Rhubarb Syrup

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Hola!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! Mine is ok. Nothing fantastic. This is the first summer in about seventeen years that I work. Now that my kids are grown there was really no point to staying home for the summer and besides the extra money does come in handy! I do miss sleeping in though…you know how I love to sleep in. We do go out to eat and such but nothing too big this summer.  But before you know it I’ll be back on my school year schedule.

Who likes rhubarb? I do and so does my husband. It has a kind of sour-tangy taste to it so turning it into something sweet is the perfect use for it.  Years ago we had a rhubarb plant and I would make strawberry rhubarb pie. Then my plant died…which is weird because you pretty much just let it grow on its own…I think! Anyhow, we bought rhubarb plants when we went to the Flower and Garden Show and they are gorgeous! They have the big green leaves and the beautiful ruby red colored stalks. It is actually a vegetable but is usually thought to be a fruit because it’s mainly used in desserts.

Of course I had to go online and find out what else can be made with rhubarb. I found a super simple recipe for rhubarb syrup.

Isn’t the color beautiful?  I chose to make a drink (non-alcoholic) with the syrup and club soda. It’s so refreshing and pretty. Because of the color it would be such a pretty drink for bridal and baby showers.

Rhubarb Syrup

  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

Set a fine mesh strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth) over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.

Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle . If pouring into a glass jar make sure it will hold hot liquids. I let it cool a bit before funneling into my jar.  Cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.

I did keep the solids from the strained liquid and used it as a jam on toast. It was so good and nothing goes to waste. There are so many ways to use the syrup…over ice cream, on pound cake and of course in alcoholic drinks. Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

source thekitchn

 

 

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Pumpkin Praline Cake

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Hey!

Happy First Day of Spring! Even though we’ve had a really mild winter I am so ready for spring and summer!

Haven’t posted in quite a while.

Since I last posted in December I have lost 20 pounds! I started Weight Watchers again on January 1st and it’s gone really well. I’ve allowed my self to “cheat” a bit…that’s bad but sometimes you just want to eat what everyone else is eating! I noticed that my feet started feeling so much better after I lost the first 10 pounds. So many positives to losing weight!

I am also slowly removing very toxic cleaning supplies in my home. As I finish a product I replace it with something that doesn’t have as many toxins. A friend of mine shared an awesome website with me that will give you their “grade” for products so that is what I have been using to find cleaning and even personal care products that are less harmful to myself and the environment.

I feel bad that I have not been posting as much as I have before. Even though my kids are grown up I still want to lead a balanced life. No matter what your age having a balanced life is so healthy. I need to keep work, family, other obligations and of course fun and adventure in check with each other.

Even though I am dong Weight Watchers I am still baking! Temptation is rough! I found a recipe for this delicious Pumpkin Praline Cake on Pinterest and had to try it. Being the big pumpkin lover I am I always have pumpkin puree in the freezer.

This cake was magnificent. It was super moist and the frosting was amazing! I had taken some to my parents when I made it and he enjoyed it. When he came to my house a few days later I offered my Dad dinner, coffee, etc which he declined but when I offered him cake he was like YES! He loved it! I think this will be on my to make all the time list.

Pumpkin Praline Cake

Ingredients
For the cake
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 whole large eggs
½ cup chopped pecans
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
For the icing
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8” round cake pans with Crisco and then dust with flour or use non stick baking spray (what I prefer). (you could also make this in a rectangle cake pan).
2. Mix together in a medium bowl the cake mix, pumpkin puree, milk, oil, eggs, pecans, nutmeg and cinnamon until all is moistened, scrape the bowl occasionally to make sure that you have mixed all of the mix together. Pour evenly into each cake pan or pour entire contents into the larger rectangular cake pan.
3. Bake for 27 minutes – check and see if the middle of the cake is still loose – if it is, bake in 3 minute intervals until the middle is no longer jiggly and a cake tester or toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and allow to rest until cooled.
4. On the stove top on medium heat, mix all of the ingredients for the icing together in a small sauce pan. Heat just until butter is melted.
5. Flip one of the baked cakes over onto a cake plate (upside down) and pour ¼ of the icing onto the cake. Set the other round cake on the top of the first cake (flipped upside down). (If using a rectangular pan – start with poking the holes). Using the handle of a round handled wooden spoon, poke holes into and through the cake and gently pour half of the icing over the top making sure that some of the icing goes down into the holes.
6.Allow the rest of the icing to completely cool and then gently pour it over the top of the rest of the cake.

This is a must bake cake. Serve it with coffee or milk.

If you have followed me for a while you know that my husband is an avid gardener. We’d never been to the Chicago Flower and Garden show so we figured we’d give it a try.

The flowers are so beautiful that they looked fake!

The inspiration for outdoor rooms was fantastic. I mean making furniture with concrete blocks is genius! Eddie is afraid I’m going to put him to work!

Who wouldn’t want a garden party with this decor? Makes me wish I had a huge house with a huge yard but Nah…too much work!

Happy Spring to you from me and my honey from the beautiful Windy City!

And don’t forget to make the delicious cake. Your family will thank you!

Besos,

Flor

 

Recipe Source  loaves and dishes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, 2016!

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Hola!

Is everyone ready for Christmas? I am kind of ready…A couple of weeks ago I was so sick with the flu and that really set me back. My husband and I didn’t even get to celebrate our anniversary because I was so sick. I can’t seem to kick the exhaustion since I’ve had the flu so I’ve still been doing a lot of laying around. All my shopping is done and I just need to get my house cleaned up and get food preparations rolling.

I finally mailed out my Christmas cards. This year I challenged myself to make my cards using only  the supplies that I have on hand. That worked. I also challenged myself to use my Cricut. That didn’t work.  A friend of mine was nice enough to cut something g out on her die cut machine for me. My cousin chose to join my challenge so I can’t wait to see her card.

I have to say this is the ugliest card I’ve ever made! My picture came out too dark and I just didn’t have a clue!

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I also made my gift tag for this year and it didn’t come out too bad. It kind of ended up matching my card. I used only what I had and didn’t buy anything new to make them either.

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I did use my Cricut to cut out the deer So hopefully it made up for not using it on the card.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy and be safe!

Besos,

Flor

 

Thanksgiving Stuffing

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Hola!

Wow! November kind of snuck upon me and will be gone soon! I can’t believe Thanksgiving will be in a little over a week. I am just now getting my menu together—though it’s pretty much the same every year. My kids don’t like me to change what I make except for desserts. Those are kind of different every year.

For years…I mean like 25 years I always made stuffing out of the bag. I thought making homemade stuffing was hard so I never tried it. Now homemade is the only way to go!

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This isn’t the best picture but it sure is delicious! If you are a newby at homemade stuffing then this is the recipe for you. It doesn’t have a million ingredients and it’s easy.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. roll breakfast sausage
  • 8 cups white bread,  cubed (you can use any bread you like)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 finely diced celery
  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 3 tspn. poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tspn. ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Cook Sausage and drain fat. Set aside the drippings.
  2. Melt margarine-in a small pan or microwave. Add enough to sausage drippings to make 1 cup.
  3. Saute; onions and celery in margarine/dripping mixture until onion is tender. Do not brown. Stir in about 1/3 bread cubes. Put sausage, dripping mixture in a big bowl and add remaining bread cubes, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Be careful, it’s hot! Mix well.
  4.  This recipe is very adaptable. I like to add about a cup of frozen peas and frozen corn-just mix it in there before putting in a 9×13 buttered pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. You can remove the foil the last ten minutes if you like to allow the bread to dry a bit or if you like your stuffing more on the dry side.

I am making two pans of this stuffing this Thanksgiving since we love leftovers! Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Source: Adapted from Allrecipes.com

 

Testing! Testing!

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Hola!

Yes, I’m still alive! I’ve been gone for a while..life is just busy, busy!

Let me catch you up a bit!

So I had my foot surgery on my right foot in June and it’s feeling so much better now than it was before.

I had a great vacation with my family this year!

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Who wouldn’t think that sunset is beautiful! That’s actually some of my family. One of my favorite things during vacation was eating the Cuban Sandwich I fell in love with last year.

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I love those sandwiches so much that I would fight for them!

We went to a few new restaraunts this summer too. I’ve done a lot of eating and I am not proud of it but it was soooo good!

 

We went to two weddings and a Quinceañera this summer that were fabulous and fun!

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This is a picture of me and Pitbull…I mean my husband!

After my summer break I went back to work and literally felt like I had the flu or have been dragged by a truck. It takes quite a while to get used to being on a schedule again. But I’m on schedule now and trying to be productive. It’s hard when all I want to do is come home and take a nap after work!

I even did a 5K along with my daughter and my husband. I didn’t run but am happy that I made it walking!

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Fall is here and I am loving the weather and waiting for one of my siblings who has young kids to invite me pumpkin picking! I love pumpkins!

Yesterday I had some appointments and we stopped to have lunch at a Puerto Rican restaurants in Chicago.img_5142

OMG! This mofongo with shrimp in red sauce was amazing. If you like Puerto Rican food go to Ponce in Chicago. It’s a small place but has delicious food and the staff is super friendly! We are definitely going back.

And that’ my story…to be continued!

If you follow me you know I have not been blogging lately but I am usually posting on  Instagram at @micasayourcasa or on Facebook at Mi Casa is Your Casa. Follow me!

Have a Happy Day!

Besos,

Flor

The gift of wine and Milwaukee

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Hola!

It’s finally spring break! It’s the first spring break that I have ever had without kids…and it’s weird!

Since we have no kids right now (my youngest is at Disney with the choir) we decided to go to Milwaukee for 2 days. We went on two beer tours and had so much fun!

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Lakefront Brewery was amazing. The tour guide was hilarious and was very knowledgable. The Miller tour was great too—that place is huge! I am not going to lie—the beer samples were sooo good. We are panning to go back when we might have an additional Designated Driver. We didn’t do any tours on the second day because we did not want to drink then drive home. The thing I found weird about Milwaukee was that there was absolutely no traffic! We stayed downtown and it seemed like a ghost town. Nothing like the hustle and bustle of Chicago!

What can I say about the food? WOW! If you are in Milwaukee you must eat at the Red Rock Saloon. I had the absolute best burger of my life there! The hamburger was juicy and messy…just like a hamburger should be!

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Another place to eat is the St. Paul Fish Market at the Public Market. The Crab Cake Sandwich was delicious!

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Needless to say we didn’t have anything healthy really! Next time around we’ll go when hopefully there are more visitors so we can check out more brewery tours and some nightlife.

Since Milwaukee is all about beer I figured this is a good post to share a simple wine packaging idea. A friend of mine graduated with her masters in December. She loves wine so what better gift than that?

I had gone out to buy the wine and get this—the cashier put the wine in the wine kraft bag used for wine and accidentally left a few bags stuck to it. I get so excited about the weirdest things. I decided to decorate one of the kraft bags for gift giving.

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The decorating was easy-no directions needed. I also decided to dress up the wine bottle with a wine tag.IMG_3184

Can it get any easier? I think not!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Suplies: Stampin’ Up!, free wine bag, Michaels

 

French Almond Cake

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Hola!

Hows’s it going? Wherever you are I hope the weather is beautiful. We are almost to spring and I can’t wait for warm weather, and we haven’t even had bad weather.

We are chugging along in this  part of the world. Working, cooking, eating, crafting. It’s almost time for spring break and I am so looking forward to it. I don’t have any plans but I will be happy to not be on a schedule for a week.

I have finally started doing Zumba again and I am so happy. I do  need to look for new shoes. Maybe cross trainers. Any good suggestions? My foot is doing great since my surgery back n December. I am hoping to get surgery on my right foot this summer so that I can become totally pain-free or as pain-free as I can get! . It’s nice to be a little active. Once the weather is warmer I am also going to try to get back to walking.

I have  baked one of the most delicious cakes I have ever baked. Just hearing the word “French” lets me know that whatever it is it’s marvelous!

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It’s sweet but not too sweet. The density is amazing-a bit dense but still light and fluffy.

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It’s also beautiful, simple and elegant.

It’s a must bake!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour  (almond meal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  • ½ cups sliced almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a small skillet and toast ever so lightly. Watch them closely and stir very often because they will burn quickly if not attended to! Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
  6. Add the oil and stir well. Don’t worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
  8. While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy!

I just loved this dessert and so did everyone else.  I think it’s going to become a family favorite that I will make over and over again.

Have a great weekend!

Besos,

Flor

Source The Cafe Sucre Farine