Mexican food is a popular menu choice these days, and it is easy to make at home. Here are a few recipes that you might want to try.

Mexican food is a popular menu choice these days, and it is easy to make at home. Here are a few recipes that you might want to try.



Easy Guacamole Dip

2 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed

½ fresh lime, juiced

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons chunky salsa

In a bowl mix together avocados, lime juice, and salsa, then add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Mexican White Cheese Dip

½ pound of white American cheese

¼ cup of milk, more to make it thinner

1 tablespoon of butter

1 4 -ounce can of green chili’s

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper (Optional)

In a saucepan place cheese, milk, and butter; cook over low heat. Heat until melted, stirring frequently.

Stir in the green chili’s, cumin, garlic powder, and the cayenne pepper. Remember, it doesn’t take much cayenne.

Add more milk if you want it thinner.

Serve immediately with chips, tortillas, and/or a favorite Mexican dish.


Quick and Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts will have more flavor.

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 6-8 chicken thighs

1 cup of salsa (I use picante.)

1 tablespoon of Taco Seasoning (see recipe below)

12 6-inch white corn tortillas

1 ½ cups shredded green cabbage or lettuce

½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Sour cream

In a crockpot, place chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker sprayed with vegetable spray. Sprinkle chicken breasts with Taco seasoning. Top with salsa.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 3 hours, until tender.

Shred the chicken with two forks.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; top each tortilla with 2- tablespoons cabbage and 1- teaspoon cheese. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

When using use 2 tablespoons of seasoning mix; keep in a lidded jar at room temperature. This recipe may be doubled or tripled so there is extra when needed. Make sure to label the jar.

2 Tablespoons of Chili powder

1 Tablespoon of Cumin

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

1-2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon of Paprika

¼ teaspoon of cayenne or red pepper flakes ( double this if you want an extra kick)

In a bowl mix together all the seasonings. Transfer to a lidded jar and reserve.

When you need taco seasoning, use 2 tablespoons for a pound of meat (or just use 2 tablespoons for any soup). Label the jar “Use 2 tablespoons”, so you don’t forget.


Mexican Rice

Makes 6 servings. For a fresher taste with cilantro add it after the rice is cooked.

1 cup long grain white rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock

1/2 Vidalia or sweet onion, finely chopped, about one cup

1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 fresh Serrano pepper, chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 cube chicken bouillon

salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, halved

In a medium saucepan, cook rice in oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in onion, green pepper, Serrano pepper, and chopped tomato. Season with bouillon cube, salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot.


Slow Cooker Taco Rice Soup

1 pound ground beef or ground turkey, browned

1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning (or ½ packet of store bought)

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

½ large sweet onion, chopped

1 cup frozen yellow kernel corn

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 can water

3 cups cooked rice

Shredded cheese and tortilla chips for toppings.

Prepare rice according to package directions, set aside.

In the slow cooker stir together browned meat, taco seasoning, garlic powder, chopped onion, corn, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and water. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 3 Hours.

Just before serving stir in the rice. Let the rice heat up for about 10-15 minutes in the slow cooker.

Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips.


Sour Cream Enchiladas

These comfort food enchiladas may be frozen. Double the recipe and freeze half for easy serving next time.

2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

½ large sweet onion chopped

1 can of Rotel tomatoes

1 tablespoon of taco seasoning (or half packet)

1 can of cream of chicken soup or mushroom soup

1 8 -ounce container of sour cream

1 cup of milk

1/3 cup shredded cheese (any kind will work)

8-10 tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet, brown the onions until soft.

Add in the shredded cooked chicken, taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and HALF the can cream of chicken soup.

Cook over low heat until mixed thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the tortillas. Roll and place in a 9 x 13 –inch pan with the seam side down. Continue to do this until your pan is full.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and milk in a bowl until combined. Pour mixture over rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until heated through.

Serve with your favorite side dishes.


Mexican Wedding Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all- purpose flour

1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely ground

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

With an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Beat in flour, then pecans. Divide dough in half; form each half into a ball. Wrap separately in plastic; chill until cold, about 30-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and cinnamon in pie plate to blend. Set cinnamon sugar aside.

Working with half of chilled dough, roll dough by 2 teaspoonfuls between palms into balls. Arrange balls on parchment paper lined heavy large baking sheet, spacing ½ - inch apart. Bake cookies until golden brown on bottom and just pale golden on top, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies 5 minutes on baking sheet. Gently toss warm cookies in cinnamon sugar to coat completely. Transfer coated cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat procedure with remaining half of dough.

Cookies can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature; reserve remaining cinnamon sugar.

When ready to serve, sift remaining cinnamon sugar over cookies and serve.


Pastel Tres Leches Cake (Three Milk Cake)

For best milk absorption make the day before.


6 large eggs, separated

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk or coconut milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12- ounce can evaporated milk

1 cup whipped cream (optional)

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries or fresh blueberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Grease a 10 x15-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form; gradually beat in sugar until mixture is glossy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, combining each yolk before adding the next. Lower mixer speed to medium and add flour, about 1- tablespoon at a time, to the mixture, beating continuously; beat in baking powder, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cake cool for 15 minutes.

Pour 1- cup cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk in a blender and pulse several times until well blended. Pour three-milk mixture evenly over the cake. Refrigerate cake until cold and the milk mixture has soaked in, at least 3-4 hours or overnight for best absorption.

Cut in squares and top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a few sliced strawberries. Refrigerate leftovers.


Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.