Category Archives: Side Dishes

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

 

Honey Cornbread

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Hey!

As I made this cornbread all I could do was think about my mom.  She has always cooked Mexican food and has never tried cooking anything that wasn’t Mexican except for Jiffy cornbread. When we were growing up she would (on rare occasions) make cornbread. She had a round cake pan with the sliding spatula to unstick the cake from the bottom of the pan.

Wow! My generation is totally different! I will try cooking anything that looks good! And this cornbread that I made was delicious!This was soooo good. The honey came through beautifully. I think I would probably eat this for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Though I think cornbread is traditionally eaten with a meal.

Honey Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ½ to 2/3 cup honey or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar/honey, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

If you are a corn bread lover you must try this recipe.

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source The Taylor House

 

Ceviche de Coliflor/Cauliflower Ceviche

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Hey!

This past weekend was the first time I have baked since the end of May. It felt soooo good! With Fall right around the corner I even did a bit of crafting the other day. That felt great too! I am really looking forward to my favorite season-Autumn!

A while back a friend from school gave me some Ceviche de Coliflor to try that her mom had made. It was delicious. It’s traditionally made with shrimp or fish but in this version I didn’t even miss the seafood.

This was so fresh tasting. It’s a great dish to take to a potluck, picnic or if you are trying to eat healthier.

 

Ceviche de Coliflor

Ingredients

Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you like.

  • Finely chopped cauliflower
  • Finely chopped broccoli
  • Finely chopped tomatoes
  • Finely chopped cucumber
  • Finely chopped purple onion
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Finely chopped jalapeño pepper, optional
  • Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients. Allow to chill for at least an hour to let all ingredients marinate in lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips or on tostadas. Of course you can top with some of your favorite salsa as well.

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

 

Brown Rice Greek Salad

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Hola!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I was quite busy but did manage to get a little rest in. I enjoyed this weekend by going shopping with my mom on Saturday then going shopping with my family on Sunday. It was a very productive shopping weekend. I don’t shop too much for myself but I figured with being in a new school and my birthday here that I needed and deserved some new clothes. I might have gone a bit overboard but I did not pay full price for anything. Clearance, Clearance! I did quite well considering my  budget wasn’t too big. I was a good girl and even donated some clothes that I haven’t worn in a while…like years.

Cooking has still been a little hard due to how busy I’ve been but using leftovers for another meal has helped a lot! I had leftover brown rice and figured a nice salad would work with it.

I absolutely love the flavors in Greek foods. I especially love Greek dressings for salads. I love the zestiness! We have tons of cucumbers in the garden this summer so they worked out perfectly for this salad. If you have lots of cucumbers from your garden try making this delicious Cucumber Lime Cooler.

Brown Rice Greek Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – roasted or fresh-I used 1 large regular tomato
  • 1 cup cucumber – diced
  • ½ cup scallions – minced
  • ½ cup corn – fresh, frozen, leftover grilled, etc.
  • ¼ cup feta cheese – crumbled
  • ½ cup kalamata olives-I used green olives
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tbs dried mint
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. To roast cherry tomatoes, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with an even layer of tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes; let cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine brown rice with tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, scallions, corn, feta and olives.
  3. Stir in lemon juice, zest, olive oil, oregano, mint, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

This is such a great main meal or side dish for summer. I love this stuff!

Happy Monday!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe Source The Lemon Bowl

Vinegar Based Coleslaw

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Hey!

How’s it going? Anything exciting going on? Have you gotten to go on vacation? My vacation has come to an end and I should be on my way home about now. I had not been to Mexico in about eight years. How lucky am I to have gone back? Super lucky! Some of the best vacations I have ever had have been with my Dad in Mexico. When he said he wanted as many of us to go as possible it seemed that I was the only one going. I treasure the memories I have spent with my Dad, just sitting on the porch drinking coffee and eating some pan dulce. I love watching the kids trying to help my dad do yard work or something and they just end up playing around and getting my Dad angry…sorry, Dad! I love to shop.  When I go to any tiendita just to check it out my Dad just waits for us in the plaza. He hates to shop. The memory of my my Dad taking us to the rancho and telling us which house belonged to who in the past…priceless! It’s also about my children. I am so glad that they know where we come from. Letting them play in the dirt…amazing moments. Letting them go swimming and fishing in the river. Checking out the old cemeteries…educational. Just being together in the place where my parents, their parents, and so on grew up. My Dad, my children and I have been stuck at the hip many times on vacation to Mexico and I am grateful for every single minute. Thanks, Dad and kids for the memories!

Let’s talk about coleslaw? Are you a fan? To tell you the truth I am not a fan of creamy coleslaws. I love vinegar based coleslaw. I don’t make coleslaw that often so when I found this recipe I made it just for myself.

When I made the coleslaw I happened to make some pulled pork sandwiches too. So why not just pile it on the sandwich? Delicious and tangy. I love tangy!

 

Vinegar Based Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 1/2 thinly sliced head of green cabbage
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 whole shredded carrots
  • 3 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of celery seed
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey and olive oil and set aside. In a separate bowl mix together cabbages, carrots, green onions and celery seed. Next, pour a small amount of the dressing on the cabbage mixture and mix together until combined and until desired amount of dressing is achieved. Season with salt and pepper and chill before serving.

This would be great at a BBQ!

Besos,

Flor

Dirty Rice

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Dirty Rice…another rice dish. It’s fabulous. The only Dirty Rice I have ever eaten has been from Popeye’s Chicken and I love that rice! When I found out that chicken gizzards and livers were used to make this rice I was kind of turned off but I figured I would try making it without all that extra chicken stuff even though that’s the stuff that makes the rice look “dirty”.

This was really, really good. If you add a bit of hot sauce over it it’s even better!

Dirty Rice

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups hot chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1-2 tblsn olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions with tops
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or a few dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice

Directions

Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy casserole. Sauté the sausage until  no longer pink. Lower heat; add vegetables and seasonings and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice,salt, pepper and broth; bring rapidly to a boil, stir once, cover, and lower heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender and cooked
Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Adapted from Southernfood.about.com

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

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Hey!

I think I have told you many times how much I love food and I really love rice. It’s just so versatile. I have never thought of pairing zucchini with rice but when I saw this recipe I figured I would try it and see how my family feels about it. They loved it. I was quite surprised.

It’s cheesy and the zucchini adds a bit of healthiness?

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • splash of milk, as needed

 

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the rice and stir to coat. Toast the rice, stirring often, just until it starts to turn golden.
Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a boil, turn heat to low, and cover.
Cook, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and add the butter, grated zucchini, cheddar, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir again and add salt and pepper to taste and a splash of milk if you’d like to thin out the texture a little bit.

This was delicious! If you have young children this would definitely be a hit with them! If you want you could probably swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth to make it totally vegetarian too!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe Source Buns in my Oven