- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.FAKOYWxZ.dpuf Simply Rice and Beans: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 10 Favorite Recipes of 2013

I baked and cooked many things this year however, these are my top 10 recipes of 2013.  These recipes were delicious and easy to make and that's why they are my top 10. 

1.  Low Carb Chicken Quesadillas

The 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2013

Here is a list of The 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2013.  These were the most popular recipes searched by everyone that visited the blog.  I hope to continue to inspire you to cook and bake in the new year.   

1. Guava Cheesecake

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cornmeal (Arina de Maiz)

After a weekend of eating all kinds of things, I woke up this morning craving some Cornmeal. I can have cornmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Once the cornmeal cools down I like to add a little bit of cold milk.  That is the way I grew eating it. 

The cornmeal is not too sweet, you can add as much or as little sugar.  I added 5 tbsp, which makes it just right for me.  It makes about 4 servings, so don't feel bad about adding the sugar, you can also substitute for Splenda. 


1 cup water
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups whole milk
2 sticks of cinnamon
10 cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal

In a pot on medium heat add all of the ingredients except the cornmeal.  Once it starts to boil add the cornmeal, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, then lower the heat and cook for an additional 7-10 minutes, keep stirring.   Once the cornmeal is done take out the cinnamon sticks and the cloves.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.  I had a great time with my family in South Carolina.  We had  a great dinner that included some of the same dishes we had for Thanksgiving.  We had turkey, arroz con gandules (pegean peas rice), pasteles, pork roast, and lasagna.  Lasagna might be odd, but we do like to eat it with our authentic puerto rican dishes.  I made a flan and took some arroz con dulce to my family too.

2.  So what did you get for Christmas?  My husband and I got a puppy, his name is Caico.  We already have a little boy name Cayman, but we thought he needed a brother.  They are so cute together, we are in love with both of them.  They are the most amazing babies.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Hour: Kinky Vodka

Having a great weekend with the family.  Just made this Kinky Vodka, and it's pretty smooth.  This drink was made using Kinky Liqueur, as the bottle states " A Naughty Fusion of Super Premium Vodka Distilled 5 Times with Succulent Mango, Blood Orange Liqueur and Passion Fruit".  This is a really great drink.



2 ounces Vodka
1 ounces Sweet and Sour Mix
3 ounces Kinky Liqueur
crush ice
splash of Grenadine

Add crush ice to a glass.  Then add the vodka, Sweet and Sour Mix, and Kinky Liqueur over the ice and finish with a splash of Grenadine. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Arroz Con Dulce (Rice Pudding)

Growing up in a Puerto Rican family Arroz con Dulce was something my family and I looked forward to during the holidays.  I learned to make it watching my mom.  She had the biggest aluminum pot you can find. She would make about 10 plates, and believe me all 10 plates would be gone before new years.

I remember the house smelling so good with the cinnamon and cloves. A sign that we were about to celebrate one of the biggest holidays, Christmas.  Christmas brings back so many memories of my mom and dad.  It's really hard, but cooking these dishes makes me happy because I'm keeping up with our tradition. I hope to pass it on to my nephews and nieces.

This recipe is an old recipe, the only thing I changed was not using fresh coconuts. It takes about 2-3 hours to cook the Arroz Con Dulce.  But let me tell you, it is delicious and worth it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  There are only three more days to Christmas eve.  We start our celebrations on Christmas eve, and we relax on Christmas day.  When do you start your celebrations?

2.  My husband and I decided to go out to one of the malls in our area and finish our list of gifts.  We went to Perimeter Mall, and I was surprised, that there were not that many people out shopping. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Hour: Frozen Pineapple Margarita

Let the festivities begin!! This is the last Saturday before Christmas.  Put on the Christmas music and get in the spirit of the holidays.  What better way to start the weekend than with a Frozen Pineapple Margarita.

Baked Pumpkin Custard

Custards are these creamy, delicious desserts that are perfect for any occasion.  Eating this Baked Pumpkin Custard is like eating a pumpkin pie without the crust.  I love making desserts that are easy, and this is one of them. 

Having company over for the holidays? Make this dessert in less than an hour.  The best part about it, you can eat it warm or cold. 

I love that this custard is not extremely sweet.  It's velvety and melts in your mouth!!


3 large eggs
1-15 ounce can 100% pure pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
boiling water
sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Whisk eggs in large bowl, then add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until blended.  Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla and salt until blended.

Pour into 6-6 ounce custard cups. Place custard cups into a 13x9 baking pan.  Place dish on oven rack in the center of the oven. Pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches. Bake for 35 minutes or until center are almost set.

Remove custard cups from baking dish and place on wire rack to cool.  serve warm or cold.  top with whipped cream and sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over the top before serving.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Best Coffee Cake Ever

This is the Best Coffee Cake Ever.  This sweet and delicious coffee cake has a rich crumbly topping that is perfect for breakfast or even as a dessert right after dinner.  I love desserts that I can enjoy with a cup of coffee, and this is one of them.

This is a crumbly topping with cinnamon and pecans.  Super moist and flavorful,  perfect for the holidays.  It's a Christmas morning breakfast cake that everyone will enjoy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baked Pasta Casserole

One of the best things about serving a casserole is that you can feed a bunch of people all at once.  This Baked Pasta Casserole is perfect for that.  It's meaty, cheesy and delicious.

I had a Christmas dinner with my church sisters and I was asked to bring a dish.  I decided to make this dish because I knew that it would be a hit.   I made it a couple of hours before the dinner and since everything was already cooked, all I had to do was bake it until the mozzarella cheese melted and browned.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  1000 Likes!! I'm super excited because my food blog finally hit 1000 Likes.  Thank you for liking and sharing my page.  Cooking and baking is my passion and sharing everything I cook with you all, is what I love. I want women and men to get in the kitchen and know that they can do anything.  Cooking is not hard at all, if you enjoy it and put love into it, you can cook anything you put your mind to.  Please continue to share my recipes with your friends and family.  Again, thank you!!

2.  Christmas is only 11 days away. Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?  I did, but I still have a few more gifts to buy.  I finally got my husband a nice gift that I know he is going love, I hope.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Hour: Holiday Spirit

Holiday Spirit is a smooth drink and it's perfect for the holidays, hence the name.  I wanted to make a drink that had wine in it and I found this recipe in one of my cocktail books.  It's a pretty drink that can be served at your holiday party.

Happy Holidays!!

2 ounces bacardi
1 ounce Ruby Port
3 ounces cranberry juice
ginger beer

Fill a 16 ounce glass with crushed  ice.  Add rum, port and cranberry juice.  Top with equal parts ginger and seltzer.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gingerbread Men

This is my first time making these Gingerbread Men.  I have made ginger cookies and cakes before, but never these.  I thought it would be fun to decorate them and then eat them with a nice cup of coffee.

Have your children help you to decorate these cookies, they will have a lot of fun. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies are perfect for the holidays.  I've made these a couple of times before and they are a hit.  I have made them with coconut too and they are delicious.  I used raspberry preserves for these, but you can use any kind of jam or preserves you like.

These cookies are fun to make.  If you have children have them help you make the indentation with their thumbs and add the jam.  This is a great way to include your children in what you are doing and spent time with them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Mofongo is this yummy plantain mashed deliciousness.  It was my husbands birthday and I decided to make him one of his favorite dishes.  Mofongo with fried ribs and Arroz con Gandules.  He was a very happy boy. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  Had a great Thanksgiving. My friends and my mother-in-law came to visit us. We cooked and ate so much food.  The Roasted Turkey, the ham and pork roast came out delicious.  I also made a few desserts.  The Guava Cheesecake and the Pineapple, Coconut Carrot Cake were a hit!

2.  We did a little shopping nothing much.  But, now I really need to start buying Christmas gifts.  Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happy Hour: Pineapple Patron Cocktail

Happy Friday!!  Relax and enjoy this delicious, but simple drink.  Put your feet up after a long week and enjoy this cocktail.  The holiday season can be really stressful, having to deal with family and all of the shopping.  Why not take this Friday to stay home and  enjoy a drink with your significant other.


pineapple juice
1 ounce Patron Silver Tequilla
.25 ounce Patron Orange Liqueur
splash of Grenadine

Pour tequila and orange liqueur over ice. Fill with pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine.  Garnish with lime wedge.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Roasted Turkey

During Thanksgiving I had my family over for dinner.  We made a bunch of different dishes and this Roasted Turkey was one of them.  It came out extremely moist and juicy.  This is a 16 pound turkey that I seasoned a day before and had in the refrigerator ready to roast.

I love turkey and I will be making another one for Christmas this year.  My husband and I love the leftovers to make sandwiches.  Turkey never goes bad in my house. 

I usually roast an 19-20 pound turkey.  But this year I decided to roast a smaller one just because we had so many other meats to eat.  I also made a ham and a pork roast.

I took some of the juices from the turkey and made gravy, I also added some to the stuffing.   Everything turned out delicious.


14-16 pound turkey
1 1/2 stick of butter melted
8 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry rosemary
3 tbsp sofrito
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 cup of water

Everyone has their own way of roasting a turkey.  Some people start with high temperature at around 450-500, others with a low temperature around 300-350.  I personally like to bake my turkey at a low temperature then raise it towards the end of roasting.  It takes longer but, I believe this process gives you a moist turkey and not dry.

2 or 3 days before start thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

A day before baking wash and clean the turkey.  Pat dry.  Combine all ingredients except the water to create a paste, Rub the turkey inside and out, and under the skin.  Place in roasting pan. Place in the refrigerator until ready to roast. 

Place rack in the lowest level of oven.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Before roasting add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan.   This will keep the turkey moist through the cooking process.  Cook at 325 degrees for about 3 hours with the cover on, then raise the temperature to 350 and bake for another 2 hour, then lower the temperature to 300 and cook for another hour.

If you only have one oven I suggest doing this the night before, or early in the morning so that you have enough time to cook the turkey.  

If Using a Thermometer:

Roast the turkey until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Guava Cheesecake

Guava pastries are one of my favorite things to eat.  I thought why not incorporate the guava paste into a cheesecake. This is the best recipe I've come up with.  The cheesecake is creamy and the taste of the guava comes through in every piece.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oatmeal Craisin Cookies with Chocolate and Coconut

If you love oatmeal, cranberries, chocolate chips and coconut, why not make a cookie with everything in the mix.  I love, love these cookies, specially the coconut. You can see the cranberries and the coconuts in the cookies.

Eat them right out of the oven when the chocolate chips are still melted.  These are really delicious, highly recommend this recipe.


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut 
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries-Craisins

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F
Line baking sheet with parchment paper

In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir to mix, set aside.  In your mixing bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar, beat on med-high until smooth.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated. Add in the oats coconut, chocolate chips and cranberries, mix well.

Drop scoops of dough, about 1 tablespoon into the prepare baking sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12 minutes until set and golden, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Let cool on pan for about 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. 

Source: Very Culinary.com

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

My favorite cookies are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and my husband's favorite cookies are Peanut Butter.  So, today I decided to make him some Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies.  He is going to be a happy husband. 

These are really easy to make.  Make these ahead of time this holiday and enjoy them with your family.

The cookies have a nice soft, but crunchy texture and the filling is super creamy.  Just Perfect!!

Cookie Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients

4 tbsp of unsalted butter
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt

For the Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Place oven rack in the center and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your mixer beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat to combine.

Take one tablespoon of batter and place on cookie sheet 2 inches between each cookie mount.  Press the dough with the back of the fork that has been dipped in granulated sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are light brown around the edges.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Filling

Beat all ingredients in your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium until smooth.  

To Assemble

Take one peanut butter cookie and spread about 1 tbsp of the filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Top with a second cookie, flat side down to make a sandwich. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate.

Source: Joy of Baking and Martha Stewart.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

During the holidays I like to bake lots of cookies.  Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans is one of our favorite.  During the holidays when we are just hanging out, playing board games I like to bake a batch.  Double the recipe because these will go really fast.

I like to add pecans, but you can add walnuts or just omit the nuts completely.

The cookies are soft but firm.  The addition of the pecans makes the cookies even better.  Enjoy with a nice cup of milk. 


2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans-optional

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F

Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside.  Beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy.  add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated.

Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.

Source: Ghirardelli.com

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  Had a great week at home.  I finished decorating the inside of the house.  My Christmas tree is up.  I turn it on every night.  I love the holidays and I like to enjoy my lights and decorations as much as possible.  We started decorating outside and we are almost done.   Have you started your decorations, if not what are you waiting for.

2.  I finished my shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm looking forward to cooking and eating everything.
Did you finished your shopping?  What's on your menu.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Hour: Coquito-Puerto Rican Eggnog

Now that I have made Coquito, let the holidays begin.  I started my morning making coquito.  I wanted to make it for the weekend, and make enough to last for a few days.  Coquito is one of those drinks you must have in your refrigerator for the holidays, and there is nothing better than making you own.

There are many recipes out there, so I reviewed a few and came up with this recipe.  I made a couple of batches, one with rum, and one without for those of us that like virgin drinks. 

You don't have to add the egg yolks, but adding the yolks will make the coquito thicker.

This is what you will end up with after you are done.  Plenty to last you for a few days. 


20 cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
2 cups of water
2 small pieces of fresh ginger
3-15 ounce cans of Coco Lopez (cream of coconut)
2-12 ounce cans of evaporated milk
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1-13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
4 egg yolks-optional
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 ground nutmeg
2 cups of rum-optional

In a sauce pan boil together the water, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger.  Then, simmer for about 15 minutes.  Once done set aside to cool. Take out the cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger. 

I like to make the coquito in two separate batches.  In your mixer add 1/2 of the ginger, cinnamon and cloves water, 1 1/2 can of Coco Lopez, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 can of the sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 can of coconut milk, and 2 egg yolks.  Mix for a few minutes, until well combined. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon,  1/8 ground nutmeg, then add 1 cup of rum.  Mix for a least two minute to combine all of the ingredients.  Repeat the process all over again for your second batch.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Shake well before serving.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gingerbread Cake

I wanted to bake something I had not baked before.  I was looking through many of my books and there were so many recipes I wanted to do.  Then, I came across this recipe for Gingerbread Cake.

This recipe is perfect for this time of year.  As it bakes, it fills the house with such a great smell of cinnamon, ginger and cloves.  It makes the house warm and cozy. 

This is a perfect way to end my night, with a  piece of gingerbread cake and a big cappuccino.  The cake tastes just like ginger and it's super moist.  Great recipe choice!


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup of unsulphured molasses
1 cup milk

Preheat oven 350 Degrees F

Place rack in center of oven.  Butter and flour a 9 inch round or square pan with 2 inch sides.

In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add the lemon zest and molasses and beat to combine.  Scrape the side of the bowl as needed.

Add the dry ingredients and milk, alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat just until incorporated. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from cake pan. 

Source: Joy of Baking

Monday, November 18, 2013


Eating a bowl of Oatmeal in the morning is the perfect way to start your day. I grew up eating cornmeal, farina, grits, but Oatmeal was always my favorite. My mom made it creamy and full of flavor. I like to add cinnamon and cloves to the oatmeal, it gives it a fragrant, sweet and warm taste.

I enjoy eating oatmeal anytime of the day. I love to eat it on those cold winter days, sitting by my fireplace under a blanket, relaxing in front of my television. 

Oatmeal is not only delicious, but it's really good for you.


1 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup water
5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8-10 cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 pinch of salt

In a sauce pan on medium heat add the whole milk, evaporated milk, water, sugar, ground cinnamon, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla and salt.  Bring to a boil then add the oatmeal.  Cook and stir for about 15 minutes or until the oats are cook through.  Before serving make sure to take out the cloves and cinnamon sticks and discard.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  Last weekend I had my sister, nephew and great nephew visiting from SC.  My sister and I decided to make Pasteles.  Pasteles are wrapped bananas, and root vegetables stuffed meat pastries, traditionally served during Thanksgiving and Christmas in Puerto Rico.  A Puerto Rican house must have these for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

2.  I've gone over my menu for Thanksgiving, and I have my list of dishes.  Here it goes, Turkey, Ham, Pork Roast, Rice with Pigeon Peas, Mac and Cheese, Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow, Meatballs, Stuffed Shells, Potato Salad and Pasteles.  My husband and I are having company for Thanksgiving, and so I go all out. What's on your menu?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Hour: Blue Rain Cocktail

It's Friday!!

This is a busy weekend for a lot of people.  Lot's of shopping to do before Thanksgiving.  Take this evening to relax and enjoy a nice drink.  This Blue Rain Cocktail, it's just the perfect drink for that.  Not only is this drink smooth, its very pretty.  Impress your friends and family during the holidays with this fancy drink.

Enjoy Responsibly!!


1/2 shot grenadine
1/2 shot peach schnapps
1/2 shot white rum
3 count lemonade
3 count sweet & sour mix
1/2 shot blue curacao

Fill a collins glass 3/4 full with ice.  Add grenadine and peach schnapps and white rum into glass.  Then fill with sweet and sour and lemonade and add the blue curacao. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


My sister came to visit me and I had mentioned to her that we should do some Pasteles for the upcoming holidays.  Pasteles are wrapped bananas, and root vegetables stuffed meat pastries, traditionally served during Thanksgiving and Christmas in Puerto Rico.  Some other countries have their own version of them.

We went to a local farmers market, where I usually find everything I need.  Making pasteles reminds me of my mom.  My mom used to make pasteles to sell.  There were times when she made over 1000 pasteles.  Until this day, I'm not sure how she did that, because making pasteles, it's a lot of work.  She at least had the masa machine (batter machine), that made it easier. 

There are many pasteles recipes out there.  This is my way of making them.  You can add or adjust to your liking.  But, let me just say this is a fantastic recipe with great results.  I suggest you make this recipe as it is written.   Make sure to read the recipe before you start.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cornmeal Tortas

Cornmeal Tortas is a Puerto Rican fritter made from cornmeal usually eaten for breakfast with a nice cup of coffee.  I grew up eating cornmeal tortas and flour tortas.  My mom used to make the best.

My nephews and nieces love them too. My husband enjoys eating them but with a little bit of maple syrup.  Sometimes late at night I get the cravings and I just have to make a batch.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Onion and Pepper Frittata

This morning I wanted to have a meatless frittata.  I had a heavy eating weekend and I really didn't want to have anything too heavy for breakfast.  This Onion and Pepper Frittata is really easy to make, and you can add anything you want to it.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found this recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake  a while ago.  I read the recipe a couple of times as I always do before I decide whether the recipe is a good one or not.  I hate to try a  recipe and not turn out the way I was expecting.

Cheesecake is one of my weaknesses.  One of my favorite places is the Cheesecake Factory, and there are about 6 within a few miles from my house.   Their selection of cheesecakes is mind blowing.  They have over 30 different cheesecakes in every flavor.  One of my favorite cheesecakes there is the Pumpkin Cheesecake, but it's only available during this time of year.

So, when I found this recipe I was really excited, because that means I can have it anytime of the year.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  Blog hit over 700 "Likes" thank you to all of my followers.  I'm happy and hope that you are all in the kitchen cooking away.

2.  This week all of the recipes were from my book selection, Big Book of Home Cooking.  This book has really easy recipes that any home cook can put together.  The first recipe was Buttermilk Biscuits.  These biscuits were nice and crusty but soft inside. Perfect for the holidays, specially for Christmas morning breakfast.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Hour: Raspberry Limoncello Cocktail

Weekend is here again and it seems that the days are just flying by.  Soon enough Thanksgiving will be here and then Christmas and New Years.  Lot's of planning to do, from the menu, to who's coming to visit, just too much to worry about.

So why not have a drink to end this long day.  It's Friday and it's time to take off your shoes and relax.  This is a refreshing drink that will definitely help you unwind.

Add some extra raspberries on top for garnish.  Enjoy!!


1 lemon cut in quarters
4 basil leaves
6-8 raspberries
1/2 tsp superfine sugar
1/2 ounce limoncello
1 ounce Vodka

Muddle 2 pieces of the lemon, basil, and raspberries in a glass, until well mashed.  Fill glass with ice.  Add limoncello, vodka and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Top off with champagne. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice)

Arroz con Pollo (Chicken and Rice) with a side of Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Beans), brings back so many memories of my mom.  I grew up with a mom that used to cook seven days a week.  Not only did she cook dinner, but she also made breakfast and lunch.

I remember as a kid, waking up and having these big breakfast, and lunch was always a full meal that sometimes included rice.  I have nothing but great memories of my mom's cooking.  Everything she made had this amazing taste.

Arroz con Pollo was a dish that everyone loved in the house.  She always made a big pot and leftovers were even better the next day.  I learned a lot from her, however, I know there are many dishes that I wish I had recipes for.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

Woke up this morning craving some home made pancakes. I made these Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes and they are delicious.  If you like pumpkin like I do, you are really going to enjoy these.

The Apple Cider Syrup makes these pancakes even better and the pumpkin flavor comes through with a nice cinnamon taste. The apple cider syrup and the pumpkin pancakes are just an amazing combination.  I highly recommend this recipe.  You are going to be in love!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Simple Scottish Shortbread

While driving to an appointment today I was just amazed at the beauty of Fall.  The trees have these bright orange and yellow colors that are just so beautiful.  I love taking photos of my little boy Cayman (dog) and I want to take him to a park to take pictures of him while playing and running around with the leaves. 

Not only are the trees all changing colors, but the temperature seems to be dropping even more now.  Today, even though the sun was out, it felt colder.

I came home wanting to have some hot chocolate, but I needed some cookies to go with it.  I made these Simple Scottish Shortbread cookies.  When I found the recipe, on this weeks book selection, Big Book of Home Cooking, I knew these would be perfect.  Simple and super easy to put together and bake.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits

Good Morning!!  The best thing about breakfast for me are the home made Buttermilk Biscuits.  There is a big difference on the biscuits you get at the supermarket and these.  

On the weekend my husband usually makes breakfast for us, specially on Sundays right after church.  I figure, let me make the biscuits and let him make the eggs and bacon.

This recipe is from the book I selected this week, Big Book of Home Cooking by Gooseberry Patch.  This recipe is super easy and the biscuits are delicious.  They are crunchy on the outside, but nice and soft in the inside.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Week in Review

 Happy Saturday!!

1. Had a fantastic week. Halloween was not what I expected.  My husband and I bought so much candy, expecting a big turn out, but only about 10 kids came by the house.  I figure I can use some of the candy for baking and the rest I'm sure will disappear over the holidays when my nephews come to visit.

2.  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  I'm actually already working on my menu.  This year I want to add a couple of new dishes to the list.  I'm going over my books and magazines trying to figure out what I'm making.  What are those favorite dishes you make during Thanksgiving?  Are you making your desserts from scratch?  I always do, pies, cheesecakes, flan, cookies...I go all out. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Hour: Pomegranate Cosmo

It's Friday!!!  have a relaxing drink this evening after a long day at work.  Try this Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, you won't be disappointed.  This recipe will be nice for the holidays, specially Christmas.  The pomegranate gives the drink this beautiful champagne color.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes

This month flew by and I just realized that I had not baked anything with pumpkin.  I started looking for recipes and came across this recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes. 

I'm crazy about anything that has pumpkin in it, from coffee to cakes, pies and my new favorite, pumpkin doughnuts.  I baked these cupcakes and decorated them with cream cheese frosting to make them look like little pumpkins.

The house smells delicious.  I love the scent of cinnamon and cloves, it reminds me that Christmas is right around the corner.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chili with Beans Dip

Let the games begin!!  During football season I like to make easy appetizers.  Nothing too complicated, as I like to enjoy the games too.  This is a dip that you can make ahead of time and just keep it in the refrigerator until game time.

If you are having friends over to watch the game just make this dip and some Crispy Chicken Wings, they will be really happy.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oven Roasted Beets

Yes, I know what you are thinking, Beets, really...but, let me assure you that once you make and taste this recipe for Oven Roasted Beets, you are going to change you mind. 

My husband likes to make healthy smoothies, and beets is always one of those veggies he likes to include.  However, I have never really been a fan of the taste.  I find that beets taste like dirt..grainy and just not appetizing.

I had been watching a cooking show and they mentioned that roasted beets were delicious. Roasting them will bring out the sweetness, and taste amazing.  So I decided to make them.  Why not, they are good for you and I figure there are not many veggies that I don't like, so let me just try it and see.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1. Writing this post from Miami, my second home, while eating a Pastelillo de Guayaba that our friends bought for Calvin and I.  These are delicious.

2. Celebrated my sisters birthday on Friday at Azteca Mexican Restaurant.  We had a really good time.  Exactly to this date last year we were celebrating my sisters birthday in Puerto Rico.  We stayed at a beautiful  hotel, El Conquistador Resort. We had an amazing time there.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Hour: Strawberry Daiquiri

It's Friday, that means time to relax.  Put your feet up and enjoy this Strawberry Daiquiri.  I really do enjoy drinking a strawberry daiquiri from time to time.  Another favorite of mine is the Pina Colada.  These two drinks are my go to drinks when I just want to relax.

My husband decided that he would join me and have a strawberry daiquiri too. That is rare because his drinks of preference are a little stronger than this. 


Ice cubes
2 parts light rum
1 part Triple Sec
  1 cup fresh strawberries, tops trimmed off
Lime juice, as needed
Lime wedges

I made this drink with fresh strawberries.  That is the reason why the color is not extremely red as those syrups in the market.

Add to a blender and puree: ice cubes, light rum, Triple Sec, fresh strawberries and lime juice. Add sugar to taste. Enjoy! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas

Make it a Mexican night.  I really enjoy eating Mexican food and I also enjoy making it.  When dining out at a  Mexican restaurant I usually order a burrito or chicken tacos.  Tonight I decided to make Chicken Enchiladas.  This dish is really easy to make and it has lots of flavor.

My husband was wondering what I was cooking and I told him, it was a surprised.  The enchiladas turned out pretty good.  We were pretty happy, even my dog Cayman had some of the boiled chicken.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spiced Pears

This dessert was something I just put together in less than 10 minutes.  I had seen the recipe for Spice Pears in one of my cooking books, and it looked really yummy. Pear is a fruit that I normally don't cook with but I really wanted to make this recipe. I went to the supermarket just to get some pears. I like eating pears, but I just never buy them.  But this recipe caught my attention and I decided to give it a try.

This is a great recipe for the upcoming holidays.  It looks fancy enough to impress your friends and family.  

The pears have a glaze from the sugar caramelizing, and the pumpkin spice taste makes me think of Thanksgiving.  This dessert will be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I think I have a new favorite dessert. 


1 sheet (18x12) heavy duty foil
2 tsp butter, softened
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 large Bosc pear, halved lengthwise and cored
juice of 1/2 lemon
ice cream

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F

Coat center of foil with butter. Combine the sugar and pumpkin spice in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over butter. Sprinkle cut sides of pear halves with lemon juice.  Place pear halves, cut side down, side by side on sugar mixture.

Double fold sides and ends of foil to seal foil packet, leaving headspace for heat circulation.  Place packet on baking sheet.  Bake for 40 minutes or until pear halves are tender.  Remove from oven.  Let stand 15 minutes.

Open packet and transfer pear halves to serving plates.  Spoon sauce over pears.  Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream.

Source: Old Fashioned Recipes Cookbook

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Slow Roasted Brisket

If you are having company over and don't know what to cook, I suggest this Slow Roasted Brisket.  Brisket is a tough kind of meat that when braised and cooked slowly, is super delicious and tender.  I cooked this Brisket for about 5 hours in the oven.  Not only is the meat tender, but it's extremely juicy. 

Another way of cooking brisket is to cook it in a smoker. Something I have not done, but I hear it's really tasty.  My husband bought a smoker over the summer and we used it once for a whole chicken and a pork shoulder.  Next time, I'm going to smoke a brisket too. 

This recipe is great in a slow cooker too.  Season the meat the night before and sear it in the morning.  Drop it in your slow cooker, add the vegetables and other ingredients and let it cook all day. 


oil for searing
3-4 pound  brisket
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 med size onions, chopped
1/2 pound baby carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-14.5 ounce can beef broth
1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup of water
1 tsp dry oregano
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry rosemary
4 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 300 Degrees F

In a large skillet add the onions and carrots.  Cook for about 4 minutes, take vegetables out  and set aside. Season the brisket on both sides with a generous pinch of salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Sear the brisket in the hot skillet until browned, about 4 minutes per side.

Place the brisket, carrots, onions into a  roasting pan and start adding the other ingredients.  Add the garlic, celery, beef broth, diced tomatoes, water, oregano, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Cook in the oven for about 4-5 hours.  Until meat is fork tender. Make sure it has enough salt. Let the brisket rest for a few minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!!

Tip: If you want to use red wine in the dish, just substitute 1/2 cup of water for 1/2 cup of red wine.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Variety-Pack Doughnut Muffins

These muffins offer a grown-up version of one of childhood's greatest pleasures, the variety pack of doughnuts.  My favorite one has always been the powder sugar doughnut.  I remember as a kid, my brothers and I would eat a whole box in a couple of hours.  

I made 24 doughnut muffins and took some over to my neighbors.  I can't keep this many doughnuts around..they are trouble.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Crispy Chicken Wings

Football season has started, and why not make your own appetizers.  Have your friends over and enjoy a great afternoon.  My husband is an alumni of  the "U" University of Miami.  This night they were playing UNC. I decided to make some crispy wings and some dipping sauces.  It was a great game and thanks God, that UM won the game.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rice and Beans

I can eat this rice all by itself right now.  This was one of the first dishes I learned to cook with my mom.  Rice is always great as a side dish with your favorite protein.

You can always substitute the beans for any other beans you enjoy.  Sometimes I like to add diced Kielbasa to the rice and it gives it even more flavor.  During the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we cook rice and instead of beans we add Pigeon Peas.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Where do I start...I had been looking at this recipe for a while now.  Initially, I wanted to make pumpkin whoopie pies, but since I have not made anything with chocolate lately, I decided to make these instead.   These Chocolate Whoopie Pies are soft and rich in chocolate, the cream filling is not extremely sweet, but it's creamy and simply delicious.  

I sat down right after taking these pictures and ate the three little pies you see on the picture and had a whole glass of milk.  This was a perfect dessert on a cold afternoon.  I couldn't wait until after dinner.  Being that they are small, you can eat a few and not feel guilty about it..at least I didn't.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes

Chicken is a very versatile protein, that you can be very creative with.  There are so many ways you can cook chicken, that you really don't have to cook the same dish twice.  This is a Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Potatoes dish.  It's been cooked in chicken broth and white wine.

Braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Creamy Potato Soup

The weather is starting to change in the evenings, for the past two nights it's been a little cooler outside.  It's that time of year, where we have to start bringing in the pool chairs and the cushions, get the fireplaces going, and bring out the hot chocolate.  I love it, but not my hubby, he is pretty sad about it.  Winters in Georgia are not that bad compared to Connecticut, where I grew up.

I wanted to make something that would warm up my little bones, and Creamy Potato Soup always does the job. The best part about it?..the cheese and crispy bacon.  This soup is creamy and full of flavor.  Making a big pot is a must. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)

Tembleque is a coconut dessert pudding from Puerto Rico.  Tembleque means jiggly or shake in Spanish. Not only is this dessert jiggly and sweet, it basically melts in your mouth.  If you like coconut like me and my entire family, you will love this dessert.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Mix

Pumpkin Spice Mix is always in my pantry.  I use it on pies, cookies and cakes. This is the perfect spice for all of your holiday baking.



1/3 cup ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg or mace
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice

Mix all of the spices and keep in a jar in cool place.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Beans)

Habichuelas Guisadas are always great with white rice. I like my beans sauce to be nice and thick.  I don't care for watery, soupy like beans.  Adding pieces of potatoes or pumpkin gives the  beans great flavor too.

You can substitute the Kidney beans for any other type of bean, like red beans, black beans, garbanzo, even peas.


1-15.5 ounce can of  kidney beans
1 1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp of oil
4 ounces of tomato sauce
2 tbsp of sofrito sauce
1 packet sazon
1 packet chicken Bouillon
black pepper
1/8 tsp of cumin-optional
1 small potato diced
salt to taste 

Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add tomato sauce, sofrito, sazon, chicken bouillon, black pepper, cumin and potatoes.  Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes. Stir in beans, water, and salt. Increase heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.  Enjoy with a side of white rice and a protein.