Finally!

I have updated a few recipes with pictures. So go check them out if you would like. Nothing spectacular, I need to work on my photography skills as well as staging pictures but it is a start:)

Boba Recipe

Agua Fresca

Coconut Cookies

Now time to start researching how to stage pictures and how to take pictures. Not to mention just taking more pictures in general.

Also check out my Facebook! I need to get that back up and going too but I have my pictures posted on there.

Jalapeno Poppers

So I am in love with the jalapeno poppers from Wienerschnitzel. I am not a fan of spicy foods but those are awesome. So I tried to find a recipe. Well I couldn’t find any copycat recipes online for them! So I am going to attempt to make my own. My first attempt didn’t turn out too bad but it wasn’t identical either. I know I will try again but I will have to do more experimenting to make a copycat recipe. Here is my first attempt for now though!

Jalapeno Poppers
This makes about 8 poppers

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 large jalapenos seeded with membranes removed, diced
flour
1 egg, beaten
bread crumbs
oil for frying

1. Place flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into separate bowls. Heat oil in a pan or a deep fryer. I heated the oil to about 350*f in my fryer.
2. Take about 1 tablespoon of cheese and put 1/4 -1/2 tsp jalapeno’s in the middle. Squish it into a ball. Repeat until you have no more cheese or jalapenos left. Or you get the amount you want.
3. Coat each popper with flour, shake off extra
4. Coat with egg, let any mass amounts of the egg drip off.
5. Coat with breadcrumbs, shake off extra.
6. Place into hot oil(please not with your fingers!) and fry until golden brown
7. Drain off extra oil and let cool before you enjoy the spicy cheesy goodness!

I personally love ranch dressing as a dip for jalapeno poppers. Use your own favorite dipping sauce or enjoy on it’s own.

Boba/ Bubble tea

So One of my obsessions is Boba. Something about the chewy boba and the sweet icy drink is just amazing to me. I bought the tapioca pearls months ago with the intent of making my own boba smoothie but never had the courage. Well today I am finally taking the leap to make it! I use tapicoa pearls and boba interchangeably because they are essentially the same thing.

Warning: This recipe is not for those counting calories!

Boba

Boiling Boba

Finished boba

peach smoothie

Yum!

Boba
I use these, they are quick cooking and ready in only a few minutes Wufuyuan – Tapioca Pearl (Black) – Net Wt. 8.8 Oz.

Boil the tapioca pearls in a pot with enough water to give them room to float freely. I fill up my large pot with water for the entire package of pearls. Boil for about 5 minutes until they are tender all the way through.

Simple Syrup
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water

I just boiled in my microwave for about 4 minutes until all the sugar was dissolved but you can do this on the stove top. You can do half white sugar/ half brown sugar for a little different flavor.

Add the finished boba to the syrup mix and let cool.

Peach Boba Smoothie
2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 can peach halves, drained (approximately 3 small peaches)

I used my food processor ( I broke my blender!) to blend the peaches and condensed milk together. You can use a blender though.

Stick it in the freezer until it becomes slightly icy and the boba has cooled.

Blend the peach mixture to get an even icy consistency

Put some boba in the bottom of a glass, pour on the peach mixture and enjoy!

This will make 1 serving:)

Yes I know blended peaches and condensed milk is not a smoothie but it tastes amazing and is good enough of a smoothie to me.

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Photography

Every blog I visit seems to take amazing pictures. Yet here I am and can’t seem to take pictures and upload them to make my own blog look amazing. Am I the only one out there that doesn’t take pictures for every post that I do? I have a digital camera that my boys have broken (but is still usable) and I have a really crappy camera on my phone. I don’t have the means to invest in a high end camera to take amazing resolution pictures to add but yet I feel so behind the times I guess when everyone else has pictures. How did you do it? Did you start out with no pictures or was that the first thing that you did? I guess we all start somewhere. Maybe I need to go back and remake all my recipes just so that I can take pictures and re-do each of my posts.

Well here is an old picture from 2007 when I visited Italy. It is a copy of the Statue of David. We couldn’t take pictures of the real one.

Statue of David

Spring Break!

The most coveted time for most high school and college students. Being a college student after years away, I have never really cared for spring break. Just a week off to do what I need to do. Now as a mother I have kids to take care of and housework to catch up on since I have been slacking with trying to keep up with homework and tests. My break started off with this weekend and my in-laws coming up to visit. We ate at a buffet then went shooting. It was a long day but fun and the boys got to play with their tio (uncle) so they had a blast as well. I am fortunate to have in-laws I get along with unlike many horror stories that I hear!

Today is back to the normal of this household, well if you can call life with three boys normal! I discovered two of my goldfish have fin rot after having them for a year and a half. So I took some steps to help them but need to find some medicine for them to help them heal. Baby is wanting to be held constantly today and the older two have been driving me nuts playing constantly and won’t sit still. I wouldn’t trade this life for anything though because I love these kids so much and they make my world go round!

Being a mom of young kid’s isn’t easy. Heck being a parent in general is not easy. It is so worth it to see their smiles, hear their laughter, and watch them sleep, that wonderful moment when they are dreaming and there is silence in the house. You can’t deny you love that moment too!

Here is to my spring break and hoping I can get some fun time in here as well before I start up with homework next week!

Pork Tamales with Green Sauce

So I have been really behind with everything I have wanted to do between school and a sick baby the past few days. I am finally getting caught up on my housework. Only 3 loads of laundry left to do, yay!

I made my tamales the other day with my pulled pork from a few nights ago. They turned out pretty good and I sort of winged the sauce since I was doing it on my own without the husband’s help.

I use masa preparada (prepared masa) from the mexican store Cardena’s. If you don’t have any around you then I am sure you can find a recipe to make your own. I know it uses ground corn, margarine, salt and I think something else. Not too difficult to find the ingredients for. I just take the easy way since I can buy it already made. Less work that way.

So I made about 2 dozen tamales with this recipe with some sauce left over. This is a mild sauce but you can make it more spicy if you want.

Tamales de Puerco

1 lb Masa Preparada

24 Corn husks (soak for a few hours in cold water or 30 minutes in hot water)

3-4cups Pulled Pork

Chile Verde

Tamale Pot (Steamer pot)

You can find them at any mexican store or even on Amazon 3-Piece Aluminum Steamer, 10-Inch

Chile Verde

9 small tomatillos (they are like green tomatoes ad usually have a green husk on them)

1 large jalapeno

1 to 2 cloves of garlic

1. Roast the jalapeno and tomatillos until the skin is essentially burnt. I do this in a broiler, my husband will do it in a cast iron pan on the stove top.

2. Rinse under cool water to peel off and discard the skin

3. Depending on how spicy you want it, start with only half the jalapeno and puree in a food processor or blender with tomatillos and garlic. Taste and add the rest of the jalapeno if desired.

4. Mix pork and the chile sauce together. Set aside.

5. Take a corn husk and shake off the excess water. Spread masa in a square in the center leaving space on each side, the top and the bottom.

6. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of pork and fold the husk to make a small package.Repeat until desired amount of tamales are made.

7. Add water to the bottom of the pot so that it is just under the tray.

8. Place tamales upright in pot, cover, and let cook for a few hours on low heat. Add more water as needed until tamales are cooked. Masa should be firm and some what crumbly when broken.

Enjoy!

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Coconut Cookies

So I know I was supposed to post about my tamales but I didn’t get around to making them because my baby is not feeling good and tamales just take too much time. So I made Coconut Cookies instead after coming across this recipe at food.com. After reading the recipe I decided to make a few adjustments  since I had sweetened coconut on hand as well as cream of coconut. I wanted a light coconut flavor but not super sweet. So this is what I made!

Creaming butter and sugar

Adding wet Ingredients

All ingredients

In the oven

Finished!

Coconut Cookies

1/2 cup softened butter (one stick)

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour

1/4 cup cream of coconut

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350f

2. Cream sugar and butter

3. Add in eggs and cream of coconut.

4. Blend in flour and baking soda.

5. Add in shredded coconut (Might have to mix in by hand)

6. Drop by tablespoon onto a cookie sheet. I like to line mine with foil to limit clean up involved.  Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Makes about 30 cookies give or take depending on how big or small you make them.

These cookies are not overly sweet but just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. You could always add more sugar to suit your preferences.

Enjoy!

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

My husband is Mexican so the past 5 years that we have been together I have had to learn how to cook some of the more traditional dishes that he is used to eating. Carnitas has been one that I avoided mainly because of the time involved and lack of utensils to cook it how his family makes it. Well I knew I could make bbq pork in the crockpot, so I created my own recipe from that based on my husband’s taste preferences and it is a healthier version as well. So win-win, I can make it at home instead of buying from some where and it is not so greasy. Plus it makes enough pork to do multiple meals for my family and the seasonings are subtle enough that it is so versatile to be used for just about any recipe with pulled pork. This feeds my husband, myself and our two older boys for a few nights when we add in other dishes like beans, rice or veggies. So I spend about $15 on pork to feed us for 3 dinners and maybe a lunch or two. Definitely saves money which I like!

Pulled Pork

6lb pork shoulder/butt, remove any skin(mine usually has a giant bone in it as part of the weight which is ok)

1 tsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Chili Powder (if desired)

1 tbsp Chicken Bouillon

2 to 4 cups Water

2 bay leaves

1. Place bay leaves and pork into crock pot with enough water to go no more than 1/3 of the way up the pork with the chicken bouillon. It usually falls between 2 to 4 cups of water for me depending on the size of the pork shoulder/butt.

2. Sprinkle the rest of the seasonings on the exposed surfaces of the pork. Don’t worry if it isn’t all coated, you will still get flavor. Add chili powder if you want a bit of a kick.

3. Let it cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6.

4. At this point I will take it out and cut out the bone and start shredding some pieces then let sit on high for another hour. If you are patient you could just leave it be for another two hours and it should just fall off the bone. Just pour the broth over the meat.

5. Shred and let sit in the broth until needed.

Fried Carnitas

Use meat as prepared above

1. Use a little bit of lard, oil or pork fat from the meat to fry the shredded pork. I use a cast iron pan for this.

2. Drain juice from the pork before putting in the pan. Some juice is ok.

3. Stir/mix until about half of the pork is crispy. 10 minutes or so. Go longer if you prefer it to be more crisp, less if you want more tender pieces.

4. Put in tacos or burritos or even eat as is!

Baked Carnitas

Use meat as prepared above.

1. Drain broth from shredded pork and spread out on a cookie sheet. I like to line with foil to reduce clean up.

2. Place in the broiler for a few minutes until crispy. This varies based on your broiler/oven and you can make it less or more crispy based on your preferences.

3. Enjoy!

Tamales

Drain the shredded pork, mix with your favorite sauce and fill your tamales with it. I will have my sauce recipe up soon so stay tuned!

BBQ Pork

Prepare meat as above. Drain the broth and add in your favorite barbecue sauce. Enjoy on its own or as a sandwich with your favorite rolls.

Dehydrating Food for Prepping and Storage

So in my effort to save money but to prep for the worst, I invested in a dehydrator a few years ago. I have used it off and on but ever really in an effort to do anything with it. Well a month ago or so I decided to try it to prep for food storage. I dried some shredded chicken, onions and potatoes. It all turned out pretty good to store but I haven’t attempted to re-hydrate the chicken for use yet! The potatoes were pretty easy to do and after looking at a few sites I decided on my own way. The onions I didn’t read up on anything on how to dry, and the chicken well I did a little reading but went the course on my own. Today I am trying onions (again) and some bread I had stashed in the freezer to make bread crumbs out of.

My dehydrator has no temperature setting so I just watch until the item I am drying is ready.

Dried Shredded Potatoes

1. Boil water while shredding potatoes (I did this by hand but you could use an electric method)

2. Blanch shredded potatoes for a few minutes in the boiling water ( You want it cooked but not mushy)

3. Dry the excess water on paper towels (or towels if you are saving money) and place into dehydrator until dry. It took about 6 hours for 4 potatoes. They are dry when they snap into pieces.  If it still flexes it needs more time.

4. Re-hydrate at a 1 to 1 ratio (1 cup potato:1 cup boiling water) and let sit until water is absorbed. Drain excess water, if any, and eat or fry if desired for hash browns. My potatoes equaled about 1 cup dry to one potato. I used russet potatoes.

Dried Onions

1. Slice onions and discard peel and the ends.

2. Separate rings and place onto dehydrator trays.

3. Dry with other items to minimize the smell or place outside.

4. Dry until it snaps into pieces. If it still flexes it needs more time. It took about 5 hours for one onion.

Dried Chicken

1. Cook chicken in a method you prefer ( I like using my crockpot) and let cool.

2. Discard any fat and skin as that can cause the finished product to go rancid.

3. Shred chicken and place on dehydrator trays until dry. It does remain slightly flexible but overall will be hard and crispy. It took about 4 hours for one chicken breast.

4. I have not tried re-hydrating yet so I will update when I do!

It is an easy way to prep food for a camping trip or just to store for one of those SHTF scenarios. Not to mention budget friendly as my dehydrator only cost $30 new and I just dry extra/ leftover ingredients that I have!

One Pan Spaghetti with Garlic Parmesan sauce

So I am sure you have all seen the video or heard about spaghetti being cooked in a frying pan (skillet). I was skeptical at first and didn’t believe it. It has been ingrained that all pasta has to be cooked in a huge pot of boiling water and all that jazz. Well this skeptic is a believer! I tried cooking spaghetti in a frying pan tonight and it turned out amazing! Add in the sauce I made, all in the same pan as the spaghetti, well I am a happy momma with only one pot to clean up from dinner and dinner on the table in a lot shorter time than traditional spaghetti.

Here is my recipe for tonight’s dinner.

One Pan Spaghetti with Garlic Parmesan Sauce

1/2 box (8 oz) Angel Hair Pasta

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of parsley powder (dried parsley)

1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese

1/2 stick (1/4 cup/ 4 tbls)butter

1. Break pasta in half and place into frying pan, add a little more water than needed to just cover the pasta

2. Over medium-high heat, stir the pasta until most of the water is absorbed and pasta is al dente.

3. Drain extra water if desired. If not it will make a thinner sauce.( I drained the water and decided I would have preferred leaving it in as the sauce made the noodles stick more than I would like.)

4. Melt butter in the pan with the noodles and add in the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine and evenly coat the pasta.

5. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did:)