Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Felicidades!

First a little history: The holiday of
Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May,
commemorates the victory of the
Mexican militia over the French army

at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is
primarily a regional holiday celebrated
in the Mexican city of Puebla
and throughout the state of Puebla, with

some limited recognition in other parts of
Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with
a significant Mexican population.

It is not Mexico's Independence Day,
which is actually September 16.
This year is especially important as Mexico will be celebrating its bicentennial!

And now onto the food! First off, we have the Hub's wonderful
tequila-lime salsa. If you missed it last time, it's worth checking
out. I am a salsa snob, and I have to say the Hub's is the best
I've ever tasted! Also, we have my very own enchilada casserole.
This is a fabulous dish to whip together using chicken, turkey or
beef. It's easy and delicious!

Another recipe I like to use because of its versatility is one for
a quick oven baked quesadilla. It can be made with chicken or
beef, I tend to use beef, and my favorite part of making it is

shopping for the ingredients. My sons and I like to shop at the
Ranch Market in Phoenix. It's a wonderful market that always
makes me feel as if I'm in Mexico (but the drive is much shorter).

The dudes and I spend a lot of time in the tortilleria,
watching the tortillas
being made and then it's on to the
meat counter for our carne asada. I enjoy so much about the
Hispanic culture in the Southwest. The art and history of our
neighbors to the south is truly fascinating. And the food, well,
I am pretty sure I can never leave the Valley of the Sun, because I
simply can not give up Mexican food. I am addicted.

Oven Baked Quesadillas


2 lbs carne asada, broiled and diced
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 whole wheat tortillas
pico de gallo
sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put a tortilla flat on a baking sheet.

Layer on cheddar cheese and
carne asada, fold tortilla over.
Repeat three more times until
you have four folded tortillas.
Bake for 6-8 minutes until the
quesadillas are heated through
and crunchy on the outside.
Garnish with pico de gallo, sour
cream and guacamole
as desired.
Makes 8.


And now our contest news...

Congratulations to Stacy from Louisville!
You've won Riley's
Williams-Sonoma’s Ultimate
Grilling Rub Collection

Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series, Grace Under Pressure, debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie at with the date that you pre-ordered and the name of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started: Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!) - The Poisoned Pen (my local mystery bookstore) - Barnes & Noble -


  1. Happy Cinco de Mayo to you, Jenn! We LOVE quesadillas here, so I think this will be going on my menu tonight. Thanks!


  2. This is my first, but I promise not last, visit to your blog. I love the food you chose to showcase for Cinco de Mayo as well as that in the posts below. The salsa sounds to die for. I hope you all are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Thanks, Mary! Welcome to the kitchen!

    E, I'm glad you like the quesadillas. My wee ones
    like to put their own together -- little do they
    know it's part of my devious plan to make young chefs out of them! LOL.

  4. This sounds delicious, Jenn! What a great recipe to have to celebrate the day!


  5. We love Quesadillas, too! They make such a quick and easy, nutritious and delicious snack or meal. Thank you for the recipe and the wonderful links. (And your hub's amazing tequila-lime salsa is to die for! Muy bueno!)

    Also - a big WELCOME to Mary from One Perfect Bite Blog!

    Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. Jenn, it's dinnertime, and I'm so wishing I had some of your Quesadillas. Of course, there's no nifty Ranch Market around here. Is there a brand of packaged tortilla that you recommend?

    ~ Krista

  7. Yummy. I'm addicted to Mexican cuisine as well, being from Texas will do that to you. However, mine usually has a Tex-Mex flair to it.

  8. Hi Krista!

    If you can find them locally, I would go with
    La Tortilla Factory tortillas. They're tasty and they have a gluten free tortilla, too! (That's for Avery).