Winter weather where I live means lots and lots of rain. Sure, it could be worse. It could be freezing, like it is lots of places in the US, but weeks of rain have a way of making all the days seem similar and dreary. This asparagus soup is not only a great way celebrate wary spring, but also a comfort when it’s raining. Again.
Hello, everybody! It’s great to be back after a week and a half. Short hours after hitting “publish” on my last post I cut myself with a serrated bread knife while attempting to level a cake that was (apparently) still frozen (because our fridge likes to freeze things). I’ve seen a lot of arguments against trying to bake your own wedding cake, but “because you’ll end up at Urgent Care” wasn’t one of them. Clearly the people writing up these arguments haven’t met me!
I decided I needed a truly unique recipe to celebrate my unique ability to inadvertently inflict self-harm while doing relatively mundane tasks (like cutting cake). These baked oranges with Paleo-friendly streusel topping and coconut whipped cream are what I came up with. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Do you love soggy fajitas that seem like a mushy Mexican stir-fry?
Yeah, me neither. I do, however, love the taste of slightly charred onions and bell peppers with succulent strips of chicken. I don’t have a grill and I’m not always motivated to turn up the oven in an un-air-conditioned third floor apartment, but I do have a big cast iron skillet that’s perfect for making delicious fajitas indoors.
Last week I gave in and fried the Greek yogurt apple rings, so I thought this week I should try (again) to bake something. Papi Chulo is always asking if we can bake things instead of frying them – I guess he gets his fill of fried items whenever we make tostones or sweet plantains! I found the perfect baked-item candidate in a trusty classic: panko-crusted chicken.
When I first set out to make these battered apple rings, I had every intention of making them as healthy as possible. I wanted to bake them, to cook them like a pancake, to do who-knows-what with them, but I wanted to find a way to cook them without frying.
Things didn’t work out the way I wanted. Sure, you can bake the apple rings and you can cook them up like a pancake, but they just aren’t the same. They’re tasty, but really just like an apple-filled pancake. If I wanted apple pancakes, I could make them much more easily. I wanted apple rings, so I ended up frying them and they were delicious. Just don’t tell Papi Chulo…he was on duty and didn’t get to try them!
One measure of recipe success for me is how hard I have to fight to keep enough of the finished product around to photograph. If I have to battle to even get pictures of something before it’s all gone, I know it’s a tasty recipe. These homemade Oreo cookies were being stolen right off the ‘set!’ I cut mine into hearts because Valentine’s Day is in a couple of weeks, but you can cut them into any shape, including simple rounds. They’re easy to make, but the cream filling does take a few hours to set up so you need to plan at least a little in advance.
Cuban-inspired Puerto Rican lasagna? That seems like about three contradictions in one, doesn’t it? Well, Puerto Rican sweet plantain lasagna, or pastelon, is a very real dish, and this version is Cuban-inspired because Papi Chulo got ahold of it and added a slight cuban twist with a couple small changes, like adding chopped almonds to the meat mixture. The resulting dish is sweet, salty, savory, and cheesy, all at once. In short, it’s like no other lasagna you’ve ever tried before!
Ahhh, aren’t funnel cakes true love? A hot, fresh funnel cake covered in sugar and cinnamon is such an amazing treat, in part because it’s usually such a rare occurrence associated with fun fairs and festivals. I’ve managed to miss attending the fair for several years and was recently struck by an urge to eat funnel cake. I’d tried making some of my own a few years ago, but they’d been really, really eggy and not that appetizing, so this time around I decided to eliminate the eggs and steal a trick from pancake batter. The result was amazingly delicious, beautifully puffy, perfect for topping funnel cakes that are both egg and dairy free. I made them miniature and heart shaped for Valentine’s Day, but you can make them any shape and size you’d like!
It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if my options are go to the grocery store for one specific item or make it at home with ingredients I already have, I want to make it at home. Sure, making whatever at home will probably ultimately take longer, but I really hate battling traffic to spend too much money for one thing at the local Safeway. I’d really rather just avoid Safeway altogether!
These homemade hamburger buns were born out of the desire for buns to serve some bean burgers made from leftover black beans and an equally strong desire to not go to the store. They’re more flavorful than the usual, store-bought suspects, pretty darn easy, and the recipe only makes 8 so you’re not stuck with a mountain of dough and too many leftover rolls. The dough freezes well, so you can always make 4 for now and save 4 for later!
The last time we shopped at the Commissary Papi Chulo looked horrified when he saw me place a head of cauliflower in the cart. Normally he trusts me to make food choices and gladly eats everything I make, but the cauliflower prompted him to say “You know I don’t really like cauliflower?” I replied, “Oh, don’t worry, neither do I, but there’s something I want to try.” Cheesy cauliflower tater tots. Then I promptly assured him I would make them while he was at work, if he wanted, and wouldn’t be angry if he didn’t like them, which helped him relax a little.
In all honesty, “tater tots” is probably a bit of a misnomer, I just couldn’t think of what else to call them. Baked cauliflower bites, maybe? But that sounded a little like I was just baking bits of cauliflower, and there’s more to it than that. These don’t taste much like a ‘real’ tater tot, but they also don’t taste much like cauliflower. They are, however, totally tasty.