Homemade Flour Tortillas

OK, so I know that making tortillas at home probably seems totally over the top and crazy to some people. They are so easy to buy at the store and usually used for quick and easy dinners, why would you increase the difficulty?? And at one point in my life I totally would have agreed with you. But, not anymore! First of all, they are not NEARLY as difficult as I thought they would be. I was so surprised the first time I made them. My food processor did most of the hard work for me. Second, the taste and the texture. Seriously, no comparison. I don’t think I can even accurately describe how much better than store bought tortillas. Third, you can freeze them! If you have a weekend with just a few extra minutes then you can make a nice big batch and place them in a freezer. Then they are still grab and go for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

I first made these tortillas about a year ago when we were living in China (actually, a few of the process pictures are from China!). I was really pushed to make them because, like many things at the import food store, the bag of tortillas I saw every week  on the shelf never seemed to move and was probably months old. And I had a craving for burritos! Now I make them because I love them. Over the past year I’ve become more and more comfortable with the process. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • I’ve tried all butter, all Crisco, a combination of the two, and a combination of butter and oil. Hands down the combination of half butter half Crisco is my favorite. In my opinion, it yields the best texture and taste.
  • A lot of recipes say to roll out all of the tortillas and then cook all of the tortillas. I find that I have the best flow when I roll a tortilla and then cook it, and while it is cooking I start to roll the next one. I use the counter space right next to my stove so I am able to roll and keep an eye on the tortilla at the same time. Of course you’ll just have to see which flow works better for you.
  • It’s important to have enough flour to keep the tortillas from sticking (and this helps them keep a better shape, too!) but careful not to use too much, because the raw flour will start to scorch in the pan.
  • If you think you’ve rolled them thin enough, roll them just a little thinner. You’ll be surprised how much the plump up.
  • I have also successfully used half all-purpose and half whole-wheat flour (as you can tell in a few of the process pictures)


Delicious ways to use your tortillas

BBQ Pork Tenderloin Wraps
Best Fajita Marinade
Rolled Tacos (divide the dough into 18 or 20 instead of 12 to get smaller tortillas)

Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop Biscuits

This is another photo taken while we were living in China. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking these biscuits aren’t important. For one reason or another the photos were buried in my computer but I never stopped making this recipe. We have these several times a month, in fact we just had them last night! These are my absolute, last minute, what to have with dinner, go-tos.

Of course, I don’t always make the jalapeno variation of this recipe. The versatility of this recipe is one of the things I love. Sometimes I use white cheddar, sometimes I use chives instead of jalapenos, sometimes I skip the chives and jalapenos, I’ve even swapped a quarter cup of flour for corn meal and made a sort of corn biscuit. No matter how I prepare them, these biscuits always turn out flavorful, light, fluffy, and delicious. Oh, and they’re easy!


Yeasted Coffeecake with Cranberry Cream Cheese Filling

Much like last year, I had a good amount of cranberry sauce left over from our Thanksgiving meal. With last year’s leftovers I made a batch of cranberry white chocolate chip muffins that we totally loved. I wanted to make them again this year, but I also couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted to experiment and try something new. And when it comes to baking experiments in my kitchen it’s go big or go home. I settled on a fun “all day” sort of project, Yeasted Coffee Cake with Cranberry Cream Cheese Filling.

My first attempt was delicious, but….. ugly. I rolled the dough a touch too thin, added a touch too much filling, and chose an odd shape that resulted in a whole lot of spillage. To be honest, I was pretty bummed. I had visions of gorgeous golden brown cake and what I had was a mound – of deliciousness, but still a mound. You know the saying, if at first you don’t succeed…. So I was back in the kitchen on Tuesday. There was still some spillage, but the overall cake was much more aesthetically pleasing.

The only thing not pictured is a simple vanilla glaze. It was an after thought but really added a nice sweetness to the tart cranberries. I’ll include it in the recipe below and let you decide if you want to use it or not.

Oh and one last thing, yes this can be somewhat time consuming, with the multiple risings and steps, but don’t let that scare you! Most of the time is just spent waiting! To me the most challenging part was shaping the dough, but that was also the most fun!




Guest Post: Pumpkin Bread

2 people, 2 cats, 1 car, 2,000 miles. To say that I am exhausted would be an understatement. But the good news is that we made it (drove from OH to CA)! The cats were unbelievably good in the car, in fact, they probably did better than I did! Now I’ll be spending the next week or so cleaning, moving, organizing, and searching for the lost pieces of my mind. Ha! In the meantime, I have another fabulous blogging friend helping me out with a guest post today! I first met Krystal “in real life” at last years Foodbuzz festival and she has quickly become one of my favorite people (and a fellow SoCal girl!). Besides being sweet, fun, and adorable, she’s also a fabulous blogger and mommy. Check out her delicious posts such as S’mores Whoppie Pies, Carrot Cake Cheesecake, and Migas Casserole – bonus, adorable pictures of her baby at the bottom of each post! Thank you so much for helping me out, Krystal!

Hi-ya Sunny Side readers!

My name is Krystal from Mrs. Regueiro’s Plate, and I’m so happy to be able to guest post today on Sunny Side Up. I have been following Jessica’s blog for quite sometime, and she’s such a sweetheart to call a friend, too. We actually met in real life last year at the Foodbuzz Conference and hit it off like old friends. She’s the perfect person to have around when you want to split a peanut butter sundae or share some scrumptious lobster tacos. I can’t wait until she returns back home to sunny SoCal and we can meet up again and foodie patrol the streets.

Since you may not know me – a few things…I am a stay at home mama to an almost 6 month-old Elena, who takes up ALL of my time, but she’s the sunshine of my life. Whenever I manage to spare some free time, I enjoy cooking and baking, sewing, crafting, gardening and watching movies/tv shows off on Netflix. Since my free time has been cut significantly, I have accepted to make some shortcuts, make adjustments, and accept that all meals don’t always have to be gourmet or perfect. Getting a meal on the table for dinner is successful enough for me and spending quality time with my little sweet cookie and husband are the best things in life.

I wanted to share my new favorite recipe for Pumpkin bread. I absolutely love everything about Fall, the change in colder weather (when it eventually happens in SoCal since we’re still experiencing 90 degree temp. days), all of the delicious holiday foods, the sweater and scarf combo wearing days, and everything pumpkin foodie related. My go-to recipe was the Starbucks Pumpkin Bread because it was utterly drool-worthy but this new recipe makes for one really good pumpkin bread. It’s absolutely creamy and the pumpkin flavor is really rich and balanced. I like that the cream cheese is melted into the batter giving this extra buttery note to the bread.  The sweet streusel topping and crunchy pepitas give that extra contrast and crunch to the pumpkin bread, too

It’s a classic pumpkin bread taken up a notch! Thanks for letting me guest post Jessica!