My 2015 Favorite Things Gifts Guide!

Another year is leaving us my Casa lovers and this means Christmas shopping time!. I wanted to share with you my 2015 favorite things list.. just in case you are not done with your shopping, this can help. I hope my list can help you figure out some last minute gifts or your actual list. Love you all, thanks for stopping by.

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This is the year of Stars Wars so why not give a present about the most famous movie of the last few years.

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I saw these at TJ Maxx and it’s just beautiful, elegant and it will make a fantastic gift.

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This is an edible gift. Panettone is an Italian bread that is just yumm. Perfection in a box.

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Let’s talk winter!, this fluffy socks and shoes are a great gift for any loved one of yours that lives in a winter state. Also any foot massage kit is always a good idea!.

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I loveeee throws, I can’t get enough of them. This is another winter gift.

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Coffee lovers that own a Keurig machine will be thrilled to get refills. Marshall’s has tons of these and of course, at a great price.

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Another edible gift. If you don’t have time to actually make a gift like this, don’t worry, many stores carry these. Tip: If you decide to give a cookie mix, add a cookie sheet along with mini ice cream scoop for easy pouring. If the mix is a muffin one, add a muffin baking tin. Put them inside a cute basket that you can find at Michael’s and trust me, it will make the recipient very happy!.

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Bar utensils are always a hit. Tip: give these items along with a set of two Martini glasses and a few drinks recipes.

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Oh yes, I could not leave my darling Nate Berkus out!. These amazing bowls are so exquisite and they will be a wonderful gift.

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You can never go wrong when giving a scarf.

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I love mugs!!! they always make a great last minute present!

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A robe makes the most comfortable gift ever!!!

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Get one or more of these but put them in a cute box!

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Jewelry holders come in handy at all the times for us ladies!.

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Monogrammed coasters will be a good gift for guys and ladies that have a home bar!

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These are sooo cuteeeee. Men will make good use of it by storing their toiletries when traveling.

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Food lovers like me will appreciate any of these. Tip: give these in a super cute basket. You can do different kinds of baskets depending on what your loved likes.

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I saw these at Marshall’s and I thought it was great!. Tea that comes in these cute tubes!!, how cool for a tea lover.

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Don’t forget that gift cards are a big help when you don’t know what to give!

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Pajamas!!!, in my opinion make a super duper present!

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Backpacks are a super needed present for men!. These are from TJ Maxx and are very sturdy, spacious, good quality and great for traveling as well as to hold a laptop.

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How adorable and vintage looking are these!!!! I want them all!!

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Of course books are on my list!!!. I read a lot and anything from author Mitch Albom is always welcome in my book heart!

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Saved the best for last!. I love Ellen Degeneres, I think she has the most amazing heart and when I saw this book I had to have it! Written by her and she shares her love for design and antiques and boy! does she have exquisite taste!

Casa lovers, thanks for the love and support. Have a lovely, happy christmas with your loved ones!!!

 

 

How to Freeze & Make Homemade Breakfast Burritos!

Hey there my lovely Casa lovers!!!. I’m bringing you a post to help with our busy lives!!!.

I’m certain that when it comes to the kitchen, prepping in advance is key to saving time this way you can use the spare time by being with your loved ones and not in the kitchen. Sunday is my kitchen busiest day because I make tons of food ahead of time for the week.

In this post I want to share with you how to make a breakfast burrito from scratch. Breakfast was always the one meal I really did not have time to cook for myself and I would simply buy something and that was it. But a while ago I found that I was wasting money and eating stuff that were not really good for me. I hope you guys make this recipe and again, I hope it makes your hectic life a bit easier.


Ingredients

3 to 4 tortillas, mid size to make a small burrito

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (use Pepper Jack and Swiss if you want, do it yourself, don’t buy the pre-shredded kind!)

3 fully cooked sausage links diced (not shown below)

3 large eggs

1 tablespoon of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of diced onions

1/2 cup of a bell pepper diced, (color of your choice, you can even use them all in this recipe if you want)

Salt and pepper to taste

Tip: adding a bit of jalapeño gives this dish a great kick.

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Preparation

Add a bit of the butter in a preheated pan without letting the butter dissolve completely, add the sausage links. Cook them on medium heat for about 2 minutes or so and then add the peppers and the onions. Season this mixture with a bit of salt and pepper. Once the sausage changes color either you can take it out and cook the egg alone or like I did, just add the egg to the mixture. If you decide to do the egg alone, make sure you wipe the pan and then add butter and then the eggs.

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Assembling the burritos

First put the tortilla, then the mixture and last the cheese

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Then proceed to roll the burrito into the tortilla

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Fold the sides into the middle

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wpid-20151010_081304.jpgRoll each in foil paper and then place inside a zip bag

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Last step and is the most important one!. WAIT until the burritos are COMPLETELY cooled before putting them in the freezer. You never want to put food in the freezer that is not cool. If you do, once the food starts to freeze, the sweat from the food will turn into ice crystals and you really don’t want that.

Defrost: Put in the refrigerator the burrito you are taking on the go the night before. Cut in in half and give it 50 seconds or less in the microwave and there is your homemade breakfast!

I hope you enjoyed this post, love you all!!

XoXo, Narmy

My In-Flight Traveling Essentials

Hey there my Casa lovers!. I have been traveling since I was 11 years old, so I know about a thing or two about how to travel light and stress free. I wanted to share with you my in-flight must haves, because it’s a ritual for me whether I travel.

Airplanes can be very dry and taking care of yourself during a flight is important, especially caring for your face; I never wear makeup on the plane and always try to keep myself as hydrated as possible. Below are my must haves that I keep on my designated plane purse/bag that I take on every flight, this way they are in place and ready when I travel.

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1. Travel pillow: I can not travel without one!. When I used to travel alone, I made sure I secured a window seat, but not because of the actual window but to be able to sleep comfortable using my lovely pillow and have some type of support during my sleep.

2. Medication: I’ve suffered from migraines for over 25 years and I always have Motrin or any migraine pill that I may need and of course when I travel I must have it, you never know. It’s always best that you have your medication with you, never put it in your checked bag.

3. Wipes: I love using these YES to Carrots face wipes when I travel, along with regular wipes. I am one to actually wipe the seat table because I don’t know if you know, but planes are not sanitized as often as one would want.

4.Snacks: I can not travel without extra snacks, although some airlines give you some, I like to bring my own. I do the same for my kids. I usually have peanuts or walnuts and the kids faves.

5. Fluffy socks: I have being traveling with fuzzy socks for many years. I use flats shoes or slip ons on planes but once I get inside the plane, I wear these to keep my feet cozy, warm and away from the the airplane’s dry air.

6. Hand Sanitizer: never leave home without it and ALWAYS have it for traveling.

7. Lip Balm: like I mentioned above, I never put makeup while on an airplane and of course no lipstick either. I only wear on planes the SUGAR Lip Treatment and I love it!!!, it keeps my lips sooo moist, it kind of gives them like a spa treatment without the actual spa!. I get my makeup done once I’m out of the aircraft.

8. Hand cream: I’m so picky when it comes to hand cream. This Bliss hand cream is the one I use only for airplanes; I feel it gets the job done and keeps my hand super silky while onboard.

9. Gum/Listerine Strips: I always have these and gum on the plane. The gum is the key for the horrible ear pressure one feels on planes. I also bring my toothbrush and toothpaste as well.

10. Face Mist: I learned about this when I was about 20 years old; I was traveling to Florida and this French lady was seating next to me and I saw her spray mist on her face a few times so I asked her about it and she told that Evian Mineral Water is amazing for those dry airplane moments and I got to tell you, since then I always have one for traveling. I spray my face a few times and it feels fantastic.

11. Good moisturizer: I only use CLINIQUE Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief while on the plane. It’s simply phenomenal and along with the Evian Face Mist it keeps me moisturized the entire flight.

12. Water: you must keep yourself hydrated along the flight for sure.

Other items I bring: a cardigan or wear a long sleeve blouse in case I get cold on board, a book or magazines, earphones, sunglasses (to block any light when I sleep). I also always tie my hair in a messy bun because hair also gets dry on planes. I usually put a good shine product on it to keep it hydrated.

As you can see, it’s very minimal stuff, they fit perfectly in a shoulder bag or purse. Give yourself some love when traveling.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you on the next one!

How to Make your All Natural Adobo (Sazón Goya or Ranchero)

Abodo is a famous powder made with spices and other goodness and is very common just like sofrito, in Latin cuisine. I use them both but I was always concerned about added hidden ingredients such as MSG. So this is why I decided a while ago to make my own. It took so many tries but I’m telling you this is the real deal without the strong preservatives and MSG.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons of salt
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon of ground oregano
1 teaspoon of turmeric (curcuma in Spanish)
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Preparation
Mix all the spices and use as you would the abodo and that’s pretty much it. Make more as you please by doubling the measurements. You can season any meat with this adobo.
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Simplecasa Blog

DIY Lamp Makeover

So I think this is the easiest and quickest DIY I’ve done. It’s so simple to do but it makes a difference once is done and the best part is that is not permanent.
Materials:
Scissors
Thin ribbon of your choice
Fabric glue
Lamp shade, preferably plain color
Clips
Directions:
The first thing you need to do is measure the width of your lamp shade. Cut the ribbon according to your measurements. Place the ribbon around the top part of the shade and use paper clips to secure it.
wpid-2015-03-14-18.58.26.jpg.jpeg* Make sure you place the ribbon just below the edge of the top. Next, glue only the part where your clips are, do not put glue in the lamp shade, ONLY in between the inside of the ribbon. Do this also at the bottom of the shade as well.
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image..and it couldn’t have been easier!, but look how elegant it looks. Since the ribbon is only glued at the end and inside the ribbon only, you can easily remove the ribbon and change it up and keep your used ribbon as well. To reuse, cut only the glued parts and your ribbon can be used again for other purposes.

Simplecasa Blog

Quickest & Easiest -no breading- Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich

Hey Casa lovers!,

I hope you are doing fabulous. I love me a chicken parm sandwich but I don’t usually buy it because of all the breading it has. So years ago I decided to do it myself but without any crusty outside and it taste delicious!. Here is how I do it.

Ingredients
4 thin pieces of chicken breast
Adobo powder
2 cups of Marinara sauce (I love the tomato sweet basil kind)
1/2 an onion finely chopped and 2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/8 of a teaspoon dried basil
1/8 of a teaspoon dried leaf parsley
4 slices of fresh mozzarella
1/3 of a red bell pepper
1/3 of a cup of Parmesan cheese
Bread of your choice (I like Cuban bread), salt and pepper to taste

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 The first thing you want to do is pre-heat your oven to 350.  Sprinkle a bit of the abodo powder on each side of the breasts and set aside. I make my own adobo and put it in this container, but of course you can buy it as is. See my all natural DIY abodo recipe here. 

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 At medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and start sauteing the garlic, red pepper and the onions. Stir until the onions are translucent.

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 Add the parsley, the basil and the sauce. Stir for a few seconds, turn the heat to low and bring to a boil covered. You can add salt and pepper to taste. Leave it for about 7 minutes and then turn the heat off and set aside

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In a separate pan, at medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and then the breasts. Give the breasts about 3 minutes per side, they will not be fully cooked, but that is ok, since they will finish cooking in the oven

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 Line a baking pan with foil paper and with a non-stick spray, spray the pan. I like using foil paper for easy clean up

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  Place the breasts inside the baking dish and pour sauce on each. You can also pour sauce on the bottom instead of the non-stick spray

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Add the cheeses and into the oven, uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes. Take them out and let them rest for about 3 minutes so all the juices from the breasts can release. Cut the bread and place each breast on the bread

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.. and this is final result, look at this delicious beauty without the breading that it’s really not needed, it does not compromise the flavor of this dish and most important, the extra calories we don’t need.

Thank you all for stopping by!

Simplecasa Blog

How to Make Chipotle’s Mexican Grill Burrito Bowl Recipe!

One our family’s favorite restaurants is Chipotle Mexican Grill. I have attempted to re-make the barbacoa burrito bowl so many times and I can honestly say I finally nail it! Below is my twist on this amazing and nutritious plate. I will be making this for this year’s super bowl.

Ingredients

For the chicken marinate

Make this 1 day ahead of time or if you can’t then let it marinate for at least 4 hours

  • 6 chicken thighs ( I tried using breasts but using these as the restaurant does makes a huge difference)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 of oregano (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can (7 oz) of Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you will only use the sauce and save 1/2 of a pepper for the beans)

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients and the sauce, store the chicken in a zipper bag and let that sit in the refrigerator overnight.

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The next day, take the chicken out of the fridge and let the bag sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature; it’s not recommended to cook it right of the fridge, it will shock the meat and it will not come out as tender as wished. Take the thighs out of the bag and discard the remaining marinade. On high heat, lightly brush the grill pan with vegetable oil and place the thighs. I did 3 with skin and 3 without it.

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Cook for about 5 minutes on each side and then cut the bone out of the thigh. You can tell the butcher to take it out before buying it but I found that the bone gives lots of flavor so I prefer it this way. Once the bone is out and you see the grill marks and color on your meat, turn the heat to medium. In about 15 minutes or so it will be done. Make sure you cut it just like Chipotle would do. Don’t leave it unattended.

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Cilantro Lime Rice

Lots of recipes use Bastami rice but I used my regular long grain rice (Riceland, gluten free) and it worked perfectly.

  • 1 cup of white long grain rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lime freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • bunch of cilantro finely chopped

Preparation

In the pot that you will normally cook your rice, at medium heat, add the oil, once is a bit hot, pour the rice (I wash mine to take most of the starch out it). Keep stirring, pour the salt amount of your choice (you will taste the salt once the water is in so you can know if you need to add more), then add the lime juice and stir. Add the cilantro and stir one last time for a few seconds.

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Add the water and taste the salt, there you will know if it needs more. Turn heat to low, add the bay leaf and cover. After about 20 minutes stir the rice and wait 15 more minutes and voila! For a bigger crowd, just double the portions, depending on how much rice you want to make.

Black Beans

  • 2 15 oz cans of black beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 of a cup of chopped yellow onions finely
  • The 1/2 of the chipotle pepper in abodo sauce you saved from the chicken
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 cups of water

Preparation

At medium heat, add the oil, after a 2 minutes, pour the onions. Once the onions have a translucent color, add the garlic and stir for a minute, add all the other ingredients but not the bay leaf and the lime juice. After a few minutes of stirring, stir and then add the water and cover. Once is boiling add the bay leaf, cover again, turn the heat to low and leave alone for about 30 minutes.  Add the lime juice before serving it.

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Corn Salsa, Salsa and Guacamole

Corn Salsa

  • 1 can of white/yellow corn, discard the liquid (I used Green Giant’s Steam White/yellow corn can)
  • 1/4 of a red onion, super finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro, super finely chopped
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients, taste the salt and pepper, add more if you want. If you want it spicy add 1/2 of a finely diced and seeded jalapeno.

Salsa or pico de gallo

  • 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 of a red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro, super finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Same as the corn salsa, but no jalapenos.

Guacamole

  • 6 hass avocados
  • 1/4 of a red onion finely chopped
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro, super finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients and with a fork carefully mash them together, you don’t want to make it a paste, so be careful. Add more salt if you desire. Chipotle adds jalapeno, so if you want, add 1/2 of a finely minced and seeded jalapeno.

Chips

  • 1/2 bag of original restaurant style chips, such as Tostitos
  • Sea Salt or kosher to taste
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Preparation

Add the chips in a shallow bowl, add the lime juice and the salt. With your hands, toss them well quickly and add more salt if you desire.

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The last ingredients to finish the burrito bowl are:

  • Sour cream
  • Chopped romaine lettuce

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Burrito Bowl Assembly Order (this is how they do it at the restaurant)

Rice, beans, barbacoa chicken, salsa, corn salsa, monterrey jack cheese, sour cream, guacamole and the lettuce.

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I have had these plates/bowls for a while from the dollar store and they worked phenomenal with this recipe.

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I hope you make this. Make it a family event and get everyone involved in the kitchen.

I’m sure you and you loved ones will devour it!