Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

{ Challenge 12 : Recipe 18/100 }
Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

{ Image from }
Was browsing through television one day and got hooked on Bravo TV's, Top Chef: Just Desserts. The episode I watched was from season one, episode three. The contestants were divided in two groups to compete for a school's bake sale - one group represented the Glee Club, and the other represented the Cheer-leading Squad. One recipe caught my attention - Erica Davis's - Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie. I just had to make it. Click on the picture above for the recipe.

The first time I made this recipe it turned out dry since I left it in the oven too long. The second time around, it was a lot softer. I didn't have a cookie scoop so I flattened the batter in a cookie sheet and then cut it in squares once cooked.

The cookie is absolutely yummy. It has a different flavor out of the ordinary chocolate chip cookie. I'll probably cook this again when there is a big event. YUM!!!

There's only one caveat, it's difficult to stop eating these delicious cookies.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mariquitas-Plantain Chips

{ Challenge 12 : Recipe 17/100 }
Mariquitas-Plantain Chips

My brother, Izzy, came over yesterday and showed me how to cook an excellent appetizer, Mariquitas-Plantain Chips. This recipe is his own version of the Mariquitas-Plantain Chips we ordered from the Little Havana Restaurant during our trip to Miami last year. It's extremely delicious but must be served within 15 minutes of cooking. Very easy to make. See the recipe below.

Mariquitas-Plantain Chips
By Izzy

2 unripe plantain bananas
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tbs olive oil or butter
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp lime juice
salt to taste


Peel the plantain bananas. The easiest way to peel is to cut both ends off
and then make a vertical incision from the top of the banana to the bottom. Peel.

Using a peeler, peel the banana from top to bottom.

The peeled plantains should look like this.

In a deep medium pot, deep fry the bananas until golden. The consistency should be crispy but not burned.
Do not  put too many in so that they won't stick together.

Here is a crumpled one just out of the fryer. Still very good.

Sauce Mix:
You can either use an olive oil base or a butter base. We used olive oil.
In a small container combine the olive oil, garlic, and lime juice. Mix.
Drizzle  sauce over the plantain chips. Mix the plantain chips and drizzle more sauce to it.
Salt as desired.

Serve and ENJOY!
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Friday, August 26, 2011

All The Way From Morocco
Moroccan Chicken Drumsticks

Vicariously traveled to Morocco and learned a recipe.

{ Challenge #12 : Recipe 16/100 }
Moroccan Chicken Drumsticks

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean we head over to north of Africa to an exotic country, The Kingdom of Morocco. Morocco is known for (but not limited to) its music, history, beautiful scenery, Casablanca, and most importantly... food.

I usually come up with my next recipe adventure while working out. For some reason Morocco came to mind so I did a search for a five star recipe and came up with the Moroccan Chicken Drumsticks. First of all, I just want to say that this recipe is phenomenal. It's nothing I've ever tasted in my whole entire life and the chicken is absolutely juicy. The sauce is... mouth watering. Once again the husband came home to a home cooked dinner and was indeed pleased by giving my cooking five stars. And might I add, it was superb!! This recipe is one of the best I've ever cooked in a while.

Moroccan Chicken Drumsticks 
By Alia

{ Image and video by Alia }
  • 5 chicken drumsticks (skinned)
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

  1. Add the cooking oil, onion, chicken, garlic, and spices in your cooking pan. Cover the cooking pan and let all the ingredients cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.

  2. After 5 minutes, add 1 cup of water to the chicken. Cover your pan and let the drumsticks cook for 30 minutes. Stir from time to time.

  3. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the sauce. Keep the sauce as we are going to present it with the chicken at the end.

  4. Heat the frying oil in a flat pan.

  5. Beat the egg. Dip the chicken drumsticks in the egg, then coat them with bread crumbs.

  6. Fry the chicken drumsticks on every side until golden brown. Use paper towel to remove excess oil when done.

  7. Serving:Serve the chicken drumsticks immediatly with the onion sauce in the side. Enjoy!
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{ Papa with Colette at her Vet's appointment : 12 lbs. }
{ Click picture to enlarge }

Colette, aka Hot Mess, had her annual vets appointment this past Wednesday. We literally have never seen her nervous in her whole entire life. Little Miss Perky was shaking like there was no tomorrow. According to her vet, everything looked great. Coletti also got blood drawn to check for heart-worm, which came out negative. Overall a very healthy girl. Once we arrived home, it was as if nothing happened and she was back to being her sweet, hyper, happy-go-lucky little self. She is so precious. Gotta love our Hot Mess.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Afternoon Delight:
Carrot Cake

{ Challenge #12 : Recipe 15/100 }
Corner Piece

I didn't expect to bake anything today until I looked in our fridge and saw some carrots that had been abandoned for a week - then I looked in the pantry and saw that I had all the ingredients necessary to make an amazing carrot cake.

The recipe is below but instead of using 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil, I used 1 cup of oil and 1/4 cup apple sauce. Another alteration I made was the amount of sugar. Instead of mixing in 2 cups of sugar, I put in 1 and 3/4 cups. I'm not too fond of super sweet cakes... plus the icing would take the sweetness over the top. The cake still turned out wonderful. The husband cherished every bite. 

Carrot Cake
{ By Tami Elliot }


4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

 To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#12 - Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

Today's dish is a cabbage side from Ethiopia. Someday I'd like to travel there to learn of their culture and culinary.  This recipe is delicious, healthy, and easy to make.

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 5 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the carrots and onion in the hot oil about 5 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, and cabbage and cook another 15 to 20 minutes. 
  3. Add the potatoes; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

#12 - Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

These cookies are so darn delicious. I tried to follow a recipe but ended up making my own since the required ingredients were absent from my pantry. Sometimes impromptu replacement ingredients work better. Anyway, Dre's eyes lit up when he saw me take these out of the oven, so I made him a plate with skim milk. I love that he loves my cooking.

Oatmeal Coconut Cookies
(Makes 4 dozen)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soad
  • 1 teaspoon ground pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups quick or old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  1. Heat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Add combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin and salt; mix well.
  4. Add oats and coconut; mix will.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
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How To Properly Boil Eggs
And Etcetera

{ Click on picture to maximize }

Yesterday I went treasure hunting at consignment stores looking for anything vintage that would add value to my life and simultaneously allow me to appreciate history. I love going to second hand stores and antique stores for this sole purpose because most of the items sold are pure treasures. But nonetheless, I have been searching high and low for Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook that was published in 1961. Sure there are copies available for purchase online ranging from $9 - $200 but I wanted to leaf through the pages first before deciding to purchase. Instead I found a more vintage Betty Crocker cookbook published in 1956:

This cookbook is a gem! I love the way the pages smell. It also has many entries filled with advice, tips, proper etiquette, how to's, meaning of terms, how to properly freeze meats, how to properly set a table, meal planning, and a ton of other things that I find highly entertaining that only grandmothers know about that I've never learned. For instance, I never properly knew how to boil eggs until yesterday. Our boiled eggs usually turn out too hard and difficult to peel. It's such an awesome cookbook because it teaches one to make things from scratch, not out of a box. I spent a good hour and a half leafing through its pages, yet I still missed a ton of stuff... still I learned so much from it.

Below are fun pages from the cookbook. In the future, I will post recipes from it as well.

I believe cooking, food, and recipes back then were so much better and wholesome than today's. It also has that warm, grandmother cooked, home made feel that I've been searching for my whole life. What a treasure.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to Walnut Grove
In Black And White

Some pictures are better displayed in black and white. Yesterday we visited Walnut Grove Pioneer Village once more for its "Come Alive" event with our friends, the Aquino family. People were dressed in costume and reenactments based on the 1890's prairie were prevalent throughout the day. I wish I could go back in time just to experience how life was back then. Nonetheless, we all had a great time. It was fun to watch Dre interact with little Elian and Nahel. They definitely help get him ready for fatherhood someday.

We went to an old fashioned ice cream parlor. It was hot so ice cream was perfect to
cool us down a bit. Here's little Nahel eating his vanilla cone.

Here is Elian with his Vanilla Sugar Cone. He was content and happy.

This little girl was part of the reenactment team.
She followed the boys and wanted to become friends with them. They're all so cute.

At a pow-wow

A skinned wolf on display.

Back in the day, the Indians wore animal skin/fur to keep warm.
Here is Elian trying on the wolf skin.

Adorable Nahel with the wolf's clothing.

Little Nahel crawling like a wolf.
Too cute.

Nahel and his mama, Nahira.

Elian with his papa, Gabrielle
We took a group photo that sadly turned out blurred with our manual digital SLR.
It's times like these that I wish we brought the automatic lens. I might have to ask my
brother for the picture from his point and shoot.
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