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.

Crafty Mixer with Steph Wolcott

We had SUCH a great time with Steph of Simply Home Sweet Home for our June Crafty Mixer!

We like to describe Steph as the modern-day renaissance woman who can do it all! She paints, make soaps, gardens, bakes, has chickens, dyes fabric, chalk paints furniture, and oh so much more! We are always happy when Steph is around and glad to have her as a part of our Hibernate & Create community.

Plus, who knew you could make roses out of pepperoni’s with only a drinking glass and lots of tasty pepperoni’s. (mind blown). Enjoy the recipes that Steph has shared below and remember to join us in July for our next Crafty Mixer and invite a friend!

This is the gorgeous board that Steph put together with tips & tricks to build your own! To say the least, we all wished we were with her live and in person so that we could share in all of this tasty goodness.

Other fun ideas for themed charcuterie boards! Go Greek! A little red, white and blue perfect for the 4th of July celebrations, and take an old classic (deviled eggs) and display as a beautiful flower with tasty herbed bread on the side. Look close at this picture and you’ll see the pepperoni rose!

To kick off making your charcuterie board, start with one of these refreshing summer cocktails from the garden! Not only did Steph “mix it up” with this freshness, she also beautifully water colored her cocktails too!

A new take on an old classic! The cucumbers and herbs make it refreshing for summer.

Looking for something “berry fresh” – try this colorful gem. This one can also be made without the spirits, simply add some additional bubbly water!

This was a fun idea to add “cool flavored” ice to your beverage!
Another tip Steph shared was to freeze ice cubes with fresh mint and a touch of lemon or lime juice. Not only are they pretty, but they add a hint of flavor to cool down your drink.

This snack mix looks divine! And you can customize it with your favorite mixed nuts and make it as spicy (or not) as you would like!

Spiced Nut Mix

This recipe can handle any amount of spice and use whatever variety you wish!  Make it to your liking!

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 pound of Mixed Nuts
¼ Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Paprika
¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1. In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat.  Add nuts and Worcestershire sauce and cook, while stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant.
2.  Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and briefly let them drain on paper towels before transferring to a large bowl.
3. Combine remaining ingredients.  Sprinkle over nuts and too to coat. 
4.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature before serving or storing in an airtight container.

Herb & Cheese Quick Bread

This savory bread pairs well with fresh vegetables and jams or herbed butter.

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
1 ¼ Cups flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powders
3 Large Eggs
¼ Cup Oliver Oil
½ Cup coconut milk, plus 2 Tablespoons
½ Teaspoon fine sea salt
½ Teaspoon pepper
7 oz Feta Cheese
1 Cup fresh herb leaves chopped (mixture of Italian parsley, basil, chervil, chives and mints)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter a 9” by 5” load pan and sprinkle half of the sesame seeds onto the bottom and side, shaking the pan to coat.
2. Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl.  In a separate bowl,, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cheese and herbs.
3.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Be careful not to overmix the batter, it is ok if a few lumps remain.
4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Level the surface with a spatula and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the top is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
6.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and run a knife around the pan to loosen.  Unmold and transfer to a rack to cool.  Cut into slices or cubes.  Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

We hope that you enjoyed all of this tasty goodness! Next month we are excited to feature Jenni Horne of Artsy Orange with a live paint! Sign up today!