Saturday, June 27, 2009


ok ok, i know my last post complained about the weather here in pachuca, but yesterday, it decided to surprise us and stay at a decent temperature all day, so to celebrate, I made barbeque chicken wraps, and a cool, refreshing salad.

barbeque sauce is totally easy to make. What i do is start with a base recipe, and then add more based on taste.

  • 1c ketchup
  • 3/4c water
  • 1/4c vinager (I used cider vinager)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1/2c diced onion
Simmer everything in a sauce pan for 20 minutes and voila. Of course you could leave it simmering longer to let the flavors mix more or you could leave it in the refrigerator over night before simmering.

gnocchi in tomato sauce.

Aaah, there's nothing better than a steaming plate of gnocchi on these...cold, rainy, windy JUNE afternoons. Wait what? ¨shouldnt it be hot outside?¨you ask. Well in most normal places the answer would be yes. But Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico is not normal.
We start the day in lovely Pahuca at about 89 degrees F at 10 am, and by 3 pm the temperature has dropped to about 50 and there's hail. needless to say, my fiance and I are constantly sick due to these drastic changes, so I ocassionally like to make stews, or casseroles, or other hot meals, like this gnocchi to keep us warm.gnocchi,pasta,tomato

Monday, June 22, 2009

oreo truffles

the oh-so-famous oreo truffles that probably everyone and their grandmothers have made. so its not original, but who cares? Its delicious. i was in charge of the main dish and dessert for father's day, and I really didnt want to make a pie or cake. i wanted something simple, yet tasty. These definitely fit the bill.

ahh yes, on to the lesson.
kitchen lesson #2: if you dont have a food processor or rolling pin and need to crush a package of cookies, find an empty vodka bottle and get your boyfriend to crush them.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

you learn something new everyday right?

that's why I have decided to bring a new concept to my blog. for every post, I will put a lesson that I learned that day in the kitchen.

so for lesson numero 1.

my boyfriend had no idea what gravy was. Here in mexico people dont really eat gravy. So, I decided to make a gravy with some fresh fennel that I found at the market. now, most people use fennel bulbs, or fennel stalks, but rarely do people use the fronds. this was my first time buying fennel and they only sold me the fronds, so i had no choice.

well, on to the lesson. in mixing the ingredients for the gravy, i left the whisk in the bowl and turned my back for one second. in that one second, the whisk managed to tip the bowl over and the liquid went EVERYWHERE. After i had just spent 2 hours cleaning my kitchen. So i had to start from scratch (but it was well worth it.)

Lesson #1: do NOT leave a whisk that is heaver than the flimsy bowl that holds the ingredients in the flimsy bowl that holds the ingredients. it WILL tip over and make a mess.porkchops,gravy,fennel
mustard coated porkchops and wild rice with fennel gravy

for the gravy:
(2-3 servings)

  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • palmful of fennel fronds, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • dash or two of worcstershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. mix all ingredients, except butter (yes, i mixed the flour in with liquid and did not stir it into the melted butter. and my recipe turned out fine)
  2. melt butter (preferably in the pan you cooked the chops in so can deglaze it)
  3. add liquid mixture to saucepan and stir. simmer on very low heat, stirring ocassionally until thickened (wont take long).
  4. serve over pork chops

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

tequila lime chicken fajita salad

whew...thats a mouthful. tequila,lime,chicken,fajita

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

apology pie

After arguing all weekend with your fiancé and you're finally ready to make the peace, this is what you do. You make a big hearty steak-n-potato apology pot pie. You load a pie crust up with tender meat, sliced potatoes, and lots of onions. Throw in a little zucchini for good measure and put a tiny heart made of dough in the center and voilà! You're forgiven! Works everytime.

pie, apology, pot pie

1pound sirloin cut in cubes (or you could use stew meat)
Flour (to lightly coat meat)
Salt and pepper (to season meat)
1-2 potatoes diced or thinly sliced, however you prefer
A handful of diced zucchini
1 medium onion, sliced
2 c beef stock
9 inch pie crust

Preheat oven to 400F.
In a bag mix flour, salt, and pepper.
Add meat and shake to coat.
Brown meat with onions. Add stock and lower heat.
Simmer for 30 min or until meat is tender.
Add potatoes and zucchini and simmer another 10 minutes.
Spoon everything into pie shell ( don't forget to put the little dough heart in the center
Bake 30 min or until crust is done.

This serves about four, unless you are like my boyfriend. Then it serves about 1 and a half.

calabazas with chile and lime

since i still had calabazas left over from making stuffed calabazas the other day, i decided to try them in a new way.
In Mexico many people put chili powder and lime juice on all kinds of raw vegetables...carrots, cucumber, jicama, etc. I had never eaten a raw calabaza before and thought this would be an excellent way to try it. boy was i right. my fiance devoured this! It was sooo refreshing because yesterday was ridiculously hot.

banana bread muffins

banana bread muffins. this recipe comes from my great grandmother from norway. its actually for a loaf of plain banana bread, but i decided to add cocoa powder ( because i was so excited that i finally found it here in mexico last week) and make muffins.

these were absolutely delicious. I had to give most of them to the kids i teach so i wouldnt eat them all.

grandma ronnies banana bread: (in italics are the changes i made)

  • 2 1/4 c flour (minus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp vinager
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 very ripe, cold bananas
  1. preheat oven to 375. mix milk and vinager and let sit at least 5 minutes
  2. cream butter and sugar.
  3. add eggs, milk, vanilla and bananas and mix (you will probably have a few banana chunks)
  4. mix dry ingredients (including cocoa powder) in a seperate bowl and slowly add to the banana mixture.
  5. pour in a loaf pan (or in this case, greased muffin tins.) for loaf bake for 1 hour, for muffins about 20-25 minutes.

peach chipotle salsa

Long time no blog. The cord to my Mac charger is completely fried so Im unable to charge my laptop, so i am writing this from my inlaws house.

now on to the important stuff. aka cumin encrusted porkchops with peach chipotle salsa.
this was really, really good. my botfriend, who isnt a huge fan of cumin (he says it reminds him of american food like chile's and tgi friday's and how it all tastes the same) even liked this.
the only thing is that you ahve to taste the peaches and teh lime juice first to make sure they arent too sour. i learned this the hard way and had to make a new batch of this salsa.

for the porkchops:
  1. coat pork chops lightly with olive oil
  2. season with salt and pepper and then rub with cumin
  3. pan fry or grill
for the salsa:
  1. dice 2 peaches and 2 tbsp chipotle peppers.
  2. mix with 1 tbsp (or more) lime juice
  3. season with sugar if too sour.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


These totopostes, which are very, very thin tortillas made of masa that has been finely ground, come from the town of San Andres Tuxtla, Veracruz, my mother-in-law's hometown. They taste exquisite with black beans seasond with epazote, cheese, and salsa. Too bad my boyfriend ate them before i could take a picture of the prepared totopostes.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

snickerdoo....well, crunchy cinnamon cookies.

I can not call these cookies snickerdoodles. They are not puffy nor do they have that crackled top that i love about my grandmother's snickerdoodles. No, these are flat and crunchy and, well, not snickerdoodley. Going through the list of ingredients before making this recipe, I knew these wouldnt turn out like I hoped. I believe it was because the lack of cream of tartar that the recipe called for. Here in Mexico, I have yet to find cream of tartar. or maybe it was jsut that i left them in the oven too long. ( i didnt make them for me, i made them for my inlaws, who dont like chewy cookies.) but at any rate these are not my fave cookies, although my FIL devours them.

  • 2 3/4c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1c butter
  • 1.5 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon and sugar for topping
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl.
  2. cream butter and sugar and add eggs in 1 at a time. add vanilla and beat in. beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  3. roll in balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet (I greased it anyways)
  4. dip the bottom of a glass in cinnamon and sugar mixture and press onto cookies to coat and flatten.
  5. bake at 4oo farenheit for 8-10 minutes
  6. give to father in laws that like crucnhy cookies.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A birthday pie post!

My fiance turned 26 the other day, and we had a dinner for him at his parents' house. I was put on pie duty and I decided to get a little creative.

Apple pie (that under the 26 is a clover-the name of my boyfriend's band)

blackberry pie

the birthday boy and I

here is the pie crust recipe. It's a very flaky butter crust. So simple and sooo good!

Blackberry pie filling:
  • 3.5 cups blackberries
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
Mix everything in a bowl and spoon into pie shell.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. (its as easy as that!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Post!

Well, this is my first post, but definitely not my first blog. I've had other food blogs that have fallen by the wayside, but I promise this one won't. I have decided that I will stick with this one.

So a little introduction is in order I suppose.

I'm Amber, I'm 21, and I live in Mexico. I'm engaged and cooking is my great passion. I hope you enjoy the recipes/pictures I post.

I've decided to bestow the honor of being the subject of the first post to these delectable quiches. As these pictures are about a month old, I am sad to say that I have lost the recipe, which is truly a shame because these were delicious! (I'll keep searching, and if I find it I'll be sure to post it.)

(portobello, onion, and spinach; poblano, red pepper, spinach and ham)