Monday, February 11, 2013

Cafe Rio Pork Salad

Hi everybody Dan passed his CPA exams this week and I wanted to do something special for him to Celebrate. Since he eats out all the time at work, I knew he didn't care to go out. So as I was contemplating on what to make it was as if lightning bolt had hit me.. Cafe RIO of course..

I found an amazing pork recipe that I actually tweaked a bit myself and I think I found the copy cat of Cafe Rios.  At least I think so ....

Pulled Pork
3-4 lb. Pork Butt or Shoulder Roast ( i used the Should Roast)
2 small cans El Pato Tomato sauce (found in the mexican aisle, this is a key ingredient)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 can cokeWrap pork completely with foil, place in crock pot and pour 1/4 cup water around roast and about half can of coke. Cook for 8 hours on low. (YES, 8 hours! The longer you cook a pork roast, the easier it is to shred, the more tender it is, the more delicious it is. 8 hours is key!) Remove roast, drain juices, remove fat and shred. Dump the tomato sauces, remainder of coke and brown sugar into the crockpot, stir together and add shredded pork back in. Cook two additional hours on low.

I wasn't a fan of the rice I made still can't find a good one.

The creamy ranch tasted mayoie instead of ranchy. But it still was good.

Guacamole I have mastered well I think so..

2 large avocados.
1 roma tomato or grape tomatoes
1 lime
1/4 c. red onion or sweet yellow onion
1 jalapeno
1/2 bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Mix avocados and juice lime. chop all veggies very finely and add to avocado. Taste to like your liking. I like mine more chunky but if your a smooth person put in the food processor to puree.

FLour Tortillas
I've made these in Ukraine almost every day and then all the time in college. THey are so yummy I eat about 5 while i'm making them and then just like to snack on them during the day.

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. warm water
1 t. salt
1/4 c. oil

Sift together flour and salt. Add oil. Add warm water 1/4 c. at a time mixing together. Roll out onto lightly floured surface. roll out into 10-12 small balls. Cover with towel for 15-30 mins and then roll out and place on griddle or pan make sure to do it on warm.

I do want to try these out sometime but with the wheat.

Cindy's Flour Tortillas, Version 2.0

4 cups flour (I typically 75%-100% whole wheat)
2 t salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups hot water

Heat pan or griddle to 325-ish (do not grease). In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in canola oil. Add water gradually (I usually start with 1 cup, mix, and then add the water about 1/4 cup at a time after that) until dough is moist and holds together without being sticky. Knead with hands for a minute, then divide into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball or smaller. (Your dough balls can be bigger if you are rolling out by hand and not using a tortilla press.) In a tortilla press lined with a sliced-open plastic bag (to prevent sticking), press balls twice (I usually press, pick up the tortilla, flip it over, and press again). Cook tortillas 3-5 minutes on each side

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Soup for the Soul

I discovered an amazing Soup recipe that is purely delicious and purely good for you. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and all the things that make your insides happy. You won't be disappointed with this one. I didn't have a lot of things on hand but make do and come up with your own variation. Let me know how you like it. To top it off i made some yummy Homemade wheat bread to go with it.

Soup for the Soul

Ingredients (8-10 cups)

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (used 1 1/2)
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked 
    ( i used wheat berries/kernels)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube 
    (i used chicken bouillon)
  • 6 cups water, boiled
  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)
  • 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
  • Pinch or two of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)

    I used only 4 cups of water and I didn't have zucchini, tomatoes. Instead the veggies i used were carrots, onions, mushrooms, green beans (not the canned nasty stuff but the fresh yummyness), spinach and kale. you can add whatever veggies you like.


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred. (didn't do this step)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brownie Cheesecake Bottoms

Need a quick dessert to make but don't want to look like you made a pre-packaged dessert. And if you got a lot of brownie mixes like I do then this is calling your name. 
Brownie Cheesecake Bottoms

This is what the recipe called for
 1 box of brownie mix
4 pkg 8 oz non-fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
2 bars of semi-sweet chocolate

This is what I used
Brownie mix i put in half oil and half pureed white beans along with the other ingredients
1 pkg of 8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
about 1/8 c. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar 

make brownie mix according to directions. Place aluminum foil in 9x13 pan. pour brownie mix in pan and bake at 350 F until top is glossy and almost set.  While cooking mix together Cheesecake part. I added a tid bit more than 1/4 c sugar. Just taste to your liking. I didn't have 4 pkg of cream cheese so this layer was really thin but I liked it that way... more brownie than cheesecake. 
When the brownies are almost set take them out of the oven and pour cream cheese mix on top. Put back in the oven for additional 15-30 mins. take them out and let cool then place them in the fridge for 4 hrs. 
Melt your chocolate (i added a bit of butter and milk to the chocolate) and drizzle over the top before serving. Cut into squares. 

Energy Bites

Two words. 
These bad boys just tempt me from their container in the fridge all day. Good thing they are pretty healthy!
find recipe here
Go ahead. Make them. I double dog dare you. 
ps-this took me like 15 minutes to mix up and then just a few to roll into balls. 

Homemade Hummus

I saw a really really good sale on Garbonzo beans a few months ago. So I got some. And they have been sitting oh so patiently in my pantry since then. I decided to try my hand at making my own hummus.
What do you think? The texture ended up a bit lumpy... like mashed potatoes. But I really love the flavor.
Original recipe here
I didn't want to use Tahini. Mostly because it is kinda expensive. 
So I did some research and used a bit of sesame seed oil and EVOO. 

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1/3 cup canned jalapeno pepper slices, no juice
  • 1 capful sesame oil and EVOO (you can decide how much to use)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • crushed red pepper to taste

Just mix it all together in a blender until smooth.. or until you can't wait any longer to eat it

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I learn from watching TV

How to make these bad boys. Delish! 
(my phone deleted all my pictures so this is from PW blog)

who knew meatball could be so yummy? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Daniel's chocolate chip recipe

The moment you've all been waiting for... (or at least makana lol) 
Daniel's famous cookie recipe is finally being revealed. 

You don't know what true happiness is until you make and eat these. . .

Warning makes about 4 dozen cookies or 4 very very large cookies

2c shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/12 c brown sugar (press down firmly when measuring this out)
Mix well
Add 4 eggs
2t vanilla
2t salt
2t soda dissolved in 1t hot water
between 4-5c flour (touch test, you dont want it sticky)

You can either make 1 huge batch with your favorite chips or divide the batter and make varieties of cookies e.g. white chocolate chip, wcc and semi-sweet cc, milk cc, mint cc, ones with nuts etc.
Bake 350 for 10mins

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ice cream in a bag

We made this bag if delight for FHE a few weeks ago. 
I got the idea here
It was really fun to do. 
I did alter the recipe by doubling the ingredients but that was all. 
It really is so delicious. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cookie+ice cream=delish!

The other day I made this batch of chocolate chip cookies. 
So soft even days after. Pretty sure it is because of the pudding involved. 
I only made 2 pans worth but that left me with LOTS of left over cookie dough. 
And when is that EVER a bad thing?!
I rolled up rest into a log, wrapped in plastic, and stored for later consumption. 
"Later" happened to be 6 hours later. 
I saw my silicone cupcake pan and thought  "hmmm.... its like a cookie sheet."
So I baked my cookies in the cupcake pas, and scooped some ice cream on top while it was still hot.
They all went into the freezer together and came out a beautiful and delish marriage of all things yummy.  
And we made a batch every day until it was all gone. 
And that was a very sad day. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Southwestern Chicken Soup

Here is a new fav of mine. I made this for Calvin's Blessing. I took a risk because i had never made it before and I had no idea what to expect BUT. . . it was a HIT meaning super delicious and I got lots of people asking for the recipe so i thought I'd share with you! I found two recipes that looked good and used a combination of both and added a few of my own ingredients. Enjoy.

Southwestern Chicken Soup
1 Chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 T cumin
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice ( i added closer to ¾ c. can add more)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (an estimation may add more or less)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 chopped seeded tomato
2 avocados, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice $
6 lime wedges
1 14-oz can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed (I like more beans in my soups so I used both)

I did not use these ingredients but you may add or replace
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 c fresh spinach (can add more or less)
1 can (16 ounce) Great northern beans
1 14-oz can tomatoes (instead of fresh)
Makes 8 hearty cup-size servings
In a large soup pot set over medium-high flame, chicken broth, garlic, onion, and rice. Cook until soft and starting to get some color. Bring to boil. Add cumin and beans. Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes. Stir in chicken cilantro, green peppers, pepper, and salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice, tomatoes  and avocados stirring well. Serve with lime wedges.

May place cooked rice in bottom of each bowl instead of putting in the soup uncooked.   May add more  avocado and cilantro on top.