• Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sauces

    Tangy Avocado Sauce

    Concocting luscious dips with Greek yogurt is one of my favorite cooking pastimes – almost it’s own little mini-cooking project for me. This recipe gets me excited because it has avocados (one of my favorite foods) and it goes great with pretty much any Mexican meal – which made it a huge hit with my family! Another special feature to this sauce? Once you’ve enjoyed it for dinner, it morphs into a dip – just add another scoop of Greek yogurt to thicken it up a bit. Print Tangy Avocado Sauce Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 1½ cups   Love the flexibility of this sauce - you can decide how spicy you want…

  • Appetizers,  Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes

    Chipotle Salsa

    Chips and salsa are big in our house, so I’m always trying to come up with new versions. I made this salsa for the boys’ first night home from college – Mexican is always their favorite meal – and they all loved it! Of course with three college boys in the house, the whole batch of salsa, and the bag of chips, was gone by the next morning! Print Chipotle Salsa Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 3 cups   Another reason I love this recipe? It's so quick and easy to make! The salsa would also make a delicious topping to grilled chicken, seafood or steak. Happy cooking! Ingredients 2 (14.5 oz) cans…

  • Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Cowboy Beans

    Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, these beans are my take on a beloved Mexican restaurant side. These beans were for the older boys first dinner home from school for the summer. Along with Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos, Mexican rice and Creamy Guacamole Sauce, big servings of Mexican comfort food were devoured at dinner. Smoky, a bit spicy, Cowboy Beans are sure to become a favorite with your family. Print Cowboy Beans Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6   Use this classic Mexican bean side to inspire all sorts of flavor combinations. You could add pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers, or change things up and make a black bean version. Fresh cilantro would…

  • Mexican,  Recipes,  Salads,  Vinaigrettes

    Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

    I was so blessed to spend a wonderful day last summer with two dear friends. Lyn and Melissa have been my friends since 6th grade, it was so special to get to spend the afternoon with them and have all of our kids – 8 of them – get to know each other. I love cooking for my friends, so I had to volunteer to bring some food. Lunch turned out great, and since we had all told our kids we were having “Mommy time” we were able to chat uninterrupted for 20 minutes at a stretch. Bliss! What a fun picnic table lunch and we even got to catch…

  • Appetizers,  Mexican,  Recipes

    Homemade Tortilla Chips and the Best Ever Nachos

    Jeff and I had so much fun working on this recipe together. I finally figured out the perfect kind of cooking for us to do together – any tasks that have a high rate of repetition and precision – he excels with that type of stuff! We got off to a rough start because I had meant to buy corn tortillas for the nachos, but out of habit picked up flour tortillas. But my sweetie came to the rescue by putting a tiny slit in each tortilla wedge, that one step means your chip doesn’t puff up too much. We made these for Super Bowl, and oh my goodness…with Spicy…

  • Chicken,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Soup

    White Chicken Chili

    I LOVE white chicken chili! It has all the tasty, slightly spicy complexity of beef chili without all that heaviness and the stick to the ribs element. Like every other soup or chili this meal just gets better after a day or so in the fridge, and it freezes great. My version builds a complex yet healthy base from poblano chilis and onions sautéed along with lots of garlic, cumin and coriander. I utilize the Indian technique of “blooming” spices, which simply means adding spices to hot oil and letting the flavors intensify. I use this technique almost daily in cold weather – it is an invaluable tool in developing…

  • Mexican,  Recipes,  Salads,  Sides

    Black Bean Salad with Avocado and Red Pepper

    One of my favorite salads to make in the summer, serve it along side anything from a hamburger to my Mojo Pork Tenderloin. This salad also makes a great addition to a make-your-own taco bar, which is how we enjoyed it last week. But I think my favorite way to eat this is over scrambled eggs with a dollop of sour cream – breakfast perfection that I enjoy until the leftovers run out!   Love this meal together! http://gatherconnectempower.com/2016/07/mojo-pork-tenderloin/ Print Black Bean Salad with Avocado and Red Pepper Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8   The dressing really makes this salad and has the perfect amount of zip to really elevate a simple bean…

  • Grilling,  Mexican,  Pork,  Recipes

    Mojo Pork Tenderloin

    I love pork tenderloin! Grilled or roasted – it always turns out yummy and juicy. Think of it as a blank canvas, much the same as a skinless, boneless chicken breast – you can add any flavor profile to it and create an interesting and delicious meal. This marinade is so easy and the pork tastes incredible. Pork tenderloin is a great option for a quick family meal, or double this recipe and you have a ideal main dish for a crowd. It’s much easier to move a few pork tenderloins around the grill instead of tons of chicken breasts. Try this pork as the centerpiece of a make-your-own taco…

  • Appetizers,  Mexican,  Recipes

    Grilled Salsa

    In all the years I’ve been cooking I have to confess I never made salsa. I really only made Mexican food for my clients, and if we were having Mexican at home I would pick up a great salsa at the store. That was before I found myself feeding college kids, because what do college kids love more than Mexican food? Nothing! So, a few weeks ago while looking for some recipe inspiration, I stumbled across a recipe for grilled salsa. That immediately caught my attention because I was going to be grilling Mojo Pork Tenderloin for tacos (that recipe coming soon) and I would already have the grill going. Below…

  • Dinner,  Meat,  Mexican,  Recipes

    Flank Steak Fajitas

    One of my new favorite dinners with a completely delicious marinade! A recent cookbook discovery, Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert inspired me to re-think all the work involved with making fajitas on a grill pan – how could I simplify things for a weeknight dinner? Cook the fajitas and veggies on a sheet pan! If you are looking for new dinner inspiration definitely check out this cookbook – if you kids are like mine, they don’t like foods mixed together – so roasting on trays is big in our house already. A huge bonus was making dinner on ONE foil-lined sheet pan…the fewer dishes to clean up equals a…