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

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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

White Wine Sangria

TGIF, time to relax with a nice cold drink.  How about a White Wine Sangria?  I'm not a red wine drinker, but you can certainly make this with any red wine you enjoy.  I decided to use a Riesling for this sangria.  Riesling is what I drink most of the time. So when making sangria pick a wine that you enjoy.


Wine-Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
2 cups of raspberries
2 apples cored and diced
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 lemon cut in wedges
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 liter ginger ale or club soda

Pour wine in the pitcher and add the raspberries, diced apples, pineapple chunks, lemon and sugar.  Mix well.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Right before serving add the ginger ale or club soda.  If you'd like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice.

Addition ideas: diced mango, sliced strawberries, peaches, handful of fresh blueberries, kiwi, a shot or two of gin, brandy or rum, a cup of citrus-flavored soda.

French Toast

I made a Challah Bread the other day and I made sure I had some left for French Toast.  The Challah bread  is perfect for french toast because it soaks up the egg custard, and it holds together pretty good.

I am not a fan of soggy french toast, something about the texture is just not appealing to me.  A good french toast is nice and soft in the inside from the custard, but still holding it's shape. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Green Beans, Garlic and Oil Pasta with Crusted Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins

Weather is starting to change, and I'm noticing my flowers are looking a little sad. Fall season is my favorite, and living in Georgia, I get to see the leaves change colors, from green to purple, orange, red and yellow.  When I think of Fall, I think of so many comfort food dishes.  Desserts made of pumpkins and apples to pot roast and root veggies.

But today, I wanted to make pasta, simple but with great flavors..so I decided to make it with just garlic and oil and throw something green in it..like green beans.  And as a protein, Crusted Parmesan Chicken Tenderloins.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Challah Bread

This is the 3rd time I have made Challah Bread.  Challah bread is a special braided Jewish bread eaten during Sabbath and  holidays.  This bread is really easy to make and I love the final result.  The braid makes this bread look stunning.  I almost don't want to cut it after it comes out of the oven.  But the bread is too delicious to not eat.

Challah bread is by far one of my favorite breads.  This bread is good with just butter, and if you have any leftover the next day, french toast is the way to go.  This bread looks a little intimidating, but it really isn't.  This recipe is one of those that once you do it for the first time..the 2nd time around is a piece of cake.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pineapple, Coconut Carrot Cake

For about a week or so, I kept telling my husband that I wanted to make a carrot cake.  I've made carrot cakes before, but this one has a little twist.  The addition of the coconut and pineapple is out of this world.  The cake is super moist and the combination of flavors with the cream cheese frosting, Amazing!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Beef Empanadas

This past Friday I decided to make Beef Empanadas.  It's been a while since I've made them, and I was craving them.  The dough I made is a new recipe I found, and I wanted to try it out.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fluffy White Rice

Growing up in a Puerto Rican family, we ate rice at least twice a week, but some families eat it everyday.  From time to time my hubby will ask me to make him some rice.  Must of the times is white rice and a side of beans.  Then, we'll grill some kind of protein..and that's dinner.   My husband is not picky.

I like my rice to be fluffy and not mushy. Adding the right amount of water and not stirring it too much will give you nice fluffy rice.  When the rice is done right, you can just eat it all by itself. 

I use a caldero (cast aluminum pot)  to make the rice.  That's how it's made in Puerto Rico.  But you can use a sauce pot...but nothing stainless steel as the rice might get stuck to the bottom and burn.

3 cups of water
3 cups of rice, washed and rinsed
3 tbsp of oil
1 tsp of salt

In the pot add the water on medium heat.  When the water starts boiling add the oil, salt and rice.  Stir to prevent sticking.  When the water evaporates into the rice, lower the heat to simmer. Pile the rice in the middle, cover the pot and cook for 30-40 minutes. Stir the rice after 15 minutes, keep covered until ready.  Serve with beans and your favorite protein.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Not feeling so great calls for a nice bowl of Chicken and Vegetable Soup. When I first got married, I asked my husband if he wanted soup for dinner,  he looked at me as if I had 4 eyes.  He found the question funny because to him soup is just an appetizer and not a meal. This reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld... too funny, but true.

Soup with a side of rice was dinner for me growing up.  My mom made chicken soup, beef soup, bean soup, all kinds of soups.  I never saw it as just an appetizer.  My husband and I laugh about it, because now he loves soup and rice for dinner.  But, it took him a while to get used to the idea. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

While out and about with my hubby  I asked him if he wanted to have Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes for dinner and he said "I'm not gonna say no to that".  Meatloaf is one of those dishes that my hubby and I enjoy very much.  This is a dish that I only make about three times a year.  We love it even more the day after.  The best part is making a sandwich out of the leftover with a little ketchup on top.  Love it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mashed Potatoes

This Mashed Potatoes recipe was my moms.  She made the best mashed potatoes.  Her secret, a little olive oil and mayonnaise.  The mashed potatoes come out creamy and delicious.

My mom was an excellent cook.  I wish that I had learned more from her cooking and all of her delicious recipes.  Mashed potatoes were always a side dish with meatloaf, baked chicken and her famous, garlic and onions cube steaks.  Oh, how I miss her cooking.

These mashed potatoes are just perfect.  Enjoy them with your favorite protein.


2  pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
water enough to cover potatoes
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of milk
3 tbsp of mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a saucepan. Add salt and water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Place the garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Drain potatoes and place in a bowl.  Add the milk and butter.  Mash potatoes with a potato masher. Until desire consistency.  I like my mashed potatoes a little lumpy.  Then mix in the mayonnaise and garlic olive oil. Discard of garlic.  Add more salt and pepper if desire.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Apple Stuffed Chicken Thighs

These tasty chicken thighs have been stuffed with an apple stuffing.  I continue to use my apples in every way possible.  I used Stayman Winesap apples, but you can use Granny Smith or McIntosh too. 

I like the combination of apples and onions.  I used bread crumbs, but you can use a couple of toasted slices of bread cut in small pieces..or if you have some stuffing, you can use that too.