Chilis Rellenos Casserole (Recipe)

I wanted to share a new-found recipe that I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding to the “Family Favorites” (mental) list. It’s a great vegetarian meal option that can be served as a main dish or as a side with brown rice and sauteed vegetables or a big leafy green salad.

I chose to serve it with brown rice, sauteed onions and butternut squash.

Chilies Rellenos Casserole w/Brown Rice and Sauteed Onions & Butternut Squash

Serves 6
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 can vegetarian refried beans
2 cans green chilies
1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup corn, frozen
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg whites

Arrange half of the green chilies, with onion in a lightly greased 11×7 baking dish. Top with half the cheese. Spoon beans in mounds over the top and spread gently, leaving 1/4 inch border around edge of dish. Top with corn. Arrange remaining chilies over the corn and top with remaining cheese. Set aside.

Combine flour, cumin, oregano, salt and garlic in a bowl; add milk and hot sauce, whisk until thoroughly blended. Add eggs and egg whites and mix. Pour mixture over casserole.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, or until set.

Let cool 5 minutes then cut into squares to serve.


It’s simple and delicious, just the way I like it! I’ll be adding this to the “Taco Tuesday” rotation when meal planning.

What’s your favorite casserole to prepare?

Better Than (Turkey) Burgers

As a BzzAgent, I was selected to be part of a campaign to receive MorningStar Farms meatless products and coupons for testing purposes. I was already somewhat familiar with the brand, as I have used their meatless Crumbles for recipes such as Chili and other family favorites that require ground meat.

I decided to try Grillers California Turk’y Burgers. Noticing these veggie burgers were made “with avocadoes and tomatoes”, I was curious if they would have a significantly different taste from regular turkey burgers.


There were four (4) burgers in the package, wrapped in pairs, and kept frozen.


I followed the cooking directions on the side of the package, placing the veggie burgers on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, for 16-18 minutes.

I was very impressed and pleased with the texture, moistness and flavor of the veggie burgers. I prepared each burger on a hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, bell pepper and cucumber. I also included a side salad and celery sticks for a complete healthy meal.


I like that these veggie burgers are a good source of protein and are cholesterol free. I feel these are a good option for substituting regular turkey burgers and maintaining a simple, healthy diet.


The MorningStar Farms Grillers California Turk’y veggie burgers are very satisfying and I look forward to continue using them, as well as trying other varieties, as part of my family’s meal plans in the future. I would recommend these to anyone looking to make a transition to vegetarian food, or simply wanting to try a healthy alternative to meat. They are a great substitute even for regular turkey burgers.  What is your favorite way to prepare your burger?




*Disclosure: As a BzzAgent I received a product sample, coupon, collateral or other special premium from BzzAgent.

Happy Dishwashing?

I will be the first to admit, as much as I enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen, washing the dishes afterwards is not my favorite. I often look for those smell good fruity type dish detergents to make the dreaded task a little more pleasing. Sometimes it helps, other times I procrastinate, load them in the dishwasher to be done by machine, or delegate to my trusty little helpers, after all it is my motherly duty to teach them self-sufficiency, right?

When I was chosen to test Palmolive Fresh Infusions dish liquids, I remembered the green bottle of dish soap my grandmother faithfully used when I was a little girl. I guess I expected similar yet was very surprised when I received my complimentary package from Influenster.


Complimentary Palmolive Fresh Infusions & coupons from Influenster

Inside my VoxBox were three full size bottles of Palmolive Fresh Infusions in three different scents: Lime Basil, Lemon Thyme and Ginger White Tea. Naturally, my first instinct is to pop open the cap enough to see how much I like the fragrance. I was immediately pleased with the natural scents. They were neither overwhelming nor chemical like. I had to choose one bottle to share with a friend, so I shared the Lemon Thyme because I tend to always choose lemony, citrus-y dish soaps. I figured it would be good for me to try something a different than my usual selection.

I began using the Ginger White Tea dish liquid and noticed how little I used yet still ended with clean, spotless dishes as a result. There was no greasy residue, not even on my plastics which are always hard to get. I liked how light the scent is: a little sweet, a little floral but not over-the-top. On top of all that, my hands were soft, which is a benefit worth mentioning. My hands go through the wringer with shampooing hair, processing color, washing clothes and of course washing dishes. So to notice how soft they felt afterwards, I was really pleased.

Palmolive Fresh Infusions Dish Liquid

Palmolive Fresh Infusions Dish Liquid

I can honestly say I have enjoyed washing dishes again. Palmolive Fresh Infusions not only smells great but gets the dirty job done effortlessly. While I have yet to try the Lime Basil scent, I am holding on to the sweet hope of spring by using the Ginger White Tea dish liquid. It fills the kitchen with just the right hint of freshness.

How do you tackle the task of washing dirty dishes?




*I received these complimentary products and coupons for testing purposes. Opinions expressed are honest based on my personal experience.

For a chance to receive your own free products, sign up with Influenster.

Cultural Cultivation: Hispanic Heritage Awareness

Having been born and raised in the United States, Philadelphia to be exact, to Puerto Rican parents, I consider myself just as much American as I am Puerto Rican. I jokingly would call myself PhillyRican. Hey, if the term fits, right?

As a mother I am finding that it is important to keep my culture alive for and through my children. If not, they may lose who we are as a people in the assimilated melting pot this country is. I have always enjoyed the diversity of America. Learning new cultures and ways of life has always been intriguing.

I remember sitting with my mother as a child asking her to tell me stories of when she was a girl. After all, having moved to the states at a young age herself, I’m sure holding on to the memories was special for her. She would tell me of the country side where she lived, her grandfather and his farm, the horses, fruit freshly picked from the trees, fun by the river and so much more. Everything seemed so carefree and I stood in awe at what this “other world” must be like in real life.

Now I find myself sharing my childhood stories with my little ones as they eagerly ask questions in amazement. They too feel I am describing another world since they are being raised in a suburban almost rural community. Though my environment was inner city compared to my mother’s island of enchantment, as Puerto Rico is lovingly known, I still felt the influence of her homeland throughout our everyday life. From the deliciously unique Puerto Rican cuisine to the language that speaks volumes to the music that will automatically have one move to the rhythm, our home was filled with a culture that was alive and flowing through our veins.

I remember the cold winters and the blizzards of endless snow we endured in Pennsylvania and I would say “my blood is supposed to be where warm weather is all year round”. Funny as it may seem, I had never even been on an airplane, much less made a visit to Puerto Rico. But I still felt a love for the island and a pride in knowing where my people were from. I would pick up any book or magazine that made mention of Puerto Rico and learn all I could about our people, foods, music, customs, events, holiday traditions, any and everything.

I try to pass our deeply rooted culture on to my children by maintaing the traditions and values my parents instilled. Whether holidays or everyday, I have filled my home with the aromas, flavors and sounds of my Puerto Rican culture. I am working on getting my children fluent in reading, writing and speaking Spanish. My grandmother has always encouraged me to keep a strong hold on our language. As with any other skill, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Thankfully I have had several opportunities, employment and otherwise to continue using Spanish on a regular basis, and helping others by doing so.

Our growing Hispanic population in the US will certainly have a continuous need for bilingual skills. I want my children to be able to embrace those opportunities and not be ashamed of who they are. Most importantly I am teaching my children the importance of family and togetherness, which is something that our Hispanic heritage takes pride in.

How has your culture influenced your life? If you have children, how do you manage raising them as cultural, and/or bilingual in today’s society?