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

Friday, June 28, 2013

Apple Pie Braid

This recipe is one of my favorites.  I love apple pie and so this is like another way to make it. This is perfect after a nice dinner with friends because is pretty looking and easy to make. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream. Makes 2 Braids.

UPDATE: I'm looking at this now about 4 month into my blogging and I must say, this braid came out so ugly.  As I'm writing this I'm actually cracking up.  But, I decided to leave it on my blog because it was delicious..it didn't matter how ugly it turned out, the taste was banging, and most importantly, my friend Judy love it!!

I'm evolving as a blogger, and I'm sure every blogger out there has a picture from when they first started that they are ashamed off...and that's okay.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Au Gratin Potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes are so delicious and really easy to make. Au Gratin can be made as a side for steak, chicken, or ribs. The potatoes are soft and the cheese is crusty and bubbly. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

BBQ Sauces: Spicy and Sweet

One of the best things of summer is barbecuing.  My husband and I usually BBQ all year long, but during the summer we really enjoy being outside by the pool and cooking some good food.  Today I made two BBQ sauces..one is spicy and the other one sweet and tangy.

I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine, and I thought why not give it a try.

Almost Famous BBQ Sauce-Spicy and a little darker in color


2 tbsp Vegetable oil
3 gloves of garlic smashed
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard powder
2 tsp Instant espresso powder
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup ketchup
1 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Heat vegetable oil in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden about 1 minute.  Stir in tomato paste and chilli powder until incorporated, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the vinegar, water, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, honey, mustard powder, espresso black pepper and cayenne..bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the ketchup and pineapple preserves. Simmer and cook for 45 or until thickened.  Whisk in the liquid smoke and let sauce sit until cool to room temperature.  take out the garlic.  Can refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  You can use it on ribs and chicken.  Enjoy!!

Texas Style BBQ sauce- Sweet and Spicy


1 tbsp butter
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chilli powder

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat, add the onions and cook for 3 minutes add garlic, cook for 1 minute.  then stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and the reduce to simmer. cook for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Enjoy with your ribs or chicken!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coconut Custard Pie

One of my favorite things to eat is coconut.  In my family we all love to eat anything that has coconut in it..from cakes to pies and even candy bars.  This recipe is one of my favorites.


4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup coconut -- shredded
1 9-inch pie crust -- baked

In a large mixing bowl beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, salt, nutmeg, And vanilla. Mix well. Gently whisk in whole milk, evaporated milk, And cream. Fold in coconut. Pour mixture into baked pie shell.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tip for Smelly Onion or Garlic Hands.

People that come to my house usually ask me "Johanna what is this for?"  and when I tell them they are usually surprised.  Well, this is a Steel Soap and is used to get rid off the smells of onions and garlic from your hands.  When you chop onions or garlic the smell stays on your hands all day. Stainless Steel gets rid of the smell by running your hands under water with the steel soap, washing your hands like you would with a real soap.  Not sure why this works, but it does. So the next time you have smelly hands grab a spoon and try this, you are going to be amazed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pineapple Icee

There is nothing better than a nice Icee during these hot days.  Making Pineapple Icee is really easy..and is made from the peels of a pineapple..something that people usually just discard of.

Here is my recipe:

Take the peel from a pineapple and boil in a pot for about 15 minutes on medium heat in 4 cups of water, then simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.  After the pineapple peels have cooked down, drain thru a strainer.  Now, take a couple of pineapple pieces and put thru the blender and puree.  Add this to the liquid.  Add about 3/4 cups of sugar or more depending on how sweet you want it.

Ice cream maker:

Once the liquid has cool down put it in the freezer for about an hour, to make sure the liquid gets really cold.  Then pour in your ice cream machine just as you would ice cream. Let it get nice and slushy.  If you don't have an ice cream machine then pour into individual cups and freeze..Enjoy!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thirsty Thursday: Pina Colada

Thursday is the day where you start winding down from a hard week of work, and what a better way to help you slow down than with a nice drink. I really enjoy drinking Pina Coladas and I enjoy making them from scratch.  I personally like a virgin Pina Colada.  But for those that enjoy a little bit of rum here is the recipe. Add as much rum as you like..perhaps about 1/2 a cup or maybe more.


1 can of Coco Lopez
1/2 can of Pineapple Chunks
2 cups of Pineapple Juice
Ice about 3 cups
Rum (to your taste)
Maraschino Cherries

In a blender add the Coco Lopez, pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, rum and ice..mix well, pour into a nice glass add a couple of cherries and Enjoy!! Makes about 4 drinks. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Traditional Pizza

Today, I'm going to teach you how to make a Traditional Pizza.  Starting with the dough and then the sauce.  I've been making pizza now for about 10 years, and is worth taking the time to make it.  Pizza is so easy to make, you are going to be surprised. With this pizza dough you can also make calzones.

With just one recipe you can make two 12-inch pizzas. I usually make two, with one I'll make a regular pizza and a deep dish,  and I save the other one in the freezer to make calzones. Some of my favorite toppings are sausage (I buy it ground and cook it in a pan), pepperoni, and then I chop onions and peppers, and mozzarella cheese.  You can add any topping you want..make it your own. Make sure you have a pizza pan and a cutter.

This is a really delicious pizza.  The crust is crispy and the cheese melted really nice.  

Add all of the toppings you enjoy eating, and make sure to add extra cheese too.

Dough Ingredients

2 1/4 Cups of warm water (110-115 F)
3 tbsp sugar
3/8 ounce active, dry yeast (about 3 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4  tsp salt
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
6 cups of all purpose flour
flour for dusting
extra virgin olive oil

In a large mixing bowl (or mixer bowl) add the warm water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.  Add the yeast and lightly stir again.  Set aside for 10 minutes so that the yeast develops..you will see it turn foamy on top. Then add the salt and olive oil to the yeast water..combine.  Add the first cup of flour slowly, mixing good every time.  Then continue to add the remaining flour, one cup at a time.

Mix well so that the dough comes together and all the liquid is gone.  If you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, then on a lightly flour countertop start to knead the dough.  Fold the dough in half an press into itself with the heed of your hand, over and over again for about 10 minutes.  If you have a mixer with the dough hook then that's the way to go..much easier.  After you are done kneading the dough turn it into a ball.  Coat the ball with olive oil and set inside a large well oiled bowl.  Cover with a damp cloth (so dough won't dry out) or plastic wrap and set aside for 1 to 1 1/2 hours..until double in size.

Pizza Sauce Ingredients

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 12 oz can of Tomato Paste
1 8 oz can of Tomato Sauce
1 med size onion chopped small
4 garlic cloves-Minced
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of dried sweet basil

In medium size pot add the olive oil, garlic and onions..cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, black pepper, oregano and basil. Cook until nice and thick, about 15-20 minutes.

Now get all of your toppings together.  Time to start making the pizza. Make sure that the pizza dough is ready.

Take the dough and split in half. Each half is good for a 12 inch pizza. Using your hands, press the air out of each half and turn into a ball, tucking any loose dough under the ball.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin if you have one and then place on your pizza pan.  Start assembling your pizza. Add the sauce..the cheese and all of the other toppings and sprinkle with olive oil.. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes or until the dough is nice and brown and the toppings are nice an bubbly and cheese has melted.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Get to know your Basil, Rosemary, Flat Parsley, Curly Parsley and Cilantro.  I decided to plant an herb box because I love cooking with fresh herbs.  I went out to my local home depot and purchased a medium size barrel planter big enough for my herbs.

Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes usually at the last minute to maintain flavor.  Basil is one of the main ingredients in Pesto.

Rosemary can be used fresh or dried. It has a strong flavor so a little bit goes a long way.  Use sprigs for roasting, grilling or barbecuing meats.

Flat Leaf Parsley  (Italian) with flat leaves.  In general, flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor, while the Curly Leaf Parsley variety is associated with decoration.  Parsley is one of the main in ingredients in Chimichurri a South American condiment like pesto, that is made with parsley, garlic, oil and vinegar, which is terrific with steak.

Cilantro (coriander) leaves has been used in preparation of many popular dishes in Asian and east European cuisine since ancient times. When added in combination with other household herbs and spices, it enhances flavor and taste of vegetable, chicken, fish and meat dishes.

This is my herb garden.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grilled Chicken with a Greek Salad

One of my favorite things to cook when I'm trying to watch my weight is chicken along with a healthy salad.  Tonight I made grilled chicken and a Greek Salad.  I start by putting the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them.

Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick.  Season with your favorite seasoning.  I like to season my chicken with salt, pepper, Penzeys Spices like Bangkok, Northwoods, and Barbecue.  This spices are not only great with chicken but also with fish.  Then I add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and grill for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side.


Flan is a dessert that I like to make during holidays.  It is creamy and delicious and the caramel is just perfect.  Flan is one of those desserts that don't last long in my house. 

I love the color of the caramel, can't wait to cut myself a nice big piece. 

Caramel Ingredients:

11/2 cups sugar
2 tbsp of water

Custard Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1-12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 tbsp vanilla
hot water

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

To make the caramel pour 1 1/2 cups sugar and water in a pan and heat on medium heat until it browns and becomes golden like caramel. You must keep a close eye on the caramel until it is done - don't let it get too dark. For ramekins quickly pour approximately 2-3 tablespoons of caramel in each ramekin, tilting it to swirl the caramel around the sides. For the mold just pour and swirl to make sure the bottom is completely covered and swirl as high as you can go on the sides.
Mix eggs with an electric mixer then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.   Place ramekins or mold into another baking pan.  Pour mixture into molds or ramekins and cover with aluminum foil.

Then add hot water to the pan half way up, this is called Bano de Maria.  For ramekins cook until flans are gently set for about 35-40 minutes.  For mold cook flan for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool on wire rack, then refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving.   When ready to serve run a knife around the inside of ramekin or mold and place a rimmed plate upside down over top and invert flan.

TIP: Bano de maria is where you place the flan casserole into another one with hot water inside. This process is done so that the flan can cook and not burn.

To make it a coconut flan just substitute the evaporated milk for Coconut Milk.

Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

I'm not sure who in the world does not like chocolate. I love anything that has chocolate in it..from cookies, cakes, pies and cheesecakes.  Today I want to show you how to make the perfect brownie.  This recipe is really easy to make and so delicious. Don't forget to get some vanilla ice cream to go with it.

 Brownie Ingredients

3/4 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Water
12 oz Chocolate chips; semi-sweet
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

8 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

Brownie Instructions:

Preheat oven 350 Degrees F
Combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar and water. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Remove from microwave.  Add 1 cup chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until smooth and chips are melted.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in flour mixture and stir in remaining chocolate chips.

Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch pan and bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean before taking out.
Chocolate Ganache Instruction:
Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.  Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 5 minutes.
Add butter and stir until smooth. Pour over Brownie...Enjoy with some vanilla ice cream!