Pio Nono Relleno like my mama makes it…

A good memory of home is something we call a Pio Nono. We buy them frozen and they are very thin rolls of a heavenly slightly sweet very thin sponge cake that can then be filled with savory or sweet wonderful things.

A staple in my house made by my mama was the Pio Nono stuffed with Tuna, Hearts of Palm and sweet corn, mixed with a bit of mayo and spices, covered with a little bit of more mayo and decorated with green and red peppers.

A very special person (mama Gaye) asked that for her little birthday celebration I make her what we now call, my special Rolly Polly! Slight technical hitch, there was nowhere near the house where I could get hold of this frozen life saving rolled sponge cake!

In preparation for tonights dinner, last night I decided to make it myself, not that its a difficult thing, but it has a tendency to stick and crack easily (well that’s just me)!

The experiment was a success and by bedtime last night I had myself a Pio Nono ready to be filled out tonight!



This evening as soon as I got home, I mixed the tuna, sweet corn and chopped hearts of palm, seasoned them with pepper, paprika, chopped chives, little mayo and a squirt of ketchup. Gave it a little taste for flavour approval and then spread it evenly on my Pio Nono!



Then I gently rolled it up……


And all that is left to do is add a few finished touches, a little mayo all over, some chopped chives and red peppers and a little fresh dill for the final decorating touch! 🙂


This is all that was needed to make one very special person happy ❤



Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I recently saw a recipe on Facebook for what they called Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes. Tonight I decided to test my own version on the kids!


  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces, sautéed with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 6 baby new potatoes boiled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 box of puff pastry defrosted

I used my muffin pan, sprayed it with some pam, stretched out the puff pastry a bit more to make it a bit thinner. I cut 6 large round circles and lined each holder with it.


In a bowl, mix the chopped chicken, chopped potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, chopped chives and cayenne pepper.


I filled each holder to the top with the mixture and then cut some cute little hearts out of the left over pastry which I placed on top of each one.


Bake in a 400 Deg F oven for 25 minutes.

I am pleased to report that they turned out pretty darn good, kids polished them all off 🙂

Cheers to a successful dinner…. ❤



Testing semi-ready meals

In a couple of weeks I will be doing quite a bit of traveling, and my families main concern is, oh my god Ma, what are we going to eat?

So whilst doing some shopping this past weekend at Trader Joe’s with my son, he decided in his infamous wisdom, that we should buy “stuff” than he, his sister or the hubby, could easily cook and still end up with a nice homemade tasty kind of dinner, bless his cotton socks 🙂

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He chose some lovely looking Beef Sirloin in BBQ Sauce and some Garlic Fries.


Today was the day to put this menu to the test. He turned on the oven to the temperature stated on the beef package. Opened the packets and placed them in a roasting pan.

He let the beef cook away for the time stated on the packet, took it out of the oven when it was done and under Mamacitas instruction, covered it with foil to keep it warm and let it rest whilst he cooked the Garlic Fries.


Oven temperature was changed, in went the fries and whilst they were cooking away, he placed the packet of chopped garlic and herbs in a bowl, ready for tossing.


This time round, I sliced the beef so he could see in which direction to go, so hopefully he is all set! Next time, he’s on his own!DSC05901

Out came the fries and whilst piping hot, they got tossed in the bowl with the garlic and herbs mix.


Finally, time to eat dinner and decide if these ingredients stay “ON” the list of must have in the freezer whilst Mama is traveling 🙂

And it’s a “YES”, we have a winner! Everyone enjoyed and agreed that, it won’t be a Mamacita’s homemade meal, but it will be ok under the circumstances!

Gotta love my family ❤



Family Evening Soirée…

Today was the first time we had a family dinner, with everyone present, eating at the same time and in the same place for a long long time…..

Family time is so precious and hard to come by in this busy hectic world, that its a nice feeling when we all manage to get together. So with that said and although I ‘m still not feeling myself after my surgery, I still found some strength to put together a tasty meal and a little sweet treat which we enjoyed whilst chatting , having a drink and catching up!


I started by preparing the little sweet treat which was inspired by 2 lovely huge pomegranates that were sitting on the counter without a purpose. I cut them open, took the lovely juicy seeds out and put them to the side.


Then I melted some milk chocolate (preferred over dark chocolate in our home) and then put to good use my handy dandy Pampered Chef herb gadget, which obviously was not used to store/freeze herbs 🙂

I filled 1/3 of each cavity with the melted milk chocolate, then spooned in some pomegranate seeds and then topped it off with more melted chocolate and into the fridge they went.

I still had some chocolate and pomegranate seeds left, so I mixed them up and plop them on some wax paper into clusters and they also went straight into the fridge.

Then I pulled out some lovely skirt steak, seasoned it well and let it rest a bit before it went onto the grill.


I did mention that I am still recovering from surgery, which is my excuse of using a few ready prepared sides to stop me from standing too long in the kitchen.

I had been to Trader Joe’s and found some frozen Asparagus Risotto which turned out to be pretty good but next time I need to doctor it with a little extra salt, some black pepper and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper and fresh parmesan cheese to give it a little umpf if you know what I mean.


I also bought at Trader Joe’s a Greek Spinach Spanakopita tart which again wasn’t too bad but I have to say that I prefer my home made Pascualina which is a Uruguayan version of the Greek Spinach Pie. No feta cheese is used in the Uruguayan one but its so much tastier, or so I think of course…..

Evening was greatly relaxing, ate, drank, chatted and caught up with Mama Gaye whilst also enjoying the company of by busy teenage kids and hubby, oh and let me not forget the cats that of course made sure we knew they were there ❤


After dinner we got to enjoy the lovely sweet treats that ended up being a big hit so they for sure will be part of future menus…..



There is nothing nicer for me than the smell of a nicely seasoned roast cooking in the oven. The aroma of roast lamb is making us all very hungry!

Last weekend, walking through my local Walmart Supermarket I came across a bag of something called Superior Leg Of Lamb by Superior Farms. Yes this was last easter sunday when I drove to Publix and found I was the only one in the parking lot! lol


Kind of curious about it I decided to give it a go. Instructions state to remove from the outer bag, leave in inner bag, poke a hole and roast in a 325 Deg F oven for 1 1/2 hrs or until the pop up timer pops!

Totally fool proof, already seasoned and now time to cross my fingers and hope for the best……


In the meantime I tossed some red, purple and white baby new potatoes in olive oil and chopped up mint and rosemary, seasoned them with salt and pepper and roasted them slowly with the lamb.


I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, lamb came out looking wonderful, perfectly seasoned and lightly pink, just how we like it 🙂


Pulled out the sour cream for the potatoes, some mint jelly and mint sauce and our Sunday Dinner is on ❤


Now time to enjoy what is left of the weekend, someone please slow down time!!!!!!

Leftover Pot Pies

What do you get when have the following items in your fridge?

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Red Thai Curry Sauce
  • Leftover turmeric spiced rice
  • leftover empanada dough

Well that’s easy, we make Red Thai Chicken Curry Pot Pie! Have you ever heard about this? Probably not…..well at least I haven’t, but why not right?

Start by chopping and sautéing some onions….


Followed by chopping up the chicken…..


Add the chicken and red thai curry sauce to the pan…….


Let it simmer on low until the chicken is nice and tender and cooked through.


In the meantime, I got my little pot pie casseroles out and filled them with a layer of the leftover turmeric spiced rice……


Once the chicken was ready I filled my little casseroles with it and then…….


finished it off by topping them off with the empanada dough brushed with egg wash.


Into a 385 deg F oven for about 20 minutes or until the dough is nice and golden.

Dinner is ready!

Chili con Carne meets Baked Potato

What do you get when you cross some Chili con Carne with a Baked Potato, or a Baked Potato with bacon, or what about I throw rice into the equation?

A great Sunday Dinner, that’s what you get! lol

When you have a family that wants all different things for dinner, you can still please them all without going out of your way…..yes its that simple….



Chili con Carne was requested by my son, but I know my hubby is not a big Chili con Carne. So with that said, Chili con Carne was made, made some rice, one baked potato and one sweet baked potato and this way made both my men and myself happy!

My son had Chili con Carne on rice


my hubby had a Baked Potato topped with cheese, sour cream and bacon.


And I had a Sweet Baked Potato topped with a bit of Chili and a dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro……


Happy Family, perfect ending to a perfect weekend!