Viva la comida Mexicana

If there’s one thing we do well at our apartment, it’s preparing a fantastic Mexicana feast.  We cover everything from the appetizer to the main course, and all within a reasonable budget.  The overall meal is pretty good for you too if you don’t pig out too much (like anything else).  The trick to pulling off a good Mexican night is taking shortcuts here and there.  I’m going to walk you through the meal the way we did it, with intentions cutting time and money, but feel free to supplement your own ideas at any point!  

Uno: The chips and salsa of course!

 Use store-bought items for your Mexican night to cut time.  Check out, a website that put a bunch of chips and salsa pairings to the test.  

Dos: Delicious guacamole!

There are some great packaged mixes available, so that all you have to add are the avocados.  I know it sounds like we bought a lot… but you cut a lot of time by buying these items, plus chances are you don’t have all the ingredients at school to make salsa and guacamole, so you’re actually saving money too.  Got the time and feeling up for it?  Make your own salsa and guacamole.  If you go the package route, all you have to do is follow the directions, and the only thing you’ll need is two avocados and for some extra flavor, throw in half a tomato sliced and a quarter of a red onion sliced.

Tres: On the main menu this time around: Quesadillas!

You can go with anything from fajitas (check out my recipe), to tacos for this part.  We went with the classic quesadillas.  You have some more wiggle room here; add chicken or steak for some substance, or make it your own unique recipe with barbecue chicken or pesto and chicken.  We didn’t have many ingredients at our place at the time, so we stuck with cheese (colby jack and Monterey jack).  

Now here’s our technology in the kitchen insert.  We have a quesadilla maker at our apartment, which is an absolutely fabulous find, and I recommend to anyone (not just college students).  It makes perfect quesadillas and it’s really fun to use.  I got mine at Macy’s for about $20.  You can find good deals on Amazon or eBay too.  Since most people probably don’t have a maker, go the traditional route and make them in the oven.  You’ll want to layer cheese and anything else (we add crushed red pepper and black pepper, but tomatoes, lettuce and salsa also work) between two tortillas, then stick them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top and you can see the cheese has melted inside.

Check out the pictures of our Quesadilla maker and the Mexican night spread:

Prepare the guacamole with the package, avocados, tomato and red onion


Using cheese, red pepper and black pepper in addition to anything else you'd like to use, make the quesadillas with two tortilla shells


Using our quesadilla maker, we cooked the quesadilla to perfection


The final spread!


Looking for more Mexican ideas? Check out Mexican Made Easy with Marcela Valladolid from the Food Network.

For other quesadilla recipes to try, look at’s collection

The Food Network’s extensive quesadilla selection the name says it all really



2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rick Hancock said,

    You have a great blog! PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! don’t stop when you leave this class. PLEASE!

  2. 2

    Kathleen Shannon said,

    MMMMMM………. All the Shannon’s LOVE Mexican.
    We want this same dinner when you come home Bridget. Joe will especially hold you to this. This is his favorite.
    You can take-over the kitchen. (Which is a good idea- since you cook better than me!)

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