Friday, July 29

Simple Refried Beans

Let me begin by saying there's no lard going down in these!!
 It's only appropriate to follow up a beans post with Refried beans.. I happen to think so!

1-2 green scallions
2 Tb of oil
Cooked beans 

Feeling Adventurous?
Take these simple beans to a whole new level (by adding these additional ingredients)

1 Jalapeno or 2 Serrano Chilies (sliced lenght wise)
Chorizo (as much as your heart desires)

1.Begin by chopping the scallions, add oil to pan & turn heat to a medium high.
2.Drop in scallions & saute about 2 mins.
3.With a slotted spoon, begin adding beans (allowing liquid to drain).
4.Cover and allow beans to evenly boil, finally take out a hefty smasher and smash away!
( Add about 1/4 cup of bean stock if beans are somewhat dry. Remember they will harden up!)
    ----> For taco's add 1/8 of a cup of stock ( you want these to hold up in a taco) & for a side of refried beans add 1/4 or more.. you want the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes.

*** For Favor-filled beans: Saute scallions, chorizo & chilies, until chorizo is fully cooked.
       Then follow steps 3 & 4.
       (These are perfect for Burritos)

Enjoy me!

Beans Please

About 3 months ago I planted a single BLACK bean from my kitchen... well to my surprise it grew!! Below are the beans straight from the stalk, pretty amazing right?!?

Turns out a few of my fellow reader's have requested the recipe for BEANS, so here it is :-). Now that I have covered the basic sides for most Mexican dishes, we will move into entrees (main dishes).

RECIPE: 4 servings

1/4 a cup of BEANS (1 palmful per person)
6 cups of water (remember that amount fills up my 2.5 Qt Pot) 
1 TB of salt
1 large garlic clove
My trusty 2.5 Qt. Pot
As far as exact measurements, we can't get anymore precise than your own hands, right? Anyways, I usually measure out a handful per person (which equals out to 1/4 of a cup). Depending on the amount of people your feeding that should be enough, furthermore, I add an additional 2 palms fulls (of beans) for extras.

*** Important: remember to wash those babies (in a colander/strainer) and look for ugly beans ;)
Now pour the beans into your pot!

  • Add about 6 cups of water to the pot, leaving about 1 1/2 inches from the rim. (The pot will only contain about 1/4 beans and the rest water.. may look like alot of water, but you don't want dry beans (or burnt beans for that matter).
  • Add in salt, garlic and turn on heat to medium high and COVER! Once water comes to an even boil, turn heat down to low/ medium and let those bad boys cook away for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (check a bean after 2 hours for tenderness) Your best bet will be to simmer the beans low and slow, trust me I've managed to burn these before.

TIP: If you notice the beans look dry, as if too much water has evaporated, then it's fine to add some extra water (if there's still an hour left of cooking time and adjust seasonings accordingly)

. ** For BLACK beans allow an extra 1/2 to 1 hour


QUOTE: Beans, (also known as legumes or pulses) are often called "poor people's meat", but they should really be called "healthy people's meat" considering the health benefits of beans.

Soup for the Soul.. (aka: Sopita)

Growing up, we always enjoyed a bowl of warm 'sopita' for lunch.
 (OK not ALWAYS, but it sure felt like it)


A classic sopita includes the following listed ingredients minus the zucchini's, although in order to sneak in some sort of veggies we (my mother/ I) add zucchini or potato (also quartered, Yes carbs with starchy CARBS.. but so delish). If you're clueless as to where to purchase these lovely pasta packages pictured below, drive to your local supermarket, walk to the pasta aisle and there they will be waiting to be purchased. The variations in sizes and shapes are countless, each similar in flavor, however different in texture (obviously). My personal favorite is the stick looking one, fideo!

Now to add in some motherly perspectives...
This soup is a child's best friend, and it can be yours as well (chessy, but very true). As a mother of 2, this tends to be their lunch quite often :-p... Let me explain why(?).... It's fast/ easy and the nutritional value is great, it can be store for 2-3 days, and freezes excellent!!! I purchased small glass containers and freeze individual portions for my daughter to keep on hand whenever there isn't baby friendly food around. (Better than any Gerber I must add!)

Hope these tips are beneficial!!!

Different shapes

1 tomato
1 thin slice of onion
1 garlic
2 Tb of chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tb. oil
1/2 packet of pasta
4 cups of water
1 small zucchini or potato

Blend Tomato, onion, garlic & seasonings

Quarter the zucchini

Heat up pan on a medium heat, add oil, and pour in half the packet of pasta, and stir till golden..
(Don't walk away or it will burn)

Once pasta looks evenly browned ( or golden) add tomato mixture, water, and veggies..
Grab your lid and cover!

Allow 20 minutes for soup to cook!
If soup comes to a rapid boil, turn the heat down slightly. Take a spoon & grab a piece of pasta and taste
 for tenderness, if the pasta is soft w/ a bite turn heat off. Place cover back on and allow soup to sit a few
minutes (like 2mins) ..

Enjoy me with a splash of lime/ lemon or a little jalapeno juice :-)

Thursday, July 28

EASY Shrimp & Pasta

1 box thin spaghetti
1 lb. shrimp (tails on) * fresh or frozen
5-6 cloves of garlic
Zest of one lemon
1/2 - 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Hand full of parsley
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil (or coat the bottom of your pan)
Salt and Pepper
lots of Parmesan cheese

1.Cook pasta accordingly
2.Meanwhile warm up large skillet (big enough for shrimp and cooked pasta), coat bottom with olive oil and butter.
3. Sauté garlic (1 to 2mins)
4. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper; add lemon zest (cook until pink)
** Shrimp let off lots of liquid and that becomes the sauce ;)
(Don't strain pasta without reserving some pasta water)
5. Add in pasta straight from cooking water and don't forget to add 1/2 - 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
6.Combine pasta with shrimp, add about 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley
** taste at this point and season if necessary :):)

Serve immediately and sprinkle cheese on each plate..
& your DONE!


Other pasta opinions: linguine or regular spaghetti (most pasta's work well in this dish)

* For a fancy taste add in 1/2 of white wine 2mins after adding shrimp, its delish. ( that also means you'll need less pasta cooking water)
*  I often buy frozen shrimp and add those straight to the pan when there's no time to defrost.
Substitute parsley for Thyme or Lemon Thyme, I feel it’s even better. (different herbs, bring out different tastes).

Lastly, this is my all time "go-to" SUPER FAST meal!
** Serve along side a simple salad ( takes the guilt away ;)..)

(I'm planning on making Shrimp Scampi next time, that post will include detailed pictures)

Tuesday, July 26

Mexican Rice

After much debate, I've come to the conclusion that Mexican rice must be my first ‘shared’ recipe! (I'm also fully aware most of you probably know how to make this :-p) This was the dish I first learned to make back in high school. Yes, I've ruined this dish before ( too salty, too much liquids, BURNED the rice, etc..) It ultimately takes practice, as well as adjusting the seasonings to your taste. There are many variations of "Mexican Rice" out there, this just happens to be ours :)

1 cup of Rice ( I prefer Jasmine)
1 3/4 cups of water
2 small/normal sized Roma Tomatoes or 1 regular Tomato
thin slice onion
1 garlic
2 Tb of Grape Seed oil
2Tb of chicken bouillon (caldo de pollo)
1/2 teaspoon of salt

** color of rice depends on redness of tomatoes :)

Which do I use???
 I usually use the left, although my mom swears rice cooks prettier (yes, mas bonito) in the white porcelain.

 Some ingredients

 Blend Tomato, onion, garlic and seasonings (salt and chicken flavoring). Pulse a few times and puree until smooth.

 Tomato mixture

 Saute rice in oil until golden, takes a few minutes, stir occasionally. (Don't let it burn)

Pour in tomato mixture and combine, allow mixture 1 minute for a quick boil (stand back), and finally add water and combine. Turn heat to medium, cover, and allow rice to cook for 15 minutes. (At minute 12 check if all liquids have been absorbed, if not allow remaining minutes.

Liquids are now absorbed (or should be). Grab a fork and fluff your rice, remember don't scratch your pan. Turn heat off and cover until ready to serve.

Enjoy :)

Monday, July 25

Something New..

New clothes, shoes, makeup, even gossip, or yummy dishes are things that may excite one! All of the above are uplifting in my case, as well as the commence of this new blog.
After posting, posting, and posting snaps of my good eats and possibly boring my fellow FACEBOOK friends, I've decided (more like encouraged) to start a blog. Always a 'low key' dream of mine, which is now a reality in the making. I hope to aid in the unleashing of your inner chef ;) ... Enjoy!

Share recipes, photos (via iPhone), experiences, and new challenges. Lets not forget the ultimate goal of making you hungry, the way Food Network accomplishes to do so. (<-- let me dream people)

My ultimate inspiration has to be my mom!
She literally began cooking at the age of 6, this is a photo showcasing her skills at best.

(excuse the quality, taken from a pervious blackberry)

 I would only hope to become as great, stove full of different pots with fillings on one side and cooking the actual gordita's on the other. (while on the phone ha ha!)