About Me

My photo
I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yummy Snacks for The Super Bowl...

Super Bowl Sunday, will be here before we know it, and though I am not a football fan, my husband is, and I always like to prepare some great snacks for the "big" game.  Actually, my daughter and I are "Award Show Fans"...when the award season starts, we love to prepare all kinds of fun and delicious food and sit down to watch the red carpets, enjoy the Hollywood Glam...the gowns, jewelry, shoes, and the whole ambiance of it all, plus we both adore Hollywood,  so it's fun to sit back almost 3,000 miles away and enjoy the scenery...but this is Super Bowl, so we have to make it a nice evening.  Even if it's family and friends or just your family, it's always nice to prepare ahead and make it a fun evening.  I am a collector of hors d'oeuvres trays, snack trays, serving trays, and cocktail glasses, so I try to stick with one theme, but I also love to mix and match according to the event.  I will even use the cocktail glasses for fresh fruit, or other small snack items, or condiments.  Though I don't have any pictures at this time of the items prepared, I would like to share a few of our favorite recipes with you.  Hope if you try them, you will enjoy them!!!

Mini Tacos or Tostadas

Fresh packages of Corn or flour tortillas (use a cookie cutter to cut out about 3 - 3 1/2" circles)

Fry  ground chuck (about 1 1/2 pounds) , with salt and pepper to taste
When meat is fully cooked, add 1 tsp, New Mexico Green Chili Powder, 1/2 tsp. New Mexico Red Chili Powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin (comino), 1/4 tsp. Adobo, and fresh ground pepper.  Chopped and mix well until meat is chopped small.  At this point, I will always add about 3 TBS of fresh homemade salsa.  Mix thoroughly.  Keep warm.

In a skillet, head oil to medium high, and take your tongs to make the tortillas into taco shape and fry until lightly crunchy, always remember both types tortillas can burn easily, continue to turn over until you reach the crunch you like.  If you wish to make tostadas, just lay in the oil flat and continue to turn over until you reach the desired crunch again.  Remove and drain oil well on paper towels.  A little trick I usually do to make the corn tortillas airy and crunchy is place in them in a paper towel and place in the microwave for about 45 seconds, it will soften them, take out the extra moisture and make them perfect before frying to tacos or even nachos.

Here is where I usually allow my guest or family make their own, by placing fried taco mixture into the shells, and fill with fresh salsa, lettuce, diced chilies, and I use the mixture of 4 shredded Mexican cheeses, black olives, etc.  You can substitute chicken for the ground chuck.

Bourbon Meatballs

1 -2 pounds of ground sirloin or chuck
Mix in bowl, meat, 1 tsp horseradish, 1/4 tsp Lawry's Season Salt, fresh ground pepper, 1/4 tsp of fresh crushed garlic and 1 large egg.  Mix thoroughly, and make into medium size meat balls. 

In a large dutch oven, fry the meat balls with a small amount of oil and butter, just to they don't stick.  Once the meat balls are almost fully cooked through.  Remove from the heat, add 3/4 cup of Bourbon (of your choice) and 3/4 cup of spicy BBQ sauce, again of your choice.  Simmer on low until the meatballs have time to cook completely and have time to absorb all the great flavors.  I will at this point add a bit more fresh ground pepper.

You can serve these as is, or place on mini hamburger buns and make them into sandwiches.

French Fries, but not your normal fries...

If anyone has had lunch or dinner at the Nordstrom's Bistro, you will know these fries and the Kalamata Olive Dip they serve with them...so good!

About 4-5 large potatoes - peeled and cut to make skinny as possible, as to not fall apart when deep frying.  Rinse good, and let dry completely.

Fry until golden brown, remove, place on paper towels to remove excess oil.  While warm, sprinkle with sea salt, and take dried parsley and crumble between the palm of your hands to make it very tiny and ensure all fries are covered, not too much.  Right before serving, place in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes...they will get a bit more crunchy and warm throughout.

Kalamata Sauce

Cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, just to cover all garlic, wrap in aluminum foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Mix together very well in food processor:

1 cup of pitted Kalamata olives
2 1/2 cups of Hellman's Mayonnaise
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
Peeled roasted garlic - I only use about 3/4 of the head
This is a great replacement of ketchup, but it's also good on chicken sandwiches with sliced avocados, or any cold cut type sandwich or even as a veggie dip. 

Potato Chip Dip

2 Pkgs Philadelphia Cream Cheese - soften to room temperature
1 TBS, or more depending on how you prefer of a sweet onion, if in season we use Vidalia, though my preference is Maui onions
1/4 tsp of salt
Approx. 1/2 cup of whole milk, Mix well with hand mixer until right consistency.
Serve with your favorite chips, pretzels or crackers...
We have made this for every Christmas for the last 30+ years.  It is addicting, trust me!

Chicken Tenders, With a Little Mexican Flair
4 - medium boneless skinless chicken breast - cut in half, and pounded thin with small amount of flour - set aside

In a medium mixing bowl add:

2 cups of Bisquick
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS New Mexico Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp of dried crushed Chipotle chili flakes
1 TBS Lawry's Season Salt
1 medium pinch of sea salt
Fresh ground pepper - I add a good amount

Mix well all the ingredients with a fork or whisk

In a separate bowl, mix two eggs well, with 2 TBS of buttermilk

Dip the chicken pieces into the Bisquick mix, then in the egg mixture and repeat.
Once all the chicken is coated well, use a non-stick spray to cover the bottom.  Place all chicken pieces in dish and try not to allow them to touch.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter, pour over chicken and sprinkle with fresh  grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, turning once.  These too are great with the Kalamata sauce.

Fruit dip

2 Pkgs. Philadelphia Cream Cheese - room temperature
4 TBS fresh pineapple juice - may need a little more to get a thinner consistency
1/2 tsp of Madagascar Vanilla
Mix well, chill before serving

Serve with your favorite fresh fruit.  We will usually get the little bamboo sticks that have a knot at one end, to use for dipping, not expensive and when done, just throw them away.

Sopapillas with a Guava Sauce and Diced Mango

3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 cups warm milk (approximate)
Vegetable Oil enough for about 1" in a skillet for frying

In a large bowl, blend together the flour baking powder, and salt. With a pastry cutter, or just your hands, cut in the shortening.

Add the milk all at once, and mix the dough quickly with a fork or by hand until the dough forms a nice soft ball.  Not too sticky. 

Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and begin to knead the dough by folding it in half, pushing it down, and folding again. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap to let it rest for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Divide the dough in 1/2, keeping the 1/2 you are not working with covered with plastic wrap or a towel so it does not dry out. 

Roll the dough half you have chosen on a floured board with gentle strokes. Roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. The more you work the dough, the tougher your sopapilla will turn out. However, to keep a sopapilla well puffed after cooking, you may want to work the dough a minute or so longer.
Cut the dough into rectangles that are about 10-inch by 5-inch. Divide the triangle into a 5-inch squares, and then cut this into a triangle.  Do not attempt to reform and roll the leftover dough scraps. They do not roll out well on the second try. 

Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet or a deep fryer until the oil reaches about 400 degrees F. Carefully slide the first sopapilla into the hot oil. Submerge the sopapilla under the oil. It should begin to puff immediately

Using a slotted spoon, turn the sopapilla over to brown the other side.  Once both sides are browned, remove the sopapilla to a surface to drain (paper towels or a draining rack will both work).  Keep them wrapped in a warm towel until serving.  Want to be sure to eat while hot.

This is a good picture of a perfectly puffed Sopapilla  

 Guava Sauce with Diced Mango's

1 Cup guava puree
3 TBS guava juice

Mix thoroughly, until it become a nice texture for drizzling over the Sopapilla.

Now for the good part....you can do what you want here, but one way that my family loves, is either drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or chocolate sugar crystals and serve with French Vanilla Ice cream...another favorite is drizzle with the guava sauce, honey, and serve over vanilla Gelato and place the diced mango on the sauce that has dripped onto the plate....the flavor is unreal!  Enjoy!!!