i haven’t met anybody who didn’t like mexican food.
wait… i actually have. at chevy’s. AT CHEVY’S.
let me tell you the story. so shawn and i were having a lovely dinner and then this couple came in laughing and all up on each other. then time came fore them to order and that’s when all the foolishness happened.
after ordering fajitas or burritos or something, all i heard were questions that seemed inappropriate at a mexican restaurant. let me list them down.
1. does it have sour cream?
2. is it spicy?
3. does it have bell peppers?
4. does it have onions?
5. can you put broccoli? - seriously… at CHEVY’S?!?!?!
i thought to myself, why? why, go to chevy’s if you don’t want ANYTHING in there in the first place? it was just craziness.
anyway, if you have a sudden craving for something to satiate your hunger for mexican food or fill you up after a night of drinking and you know that taco bell just ain’t gonna cut it, this simple and quick recipe will surely hit the spot. also, most ingredients would for sure be in your pantry already.
so, what are you waiting for? go make it!
1 lb pork, diced, about 1 1/2 cubes
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic diced
4 tbsp taco seasoning
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
tortillas of your choice
thinly sliced onions
what to do:
1. combine worcestershire, taco seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper in a big bowl and add diced pork. let marinate for 15 minutes.
2. in a large fry pan, over medium high heat, cook the pork for about 8-10 minutes or until the pork is brown and caramelized all over.
3. that’s it! put cooked pork in tortilla and add whatever topping your heart desires.
i thought the philippines was hot, then i moved to sacramento. 110+ degree temperature got me turning on the a/c, a habit my mother didn’t teach me due to the expense attached to it.
anyway, shawn and i have leaned how to deal with the heat, by having the a/c on 24 hours a day and just ignore the price tag attached to it. also, we found this gelato place downtown and we have been going 1-2 times a week. their gelato… ahhh-mazing. it tasted so clean and like the real thing. they also had the best pistachio gelato EVER. it tasted like pistachios and not like almond ice cream with pistachios here and there.
this gelato place inspired me to make an ice pop, so here’s the result. 3 ingredients and the freezer and you have something to munch on in the searing heat of summer.
strawberries and cream pops
8 oz strawberries, hulled, frozen or fresh
6 oz milk
2 tbsp sugar
what to do:
1. in a food processor or blender, combine everything and process until combined.
2. pour into ice pop mold and freeze for at least 3 hours. it’s that easy!
chicken and crab alfredoingredients:1 lb dried pasta1/4 cup butter1 tbsp oil1 medium sized onion, diced2 tbsp finely chopped garlic1/2 tsp chili flakes1/2 tsp thymepinch of paprikasalt and pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cup shredded asiago
1/2 lb cooked lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken or boiled and shredded chicken breast/thigh would work)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp capers drained
1. cook pasta according to package directions.
2. in a large pot over medium high heat, heat up oil and butter until melted. add onion and cook until translucent. chili flakes, thyme and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until soft.
3. add heavy cream and heat up until the sides are bubbling, but not boiling. add asiago cheese and let it melt. once cheese is fully melted and the sauce has thickened, add crab meat and chicken and cook until heated all the way through, about 5 minutes. don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste. add lemon juice and take out from heat.
4. in a small frying pan, heat up about 1/4 cup oil and fry capers until it puffs up and the skin opens up. drain and place on a paper towel line plate.
5. combine sauce and pasta noodles, serve dish with fried capers on top. bon appetit!
i hate moving. i’m not a big fan of apartment hunting. i hate packing and i hate unpacking. i hate deciding where everything should be going. i hate hauling stuff in and out trucks. it’s insanely tiring.
a few months ago, we moved 47 miles from our old house to sacramento for school. the move happened a few days before school started that i was still in the process of moving and hauling stuff out of my car during the first few weeks of school. to make things worse, that was the busiest time of school. i, however, survived that chaotic time - beaten and bruised.
the first semester of nursing school was a challenge. the move; change of workload; getting rear ended on the third week of school; dealing with the fact that our dog was allergic to trees, grass, molds and storage mites (yes, i know); crazy schedules; and extreme procrastination all contributed to the high level of stress i had in the past few months and since i was not very good at time management, studying always had to take a back seat. i am just glad previous knowledge helped me stay afloat and survive.
the only way to make sure i do not get admitted to a loony bin was to make sure i entertain the idea of procrastination - have people over and cook for them. it sounds so crazy now, but i did it before exams. oh, i also played badminton a few night before exams and in hindsight, it was just crazy. i don’t think i’ll be doing that in the upcoming semesters.
anyway, one of the few things i made during the times i procrastinated were pretzels. i’ve made them before but they turned hard as rocks hours after making them. but this time around i found a recipe that stayed soft even a day after making them. i also made them a few times and people who had them seemed to have liked it, so i think the recipe was successful.
then a few days ago, i thought, why not turn the pretzels into buns just like those things they sell at costco. i tried it, and it was a success. they were sweet, soft and really good. as pretzels with cinnamon and sugar, damn; with parmesan and salt, jeeeeezus. as buns with butter it was good, with cheese it was really good, with steak, brie and some greens… oh goodness, ooooh goodness. i just want to eat it all the time. it’s one of those things you just have to try and make, so what are you waiting for? i am pretty sure you have most of the things needed for this recipe… well maybe except yeast. so go to the store and get yeast, about 2 packets or a big jar. you’ll want to make this over and over again, trust me. just don’t follow my footsteps, don’t do these before exams.
1 1/4 cup warm water, about 105-110 degrees F
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
3-4 cups all purpose flour
6 cups hot water
1/2 cup baking soda
1. in a large bowl or the bowl of you kitchenaid mixer, sprinkle yeast and sugar in warm water and stir to combine. set aside for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. once the yeast is foamy, add sugar, salt, oil and start with 3 cups of flour. mix until it forms a dough. this will be a a soft and moist. if it is too sticky add a little bit more flour. i have made this a few times and i never used all 4 cups. knead dough until it’s smooth, about 7-8 minutes.
3. lightly oil a large bowl, place dough, making sure the entire dough is oiled up so it doesn’t dry up. cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place and let it rise until it doubles in size, about an hour. i place my dough in the microwave with boiled water in mugs surrounding it. it works perfectly all the time.
4. preheat oven to 400 degrees F. in a large pan or baking dish combine hot water and baking soda.
5. turn out risen dough into a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal portions. roll each portion into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. to make buns, divide dough into 6 or 8 equal portions, shape into smooth balls.
6. once dough is formed, dip it into the baking soda solution and place into a parchment lined/greased baking sheet.
7. bake for pretzels for 12-13 minutes or 15-17 minutes if making buns or until brown. let it cool on racks.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! i have decided to post something new since i’m on break and it’s a new year. i have found some time to write something new. this recipe has been waiting to be posted for quite sometime now and here it is.
i never really understood the concept of a mac and cheese until a few years ago. i love pasta, but using only cheese as a sauce, seems very weird. it did not seem right. it did not sit well with me. i think you get what i mean.
my first encounter with the mac and cheese was not very good. i tried the blue box variety sitting in our pantry - this was before i learned how to cook, about 6 years ago. i followed the directions and hoped for the best. i poked the overcooked pasta doused with reconstituted cheese, ate it and i was filled with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment. it was chalky and up until now, i can’t figure out why shawn loves that thing.
although that experience scarred me, i did not give up. i wanted to know what the fuss was all about. i tried it at different restaurants and even fast food chains and it wasn’t long until i found out what a mac and cheese should taste like. and i also found out why it is a comfort food.
it should be rich, creamy, smooth, filling with a crunchy top. there were a few places that had those features, but they tasted very different from each other. the use of different cheeses, topping and additional ingredients makes a whole world of a difference when it comes to the final product.
i have tried multiple recipes and this latest venture turned out very well. i have made it a few times and it was quite successful. but i have to warn you, this recipe is very rich, fatty and you wouldn’t want to eat anything after 2 days. so, if you’re ready, here’s the recipe.
bacon and blue mac and cheese
1 lb short-cut pasta noodles (fusili, penne rigate, elbow)
1 lb bacon, sliced into small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 block (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
4 cups sharp cheddar
2-3 oz blue cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 stick (4oz) butter, melted
salt and pepper
1. in a large pot, place sliced bacon, turn up heat to medium high and cook bacon until crispy. it should yield about a cup of rendered fat. in another pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
2. take out the cooked bacon and set it aside. and leave about 1/2 cup of bacon fat in the pot and saute the onions until transparent. add garlic and cook until soft.
3. once the garlic is soft, add flour and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly golden. make sure you add salt and pepper as you go.
4. add milk and make sure you scrape the brown bits at the bottom of the pot, this has a lot of flavor so don’t forget this step.
5. once the milk has thickened, add the cheeses and stir until melted. mix in the cooked bacon and cooked pasta. stir until combined.
6. place the mixture in a 9x13in baking dish. combine melted butter and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl. top the mac and cheese mixture with the bread crumbs.
7. bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbling on the sides.