Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year, 2015

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Hola!

Feliz Año Nuevo, Happy New Year !

Do you have any resolutions? I have not made one single resolution. I figure I will just roll with the year and see what happens! Pretty much like every other year! I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year and that it brings you love, happiness and good health!

new-years-21

Besos,

Flor

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Smothered Pork Chops

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Hola!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We celebrated Christmas Eve here at my house and it was a blast as usual!

We went to see “Into the Woods” and I really enjoyed it. The only downside was that Johnny Depp was not in it long at all. Other than that I did a lot of lying around all last week and now I am trying to be sort of productive! I’ve gotten rid of old magazines, cleaned my craft area and am going to hopefully tackle some of the linen closet. It’s never ending…

Last week we went to Cemitas Puebla in Chicago. They had been on Diners, Drive Ins and Drives a while back.  I have never had a cemita before so I had nothing to compare it to.

I loved the cheese on it! The sandwich as a whole was good. I was a bit disappointed with the pork because there were a lot of fatty pieces which I hate. It’s probably not somewhere I would go back over and over. Maybe I need to try some of their other foods.

We did get to go to the Lights at Brookfield Zoo over the weekend . That was a lot of fun!

The other day I saw a recipe for Smothered Pork Chops which I have never had. Holy Cow! They were amazing!

What I loved the most about this recipe was the gravy. I could not get enough of it!

Smothered Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 large bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick ( I used boneless chops)

  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup water
 Directions
  1. Sprinkle pork chops with poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper on both sides. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; brown pork chops well on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Discard excess grease from pan and melt butter in the same skillet. Reduce heat to medium and stir onion in the hot skillet with a pinch of salt until onion is very browned and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute; stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour chicken broth into skillet and stir, dissolving browned bits of food in the bottom of the skillet. Pour juices that have accumulated on plate containing pork chops into the sauce. Mix in buttermilk until smooth. Add water. Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions begin to break down and sauce is thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Place pork chops into sauce, spooning sauce over meat to coat. Turn heat to low and simmer until chops are tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Adjust levels of salt and pepper and serve chops with gravy on top.

I served the chops with homemade mashed potatoes and that gravy on the potatoes makes them addicting!

This is definitely a recipe I will be making again, but I will double the gravy recipe!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Allrecipes

 

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