Merry Christmas, 2014

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Hola!

We are all ready to celebrate. We do our celebrating on Christmas Eve.  The desserts are ready. Everyone’s bringing a dish. I also have some wine ready to go!

From Mi Casa to Your Casa—Merry Christmas! May you be healthy, happy and surrounded by friends and family!

Goodwill towards men and Peace on Earth!

Besos,

Flor

Christmas Tag, 2014

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Hey!

As I type this post my kitchen looks like I emptied out every single kitchen cabinet! I am making more popcorn to give as food gifts.

The weather is beautiful right now! It’s the perfect day for going downtown but we haven’t made it there this winter yet.

This years Christmas tag is super duper easy to make.

I used the chalkboard technique and added some bling as well.

Ok, I’m off to finish making popcorn and try to clean up a bit!

Supplies: Stampin’ Up! Misc items

Have a great day!

 

Salty Vanilla Pretzel Popcorn

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Hola!

Happy Monday! It’s a happy Monday for me because I am officially on Winter break! That means two weeks of sleeping late and being lazy! Well, that’s not really good because the less I do the lazier I get…need to avoid that!

My mom is pretty much recuperated from being sick so things are getting better for her and for me! I am able to kind of get back to a regular routine which include doing some cooking and baking.

This year I have obviously been a procrastinator but Julieta put me over the edge last Thursday! She wanted to go to the mall and I was busy making a treat to take to work for our Winter luncheon. After back and forth arguing she won and we went to the crazy, packed mall! UGH! But she was a happy camper at the end so I’m glad it all worked out for us. I  was able to finish making this delicious popcorn that I took to work on Friday. I received tons of compliments on it so I am sharing the recipe right now.

I was so exhuasted after the mall that I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the popcorn in its cute big  container.

I am making tons of this for Christmas Eve. It will also be our neighbor gifts.

Salty Vanilla Pretzel Popcorn (makes about 14 cups popcorn)

  • about 12 cups popped popcorn
  • about 2 cups pretzel twists
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 250 degrees F,  Grease a large (but shallow) roasting pan with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt  Whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil.  Allow to boil over medium heat (without stirring!!) for about 5 minutes.   The mixture will be deep gold and bubbling.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda.  The mixture will foam and froth.  Keep stirring.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture.  Use to large spoons to toss the mixture, coating all of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel.  Work as quickly as you can.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and toss.  Return to the oven to bake for another 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and toss.  Allow to cool before handling and packaging.

This really is outstanding popcorn. It’s easy to make and has regular every day ingredients in it. YUM!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe Source Joy the Baker

 

Atole de Galletas Marias

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Hey!

I am in count down mode to winter break! I have been finishing up some Christmas shopping and trying to wrap gifts so that I don’t need to do all this once my break starts! I am almost done!

How many of you have tried atole? I don’t even know how to describe what it is so I looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what it says:

Atole (Mexican SpanishAbout this sound a’tole , from Nahuatl ātōlli /aːˈtoːlːi/) is a traditional hot corn and masa based beverage ofMexican and Central American origin (where it is known as atol). Chocolate atole is known as champurrado or atole. It is typically accompanied with tamales, and very popular during the Christmas holiday season (Las Posadas).

The drink typically includes masa (corn hominy flour), water, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), cinnamon, vanilla and optional chocolate or fruit. The mixture is blended and heated before serving. Atole is made by toasting masa on a comal (griddle), then adding water that was boiled with cinnamon sticks. The resulting blends vary in texture, ranging from a porridge to a very thin liquid consistency. Atole can also be prepared with rice, flour, or oatmeal in place of masa. In northern Mexico, there is also a variation using pinole (sweetened toasted corn meal). Although atole is one of the traditional drinks of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, it is very common during breakfast and dinnertime at any time of year. It is usually sold as street food.

I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of atole. I don’t even know why I wasn’t a fan. My son really likes it so now that he is home for break I will be making it for him in different flavors. One of the only things my mom has been able to drink/eat while she has been sick is atole. So I figured I would try making one that I might like too. So why not try making one with the most famous Mexican cookie ever? Galletas Marias (by Gamesa)!
This was so good! I believe I may have not liked my mom’s atole (sorry, mom!) because she has always made the same one…oatmeal. There are so many different flavors to make! This drink (any flavor of it) will warm you up and actually fill your belly! And that mug? Love it! I brought about four of them  from Mexico this summer and I wish I had brought more.
Atole de Galletas Marias
Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (4.9 oz) Marias cookies (I use Gamesa brand)
  • 8 cups of milk, divided
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Break the Maria’s cookies into pieces and let soak in 3 cups milk in a blender cup for 5 minutes; puree until smooth. Heat the 5 remaining cups of milk and the cinnamon stick in a 3-quart pot over medium heat until very warm. Pour in the cookie puree and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the atole has started to thicken slightly. Sweeten with desired amount of sugar. Ladle into mugs.
Recipe Source La Cocina de Leslie

 

Kicked Up Ramen Soup

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Hey!

There are times in life when you just have to cook something fast. I am there right now.

After having gone to Mitsua Japanese Market  a while back and having the awesome Ramen Soup I had to come up with  a quick yet filling Ramen soup recipe to make at home. And I had to use that darn rotisserie chicken that my husband can’t get enough of  and use up some of the veggies in the fridge.

This is what I came up with.

Before…

After…

Not only was this a quick meal but I guess kind of healthy too!

Ingredients

10 cups chicken broth

1/4 onion, sliced

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

8 oz. mushrooms. sliced

1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded

2 tblspn Tamari Sauce

1 pkg Ramen soup, any flavor (I did not use the flavor packet)

Squeeze of fresh lime

Directions

Boil chicken broth. Add all ingredients and bring down to a simmer for about 10 minutes until noodles are cooked and veggies are soft. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and stir! Eat immediately topped with a bit of cilantro and if you like some Chili Paste or Sriracha.

If you won’t be eating immediately, separate your noodles and veggies from your broth using a colander. This will avoid the noodles from getting soggy. When ready to eat just combine your noodles and veggies with the broth.

Quick and Delicious!

Besos,

Flor

Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese

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Hey!

How’s it going? I have been sick all week and I am sooo exhausted. I am counting down the days to winter break so that I can get some rest. I haven’t even taken pictures of my kids for our handmade Christmas cards. I am behind in so many things.

With my mom having been sick (she is slowly recuperating) I have been going through so many emotions. It’s been a bit rough and I am at a point in my life where I am questioning so many things. Should I continue my blog? Should I go on another diet? If I ever get sick will my kids take care of me? So many questions. Life isn’t perfect, certainly not mine. Why do I try to make it perfect? Nobody has the perfect life…

While I let destiny and life choices take care of these questions I am going to talk about cheese. I looove cheese. I don’t buy fancy cheeses even though they are probably delicious. I eat normal  everyday cheeses. My Dad has always loved Muenster cheese-and so have I. Whenever Muenster cheese is on sale he will buy me like two pounds of it sliced. He is an enabler-then he tells me not to eat so much! Gotta love him! When I make Mexican food (the real deal) and it calls for cheese it has to be Chihuahua cheese. It’s so good and very similar to Mozzarella cheese. About three weeks ago my husband bought a one pound brick of White Cheddar cheese. He said that when he was at Costco he saw it and though of me…gee thanks! I kept eating little pieces of it until it was almost gone. I figured I would make some Mac & Cheese and share the pounds with everyone else.

Every time we go to Panera Julieta has the Mac & Cheese so why not make a copycat recipe of it?

This Mac & Cheese was so cheesy and creamy.

Copycat Panera Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cup shredded white cheddar (I used Cabot seriously sharp cheddar)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1lb, pasta, cooked (cavatapppi, shells, or elbow)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions while making the sauce. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  2. In a large pot on medium high heat, add butter until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for about one minute. Reduce heat to medium and add milk, heavy cream, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Continue whisking until it begins to bubble. Reduce to low and add white cheddar. Stir until melted. Add cooked pasta, stirring until combined. Remove from heat and allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

This is a quick easy recipe that everyone will like! It could be a main dish or a side dish.

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Shugary Sweets

 

Citrus Cranberry Layer Cake

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Hola!

It’s been a while! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was kept pretty busy. Last Wednesday was dessert day. I had Wednesday off so I baked all the sweets that day.

On Thursday I made the most delicious turkey along with side dishes of course. The turkey was amazing and my husband laughed because I took pictures…duh…what else do I do?

I hate sticking my hand in the turkey but I have to…I seasoned the turkey with sazon, stuffed it with peas and corn and put butter under the skin…

Then I wrapped that baby in bacon…

Who doesn’t love a bacon wrapped turkey?

It looked beautiful and tasted even better!

Golden and tasty! There was a lot of eating going on.

Dessert was delicious as well. This Citrus Cranberry Cake was my favorite. Not only is it pretty but it’s delicious!

I have to admit that I was afraid to make this dessert. Knowing that there would be three layers is what scared me! but I pulled it off!

Citrus Cranberry Layer Cake

Ingredients

Citrus Cake
    • 3/4 cup  room temperature butter
    • 1 3/4 cups  sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 tsp lemon extract
    • 2 1/2 cups  all purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 tsp  baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 cup  milk
    • 1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
Cranberry sauce
    • 12 oz fresh cranberries
    • 1 cup  sugar
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
Icing
    • 1/2 cup powder sugar
    • 2 tsp water
    • few drops of lemon juice
Decorations
  • mandarin slices (I used cuties)
  • powder sugar

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375F.
  2. Grease the bottom and the sides of a 15 x 10  inch jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl add the butter and the sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and one by one, add the 3 eggs followed by the lemon extract.
  4. Add the baking powder and salt and slowly fold in the flour alternately with the milk and orange juice.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. While the cake is baking, make the cranberry sauce.
  7. In a medium saucepan add the cranberries, sugar and orange juice. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until all the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thickened.
  8. Leave to cool completely.
  9. When the citrus cake is done, take it out of the oven and leave to cool 10 minutes in the pan. Sprinkle powder sugar on top of the cake, cover with a cutting board and turn. This way you’ll be able to remove the cake from the pan without breaking it into pieces or sticking to the cutting board.
  10. Remove the parchment paper, rip the edges and slice the cake in 3 slices (about 4 3/4 inch each slice) Wait until the cake and the cranberry sauce are completely cooled
  11. Place the first slice on the serving plate. Spoon half on the cranberry sauce on top of the cake and spread it all over. Top with a second slice of cake and spread the remaining cranberry sauce.
  12. Place the 3rd slice of cake on top and let sit for 10-15 minutes. You can refrigerate at this point, if you prefer.
  13. Now it’s time to make the icing.
  14. In a small bowl mix the powder sugar with the water and the lemon juice. You want the icing to be still pour-able but not too runny.
  15. Pour it over the cake, wait few minutes until it sets and decorate with the mandarin slices.
  16. Optional you can sprinkle some powder sugar.

Enjoy! This is a good dessert for Christmas as well!

The other days were for resting and visiting my parents. We put up our Christmas decorations and saw the movie Interstellar on Friday…I was the only one that wasn’t a fan of that movie. Saturday was spent at home hanging out. Yesterday was also a quiet day at home and for visiting my parents and here it is Monday already. Those days off just flew by! One last note or favor…my mom is still sick. She hasn’t gotten much better and we need prayers for her. Think you can help me out with that? I’d appreciate it!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Roxana’s Home Baking