Thursday, December 31, 2009

CHEDDAR-THYME POTATO KNISHES - Yeah right!

That sounds good, doesn't it??? And it looked even better when I was making it last night... Just take a look:













Ok... it was the greatest disappointment ever!

Yesterday wasn't an easy day, my daughter has a cold, I feel like I am probably getting sick too... hubby is sick so he came home early but I had seen the recipe to make these "knishes" on another website... they looked great! so I was obsessed with making them! I should've followed my gut! something inside just told me that it probably wasn't the best idea to make bread stuffed with basically mashed potatoes, no flavor, very plain! (and let's not even mention the fact that it is carbs + more carbs!!!) so I just ended up with just more dishes to wash! ugh!

Thank God my father-in-law and his wife stopped by and brought this:



Because I didn't feel like cooking anything else!

I didn't even have my cup of coffee I have every night! I went to bed at 9:00 p.m. I washed the dishes until this morning... and threw all my "potato knishes" away!

Let's hope the day gets better... I hope I feel well enough so I can make something special to end the year!

Happy 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FLOUR TORTILLAS - My first attempt

My dad is a professional baker, that's what he does best (besides making me laugh and being the greatest dad ever), anyway.... I think he was probably born making bread! His specialty is a traditional bread from the north of Mexico, his grandmother (dad's side) was left a widow in her twenties and she had several kids to raise, she was a very hardworking woman and decided to start baking "semitas" (which means "semites" in English), it's a type of "Arabic" bread but a little "Mexicanized", some of the ingredients for this type of bread are: piloncillo (which is basically a solid piece of sucrose and fructose obtained from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice), pecans and raisins! And she would bake it in a mud oven... It is the best bread ever! She taught her children how to bake it so my dad's father started his own bakery (which became very big and famous) and he also taught his children how to make it... That is how my father started and continued to bake! His skillful hands have "memory" as they always remember the exact amount of flour, sugar, butter or any ingredient. I was never really interested in learning how to bake, I always thought it was so boring! I mean... why bake if you can buy things already made? (DUH! yes, please forgive me, I was younger and stupid!) Now, it's different, I came to live in the USA because I married a wonderful Godly man who lives here, I love him so much that I left everything behind, I still have daily communication with my family in Mexico but I miss them so much! And I started to think I should've learned how to bake! My dad's given me many of his recipes... but this bread is so special that it requires him to teach me in person! (or at least that is what I want!), I think I will actually start blogging about my project to make all the types of bread my dad makes! Yes I will... so wait for it!!

My dad also makes the best flour tortillas (nothing like those flour tortillas I've found here in the USA!) so I decided I would try to make them... and I did, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be... I was actually embarrassed because my dad makes perfect circles every single time, and mine looked more like "maps" if anything! The flavor was still delicious and my husband loved them! You can even just put some butter on them while they are hot and have a cup of coffee (YES... coffee is the best thing to have!!!) they melt in your mouth! So... I am glad to present to you My first FLOUR TORTILLAS!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Coffee and Laundry



Yesterday we went to church... I honestly couldn't pay attention to the sermon because I had to deal with my girl who wanted to be walking around and I kept trying to make her stay in the pew! =sigh= so... at the end of the service I felt exhausted, I didn't feel like doing anything, I had so much laundry to fold and a bunch of other things to do, my baby finally went to bed at 8 and hubby and I could relax and watch a movie... We watched "Australia" with Nicole Kidman an Hugh Jackman, Great MOVIE! If you haven't watched it make sure you do! I still had to face the folding of the laundry but to make it all better I had a cup of coffee while doing it! Its "healing powers" restored and me and made me feel better and enjoy the rest of the evening.... As I write right now I feel I should have a good hot cup of coffee because I need some energy to clean this house up. After Christmas, family gatherings, etc... my house shows I haven't been on top of the game! and even the folded laundry is looking at me from the living room saying "Put me away! Put me away!" so I'd better get going! Thank God for coffee that helps us face the day!

From a Coffee Lover to another!

I want to thank Cynthia writer of: sweet soul creations for the recipe she shared with us! This is what she sent to my e-mail:

"I just wanted to share my chocolate-caramel cake with you. Being a coffee addict myself I know chocolate and caramel goes great with coffee. When you pair this cake and a cup of coffee together it makes a lovely dessert!!"



I took the recipe from her blog:

Note: For step by step pictures please visit: Moist Chocolate-Caramel cake/cupcakes

MOIST CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL CAKE/CUPCAKES

CAKE:
1 package-Chocolate fudge cake mix
1 package-Chocolate pudding mix ( This is a must)
1 &1/4 cups-water
1/3 cup-vegetable oil
3-eggs

You will need a springform pan or cupcake pan, greased well.

CARAMEL SAUCE:
1/2 cup-butter or margarine
1/4 cup-whipping cream
1 cup-brown sugar (firmly packed)

TOPPING:
3&1/2 cups-whipping cream
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 tsp-cream of tartar
1/2 tsp- vanilla extract

This makes enough whipped cream for the cake and cupcakes

DECORATIONS:

-a jar of cherries
-extra caramel sauce
-a bar of semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)

The way you decorate your cake is up to you. Use one of these or all three!!

Got to start somewhere, lets make cake...... PREHEAT OVEN 325

1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water, and eggs
2. Mix on low speed until moist, then high speed for 2 minutes
3. If making cupcakes, at this point set mix to the side. DO NOT BAKE YET!!
4. Pour mix in springform pan, bake 35-45 minutes

Sweet, sticky caramel.....

CARAMEL MUST BE MADE WHILE CAKE IS COOLING.

1. In a sauce pan, combined butter, brown sugar, and whipping cream.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted.
3. Flip cake over, pour half of caramel on top, cake should still be warm.
4. Wait 10 minutes and pour on remaining caramel.

FOR CUPCAKES:
1. If making cupcakes pour a little caramel in each section.
2. Pour batter over caramel
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, cool 5 minutes.
4. Flip each cupcake over

FOR WHIPPED CREAM:

1. In a bowl, combine powder sugar, cream of tartar, whipping cream, and vanilla
2. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes
3. After cake and cupcakes have cooled, spread a nice amount of whipped cream on top
4. Eat as is or decorate. ENJOY!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas gift...

And of course... as Christmas presents my hubby and I gave.... COFFEE!!! Do not worry, we do love coffee but we are not crazy obsessed with it... we know there are people who do not like it so we would never give coffee as a present if we weren't sure they liked as much as we do...

Today we went to my in-laws' house! The decoration was really nice, the spread was great and they gave us very nice gifts (I got a GPS! yay!) and some money! But knowing that they really enjoy drinking coffee we decided to give them a sampler of the different roasts Starbucks has! some sugar cookies and a Starbucks gift card! They really liked it and we are very happy for that!

The perfect dessert - Mexican Chocoflan cake!

This is I think the best cake to have with a hot cup of coffee! Its rich and decadent flavor makes everyone ask for more! Trust me... You will be the star anywhere with this cake!

Chocolate Flan Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 (18.25 oz.) box chocolate or devil's food cake mix (and the ingredients that the box calls for... to make the cake)

For the topping:
1 (10.9-oz.) jar cajeta - Mexican caramel topping - (My recommendation is CAJETA CORONADO) or Smucker’s caramel topping or homemade cajeta or even just 2/3 cups of melted sugar.

For the flan:
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a large (at least 12-cup) Bundt pan with nonstick coating. Soften the cajeta in the jar in the microwave and pour into the prepared pan. (If you can’t find the cajeta or do not want to make your own, substitute Smucker’s Caramel topping, but the Mexican cajeta has a richer flavor). Or you can melt the sugar in low fire and use that as your caramel....

2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan over the caramel.

3. To make the flan, pour condensed and evaporated into a blender with the cream cheese, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Pour the flan mixture very slowly over the cake batter (I even use a spoon to pour the mixture over the cake batter to do it really slowly). Cover the pan TIGHTLY with aluminum foil. Covering tightly is very important.

4. Carefully pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 1 inch and set the Bundt pan into the larger pan... then set on the oven rack and slide in. (The Bundt pan will be sitting in 2 inches of water).

Bake cake for about 2 hours; do not uncover during this time.

5. Take the cake out of the oven, remove cake from water and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. The cajeta will drip down the sides of the cake. Cool completely then refrigerate, SERVE COLD!

Note: Even though the flan is poured on top of the cake batter, it will sink to the bottom of the pan... you will see! It's like magic!

Enjoy!
This is how it looks right out of the oven:


Now magic! Once you take it out of the bundt pan you can see that all the flan went to the bottom, so it's on top of the cake now!


It's just a beautiful and delicious cake! My very favorite!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Legacy!

I was just watching a Movie "The Family Man" with Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni, my husband rented it because I insisted on watching it, I just love that movie! We really enjoyed it! I hope we can watch it every Christmas! Anyway, we were drinking coffee and eating cheesecake and my baby wanted to have some coffee! She would get close to the cup and smell it! I kept saying "No baby, you are too little" but she kept trying and trying! once the cup was left empty on the coffee table she immediately grabbed it and ... well... here she is:



Of course the cup had no coffee in it... but she tried to even lick the cup! I guess she will be a Coffee Lover one day! I am a proud mommy!

Mexican Green Spaghetti!

So, for Christmas eve, I made a Mexican "green spaghetti" ... No, the noodles aren't green, it's just the sauce, I know it's not coffee... but I had to share it with whoever reads this blog! Because I know you will love it!
Here it is:

Ingredients:

1 lb. of spaghetti (Barilla, Creamette or your favorite)
2 poblano peppers (see picture)
2 chicken bouillion cubes
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1.5 tsp. ground black pepper
1.5 cup of Mexican style sour cream (see picture) -if you can't find this, then just use regular sour cream.
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of water

Directions:

1. Cook the spaghetti noodles following the instructions of the box.

2. One or two at a time, cook peppers directly on the grate for about seven minutes. Periodically turn with tongs or a fork to cook all sides of the skin. (don't worry if it looks black, that will go away when you peel it)



Roasting Poblanos Using the Oven or Broiler
To roast peppers in the oven, preheat the oven to 450° F. Spread the peppers in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until the skin blisters and begins to darken, about five to ten minutes.

3. Put the peppers inside a plastic bag so they can "sweat" and then you can remove the skin easier (for about 8 mins.)



4. While the peppers are "sweating" peel the garlic cloves, chop the cilantro and ... check your pasta! It should be "al dente".



5. Once the peppers are ready peel them and get the seeds and veins out (use plastic gloves because the heat of the peppers is all in the seeds and you can get your hands burnt (TRUST ME!)

6. Now just blend the roasted flesh of the peppers, the garlic, bouillion cubes, cilantro, black pepper, sour cream and water until it is a creamy green sauce.







7. Pour the sauce in a pot on the stove (low heat) until it starts to boil.



8. Add the cooked spaghetti to the simmering sauce and let it all simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, make sure all the noodles are covered by the sauce, you can use the 1/2 cup of milk (or less or more) to get the desired consistency of the sauce (it should just be a nice cream, not soupy, not too thick). Voila!!! Your Mexican green spaghetti is ready! (you can use some fresh cilantro leaves to decorate!)



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This pasta goes great with any meat (chicken, pork, beef, etc.), it makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy and do not forget to drink a cup of coffee with your favorite dessert afterwards!

Coffee Lovers.

Mexican Green Spaghetti! on Foodista

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to all! Jesus was born... we don't know exactly when ... but we take this day to make a special celebration and rejoice!

-----

And about coffee.... I am sure you are all drinking a lot of it... remember to not do anything excessively! I've had to keep myself from drinking too much coffee my body started to "complain" ....

I do not have much time to write today but I had to stop by to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CAPIROTADA - KAH-PEEH-ROH-TAH-THAH

-Picture from http://saborearteentusiasma.blogspot.com -

I was checking some other food blogs and I found one that had the a Turkish recipe that uses stale bread... That could sound weird to some but not to me, because there is a Mexican "dessert" that is very common in winter (and is usually served for "lent")... It's a dish that has many variations and I could say that every family in Mexico has "its own" ... I am not a big fan of it but now that I live in USA I miss even the dishes that weren't my favorite of my country!

So, I will ask my mom for the recipe, hopefully she has it! I promise I'll make it (hopefully I can find all the ingredients here) and share it with all of you... as I am sure you'll like it specially if it goes with a good hot cup of coffee!

I promise to take pictures of the elaboration too!

--------

Estuve revisando otros blogs de comida y me encontre uno que tenia una receta turca que utiliza "pan viejo" (o pan de "ayer").. Quizas pueda sonar extrano para algunos pero no para mi, porque hay un postre Mexicano que es muy comun en el invierno (y que es usualmente preparado para la cuaresma)... Hay muchas versiones de este platillo y podria decir que quizas cada familia en Mexico tiene la suya propia.... No soy una fanatica de este platillo pero ahora que vivo en Estados Unidos extrano todos los platillos de mi pais, aun los que no eran mis favoritos!

Asi que, le pedire a mi mama la receta, espero que la tenga! Prometo que la hare (espero conseguir todos los ingredientes aqui) y la compartire con todos ustedes... pues estoy segura que la disfrutaran, especialmente si la acompanan de una buena y calientita taza de cafe!
I promise to take pictures of the elaboration too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tractor Drivers in Holland love coffee too! "KOFFIE PAUZE"


What does "koffie pauze" mean? yes, you probably guessed right! It's "Coffee Break" It turns out that I have a new friend from Holland through another site (fotolog) and he shared with me the picture above which he took during a coffee break while.... Let me stop right here and share exactly what he said instead:

----


"Percolator coffee..I love it! We (me and some friends) have a few old-timer tractors and we like to drive them to shows and to nowhere particular. This pic. was taken on our way to the last show of the year.



We have to leave early, say around 8 am, while the temp. was freezing..so a coffee was well on its place!"


-----

Isn't it great to learn from people around the world? It doesn't matter how far the country or how different the culture we all have something in common! in this case coffee of course!

Enjoy!

Other practical use for coffee! - Otro uso para el cafe

My hubby and I usually choose a coffee shop for our "dates" and there is a wonderful place by the lake we love! He will, as usual, have the strongest blackest cup of coffee (no sugar, no cream of course!) and a milk chocolate bar.... I will have whatever I feel like in that moment... but I usually ask for some "art coffee" of course! and a piece of dark chocolate! I love those moments when we relax in that beautiful building -which used to be for a water pump in the past- The cream city brick of the walls is beautiful and the atmosphere is just perfect for a date (or to study, talk or even just to go by yourself)... It's like if coffee tastes better just for being there! Anyway, in one of those times visiting our favorite coffee shop I found they use "coffee beans" to hold pens... and I thought of how many other creative things people probably use coffee for and I don't know about... Here is the picture of the "pen-holder". If you have any other uses for coffee (besides drinking it) share it with us... the Coffee Lovers!

Enjoy!



Mi esposo y yo generalmente elegimos algun "cafe" para alguna cita y hay un lugar cerca del lago que nos encanta! El, como de costumbre, pide la taza mas fuerte y oscura de cafe (sin azucar y sin crema por supuesto!) y una barra de chocolate con leche... Yo pido lo que sea que me apetezca en ese momento ... pero generalmente elijo alguna taza de cafe "con arte" y una tabletilla de chocolate oscuro! Me encantan esos momentos en que nos relajamos en ese hermoso edificio -el cual antes servia para ser usado por una bomba de agua- Las paredes de ladrillo amarillo de las paredes y la atmosfera del lugar son perfectas para una cita romantica (para estudiar, platicar o aun para ir solo)... Es como si el cafe supiera mejor solo por estar ahi! En fin, en una de esas ocasiones en que visitamos nuestra cafeteria favorita descubrimos que utilizan los granos de cafe para detener las plumas... y pense en cuantas otras cosas creativas quizas la gente use el cafe y yo ni siquiera se que existen.... Arriba esta la foto de lo que les platico. Si tu sabes de algun otro uso que se le pueda dar al cafe(ademas de beberlo) compartelo con nosotros... Los Amantes del Cafe!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Exchange - Intercambio de Regalos



Good day dear coffee lovers!!! I hope you are all anxious about Christmas (in a good way) I am sure you are already having to go to some parties and be part of gift exchanges! We are not the exception and last Saturday we went to a Christmas celebration which we really enjoyed! It was a wonderful time and there was a very expected gift exchange at the end, so, this is what I got... A "new" set of 6 coffee mugs, they are Vintage 1989 Hardee's rise and shine! and I loved them... they look very retro! and the colors of the cups go really well with our decoration! so, last night I used these 20 yr. old cups for the first time to enjoy some hot coffee with a hint of french vanilla and some home made Christmas cookies! Is there a better gift for a Coffee Lover like me???

I had to share!!!

Enjoy!

-*-*-*-*-*-*-

Buen dia mis queridos amigos amantes del cafe!!! Espero que esten todos emocionados por la Navidad! Estoy segura de que ya estan participando de fiestas e intercambios de regalos! Nosotros no somos la excepcion y el Sabado asistimos a una fiesta Navidena la cual disfrutamos mucho! Nos la pasamos muy bien y al final hubo un muy esperado intercambio de regalos, asi que, esto es lo que yo recibi... Un juego "nuevo" de tazas para cafe, Son tazas estilo antiguo de "Hardee's Rise and Shine" hechas en 1989 y me encantan! se ven muy "retro" y los colores combinan muy bien con nuestra decoracion! asi que anoche use por primera vez estas tazas de 20 años de antiguedad para saborear una taza de cafe con un poquito de vainilla y con algunas galletitas Navideñas! Acaso existe un mejor regalo para una amante del café como yo?

Provecho!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread men!

Yesterday I decided to make gingerbread cookies for the first time yesterday, we were all feeling "Christmassy" (sp?) so I thought, why not? It was more time consuming than I thought it would be but it was pretty easy...

So... here I am sharing my gingerbread men cookies and recipe with all of u... STEP BY STEP

Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

For the cookies:
* 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
* 1 large egg
* 3/4 cup unsulfured molasses

For the icing: (Royal icing)

* 3 1 egg white
* 2 cups of confectioners sugar
* 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside:



2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy:






3. Beat in egg and molasses:



4. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined:



5. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months (thaw before baking):





6. Working with one disk at a time, place dough on lightly floured parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed:



7. Using paper, lift dough onto two baking sheets; freeze until firm, about 20 minutes:



Note: While the dough is in the freezer preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds.

8. Remove paper and dough from baking sheets. Using a long offset spatula, loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and brush off any excess flour. Transfer to baking sheets. (Gather scraps, briefly freeze, and re-roll.)



And now let's make the royal icing:



1. Using an electric mixer (high speed) mix the egg white until stiff but not dry:



2. Add the confectioners sugar and the tbsp. lemon, mix well in low speed.(You can add more sugar if needed for desired consistency -if the icing is too runny-)



3. Transfer icing to a pastry bag with a small tip, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and snip a small hole in one corner.


And now... Bake and decorate!

1. For softer cookies, bake 8 to 10 minutes; for crunchier cookies, bake 11 to 12 minutes (in the preheated 350F oven), rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate cookies as desired, and store in a single layer in airtight containers.



There you have it! Perfect gingerbread cookies to share with someone you love while drinking a hot cup of coffee!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas cookies!!!



I know I haven't been on my blog as much this year, you (whoever you are) must understand that life's been busy here, child, husband, house, etc.... but I am trying to end the year better and as one of my resolutions for 2010 I have included "consistency" with my blog...

Now, let's get to the point... Coffee... and what can go better than coffee than cookies? (Chocolate probably) but right now I am going to speak about the probably 2nd. best thing to go with it, COOKIES! My friend and I decided to bake Christmas cookies together, knowing it could be a huge task since she has a baby and I have my "almost toddler" too, but surprisingly everything went fantastic, our kids behaved better than we could have expected and we had a real great time mixing, melting and baking! The results were amazing and we each kept half of all the cookies, there was not even one burnt cookie! so nothing went to waste!

We each made two batches of two different types of cookies

I made:

- Chocolate chocolate chip cookies (Have I mentioned I love chocolate?)
- No bake Chocolate haystacks

She made:

- Peanut butter blossoms
- No bake butterscotch/crispix cookies

If you want the recipes for making these cookies just e-mail me at: love.for.coffee@gmail.com and I'll be glad to share them with you.

Of course my dear hubby and I have been enjoying one or two (or three or four) of the cookies every night with our traditional cup of coffee.... I enjoy every second of it! Today I am planning on baking some gingerbread men!! I hope it goes well...

Here are some pics so you can be part of our baking! :) Enjoy!






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