Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chicken Tostadas

I'm setting the goal of cooking more recipes that are outside of my comfort zone.  Tonight was the kick off.  I decided to try making a recipe for chicken tostadas that I found on the Food Network's website:

Chicken Tostadas Ingredients
I fried flour tortillas in about an inch of canola oil in our Le Creuset.
I slathered the tostadas with refried beans (I didn't make the beans from scratch) and Mexican cheeses and then put them under our broiler (my first time using the broiler in the five years I've lived in our apartment!) for 30 seconds.
Tostadas Assemby Line - I made homemade guacamole (avocado, red onion, cumin, lime juice, cilantro [I wish I had a jalopeno to spice it up, but it was good]), the shredded chicken (dressed in olive oil, cilantro, salt & pepper, and lime juice), shredded lettuce, tomato, jarred salsa (I didn't make the salsa cruda), and scallions
My husband's tostada included sour cream
Mine was sans sour cream and delicious.
I highly recommend this recipe.  Frying tortillas was not as hard as I thought it would be and they were so crispy and delicious.  There were a lot of fresh ingredients.  Next time I'll maybe try making the beans and salsa from scratch.  I'll let you know my next cooking adventure soon.

Here's the full recipe in case the link no longer works:

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
45 min
40 min

6 main course servings


Crispy Tortillas

Vegetable oil for frying
6 white corn tortillas
Kosher salt for sprinkling

3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander ( cilantro)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Refried beans, warm, recipe follows
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1 Hass avocado, thinly sliced or guacamole, recipe follows
2 cups salsa cruda, recipe follows
1/2 cup sour cream
1 scallion, thinly sliced
12 fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-1/2 ounce can pinto beans (with liquid), mashed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

2 ripe tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


To make the tortillas: Pour the oil for frying into a large heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 2 inches. Place over medium heat and heat to 375 degrees F. Add the tortillas, one at a time, and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined pan and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

To make the chicken: In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

To assemble the tostadas: Preheat the broiler. Spread the beans evenly over one side of each tortilla and sprinkle with some of the cheese. Transfer to a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is lightly browned and melted, about 30 seconds. Divide the tortillas among 6 plates.

Evenly mound the chicken on each tortilla and top with the lettuce. Top each tostada with avocado, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the scallion and garnish the tostada with the coriander leaves. Serve immediately.

Cook's Note:
The tortillas must be fried until very crispy, otherwise they may become rubbery, making them difficult to cut with a knife and fork.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, coriander, and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until thick and amber brown in color, about 4 minutes. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, coriander, salt, and season with pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fabletics VIP Review

I totally fell for the Kate Hudson commercial for Fabletics.  Your first outfit is $25; I couldn't resist getting cute leggings for yoga and exercise cheaply.  My first outfit purchase was the FUSE outfit with black Salar leggings, the Leon tank in black with foil arrows, and the headband in dark gray.  I also bought the Salar leggings in the Mulberry Taos Print.

My Fabletics loot - they threw in a sample size Tom's deodorant for fun.
Mulberry Taos Print Salar leggings with Leon tank with foil arrows.
I sized up to the 8/Medium; they seem to be of the Lululemon school of not doing vanity sizing.
You may have noticed from the previous photo that I now have a fitbit; so far so good.  I love knowing how much I walk and if I sleep restlessly.
I opted for the VIP membership for Fabletics, because it seems like a good deal.  Each month your card is charged $49.95 for a new outfit unless you opt out that month, but opting out is an option, which I appreciate.  You get good quality leggings and tops at a discount, and I am hoping that having cute workout clothes is motivational for me.
This month, I might get this cute Weston pullover as part of my VIP membership.
I'm also excited to go to yoga in my new pink pants tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that the new garb and fitbit help me get fit.

Cozy Winter Boots

I am not willing to spend $200 on a pair of UGG boots, but I do love how cozy that style of boot is and it's cold out!  Gilt had a  good sale on Koolaburra boots earlier this month and I bought a pair of black tall boots.

They are super cozy and perfect for winter walks (on days that it's not too snowy).

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Trader Joe's Turkey Meatballs

Happy National Spaghetti Day!! To celebrate we made Trader Joe's turkey meatballs.

I keep hearing about how great TJ's turkey meatballs are, but prior to this week they've always been sold out.
I cooked garlic and onion before adding the meatballs and ragu (not a fancy meal).

Dinner was really quite good. We had a little side salad as well.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holidays and Whatnot

We're back from Christmas and here are some recent items:

Scene from my holiday card writing mayhem
How blissed out our cat was when we returned from Christmas in Illinois
My first attempt at a mason jar salad (lemon/balsamic vinaigrette, carrots, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, avocado, tortilla strips, and cheddar).  It as kind of difficult to eat out of the jar.
Before we left the city for the holidays, I tried my first ever Manhattan at The Smith downtown.  Not my thing, but I'm glad I tried it.
I came home with more books and my new book pile now includes: Red Love by Maxim Leo, The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor, A Stay Against Confusion by Ron Hansen, Sister by Rosamund Lupton, and Complete Stories of Dorothy Parker

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Here's what I've been up to lately:

Ordering lots of books: Auden, Mankell, Cheever, and Bishop
Eating pumpkin pie for breakfast with espresso

Drinking lattes for the art at cute coffee shops in NYC...
...more latte art...

...and big gourmet donuts to go with my latte art

Ordering white hotel-style bedding despite having cats with dark fur.

Having the best mom ever who sends me beautiful tins of popcorn for Thanksgiving and...
...Fannie May Mint Meltaways for St. Nicholas Day.

Life's been good, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the holiday season and 2015.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Last Couple of Weeks

Here's some random mundane happenings from the past couple of weeks:
When it's cold, this little guy hides in a storage cube in the closet.  On the left is a photo from last year and on the right is a photo from last week.
We changed our duvet cover from this floral one to...
...this white one.  It's 300 thread count and hotel linen style.  I'm a bit apprehensive about having white bedding with these two balls of fur.

I made chicken enchiladas.
We have been buying a lot of Whole Foods Guacamole.  It's really good.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a wonderful week.  Bonne nuit!