- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.FAKOYWxZ.dpuf Simply Rice and Beans: February 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

The first time I had this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was at a breakfast where I used to work.  My friend Omi had baked it for us and I really loved it.  I love banana bread, but I had never had it with chocolate chips.  This is absolutely delicious.  The bananas with the chocolate chips taste really good together.

This is another way you can make banana bread when you have those ripe bananas sitting on your counter.  The recipe is really easy.  You can enjoy it for breakfast or just as a snack anytime of the day.

When you cut into the chocolate banana bread you can see the melted chocolate chips all over, the walnuts and little pieces of banana.   The bread is super moist, perfect with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. 

The banana breads were in the oven for exactly 65 minutes. Make sure to check the banana bread before taking it out of the oven because temperatures vary depending on oven.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
3 ripe mashed bananas
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mini-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  Mix on medium speed all ingredients except the walnuts and chocolate chips.  Then stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a wooden stick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from  pan.  Cool completely on wire rack.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Individual Calzones

These Individual Calzones are delicious.  This was our weekend treat.  It might seem like a lot of work to do, but it really isn't.  I had made the  Pizza Dough  last week, I cut it in half, made a Deep Dish pizza and saved the other half to make these calzones.  The Homemade Pizza Sauce is made from scratch and really easy.

Most of the times we are in the kitchen trying to figure out what to cook.  The pizza dough can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for about a day or freeze it in a ziploc freezer bag for up to 3 months.  It's great to have it ready to go for those days when you want something quick.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  How was your week?  My week started great and ended not so good.  Some personal stuff that I'm going through that I'm leaving in God's hands.  He knows everything, and when you have faith and believe, things will turn out great.  No doubt in my mind. 

2.  I usually plan ahead of time what I'm going to cook and post to the blog.  Last weekend I decided to make Deep Dish Pizza.  I made my own Pizza Dough and my delicious and easy to make Homemade Pizza Sauce.  The best part about making everything is that you are able to control what you put into it.  I find that most pizza places add too much salt. You can cut the dough in half and  make 2-12 inch pizzas or you can make one pizza and 4 calzones with the other half.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

These decadent Fudgy Chocolate Brownies are to die for.  I have never met anyone that doesn't like chocolate.  I find that chocolate makes everything better, at least for me it does.  These fudgy brownies can be topped with pecans, walnuts, chocolate ganache or just a big scoop of ice cream or a glass of milk.

Perfect for any occasion, easy and very satisfying.  Make sure you eat a piece because I'm sure everyone is going to want a second serving.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Beignets are like doughnuts except they are square and have no holes.  If you have been to New Orleans, then you should know about Beignets.  I've never been, but I know these soft as pillow fried deliciousness are their specialty.  Beignets, is French for "fritters". Beignets are raised pieces of yeast dough, that after frying they are sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

I had my eye on this recipe for a while, and finally I decided to make them.  I can't believe I waited so long, these things are delicious, the outside is crispy and soft as pillows on the inside.  You won't eat just one, believe me.  These Beignets are on my top 5 all time favorite desserts.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Deep Dish Pizza

Back in the days when my husband used to travel to Chicago for work, he would always come home talking about a Deep Dish Pizza from Gino's East.  My husband described it as the best pizza he ever had.  Coming from Connecticut and eating pizzas in different places including NY, that was a big statement.

I have not had the privilege of eating it yet, I will soon as Chicago is one of the places I would love to visit in the near future.  Even thought this deep dish pizza is not Gino's, my husband says, it is delicious and perhaps even better.  After bragging about Gino's, I'm not sure if I believe him, but one thing I do know, my deep dish pizza is really good.

Pizza Dough

This is such an easy Pizza Dough to make.  You can make any kind of pizza  you like, Deep Dish Pizzas, thin crust pizzas and calzones too.  This dough makes 2 12-inch pizzas or 8 individual calzones.  What I normally do is cut it in half, use half for a deep dish pizza and the other half for about 4 calzones.

I love this dough recipe and it's the one I always make.   Make it early in the morning and have it ready for dinner time.  You can refrigerate the dough for a few days.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Homemade Pizza Sauce

The best thing about this Homemade Pizza Sauce, is that you can control what goes into it.  It's not salty, it has great flavor and is my go to sauce when making pizzas or calzones.

This sauce is a little thicker in texture compared to a Marinara Sauce for dishes like Chicken Parmesan.  It's not runny and perfect for pizza or calzones. 


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.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  It was a crazy week.  We had about 2 inches of ice and then about 3 inches of snow.  We never really get snow here in Marietta, GA, and if we do is never much.  This time everything was covered, it was crazy.  But since we didn't really have to go anywhere, I really didn't mind.

2.  On Valentine's Day I received some beautiful flowers and cards from my hubby and two boys, Cayman and Caico.  The flowers are beautiful.  We went out to dinner to one of our favorite places, Cabernet Steakhouse.  I had a full meal that included lobster and crab cakes for appetizer and Steak and potatoes for dinner.  For dessert I had chocolate cake and bread pudding (small servings), both desserts were delicious.  Had a fantastic time with my husband.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Raspberry, Coconut Damn!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here is a special drink to celebrate this special day.  This is a delicious drink that you will both love.  This Raspberry, Coconut Damn!! is really delicious and perfect for any special occasion like, Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fried Pork Chunks (Masitas de Cerdo Frita)

I grew up eating pork in many different ways, grilled, roasted and fried.  These Fried Pork Chunks are crispy and seasoned to perfection.  I don't cook pork as much as I do chicken but from time to time I do enjoy some pork with a side of Arroz con Gandulez (Pigeon Peas Rice), some fried Tostones (Fried Plantains) or Mofongo.  

There are many people that prefer staying away from the pork for health reasons.  The only thing I can say is that everything is good with moderation.  A piece of pork once in a while is not going to kill you.  Roasting it or grilling it are other great options if you are trying to stay away from fried foods.

I like to cut the meat in small chunks and season it very well.  Fry the chunks until browned and crispy and enjoy with your favorite side dish. 


3 pound pork shoulder cut up into chunks
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp black pepper
oil for frying

Season pork chunks with white vinegar, garlic powder, onion, salt, and black pepper.   Add enough oil to a frying pan and heat on medium heat.  When the oil is hot enough start frying the chunks of pork.  Do not over fill the pan.  You can do this in two batches.  Pork chunks should be fried until golden brown. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

These Chocolate Covered Strawberries are great for any special celebration.  Make these for your significant other on Valentine's Day, which is only a couple of days away.  Valentine's Day is all about love and chocolate.

Open up a bottle of dessert wine like a Moscato to go with the strawberries and enjoy.  I promise you, they will all be gone before you know it. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls)

These Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls) are absolutely delicious.  I grew up eating Alcapurrias and Rellenos de Papa and they are one of  my favorite things to eat when I visit my island of Puerto Rico, besides every pastry, fresh bread and cheese, but I'll leave that for another day.

I remember the last time I visited my family in the town of Utuado, my aunt made me Pasteles and Rellenos de Papa with some black eye peas rice.  My husband and I still talk about that meal.  I come from a big family of excellent cooks.  I often think of my mom and everything she cooked for us.  Going to Puerto Rico to visit my family brought back so many great memories.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blueberry 'n' Cheese Coffee Cake

This delicious mouth watering Blueberry 'n" Cheese Coffee Cake gets its moistness from the fresh blueberries and the cream cheese.  The crumb topping has lemon zest and it smells delicious.

My mom loved coffee cakes, and I wish she was still around so that she could help me make and enjoy this one with me.  I'm sure she would have loved it. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  I hope everyone had a great week.  I had a busy one, but I can't really complain. 

2.  I was busy this week cooking.  I made some amazing things.  On Sunday after church I made Giant Sunday Pancakes for my husband and I.  Those pancakes were delicious.  On Tuesday I posted the Pork Roast (Pernil).  I cooked it on low for about 4 hours and it was falling off the bone.  That is the secret to a tender and juicy pork roast.

Since Valentine's Day is next month I decided to make some Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  This cupcakes were so good!  I took some over to my neighbors house for Super Bowl Sunday and they were all gone before the game was even over. 

Classic Potato Salad was another dish I made this week. The potatoes had a great texture and the dressing was really creamy.    I finished the week with Tostones (Fried Plantains).  Tostones are made with green plantains.  They are tender inside and super crunchy on the outside.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tostones (Fried Plantains)

Tostones are a staple in all of the Caribbean.  They are made from green plantains.  Plantains are similar to bananas just more starchier.  Tostones are always a great side dish to rice and beans and some kind of protein.  

The plantain has to be really green to make the tostones really crispy.  Plantains are also used to make Mofongo.  Mofongo is another side dish made with garlic and oil.  Both dishes are really good.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Classic Potato Salad

I know that there are many versions of what a Classic Potato Salad should be.  This Classic Potato Salad has a mayonnaise and mustard base with onions, celery and boiled eggs.  Sounds Classic enough for me.

I love making this potato salad in the summer with grilled ribs, chicken and even pork chops.  The best part about this potato salad, is that you can put it together in a few minutes and throw in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Make sure that the potatoes are not overcooked.  You want them to be tender but firm, remember we are making potato salad not mashed potatoes.  I love everything about this potato salad, it has great texture and taste, it's creamy and just simply delicious.


3-4 pounds red potatoes, peeled cut into quarters
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped white or red onion
salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled cut into small pieces

Boil potatoes in salted water.  Potatoes should be cooked until tender but still firm.  Place potatoes in large bowl.  Mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Add mixture to the potatoes, then add the celery and onions.  Mix well, stir in the eggs. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Red Velvet Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

When I first moved to Atlanta, GA everyone I met would say "You have to try the Red Velvet Cake" and so I did.  I was very disappointed.  I found that the Red Velvet Cake was a little too dry for me.  As years went by I wanted to give it a try, but this time I was going to get in my kitchen and make it myself.

I started comparing different recipes from baking cookbooks I own and recipes online.  I found this recipe from a book I purchased a few months ago, The Complete Cook's Country TV Show Cookbook.  I reviewed the recipe and it sounded easy and the cake on the picture didn't look dry.

So, this weekend I decided to try out the recipe and I'm so happy I did.  Instead of a cake I decided to make cupcakes.  These cupcakes are delicious, super moist and with the Cream Cheese Frosting, a perfect combination.  Now I have a different opinion of this cake.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pork Roast (Pernil)

The secret to a tasty, tender Pork Roast is a lot of garlic, coarse black pepper and cooking it at a low temperature.  I seasoned this pork shoulder the day before, allowing it to marinade for at least 24 hours before roasting.  The meat just came right off the bone, tender and juicy.

I decided to make some Pigeon Peas Rice (Arroz con Gandules) and some potato salad to go with it.  This is also great with a side of Mofongo, either way you can't go wrong.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Giant Sunday Pancakes

The best thing after going to church on a Sunday morning is coming home to some home made pancakes.  These Giant Sunday Pancakes are not only fluffy and buttery but they are amazing.  Why buy a box of pancake mix when you can make your own at home.

Get in your kitchen this weekend and make your family these delicious, satisfying, fluffy pancakes, they will thank you for it.


3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of milk
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
butter for cooking
maple syrup

To keep pancakes warm heat oven to 250 degrees F.  Mix together the eggs, sugar and butter in a bowl.  Add flour alternately with the milk in 3 additions, whisking to blend after each addition.  Whisk in baking powder and salt.

Melt enough butter in a heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat just to coat bottom.  Ladle scant 3/4 cup batter into skillet, rotating skillet to spread batter to about 6-inch diameter round.   Cook pancakes until bubbles form and break on surface and bottom is brown, about 2 minutes.

Turn over pancake and cook until bottom is brown and pancake is cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to large baking sheet and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more butter to skillet as necessary.  Serve with maple syrup.

Source:  The Bon Appetit Cookbook

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Week in Review

Happy Saturday!!

1.  In case you have not heard, there is a Super Bowl game going on this weekend.  Super Bowl XLVIII kicks off this Sunday.  The Denver Broncos take on Seattle Seahawks, this should be a great game.   Who are you cheering for?  Since our team the NY Giants, did not make it to the Super Bowl, I guess I'm gonna have to cheer for the Denver Broncos.  It should be an exciting game.

2.  If you are having a little get together, what are you serving your guests?  I made a list of some great appetizers and desserts that can be made ahead of time.