Making Memories in Mexico with Food, Fun & Friendship

When I describe attending a Hibernate & Create RETREAT, I always love to use the tagline “Food, Friendship and Fun.” I generally assume the “creativity” part is a given considering the retreat title. And I realize that I state the words in that order because not only is it alphabetical, it has a nice ring to it.

As I was preparing this post with the help of “Chef” Lindsay, I quickly reflected on how central of a roll food plays in any gathering. It creates conversation, it creates an amazing sensory memory of the place you visited and the people you conversed with. The simple truth to me is that though we are brought together to enjoy a creative escape, we always walk away with so much more! Friendship is definitely the key takeaway along with some finished (or unfinished) creative projects. And in the instance of our esacape to the beach in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, we also are walking away with some amazing new recipes, thanks to Lindsay.

Enjoy our taste of Mexico!

Easy Stuff Poblanos
Recipe from Taste of Home

Yield:  4 servings


  • ½ pound Italian turkey sausage (we substituted with ground chorizo sausage)
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve Spanish rice
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce (we substituted with pureed salsa)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Minced fresh cilantro, optional


  • Preheat broiler. In a large skillet, cook meat over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain.
  • Prepare rice by heating in the microwave (or on the stove).  Add to meat mixture.
  • Cut peppers lengthwise in half; remove seeds. Place on a foil-lined 15”x10”x1”. baking
  • pan, cut side down.  Broil 4 inches from heat until skins blister, about 5 minutes. With tongs,
  • turn peppers.
  • Fill the peppers with the rice and meat mixture, top with enchilada sauce and sprinkle
  • with cheese. Broil until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes longer. If desired, top with cilantro.

Best Spanish Rice
Recipe from All By Angela Sims
Yield:  5 servings


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or substitute with veggie broth for vegan version)a
  • 1 cup chunky salsa


  • Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix rice into skillet, stirring often.  
  • When rice begins to brown, stir in chicken broth and salsa.
    • It is important to saute the rice until brown before adding the liquid
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until liquid has been absorbed.

Mexican Black Beans
Recipe from Ashlyn Edwards at Belle of the Kitchen
Yield:  4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (16 oz) can black beans, do not drain
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, just until the onions begin to soften. 
  • Add the undrained black beans, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Stir well and reduce heat to medium low.
  • Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. 
  • Serve sprinkled with more chopped cilantro and cotija cheese if desired. Enjoy!

Lindsay’s Easy Chilaquiles
Yields: 4-6 servings


  • Corn Tortilla Chips
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups salsa verde (or red chile sauce)


  • Cotija cheese or queso fresco (white crumbly cheese)
  • Crema Mexicana or creme fraiche (can also substitute with sour cream)
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Avocado, sliced or roughly chopped
  • 6 eggs; either scrambled or fried


  • Heat the salsa:  Add the salsa and let salsa cook for several minutes.
  • Add tortilla chips to the salsa in small batches.
  • Gently turn over the pieces until they are well coated and let cook for a few minutes.
  • Remove from heat and immediately serve with garnishes. Enjoy!

Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Recipe modified from Skinnytaste
Yields: 4 servings

Lime juice and cilantro are the key ingredients to creating this wonderful, healthy no-cook salad you’ll want to make all summer long.


  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • 2 limes (juice of)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb jumbo cooked (peeled shrimp, chopped*)
  • 1 medium tomato (diced)
  • 1 medium avocado (diced) – about 5 oz
  • 1 jalapeno (seeds removed, diced fine)
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Fresh mixed salad greens


  • In a small bowl combine red onion, peppers lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Let the ingredients marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.
  • In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato and jalapeño.
  • Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over mixed salad greens.

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