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.