recipe: mexican lasagna borrowed

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I love Mexican food. I never say no to it when out with friends who suggest the option. So, I found a recipe here, which by changing it up a little to add my own healthy take, I found it tasty and refreshing from the norm.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground meat (I used turkey)  – I used ground chicken since I hate Turkey and I don’t eat beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups salsa –  I used fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn (can use frozen or canned, drain as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8-12 corn tortillas, divided and cut to fit lasagna
  • 1 (16 oz.) container cottage cheese (I used an organic low-fat version) -
  • 1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, for sprinkling over the top of the lasagna

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brown meat in a large skillet on med-high heat, drain as needed. Return meat to skillet and add onions and green pepper, cook until tender; stirring occasionally.
  • Add salsa, corn and seasonings; stir well.
  • Layer one third of the meat mixture and one half each of the tortillas and cottage cheese in 13×9-inch baking dish. Repeat layers; cover with remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with guacamole, avocado, sour cream, black olives, cilantro and/or additional salsa. Enjoy!

Notes

adapted from Kraft foods Mexican Lasagna recipe

{source and photo credit click here}

interesting finds online volume 4

So the most interesting stories continue – online that is – where for a few minutes I am able to escape, living vicariously through others. Here’s this weeks:

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So you live on a cruise ship – eh?

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Wait what? Google mapping a desert?

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How much do you know about your dishsoap?

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Halloween flicks to die for…

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And since I’m from San Francisco…did you say you were moving?

decor: let the pictures do the talking

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A hidden office – wrapped around an inspiring closet

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A dream kitchen for the chef at heart

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simply simple modern decor – minimalist naturally

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An amazing dinner party idea for the holidays

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A warm room. Peaceful, attached to the master suite used to simply curl up on the sofa and read for hours

{photo source}

fashion: my style autumn to winter

Our autumns are not your typical. We don’t necessarily dive into cooler temperatures during the three months here in San Francisco like some places. We actually experience Indian Summer, in my dictionary defined as the best travel season for this amazing city. With that said, it is very difficult to plan for Fall weather outfits. So we dream. well mostly me, and maybe a dozen other locals of Fall outfits. Here are a few of mine. Which technically I can wear during “our” Fall-like winters. :)

For source, click here for my Pinterest board

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travel: amazing world we live in

The wealth of knowledge about travel is endless, thanks even more now to the internet. I remember when I used to check out books and encyclopedia at the public library to learn about the world, the wonders and the exciting tidbits. Now everything is just a click away, one article leading to the next, delighting me to no end, educating and challenging my brain  – I love it. Here’s the latest interesting articles that got me going:

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Beautiful Craters around the world

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Seeking peaceful places to escape?

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China’s version of Underwater  Lost City

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Must visit islands according to BBC Travel

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Classic European Hotels I’d visit in a heartbeat

a few updates for my other life

As you may or may not know,  I am a published author and have written two books so far, and one more due out February 2015. In light of that fact, I have a scheduled a fun happy hour in San Francisco to get a chance to meet anyone interested in discussing blogging and writing books. I have included the link here for you to RSVP should you be in my favorite city – San Francisco on October 22nd.

Meet The Author-wed 1022

{click on photo to be redirected to RSVP list}

recipe: autumn cauliflower soup

hbz-erin-fall-recipes-Cauliflower-Soup-11115738-lgA few days ago it was hot in San Francisco. The super hot, almost breathless and as usual the locals who were freezing over the summer complained about being too hot. We just can’t get it right in this amazing city. Nevertheless, I woke up this morning to chilly weather, breezy, hinting that we are in the midst of fall or autumn if you will. So, naturally I craved soup and clicked through many websites to find just the right one and here it is – my favorite vegetable cauliflower and some trimmings:

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup olive oil sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 good pinch red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
2 minced shallots
2 finely chopped celery stalks, cut into bite-sized pieces on a bias
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground clove
1 splash mirin
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 piece kombu
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 Tbsp hazelnut oil
1 Tbsp golden raisins
1 few sprigs fresh parsley
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Toss the cauliflower pieces in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Spread out on a half sheet pan and roast for about 25 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium pot and add the red pepper flakes to infuse the oil. Add the shallots, ½ of the celery, garlic and spices and sauté a few minutes until shallots are translucent. Once ingredients start to stick to the pot, add the mirin and deglaze the pan by scraping up the small bits with a wooden spoon. Next, add the broth and kombu piece. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15- 20 minutes until heated through and flavored.

Combine ¾ of the roasted cauliflower with the broth mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding the maple, lemon juice and more sea salt, to taste.

Pour into bowls and garnish with hazelnuts, celery, raisins, parsley flaky salt, and drizzle of hazelnut oil.

{click here for source}

thank you lady gaga for the nostalgia

I have to admit, I am a fan. Been one for years, appreciating Lady Gaga in all her glory, admiring her voice to no end. Recently, if you were following the headlines, she’d teamed up with Tony Bennett and the two of them came up with an album, oldies to be exact and the results, I have to say are not so bad. In fact, it’s well worth the download. Here’s a sample just in case you feel as nostalgic as I do sometimes, craving oldies.