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Chicken

Layered BBQ Chicken & Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

When I was growing up, rice and beans, empanadas, enchiladas, and posole were common in our house. My Mother not only cooked with Puerto Rican flavor, but she cooked with love. Isn’t it funny how you never forget home-cooked comfort meals or just how the brain associates food with comfort and memories? I find it extraordinary.

Sometimes just the slightest smell of garlic, chili peppers and cilantro bring childhood moments rushing back to me. I remember my Mother soaking pinto beans overnight and preparing the fluffiest Spanish rice to serve with her famous enchiladas. My brother always requested posole and tamales, so of course we’d have a feast for an entire week. Often times we felt like our bellies might explode, but the truth is our hearts were full and content. Funny enough, my brother and I never got sick of home-cooked meals or those carb-packed leftovers. We still crave them to this day. In fact, there have been years where we have requested enchiladas, Spanish rice, and posole for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Perhaps again this year.

Sadly, I can never recreate my Mother’s meals to perfection. Even if she gives me the recipe, it’s not quite the same. But of course, I am my Mother’s daughter. Therefore you should know I make some pretty incredible enchiladas. Like these!

These enchiladas are a bit different. Maybe a little unique. Certainly if you’ve never had sweet potatoes and BBQ sauce together, you need to try these. It’s one of the most delightfully flavorful combinations out there. The addition of chicken reminded me a little of CPK’s BBQ chicken pizza. Yum, yum. HOLY YUM.

I also love these because they’re quite simple to make. I baked them for my Mother actually and she LOVED them! I would totally bake them for a boyfriend though; we all know that men basically live for either BBQ or buffalo sauce.

These particular enchiladas are layered. It’s much easier to make them this way as you don’t need to worry about rolling tortillas when they’re already stuffed. Just layer, add sauce and cheese, and layer again!

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Skillet Cheesy Chicken Rotini with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce + Burrata

This past weekend I slept. And slept. And slept some more. I’ve discovered that as much as I’m a night owl, I really do need my sleep to function because otherwise I start craving bowls of Cheerios and peanut butter straight from the jar. No bueno for my figure.

Besides sleeping, I’ve been over thinking things. Mostly like where my life is going and what I’m doing with it. To distract myself, I made pancakes with salted dark chocolate, chugged coffee, and watched a movie starring Zac Efron.

From there I went into major creative mode which translated into a brain dump of culinary madness in my kitchen. Mostly things that remind me of fall. I’m SO ready to get cozy in my sweats, eat soup, and cuddle up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a ridiculous amount of whipped cream. I’ve been giving sneak peeks of upcoming posts via Instagram, so be sure to check it out!

Remember when I told you about that handsome guy I met on vacation? Well… he’s coming to visit me. I told you the weirdest things happen to me. Or maybe the most romantic things happen to me?

Since I’ve already baked him my famous cookies, I figure that I might as well fill him up with my other favorite carb: pasta! Cheesy, comforting pasta covered in a mind-blowing homemade tomato sauce. I think he’s going to love it. And I think you will, too!

First begin with a pound of Just BARE Chicken Breast Fillets.

I love Just Bare Chicken because there aren’t any added hormones or antibiotics used – ever! And, every package features a unique traceability code that tells you the location of the family farmers who raised your chicken. You can learn more by heading to their website or Facebook page.

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Pinto Bean Chicken Chili

 

Every now and then I love a little real-talk blogging. Today is one of those days.

The past year has been full of life-altering changes for me. I’ve shed many layers from my life…. and can I just admit that it’s all been incredibly difficult?! I’ve started my own business, traveled at least a week out of every month, lived in three states, and have literally been pulling my hair out trying to figure out where this is all leading to!

So what does this translate into? Basically working insane hours and jeopardizing A LOT. Honestly it’s been a complete struggle. I’m sure it’s something you might be able to relate to: failure, disappointments, and well… whatever life throws at you. Of course, I’m a huge believer that everything happens for a reason. My passion for success and a career in food pushes me every single day to keep pursuing my dream no matter how many times I fail. And trust me, I fail more than you know! My list of unsuccessful ventures will always be longer anything I accomplish; it will be for all of us. However, these failures push you to become better and to learn.

In a sense, I feel as though I’m in the middle of a transformation. I’m trusting my intuition and regardless of how difficult it becomes or what disappointments I find myself in, I’m both blessed and thankful to be on this journey.

So my question to you, is what pushes you to be the best you can be? What drives you to be better than you were yesterday?

I’m just a twenty-four year old girl who is literally obsessed with food, styling, photography and the inspiration I find in every day life. I’m not here to pretend I’m perfect in any way, because I’m not. I’m just explicitly in love with sharing my passion with you.

Oh sorry, that’s a bit obvious and this is getting preachy. Excuse me, let’s get to the FOOD!

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Crispy Garlic + Parmesan Oven-Fried Chicken

I am having a love affair with Zac Efron. Not like an actual affair, just one that lives in my mind. He’s just SO ridiculously good-looking! I feel like if I baked him chicken he’d feel the same way about me.

Kidding… kinda.

Anyway this whole Zac Efron thing stemmed from watching The Lucky One for the second time. I know, poor movie choice. The only excuse I can come up with is that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I just so happen to be a sucker for anything romantic. So sue me!

Besides good-looking men, my other obsessions this week include peanut butter and jelly chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s, lentil soup, and green beans with garlic. Yum, yum, yummmmmm. Seriously I could write a book about the intricacies of garlic and how I slather it in and on just about anything you can imagine.

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