New Blog

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I have decided to take a different approach in blogging.  I am in the process moving over some of my post from this blog to my NEW BLOG!  Please take a gander at Happy Meals & Kool-Aid Smiles.  It will be filled with childhood memories, recipes and tips for anyone on a tight budget.  I hope you all will check it out and follow.  Thank you for reading.

Mango Juice / Jugo de Mango

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I particularly do not care much for mangos.  I have tried them on numerous occasions and have not been very pleased.  Carlos on the other hand, loves mangos and his sister Felicia, forget it.  That girl ate so many mangos the last time she was here she started to look like one.  We had stopped by a place downtown inside the Mercado Zaragoza for some nice ice cold jugos.  I always get the freshly squeezed orange juice and Feli of course wanted the jugo de mango.  She took one sip and flipped her wig on how good it was.  I was the only one around and she wanted me to try it but I couldn’t get myself to.  I just took her word for it.

Several weeks ago mangos were on sale at the HEB, 3 for a dollar.  That was a really good price seeing that the smaller altufo mangos are 2 for 1 or .76 cents a pop sometimes.  Fruits and veggies are very expensive in the U.S.  I bought about 6 mangos for Carlos and Cj to enjoy.

Street vendors who sell mangos will peel them up and cut them to look like a pretty flower and sprinkle them with chile.  Looks good, but still not trying it.

We were down to our last mango and so I decided to make a mango juice for Cj.  Carlos was my taste tester during this experiment.  I tried cutting the mango into pieces into a blender but for some reason I was having a hard time doing this.  How do you cut a mango?  So I just used my huge banana hands and squeezed the heck out of that sucker and all the flesh of the mango just fell out into the blender.  I added water to the blender about half way, some ice and sugar.  Blend away.  Carlos liked it to be a little thick from the crushed ice.  He was very pleased.

1 large mango, more if you’d like
4-6 cups of water
4 ice cubes, more or less depending on how watery or thick you like it
Sugar, to taste

Green Spaghetti

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I love love love green spaghetti!  It’s usually made in large quantities for parties.  I really only see this dish at Christmas time.  It is really easy to make and here is how it goes:

Ingredients:
4-6 poblano peppers
1 large bottle of Mexican crema
4 oz cream cheese
2 chicken knorr cubes
1 lb spaghetti, cooked
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps olive oil
3/4 cup panela cheese cubed (optional)

Here’s what you do:
Roast the poblano peppers on all sides.  I usually put the peppers under a broiler.  Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, peel all the black skin off and remove the stem and seeds. place the peppers in a blender along with crema, cream cheese, and knorr cubes and blend well.  If the mixture is too thick add milk a little at a time until it gets to a nice creamy consistency.  You don’t want it to thin.  In a large deep skillet melt the butter in the olive oil and add spaghetti and coat well with butter and olive oil.  Pour the green sauce over the spaghetti and panela cheese if using.  Mix coating the spaghetti well with the sauce.

Let me know if you make it and if you did anything differently.

Fried Cabbage

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This super simple cabbage recipe comes via my mommy.  I can always count on my mom to make all of my favorite meals when I go back home for a visit.  I can eat the entire pan of fried cabbage, but I won’t.  Here are the very easy directions on assembling this yummy cabbage.  I know this isn’t your healthiest of meals but it is so darn good and please let me know if you try it and also how you make your cabbage.

Ingredients:
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded or chopped in bite sized pieces (you can use the whole head if you plan on feeding an army)
1 package of your favorite bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
Pepper to taste

Place bacon in a large deep skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp.  Then add your cabbage and pepper.  Cover and cook until the cabbage is soft and translucent, stirring often.

Creamy Chipotle Chicken, Citrus Cilantro Rice & Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

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This was an experiment in the kitchen that I think went pretty well.  Let’s start with the chicken.

Whachya need:
1 cup of oil or maybe even less
Salt and Pepper
Seasoning: you can use any seasoning you would like for the chicken.
Chicken:  us any cut you like.  I used thighs.  You could also use chicken breast on the bone and cut it into big chunks with out the bone.
Chipotle Cream Sauce: Recipe to follow.
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth (more or less)

Whachya do:
Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper and your favorite seasoning.  You can season your chicken in advance if you like.  Brown the chicken on all sides in the oil.  Place on paper towels to drain.  Remove the grease from the pan and chicken stock or broth.  Replace the chicken back to the pan and pour the chipotle cream sauce over the chicken.  Turn heat down to low and and let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked to tender perfection.

Chipotle Cream Sauce:
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded
1 tsp adobo sauce, if desired
1 large bottle of Mexican crema (I like to use El Mexicano table cream)
1/2 block cream cheese

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend well.  Pour over chicken or fish.

*You can use 2 peppers or the whole can, depending on the heat you desire.  I used a medium can and way too much sauce so it was a little overpowering.  Next time I will go with the small can and less sauce.  A friend of mine made this recipe and added a small amount of cider vinegar to take some of the heat away and she said it was perfect.

Citrus Cilantro Rice

Whachya need:
1/4 cup oil, or less
1 cup long grain rice
1/4 of an onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 1/2 chicken knorr cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup  more or less, freshly squeezed lime juice

Whachya do:
Heat oil in a medium pan over medium high heat. Add the rice and brown.  Meanwhile, heat the water with knorr cubes and mix.  I usually do this in the microwave.  Add chopped onion to the rice and cook until rice is nice and toasted and the onion is soft.  Then add the hot water with knorr cubes, salt and pepper.  I would use very little salt as the knorr cubes tend to be a little salty.  Heat to a boil and add cilantro, cover and lower heat to low.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes.  Pour lime juice over cooked rice and fluff with a fork.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Whachya need:
1 lb small new potatoes
1 tsp dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup or less of olive oil or vegetable oil

Whachya do:
Cut potatoes in quarters and layer in the bottom of a roster pan.  Add remaining ingredients and get your hands dirty by mixing everything together, making sure the potatoes are coated well with the oil and seasonings.  I would cover the roaster pan with the lid and give it a little shake.  Place in the oven at 350 degrees until the potatoes are nice and golden brown.  I like mine real nice and toasty.  Delicious!

The Easiest Cake Ever Made

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This cake literally takes 3 ingredients.  My mom has made this for years and everyone just loves it.

1 large can of cherry pie filling
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 or 2 bottles of squeezable butter

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour cherry pie filling into a 9x13x2 pan.  Cover the cherries with the dry cake mix.  Squeeze butter all over the dry cake mix.  Bake until a nice golden crust forms.

IT'S THAT EASY!