Calabacitas: Simple, Healthy, and Delicious

This is one of my favorite things to eat. I first had them at a small hole in the wall restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL. It was called El Jalapeno, their decor was not the finest but the food was delicious, homemade mexican with clean and simple flavors. I would eat there at least once a week and in fact had my first date with my husband there over 20 years ago. Sadly it closed, but I continue to make this dish at home. Calabacita means “little squash” and zucchini is the star here. It is buttery and delicious, highlighted by the sweetness of the tomatoes and the slight crunch of the red onions. Back in the lean years this was dinner, we served it over some black beans or in a tortilla with some cheese. It also make a great side dish on taco night.Don’t underestimate the flavor in this dish because of it’s simplicity, try it tonight.

Calabacitas

2 T canola oil

3 medium sized zucchini quartered and chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 carton grape tomatoes chopped in half

1/2 large red onion chopped into 1 inch pieces (about 1 cup)

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet, add vegetables, saute over med heat for about 5-7 min, stirring occasionally. Vegetables should still be slightly al dente, toss with salt and pepper. Serve as a side, over black beans, or in tortillas.

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How to Throw a Baby Shower, It’s as Easy as ABC

My sister is having a baby, a new nephew for me, which is very exciting. I, with a lot of help from friends,  threw her an alphabet themed baby shower. This is an easy theme and can be used for either a boy or a girl.

1st the invitations, these could be done several ways but since my printer was down at the time, I ordered mine from Vista Print, the design is called Alphabet Soup. They were very budget friendly. I blurred out a lot of the info but they come printed with envelopes and were delivered within a week.

For decorations I bought cardboard letters from a craft store and spray painted them, then I hot glued a painted wooden shape that started with that letter, A-apple, B-bee, C-car. Mom got to take these home to use in the new baby’s room.

We also made boxes out of 8×8 colored paper folded into fourths, make a vertical cut in the top fold to the center.

Fold the paper in half horizontally and criss cross the cut pieces to form a half cube.

Repeat with 2nd paper and then tape two halves together to form one cube.

Decorate with paper cutouts and letters

We also taped cut out letters to long bamboo skewers and inserted into a Styrofoam cone then cut scrapbook paper to look like a vase around it for a food table decoration.

The food place cards were also made to fit with our alphabet theme.

The table had a white table-cloth with a runner of brown craft paper adorned with alphabet stickers.

Favors were made from small chinese style boxes with puffy alphabet stickers and filled with candy

For a game we played Baby themed scatergories.

and each party guest made a page for the new baby’s “Alphabet Book”

I placed out 8×8 sheets of colored paper, each one had a different letter of the alphabet on it. I did this ahead of time with scrapbook stickers. I put out markers, crayons and alphabet flashcards for ideas, or the guests who felt they weren’t artistic could just paste the card on their page. Then each guest signed their masterpiece, and some wrote a message to the new baby.

I placed them all into an 8×8 scrapbook with plastic sleeved pages, along with a copy of the shower invite for a great keepsake for baby and mom.

The shower was a success and as easy as ABC.