Southern Living Recipe Review

Skillet Enchiladas Suizas

This recipe picture really is a testament to the way I cook. It’s not pretty, it’s messy, and all over the place, but I love it. I picked this recipe out of a Southern Living because I swear by my cast iron skillet. I have a small one and a large one and they make a my world go round. Your cooking game changes when you invest in a cast iron skillet and my life would not be the same without one.

I also ADORE Mexican food. I actually love latin food in general, but I eat Mexican cuisine at least once a week and enchiladas is my favorite dish, so it was natural I would lean towards this recipe.

Because I cook Mexican food so much, this recipe didn’t require me to get much I didn’t have. Plus it seemed like there were some easy things to substitute in this recipe. For example, I used unflavored green yogurt instead of crema or sour cream and I got floour tortillas instead of corn. I also bought salsa verde instead of tomatillo salsa (same thing different names).

The recipe doesn’t tell you this, but get all of your ingredients prepared before you start. I didn’t drain the tomatoes or rip up the tortillas before I started and it made me overcook my onions a bit (I also spent a solid 3 minutes trying to open my salsa can, which was also a struggle).

Once everything is ready, you basically sweat the onions first on the stove in the cast iron skilled, add in some garlic and cumin and then pour in the tomatoes and salsa to let it reduce. Then you add in your chicken, tortillas, greek yogurt, and cheese, and hope it doesn’t overflow. Then you top it with cheese and pop it under the broiler for a little and BOOM your done!

When it comes out of the oven it honestly looks like a deep dish pizza until you top it with some avocado, but it was a solid recipe! It took me under 30 minutes to prepared and cook, which is a must in my kitchen during the week. It also had a lot of flavor to it and was a nice change up from my normal Mexican food.

Although this did work out great, I don’t think I’ll be making it again. It was really heavy because everything is coated in cheese and cream and tortillas and it just was not a great texture to me. I really like crunch in my dishes and this was just a lot of mush. It also was really hard to mix once I got the chicken and tortillas in there and I think I didn’t disperse everything well and there were chunks of tortillas and some parts that were basically just tomatoes. John really liked it and I did eat a whole big bowl of this, but I like my classic enchiladas better. They can get crispy edges and they’re not as heavy as this.

Dish: 5/10

Easiness to make: 10/10

Recipe: 9/10

Heathy: 7/10

Will make again: 2/10

Ski Day Travel Tips

Skiing has been new to my life since coming to college. I actually became extremely close with my boyfriend, John through a ski trip to Canada back in 2015, so it’s something we do every year to reminisce on how we met. John actually retaught me how to ski in 2016 in Killington, VT so we decided to go back there this year to get some good mountains to ski on. It’s a great ski mountain with a great town as well. Although it’s a bit far away, I wanted to share with you guys, some of the best places to go, things to do, and places to eat here while sticking to a budget.

John actually grew up skiing and snowboarding in Vermont and is extremely skilled. He can do all sorts of cool stuff and likes to go into the woods, but I am pretty new to things and also like to keep my speed under control. Although, I appreciate him so much for teaching me to ski, sometimes we just need to ski our separate ways and do what we want, which is what makes Killington is a great place for every level of skier.

When John was first teaching me to ski, we stayed on the Rams Head mountain, which is all easy trails with some other trails to help you progress as you learn. It’s also a small walk away from the Snowshed lodge. From there you can also get to the “learn to ski” hill, which is really great as well. If you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder, you’ll be fine to start at Rams Head as well. There’s usually more parking because the lodge is smaller (also parking is free at all the mountains) so you can start here for the day and work your way across the mountains to harder trails. Just make sure you keep your trial map on you because you can get lost quickly and then get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be (cough cough thanks John).

When it comes to staying in Killington or at any mountain resort, book sooner rather than later. Most people book in early November for their ski trips so it really does pay to plan ahead. I recommend booking right after Halloween to save some major coin. Also, check AirBNB for some really great listings. There are lots of rental sites you can check out but there are lots of cute, cozy places on AirBNB that will get you close to the mountain without having to pay the pretty penny for it. AirBNBs are also a great option if you can get a place with a full kitchen. There is a grocery store on the way into Killington where you can buy groceries and save money by cooking yourself breakfast, lunch, and a dinner or two.

Once you book your place to stay, buy your lift ticket right afterwards! Killington does not offer discounts for many things so they give you incentive to buy your tickets in advance. The longer you wait, the more you pay, especially if you wait till you get there in person. They do offer discounts for military members, but not for students. If you plan to ski for more than 1 week or you’re going to buy a 5 out of 7 pass, consider buying a season pass as well. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy the season pass even if you’re going up once just to save some cash as well.

There are lots of great restaurants around Killington, and a lot offer discounts if you go looking for them. A new place we tried out this year was the Wobbly Barn. This place is one of a kind for sure. The bottom is a nice steakhouse restaurant with all you can eat salad bar and a great selection of drinks. The top floor is a night club with live music and a party atmosphere. Although the restaurant downstairs can be a bit pricey, if you dine there, they don’t make you pay cover to go upstairs for the night (even if you eat dinner, leave, and come back), which saves you about 20+ bucks depending on the day of the week.

If you take a day off or want to unwind a little after you get off the mountain one day and are willing to take a little drive, you can make the trip to Long Trail Brewing Co. This is a local brewery with great food and great beer. I’m not a huge beer drinker, but this place knocks my socks off. They have a big bar and a few smaller tables, so it’s not the best idea to go here with a huge group. They offer tasting selections as well as full beers, and you can make your own six pack before you leave in the gift shop. If you know me, you know I’m a bar food junkie! I love all the hot dogs, nachos, wings, burgers, there are to eat and they have some great options at Long Trail. They offer a full menu of food, but I love their nachos and hot dogs with all the fixings. They go perfect with your beer and they taste SO GOOD!

If you decide to take a break day to hang around Killington, there are lots of other things to do besides skiing. There are snowmobiling tours that are SUPER fun, but can get expensive. There are also lots of cute shops to go wader around in along the main road through Killington as well. You can sit and have coffee at LiquidArt or go play arcade games and grab a drink at Jax Food and Games (John’s fav). Or hang by your fireplace and watch Netflix all day (my fav).

Killington is super far for us from Maryland, but I think it’s totally worth the trip, especially for a four day weekend. If you want the most nightlife and options, make sure to take your trip Thursday through Sunday. Many of the lift lines are longer on Saturday and Sunday, but most bars and restaurants are closed Monday-Wednsday. If you plan on staying in more, I’d say go these days for extra short lines and to also save some money on your trip. But like with any trip, just do your research before you go! There are always lots of simple ways for you to save money and even if you’re just learning, a big mountain like Killington will still be tons of fun! Just make sure to reward yourself at the end of each day with a waffle with chocolate from The Waffle Cabin. You won’t regret it I promise.

Why a Healthy Lifestyle is Addicting

Growing up, I can’t say my parents made the healthiest choices for our family. I look back on what I ate growing up and it was a lot of fast food on the go and quick meals in the kitchen that were always very delicious, but lacked the benefits of a healthy meal. I never really thought about this till I stopped playing sports because once that stopped, the bad eating habits started to catch up to me. I tried to keep up with working out as much as I could, but I finally became conscious of what it took to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle.

When I left for college, this became even more of a reality check. I had to make all these healthy choices on my own and figure out what was right for my lifestyle when there was so much crap for me to eat and so little time for me to think about the consequences of eating it all the time. I really gave into the freshman 15 once I started dating John so this year, it was time for a change.

I tried out all kinds of different healthy recipes and started finding all these new ways to stay active and mix up my workouts and I fell in love with it! I got plenty of sleep at night and would wake up early just to feel refreshed and eat a good breakfast. It made me so much happier. I found the drive to stick to it and not only did I feel happier and healthier, I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment that I had quit my junk food habits.

To this day, I really try my best to stick to a healthy eating plan, but I cheat. I love milkshakes and wine way to much to give those up for more than a week, but fast food just makes me feel sick. I still get my cravings for a good cheeseburger (I live across the street from a McDonald’s) but most of the time I keep it under control because I LOVE TO FEEL HEALTHY.

If you want to start transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, get goals and make small ones at first and reward yourself afterwards. For example, if you go two weeks without snacking on junk, you can go out and buy yourself a new dress. Don’t reward yourself with junk food because what’s the point of that? Put reminders around you and keep your goals always in your mind. There are so many ways to stay acocuntable, but honestly once you start, you won’t want to stop. I promise.

Duck Donuts

Here in Maryland, there are many different places to get donuts, but lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of chat about this place called Duck Donuts so of course, being me and always wanting to be doing what everyone else is doing, I went and tried them with John (he’s always down for food, especially donuts). I went for the first time a few weeks ago, but I have been SUPER busy so I’ve had n time to write at all, but I’ve already been back again. When you go in, they have a little paper you can fill out and select what you want on your donut. They have different glazes and drizzles and toppings so you never have to have the same thing, which I loved. I got some sweet and some savory ones like vanilla glaze with oreos and fudge drizzle as well as powdered sugar with blueberry drizzle and I honestly couldn’t tell you which one I loved more. Their donuts aren’t very dense as John put it. You can eat two or three and not feel like they’re just sitting in your stomach. They’re also not super sweet where you just feel sick. This may be personal preference because I have quite the sweet tooth, but even some things for me get to be too overpowering.

Duck Donuts is about a 30 minute drive from The University of Maryland, but honestly it’s so worth it if you have a craving for some good ass donuts

Side note: last time I went, I dropped my phone in my parking garage when I got back and completely ruined the screen so maybe the donuts weren’t worth the $136 I paid to get my phone fixed, but they did make the situation a little more bearable.

They have lots of different locations across the east coast so look them up in our area and give them a try. You’ll be addicted.


Green or Gold Juice?

I’ve always herd about people doing juice cleanses and how great they are or how great natural artesian juice is so I finally decided to give it a try. I work in Bethesda, Maryland and right across the street from me is an artisan juice bar called Purée. This place has had my attention for awhile. I always have customers come into my work and I ask them what they got and if they liked it and they always have great things to say, so about a week ago I went and tried it for myself. When I walked in, I saw some pre-made juice, but they also had a very large menu which was quite intimidating, especially considering there was an old man who came in after me who knew exactly what to order, I just browsed the pre-made ones and picked the green lemon-aid. I’ve always been a fan of green juices so I thought this one would be a hit, Also I drink about 2 gallons of lemonade a week (not even exaggerating) so this was right up my ally.

The packaging is cute. Its an all glass bottle with a plastic cap screwed on. You get 16 fl oz of juice for $9.00. This was what blew my mind! nine dollars for some vegetable juice?! This stuff better be amazing!. When you first get it, its very separated so you have to shake it up and then you can enjoy your all organic artesian juice.

My juice was made from spinach, romaine, kale, cucumber, celery, lemon, cayenne pepper, alkaline water, and a hint of agave.Let me tell you, this stuff did not taste like lemonade… This tasted like cucumber water. It wasn’t horrible, but I expected it to have a much more lemonade flavor and it didn’t even have a lemon after taste. I did still enjoy the juice to an extent, but I can’t say I will ever spend $9 on that exact juice again.

Purée does do other custom smoothies and acái bowls so I definitely think I’m going to go back another time for something different, but maybe when I have more money to blow. I understand why the drink is so expensive. It’s a quality product made from quality, natural ingredients, but next time, I’m trusting my gut and sticking with the berry flavored things.

My Overwhelming Obsession With Food

I LOOOVVEEE a good meal. I will pay a pretty penny for a piece of fresh fish or for authentic Itallian pasta. I’m obsessed with flavor palates and taste profiles and all that god stuff, but it hasn’t been like that. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mom who loved to cook, but she also loved to make things taste great. This usually involved mass amounts of butter and salt and sugar, but who doesn’t love a good helping of heart attack?

Now that I’m older and live on my own, I try to eat a lot healthier than this, but when I want to splurge I go all out and, honestly, I think that’s totally worth it. If I go out to eat, I’ll order chicken or fish, but sometimes I don’t.

I’m not saying all healthy food is gross and can’t be just as flavorful as butter soaked mashed potatoes with cheese, but sometimes I want those potatoes. It’s totally okay to cheat and enjoy a dish you really want to try. It’s just not good for you to go out to eat 4 nights a week and indulge every time you go out.

Love the food you eat and don’t cheat yourself on that comfort food we all know and love so much. Sometimes, you just need a little (or a lot of) butter in our lives.