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.

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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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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:)

Agua Fresca- Fresa con crema (Strawberry and cream)

I posted this recipe about three years ago and it is still fairly popular so I am reposting it with some updates.

This recipe is my own creation. I came up with this after becoming addicted to the Agua Frescas (fresh water) at Cardena’s, which is a Mexican/Hispanic grocery store. My favorite is fresa con crema and could devour a giant cup of it instantly! Feel free to share but please credit it to me!

I made this for my husband’s family(all Mexican) for a party and it was a huge hit! Everyone was asking me how I made it. So here is the recipe for the world to see!

Strawberries

Into the pitcher!

All mixed up!

Yum!

This makes about 10 servings (10- one cup servings) but is easily doubled or quadrupled.

3 lbs strawberries (4 cups pureed liquid)

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

1 c. sugar (more or less depending on the tartness of your strawberries)

4 c. cold water

1. Puree the strawberries and water in a blender. Pour through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of seeds, if desired.

2. Blend in sugar and condensed milk. Add more sugar as needed to suit your taste.

3. Let chill or serve over ice for a refreshing summer drink!

Add more strawberries, add less or add more or less water. It is really easy to adjust to your preferences. This recipe comes out to a thickness that is not quite water but not quite smoothie.

Forks and Socks

I know I have not been posting and frankly I don’t have much inspiration to post about lately but I found something today while feeding the kids lunch. Their forks always disappear! I liken it to a pair of socks, you know how one always gets lost between putting it in the washer and pulling it out of the dryer? Well I buy sets of utensils for the kids (you know the plastic, kid friendly, spoon and fork sets that they can’t damage anything with?), and I ALWAYS seem to lose the forks! I have at least 8 spoons now, to two forks. Where do they go? Lost some where between the table and putting dishes away after they are washed. Sheesh I wish I could find this abyss where all those items seem to go. I could be rich! Charge people admission to find their lost things… Oh yeah that would be the life:) In all reality though, do you have that problem, where you always seem to misplace one of a pair?

Adventures in Bread Making

So I have been trying to make sourdough bread, complete with making my starter from just mixing flour and water. Well so far I have had no luck. I get OK bread but definitely nothing resembling sourdough and surely nothing resembling bread from the store. I have tried various bread recipes and nothing ever turns out quite right, doesn’t rise enough or is too crumbly or just is not working for some reason. Well all that changed the other day. I found a easy bread recipe and it worked! I mean actually worked. My hubby even asked for more which has so far been unheard of in my bread-making attempts. So now I will share the recipe with you:)

 

I found this recipe here at dailydishrecipes.com 

Only thing I did was cut the recipe in half to experiment and be sure it worked and boy did it!

This is all from the above website, all credited to Nicole Cook

You will need:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. butter, softened (we’ve used margarine, but you will have better results with pure unsalted butter)

Take the time to proof your yeast first. It works better.

In a bowl, pour the water and the sugar. Mix until dissolved. Add the yeast. Again, mix until dissolved.

Set it aside for 10 minutes. When you come back it should have bubbles formed all over the top of it. This is how you know it’s “alive” and ready to go.

Next, throw in the flour and the salt. Then, slice up the butter into smaller pieces and add it. This just makes it easier for it to blend when you’re mixing.

Now comes the fun part. Knead the ingredients together for about 10 minutes by hand, about 5 minutes with a mixer. You can usually tell it’s done when it feels slightly elastic, smooth and isn’t sticking to anything.

Knead the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl. Cover it with some plastic wrap that you have sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with some oil. (believe you me, we have forgotten this step before, and it makes a difference. I have no idea why. It just does. So do it.)  Set the bowl in a warm place. I actually just cover mine with two kitchen towels and put it on the counter in the back out of the way.

Allow it to rise for one hour.

After an hour uncover the dough. It should be pretty big and poofy at this point. Take your hand and punch into it once or twice to get it to push all the air out of it.

Knead it again (you don’t have to take it out of the bowl, I do it right in the bowl) for about a minute or two, forming it into a ball.

Sprinkle flour onto your table or other wooden work surface.

Put the ball in the middle of the work surface.

Cut the ball into two equal pieces using a bencher, or I just use a kitchen knife.

Taking one half of the dough, knead it a little folding it over itself over and over. Create a sort of ovalish shape with it and then place it into your lightly greased loaf dish.

Now repeat everything with the second wedge of dough.

Put both pans back where you had the bowl for the first rise, but leave them uncovered. For one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When your dough has risen the second time and doubled in size, it’s time to put them in the oven.

Just put ‘em in there for 35-40 minutes. I’m pretty faithful with my 35 minute timing, but it could take more in your neck of the woods.

When they’re done, pull ‘em out of the oven and allow them to sit in the pans for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, using a potholder or towel, turn the bread out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool the rest of the way. Since you’re aiming for sandwich bread, it is better not to cut them until they are completely cooled, otherwise they get a little crumbly.

Once cooled, trim into slices and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long, because we go through one loaf in 1 day!) lol