Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When Mexico Meets Italy

To start, I ask all of you, whether you know me personally or just a reader, to keep in your thoughts a beautiful and dear friend of mine, Carol whose dealing with health problems.  All my love and thoughts to you if you're reading and I hope this is a recipe you may enjoy :)


As I've said before, Alex is a great cook (besides just cooking at Cinema Grill off and on for many years), but he's just a natural at whipping ingredients we have on hand together, no recipe in mind and just let his creative culinary mind flow (when he's not exhausted from work or desperately hungry)... I definitely know this about my husband.

Oh marriage... sometimes your spouse can say things that make you go, HUH?! WHA?! REALLY?!

For instance, here's our conversation from last night as we watched the torrential downpour o' rain:

Alex: There's something I've been thinking would be fun to do.... probably not your thing though...

Me: Ok? What are ya' thinkin'?

Alex: Well, with all this rain, I'd love to get some guys together and go canoeing. 

..... Pause..... Probably making a "does he really think I wouldn't enjoy that?" face....

My thoughts: Me the girl who loves to go on walks, bike rides, did a 4-day/3 night/30+ mile trail hike through the Smokey Mountains with you and your brother, our honeymoon was spent doing day hikes at the Smokey Mountains!

Maybe this whole red hair change has thrown him through a loop....?!.... Or that I'm still recovering from my massive amount of spider/mosquito/some-biting-insect that was exceptionally fond of me strolling round' my in-laws property...?!

Me: Hunny, I'd love to do that! I was the one that looked up places for us to take your kayak and rent a second one for me last summer...

Alex: Oh.... Okay! 

Insert excited, but "I'm sorry hunny" Alex face...

So at some point soon, we're planning a trip to canoe or kayak since the river's will be nice and high :)

But but to the food, my husband's brilliant mind has created one of our favorite dishes that is so versatile and we make with different ingredient pretty much every time to switch things up!

Mexico Meets Italy via a Mexican Pizza!

After a tiring day, this is such an easy whip up in a flash and completely delicious-with-a-kick meal that is always our stand by!

Mexican Pizza
Serves 1-2

In the line up!
- 2 large tortillas (I used Jalapano Cheddar wraps for a great spice and they're larger)
- 1/2 cup vegetarian refried beans
- 1/4 cup reduced fat Garden Vegetable cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces shredded yellow cheese
- 2 Tablespoons diced red onion
- 2 Tablespoons diced pepper (I had orange on hand)
- 2 Tablespoons diced tomato

For the toppin's!
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (I use leftover Taco Bell sauce packets, SO yummy!)
- Handful mixed greens
- 1 Tablespoon sliced red onions
- 1 Tablespoon diced tomatoes
- Extra hot sauce packets
- 2 Tablespoons reduced fat sour cream

These are the wraps I used that we buy in bulk at Sam's Club, perfect for this dish and for wraps of coarse.  Superb flava' and perfect amount of spice from the jalapeno! But of course, you can always use regular tortillas as we did before stumbled upon these 6 months ago! 

Coach's Orders!

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lather one of the tortilla's with the veggie refried beans, then add cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika to season the beans.  

2. Add an even layer of red onion, pepper of your choice and tomatoes!

 3. Load on the yellow cheeses of your choice and douse in hot sauce evenly around the "pizza" (add more if you like it spicy or scale back if you're spice sensitive!)

 4. Now for the other tortilla/wrap, lather in the reduced fat Garden Vegetable cream cheese and place the lathered side on top of the cheese, pepper and refried bean tortilla to create your "pizza"and place on nonstick sprayed baking pan, then pop that baby in the oven!

5. Cook on the top wrap until cheese is melted, veggies are cooked and tortilla/wrap is browned, usually about 12-15 minutes (but then again, I have a very temperamental oven) 

6. Let cool for at least 5-10 minutes and then cut into 4 slices (I use a pizza cutter just like a pizza!)

Add the toppin's on top of the slices and here ya go my friends!

I guess this isn't a "traditional" pizza since I use my knife and fork to get the perfect flava outta E-V-E-R-Y bite.  The inside of the tortilla pizza are warm, the cheese is oozing, the veggies & beans are covered in Mexican spice flavor, and then when you cut it up to add the cold crunch from mixed greens and raw onion + tomato and let the sour cream ease any excess spice, P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N on a fork... SERIOUSLY! 

Everything I could ever want and more!

Alright. Confession time: I've been watching Jon & Kate + Eight from the beginning.... Shameful, I know, but it's truly entertainment if you take out of the end-factor of how this effects those poor, poor, but GORGEOUS children :(

It's almost a crash-course in "what not to do as a parent" whether you have 1 kid or 19 kids, so it peeks Alex's interest from time to time ;)



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