Monthly Archives: May 2014

Vintage Gift Card Set-Teacher Appreciation

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Hola!

It’s Friday and yesterday was the last day of school for our kids! I am so relieved that I don’t have to struggle to get my daughter up for school for a while. It was definitely hard getting her to go to bead early because as she says “I am on Vacation. I can stay up all night”. I don’t think so….

I wanted to share a gift that I made for Teacher Appreciation for some very special ladies. I am a little late since Teacher Appreciation was a few weeks ago.

This gift set came together pretty quickly! It was really just a matter of putting different elements together. Included were two blank cards and the decorated kraft bag.

I love giving gifts like this because if the recipient likes they can use the cards and then use the gift bag for someone else. It’s also great because again, you can use scrap paper. Believe it or not I found the time cards at a thrift store. Keep your eyes openfor weird or different things that you think you might never use… it’s the oddest  things that make the most interesting cards!

Happy Friday!

Besos,

Flor

Supplies: Stampin’ Up!, Uline, PTI Want 2 Scrap, Quill

 

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Cochinitos (Piggies)

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Hola!

I love Mexican sweet breads. It’s such a great treat to go to the Mexican bakery and pick all the delicious bread that everyone likes. Everyone has their particular favorite but an all around favorite is the cochinito which also goes by the name of puercitos, marranitos, cerditos and translates to little piggies. They are more of a bread than a cookie-kind of like a cake cookie? The ones in the bakery are larger than the ones I have made and do taste a bit more maybe gingerbread like? I have been trying to figure out the exact  flavor of the cochinitos in the bakery. Those piggies are also a dark brown color so I just assume they must use a food coloring in them.

I made these piggies over the weekend and they were a great hit…even though they are not exactly like the ones in the bakery. If my entire family approves that means they are good…you have to trust people that love to eat!

They are just too cute! These can be eaten for breakfast with a cup of coffee or glass of milk in the morning. As a snack sometime during the day or even at night to fill your belly before bedtime.

 

Cochinitos (Little Piggies)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces piloncillo, chopped or grated, or substitute with 1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1  cinnamon stick, 2-inch to 3-inch length
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour, may need a bit more
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • Butter to grease cookie/baking sheet
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons all purpose flour, a bit more or less, to roll out the dough
  • 1 egg lightly beaten, to be used as glaze
  • Confectioners’ sugar to sprinkle on top, optional

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the grated piloncillo or dark brown sugar with the water and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat, once it simmers, adjust and lower heat to keep it at a low-medium simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it thickens to a light syrup consistency. Turn off the heat and remove the cinnamon stick. You should have now about 1 1/4 cups piloncillo liquid. Add the butter and the molasses into the hot liquid, and stir until it dissolves.

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a whole in the center and pour the piloncillo mixture. With a spatula mix it all together in a circular motion until it is well incorporated. Lightly beat 2 eggs and incorporate them into the dough. The dough will be sticky and gooey.

Place enough plastic wrap in the bottom of a mixing bowl to have wings on the sides. With a spatula, push the dough onto the plastic wrap, wrap the dough, and refrigerate anywhere from 3 hours to overnight.

When ready to make the cookies, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a couple cookie/baking sheets with butter. If using one sheet you may need to do a couple batches.

Remove dough from the refrigerator. On a counter top, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour. Rub a bit of flour on the rolling pin as well. Roll dough until you have about 1/4″ thickness. Using piggie cookie cutters, press down on dough, moving a bit on the counter top, to make it easier to lift the shaped dough.

Place Piggies on the baking sheet as you shape them along. Gently brush cookie tops with the lightly beaten egg. Roll the extra already used dough, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before using again, or it will be too soft and sticky. Repeat to make remaining cookies.

Bake cookies in the middle rack of the oven anywhere from 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. You may sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top. Keep them covered so they remain soft.

I will definitely be making these again!

Besos,

Flor

Adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table

 

Strawberry Margarita

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Hey!

Happy Memorial Day! How lucky are we to live in such a great country? We enjoy many liberties that many other people in foreign countries don’t have. We owe that to all the men and women who have fought  and died for freedom…our freedom.  Thank you!

It has been an awesome weekend. Saturday was spent just hanging out at home cooking. Yesterday we celebrated my Dad’s 75th birthday by taking him out for his favorite meal…a big juicy steak!. This man is the most important man in my life. He has always been here for me. He has led a hard life and I am so lucky to have him. I wish him many more years of life.

What better way to celebrate things in life than with a toast! How about a toast with a delicious Strawberry Margarita?

This was so good! I made it one day after work last week and it just hit the spot!

I always thought that there were tons of stuff in some drinks and this one is so simple. It’s a great time to make these with the abundance of strawberries right now.

Strawberry Margarita

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
  • 6 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 2 ounces Rose’s sweetened lime juice
  • 2 heaping handfuls of ice
  • Sugar for rimming the glasses
  • Whole Strawberries

Directions

Blend chopped strawberries, tequila, triple sec, sweetened lime juice, and ice in blender until smooth.

Dip the rim of serving glasses into lime juice and then sugar for a sugared rim and garnish each rim with a whole strawberry.

I am not a fan of very sweet drinks so I used 2 0z. of fresh lime juice and I didn’t rim my glass with sugar. It turned out perfect for me!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe Source The Cook A Mama

Chicken Pasta Stew

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Hey!

Happy Friday! Yes, a three day weekend! I love three day weekends!

My son will be coming back home for the summer soon and I need to get cooking big pots of food so that there is always something to eat. When everyone is on a different schedule it’s just easier to have a big pot of something delicious to eat ready at all times.

This stew is awesome and works so well for lunch and dinner.

This is the kind of meal that really fills you up!

Chicken Pasta Stew

 

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 c. shredded carrots
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 c. chicken broth (2 14.5 oz. cans)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 lb. Pasta (shells, penne, lasagna, etc…)
  • About 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • About 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • About 4 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

 

  • Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes; season with a little salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion; cook until the chicken is browned and almost cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the mushrooms, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, water, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and increase heat to medium-high to return the mixture to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • To serve, spoon into pasta or soup bowls. Top each serving with ricotta cheese, and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan.

A nice piece of bread would be good for sopping up all the deliciousness!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source The Kitchen is My Playground



 



 

Modern Vintage Baby Tag

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Hola!

I hope your week is going well! I am having a good week and am looking forward to it going by fast! It’s been pretty quiet around here.

Have you ever noticed that when the warm weather comes around all the pregnant women come out? I started noticing this back when I was pregnant for the first time. I really did not like going out in winter for various reasons. It was cold, I was tired, I couldn’t find a coat that fit and most of all I was afraid to fall! The warm weather calls everyone outside!

I made this tag that took me less than five minutes to make.

 This tag reminds me of one from the 1970’s.All I used was a manila tag, some washi tape and two stamps. Super easy!

Hope you have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Supplies:  PTI, Uline, misc. washi tape

Salsa Verde de Chile Jalapeño-Jalapeño Salsa

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Hola!

I have had another first this weekend! I have never taken any of my children to the mall where I have had to separate from them because I wasn’t cool! This happened this weekend with my youngest. I took her and a friend to the mall and I was forced to walk around all by myself. We had to set a meeting time and place…so sad!

With summer around the corner ( I hope) grilling time is coming around. I typically just make just two kinds of salsas, red salsa and tomatillo salsa. I figured it’s time to change it up a bit.  I figured I would try one that is simple and quick like this Salsa Verde de Childe Jalapeño or Jalapeño Salsa.

 

Salsa Verde de Chile Jalapeño

Ingredients

  • 4 large jalapeño chiles (remove stems, you can also remove the seeds and veins so they are less spicy)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 large slices of onion or 1/4 onion
  • salt or chicken bouillon (granulated or powder)
  • a little bit of water


Directions

Place all ingredients in a small pan and cook until they are softened. When ingredients are softened  place them in a blender (or use an immersion blender) along with the water and blend until smooth. If needed add more salt.

Use this salsa on any food you like-tacos, tostadas,tortas,soups,stews, anything you want to add a bit of spiciness to.

Simple and delicious.

Besos,

Flor

 

 

 

 

Brussel Sprout Bacon Pasta

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Hola! Another week has come and gone. Before I know it school will be over and vacation will be here. That would be really nice if this inconsistent weather would get better.

This pasta was so easy to make. It was good too!

Just a few simple ingredients that come together quickly to make the perfect weeknight meal.

 

Brussel Sprout Bacon Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound bow tie pasta, cooked
  • 1 lb brussel sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 14oz can/jar artichokes, drained
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Cook bacon until crispy.  Set bacon aside and crumble.  Add the brussel sprouts to the bacon grease that is left in the skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the artichokes and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add cooked pasta to the skillet and top with parmesan cheese.  Toss to coat.

No offense to men but this is so easy I think even my husband might be able to make this!

Besos,

Flor

Adapted from Hive of the Honey Bee