Five Minute Chilaquiles

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This isn’t the most authentic version of chilaquiles, but it’s definitely the fastest! Authentic chilaquiles start with corn tortillas that are fried in oil in small batches before being combined with sauce and shredded queso fresco. Commonly topped with sliced avocados, sliced raw onions and crema to boot, chilaquiles are an amazing brunch dish and worth the time to make from “scratch.” My husband loves chilaquiles so much I’ve devised several shortcut methods so I can make this deliciousness during the workweek. Using tortilla chips instead of frying the tortillas saves you from the most time-consuming step, and it’s a great way to use up a seemingly endless giant bag of tortilla chips from Costco 😉



Recipe serves one very hungry person or two moderately hungry people. Use the pictures above to help determine serving sizes; when I cook quickly I never measure the ingredients – it saves a ton of time and the precise ratios don’t matter as much as personal taste. If you love cheese, add more than the torn up slice of sandwich cheese I used here! If you need extra protein, add an extra egg.


Salsa of your choice (if you like spicy, go for spicy. For best results, use something with more sauce-like/liquid consistency than pico de gallo)

A few ounces of soy chorizo (can with regular chorizo)

At least 1 cup of tortilla chips

1 beaten egg

1 slice of cheese, torn into pieces (or handful of shredded cheese)

GARNISH: Green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream


  1. In nonstick pan, pan-fry soy chorizo and salsa on high for 1 minute.
  2. Add handfuls of chips and gently fold in until the chips are soft and evenly mixed in.
  3. Add shredded or sliced, torn cheese and 1 beaten egg – let the edges of the egg set before folding into the chip mixture.
  4. Serve with green onion, roughly chopped cilantro and sour cream.
  5. Enjoy, wish you made a bigger batch <3

ShipShape Monogram Shop

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Nine Monogram Styles

Who can resist a striking monogram? Monograms have been around since antiquity. The earliest known examples have been found on Greek coins from the third century BC, bearing the first two letters of the great-city states that issued them. Since then they have continued to appear on currency until modern times, and though crown-bearing crowns are no longer as common, to this day several Danish coins bear the lovely Royal Monogram of Queen Margrethe II. Originally used to mark royal property, monograms became a widespread practice for nobility to mark their valuable property.

custom monogram decal
Image via Wikipedia
Customize your own QUEEN BEE$ Monogram


Monograms also appeared in a manner similar to maker’s mark, employed by craftsmen and artisans and continued as a form of tradition. Traditional monograms feature letters that are entwined or combined in some way, though a number of modern styles have emerged with standalone letters (more properly known in their standalone forms as cyphers). Monograms have appeared for centuries, and from this tradition still see thousand-count sheets and Stubbs and Wooten slippers bearing the status of the owner. Thankfully monograms have become commonplace and you don’t need a bloodline or possess a guild-certified craft to put your personal mark on anything and everything you wish.

Tradition Monogram Styles

Traditional Forms: The Individual Monogram

An individual’s monogram includes the first, middle and last initials of their name. The surname traditionally the largest letter and is centered, with the first and middle initials flanking. For a married woman the maiden name traditionally replaces the middle initial. For men, traditional personal monograms are instead ordered first, middle and last initial where all three characters are equally-sized, though the large initial in the center with the middle initial flanking is common as well.

Monogram Styles - Traditional
The traditionally Female Monogram forms can signify a woman’s marital status and can evolve through her lifetime. Children’s monograms are generally made with the surname initial in the center, with smaller first and middle initials flanking. A woman’s personal monogram traditionally reflects her husband’s surname in the center with the first initial of her own family’s surname replacing the middle initial. A married couple’s traditional monogram has both partner’s initials flanking the surname.


You don’t have to hew to convention when creating your custom monogram, as there is still some amount of variation within the “traditional” styles. An individual can choose between the two common three-character monograms, or a single initial representing their last name. The traditional forms are good to reference for engagement gifts, shower gifts, or wedding gifts, where the conventional three-character style for a married couple is a popular choice. If the intended recipient is choosing to keep their maiden name, or take on a hyphenated or combination form, you can follow the individual monogram conventions or consult with the recipient about their desired initials – in any case, a single initial of their first name is unlikely to go against their chosen name.

Individual Monogram Styles
Three traditional monogram choices: Larger, centered surname initial, single surname initial, or First-Middle-Last configuration.


In addition to the traditional forms a number of modern alternatives have arisen to reflect new naming conventions and non-hierarchical patterns. Instead of following the traditional three-letter combination, a new crop of couple monograms favor a two character style, reflecting the partners’ first or last initial in equal size.

Modern Couple Monograms

So there you have it – the nine most common forms of monograms

RECIPES: Ossobuco

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OSSO BUCOOssobuco (or osso buco, quite literally “bone with a hole,”) refers to the marrow bone that is the star of this classic Milanese dish. As a somewhat-squeamish-sometimes-vegetarian, meat-on-bones aren’t really on my strong point, but there is something so special about this dish that I’m willing to overlook this aversion for a special occasion. If you’re serving to an adventurous crowd, a set of marrow spoons (or seafood forks) so your guests can scoop out the succulent marrow, which is best slathered on a slice of crusty Italian bread.

The first time I cooked osso buco was the first time I had tasted this dish. Selected by my omnivorous, part-Italian husband as a housewarming dish, this meal is a sentimental food so I made it again for our most recent anniversary. Traditionally made with veal shanks, I subbed in beef shanks from US Wellness with no loss in quality. The marrow is a delicacy but for me the best part of this dish is the gremolata, a parsley-garlic-lemon dressing that cuts the richness of this slow simmered and decadent shank, which becomes morbido, or meltingly tender as the collagen from the meat breaks down into gelatin over the long, slow braise in a sublimely simple mix of mirepoix and white wine.

Traditionally served with another one of Milan’s celebrated dishes, the saffron-scented risotto Milanese, osso buco is relatively simple to prepare once you procure the ingredients, and impressive enough for even the most special of occasions. The recipe follows below; a full shopping list, menu and cook’s notes are available as a $.99 download.

Osso Buco

Adapted from A Cook’s Canon by Raymond Sokolov

Prep: 15 minutes or less
Active Cooking time: 45 minutes
Actual Cooking time: 2+ hours

Olive oil
Flour for dredging

1.5 lbs beef shank on bone
1 cup wine
1 quart stock, broth, or water
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Handful of parsley (Italian flat-leaf)
Several garlic cloves
1 organic lemon


  1. Finely chop carrots, celery and onion and set aside.
  2. Soak or rinse the meat shanks and pat dry. Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, melting an equal amount of butter into the hot oil. Dredge the shanks in flour and immediately transfer into the oil-and-butter mixture over high heat. Let the meat brown and sear without disturbing the shank; this will take at least 3-5 minutes so resist the temptation to peek. The high-heat, butter and flour will brown the meat beautifully when left on its own; the butter will begin to froth a bit and you will begin smell and hear the sear without needing to lift the shank to check it. Take care not to overcrowd the pan and brown in batches when necessary. Brown the shanks on all sides before removing them from the pan and placing into a stock pot, dutch oven or sauce pan (the pan should be large enough to accommodate the shanks in a single layer and deep enough that the shanks can be fully immersed in stock/water).
  3. Add the chopped mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) to the hot oil and butter used to brown the shanks. Set heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened and the carrots and celery have begun to brown.
  4. Add the cooked carrots, celery and onion to the pot containing the browned shanks; add wine and enough broth, stock or water to barely cover the shanks. Stir in tomato paste and over low heat, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cover.
  5. Every 20 minutes or so, gently baste and flip the shanks, adding enough stock or water to cover the shanks if necessary, recovering immediately and adjusting the heat to a simmer if necessary. In about 2 hours the meat will begin to pull away from the bone – the meat will become meltingly tender. Remove the shanks, reduce the sauce and serve the sauced shanks with gremolata.
  6. GREMOLATA: Finely chop parsley, mince garlic, and zest the lemon. Mix together with the juice of half the lemon, slicing the other half into thin slices to serve as an additional garnish.


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