizzle on a little olive oil to coat vegetables.  Sprinkle on the remaining seasoning mix.  Add the vegetables to the same skillet that was used to sear the meat. Sauté for about five minutes - stirring occasionally.

Transfer the vegetables to the top of the roast in the slow cooker.  Pour in the beef broth. Cover with lid.

Cook on low for 9 hours or on high for 6 hours.

Using a turkey baster, retrieve most of the cooking juices from the slow cooker.  Transfer juices to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.  Whisk together the cornstarch with a little water.  Blend into the pan juices while whisking.  Bring back to a simmer until thickened.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Transfer the roast and vegetables to a large platter.  Ladle the gravy over.  Serve immediately.

Baked ziti and Summer Veggies

Baked ziti and Summer Veggies~ This was pretty good. Very fresh tasting with the fresh basil and all the yummy veggies. Next time I will add mushrooms.


    4 ounces uncooked ziti
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 cups chopped yellow squash
    1 cup chopped zucchini
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 cups chopped tomato
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
    3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
    1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    1/4 cup (2 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    Cooking spray


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add squash, zucchini, and onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 1/2 cup mozzarella, herbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

4. Combine ricotta, remaining salt, and egg. Stir into pasta mixture. Spoon into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Cannelloni on steroids! Turn a familiar dish into something memorable. E

Cannelloni on steroids! Turn a familiar dish into something memorable. Everyday ingredients. Easy to make.


    8 fresh lasagne sheets (15cm/6" x 11cm/4.5")
    ½ cup Mozarella cheese, shredded
    Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)


    250g/8oz frozen spinach (pre chopped)
    500g/1lb ricotta cheese
    1 egg
    ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
    1 garlic clove, minced
    ¼ fresh nutmeg, grated (or ⅛ tsp nutmeg powder)
    ½ tsp salt
    Black pepper

Tomato Sauce

    700g/24oz passata (or substitute with tinned crushed tomatoes)
    1 brown onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Handful basil leaves (optional)
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 tsp sugar
    ½ tsp salt
    Black pepper


    Preheat oven to 180C/300F.

Tomato Sauce

    Heat oil in a 22cm/9" ovenproof pan over medium high heat.
    Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds then add onion.
    Cook onion until translucent and starting to turn golden, then add the remaining Tomato Sauce ingredients.
    Simmer for 2 minutes to bring the flavours together, then remove from heat.
    Scoop out 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce which will be used to drizzle over the dish at the end.


    Defrost the spinach in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
    Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach using your hands, then place in a large bowl.
    Add remaining Filling ingredients and mix well to combine. I find it easiest (fastest) to do this with my hands.


    As per the photo, lay out the lasagne sheet with the shorter end in front of you. The reason is that you want to roll these up so they are fatter than cannelloni.
    Place ⅓ cup (packed) of filling onto the lasagne sheet. Dab some water on the end furthest away from you (to seal the roll), then roll up starting from the end closest to you. Finish with the seal down.
    Continue with remaining lasagne sheets.
    Cut rolls into 3 (so each piece is 3.5cm/1.5" wide).
    Place the rolls into the tomato sauce with the filling facing up.
    Drizzle the reserved Tomato Sauce over the rotolo, then bake for 20 minutes.
    Remove from oven and scatter the mozzarella over. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
    Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Rice Casserole


    3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
    2 cups dry Basmati rice
    2 cans (10 oz each) Enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso)
    1 can (16 oz) refried beans (I used Old El Paso)
    1 cup white cheddar, shredded
    1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
    1 can (11 oz) corn kernel
    cilantro for garnish
    salt and ground black pepper to taste


    Cook the rice. I cooked it with 4 cups of water and ¼ cup of butter.
    Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
    Mix the 2 cheeses together.
    In a large bowl mix the shredded chicken with the enchilada sauce, refried beans and half of the cheese. Add rice, season with salt and pepper if needed, and mix well. Pour rice mixture into a large casserole dish. Top with corn then with remainder of cheese.
    Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly.
    Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm