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Midland Living Magazine

From The Kitchen of Sarah Hernandez

Hi, my name is Sarah Hernandez, and I am a mom of five: Warren (9), Harvey (7), Anna (5), Joe (3), and Emma (1).  I am always looking for ways to sneak in extra leafy green vegetables into our dinners.  Below are a couple of my kid approved recipes! I hope you enjoy!

Spinach Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce


  • 1 Small (5 ounce) bag of baby spinach
  • 1 Small jar or can sliced mushrooms (4 to 5 ounces), drained
  • 1 Small white onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 Corn tortillas (The fresher they are the easier they are to roll)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 Cups Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 2 Cans of green chiles (7 ounces) – use mild, medium, or hot depending on your heat preference
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups shredded cheese (Mozzarella or Mexican blend are my favorites to use)


  1. Pour olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stir occasionally until just softening. Add garlic and mushrooms and stir until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Reduce heat to low and add spinach.  Stir occasionally until spinach is wilted.  (The spinach will release water when you are cooking it.  I cook it until most of the water has evaporated). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once butter is melted, whisk in flour until a thick paste has formed. (About 1 minute)
  4. Add chicken stock and whisk until smooth. Continue stirring until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream, salt, cumin, black pepper, and green chiles.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°and spray a 9” x 13” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Heat a lightly greased medium skillet over medium high heat. Heat tortilla on each side for 10 to 15 seconds. (This makes them easier to roll)
  7. Lay tortilla flat. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the spinach filling and roll. Place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas are filled.
  8. Pour sauce on top of enchiladas, and sprinkle cheese evenly on top.  Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese on top is bubbling.
  9. Optional: Serve with a fried egg on top

Zuppa Toscana Soup


  • 1 Pound Italian sausage
  • 1 Large white onion, diced
  • 4-6 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, minced
  • 64 Ounces chicken stock
  • 1 Teaspoon crush red pepper flake
  • 1 Teaspoon salt 
  • 6 Medium russet potatoes, (well scrubbed with skins on) quartered lengthwise and sliced to about ¼” thick
  • 1 Cup half and half 
  • 3-4 Cups kale with leaves removed from stems
  • Shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Brown sausage in large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Stir occasionally, breaking up any large pieces until browned.  Remove sausage from pot and drain fat. (I like to put sausage on a paper towel lined plate to soak up any extra fat).
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil, onions, and garlic, stirring until the onions begin to soften.
  3. Add sausage, chicken stock, red pepper flake, salt and potatoes to pot and bring to simmer. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are fork tender but not mushy, 20-30 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to low, stir in half and half and kale. Continue cooking on low for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  6. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

Strawberry Shortcake


  • 16 Ounces fresh strawberries
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour (Plus more for dusting)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 Cup shortening
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • Whipped cream 


At least 2 hours before serving
(I like to do this the day before, the longer this sits the better the syrup is)
  1. Wash and slice strawberries
  2. In a small bowl, mix strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

For the shortcakes:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and baking powder.
  2. Cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles corn meal.
  3. In a measuring cup, combine milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  4. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour half of the milk mixture into center of well. Mix flour and milk mixtures until the milk is absorbed.  Slowly stir in the remaining milk mixture, just until the dough pulls away from the sides of your bowl. (Go slow when adding the milk, often you will not need all of it).
  5. Turn dough out onto well-floured surface and knead 10 to 15 times.
  6. Roll dough to 1” thick and cut with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or glass.
  7. Place shortcakes on an ungreased cookie sheet (I usually line with parchment paper), and cover with a towel. Let rest while your oven preheats to 425°. 
  8. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in preheated oven, until the top is lightly browned.
  9. Allow shortcakes to cool 10 to 15 minutes.  Slice shortcakes in half, fill with strawberries, and top with whipped cream.

Family photo courtesy of Mallory Buck Photography

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