Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Date: Tortas + Raspados

One of my new favorite treats has been Raspados, also known as a snow cone, as it has been so HOT. It's a nice refreshing tasty treat that comes in an abundant of flavors that helps beat this summer heat! Another favorite bite to eat for Sam is tortas de pierna. So on one of our outings we enjoyed some ham sandwiches and, delicious snow cones, as well as a beautiful day besides the hot weather... I have to say Mexican food is absolutely one of my favorite cuisines, you can hardly go wrong and their are a ton of authentic dishes. Let alone their "fast food" is street tacos, fruit cups, and flavored waters like horchata

This Torta shop is a quaint little spot, but very popular. We had just sat down on some stools near the stove when somone right after us thankfully ordered several sandwiches to go. Notice all those buns, they make them as they are ordered, fresh. 

The hubby always has a huge smile on his face while eating this savory
packed with full fresh flavors of   the thigh of a pig, avocado, cheese, tomato,
and secret ingredient butter...

And for my favorite, Raspados-- 100% Natural!

Chamoyada de Tamarindo: Chile, Chmoy, &
Prunes and can be paired with any type of juice.

Coconut and Strawberries

Just looking at these pictures gets me craving a rico raspado, Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 30, 2012

French Toast Oatmeal

This is an equally delicious and decadent twist  on the classic french toast breakfast will satisfy any sweet tooth to start the morning off right and is also packed with nutrients from the oats, flax seed, and egg white. Not only is it healthy, but quick and perfect for any busy morning. I topped mine with a roasted banana, but feel free to use any fresh fruit you have on hand or simply leave it plain. 

French Toast Oatmeal: (serves 1)

1/3 cup oats
1/3 milk
2/3 water
1 tablespoon flax seed, ground
sprinkle of salt
1 egg white
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave

Add liquid to small pot over high heat until boiling. Lower heat and add oats. Allow to cook for a few minutes to absorb, about 5 minutes. Add ground flax seed and salt, stir. Once there is only a little liquid left, add egg white to oats, stirring immediately to incorporate throughout oats for about 30 seconds. Let cook for another 2 minutes to completely cook through egg. Add vanilla and cinnamon, stir. Pour oats into a bowl, top with syrup and fresh fruit if desired.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ham + Mushroom Calzone

Calzone is basically a folded pizza so you can stuff it with all your favorite pizza toppings & fit more! ;) 
For my calzones I simply used my basic flat bread recipe and it worked out perfectly. You could also make two large versions or 4 single servings, great in the freezer to so you can easily pop in the microwave for a quick satisfying meal. 
The possibilities for this dinner are limitless, pack it with your favorite combinations-- spinach, olives, pineapple, chicken & bbq sauce...

Ham + Mushroom Calzone: (serves 4)
1 batch of Basic Flat Bread or pizza dough
1/2 cup pasta/tomato sauce*
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 small onion
2 slices of ham, diced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cheese
dried basil
1 egg

Make a batch of the Basic Flat Bread recipe and divide into two pieces. Form into balls and then simply roll each out until about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. 
Lightly oil a skillet, place over medium heat and saute onions for a 1-2 minutes. Toss in mushrooms, ham, and garlic and cook for another couple minutes. Add in tomato sauce, mix and remove from heat. Add half of the mixture to each dough base, but only spreading ingredients on half leaving about 1/2 inch on the ends. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on each calzone. 
Fold the dough over mixture and press ends to seal the dough. Whisk egg in a bowl and brush each calzone with egg to give the outside a nice crust. Sprinkle with herbs if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven (I actually just used my toaster oven!) or until browned. Cut calzone in half and serve accompany with some vegetables.

I made a quick & easy pasta sauce as the canned kind are often loaded with unwanted sodium and sugars.

Dice several tomatoes and mix with garlic, jalapenos for spice, basil, and a pinch of salt and cook in a pot for 15 minutes until soft. For a chunky sauce, mash with a fork and for a smoother one simply use a blender. 

Make dough & divide into two.
Chop ingredients.
Saute ingredients. 
Add pasta sauce & combine.
Roll each calzone dough out over floured surface.
Add mixture to one side.
Add cheese.

Fold dough over mixture, press to seal calzone.
Brush outside with whisked egg.
Optional: Sprinkle w/ herbs.
Bake for 15-20 minutes @ 375F.
Cut in half & serve, yum!

Mocha Shake

Cool off with this easy and tasty treat, Mocha Shake, aka Mocha Frappuccino! These are much lighter than the average blended coffee drink and also lighter on your wallet. My trick is freezing leftover coffee in ice cube trays beforehand, so the base is already coffee flavored and not watered down. Add your favorite mix-ins to spice things up, like chocolate chips, crumbled oreos, coconut, whipped cream, etc. 

Mocha Shake: (serves 2)
2 cups coffee ice cubes
1 1/2 cup milk
3-4 tbsp Nesquick chocolate powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Freeze left over coffee in ice cube trays, store in a freezable bowl or tupper ware, keep in the freezer until ready to use. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, pulse until well combined and smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy  your nice cool treat. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Devotional of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I was receiving some daily devotionals presented by Bible Gateway and wanted to share this one in particular with you all, as it speaks of Christ's costly grace.

"Costly grace is the hidden treasure in the field, for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everything they have. It is the costly pearl for whose price the merchant sells all that he has; it is Christ's sovereignty, for the sake of which you tear out an eye if it causes you to stumble. It is the call of Jesus Christ which causes a disciple to leave his nets and follow him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock.
It is costly, because it calls to discipleship; it is grace, because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly, because it costs people their lives; it is grace, because it thereby makes them live. It is costly, because it condemns sin; it is grace, because it justifies the sinner. Above all, grace is costly, because it was costly to God, because it cost God the life of God's Son․"you were bought with a price"․and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God. Above all, it is grace because the life of God's Son was not too costly for God to give in order to make us live...
Grace is costly, because it forces people under the yoke of following Jesus Christ; it is grace when Jesus says, 'My yoke is easy, and my burden is light' Matthew 11:30."

So looking at your own life, are you following Christ with a costly grace, or simply just believing, like a cheap grace? Be thankful for the costly grace that Christ so generously laid down His life for us sinners, in which that we may become disciples of God.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coconut Chia Pudding

Use chia seeds to make an easy and healthy form of pudding, all in which tastes delicious and requires no cooking. Similar to that of  tapioca texture, but doesn't really have a taste and therefore is perfect to combine with any desired flavors or add them in baked goods, on top of salads, in smoothies or cereals... really the possibilities are endless, I love chia seeds-- an excellent source of omega fatty acids and full of minerals, vitamins, fiber and protein. And when this little seed is soaked in liquid, it expands up to 12 times its own weight, being sure to keep you full. You could easily adjust this to your preferences using whichever fruits of milk of your choice, bon apetit!

Coconut Chia Pudding: (serves 2)
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tbs unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut milk
1 water (or more milk)
1tbps sweetener*
toasted coconut flakes

Place all the ingredients together in a tupper ware or bowl, mix, and cover overnight or at least a couple hours in the fridge. Toast some coconut if desired and sprinkle on top.

*I actually didn't use any sweetener, but most people would probably suggest it, so try it before you add any sugars just in case ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chia Fresca Limonada

This refreshing and nutrient dense drink will surely satisfy those thirsty taste buds. This fresca is an easy and delightful mix that is often served here in Mexico so I thought why not make it home.

Chia Fresca Limonada:
1/2 gallon water
1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4-1/2 cup sugar

Combine all the ingredients into a pitcher and mix. Chia seeds will sink to the bottom, so just give it s whirl before serving.
Note: chia seeds expand as they soak in liquid, they will become gel like.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kettle Corn

I love kettle corn when you buy it from the fairs or local vender, but honestly I deeply dislike how expensive it is, when in reality it only costs probably a couple cents to make it. And I have tried the microwave version and was very disappointed, plus I hate all the chemicals. So I finally came to the conclusion to try it at home of course and found it to be so easy, quick, and delicious! Although watch out,as it's become the common go-to movie snack treat ;) This stuff is seriously so addicting-- its sweet & salty combination. Also, you can also make this into a caramel corn by simply using brown sugar in replace of white. Which I actually enjoy more, but I ran out of it and its surprisingly a little more expensive down here.

Kettle Corn: (serves 2-4)
1/2 cup kernels
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar

First, find a very large pot with a lid and place over stove top on high. Pour oil in pot and swirl it to cover the bottom. Place a few kernels into the pot and wait until the oil becomes hot enough and a kernel pops. Once this happens you know the oil is ready and pour remaining kernels in and cover with lid. Swish the pot around using oven mitts or kitchen towel. As the kernels pop (which its so fun) every few seconds shake the pot with the lid on to keep the kernels moving using mitts or towel still. Once you stop hearing the popping (about 1-2 minutes), go ahead and lower heat and remove pan from stove. Pour sugar into pot over popcorn. Shake the pot once more and place it back on the stove. Let the sugar melt for a few seconds (30sec-1 minute), shaking a couple times. Remove from heat and turn stove off. Take a wooden spoon and stir the popcorn as most likely the sugar has melted on the bottom of pan, coat the popcorn as you stir. Note: Do not try and lick the spoon, as the sugar will be very hot! Sprinkle with salt and serve into individual bowls or 1 large bowl to share and enjoy! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cilantro Pepita Pesto and Spiced Stuffed Chicken

This stuffed chicken was phenomenal! It started out with just an idea and snowballed into this delicious savory and flavor-filled entree. The Accompany it alongside some pesto potatoes, salad, or roasted vegetables and you will have a complete healthy  and very satisfying meal. In fact, the husband requested it again for lunch the next day :)
The pesto sauce alone is delicious and can be used for a number of dishes, pairing it with shrimp, pasta, sandwiches, pizza, you name it. 

Stuffed Chicken: (serves 2)
2 chicken breast
1 cheese slice, cut in half
1 cup spinach
1/2 mushrooms
1-2 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp Cilantro Lime Pepita Pesto

Chicken Marinade:
generous dash of paprika
1-2 tsp olive oil
pinch of garlic salt
1 lime, juiced

Cilantro Pepita Pesto:
2 cups packed fresh cilantro, rinsed & stem removed
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 olive oil
1 serrano pepper, seeded (leave in for more heat if you prefer) & chopped
1 tbs lime juice
pinch of salt

First, make marinade by combining all ingredients together in a bag or tupper ware. Remove any fat from the chicken breast and place in the bag and cover with marinade. Let rest for at least 20 minutes in the marinade.
Next, begin making the pesto sauce. Prepare the ingredients as needed. Pulse pepita seeds first until form crumbles but not powder. Then combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Note: in a blender, you may need to scrape the sides.
Once the chicken is done marinading, preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken breasts until slightly cooked on both sides, about 5-10 minutes total. Remove from skillet & set aside. Add a little olive oil if necessary to the pan and toss in mushrooms and garlic, cook for about 3 minutes. Slice the chicken breast along the side, but being careful not to slice all the way through leaving a slit or pocket to stuff.
Now assemble to stuff the chicken breast, begin with 1/2 mushroom & garlic mixture, then 1/2 cup spinach, cilantro, and lastly 1/2 slice of cheese on top. Squish it all in there as it will hardly fit, but will cook down once in the oven. Place in the oven to cook for another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through.
To serve, top with Cilantro Pepita Pesto and sprinkle with pepita seeds. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Coconut Cluster Granola

The Starbucks of La Paz finally opened about two weeks ago after much anticipation and it has been such a treat, I have missed it-- and am really considering working there again, just in a different country! :) It's has been real popular among the city as the line is usually out the door in the evenings and the frappuccinos are the most popular drink. 
Well moving on to our featured recipe today, Coconut Cluster Granola. I have been enjoying my homemade coconut milk in several different recipes. And have made many batches of granola, but this has been my favorite variation so far-- fresh and all natural! I tried a new method of soaking the oats overnight in coconut milk which created more clumps and then added bits of fresh coconut flesh, but you could use regular coconut flakes as well. Another bonus is that this has NO ADDED SUGAR, so it's definitely less sweet than the store bought, but I prefer it that way and has no oils. I like to eat my granola in a number of ways, but since I had some coconut milk, what better way to eat it then like cereal with bananas or any fruit.

Coconut Cluster Granola: 
3 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup sunflower seeds unsalted
1/4 pepitas
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup flax seed 
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place oats in a bowl with coconut milk, water, and cinnamon. Mix together until oats are covered and liquid is spread among oats. Place in the fridge and let sit overnight.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Place mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, mixing after 10 minutes. Pulse flax seeds in a blender, until fine. Add remaining ingredients, including flax meal, in the now empty bowl. Remove the oats from the oven and toss into the mixture, mixing well. Pour mixture on baking sheet again and let bake for another 20 minutes or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes. Store in an air-tight container and enjoy!

Combine oats, coconut milk, water, and cinnamon, & let sit overnight.
Place on baking sheet in bake in preheated oven 400F for 20 minutes. 
Combine all the ingredients.
Pour onto baking sheet, bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.

And enjoy as a cereal, a top of yogurt, over fruit like a cobbler, or just plan as a snack.

Friday, July 13, 2012

(Lazy) Sushi Rice Bowl

Feeling lazy or short on time yet craving some sushi, well this is  a perfect quick-fix. Simply just make some sushi-su rice, recipe here, by maybe even using some leftover rice, and then add-in whatever mix-ins your prefer, combine, and viola you have a delicious sushi bowl ready for consuming. I always like to do this too when I have left overs from making sushi and just combine it for leftovers for lunch the next day-- its perfect!  You can add whatever you like, chicken, beef, fish, asparagus, radishes, edamame-- really whatever you have on hand. 

(Lazy) Sushi Bowl:
Brown Rice
Sushi-su mix
Avocado, sliced
carrots, diced
cucumber diced
nori sheet, sliced
spinach, sliced
sesame seeds

Combine cooked brown rice with Sushi-su mix. Add in desired mix-ins, serve with sesame seeds, soy sauce, and/or siracha sauce. Enjoy!

Have a very blessed weekend & I hope you are enjoying summer :) I ended up teaching a summer school course, so I had a mini-vacation while we had visitors & now teaching a kindergarten summer class-- just teaching them the basics like ABC's, shapes, and lots of vocabulary.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wrap-up with our Beloved Guests

Our very dear friends, Monica and her son Mark, came down for a visit. We had such an incredible time of relaxing, having fun, enjoying one another's company of such sweet fellowship , and had some really encouraging and great conversations. We also ate our hearts out, went to the cinema, church, and went to the new and very first Starbucks of La Paz. As you can imagine we were really sad to see them return home yesterday, but we were so blessed to have them visit even during this hot weather ;) Here is a peek into their trip-- we miss them a ton already!

 Trip to El Triunfo

 Street Tacos, Stuffed Potatoes, & Charro Beans @ Super Burro

Telcolote & Balandra Beach


 Long walks along the Malecon

 Bismarc Sea food Restaurant

Misc. Photos:

We truly were beyond blessed to have them come and visit with us and cherish these sweet new memories and wise words. Thanks Monica! and we love you guys a ton!