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)
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.
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
Egg wash for cookies-
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.
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.
I love pancakes and I’m always looking for a way to add a new twist to a classic breakfast dish. I had a few fresh cranberries left over from Thanksgiving so I whipped up some delicious pancakes and some cranberry sauce topping. Whipped cream would have made these perfect, but I opted not to add them to the pancakes and save on the extra calories.
1/2C- fresh cranberries cut in half
1C- All purpose flour
1t- Baking powder
1T- Brown Sugar
2T- Melted Butter
Place cranberries and the two tablespoons of white sugar in a bowl. Microwave on high for 45 minutes, or until the cranberries have absorbed most of the sugar and it’s own liquid. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix. In another bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in one of the bowls; add the sugared cranberries to the batter.
Heat your skillet at medium heat, butter your skillet and Pour out 1/4C of batter into a skillet. Use the back of a spoon to spread the batter into a round. Cook until the round starts to bubble a bit (1-2minutes), then flip and cook pancake on the other side (1-2minutes). Remove pancake from skillet and continue to pour batter 1/4C at a time into the skillet until all the batter is used.
Serve the pancakes with a cranberry compote or sauce and a bit of maple syrup.
I’m always looking for a way to add veggies to my daughter’s diet. One way is pureeing roasted veggies and making pasta with it. Everyone wins; the pasta tastes delicious and we get some added veggies in out dish. Here’s a simple recipe to make add some veggies to your pasta. Enjoy.
1/2C roasted butternut puree
2t olive oil
1t- kosher salt
2 large eggs
2 1/2C all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Using your food processor with the cutting blade, process the eggs, oil and puree until combined. Add flour and salt, and process until dough just comes together.
Change out the knife blade for the dough blade and knead for 3- 5 minutes until the dough is elastic. If you do not have a dough blade, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, adding 2 tablespoons flour at at time if dough is sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 1 to 2 hours.
Prep your pasta maker with the roller attachment.
Cut dough into 8 pieces. Always keep the dough you are not working with covered, as it can dry out. Take one piece of dough and flatten it into an oblong shape slightly thinner than the pasta machine’s widest setting (number 1). Dust dough very lightly with flour, and feed through machine. Repeat twice on same setting to smooth dough and increase its elasticity.
Continue to pass the dough through twice the number settings until you get to number 6-7. Dust the dough as needed so it does not stick to the roller while you are flattening it. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Place dough on a drying rack until slightly dry; 10 to 15 minutes, and then cut into strands using your cutting attachment. Drape cut pasta over pasta drying rack until strands are semidry and don’t stick together about 20 minutes. Cook immediately in boiling water.
Pasta is ready once it floats to the top, no more than 3-5 minutes.
3t of dry active yeast
1/2C warm milk
4T of unsalted butter, melted
5T of unsalted butter, softened
1t of salt
1t vanilla extract
4C all purpose flour
3/4C brown sugar
1-1/2C Hershey’s spreadable chocolate
1t ground cinnamon
Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the warm milk in a bowl of a stand mixer until foamy.
Attach the dough hook attachment to your mixer and stir in remaining sugar, the melted butter, salt, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until well combined.
Slowly add the flour until a dough is formed, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the dough.
Continue to knead the dough in the stand mixer for 5 minutes. The dough will be smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap; let sit until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 375°.
Melt remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, stir until smooth, and pour sugar mixture into a 9” x 13” baking dish.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll dough into a 15” x 20” rectangle. Spread Hershey’s Chocolate Spread evenly over dough, roll dough into a log, trim ends and cut log into 12 rounds.
Transfer rounds cut side up to the baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.