Costa Vida Copycat Raspberry Chipotle Nachos

This recipe stemmed from a happy accident at the grocery store. I was picking up Sweet Baby Ray's and accidentally grabbed a bottle of their Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. I couldn't use it with what I was making, but does it ever work for this Costa Vida copycat recipe!

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The whole family will absolutely LOVE these nachos. They're a real big hit and super simple. A great alternative to Mac & Cheese or PB & J on those days where you don’t really want to cook.

Costa Vida Raspberry Chipotle Nachos

This recipe will feed my family of SIX!

cookie sheet
sauté pan
colander or strainer
tin foil

Fast Recipe — 2 chicken breasts
Fastest Recipe — 1 can of chicken
Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle Barbeque Sauce
Carne Asada seasoning — this you can find at most specialty markets (I buy mine from California by the case)
1 can black beans
shredded cheese to taste (I like a lot!)
1 bag tortilla chips
1 bag salad mix
sour cream

If you are using chicken breast, slice it into strips before putting it in the pan. If you are a planner, you can marinade the chicken breast in some lime juice and Carne seasoning.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put the chicken in the pan and cook it/heat it up and sprinkle the Carne Asada over the chicken.

While that is heating, put the tin foil on the cookie sheet. Pour the whole bag of chips on the cookie sheet. Put on the cheese all over the chips and place into the oven for 5 minutes. 

While that is melting a bit, rinse your beans. Rinsing your beans will reduce the amount of gas they produce. :) Pull out the cookie sheet, put on the chicken and beans, and place it back in the oven. It is also optional to add a little more cheese. Something very important I learned from my mother: there is never, never enough cheese!

Then back in the oven it goes until the cheese is all melty, ooey gooey goodness!

Last, you drizzle the Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce all over the top. Dish it up or eat family style right off the sheet! My kids like to add lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. Favorite salsa for mom (me) is Herdez; it's more on the fresh salsa side of the scale.

Hope you enjoy this simple and fast recipe. What's your favorite nacho topping?

How I Doubled my Pinterest Followers in a Month

I try not to compare myself to others, but as a blogger, numbers are important. When someone has similar page views as me, I can't help but look at their social media stats to see how I measure up. When I realized how much I was falling behind on Pinterest, I made it my mission to up my numbers…and quick! Here's how I doubled my Pinterest followers in just 4 weeks.

When I decided to up my Pinterest game, I had 1600 followers. Could have been worse, but there was definitely room for improvement. Here's how I began.

Clean Up Your Boards

I started by going through each pin one by one. If it had a dead link, poor photography, or didn't represent my blog's message, away it went. Another clincher? If it had zero likes or re-pins. If those fit all my other criteria, I re-pinned them to a secret board so I could re-pin in the future.

I also condensed my boards. If they didn't have many pins, I figured out what other board they could work on and placed them there. I cut my boards in half this way. Unfortunately, I cut my followers down this way too. Some of them were only following a board I cut, so my followers shrank to under 1400. Ouch! But I knew it had to get worse before it got better.

Rename Your Boards

When I first named my boards, I gave them clever names like Caveman Cookin' and Polish Pretties. Though I thought they were witty, it didn't give people the best indication of what the board was really about. I simplified the names to Paleo Recipes, Nails, etc. Now people know exactly what's on there.

Sort Your Boards

Having your boards in some semblance of order creates flow. It will be easier for your followers to see how your they relate to each other. If they follow one board, they may look to the next coordinating board and follow it too.

Pin…a lot

The most important part to upping your Pinterest followers? Pinning 50+ times a day. After I cleaned up my boards, I wanted to get them all above 50 pins. I took one board each day and re-pinned quality content to that board. Once I reached that goal, I decided to get them all above 100 pins. Next goal? 150 pins per board. (I skipped some seasonal and holiday boards since pinning to them wouldn't be timely and people aren't searching them heavily right now.)

The key is consistency. Pinning a lot at a time in one topic gets more of your pins seen in searches. Hence, more re-pins. But, again, make sure you're pinning quality content with attractive pictures, and working links. I can't guarantee that your followers will double, but you will see an increase.

When I decided to pin 50+ times a week, was at 1810 followers. Here's the breakdown week by week…

  1. 2085 followers (275 new) = 13% increase
  2. 2385 followers (300 new) = 24% increase
  3. 2797 followers (412 new) = 35% increase
  4. 3373 followers (576 new) = 46% increase

I had a total increase of 1563 followers in 4 weeks. From the time I started the process, I went from 1600 to 3373…an increase of 53%!

I'm still not where I want to be in my Pinterest following, but I know how to get there! How do you get more followers on Pinterest?

Exercise Your Mind

Well, this is where I admit to one of my flaws. I am forgetful. Not just a little bit. I forget nearly everything. Swimming Lessons for the kids, appointments, when I’m supposed to have a blog post up. And sometimes even what day of the week it is. I have forgotten to blog for nearly a month now and I’m disappointed in myself. So I did some research to see if this was something I was born with or if it was something I can fix.

You can fix it. Yes, it is practice and exercise. This exercise requires you to be engaged in having fun, sitting on the couch, soaking up some sun, waiting in the doctors' office, watching swimming lessons. Anytime! Anywhere! You get to PLAY GAMES! It only takes a few minutes a day. The key is consistency to keep your mind well trained. Because I’m forgetful already I require reminders. There's an APP for that! 

The app I’m using right now to get myself in shape is Fit Brains Trainer. Best thing: it’s FREE! 

Fit Brains Trainer (FBT) is something to love. FBT will customize your brain workout for whatever you seem to be cognitively struggling with. Problem solving, concentration, efficiency, and so on. Mine is specific for memory. It also sends you notifications (if wanted/needed) to remind you that you need your training. It tracks your progress and rates your reaction time and accuracy.

I’m excited to increase my memory! After all…