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Showing posts from October, 2011

Wings Stop Inspired Wings and Seasoned Fries

The football season brings the cravings for tons of junk food.  Honey will start wanting wings and nachos and chili fries.  So I decided to go for a little greasy happiness and make a Wing Stop inspired Sunday football dinner and for less than half the price. Both, Honey and Bebe loved the wings, and I am so excited to have found the seasoning for the fries because I absolutely love them.
When making wings, it's less of a hassle to oven bake then buying a ton of oil and frying them; I never know what to do with the dirty oil afterward and the flavor is still so good.  When buying wings, buy the full wings, cut at the joints, and stick the wing tips back in the freezer (makes chicken stock later).
Even though I made the chicken and the fries, it was more cost effective to buy the cheese sauce and saved a little time.  The carrots and celery were already in the fridge and so was the ranch dressing.
Have fun and enjoy!

HOT WINGS AND HONEY MUSTARD WINGS
serving: about 20 wings

3 lbs …

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Corn Pancakes and Sauteed Spinach

There are times when I have an idea for dinner, but for one reason or another the night for that dinner, it just doesn't work out. Either, I don't have all the ingredients or the idea is no longer appetizing. This particular night, I had something vegetarian planned, but Honey wanted meat and I had pork chops in the freezer.
I had the genius idea to make a breakfast style dinner; not necessarily breakfast for dinner, but breakfast inspired. Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Corn Pancakes and Sauteed Spinach. Sounds like a lot, but it really took 30 minutes.
I am going to label this as vegetarian because I ate this for lunch the next day without the pork chop and it was divine. It's also when I realized that the familiar taste of the corn pancakes was the same taste as Salvadoran Tamales de Maiz.
Tell me this wasn't genius!

PAN-FRIED PORK CHOPS
servings: 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 pork chops
salt & pepper
vegetable oil

Turn skillet on medium. Put a tablespoon of oil and…

Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

There is something about soup that is so comforting. Maybe the fact that we have no family around and the weather is so different makes me want to make soup more often. Any kind of soup is so comforting.
The inspiration for this soup came from a Rachael Ray recipe and the fact that the squash was on sale. It's the best soup I've made this season, and I plan to make it with other veggies throughout the fall and winter.

SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO SOUP

1/2 butternut squash, cubed
2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
1 small onion, halved then quartered
1 celery stalk, large chop
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water (replace vegetable or chicken broth for water and bullion cube)
1/2 bullion cube
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt & pepper

Set oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet place squash, potatoes, onions, and celery. Coat vegetables with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake until soft and roasted, about 40 minutes.
In a large pot add wate…

Home Chili with Beans

So, the difference in weather is completely different here than what it is at home. Today the high in Houston (home) is 86°, and here the temperature is not expected to get past 56

Food frenzy in NYC

I'm back and with a vengeance. I went on a short trip, and I truly fooled myself into thinking that I would still post recipes on Wednesday and Friday. I apologize to you for not posting, but I had a wonderful time.
The upside to living in New York, is that New York City is only a 5 hour drive away. Honey went on a business trip, so I filled up my gas tank and took a three day trip with the little one and my dog. This is my second time down there, and both times I've been able to stay with my best friend and Bebe's Godmother. And fortunately she's been able to take the time to show us around.
We got to her house during lunch on Wednesday, so we were hungry. We ordered in since it was rainy and had some really good Thai takeout. Thai Time was really good considering my friend had never eaten there before. I had the yellow curry which was supposed to be a little spicy, but it was not spicy at all. It came with a delicious miso soup. My friend had Pad Thai, and it was so…

Arroz con Leche

Today is Honey and my three year anniversary.  It's been a roller-coaster, and we could not be happier.  We've learned so much, and I can't imagine what more is to come.
Of all the foods I've made, there is one dessert that Honey continuously ask for, and because I like to see him happy, I oblige.  Arroz con Leche is his favorite dessert.
My recipe is a little different, but so creamy and full of flavor.  You can taste the spice of the cinnamon and vanilla which make it the perfect comfort food.  Even though this can be served cold or at room temperature it's best hot.  I added a little Kahlua to mine, and it adds the perfect punch to an after dinner dessert.  With or without a little spike, enjoy!

ARROZ CON LECHE
servings: 8

2 cups white long grain rice
6 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
coffee liqueur

On medium high heat let a large pot with 4 cups of wate…

Keep the Groceries Low

Do you over spend on groceries, eating out, or both? Feel that the belt needs to tighten up b/c the money isn’t coming in as it used to? Or the dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to? It’s not your imagination, grocery shopping is more expensive now days than it has been within the last few years. The economy and fewer crops contribute to this and it doesn’t help that salary raises are harder to come by now days. So here is my contribution to help you lower your grocery bill: Make a menu- Having an idea of what you’ll be eating the next week or two makes it easier to have a list ready for grocery shopping. Take into account breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Also, leave out any day you may be eating out. Don't buy more than you eat.Have multiple uses- If you are buying an item you don’t use often, find another recipe that will use that ingredient. Ex. 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil is used in stir-fry, so what do you do with the rest? Make hummus with a can of chickpeas instead o…

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

A few weeks ago we went to Family Farm Day in Canisteo, NY. Bebe was able to pet some farm animal and his favorate had to be the calf; we could not get him away.  I was able to milk a cow, which was a little odd, but so fun.  We also went through a corn maze, which was fun b/c it was small and Bebe actually got us through it.  Finally, on the way back to the car, Bebé was able to pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch.


So now we had a pumpkin, and what to do with it.  I figured it wouldn't last until Halloween, so I put it to good use.  I cut it up, de-seeded it, roasted* it, and turned it into pumpkin purée.  I was able to get 4 different uses out of it, most of them sweet though.  I saved the seeds, washed them, and roasted them.  It was a small pumpkin, but had tons of seeds.  Half are being eaten by Honey and the other half are being used as one of the many ingredients for my Thanksgiving Turkey.
For my first recipe, I decided to wing it and make a pumpkin bread. It turned…

Salvadoran Enchiladas

I'm sure everyone knows what a Mexican Tostada is.  A flat, crispy tortilla with meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on top.  Well, I have something similar, but better.  It's the Salvadoran Enchilada.  It's a really thick tortilla (not fried) stacked with refried beans, a pork mixture, hard boiled egg, cheese/sour cream and curtido. This totally reminds me of home.
Honey is amazed at how many recipes I come up with from my childhood that sound interesting and end up tasting great.  He really liked this one, hard boiled egg and all, and he also added some hot sauce for a bit of bite.  I also think about all the recipes I get to pass down to Bebé that have been passed over to me.  This is one of the easiest ones b/c it's impossible to burn anything.Let me know you y'all think.

ENCHILADAS
serving: about 12 enchiladas

12 Thick tortillas (recipe below)
4 pork chops
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
salt & pepper
1 ta…

Cabbage 2 Ways - Curtido and Sautéed

I grew up having Curtido in the fridge, and every once in a while we had Salvadoran-style stuffed cabbage.   When I make curtido, I am reminded of the times that my sister would fill half her plate with Curtido because she liked it so much.
Curtido is a pickled cabbage, similar to sauerkraut, and it's good on everything.  It is traditionally served with Pupusas, Yucca con Chicharrón, or Salvadoran Enchiladas. I eat it over hot dogs and plain rice.
Recently, I discovered that my husband likes cabbage, but definitely not the way I would ever eat it.  Although I have no idea how to prepare what he likes, I've tried it and know I don't like it.
Because I like finding something that will satisfy all of us, I decided to buy one cabbage and prepared it 2 ways. I have to say, my Sautéed Cabbage was actually pretty good, Honey liked it so much, he did not leave me any for the next day's lunch, and let's face it, bacon makes everything taste better.
Let me know which you l…

Falafels, Baba Ganoush, Tzatziki

I love Mediterranean food and honestly, who wouldn't.  So, making Hummus and Pita Bread got me a little carried away.  I had everything to make Falafels and I only needed to get the egg plant for Baba Ganoush, so why not. Egg plant is pretty cheap during this time of year anyway.
Honey was skeptical since he insists that he's not huge on egg plant, and yet, he ate my Egg Plant Parmigiana I made 2 months ago, and he liked this too.  I will say that Baba Ganoush tastes better the next day or even up to 5 days after.
I almost forgot; I also made Tzatziki to go with the Falafels, and even though I went a little to far with the garlic, it was awesome!
This would be an awesome spread for a small party; especially, if there are vegetarians. Tell me this doesn't sound and look good?!?!

FALAFELS
servings: 4

1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspo…

Hummus

I love hummus as a snack or for a meal, it's so yummy, creamy, and most importantly, healthy. I go crazy with the garlic since this is the perfect dish to put as much as you want and no one cares.
The greatest thing for me was finding a recipe for hummus that doesn't have tahini, which can be expensive if this is the only dish you know of that has it. Since I like cooking Chinese food, I always have sesame oil in the fridge, which is what is used in this recipe instead of the tahini. I also recently saw a recipe with peanut butter, so I'm planning on trying that some time soon.
Another way to save money is buying dry chick peas and soaking the night before you plan on using them and boiling for an hr and a half. It's about a dollar for an entire bag, and no need to boil like regular beans if you don't want to as long as you soak. You don't get the extra sodium either as you would with canned chick peas

HUMMUS
serving: 6 to 8

2 cups prepared chickpeas, drained

Pita Bread

Pita bread is an awesome alternative to regular loaf bread. Instead of a regular ol' ham and cheese sandwich, I will stuff the ham and cheese in the pita and some how, it's transformed.  It also makes me feel healthier and gets me to eat better; so, I will automatically add lettuce and tomatoes to the ham and cheese.  When I make pita bread, I also get in the mood for Mediterranean food and will make hummus for a really healthy snack.  Here is the easiest recipe for pita I have found, and some tips to assure you get that nice pocket.

PITA BREAD
serving: 12

package of yeast, or quick rising yeast