A little taste of the holidays…..

A couple of days ago I baked way too many mini sweet potatoes so I found myself with quite a few of them leftover.

You all know my rule by now, nothing gets tossed out and every food item has various purposes in life.

With that said, I took the leftover baby sweet potatoes and sliced them into semi thick slices.

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Sweet potatoes always make me think of the holidays and seeing that there is such a thing as Christmas in July, I decided, holiday theme it is…..

Grabbed some brown sugar and cinnamon and gave each piece a nice dusting of both, warmed them up in the oven and finished them of under the broiler.

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And there we have, a little taste of the holidays, perfect bite for Christmas in July! Now all we need to do is to cool the weather down a bit here in South Florida to make it perfect!

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Bye Bye Rotten Bananas – Hello Banana Bread

Came home late from work to cook dinner in a rush for a bunch of hungry teens!

Whilst making dinner (they got Cottage Pie) I bumped into my not so lovely bunch of bananas that would turn to total mush by tomorrow!

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Being one that doesn’t waste a grain of salt, I immediately turned these awfully yucky looking bananas into some lovely Banana Bread with a hint of Cinnamon!

And trust me, the picture above does not really show how bad they were, you know that moment when you grab the banana and it just collapses on you :-).

I made 2 banana breads and for each one I used:

  • 3 very very very ripe bananas
  • 120 grams of soft butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 2 cups of flour
  • a drizzle of milk

Mush the bananas up with a fork until they are nice and creamy, then add the sugar and eggs and butter, followed by all your dry ingredients. Finally if consistency is too thick, add a drizzle of milk ( I always do).

Preheat oven to 350 Deg F and place batter in a greased bread mold.

Bake for 55 minutes. Time may vary depending on your oven, check if cake is made by inserting a thin knife right in the middle, if it comes out clean, its ready!

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Say bye bye to rotten bananas and hello to yummy Banana Bread!

Holiday Cocktails – Puerto Rico Style – Coquito

Been in the USA for over 17yrs and have come across an array of international traditions, dishes and cocktails for the holidays.

Today I have decided to make a drink from Puerto Rico as every year for the past 6 yrs I have received as a gift, a bottle of homemade “Coquito” from the same person at work and “Coquito” and I have developed a loving relationship :-).

So this year I decided I would add it to our Holiday Table for Thanksgiving and probably  Christmas too as it keeps for about a month in the fridge!

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So here is my version of “Coquito”!

  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 cup of Bacardi White Rum
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a little bit more cinnamon to sprinkle on drink when serving

I am sure there are tons of versions of this recipe, next time (for the Xmas batch) I will use my Coconut Rum instead of the White Rum just to enhance the Coconut flavor!

In a blender, place all of the above ingredients and blend away until its nice and frothy, about 3 mins.

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Place in glass container with a good seal and keep refrigerated. I researched and it keeps well for a month and the longer its in the fridge the better it gets!

IMG_0680So my batches are made and bottled, and lucky me, not everything fit in the bottles so I had to have a taste! Cheers!!!!! 🙂

Snickerdoodledoooooooo………Mystery Solved

Someone came up to me today and said they would LOVE me to bake them Snickerdoodle Cookies!

Well please let me remind you that I come from Uruguay, lived in England for a while and been here in the USA for the past 17yrs and I had never, ever encountered such a thing!

First my mind took me down the path of “yeah must be like sugar cookies with broken pieces of snickers bars”, but when I asked that they describe them, all I got is, “they are so yummy, kind of soft in the middle”!

Well that didn’t help so I consulted my all time BFF, Mrs. Google! Found some recipes and they were all the same, a sort of sugar cookie dipped in cinnamon sugar and baked. What’s so special about that?

So I got home and my daughter and I embarked on the making of the “Oh so yummy cookie”!

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Recipe I followed was very simple:

Mix all below ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

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Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls (about 1 tablespoon), roll in cinnamon sugar (2 tablespoons of sugar + 2 teaspoons of cinnamon) and place on ungreased cookie sheet in a 400 deg F oven for 10-12 minutes and turn around half way through.

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Family tested and liked them, but still not totally sure what the fascination is all about, maybe a childhood memory, grandmas cooking…..but for sure hope to put a smile on somebody’s face tomorrow!

India, America, Uruguay & Norway on the table

Tonight for dinner we have an International theme of some sort going on.

INDIA – I made a Chicken Korma upon request.

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USA – Followed by some cornbread bake (today I used the Honey Cornbread by  Krusteaz) and to it I added a can of cream of corn and 1/4 cup of brown sugar and just baked as directed.

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URUGUAY – I made some Rice Pudding for dessert, which I debated between Uruguayan and Norwegian version and opted for the first to at least keep the calorie count a tad lower! lol

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NORWAY – And finally for the Norwegian touch, I made some Strawberry Sauce to go with the Rice Pudding.

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So we are all set, Walking Dead is on tonight so getting ready to settle in with a nice glass of vino……cheers!

Arroz con Leche…..Sunday night dinner dessert….

I find that Sunday night dinners are the best! Family sits around the table, we eat a nice meal, tell jokes and stories and the after dinner table is filled with laughter.

In this fast paced world that we live in its very easy to forget the good family values and appreciate how nice and easy it is to have a great time by just chatting with each other.

Tonight we will be missing my honey at the table as he is out traveling for work, but I will have my 2 not so babies a well as an added child, so thought we should end our meal with one of my favorite childhood desserts …. Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding).

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Boil the below ingredients for 12 minutes

Make sure you watch it constantly and lower the temperature to avoid it boiling over.

  • 1/2 cup of rice
  • 4 cups of milk (use real full milk to get it nice and creamy)
  • 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 2 cloves (tied in some cheese cloth so you can fish them out easily)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

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In a separate bowl beat

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Once the 12 minutes are over, add a bit of the hot mixture into the egg mixture and then add it all into the hot mixture and cook for another 2 minutes.

Remember to remove the cloves and toss them out.

Place hot pudding in a container, let it cool down and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Sprinkle some cinnamon and enjoy!