Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday morning!

Every Sunday morning we have the same breakfast, is a tradition a fried egg and bologna beagle;  I put all the toppings  on the table and is like subway make your own from different cheeses to tomato and olives, my husband came out with a very tasty combination ones, it was fried egg bologna roasted red pepper and provolone cheese it was very good so I tell you make your Sunday morning breakfast more fun and you will probably stay seated on the table until lunch time!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A windy day..

Is windy here today in usually sunny southern California the day started gloomy then sunny around noon and it just got really windy now at night, I got some keep up to do with my shows and other home shores so today all that is for dinner is Corn Flakes like the ones my mama used to give me on a rainy day back home with hot milk and honey! I love my mama.....   I encourage you to get a cozy blanket and get comfy eating something your mom used to give you when you were a child it feel so good :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fried egg grilled cheese sandwich

My all time favorite American food is a well done and crisp grilled cheese sandwich.  But this time I gave it a twist I use provolone cheese and put a fried egg in it, it was tasty but is better when you use American cheese!  I will have to say that the egg part was a good addition, so I tried it again with American cheese and it was glorious!!!!  And remember if you want an even and buttery and crispy crust butter the out side of the sandwich all over the bread and use a medium high flame and make sure that your pan in very hot.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Creamy Pasta

Today was a normal day, lots to do! and very little sleep last night I'm felling a little run down huff... So I try to cook something that its easy,  all I thought of doing is pasta! Isn't funny how every time you try to cook something that is fast but filling you end up cooking pasta in any way possible, well at least I do, it's just fast cooking stuff.  So I started with my basics:

a box of thin spaghetti
10 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch square 
8 oz. sour cream
3 tbs of butter
1/2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
5 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon on a pan until crisp you could also cook it in the oven at 375dg for 8 to 10 min.
Cook your pasta on a large pot of boiling water.
On a large skillet melt the butter and saute the garlic just to flavor the butter take garlic out before burning, add the sour cream and the cooked bacon add the spices and the pasta mix well, serve and top with roasted onions or chopped parsley.
On a large skillet at low medium heat melt the butter add the whole garlic and saute until garlic changes color to a little translucent, take the garlic out and add  the sour cream, bacon,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2 de Noviembre Dia de los Muertos.

Every year in November 2dn back home (Guatemala) we celebrate El Dia de los Muertos. Celebrate the life they had the opportunity of being next to them and being part of their journey in this world, we also hope to see them again when we reunite in the other life! Fiambre is the tradicional dish for this celebration is a combination of different meats and sausages on a bed of vegetables and cheese. It taste delicious I will share the recipe later when my mom passes it on to me!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Halloween Party!

Today I walk into my kitchen and found a note that said " Dear madame tonight we are all dressed up to go out, stove is trowing a Halloween party and we've decided to attend thank you for understanding sincerely Pots and Pans" .  So my husband a I decided to treat our selves to a dinner out, we went to the Cheese cake Factory I love the Chinese Chicken Salad that they serve and my husband had Herb Crust Salmon with Green Veggies, it was delicious.  And as we seat there I see the coming in and out of the servers from the kitchen and I can only imagine the rush that all the cooks must be going trough in there never the less the chef that has to make sure that every dish that comes out is perfectly proportioned and plated to the little detail, so today I say thank you to all the chefs that work on a restaurant kitchen, thank you for your awesome job, and I hope to be like you when I grow up!

Chinese Chicken Salad

Herb crust salmon with Green Veggies 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Exciting Day, today!

My lovely friends today I join the Jamie Oliver's blogs and forums, I am very much sooo... excited to participate in such a big website and specially with such a big talent like Jamie's the man that is taking America on an healthy road he is revolutionizing the way kids eat in this country, because kids are the future and we all want a healthy future! So today is a very important day for Monica's cooking Diary!!! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Empanaditas de manzana

I wanted to make good to someone very especial to me, with something that she had been craving apple pie! and in the middle of starting my jurney to apple pie land I thought what about if I can make something like apple pie but not quite as big!? So I wander around the house while doing my shores I keep thinking on how to? how to? and then I remember this guy that used to sell empanaditas back home (Guatemala) every day like at 5 pm. Just when it wasn't time for dinner yet but you were starting to get hungry the sun was sleeping away and the dark started to set in the horizon when you walk the streets you can see all the old people sitting in their porch seeping on coffee and the ladies catching up on the gossip of the day just in time you can see this guy on a bicycle with a huge basket covered with fabric attached to the front and he used to say really loud "Empanaditas, quieren sus empanaditas de leche de pina y pan de coco" turnovers, Do you want turnovers with milk, pineapple and I have coconut bread too! ( google translate is telling me that turnover is the word for empanaditas so thank you google) people especially the kids will buy all the time.  So then it hit me empanaditas de manzana! And this is my plan:

Start with.

1 large or 2 medium Gala apples
1 tsp of lemon juice
4 tbsp Unsalted butter
4 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp raisins
a hand full of walnuts crushed to small pieces
a box of frozen puff pastry
flour for dusting

pre-heat the oven at 375 dg.
On a pan melt the butter on low-medium heat try not to burn it, peel and take the center out of the apple slice it real thin if you leave it chunky the empanadita will look lumpy, add the lemon to the sliced apple and mix to cover all, add the apples to the alredy melted butter also add the sugar, walnuts raise the heat to medium-high and stir for about 5 min until you see that the apples are very tender and the sugar has disolved add the raisin at last and stir for another minute or two, take of the heat and set a side to cool down, (don't let cool completely or the syrup will get hard)
On a floured surface roll the dough to get a thinner layer cut 5 round of each pastry sheet with a round pastry cutter add the apple mixture and with a fork pinch the edges to seal, poke the empanada with the fork to create a vent, repeat with the rest of apple mixture and pastry dough.  put parchment paper on a baking tray arrange all the empanaditas and then dip your pastry brush in the left over syrup in the pan and gently brush each empanadita bake for 30 min for a golden crust sprinkle with confectioner sugar and serve! you may companion them with hot milk.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pasta and Meatballs!

I believe that all food is good food as long as you cook it right and that applies to frozen food too, I went to Ikea the other day and discover that they have a little food shop I bought some frozen meatballs I never cooked with frozen meatballs before, every time I thought of buying frozen food, made me think that Gordon Ramsay was going to come down on a cloud and look at me straight in the eye and say shame on you, you can easily make some delicious meatballs from scratch you lazy F*^$%, so today I say no more Gordon no more! not every one has the time to make meatballs from scratch and the Ikea ones are delicious too!!

2 1/2 lbs frozen meatballs
3 cups of spaghetti rigatti
1 green bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 small red onions
1 medium to small broccoli
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 tea spoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil
Parmesan cheese

Cook the meatballs as directed in the package, cook the pasta Al-dente.
cut the tomato and broccoli into bite pieces, slice the onion and bell peppers.
On a large skillet saute the vegetables in this order add 2 tbsp canola oil and add the onion saute for 2 min, the bell peppers saute another 2 min, the tomato and broccoli saute another 5 min, add the add the oregano, salt and pepper to taste the at last add the meatballs and pasta mix all very well serve and sprinkle with  Parmesan cheese.

In your face Gordon! But I do appreciate what you have to contribute to the culinary world :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I'm Back!!!

A couple of months ago I had a accident that left me with a broken thumb and half a nail chopped of! it was bad for those who fallow me on facebook might remember! it all happen when I was trying to rescue one of my adopted  dogs Pepper boy a 13 yrs old Dalmatian we where at the dog park on a sunny afternoon he was running around with his two girlfriends Dotsie and Bean out of the nowhere this black dog jumped and starting fighting pepper he had him in a lock around his neck I panic and my instinct kicked in my only reaction was to hit this other dog that was causing so much hurt and pain to Pepper I was trying by best and fallowing the commotion as in a moment I felt something stop me and I couldn't  move I turned around to look and it was this dogs friend that was probably upset that I was hitting his friend he had me by my thumb and it wouldn't let go I pulled my hand as hard a I could and finally got away to get Pepper out of trouble finally this other dog let go of Pepper and we both started to notice our injuries it was a bad day for both Pepper boy and I.   And for all of those that had the guts to mention, why did I put my hand in the middle of a dog fight? I will say it like this, when there is something that you care about very deeply and you see it getting hurt your first human instinct is to HELP if you don't feel that way you're just not human enough.  So now almost 3 months after, we all are alright my thumb is getting better and I can't wait to get back in my kitchen and clear the dust off my stove! 

Pepper boy
(L to R) Pepper boy, Bean, Dotsie.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pancetta and Tomato pie

Last week I got my Food Network Magazine, witch I love and on the cover is a photo of a tomato pie it looks delicious, I really like this magazine I have tried other very popular ones like gourmet and bon-appetite, what I don't like about them is that I'm reading a recipe or a article and in the middle of my reading an  ad for the all new a renovated Mercedes Benz with all wheel drive, leather interior and self parking technology!, pops out.  If I wanted to know about that I will most likely steal one of my husband's magazines., don't get me wrong most of the recipes are delicious too!.  I decided to stay with one and that one is the Food Net. one I like the tips from the cooks and chefs and that it has lots of recipes you can actually plan a whole dinner party out of one single magazine!
this is how the one on the magazine looks like.
Well I love tomatoes and I love meat so I added some extras to the recipe!

Pancetta and Tomato Pie

1 pie crust or make you own
5 heirloom tomatoes
4 tbsp chopped chives
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tbsp mayo
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup pancetta
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella

 this is the one I made! yum yum!!!

Pre-heat oven at 375 Dg. On a skillet add 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions until translucent transfer to a plate and let them cool to the already heated skillet add the pancetta and cook until crispy and let cool over a paper towel to absorb all the extra fat, slice the tomatoes about half an inch thin, on a bowl add the mayo, onions, 3 tbsp chives and the pancetta mix well and spread over the prepare pie crust arrange the tomatoes slices on top with the mozzarella drizzle with the rest of olive oil and season with salt and pepper, cook in the oven for 45 min or until tomatoes look cooked then sprinkle with the rest of the chives and serve!

Monday, June 13, 2011

3rd cooking class

A cook not only has to be skilled but also creative and spontaneous and always be ready for the challenge or if disaster happens! always need to have an exit strategy or a back up plan.   Today we have our monthly cooking class with the girls and it was challenge like class.  I came out with all this random ingredients and they had 3 hours to cook what ever they can! A little CHOPPED style class and this are the ingredients:

Boneless skinless chicken breast, bacon, heavy cream, provolone cheese, roma tomatoes, red and yellow onions, potatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, flour, spinach, basil, dill, cuscus and the spice rack.

and this is what they came out with.

Bacon rap chicken.
Stuffed chicken breast with spinach provolone cheese and mushrooms.
cream sauce chicken breast.
chicken strips.
caramelized red onions with mushrooms.
potatoes with spinach and turmeric.
dill mashed potatoes.
bacon rapped asparagus.     
sweet raisin cuscus.

This was there face after I gave them the news about today's class.

But they did great the food came out very tasty.

Until next time girls!!!.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweet Monkey Bread

I have been away from my kitchen for a couple of weeks now, but I'm back in action! I'm usually the type of person that gives a lot of importance to the expiration day on things but over the years and the hard economy I have learned that if is expired and smells bad it will go in the trash but if still smells good it wont hurt my tummy and it will make my wallet happy so is a win win... today I discover in the back of my fridge to cans of buttermilk biscuits so I decided to make some monkey bread, half of the recipe I got from the web and the other half I just decided to play with. so here it goes my half monkey bread.

Sweet Monkey Bread

  • 2 (7.5 ounce) packages refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup original syrup
  • 1/2 cup of golden raisins 

Cut each biscuit into quarters. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Dip biscuits in butter, then roll in sugar mixture. Layer half the biscuits in a 10-in. fluted pan; sprinkle with half the nuts and raisins. Repeat layers. Pour syrup over top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

 and you can always, always add ice cream!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Red hot Lentil Soup

This one is for you girls I will be waiting for your pictures and feed back...

Red Hot Lentil Soup

2 cups of red lentils
1 small leek
1 small carrot
1 small onion
1 celery stalk
1 red jalapeno
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can chicken stock
2 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
for garnish: green onions, mint and Parmesan cheese

Chop the leek, carrot, onion, celery, jalapeno and garlic. On high heat put a soup pot or pan and add the olive oil and in this order add onion. carrots and celery stir for a minute then add the leek, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper stir for another minute or two add the lentils, thyme, red pepper flakes, ginger and saute for another 2 min add the chicken stock, water and more salt and pepper if need it, bring to a boil and lower the heat cook for another 6 to 8 min until lentils are tender. Serve and garnish with the green onions (the green part only) mint and Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blueberry plum crumble with a nutty surprise

My cravings for plum blueberry crumble had not settle just yet, so I decided to put it to an end once and for all; well at least for now!.


8 Plums pitted and slice
3 cups of frozen blueberries
1 tbsp frangelico liqueur
1/2 cup of water 
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 pack of graham crackers
1 1/2 cups of roasted pecans

Start by heating you oven at 375 dg.
Place the plums and blueberries in a large sauce pan over high heat add the water, 1 cup of the sugar and frangelico liqueur mix well and bring to a boil take off the heat right after starts boiling, mean while add the graham crackers to a food processor with the sugar and pulse until you have a powder looking mixture add the butter and pecans and pulse for 3 to 4 times just enough to break the pecans and mix the butter.

 Place the plums and blueberries mixture in a oven proof dish and add only 1 cup of the plums and blueberries juice, top with the graham cracker mixture and cover all around bake in the oven for about 19 min or until the crumble looks brown and a little hard. serve warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!! yum yum..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Classic Roast Chicken, Mash Potatoes and Flash Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

This Sunday I was cat sitting for a very nice lady at the marina the weather was great and we had a beautiful view of the ocean, our class was great and the food is getting better by class.

Classic Roast Chicken

1 chicken about 4 ½ to 5 lbs
Extra virgin olive oil for coating
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
½ small onion cut into chunks
4 to 5 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
4 fresh thyme sprigs

If the giblets and neck are in the chicken cavity, remove them and reserve for another use or discard. Remove and discard any pockets of fat from the cavity. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Brush or rub the chicken all over with olive oil, season inside out with salt and pepper. Place the onion, parsley and thyme in the cavity. Tuck the wing under the back tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Oil a v- shaped roasting rack and place it n a roasting pan just large enough to hold the chicken.  Place the chicken on the rack and allow it to stand at room temperature for 30 min. position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 500 dg.

Roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone registers 170 dg to 175 dg  50 to 60 min.

Remove the pan from the oven. With a pair of thongs carefully drain the liquid from the bird into the pan. Transfer chicken to a carving boar or a serving dish remove the string and tent with foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 min.

Discard the contents from the cavity, then carve the chicken 

Mash potatoes

4 lbs/ 5 to 6 Russell potatoes
1 ½ cups milk
½ stick of butter room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel the potatoes and cut into equal sizes, put them in a put big enough for them to have room fill with water about an inch above the potatoes and cook until they are tender to the fork.

Drain the potatoes and put them back into the pot with the butter, mash them with a potato masher or the bottom of a clean water glass,
add the milk, salt and pepper to taste. Serve or keep warm until serving time. 

Flash roasted cherry tomatoes

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tbsp thinly sliced shallots
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup of sliced green onions including tender green tops
1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450 dg.

Combine the tomatoes and shallot in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the tomatoes in a dingle layer.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then drizzle evenly with the olive oil and stir to coat.  Spread the tomatoes out evenly.

Roast the tomatoes, stirring once, for 10 min. gently stir in the green onions, basil, and vinegar. Continue to roast until they are softened but still hold their shape, about 5 min longer.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and transfer the tomatoes to a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Easy Mediterranean Cold Pizza!!

I stopped at the farmers market on culver city today, I been wanted to stop since I noticed it 2 years ago!! the vegetables and fruits there are unbelievably FRESH.  All the colors and aromas just scream eat me, please!!! I originally stop to get plums and blueberries for a crumble tart that I been craving for days now, but I walk out with bread and hummus cheese and other  vegs and fruits and no; no plums or blueberries!! so I get home and I'm starving I had a lot of work today and did include time for lunch, so in a nick of a time this is what I put together.

Easy Mediterranean cold pizza.

1 Greek flat pita bread
2 tbsp of garlic hummus
2 tbsp of taboulie
1 tbsp of crumbled feta with Mediterranean herves
 truffle oil or olive oil

Spread the hummus all around the pita bread don't forget the edges, add the taboulie all around and then sprinkle with the feta finish with a drizzle of truffle oil or olive oil.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

carnitas my way! or if you have a better name let me know?

My mom loves to grocery shopping at a little latino market on Alvarado st. I walk in there and the smell of cartinas was all around the place, while I was walking through the corridors waiting for my mom to decide between 8 oz. can of coconut milk for $1.00 and a 16 oz. can of the same for $1.89, the only thing in my head was carnitas!!! I love it, is my favorite meat and the best way to eat its on tacos and I tough hum? it will be interesting to know how does carnitas taste out of its shell, then like a lightning stroke into my brain lets make some sort of casserole; I now when I give some to my mom to taste she will probably be mad and most likely say "what are you thinking! carnitas are only for tacos and tacos only!" but after the first bite she will forgive me, let's hope. so I bought 2 lbs of carnitas and on the way home came out with this I'm not really sure how to call it, so I will take some suggestions.

2 lbs carnitas, 1 jalapeno ( seeded and finely chopped), 2 Roma tomatoes (roughly chopped), 1 small onion (finely chopped), 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 8 oz tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, 8 medium size flour tortillas, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 stick of butter (cut into little pieces), 1/2 cup or more of sheered mozzarella, 1/3 of panko (bread crumbs) 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

pre-heat your oven at 375 dg.

Place the carnitas in the food processor and pulse until you get very small pieces. On a sauce pan heat the olive oil then caramelize the onion then add the tomato paste, jalapeno and mix well add the carnitas, tomato sauce, milk salt and pepper to taste bring the mixture to a boil for about 8-10 min then take off the heat and let it cool enough to handle.

On a flour tortilla put some of the carnitas mixture then fold the top the ends and over to create like a taco but close the ends so no mixture can get out and place in a oven prof dish large enough to fit all 8 tortillas on one layer. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and the mixture, you should have some mixture left.

pour the rest of the mixture on top of the tortillas then add the heavy cream, butter top with cheese and panko. place in the heated oven for 40 min or until golden brown.


I hope you guys enjoy this! and Ps. my husband suggest not to add the pine nuts because it take the flavor away from the whole dish. thank you dear judge for your suggestion!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Poached Salmon, English Peas with mint & mushroom crustini.

It was great! The girls enjoy the food and for being there first up scale food it tasted very good, for a moment I felt like a pro, is good to know that I can help them feed there husbands something else than chicken every night.

1 Whole salmon filet, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 lemons, 1 bunch of dill, 2 springs of thyme, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tbs of butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat the oven at 425* Dg. Spread out a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to enclose the fish with some overlap. Place the fish on the foil and rub with the olive oil squeeze half of the lemon all over the fish sprinkle with salt and pepper, sliced the other lemon very thinly, arrange the sliced lemon all over the fish with the fresh dill, thyme, thinly sliced garlic and butter.

Fold the foil lengthwise around the fish ans tuck in the ends of the foil. place the fish on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour water to a depth of 1/8 of an inch into the baking sheet.

Cook until an instant reader thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fish reads 140* Dg. or for about 40 min for a 6 lbs fish or 1 hour for a 9 lbs fish.

Remove the fish from the oven reserve the accumulated juices into a bowl, place the fish in serving platter pour the juices over the fish and enjoy at last!.

On this one I think we left it a little too long in the oven, because when we opened it was dry so I suggest that you check it a couple of minutes before.


16 pearl onions, 4 tbsp of unsalted butter, 1 tsp sugar, 2 lbs English peas; shelled, 1 small butter lettuce leaves separated and coarsely chopped, 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley, 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint or a pinch of dry mint.

Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil, add the pearl onions, and blanch them for a min. drain and immerse in cold water for 5 min ti stop the cooking. Drain again and slip off the skins they should come out easily, using a paring knife, trim away the root and stem ends.

in a heavy saucepan, melt half of butter over medium-low heat. add the pearl onions and saute until they are pale gold in spots and softened slightly, about 8 min. Sprinkle them with salt and pper and about half of the sugar mix well.

Add the peas, lettuce, parsley, mint, and the remaining sugar. stir well and season with more salt and pepper if necessary, raise the heat to medium-high bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer gently until the peas are tender for about 5-8 min. transfer to a warmed serving bowl, add the remaining butter and toss to melt and coat evenly.

Here if you over cook the butter lettuce it will get brown, I suggest to add the butter lettuce right at the end with just enough time to get it warm but still crunchy.


1 baguette, 2 box baby bella mushrooms, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 tbsp of Juliane basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, a spring of dill to garnish.

Pre-heat the oven at 375* Dg, cut the baguette into a 1 inch slices and lay flat on a baking sheet brush them with olive oil in both sides and bake in the oven until golden and crisp for about 10 min. pull out the oven and wile hot rub with the garlic.

Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil about 2 tbsp let it get hot and add the cleaned and sliced mushrooms do not over crowd  the mushrooms do a bunch at a time, once all of them are done add the heavy cream, basil and salt and pepper to taste bring to a boil about 3-5 min then lower the heat and simmer for another 5-7 min until the mixture is very thick.

Spread the mushrooms on top of the bread not too much just enough to make it a 3 bite peace, add a little sprinkle off dill and plate. you can aether have it like an appetizer or a side dish.

On this dish I really have no complains it was great! The dill gave a good spark to the whole combination.

This are the recipes a shared with the girls on Sunday if you try them and would like to give them a twist please do! and let me know so I can try it your way!..