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Easy Mexican Meals for Busy Days – Guest Post

So we’re basically the laziest bloggers ever! After not posting for more than a month, what’s one of the first things we do? Put up a guest post! But Allison has been waiting patiently for so long now, we just had to post one! We really like the topic, too, because really, who doesn’t like Mexican food? We’re sure your family will love her recipes too! Take it away, Allison!

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I love Mexican food. Tex-Mex really. Since I am a native Texan it only makes sense that I

would love those flavors. However it is not just the taste of Mexican food that I love. I also love

it because it is so easy and quick to put together. Not only that but Mexican food is infinitely

customizable. From vegetarian versions to kid friendly meal ideas, Mexican food is great for any

occasion. Here are a few easy Mexican meals you can make in a snap:

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Tacos

Tacos are a family get-together favorite because they are so adaptable. No matter what taste you

have or what veggies you like you can be sure to load up a taco that is to your liking. Kids love

to use just the basic meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato combo but you can spice it up with salsa,

add some smooth guacamole and more. Here is a basic recipe that your family is sure to love:

Ingredients:

10 Small Corn Tortillas (Taco Shells) Soft or Hard

1 lb.Ground Beef (or Turkey or Refried Beans or Ground Chickpeas)

1 pkg.Taco Seasoning or 2 tbsp. Flour(Optional)

2 cups Shredded Cheese

1 jar Salsa (or Pico de Gallo)

1 cup Diced Tomatoes

2 cups Shredded Lettuce

½ cup Sliced Mushrooms

¼ cup Sliced Ripe (Black) Olives

1 cup Diced Onion

¼ cup Diced Green Bell Pepper

½ cup Sour Cream

½ cup Guacamole (or Avocado Slices)

Directions:

Tacos are easy because they are so versatile. You can assemble them ahead of time or allow

everyone to create their own. First you start with the meat. Ground chuck has the best flavor for

tacos. If you do not wish to use meat you can also use refried beans or ground chickpeas. Brown

the meat and pour off the grease. For a strong Mexican flavor add taco seasoning. For a less

spicy flavor add the flour. Make sure the flour is stirred into the meat well before serving. You

can also do without either. Next you need to prepare the shells. Crunchy shells can be purchased

next to the salsa in the international aisle. They need to be baked until crispy. Soft shells can be

purchased near the bread and must be fried before serving. Using a non-stick skillet spray the

pan with oil and cook each side until lightly brown. Shells will start to bubble when cooked. Let

everyone assemble their own flavor combinations. Or if you want to you can pre-make the tacos

by taking the uncooked crunchy shells, filling them with meat and cheese, and then baking ,

closely packed, in a casserole dish.

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Burritos

I love the chunky, crispy goodness of a burrito. A great meal to eat on the go it is also a tasty

dinner treat that you can whip up in no time flat. Although this recipe is able to feed up to ten

people, you can cut down the ingredients and just make one or two. You can even turn it into a

fun party meal by letting everyone make up their own and then baking them all together.

Ingredients:

10 Large Flour Tortillas

1 can Refried Beans or Ground Chickpeas

2 cups Spanish Rice

1 lb. Ground Beef (or Ground Turkey or Shredded Chicken)

1 pkg. Taco Seasoning or 2 tbsp. Flour (Optional)

2 cups Shredded Cheese

1 can Whole Kernel Corn (Drained Well)

½ cup Roughly Chopped Tomatoes

½ cup Roughly Chopped Mushrooms

¼ cup Whole Ripe (Black) Olives

1 cup Roughly Chopped Onion

¼ cup Roughly Chopped Green Bell Pepper

½ cup Sour Cream

½ cup Guacamole (or Avocado Slices)

1 jar Salsa (or Pico de Gallo)

2 cups Shredded Lettuce

Directions:

Burritos are both similar and different than tacos. First of all, after you cook the meat (following

the directions for the taco meat) you do not cook the shells. Flour tortillas for burritos are larger

than taco shells, about the size of a large dinner plate. Burritos are cooked fully assembled.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take the flour shell and start in the middle. Make sure you

leave room on the ends and sides. Do not overfill. Spread the bean paste first and then top with

meat and rice. Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese and add the vegetables, excluding the lettuce.

The veggies should be rather large so that they will not get too soft in the baking process. Wrap

the burritos by folding in the top and bottom first and then wrapping the sides. Hold closed with

a toothpick. In a large casserole dish, place the burritos so that they are touching but not packed

too close. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for twenty minutes. Take off the foil and bake for

five to ten more minutes or until the shells turn golden brown. Serve with lettuce, sour cream,

avocado, and salsa.

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Corn Bread Casserole

This is another great meal for big crowds or hungry teens. This one is a hit and so simple to

throw together. With only a few ingredients you can make this up in minutes and have dinner on

the table. It is also very affordable and filling for those days that you need to stretch the budget.

Feel free to add in more veggies if you would like, but remember that salsa has lots of veggies in

it too!

Ingredients:

2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix (2 Eggs and 2/3 cup Milk)

1 can Creamed Corn

1.5 lbs. Ground Beef (or Turkey)

1 cup Diced Onion

½ cup Diced Carrots

1 16 oz jar of Salsa

4 cups Shredded Cheese

Directions:

This tasty casserole makes enough for a crowd! It is very easy to make too. Preheat your oven to

350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 casserole dish. Prepare the Jiffy as directed and then stir in the can

of creamed corn. Set aside. Brown the meat, onions and carrots until cooked through. Drain off

grease. Add the jar of salsa and mix well. Pour meat mixture into casserole dish. Sprinkle on half

the cheese. Over that, pour half the Jiffy mix and spread until the meat mixture is well covered.

Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and then pour on the rest of the Jiffy mix. Spread until Jiffy

mix reaches edges of pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the cornbread is fully cooked.

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Mexican Casserole

Also known as Mexican lasagna, this tasty recipe can easily be supplemented by extra veggies

depending on what flavors your family likes. I love it because it is a great one pot meal that

freezes well too. Make a couple of batches of this and freeze one for later. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients:

1 lb. Ground Beef (or Turkey)

1 cup Chopped Onion

2 tbs. Taco Seasoning (Optional)

2 ½ cups Salsa

1 canBlack Beans or Red Kidney Beans(Rinsed and Drained)

¼ cup Italian Salad Dressing

1 can of Whole Kernel Corn (Drained)

¾ cup Sour Cream

6 Small (8 inches) Flour Tortillas

2 cups Shredded Cheese

1 cup Shredded Lettuce

½ cup Chopped Tomato

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 by 13 casserole dish. In a large skillet brown the

meat and onion until cooked through. Drain off the grease and add the taco seasoning if desired.

Stir in the salsa, beans, corn, sour cream, and dressing until well mixed. Pour 1/3 of the meat

mixture into the casserole dish and spread thin. Take two flour tortillas and tear into bit sized

pieces or leave whole and spread over the meat layer. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat

until all layers are complete. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with lettuce and tomatoes.

These tasty Tex-Mex recipes are sure to become a hit with your family. Why not try out

something new and see how easy it is to have a great meal on the table in minutes!

Author Byline:

Blogging for was a natural progression for Allison once she graduated from college, as it

allowed her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering

her writing career with http://www.nannyclassifieds.com. She can be in touch through e-mail

allison.nannyclassifieds@gmail.com.

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Thanks so much Allison! We hope you all enjoy her recipes as much as we did!

~twosaucysisters

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Simple Sunday: Another Summer Salad

This morning we were reminded just how much we love the Summer.  We went for a run and it was just so beautiful outside we felt like we could have run forever.  And we have to say that so far this has been one of the best running summers we have had in a long time.  Yes, the heat wave we had a couple weeks ago was a bit much (although we refuse to complain!), but that has gone away and left us with beautiful days like today.

But Summer isn’t just awesome because of its blue skies and warm temperatures.  The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found at local stands on just about every corner cannot be discounted!  We know we’ve mentioned this many times before and we don’t mean to be repetitive, but every time we eat a fresh tomato from our own garden, or snack on juicy cherries from just down the road, we can’t help but be reminded of how delicious the summer is!

Which is why we made this salad- to showcase the season’s best!

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This salad brings together what in our minds are sort of like the three “stages” of summer produce.  First comes the asparagus in the spring (which is basically like early summer in our opinions!), then you start to get into more of the actual summer months and get strawberries, and then of course the summer is capped off with delicious, sweet corn.

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Of course, there are a million other fruits and veggies that make an appearance during those times, too, like fiddle heads and leafy greens in the spring, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and apricots mid-summer, and peaches are starting to hit the stands now too! 🙂

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Add some chicken and a little tahini drizzle and you’ve got yourself and easy, delicious and fresh-tasting summer meal!  And feel free to change it up a bit, too- local strawberries might be a little tougher to find now, but cherries are out full-force and would work wonderfully in this salad.  The idea is to use whatever summer produce you can find.

We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are, and be sure to hit up your local farmer’s market to take advantage of all this awesome food nature has to offer!

Strawberry Asparagus and Corn Salad

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c. strawberries, sliced
1 c. corn (fresh or frozen)
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

For the tahini drizzle:

3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp water

Directions:

Sprinkle the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper and bake in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until done.  Alternatively you can barbecue the chicken over medium heat for 20-30 minutes if you prefer.

Meanwhile, toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes until they can be easily pierced with a fork, or grill over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.  Set aside.

In a frying pan over medium heat, add a small amount of olive oil.  Add the garlic and corn and saute until the corn begins to blacken a bit.  Turn off the heat and add the strawberries so they cook down just a little bit and release some of their juices into the corn.

Cut the asparagus into bit-sized pieces and add to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and stir until everything is combined.  Slice the chicken and divide the salad onto separate plates.  Place the chicken on top and finish with the tahini drizzle.

For the Tahini Drizzle:

Combine all ingredients except the water and stir until fully combined.  Slowly add the water until the mixture is drippy but still slightly thick.  Drizzle over top of salad.

~twosaucysisters

What is your favourite part about Summer?  What is the weather like where you live?  How do you like to take advantage of these beautiful days?

Word Play

When it comes to food, the term “blackened” is not a descriptor you would typically want to use to describe your dish.  To us, anyways, the word blackened is kind of synonymous with other words like “burnt” or “charred”- doesn’t exactly get your mouth watering, does it?  No, it sort of just leads us to think of another word… “inedible”.

Think about it- blackened cookies, blackened toast, blackened pizza… suddenly you don’t feel well and you’re (cough, cough) “not hungry”, right?

In fact, the term blackened is right up there with words like “wilted”, “fermented” and “sapid” (who knew that word means something tastes good?!?)

Yes, for the most part if your dish is blackened, you probably burnt it and it probably isn’t going to be very, well… sapid.  (There.  We tried using it and we were right- it just sounds weird.)  But there is a time when the term blackened is a good thing.

A very good thing.

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If you hear the word blackened in front of the word salmon, you can forget all of your preconceived notions of what you thought the word meant, erase the images swirling in your mind of charred, dried-out fish, and dive in fork-first!

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Because this salmon is slammin’! (Sorry- we couldn’t resist!)

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But in all seriousness, we may never eat salmon any other way ever again- it was that good.

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There are 2 simple steps to creating this mouth-watering dish, and only about 25 minutes until it is on your plate! The secret to perfectly-done blackened salmon (aka-not burnt) is to sear it in the pan and then finish it off in the oven!  That way you get a crispy outer-layer, but a flaky, succulent inside.

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Succulent. Now there’s a word we want to hear more of!  Or how about delectable, exquisite, or tantalizing? 

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Actually, if there was a word that combines all of those we’d have a dead-ringer!

Delecquitalizing? Tantaquitable? Hmm… maybe we’ll just let the pictures do the talking 😉

Blackened Salmon

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 lb. salmon (you can also use fillets)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder + a dash of salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

In a small dish, combine all the spices.  Generously coat both sides of the salmon with the spices and gently rub into the flesh.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, place the salmon in the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are blackened, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes to blacken the other side.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and move fish from the pan onto the baking sheet.  Bake in the centre of the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the salmon is no longer dark pink in the middle and flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with avocado-corn salsa (recipe below).

Avocado-Corn Salsa

Prep: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup

Ingredients:

1/2 a large avocado
3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 tomato, diced
1 green onion, diced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small dish and serve.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had anything that’s been “blackened”? What are your favourite food-descriptor words? (We’re always looking to expand our repertoire ;))