Farmers Market Risotto-No Meat Friday



It’s Good Friday . Easter came pretty late this year and here we are already! I usually host Easter but this year I am not. I have a day trip planned for tomorrow and I won’t have time to prepare anything for Sunday! More than likely we will be hanging out at my parents house hiding Easter eggs for the kids and eating Chinese food…It works for me!

Today is  actually even house cleaning day.-which for some odd reason doesn’t get me all excited.I don’t know about anyone else but I am kind of tired of cleaning. I’ve had my own home for 26 years and I feel like I am cleaned out!It’s just such a never ending thing. The problem is that I really like a clean house so I guess I am never going to stop cleaning!

Today is the last No Meat Friday recipe for this season. Rice is one of my very favorite things to eat. It doesn’t matter how it’s prepared as long as it’s good. This Farmers Market Risotto is delicious!

The good thing about this delicious recipe is that you can find all the vegetables year round at the grocery store  not just in the summer at the farmers market.

Farmers Market Risotto


  • 3 – 3-1/2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels cut from cob (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • handful torn fresh basil


  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to low and keep hot.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat then add green onions, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 30 more seconds.
  3. Add rice then stir to coat in butter. Add wine then stir until nearly absorbed by rice. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth then stir constantly until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until nearly absorbed before adding more.
  4. When there’s 1/3 of the broth remaining, add zucchini, season with more salt and pepper, then continue stirring. When there’s 1/4 of the broth left, add corn then continue stirring. Add the tomatoes with the last batch of broth then stir until absorbed.
  5. Take risotto off heat then stir in parmesan cheese and basil. Add more salt & pepper to taste then serve.

The first time I ever made risotto was about fifteen years ago and I was terrified. I thought it was going to be so complicated and scary. Quite the contrary-it’s simple and delicious! I love the creaminess of risotto! It’s perfect as a side dish or even a maind dish.

Happy Easter, friends! Have a wonderful weekend!



Recipe source Iowa Girl Eats


Loteria Trivets



I don’t know about anyone else but I am always finding bits and pieces of games that aren’t any good if you don’t have the entire game. I found a bag full of loteria (Mexican Bingo) cards that don’t make up the complete set so why not make something out of them?

I had several tiles just sitting around so why not make something with those and the Loteria cards? Hmmm. what could I use? Trivets or drink coasters!

All I did was cut my Loteria cards to 4×4, which was the size of the tile and decoupage them with Modge Podge. That simple. My cousin had seen on my Facebook that I was making something with these cards and asked about them. Sure enough I was able to give my cousin a set of these and she loved them! I have some that I am using as trivets in my kitchen and I love them.

Have a great day!



Italian Easter Pie



Wow! Saturday’s weather was beautiful! I went out to run some errands and just wanted to stay out all day! I am glad we were able to enjoy it because this week it’s back into the forties! UGH!

It was a very special day yesterday! My son had his grand opening for his store along with his business partner. Julian has been working extremely hard to get his store open while he is still going to school. I could not be any prouder of him! I wish him sooooo much luck!


Easter is just around the corner and do I have a delicious recipe for you! This pie is so moist and delish!

I loved the consistency of this pie.

Italian Easter Pie

Pie crust

  • 1 2/3 cup  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold diced butter
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking powder

Ricotta Filling

  • 15 oz  ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips


To make the pie crust add all the ingredients to a food processor or use a mixer and process until it forms a ball.

Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

When the dough is chilled, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out in a 10 inch diameter circle. Cover the bottom and the sides of a 9 ” pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for few more minutes.

In the meantime heat the oven to 350F.

In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, flour, orange zest and orange extract.

In another mixing bowl whisk the eggs, until creamy yellow in color, for about 5 minutes. Fold the eggs into the cheese mixture.

Pour the filling into the pie crust, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, slightly press them in.

Bake for 50 minutes without opening the oven.

When the time is up, turn off the oven, crack open the door and let the pie completely cool. Just before serving dust with powder sugar.

This pie reminded me of cannoli but it’s probably easier to make than cannoli.



Recipe Source Chef in Training





Refried Beans (Frijoles Guisados or Refritos)



It’s the end of the week and the weekend weather is supposed to be amazing! I can’t wait! I am definitely opening my windows this weekend to let some fresh air circulate through this house! I think the last time my windows were open was in October.

Today I am sharing my recipe for Refried Beans. Last Friday I posted the basic recipe for frijoles de la olla or beans from the pot. To make these refried beans you will be using that basic recipe. Refried beans are really easy to make so I hope that I explain it all properly! My only questions about these beans is why would they be called refried when they are only “fried” once? Weird!

After cooking your Frijoles de la Olla (if you are using them when they are cold I like to heat them up along with the broth in a big pot or in the microwave).

Heat up about 3-5 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil in a large pot. You can also use lard which makes the beans taste even more amazing!

When the oil is hot add 4 cups of the strained beans-no broth. You can leave the garlic and onion from the basic recipe in them if you like.

Stir them up a bit so the oil or lard gets incorporated. Take a potato masher and work your arms out by mashing the beans to a rough consistency. My personal preference is a rough mash where you can tell that these are beans—I don’t like the totally pureed kind of beans. Add a bit of broth as you mash the beans so that it is easier to mash

After a good mash add 3-4 cups of the reserved bean broth and give them a good stir. Allow the beans to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. After the 10 or 15 minutes these are considered Frijoles Caldosos. I am not sure of the translation but maybe brothy beans? They will have the consistency of maybe a thicker soup. At this point you can eat them as they are in a bowl with tortillas or as a side dish with something like Chile Colorado and Rice.

If you let the beans simmer until the broth thickens more and allow them to just sit in the pot for a while they will thicken up and get I guess you could say dryer. These are Refried Beans.

I usually like to add shredded Chihuahua Cheese when I am simmering my beans but my husband prefers them without the cheese mixed in.   I  garnish the refried beans with the cheese or add salsa or pico de gallo. Again these beans can be used as a main dish on their own or in a recipe or  as side dish.The longer the beans sit whether on the stove or in the fridge they will get dryer which will also allow for use in different recipes.These beans can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make sure you store leftovers in the fridge.

It seems so hard for me to explain something so simple. I hope I was able to give you a good overview on making refried beans.

Happy Friday!




Under the Weather



This week is flying by! The weather is getting much better and that seems to make everyone happy!

It is very odd that my daughter Julissa stay home any weekend. This was one of those weekends. She layed around the house with a terrible sore throat and just feeling miserable. She made it to the doctor’s office and of course she has strep throat! Yuck! I am sure if she is feeling better this coming weekend that I will not see her.

Her being sick prompted me to make some get well cards.

I love using stamp sets and die cuts that could be used for several different occasions. This particular umbrella die cut along with coordinating stamps is perfect for different occasions. I only used the die cut here. I tried to “antique” the background. to give the white a little depth.

I hope everyone out there is feeling well now that the weather is improving!



Supplies: Stampin’ Up!, Authentique, PTI, Jim Holtz



Spring Break 2014



I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I enjoyed my weekend and my whole week off. Now it’s back to work! I ate so much over break that I should be thrilled to get back on a schedule.

Last Monday we went to Geneva since the weather was warm.We did a little bit of window shopping and just enjoyed being together. That’s when all the eating really started. We ate at the Oldetowne Pub. The food there is delicious. Whenever we are in Geneva we always eat there!

This burger was delicious and beautiful! You can see my Bloody Mary in the background!

I just love the great shopping in Geneva.

Tuesday we went to the mall with my brother and sister in law to have my nieces picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  She is too cute. On our way home me and my girls stopped for KFC. It was too good!

Wednesday was a quiet day at home.

Thursday me, Julieta and a friend of ours and her daughter went to check out Eli’s Cheesecake Factory. We saw a short presentation and my daughter won her own little cheesecake and we all tasted several cheesecake samples. Of course we had to have lunch there too. The sandwiches there are delicious and the people there are so nice. We even met the owner.

How can I say no to this Cuban sandwich?

Thursday evening Eddie and I went to Danny’s Place for Italian food. I had Giambotta, an Italian Stew with chicken, pork, sausage and vegetables in a red sauce. OMG! It was soooo good!

The portion was huge! I ended up taking half of it home.

Friday was another quiet day at home doing some crafting.

Saturday Eddie and I went out to dinner with some of my cousins  at Molly Malone’s and of course delicious food was involved. I had the Bangers and Mash. I’d never had anything like it before.

My cousin had the Chicken Pot Pie. She is hilarious. She said “Flor, do you want to take a picture of my dinner before I start eating?” Don’t mind if I do! Thanks!

I just wanted to lay my head on that puffy pastry pillow!

By yesterday we were kind of done with eating out! There is only so much eating out we can do. When we visited my parents yesterday I actually turned down food from my favorite Chinese restaraunt!

All in all it was a relaxing spring break full of food! I will definitely be cooking all this week to combat all the eating out that we did.

Have a great day!




Frijoles de la Olla in the Crockpot-No Meat Friday



Here we are at the end of another week and the end of spring break. It was great while it lasted!

If you go into any typical Mexican household chances are there will be a big pot of beans either on the stove or in the crock pot. Beans are a staple in our diets and they are such a comfort food. They can be served right out of the pot or refried. They could be a main dish or a side dish. They can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are so many different meals that you can make with pinto beans.

My mother has always used pinto beans until recently when she started using Frijoles Peruanos (Peruvian Beans). She bought me some so I could try them. They were good but certainly not pinto beans! Julissa didn’t even want to try them. She said she wants her same old pinto beans so that is what we will continue using.

Today I am sharing the basic recipe for making Frijoles de la Olla or Beans from the Pot made in a crock pot. Many years ago before crock pots became really popular I used to make my beans either in a big pot or a clay pot on the stove. I had to constantly watch them so that they wouldn’t burn or overflow. Now I used my crock pot and make them overnight so that they are ready in the morning.

It’s amazing how something so simple could be made into something so good.

Before cooking your beans it is so important to go through or pick through your beans and wash them well. You need to remove any rocks or rotten beans. After I pick through my beans I add water to them and basically massage them until the water runs pretty clear. It might take about 2 or three “wash and massages”. I cannot emphasize this enough!

These beans are so simple to make!

After they are cooked and served in a nice big bowl along with the bean broth you can garnish them with any topping you like such as tomatoes, onions, jalapeño peppers or Pico de Gallo (that’s how I like them). You could also garnish them with shredded cheese (chihuahua, queso fresco or any cheese you like), salsa, mexican crema or whatever you want. These are just and example of the most typical topping that I would use. One more thing…you must, must , must serve these beans in their broth with tortillas.

I think these beans are beautiful. Some people consider this meal  poor people or peasant food. And I don’t care…I love them and so does my family! This is what my parents pretty much grew up on and so did I and I am very proud of that!

Frijoles de la Olla-In the Crockpot (this makes a lot of beans!)


  • 4 /12 cups dried pinto beans (2 lbs.)
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters or eigth’s
  • 6 garlic cloves (end cut and skin removed)
  • salt to taste


Pick through the beans to remove any rocks or nasty looking beans. Rinse with water until water runs pretty clean. Place the beans in the crockpot. Add the water, onion and garlic. Cook overnight on low for about 8 hours. The cooking time will vary with crockpots. You want the beans to be cooked but soft, but not too soft that they start to break up. If  needed add  more water. You want these beans to have enough broth. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of salt (or to your liking) the last half hour of cooking.

Serve with garnishes and tortillas.

These homemade beans are so versatile. I will be sharing more recipes in the future using these Frijoles de la Olla. These totally beat the taste of canned pinto beans. But I will admit that I have used canned beans when I am in a hurry!

Happy Friday!