Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Recap & A Side of Baked Chilaquiles with Black Beans and Kale

I recently realized that it's been over a year since I started this blog. In fact, it was one of my New Year's resolutions last year to start it. It's funny because I kind of dislike resolutions for lots of reasons. First and foremost, I believe in a constant evolution and bettering oneself, on a daily basis if possible. I want to strive to be more intelligent, in better shape, challenged, day in and day out. Typing that out, I feel like it sounds like that Kanye West song "Stronger"... but I digress. I also hate that so many people "resolve" to do unrealistic things like to get totally ripped, when they just let their goals fizzle out by week three, and the regular gym-goers breathe a sigh of relief that all their regular fitness classes are no longer packed to the gills. Anyways, I was always one to make resolutions, and to make them specific, like "start a food blog, run a half marathon, become a barre instructor", which were last year's. 

This year, I didn't make any. Maybe it was a feeling of being overwhelmed or the over-arching sadness/anxiety that what I thought would happen with the last year of my life simply didn't. But, I found myself returning to this blog. I hadn't even thought about trying to post in months when I came back here and sat down and read every single one of my posts in a row. This is going to sound so cheesy and narcissistic, but afterwards, I felt INSPIRED. 

Compared to last year at this time, my life hasn't changed all that much. I still live in the same house in the same city with the same boys. Though I have added three more jobs (I know, I know, I'm insane) to my single job that I had a year ago, I am still living with an uncertainty of what I am going to end up doing for "forever". For the first time, as I listened to an NPR podcast last night as I drove through central Pennsylvania, I realized that my confidence has wavered. But, reading through my old posts made me feel so many feels. This year so far has made me feel so many feels. A lot of them are uncomfortable. Looking at yourself through a magnifying glass is not fun sometimes. But this podcast was talking about thoughts, and how you can choose to deal with your own thoughts and how you do this can change your entire life. Now, I don't have crazy murderous thoughts like one of the characters, and I am not a vegetable trapped in my own mind, like another. But, though I didn't realize it, I have been feeling insufficient. Not good enough, not smart enough, not professional enough, not enough. It's time for that to end. 

So, I am on a mission to become the best Larissa I can be, with a marked determination. I want to be the best friend I can be, the best girlfriend I can be, the best barre instructor, the best dog mom, the best chef, the best human. What is life if you let yourself start down a slippery slope, cutting corners, taking short-cuts, and letting your negative personal thoughts come to fruition. So, although it's now February 1, and this isn't a resolution as far as the definition goes, I am jumping in with both feet. I am not going to wait for news that might not come. Instead I am going to take advantage of opportunities, plan ahead, and make the most of the ridiculously awesome person that I am. Because, well, I am pretty damn cool. 

So, what's a food blog without a recipe? I do think that my taste for spices and my speed in the kitchen has improved, as well as my ability to adapt recipes. Even though my posting has been worse than spotty, I still cook every single week, if not every day. Lately, I make a lot of things just for myself to eat, so I tend to not be overly creative. But, I have had quite a few dinner parties lately, which are so motivating. Honestly, one of my favorite things in the world is having people over for dinner. So, to get back to it, let's check out a recipe that combines my two favorite food things in the world: brunch & Mexican! 

Baked Chilaquiles with Black Beans & Kale

8 corn tortillas, cut into eights with kitchen scissors
olive oil
salt, as needed
1 12 ounce jar of red enchilada sauce (I used the one from Trader Joe's)
1/4 yellow onion
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed 
4 large eggs
1/2 cup packed shredded pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup Cotija cheese
cilantro, for topping
1 lime
1 ripe avocado (optional)
sour cream (optional)

1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and make sure that your oven racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, toss your tortilla pieces with enough oil to lightly coat, plus some salt and pepper. Spread evenly on two baking sheets, making sure they do not overlap.
3. Bake until golden and crisp, about 12 minutes, switching the racks and flipping them halfway through. 
4. Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion under tender, about five minutes. 
5. Add the kale to the onion along with a splash of water and a pinch more salt. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until wilted. 
6. Put the now-crispy tortilla triangles back into the same bowl and lightly toss with the enchilada sauce. Fold in the cooked kale, onions, and black beans. 
7. Spray a cast iron pan (I used my standard 8 inch) with non-stick spray or spread some oil lightly around in it. Then, spread your coated chip mixture into the pan, making sure it is evenly distributed.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, when the chips are starting to brown at the edges.
9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the pepper jack cheese evenly over the top.
10. Using the back of a spoon, make four appreciable divots in the chip mixture and crack an egg into each.
11. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 
12. With the cast iron still inside, turn the oven up to 425 degrees and bake until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent, about 5 more minutes. 
13. Remove from oven, top with cotija, cilantro, and avocado slices. Squeeze half the lime over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with remaining lime wedges and a dollop of sour cream. 

recipe adapted from


  1. Larissa I 've seen your reviews on Yelp and could've sworn I wrote you a message on there. Would love to talk to you. Please email me at if you're interested at all.

  2. Is it so bad that someone is interested in talking to you? Give it a chance.