Mushroom and Roasted Poblano Tacos-

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Lately I’ve been on a vegetarian kick. Not sure why… but plant based foods sound awesome right now. Not sure if it’s the heat, it’s been 90+ degrees these past few days or maybe I’m ready to become a vegetarian. Yeah, It’s probably the heat, because I enjoy the smell of barbecue on our evening walks. 

1 package or crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into thirds.

1/2 medium white onion, diced

1 large jalapeno, diced

2/3C- water

1/2 lime, juiced

1T- vegetable oil

1 large roasted tomato

2 garlic cloves

2 roasted poblano chiles, peeled and sliced

Place the poblano chiles and tomato on a non-teflon pan, that has been covered with a piece of aluminum foil (to protect the pan). Roast the tomato and chiles on high heat until charred. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Discard the charred aluminum foil. Place the poblano chiles and tomato in a zip lock bag. After a few minutes remove the poblanos and from the zip lock and peel the waxy skin from the chiles and the tomato. Steaming them in the bag makes peeling the chile and tomato easier. Slice the poblanos into 1/2” slices and set the tomato and chile slices aside. 

Place the mushrooms, onion, jalapeno, water, lime juice, and oil in a pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to fry.

While the mushrooms are cooking, puree the tomato with the garlic cloves in a blender. Add the tomato mixture and roasted poblano slices and cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on corn tortillas with a dollop of crema agria, avocado, and tomatillo salsa and enjoy. 

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Fresh Coconut Milk-

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4C of warm water
2C of fresh coconut meat


Put coconut in Vitamix blender and add water. 
Blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes. 
Pour through a strainer to get the large pieces of coconut out. If you still have several large chucks of coconut left,  put all the coconut that you strained out back in the blender, add the coconut chunks and blend again. 

You can drink immediately or store in the fridge. Coconut milk will have the best texture and flavor if used in 3-4 days after making.  The cream and the milk will separate in the fridge, just give the milk a quick stir before you’re ready to use it. 

You can also flavor  the milk by adding;  ½ tsp vanilla extract, or 2 tsp cocoa powder + ½ tsp vanilla.

I leave it plain and just flavor as needed. I like to make several items with the milk that range from savory to sweet. Flavoring the milk as needed allows for a variety of uses. :)

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Bolillo- Mexican French Bread Recipe

Planning our dinner menu for the week has helped my family reduce the amount of restaurant food we eat. This has turned into quite a bit of savings which we plan on spending this summer… on our electrical bill. Hey, summers in Arizona are hot (so people keep telling me), and the average electrical bill for those awesome summer months can easily reach $500 a month (Yes, this is also what other have told me). 

Anyways, back to why I made bolillo. When planning my menu for the week I wrote down all the ingredients I would need from the grocery store for the week. This time I happened to forget the bolillo, and how can you make molletes with out bolillo? You can’t! Oh, and why don’t I just head on back to the grocery store? Well, the nearest Mexican market is a 30 minute drive each way. That’s an hour of my time, not to mention gas that’s being wasted to go buy $1 worth of bolillo. 

So I decided to make my own. It only took a few hours, and I got my baking fix for the week. WIN- WIN! The recipe is simple, but the key to making a yeasted bread is patience. You have to let your dough rise so you get a delicious product.  

2 1/4t - Instant Yeast

1 1/3C- Warm Water

1T- Honey

1T- Shortening

1 1/2t- Salt

3 1/4C- Flour

1/4C- Cold Water

1t- Corn Starch

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in your mixing bowl, give it a quick stir and let it sit until foamy. After about 5 minutes, stir in the honey, lard, and salt to the foamy yeast.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix at low speed for 6 minutes to create the sponge for your bolillo. 
Stir in the remaining flour until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl. 
Knead the dough in your mixer using the dough hook for 10 - 15 minutes. The dough will have a smooth in texture and be elastic.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turn the dough so all surfaces are covered in oil. The oil will prevent the dough from forming a crust. 
Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough had doubled in size. 
Punch the dough down and knead briefly on a floured surface.
Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll into a cylinder shape with tapered ends.

Place the shaped dough on a greased cookie sheet and continue rolling the remaining dough.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cover rolled dough and allow it to rise a second time, about 30 minutes.

While the dough rises the second time, combine the cold water and corn starch in a small sauce pan, heat until the starch boils and turns clear. Brush each roll with the corn starch.

Slash each roll down the middle stopping a half in from the end of the rolls. 

Bake rolls for 30-35 minutes.

Remove bolillo from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.

Slice a bolillo in half and enjoy with a smear of butter, or top with some avocado for a special treat. 

 

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

Well, it’s has almost been a month since we’ve arrived at our new home in AZ and I haven’t baked anything. Crazy!! I know. So yesterday I started to plow through our neatly organized pantry (I made a mess of it) and bake some muffins. My goal was to make lemon poppy seed muffins, but I think i dumped my poppy seeds before the big move. (sigh)

I did have some bananas that had seen brighter days, and some blueberries in the fridge so I got started on it. 

This recipe is my go to for muffins, it’s simple you don’t need a mixer a simple fork will work perfectly, and you can make it in one bowl if you want. I like two bowls, just to make sure you blend all your dry ingredients correctly before adding them to the wet.

2/3C milk
1/4C vegetable oil
1/2C mashed very ripe banana (one medium sized banana will work)
1 egg
2C flour
2/3C sugar
2 1/2t  baking powder
1/4t ground cinnamon
1C blueberries


Pre-heat oven to 400ºF.

Line your cupcake/muffin pan with liners. 


Beat milk, oil, banana and egg in large bowl with fork. Here’s where you would use the second bowl, or you can just go for it. :)

Stir in remaining ingredients except blueberries just until flour is combined. Fold in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (3/4 way full). Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake 18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the cupcake pan, and allow to cool. 

Quick, Simple, Delicious!

Try it over pizza! It’s amazing. 

1C of  olive oil
2t of dried crushed Hontaka peppers (Chile Japones)
3 whole dried Hontaka peppers, stems removed.

Combine the oil, crushed and whole peppers in a small saucepan. 
Cook over low heat until oil reaches 175 degrees F. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a 200ml bottle and enjoy with any meal that needs a kick of awesomeness. :)

*Make sure the peppers do not turn brown, this means you have burned them, and the oil will be bitter. You will need to start the process over.

Quick, Simple, Delicious!

Try it over pizza! It’s amazing.

1C of olive oil
2t of dried crushed Hontaka peppers (Chile Japones)
3 whole dried Hontaka peppers, stems removed.

Combine the oil, crushed and whole peppers in a small saucepan.
Cook over low heat until oil reaches 175 degrees F. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a 200ml bottle and enjoy with any meal that needs a kick of awesomeness. :)

*Make sure the peppers do not turn brown, this means you have burned them, and the oil will be bitter. You will need to start the process over.

Aloo Patta Gobhi - Indian Cabbage and Potato

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We’re finally settling into our new home in Arizona. I sure do miss California and variety of cuisine available, but Arizona is starting to grow on me. I know you’re going to ask… “What about the heat?” Well, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous since we got here… except for that Haboob (dust storm) that came into town on Tuesday afternoon. It covered up the South East Valley in a huge cloud of sand. It was amazing to see the sky go from sunny, to red and dusty, and back to sunny again. Whoa! I’m living in an area that will have actual weather! 

But this isn’t a weather blog, so let’s get to the important stuff… the food!

This afternoon I had a lonely cabbage in the fridge. So I set out to make an Indian cabbage and potato dish called Aloo Patta Gobhi. It’s simple and delicious all on it’s own or served as a side with another indian dish.

4 Cups of thinly sliced cabbage
2 par-boiled medium sized potatoes cut into quarter slices
2T oil
1t cumin seeds
1/2t mustard seeds 
1 small diced jalapeno
1/4t ground turmeric 
1/4t cayenne pepper
3/4t salt
1/4t sugar
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (for garnish)

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Once you see the oil smoking add the cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.  Sauté for a few seconds then add the potatoes. Once the potatoes are cooked and browned add the cabbage, turmeric, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add 2T of water and cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for 8- 10. Stir the cabbage occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly and doesn’t burn. Remove from heat once the cabbage is tender. Serve with Roti or with your other favorite Indian dishes and enjoy.

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Cascarones- Confetti Eggs

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During lent we start the “harvesting” of cascarones in preparation for Easter. A cascaron is a hollowed out chicken egg. I say that we “harvest” them because as I use eggs for breakfast or baking I save them for dyeing and stuffing with confetti to use at our family Easter celebration.

Cascarones are the latin equivalent of Easter eggs. We hide them along with the traditional plastic eggs for children to find. These however are much more fun than your traditional plastic egg. The eggs are thrown or cracked over the person’s head to shower them with confetti. Yes, it’s a bit violent but what were you expecting from a culture that created the piñata. lol We don’t do this just because we want to take out frustrations on our family members, it is said that having a cascaron broken over your head is good luck. So far so good. :)

What you’ll need:

Hollowed out eggs (rinsed out to make sure there is no egg residue)

Tissue paper (cut into 1 x 1 squares)

Paper confetti

Paste (or any type of glue)

Egg dyeing kit

Set up your Easter egg dyeing kit as instructed.

Place your hollowed out eggs in the desired dye color.

Allow to dry (about an hour or so)

Fill the eggs with confetti.

Glue the tissue paper to the opening of the egg and allow to dry.

Once dry, test one on your friends. I highly recommend doing it outside, otherwise there will be a whole lot of confetti clean up around the house.

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Galletas de Grageas (Sprinkle Cookies)-

Our move to AZ from Southern California is only a few days away now. Living in LA has spoiled me with great food. In a matter of minutes I could have outstanding Mexican food, or an amazing Bánh mì. I’m not sure I’ll have this luxury in AZ, but I might. I’m not one to take those kinds of chances, so I’m making sure I can make all the food that I might miss.
First off, there are these sweet Mexican Galletas that you find at your local panaderia. It looks like a plain cookie with sprinkles, but to me they are a reminder of my childhood. La Galleta de Grageas is one of my favorites, subtle vanilla flavor and pretty to look at, because we all know, I love pretty food.
The recipe is simple, but definitely not a good one if you find yourself on a diet, LOTS OF BUTTER HERE. :)
You can always make a few and freeze the remaining dough to make more later. It will hold in the freezer for a week, but why would you want to wait so long. :)

Galletas de Grageas-

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (convection)

175 grams of butter (at room temperature)
200 grams of sugar
1 and a half eggs
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 drops of yellow food coloring
200 grams of all purpose flour
175 grams of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Multi-colored sprinkles

Egg wash for cookies-
1 egg
1 tablespoon of water

In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar together at high speed until fluffy.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring on medium speed to incorporate.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder together, then add it to the butter mixture at a slow speed, until combined.
Remove the dough from the mixer and onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1/4” thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut into the desired shape.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray (or coat with butter) to prevent the cookies from sticking.
Mix the egg and tablespoon of water together to create the egg wash.
Brush the top of the cookies with the wash and add the sprinkles.
Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool, and enjoy.

Marinated Olives with Feta

I love the olive bar at my local market but it sure can get expensive at $8.99 a pound. I make my own marinated olives at a fraction of the cost. It’s super easy and I know that my olives haven’t been sitting around in an olive bar with everyone breathing over them. You can get olives at fraction of the cost at halal or middle eastern markets saving you a few extra dollars to splurge on premium olive oil for your marinade. 

1C Kalamata olives

1C green olives

3/4C Basil infused extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

10 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Mix the olives, olive oil, parsley, and crushed red peppers in a bowl. Mix to combine. Add the feta, gently stir to coat with marinade. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight.

Serve and enjoy.

Fried Chicken

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