I'm an Italian girl living in central Georgia so naturally ... I'm sharing one of my favorite Mexican recipes with you on the blog today. 😂🇲🇽 I feel like everyone loves good Mexican food though ... even Italians. I've been blessed to have had some amazing people in my life who have spent time in Mexico and selflessly invested their time to teach me how to prepare truly authentic Mexican dishes.🌮 That in no way makes me an expert but I'll forever be grateful for all of the lessons I've learned from my Mexican friends. I may never master homemade tortillas or a chili stuffed turkey but I feel confident enough in my skills to tackle fresh tomatillos for the verde sauce for enchiladas suizas.
The name alone "Enchiladas Suizas" loosely translates to Swiss Enchiladas. I will admit that I did a deep dive on google today to find the origin of these enchiladas that may or may not have taken an hour out of my day - totally worth it though.🤣 Turns out, there are several theories about how these chicken stuffed enchiladas came to get it's unique name. The most basic theory is that the cheese on top resembles the Swiss Alps.🗻 The more believable theory, in my opinion, is that they were invented by a Swiss chef from Zurich who was living in Mexico.🇨🇭
I found a version of this recipe in a Cook's Illustrated magazine and it peaked my interest immediately. Maybe it was because I had a half container of Mexican crema and some leftover cojita cheese in my refrigerator that needed to be used up or maybe it was the rich and creamy green sauce that drew me to it. Either way - I'm so glad that I made these Enchiladas Suizas because they are AMAZING!!
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
3 serrano chilies
1 white onion, havled
1 pound tomatillos, husks and skins removed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Mexican crema
1/3 cup canola oil
8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup crumbled cojita cheese
Arrange 4 enchiladas over each bowl of sauce. Garnish with cilantro, cojita and chopped onion.
I've never stepped a single foot in New Orleans so I am by no means an expert on Mardi Gras traditions but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the grand celebrations from afar. And while I may not be able to participate in the vibrant carnivals or festive parades, I can still create my own mini Mardi Gras tradition at home with a homemade King Cake in honor of Fat Tuesday. 👑🎂
If you're new to King Cake, just imagine a cross between a Danish pastry and a giant cinnamon roll shaped into a circle to resemble a crown and covered with yellow, green and purple colored sugars.💛💚💜 The colors represent faith (green), justice (purple) and power (yellow).
Traditionally, a tiny baby figurine is hidden inside this delicious cake. The legend is that whomever ends up with the slice of cake with the baby is said to be King or Queen for the day!🤴🏼👸🏼 The lucky one who finds the baby is also given the honor of providing the King Cake the following year. 👶🏻
I didn't hide a baby inside my king cakes this year because I gave several of them away to friends and I honestly didn't know if they knew about the quirky king cake tradition. I was afraid that baking a baby into their dessert might frighten them. 😂
In honor of Fat Tuesday, I wanted to share my new favorite King Cake recipe with all of my followers who might want to create one for your own Mardi Gras celebration this year. I know that you're probably thinking that I've jumped the gun but trust me - this recipes is easier if you start it a day in advance. Prepare the dough and put it in the refrigerator to cold proof overnight and on Tuesday - you'll be well on your way to a delicious and beautiful homemade king cake.
King Cake 2.0
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
3 Tablespoons milk
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
plastic baby or almond
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup gingersnap crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
purple, green and yellow sanding sugars
Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours.
Bake 35 minutes at 350. Tent cake with foil and bake 15-20 minutes longer.
Sprinkle colored sugars in pinwheel pattern on top of cake.
Valentine's Day has been criticized for being a "Hallmark" holiday only created by big corporations to generate more revenue in the middle of February. On one hand, I understand the criticism. I feel like we should express our love for the people close to us on a regular basis, not necessarily on the one day a year designated to do so. On the other hand, I really love Valentine's Day because it's a reminder for all of us to appreciate the joy that the love in our lives brings to us AND it serves as a perfectly valid excuse to eat more chocolate.🍫😅
My husband is not one to ever let Valentine's Day pass without expressing his affection with a sweet card and a thoughtful gift. I feel a little guilty though because for most husbands, a simple box of chocolate would suffice as a token of affection on such a special day. When you're married to someone who spends the better part of 2 weeks preparing Valentine sweets for others, the last thing they want is more sweets. 😂
Rest assured, there will be no shortage of Valentine treats in our house over the next 7 days.🤣🍰🧁🍪🍓 Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate truffles --- and all adorned with shimmering red and pink sprinkles. One of my favorite new treats for this year has to be these chocolate dipped butter cookies though. If you are a fan of the Danish butter cookies that you see at Christmas time in the round blue tin - you NEED to try these. They are delicious!
1 cup butter, softened
⅔ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon milk
Bake cookies 14-16 minutes at 350.
Dip in melted chocolate and add sprinkles if desired.
Happy early Valentine's Day and in the spirit of the holiday, please know that all of you who follow along with my blog posts have truly touched my heart. You fill my heart with joy and I am grateful for each and every one of you. So thank you and I love you all. ♥️
January always feels like the longest month of the year but there's good news friends --- we made it to February!😅 Now we have Fat Tuesday, Valentine's Day and a long President's day weekend to look forward to.😅 (Just a heads up: be on the lookout for a new King Cake recipe for Mardi Gras coming soon. 💚💛💜) Oh, and I would be remiss if I failed to mention the most under appreciated holiday of all: Groundhogs Day!!! 🦫
I love a taco bar as much as the next girl but I always struggle with what to serve as a finale to a Mexican feast. Flan is great but I don't feel like I posses the equipment, culinary skills (or the latin genes) necessary to make a proper flan.🇲🇽😅 Churros also seem like an obvious choice to follow great Mexican fare but I try and avoid frying food at home. 💁🏻♀️
So, what's a girl with a ravenous sweet tooth like me to do to finish off a Mexican dinner? By the way, you should know that in the world of me, a little something sweet is absolutely REQUIRED after every evening meal. According to google the answer is ... Mexican sugar cookies.🍥💁🏻♀️ I cannot confirm how authentically Mexican these cookies are but I can tell you that they are ... DELICIOUS!!!
Mexican Sugar Cookies
3 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
Chill cookies in refrigerator 10 minutes. Bake cookies 10 minutes at 350.
Remove cookies from the oven. Flatten with a metal spatula and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
Enjoy and Ciao!
We had a little beach therapy in Grand Cayman this month and let me say that it was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my cold weather funk. 🏖️
We were only on the island for a few days but it was amazing. We managed to pack in a whole lot of quality time in a short amount of time and thanks to the kids - we actually took time to rest and relax on the beach too. 😂 🌊
It was no surprise that the beaches on Cayman were as amazing and spectacular as I thought they would be but what I didn't expect were all the incredible restaurants on the island. We had some absolutely scrumptious meals. We dined on conch, scallops, snapper, tuna, calamari, crab, lobster, shrimp and mahi. We tried it all and it I can honestly say that we didn't have a bad meal the entire time we were on the island.
I've only recently discovered how much I enjoy scallops and the scallops on the island were so tasty that it made me want to come home and make them for myself. While I don't have the ambiance of the Caribbean sea to gaze upon while I eat them ... my homemade scallops were still mighty tasty. 😅 If you've never made scallops at home before - this is the recipe for you. It's simple, quick and totally delicious.
16 large sea scallops (1 - 1 ½ pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese , grated
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the topping is browned.
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