Tuesday, November 29

Libby's Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll with Cream cheese filling:

Another Thanksgiving Dessert... or your next Christmas dessert!

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

COOKING TIP:Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

I rolled it with the cream cheese filling inside...

Now I cut the edges off...

Sprinkled with Powdered sugar....

OK!!! Let's talk mistakes!
1. My baking sheet pan was to large... so I had less filling to spread!
2. I added almost triple the amount of pumpkin puree the recipe called for... by accident! hahaha! This could have turned into a disaster roll.. but it rolled (most importantly).

Outcome: Due to my mistakes... it did not come out as "PRETTY" as I hoped! But it was really really delicious! When the recipe says (intermediate) they mean it... BUT, its wasn't that hard..
 just follow instructions!

* I promise if you make this correctly... it's sure to impress! ;)


Monday, November 28

Slow-Cooked Pork Tacos

I made these tacos over the summer... & I've been dying to share!
 If you are familiar w/ "Barbacoa" (mexican meat dish) This pork has a very similar flavor... very Yummy!

5-6 Whole Pasilla chiles
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
1/2 medium onion
3 Tb oil
1 TB honey
1 Tb Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Dried oregano
3 3/4 Cups (low sodium) Chicken stock
1 Bay Leave / 1 Cinnamon Stick
3-4 lbs. Pork lion (untrimmed)

1. Put pasilla chiles & garlic in a bowl.. microwave for 2 mins. (Stem & seed). Transfer to of oil to a blender.

2. Add onion, olive oil, honey, vinegar, salt & oregano .... Puree until smooth!

3. Add 1 Tbsp a large skillet & heat over high heat, add chile sauce & fry until thick. (about 8mins)

4. Add chicken broth & reduce heat.

5. Season pork all over with salt & pepper.. chuck into large chunks -- add to your slow cooker!

6. Add bay leaf & cinnamon stick & pour in sauce.

Cook for 5 hours or until tender... or Cook in the oven for 1 hour @ 350 degrees covered, then uncovered for 30 mins more. Remove from slow cooker or oven & shred pork with a fork. Warm up tortillas & make TACOS!!
Suggested Toppings: Cilantro, purple cabbage, limes, queso fresco, sliced onion... etc.

Here's the link & a WAYYY better picture! Ha!


Homemade Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.)  Evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

 Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (These instructions are from the Libby's Pure Pumpkin can) Here's a link:

Nothing tricky here... making these pies are very easy! I'm somewhat late, but give these a try!
The holidays have just begun :)

Monday, November 21

Pesto Pasta Salad w/ Roasted Chicken

This pasta dish is great for large groups & parties. I made this more a special birthday party.. doubled the recipe. Tip: cook the pasta the night before & store in the refrigerator in a zip-lock bag. Assemble the day of. I believe this is Ina Garden's recipe (Barefoot Contessa) minus the roasted chicken part.. or maybe Giada's.. I forget! I first made this recipe for our Superbowl party earlier this year & everyone loved it. The roasted chicken really made it more filling.. use your favorite kind.


1 Whole Roasted Chicken (store bought) shredded
1 lb. of Bow-tie pasta
1 small container of basil pesto
1/2 lb of Feta cheese (crumbled)
1 small container of Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
Oil Olive & Pepper
Thinly sliced red onion *optional

In a large pot bring water to boil & cook pasta accordingly..
Menawhile, shred the chicken & set aside.

Place cooked pasta in a large bowl to cool completely..

Once pasta is cool to the touch, pour in pesto & about 4 tbsp of Olive oil ... Mix well until fully incorporated. Add chicken & incorporate into the pasta & pesto.. stir around a bit.

 Slice tomatoes in half and add in, crumble feta over top & lightly incorporate or all the tomatoes will sink to the bottom. Add some fresh cracked pepper to the top & done! (If the pasta looks dry, add in more Olive oil... because it will dry out even more).


Friday, November 18

Reese, Oreo, Mini Cheesecake goodness..


When I came across this recipe for Mini Cheesecakes, I was instantly sold! I made these exactly like Bakerella's recipe. Except.... like the amateur baker that I am, I left the paper liner in the aluminum cupcake holders.. Opps! (They would have looked fancier without the paper liner, of course)
Click the link below for a step by step!

I broke up the waffers b/c my liners weren't 2 inches... opps again!

Gorgeous right!!! So delicious & easy!


These Reese Peanut butter cupcakes are inspired from the photo she has in the link below, I later found the link to the actual recipe! Still Delish! I used a box of Devils Cake, stuck one whole Reese cup before baking, then baked accordingly.

Allow to cool completely.. I made a chocolate glaze instead of the chocolate frosting. 
Why? Much easier.. Mix milk with powered sugar & add a Tablespoon of Cocoa powder! Done!
Top with crumbled Reese cups! YUM! Very nice presentation.. Thanks Bakerella! 


Oreo Cupcakes.. as I like to call them! Bakerella calls these the "Cookies n' Cream cupcakes".. Again I used a box of devils food cake mix.. Mixed accordingly! Crack 1 Oreo into 4 pieces & add 3 of those into each cup... Now Bake!
Click below for Bakerella's step by step!

Ugh! Can't take it.. they are gorgeous even without frosting!

For the frosting, I cheated again! (Hey, cut me some slack.. I made the cake from scratch) Next time when I choose one cupcake recipe to bake .. I'll make it from scratch or NOT! hahaha
Use 1 Can of Vanilla frosting.. in a large ziplock bag add 10 or so Oreo's.. Smash into crumbs! Mix into the frosting & Done! I know you love my short cuts! ;)

Now for the Cake! I just had to make him a cake... he was turning 25 afterall! And yes I LOVE him to death! I used Martha Steward's Ultimate Chocolate cake recipe... followed it to the core! For the frosting I used her Ultimate Chocolate Frosting recipe, delish! I filled the middle layers with leftover Oreo frosting & garnished with halved Oreo's along the sides... Topped with more OREO crumbs! He & I are OREO cookie's biggest Fans.. I'm seriously!

Sophi giving me a hand!
Finished product... Don't judge my decorating skills... I'm an amateur at this!

 The End.. This is what my week was consumed by <3


Thursday, November 17

Giada's Fried Raviolis

Mini Fried Raviolis..YUM!

I don't know why carb posts have overtaken this month!! Fear not... I had some recipes saved...
& my waistline is still OK. I think :-) These are easy but take some time! End result - deliciousness.

1/2 pk. of mini (cheese stuffed) Ravioli's
1/2 or more of breadcrumbs
1 egg & splash water (for the wash)
Parmesan cheese

Cook Ravioli's accordingly and drain... set aside..
Make an assembly line: Breadcrumbs, egg wash (crack egg & add a splash of water, stir)
Heat up a large skillet with Grape see oil.
Dip a ravioli in the egg wash & immediately in the breadcrumbs.. make enough to fill a pan! Then drop into the oil carefully (cook about 3 minutes on both sides). Repeat process.

Remove from oil & place on a plate lined w/ a paper towel.. sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Let melt in!!
 Enjoy with your favorite marinara sauce alongside (as Giada suggests) or for the kiddie's ketchup!
 Fun Snack or appetizer!


Sunday, November 13

Rachel Ray's - Mac & Cheese

with Chicken & Broccoli....
                                           more Mac & cheese please!

2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 lb. chicken tenders or breast (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1lb. Elbow (macaroni) pasta
2 Heads of broccoli (cut into florets)
3 Tbsp of butter
3 Tbsp of Flour (all-purpose)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (or paprika)
3 cups of milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp of Dijon Mustard

Place a large pot of water tp boil & cook pasta accordingly. Last minute, throw in broccoli to cook.
Strain pasta & broccoli & set aside. In a medium skillet, add oil & cook chicken pieces until brown, add chopped onion during last 3 mins.(About 5-7 min). Season w/ salt & pepper Set aside.

Make a roux: (the cheese sauce) ;)
Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add butter & melt, then flour, cayenne & whisk away.. until mixture bubbles, then cook for another minute. Whisk in milk & stock, raise heat to bring sauce to a quick boil. You want to simmer until sauce thickens.(About 5 mins) 
Add cheese to milk sauce and stir until it melts in completely. Should take about 1 min.
Stir in mustard & season with salt & pepper. Taste, carefully.

Pour drained pasta back into the large pot in cooked in, por cheese sauce over the entire pasta, stir to combine. Adjust seasoning acoordingly.
** Rachel Ray's recipe stopped here.. she actually combines the
chicken & broccoli w/ cheese mixture & then serves.

For some odd reason (don't ask) I sprinkled bread crumbs & baked the thing in the oven for 15 minutes or so... and then topped with chicken & broccoli. Why?? Because I had a motherly instinct my girls wouldn't enjoy the broccoli mixed in. She's my special angel!

Macaroni baked at 350 degrees...


Tips/ Insight: When I attempt this dish again, I will definitely explore other cheeses. Maybe some Fontina or a Premixed cheese blend... I don't know we'll see. As for you....Be creative!!
Recipe from: Rachel Ray's Top 30 (30-minute meals) Kid Food, 2004

Friday, November 11

Pasta Primavera

I'm very excited to share this recipe! Ok I'm always very excited to share...
This happens to be the first "real" pasta recipe I learned to make.. I believe my Tia Hortencia shared it with my mom, glad she did! YUM!!! I know some variations of this dish contain Peas or other veggies. SO..add what you enjoy most, we actually added Eggplant this time & it worked, very tasty. I kinda forgot about it & had not made it since. Anyhow, I was visiting my parents this week & we decided to cook this! Don't let the recipe scare you off, it's long.. YES... but it's easy (just don't overcook the pasta & veggies). 

(Serves 6)
1 lb. of Bow-Tie Pasta
2 cups of Asparagus (cut diagonally)
1 small stem of broccoli (cut out florets)
1 tbsp of Olive oil
1 Green, Red, Yellow Bell peppers (sliced)
1 small red onion (sliced)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
a few Sun dried Tomatoes (chopped) *optional
1/2 cup of Chicken stock
1/4 cup of Heavy Cream
Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tbsp of Salt & some Pepper
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil 

Cook pasta accordingly & add Broccoli/ Asparagus during the last minute... cook for 1 MINUTE only!!

Chop all Veggies... chop, chop, chop

Place chopped bellpeppers & onion in 1 plate.. Tomato separately

Heat up your LARGEST skillet (we want everything to fit at the end), add Olive oil.
Saute garlic, onion & bell peppers (5mins).
Add Tomato's & combine (1min).

Add Chicken stock, Heavy cream, salt/ Pepper & Chile flakes
 (cook for 2 mins or until it comes to a light simmer) Combine!

Add in Cooked Pasta, Cheese & sprinkle Basil ribbons
(Serve Immediately) or pasta drys up & may over cook especially if left covered.

Top with more cheese!!


*Optional.. Top with Chopped Chicken! YUM