Black Bean and Mango Enchiladas

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It’s a Thursday. There’s nothing really special about today- it’s overcast, starting to feel like fall, my daily routine is all the same. There is nothing really special about today, except that today I am fasting.

Fasting is not something I frequently do. In case you were curious, I really love food. I love cooking it, and I love eating it. LOVE eating. Therefore, fasting does not frequently enter the equation.

The reasons for fasting are widespread and can be unique to each person. Thus, the reactions and impact fasting can have on people varies with each person.

I have fasted a few times before, and while never easy, I have learned to appreciate the experience. There are not many people in this world who have never been forced to experience hunger because they do not have enough. I am one of those people, one of those people who has always had access to food.

However, today, as I enter another hour without food, I am reminded of what it feels like to be empty. I am reminded of the physical side effects of hunger- dizziness and exhaustion, and of the emotional instability that can often tag along with hunger (affectionately called being ‘hangry’).

I am not telling you all this information to suggest that you should fast, that is a personal choice! However, I am sharing this with you, because fasting without fail, makes me appreciate food in a deeper way.

Thus, I am so happy to share this recipe with you, knowing that a few weeks ago I had the privilege of digging into these delicious enchiladas, letting that food nourish my body, and sharing that meal at a table with people I love. There are truly few better things than that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 ½ cups pitted, peeled and chopped fresh mangoes (between 2-3 whole mangoes)
  • 22 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup minced pickled jalapenos
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 15 to 20 ounces canned mild red enchilada sauce
  • 10 whole wheat flour tortillas (OR corn tortillas if gluten free!)
  • Optional toppings: ½ cup sour cream, 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with a thin layer of cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the two cheeses (3 cups in total) and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and bell pepper, and sauté for five minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the mangoes, black beans, jalapeno, 1 Tablespoon of lime juice, and salt to the pan. Mix well and cook until the ingredients are heated through.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cilantro and two cups of cheese.
  6. On a clean surface, spread out each tortilla one by one. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of the enchilada sauce on the tortilla, and then top with approximately ½ cup of the mango bean mixture. Spread the mixture evenly, roll the tortilla up, and place seam down in the baking dish.
  7. Once all tortillas are assembled and in the baking dish, mix the remaining 2 Tablespoons of lime juice with the remaining enchilada sauce, and pour over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  8. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray, tightly wrap the baking dish, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce lightly bubbles.
  9. Optional: top each enchilada with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Vegan? Use corn tortillas, and substitute in vegan cheese and avocado instead of sour cream!
  • Source: Peace Meals by The Junior League of Houston, Inc.
  • Love this recipe? Check out these other delicious Southwestern dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!)

 

 

The World’s Most Delicious (and EASY!) Chocolate Cake

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No one has ever accused me of being picky when it comes to chocolate- ya, no. That’s never happened. However, despite my all-inclusive love for chocolate, I can still appreciate when a certain chocolate recipe or a dessert is better than another.

In my humble opinion, chocolate cakes often risk being too rich or too dense.  There’s nothing worse than ordering a chocolate cake at a restaurant, and being overwhelmed with it by bite three. As a result of that exact circumstance, society has learned to love the combination of ice cream and cake, so that the ice cream can balance out the rich chocolate flavor.

Well, for those of you out there who aren’t huge chocolate cake fans, or have suffered through an overwhelming chocolate cake experience, hold on, and bake this.

I literally do not have enough words for how delicious this cake is.  The combination of yellow cake mix and chocolate pudding creates a perfect- not too rich- chocolate flavor, that is enhanced by the moisture form the sour cream, and the soft melt of the chocolate chips.

I’m drooling right now, if you were wondering.

As a college student, and as a lady with chocolate cravings (honesty hour), this recipe is sooo dangerous. With only eight ingredients, it takes all of five minutes to prepare this cake, and is not going to break the bank! (Can I get an Amen from the college section?!)

No icing, no hassle. Just stir, bake, eat, repeat. You don’t even need ice cream to compliment this cake, it’s that good all on its own.

Eat up. And share some with me! please.

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • One (18.25 oz) Pillsbury moist supreme cake mix- classic yellow
  • One (3.9 oz) box instant Jello pudding- chocolate
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • One (8 oz.) sour cream
  • One bag mini chocolate chips (about 2 cups)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚ F. Thoroughly grease and flour a Bundt pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix ingredients the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients, and stir thoroughly.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan and bake for one hour.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, and then flip.
  5. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, and serve with ice cream and milk, as desired

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Notes and Tips!:

  • This cake, in my cooking experience, really takes the full hour of baking, maybe a few minutes extra. If the top begins looking too burnt, but the center is still not cooked through, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking, checking regularly.
  • This delicious recipe is a highly prized and coveted recipe from two dear family friends- Margret and Meg Peery. If you ever have the pleasure of knowing them, thank them dearly for this contribution to your life.
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious desserts from ‘A Rented Kitchen’!: (Recipe links found below!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Balls

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Sometimes you just need a little chocolate. Trust me, I know.  For those moments, this recipe is your new best friend. Let me introduce chocolate peanut butter rice krispie balls (insert halleluiah chorus here).  This recipe is super simple, with only 5 ingredients and 20 minutes of work. What’s not to love?

I made this recipe recently for a bake sale, and then again as a gift for my a cappella group, and these little guys were devoured at each occasion. There’s a pattern here…these bad boys are delicious.

I would not consider myself a chocolate-peanut butter fan (shocking, I know), but I absolutely loved these. If the photos and two above paragraphs have not already convinced you it’s time to go buy an enormous blue box of rice krispies, hopefully that will. Happy cooking, good luck not eating these all in one sitting, and come back soon!

Love, a rented kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 4 ½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • Melting chocolate*

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows to the pan and stir until melted.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and rice krispies, starting with the peanut butter, until completely mixed.
  4. Let cool for ten minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Form the rice krispie mix into 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
  6. Melt your chocolate and drizzle/dunk/pour over the top of your rice krispies. Allow the chocolate to harden, and try not to eat all of them in one sitting.
  7. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: approximately 60
  • In my grocery store I am able to purchase “candy coating” chocolate in a tray.  One can then microwave the entire tray and have melted chocolate in a few minutes! This type of chocolate remains very smooth in texture and hardens quickly- the perfect combination for this recipe! One tray was plenty for me, however if you prefer more or less/ do not have that as an option, regular chocolate chips will work as well!
  • Gluten free? Use Kelloggs gluten free rice krispies!
  • Source: Southern Curls & Pearls 
  • Like this treat? Try these other delicious snacks from ‘a rented kitchen’ as well! (Recipes below!)

Hershey Kiss Pretzel Bites

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Soooooo Valentine’s day is coming up soon. Valentine’s day has never been a super significant holiday in my book, but now that I have a food blog, I find myself wanting to bake and make a zillion new chocolate desserts and heart-shaped treats. Go figure.

I don’t know if this recipe really qualifies as baking, considering it’s only two ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to make. These treats are delicious though, and will make for a perfect Valentine’s day gift!

Whether you use these delicious pretzel bites to fill treat bags to give to all your friends (who will love you forever), or to fill a sweet Valentine’s day dessert box for give to your boo, these little snacks is won’t let you down!

Perfect for the college budget, easy on the schedule, and not to mention cute! What’s not to love? 🙂

I hope this makes your Valentine’s day a little more stress-free, and a lot more lovely.

Happy baking!

Love, Sarah

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 bags of unwrapped Hershey kisses/ hugs
  • 1 bag of square pretzels

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F˚ and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Arrange several rows of pretzels on the baking sheet so that there is enough room in between each pretzel to easily pick up one square without touching the others.
  3. Place a Hershey kiss (or hug) on top of each pretzel square, directly centered, and bake for 1-2 minutes.*
  4. Remove the tray and top each Hershey kiss with another pretzel, pressing the partially melted kiss down until it evenly covers the entire square.
  5. Refrigerate the pretzel bites for 10 minutes and then devour! (or share with your valentine….)

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Notes/ Tips!:

  • Hershey hugs melt a little differently and quicker than solid milk or dark chocolate. Pay attention and bake them accordingly!
  • Pay attention to the Hershey kisses while they are in the oven. They melt very quickly and will become impossible to deal with if completely melted.
  • To test and see if your chocolate pretzels are done baking, open the door to your oven, and see if you can easily flatten out a Hershey kiss under the pressure of a fresh pretzel square. If the kisses are done baking they will easily flatten out with pressure. If they need more time you may be able to collapse the peak of the kiss, but not much more.
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other yummy treats! Chocolate Mint Puddle Cookies, Caramel Delight Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and my favorite Fresh Fruit Dessert Tart!  

Superfood Guacamole

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Day 3 of Five Days of Appetizers for the Holidays!

Day One: Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip

Day Two: Brie, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Bruschetta

I know that health is often one thought that gets pushed to the back of our minds over the holidays, at least until it’s time for our New Year’s resolutions. With all those cookies and parties around, it can be hard to stick to a healthy diet! However, with recipes like this, you don’t have to sacrifice your health to the holidays. Forget the rich cheeses and dips- this superfood guacamole will provide you with a full dosage of antioxidants and vitamin c for the day and won’t leave you feeling guilty!

With pomegranate in season over the winter, there’s no better time than now to enjoy this delicious guacamole. With only 5 ingredients, four easy steps, and a delicious taste, this is definitely a treat you’ll want to make again and again. Happy Holidays, from my kitchen to yours.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped (I used purple onion!)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Seeds from one pomegranate (about 3/4 cup)*

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the two avocados with the back of a large spoon.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mashed avocado with the onion, fresh cilantro, and lime juice. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Cut the pomegranate into quarters.
  4. Over a shallow bowl of water, begin pulling the seeds out of the pomegranate. You do this step over a bowl of water because the seeds will sink to the bottom, while the pulp will float on top. Separate the seeds from the pulp and gently mix the seeds into the guacamole.
  5. Serve with chips and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!: