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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

Gluten Free Pancake Crash Course

So now that you’ve had this container of gluten-free flour mix sitting in your cupboard for the better part of a month, are you ready to do something with it?

That’s right, after yet another (and even longer) blogging hiatus, we have returned and this time we come bearing gifts…

And by gifts we mean pancakes, of course!

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Because here at Two Saucy Sisters, we believe that thick, fluffy pancakes should be accessible to everyone- including our gluten-free friends! 🙂

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We decided to go with a basic, plain pancake recipe here to allow you guys to have some fun with it and add whatever you want to them.  Chocolate chips, blueberries, cinnamon and raisins, or maybe for the more adventurous you want to try adapting some of our other pancake recipes- how about banana nut? Strawberry Shortcake?  Pumpkin Gingerbread?  Or why not Chocolate-Banana Upside Down pancakes?  Are you drooling yet? 😉

Of course, we couldn’t just have plain pancakes for breakfast (where’s the fun in that?) so, in the spirit of Fall, we topped ours with a little pear-apple concoction!

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Cinnamon, pears, apples, raisins and a splash of maple syrup goes a looong way, people!

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But before you go running to your kitchen to make these, let’s have a little chat about gluten-free baking.  Well, okay, we suppose making pancakes isn’t exactly baking, per se, but it’s close enough, in our opinions!

The main thing to remember when adapting a recipe to use gluten free flour is that different types of flours have different liquid-holding capacities, so always cut back on the liquid by at least a third, then gradually add liquid in until you’ve reached the consistency you want.  Which leads us to rule #2: when using gluten-free flour, your batter should be thicker than when using standard white or whole-wheat flour.  This is especially true for pancakes if you want them to be thick and fluffy, which is obviously what everyone wants in a good pancake!

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Lastly, you will notice that we added a bit of coconut flour to the batter.  This is not entirely necessary (in fact, our first trial didn’t use it) but it really does help make the pancakes thicker and fluffier.  If you`re worried about a coconutty flavour, fear not because the small amount we’ve added doesn’t change the taste one bit!  Coconut flour is also really easy to find (in Canada you can get it at the Bulk Barn).  But if you decide to leave it out, you may want to cut back on the liquid slightly.

Anyways, now that you’ve been given a crash-course on gluten free pancake making, we hope you enjoy our recipe, and have fun adding all sorts of yummy add-ins to them! 🙂

Gluten-Free Basic Pancakes

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2/3 c. High-fibre gluten-free flour blend
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk of choice (add more if necessary)
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre-heat a non-stick skillet or pancake griddle over medium-high heat.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Combine the wet ingredients in a separate, small bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Drop spoonfuls of batter onto the pan (we found these worked better if we made them a little smaller).  Once you see bubbles start to form and the edges begin to cook, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Keep warm while cooking the remaining batter.  Top with fruit, maple syrup, nuts, or whatever else you’d like!  (Our recipe for the apple-pear “sauce” is below!)

Apple-Pear “Sauce”

1 apple, diced
1 pear, diced
1 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 c. water

Directions:

Add all ingredients except water to a small pot and stir to combine.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Cook on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring every couple minutes, until the apples and pears are cooked and the sauce has thickened.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried adopting a recipe to be gluten-free?  What was challenging about it?

Simple Sunday: Cheater Bruschetta

How many times growing up have you heard the phrase “cheaters never prosper”? Probably more than you can count!  We think it’s safe to say that the general consensus among the population  is that cheating is bad.

But today we’re here to tell you that they’re wrong.

Ok ok, we retract that statement- how about instead we just say they’re not completely right.  Sound better?

Because you see, sometimes it’s ok to cheat!  Sometimes, it’s actually a good thing!  Like with this cheater bruschetta!

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It looks like homemade bruschetta bread, right?  Well that’s because it is- sort of.  The thing is, we love bruschetta bread, but we don’t always feel like going to the trouble of making it from scratch, nor do we always have  a jar of bruschetta mix on hand.  But you know what we always do have on hand?  Salsa!

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We love salsa! So one day, when a craving for bruschetta hit, we thought bruschetta is made of tomatoes, right?  And salsa is made of tomatoes too, is it not?  So why not make salsa bruschetta!

Brilliant!

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Anyone who’s a born-and-raised Italian would probably look at us with mild disgust for even proposing that salsa can be used to make bruschetta bread, but what can we say?  It’s fast and super easy, and it tastes pretty darn good!  If you happen to have fresh tomatoes that you want to dice up and throw on top, be our guest!  And here we’ve used cheddar cheese to top (because that’s all we have in the fridge right now and we’re trying to use it before it goes moldy…) but you can use whatever cheese you like!  In fact, we prefer to top with goat or feta cheese 🙂

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So just to clarify- it is not ok to cheat on a test, or in a sporting event, but it is perfectly acceptable to cheat in kitchen! 😉

Happy Simple Sunday everybody!

Cheater Bruschetta

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Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 4 min
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat french bread
1 – 1.5 c. chunky salsa
1/2 c.  cheese of choice

Directions:

If broiling in the oven, pre-heat the broiler.
Slice the french bread length-wise and place on a baking sheet or oven-safe plate. Put under the broiler or on broil setting in a toaster-oven for 2 minutes to lightly toast the bread.
Once toasted, Spread the salsa across the loaf, covering evenly. Sprinkle with cheese of choice and place back under the broiler for another 2 min or until the cheese is melted.
Cut into smaller pieces and serve!

~twosaucysisters

What sort of foods do you “cheat” with? Besides bruschetta, we almost always replace low-fat sour cream or cream cheese with plain yogurt and cottage cheese, because we pretty much never have sour cream and cream cheese on hand but always have yogurt and cottage cheese! 🙂

Leftovers

Did you make yesterday’s blueberry buttermilk pancakes?

You did?  Perfect!  Because you probably have leftover buttermilk, and perhaps even some leftover blueberries now, don’t you?

How did we know?  Call it foodie intuition 🙂

Anyways, if yesterday’s pancakes got you on the same blueberry buttermilk kick that we’ve been on lately, then this post is especially for you 🙂

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These are the muffin form of yesterday’s pancakes, and they are seriously good.

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But we have to tell you, it took us a couple tries to get these right.  We have been making muffins for years (in fact, muffins were the first thing we ever made without the help of our mother!) so by now we’ve got the whole procedure pretty much down pat.

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In fact, aside from the occasional leaving-out of ingredients (aka- forgetting the baking soda) we have never actually had a batch of muffins fail.  So when the first batch of these didn’t quite turn out, we started to wonder if we had lost our touch!

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It’s not that the first round didn’t taste good, they just didn’t have that light and fluffy texture that you come to expect from a muffin.  When they first came out of the oven they were big and round and beautiful-looking, but within minutes of cooling, they had collapsed, and ended up being somewhat dense.  Of course, we ate them anyways, but we knew we had to have another crack at them as soon as the first batch was gone.

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Round two turned out to be a resounding success, so we deemed them blog-worthy and here they are in all their glory!  A fluffy muffin made with whole wheat flour and bursting with juicy blueberries just for you.

You’re welcome 🙂

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 c. Apple juice
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. date paste

1 c. frozen blueberries

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In separate bowls, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, stirring just to combine. Carefully fold in the blueberries, trying to avoid blue colour “bleeding” into the rest of the batter.
Bake for 15-20 min, or until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a baking failure? Did you succeed the next time you tried? We’ve had plenty of baking failures, and sometimes they took more than 2 tries to perfect!

The Perfect Match

For today’s post, we have for you one of our really easy, go-to recipes that we’ve made a million times and for some reason just got around to taking photos/blogging about it now.

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Salmon Burgers!

With a creamy dill-sauce. 🙂

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There’s something about salmon and dill – they just go so well together! They’re like peanut butter and jelly, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, or Batman and Robin – they just compliment each other perfectly!

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Besides these babies being quick and easy to prepare (not to mention delicious!), they’re also quite versatile. We’ve done an avocado version, once with avocado slices on top and once with them diced up and mixed right into the burger, with some kind of tomato paste, chipotle chili sauce, and we also think a sundried tomato version (diced up finely and  in the actual burger, or just put them on top), with a dijon mustard sauce in place of the dill one would be equally as awesome.

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We topped these ones with fresh cucumber, cherry tomatoes and arugula, and paired them with a side of sweet potato fries.
Dinner perfection! 🙂

Dilly-Salmon Burgers

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Prep time: 10min
Cook: 7-10min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2 fillets of salmon, uncooked
1 egg white
1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tbsp dried dill
1/2-1 tbsp lemon juice
1/8th tsp salt
pepper

For the Dill Sauce:

2 tbsp cottage cheese
1-2 tsp dried dill
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

Pre-heat grill or greased, non-stick frying pan.
Shred salmon until there are no large chunks. Combine all burger ingredients and form into two patties. Grill for 4-5min on each side, or until the burger is cooked through.

For the Dill sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

~twosaucysisters

Do you have any easy, go-to meals?

Double Chocolate (and gluten free!)

The one good thing about winter coming is that for daylight savings time, we gain an hour. Probably because they figured that they might as well give us little something in return for the long, awful coldness that is winter. Seriously, winter just makes no sense – everything dies and it’s more difficult to go everywhere. Who’s idea was that? Normally we get all excited because we get an extra hour of sleep, however this year we both forgot to set our clock back before we went to bed, so instead of getting the extra snooze time we just got an extra hour to be productive do something else.

Because we don’t have a race this weekend, we decided to use our mornings for baking! We made another version of these granola bars (coming soon!) and this morning we’re making some muffins. Today, however we bring to you these cookies:

Chocolate chocolate chip.
Did we mention they are gluten free?

We think we should just quit school and become gluten-free cookie bakers, because apparently we’re pretty good at it. These cookies are kind of like a brownie-meets-cookie sort of deal. A.k.a. they’re ridiculously chocolaty.

These cookies aren’t just any old cookies though. They’re birthday cookies! Which obviously makes them that much better. You see, it was one of the girls on our team’s birthday on Friday, but we felt awful because she had a party, but not many people could go due to the nature of this time of year (midterms+assignments+national championships next weekend). Since we couldn’t go to her party, we decided to bake her some cookies! However, she has a gluten allergy, so of course we had to be a bit more creative.

We were pretty nervous about them, because we just made this recipe up off the top of our heads, so we were pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out!

We also need to point out, that while these cookies are a lot healthier for you than most cookies out there, they’re not the ultimate health-food cookie, either. They have a lot less refined sugar, and use part margarine and part coconut oil. Because really, these cookies are birthday cookies, and birthdays are not about being healthy, birthdays are about having fun and eating yummy foods.

So we wouldn’t suggest that you eat several of these each day, but one every other day or so – well that sounds good to us! 🙂

Double chocolate gluten-free cookies – Happy Birthday Melissa, and happy Daylight Savings! 🙂

Double Chocolate Chip Gluten-free Cookies

Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 10-12min
Makes: 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. arrowroot flour
1/4 c. coconut flour
1/4 c. buckwheat flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder**
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

1/4 c. margarine
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream together the margarine, coconut oil and honey. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and combine, stirring in the chocolate chips.
Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet with a spoon or cookie scoop, and flatten with a fork.
Bake for 10-12min, until lightly browned and slightly firm. Cool on a wire rack.

**Not all baking powders are gluten-free, it depends what kind of starch they use. Check your ingredient list to make sure they use a gluten-free starch first!

-twosaucysisters

Have you ever had or made gluten free cookies before? What’s your favourite kind of cookie?