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Guava and Cinnamon Atole


Quick Fire Recipe, this is a delicious warm drink ; “Atole “it does not have an exact translation, this drink dates from the pre-columbian times. Moctezuma used to drink it sweetened with honey.  The best way I can describe it is a warm cozy, slightly sweet and fruity light porridge. The consistency of atole varies anywhere from almost porridge-like to a thin, pourable drink.

It is made with milk, sugar, piloncillo or honey,  fresh fruit, cinnamon and a little bit of cornstarch or masa.  Other fruit variations can be: strawberries, blackberries, plums, mango, grounded pecans, cocoa powder, or simple vanilla.  I love this Guava and Cinnamon Atole, it is warm and the fruit makes this drink simply delicious. I hope you like it as much as I do, Enjoy!


Guava and Cinnamon Atole

Serves 2 cups

2 Cups of Milk (you can use coconut milk, almond, soy, rice it will taste fantastic!)
1/2 cup water
4-6 Guavas fresh (You can use frozen or buy a guava juice concentrate)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
2 tablespoons Corn starch disolver in 1/4 cup of cold water.


1. Cut and remove the seeds of the guavas and boil them in a small sauce pan with enough water to cover them, add a stick of cinnamon and cook them until fork tender. pure the guavas.


2. In a medium pot warm the milk, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon stick add the sugar until dissolve.(watch your pot at all times-do not let it boil!)
3.Once that the milk is warm add the guava pure, stir until well incorporated, and add the cornstarch dissolved in cold water little at the time and stirring the milk at all times until it thickens a bit. let it come to a soft simmer.

4. Serve warm un a mug and dust with cinnamon.


Fruity and Delicious, Enjoy!

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Corn Flour Cookies


These cookies are originally from Sinaloa, Mexico and traditionally made in Sonora and Chihuahua. They are called “Coricos” or “Pinturitas” and they are made with corn flour ( a.k.a. MASECA), dry corn flour, lard or vegetable shortening, sugar or turbinado sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. They are traditionally baked in brick-wood ovens that is the traditional recipe.

I got inspired and changed the recipe a bit. I used butter or coconut oil, a conventional oven and some aromatics and citrus to enhance the flavor of the cookie.

I suspect that by now you will be asking yourself what is MASECA? And why MASECA?
Maseca is a brand that uses a play of words: Masa(dough) and Seca (dry) .After all it is a dry corn flour commonly used to make corn tortillas. Now, before I answer the why,
I do have a request from you: please, do not judge these cookies by the fact they are made with the same flour you make corn tortillas. I know it sounds a bit odd but believe me you have to try this recipe. They are the most simple and utterly delicious cookies. In fact, I could say Coricos are one of my favorites cookies.
They are crumbly with a nutty flavor from the toasted dry corn flour and not overly sweet. It’s this simplicity of flavor that allows you to add any aromatic spice like cinnamon, vanilla, orange blossom water, orange zest, lemon, zest, or cardamom.

The dough is so simple and playable, it is great to make with kids, plus you do not have to wait for a resting time or chilling the dough. You can have these delicious gluten-free cookies in less than 30 minutes!!!.
This dough also works well if you roll it out it and make cut outs for decorated cookies. Although their more traditional shape looks like a ring you can make them any size and shape you like. These Corico cookies are usually eaten plain, but I like to dust them with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon for a simple tea or coffee treat, although recently I experimented with some glazes and I have to say I’m in trouble now. The glaze makes them ridiculously good and you’ll see what I mean…

Making cookies makes me happy. So many recipes…so little time! I’m especially fond to this recipe because it’s simplicity and with glaze or no glaze they taste so good to me either way…

I hope you like them and I would love to hear your feed back, and new discoveries. Enjoy!


Corn Flour Cookies

Makes 2 dozen – 2.5” rings cookies

2 cups masa harina MASECA
½ cup butter (1 stick, 4oz, 125 gr) softened-room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange blossom water (optional, but highly recommended)
¼ cup up to ½ cup of water, milk or orange juice.


1. In a bowl, cream the butter with a wooden spoon or using a hand mixer at low speed.
2. Add sugar and mix until a bit fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, cinnamon and orange blossom water. Mix until a bit fluffy and well combined.
3. Add ½ of the corn flour, mix until combined, add the water little at the time and the rest of the corn flour until a soft dough, that resembles like play-dough.
4. Form a small ball If it does not holds together or cracks on the edges when press, add a teaspoon of water a the time until the dough holds together, is not sticky and do not crack on the edges.
5. Now the fun begins! Take a little round ball and roll it into a cylinder then shape into a ring. Press the two ends slightly to close the circle. (no need egg wash or water to seal)
6. You can make any shape or size, coins, balls, thumbprints, or roll the dough and make cookie cut outs. You name it. Have fun!
7. As you go, place the rings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
8. Preheat the oven at 350 bake for 18-20 minutes until slightly brown. Remove from oven wait for 3 minutes and then transfer them to cool on a rack.
9. Glaze or sprinke with powdered sugar when they are cool.




½ cup powder sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or orange juice or milk.
The zest 1 lime, orange or lemon. Or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Whisk all this ingredients until glossy with no lumps. Proceed to glaze. Dry them on a rack.




~Powdered sugar ~


G o t    m i l k ?


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Warm Acorn Squash Salad


Full winter here in Austin! Yeah!!! I love cold weather and with it the delicious and comforting warm salads.
This scrumptious Warm Acorn Squash Salad is a great dish to keep up with the winter calories. If you know what I mean… I’m saving calories to spend them at Christmas… hehehe

Imagine a roasted wedge of acorn squash, topped with baby spinach watercress, green apples, toasted nuts, creamy goat cheese drizzled with a slightly warm lime-ginger-ancho chilli vinaigrette… super easy, and comforting. This recipe will make you crave salad in the winter.

So, keep warm and I hope you fall in love with this easy and healthy dinner. Enjoy


Warm Acorn Squash Salad

Serves 4

1 acorn squash cut in 4 pieces
4 cups spinach
2 cups watercress
1 granny smith apple cut in long match sticks or similar.
¼ cup toasted chopped pecans
¼ cup salted toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
4-6 oz goat cheese

For the warm vinaigrette:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Agave nectar
1 teaspoon ancho chilli powder
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
The zest and juice of one lime
½ teaspoon salt


1. Place the 4 acorn squash segments in a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil, salt and pepper, Roast at 450F for about 25-30 minutes, checking half way thru, rotate the pan. And bake until fork tender.

Acorn-squash-warm-salad_roasted-acorn 2. In a salad bowl combine, the spinach, watercress, cut apples, toasted pecans, toasted pumpkin seeds.


3.To make the vinaigrette:
Slightly warm the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (warm to the touch). Add agave nectar, ancho chili, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, whisk until well combined. Or place all this ingredients into a small clean glass jar and shake. The warm oil will marry the flavors and develop the aromas, as well to cozy up your greens.


4. Once the Acorn squash is roasted, toss the salad with some of the dressing, and top each acorn squash wedge with the salad.
5. Crumble some goat cheese and drizzle a little more of the vinaigrette.Enjoy!




Warm Acorn Squash Salad…warm up!~

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Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters

Kale-Sweet potatoe-and-Quinoa-FrittersKale-Sweet-potatoe-and-Quinoa-Fritters-cooked-quinoa

So many Kale… so little time… root vegetables, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, all kinds of potatoes, carrots; an Autumn cornucopia is here and with it Thanksgiving. So gear up! I will be posting side dish appetizers, entrees, and everything with the potential of being on your Thanksgiving table… I think it’s great to add new dishes to the traditional menu, or revamp old recipes. And even if you are not a Thanksgiving celebration type, this seasonal produce is what you will enjoy preparing, whether it’s lunch, or dinner or a simple snak-petizer like this Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters.

These little fritters are scrumptiously good. Loaded with vitamins and flavor, this little patties that have a crispy exterior and a soft creamy interior. The quinoa adds texture and a little crunch. Call them patties, fritters, creatures; you’re gonna love them. They taste equally good when they are warm or room temperature.
They make for a fabulous appetizer, side dish, or if you make them bigger. Two of these patties can be your lunch or sensible dinner with a salad on the side.


Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters

Makes 18-20 / 2”mini patties or 6 / 3.5” side patties

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes steamed and pureed. Makes about 3 cups
2 cups cooked Quinoa, you can use red quinoa if you prefer. Approximately 1 cup of uncooked quinoa yields 2.25 cups when cooked.
2 cups kale finely chopped.  I used Lacinto kale, a.k.a. Dinosaur Kale but, any flat kind kale will work.
2 eggs (vegan: substitute 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons of water)
½ cup panko or any kind of plain breadcrumbs. If you have gluten allergies, ground old fashion oats or almond meal will work.
3 teaspoons cornstarch. If using the almond meal add one extra teaspoon.
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 good pinch paprika or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

4-6 tablespoons grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil to pan fry them.

*See note for an alternative cooking method on the bottom of the post…

For the dipping sauce:

¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of black pepper

In a small cup mix all ingredients and chill.

Hot sauce of your preference. I highly recommend Sriracha Sauce.



Devein the Kale, make it into a tight roll and chop chiffonade style.



In a medium size bowl, place all ingredients and mix well.



In a medium size pan heat up about 4-6 tablespoons of grape seed oil, peanut oil or coconut oil.
With a small Ice cream scooper scoop about 6 patties into the pan and slightly flatten the tops.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

 Kale-Sweet potatoe-and-Quinoa-Fritters_pan frying


Cool them on a rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with the ginger sauce on the side and some hot sauce of your preference. I highly recommend Sriracha…I love it….Enjoy!


Kale-Sweet potatoe-and-Quinoa-Fritters-delicious!

Kale-Sweet potatoe-and-Quinoa-Fritters_delicious-texture


 *Note:  Many people have asked me about baking these fritters. It never occurred to me to bake a fritter… So I made a batch and baked half and fried half to see the differences in flavor and texture. Here is the veredict:

Baked Version:

I Baked them at 375F on a sheet pan lined with parchment. I brushed each patty with some grape seed oil and baked for 15-20 minutes flipping them half way.

The results:  Texture is more firm and they hold up more like a patty, where the inside is a little more dense. They do not remind me a fritter at all since they have no crispy outside texture.

Pan Fried: 

Well you see the results, they really do not absorb a lot of oil, I love love the contrast in textures, crispy caramelized outside, and creamy less thight inside. For me this is fritter.

I like them both in their own category… but a fritter its a fritter!

5 from 1 vote

Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters

They make for a fabulous appetizer, side dish, or if you make them bigger. Two of these patties can be your lunch or sensible dinner with a salad on the side.

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, wholesome
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 cups Sweet potato, about 1 large-2 medium potatoes, stemmed and pureed.
  • 2 cups Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 cups Lacinato-Dino Kale, chopped chiffonade
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Panko Japanese style breadcrumbs, or any kind of plain bread crumbs. If you have gluten allergies, ground old fashion oats or almond meal will work.
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons grape seed oil, or coconut oil, to pan fry them

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Sriracha Sauce, to taste.


  1. 1. Devein the Kale, make it into a tight roll and chop chiffonade style.

    2. In a medium size bowl, place all ingredients and mix well.

    3. In a medium size pan heat up about 4-6 tablespoons of grape seed oil, peanut oil or coconut oil. With a small Ice cream scooper scoop about 6 patties into the pan and slightly flatten the tops. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

    4.Cool them on a rack.

    5. Mix all ingredients of the dipping sauce on a small bowl.

    Serve fritters while warm or at room temperature, with the ginger sauce on the side and some hot sauce of your preference. I highly recommend Sriracha…I love it….Enjoy!

    Happy cooking!

Recipe Notes



Music Pairing: Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps by Cake


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Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with Spicy Bolognese



What a crazy title! I think it took me more time to name this dish than to make it. What the title really should say is: Roasted Vegetables stacked with a Bison spicy Bolognese. The “napoleon “part is just a fancy name to say stacked, and this dish by any means is “fancy”…

Well, this was dinner yesterday. They say not to live in the past, always in the now, but memories are important and this meal was one of the memorable ones.

When our carnivorous crave knocks at our door: Lamb, Pork or Beef?… Bison!

Here in Texas that’s what every carnivore should be eating because its extremely remarkable in beef flavor due to its high Iron content. Bison has 80% less fat and 49% less calories than beef. Lets say Bison is the Better Red meat. Just make sure to look for the USDA approval triangle on the front label and look for 100 percent natural-grass feed-hormone free. Keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. Tender, flavorful bison costs more to raise, thus it costs a bit more, but one bite and you’ll never go back!… it is indeed a great option.

This is why: Bison spicy bolognese works great because it makes the bolognese sauce lighter yet richer in flavor. And because Bison cooks faster than beef, this 30 minutes spicy bolognese can change your life. You can make a double batch and freeze it for a fast pasta dinner during the week.
Half inch sliced vegetables, roasted at 475 F temperature for 25 minutes can be magical, all the flavor of the vegetables just seems to concentrate and develop their natural sweetness and caramelization.
All in all this is a great recipe, You can serve it with a green salad on the side, a piece of crusty bread, and a glass of wine… Enjoy!

Vegetarian & Vegan suggestions:

Now, I do think on my vegetarian friends and it is such an easy way to transform the recipe, using a combination of bottom and cremini mushrooms instead of meat.
Or if you are fan you can use texturized soy protein.
For the cheese, a walnut sauce is always a great substitution. Here is the link to a previous post where you can find the recipe.





Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with Spicy Bison Bolognese

Serves 2 with room sauce for 4 or you can freeze the rest of the sauce for another night.

1 egg plant
1 green zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 medium large portobello mushroom
3 sweet red peppers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Assiago
1/2 cup Fontina cheese shredded

For the Mirepoix:

1 cup chopped sweet onions
½ cup carrot small diced
½ cup celery small diced
3 garlic cloves
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Spicy Bison Bolognese

1 pound of grass feed-hormone free-Ground Bison (or beef or turkey or texturized soy or cremini mushrooms)
2 cups Red wine (Cabernet-or a rich tempranillo)
1-12 oz. canned San Marzano tomatoes (this is my only exception to the rule on canned products)
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha* the odd ingredient but it is so good!
Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of butter optional*



Start by making the sauce;
In a Medium- Large sauce pot, saute the mirepoix ingredients in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until onions and celery are translucent. Add the ground Bison saute for 3-4 minutes with the help of a wood spatula making sure you incorporate everything avoiding big lumps of meat. Add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate for about 3-5 minutes. Add the can of diced San Marzano tomatoes, the balsamic, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha sauce, and adjust salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes or until the excess juices have evaporated. You want a slightly thick consistency. Cover with a lid and keep the sauce on low. At this point you can decide to add 1 or 2 tablespoon of butter this will round off the flavors on the sauce.



Once the sauce is ready, preheat the oven at 450-475F  / 230-245 C
In a large Baking pan lined with parchment paper, arrange the vegetable slices in one single layer. Drizzle some Olive Oil seasoned with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables have a golden -to dark brown on the edges.
In two oven Ramekins of Pyrex, start layering the vegetables alternating with the sauce and grated cheese. You can add some fresh herbs like basil, parsley or rosemary. Make sure the last layer is cheese and broil in the oven for about 5-6 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve placing the ramekins in a flat plate for safety.




 Roasted Vegetable & Spicy Bolognese Napoleon..ready to serve!



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Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm and velvety and with a hint of roasted sweetness….It is inevitable to succumb to the cliche of pumpkin soup. I assure you there are 1,000 recipes out there with all different combinations spices, creamy, vegan, vegetarian…This version is my humble version of the Roasted pumpkin-poblano soup.

For the past few years, I’ve been making my vegetable soups under one principle: “do not add chicken stock”. Yes, it is that simple. I don’t want, under any circumstance, my broccoli soup to taste like chicken (or my potatoes, carrots, or any vegetable to taste like the bird). I want to savor the flavor of the vegetable. It is certainly a challenge to follow this principle because our inner chicken stock flavored souls desperately want to add more “depth of flavor”. For me, this is totally wrong. The way I make my vegetable soups are by enhancing the vegetables using different cooking methods like roasting, grilling, braising; all these cooking methods bring out the vegetable qualities, enhance the sweetness and flavor concentration to the soup. And yes, at times just a little help from other vegetable friends can harmonize the flavor.

Pumpkin has a delicate flavor so it is easy to mask, yet easier to harmonize. I love roasting or braizing. In this case, I chose to roast the pumpkin and add some caramelized sweet onions to bring out the sweet and earthy flavor of the pumpkin. Roasted poblanos, charred sweet corn, and some tortilla crisps play perfectly in this soup and add contrast in texture. With no doubt, it is one of my favorite soups to make, so easy and comforting. It freezes well if you want to store it for a quick-thaw meal and I just can tell you that after the photo shooting this soup was our good comforting dinner…

Roasted_Pumpkin_soup_ roasting&pureeRoasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_puree

Roasting pumpkin is easy and so rewarding, I love the way the house smells, it’s a welcoming to fall. When getting ready for the pumpkin season, I usually pick 2 small pumpkins the size of a volley-ball or smaller. They are easier to cut in half and they cook faster than the bigger ones. Once I cut them in half, I scrape all the inner seeds, save them for feature roasting if I feel like-, and I place the pumpkin halves flat side down on a full sheet tray covered with foil rubbed with some oil to avoid from sticking. I bake them on the lower rack in the oven at high-temperature 450F for 25-35 minutes or until a paring knife inserts easily through the skin. Remove them from oven and let them cool off. Using a spoon I scrape all the pumpkin ~this is my favorite part so I don’t have to peel the pumpkin, which is hard and lots of work~.  Once I scrape all pumpkin into a bowl, I use my handy-dandy immersion blender to puree the pumpkin. About each pumpkin half yields 1 to 1.5 cups or puree depending on the size of the pumpkin, then I make little reusable bags with 1 or 2 cups of the puree depending on the recipes I want to make, and freeze. 2 pumpkins is usually all the pumpkin I need and I’m ready for the season! Click on this link to check a How to roast a pumpkin tutorial with step by step photos and how to make a delicious pumpkin seed snack!

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano soup

Serves 2 hungry persons as the main dish for dinner or 4 starter soups.

2 cups roasted pumpkin purée (I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option)
4 cups water
1 small sweet yellow onion caramelized
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

2 poblanos roasted, skin, devein and cut into strips
1 cup of charred corn kernels, about 1-2 ears of corn depending on size
¼ cup of Mexican cream or Greek yogurt, If using Greek yogurt dilute with a bit of water and add a pinch of salt.
2 corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried



Over medium-high heat using a heavy bottom soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and keep on cooking until deep golden brown and caramelized.
Add pumpkin puree, water salt, pepper nutmeg. With the help of an immersion blender blend the soup until smooth.Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids and salt if needed, for desired consistency and taste. At last, right before serving, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

Roasted_Pumpkin_Poblano_Soup_caramelized onions-fried tortilla strips

Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the warm poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.
You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of cream.

For vegan:

Use: vegan butter and replace cream swirl with any soy or coconut or almond based cream.

Roasted_Pumpkin-Poblano_Soup_serving presentation

Music Pairing: The smashing Pumpkins, Tonight, Tonight

Roasted Pumpkin-Poblano Soup

Warm up with this cozy Mexican spin on a fall pumpkin soup!

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Mariana McEnroe


  • 2 cups roasted pumpkin purée I do prefer natural and roasting my own, you will need about 1 small pumpkin the size of a softball. You can use canned, about 2- 8oz cans, but it is definitely not my favorite option
  • 4 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small sweet onion, caramelized
  • 1 tablesspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Garnish with:

  • 2 large roasted poblanos, skin, deveined and cut into strips
  • 1 cup charred corn kernels, about 2 small ears of corn depending on size
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, diluted with some milk or water and pinch of salt
  • 2 pieces corn tortillas, thinly cut into strips, baked or fried.


  1. Over medium-high heat in a soup pot, place the oil the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until they are soft and translucent. Lower the heat and let them become brown and caramelized. About 7-8 minutes.

    Add pumpkin puree, water/or/vegetable stock, salt, white pepper, nutmeg. Let it simmer until bubbly hot. Adjust the liquids for desired consistency. 

    At last, add the tablespoon of butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

    Serve warm in a soup bowl and garnish with the poblanos, charred corn, and thinly fried tortilla strips.

    You can add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a swirl of Mexican crema. Enjoy!



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Lobster Mac and Brie

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie Cheese_oven tray

I was listening to the B-52’s when I started to crave Lobster… and then macaroni… and then cheese…eureka! Lobster Mac and Brie cheese!
My cooking process sometimes get fired up in mischievous ways… I definitely was craving macaroni and cheese… “the bad one”, the one that comes in a little blue box with radioactive namaste orange cheese powder…. yes, I must confess sometimes I do crave things that are not to good for me but they bring me a sense of un-complicated comfort…
No, I did not succumb to the blue box, in fact I Rock-ed it out and made a great version of Macaroni, throwing some lobster in it. (There goes my “un-complicated comfort” uh?)
By applying a few macaroni principles you can have the most luscious, silky cheese macaroni.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie cheese_key ingredients

Four Macaroni Commandments:

1-Thou Shall Use Ridged macaroni elbows…

It makes a huge difference, the amount of cheese sauce that sticks to the pasta is extremely desirable.

2- Thou Shall Use No Flour or Rue In Your Sauce…

This is a controversial statement; I’m convinced that if you use the right amount of cheese and cream in the sauce, there is no need to add flour to thicken the sauce, the sauce will not curdle and it will make the sauce light and silky.

3-Thou Marry Thy Ingredients Before Baking….

‘Al dente’ pasta + silky sauce = perfect creamy and light consistency with out over cooking it.
When adding the pasta to the cheese sauce, let them talk to each other for a couple of minutes, this will allow the pasta to absorb the extra liquids in the cheese sauce and flavor the pasta before reaching a high temperature when it hits the oven.

4- Thou Shall Bake the macaroni cheese at a high temperature for a short period of time…

The high temperature will allow to form the desirable outside crust and the short period of time will allow the pasta to keep its creamy gooey inside.
I promise if you stick by these four commandments you will always have a great success in your mac & cheese!
Make sure you are listening to the B-52’s…

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_ingredients

Lobster Mac and Brie

Serves 4 mermaids or 2 sailors

3 cups -1 lbs. Ridged macaroni elbows (since the sauce does not have flour, you can easily substitute for any gluten-free pasta like quinoa which has great flavor and texture)
2-4 6oz Lobster tails
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine (California Chardonnay or a Dry Riesling will work great)
8-10 oz triple cream Brie cheese (If you do not like Brie, you can substitute any creamy milder cheese you prefer…like cream cheese or baby cheddar)
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove
1 lemon:
the juice and the zest of ½ a lemon
½ lemon sliced
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cornstarch diluted in 1 tablespoon of milk.
2 ears of sweet corn ( approx. 2-3 cups of corn kernels)
1 teaspoon kosher salt /plus more for cooking the pasta
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

To garnish:

3 green scallions finely chopped
1 or two pinches of smoked paprika
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
Lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/205 C


In a medium pot of boiling salted water add lemon slices and a bay leaf and cook the Lobster tails for about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, immediately remove them and shock them in an ice cold water bowl to stop the cooking process.
After cooling them in ice water for a few minutes crack the back of the shell open with kitchen shears to make it easier to peel.
(See picture below). Remove the shells and slice into medallions. Set aside. (the lobster should appear a little under done, it will finish cooking in the oven)

LOBSTER-secuence ~


In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.
While the pasta is cooking start your sauce in a separate pot. Bring wine to a simmer add garlic clove, turn down the heat and add the heavy cream, butter, salt, black pepper, lemon zest, dijon mustard. Bring to a slow simmer. Whisk in the cornstarch. With a wooden spoon stir slowly for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Simmer for ten more minutes. Remove the garlic clove. Stir in the Brie cheese until well combined. Adjust salt and pepper if needed. Add the corn kernels cook for 3-4 minutes. Fold the macaroni into the sauce, mix, and let it cook, stirring occasional on a low heat for 3-4 minutes until the sauce appears to have a little thicker consistency.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_how to make the sauce


Pour the macaroni into a 2 – 8” oval ramekins / or  4 – 4” ramekin dishes. Arrange the Lobster medallions on top of the macaroni and add a few dices of butter. Save the tales for garnish, see picture below.
Top the macaroni with chopped scallions, a pinch of smoked paprika and the seasoned panko bread crumbs. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_assambling

Lobster_Macaroni & Brie_ready to eat

ROCK- Lobster Macaroni & Brie Cheese…make it soon!



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Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette

Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette_kale purple leaf

Feeling blue?…Have some greens!. Kale is the number one power green, full of nutrients and rich in flavor.
If you wonder what the color green should taste like… it tastes just like kale.
It’s high percentage in Beta carotene, Vitamin K, vitamin A, Vitamin C, manganese, iron, potassium, calcium and fiber, make it the king of the greens. The season for this green is Autumn and Winter.
Kale salad will lift up your mood and give you plenty of energy through out the day.
There is Curly Kale, Dino Kale, Premier, Redboar, Siberian, Walking stick kale, Red russian, Kamome red, *sight and I assure you I’m missing more varieties, this are just a few of the ones I know and I’ve tried.
I remember the first time I tried Kale it was a bit intimidating, I felt like I was eating some prehistorical plant; it is a bit hard to chew when is raw and most of the varieties develop their nutrients and are easier to digest when they are steamed.
I’ve tried different cooking methods, some favorites of mine: Curly and Dino kale make great baked chips, Kamome is great for steaming it holds its shape beautifully, and the Redbor Kale I love it in salads like this because it adds great texture, I usually cut it or tier it in small pieces because is easier to chew, the vinaigrette helps to tenderize the leafy texture and what is great is that kale will not wilt when you add the vinaigrette.
Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette is a nutritious  and delicious combination. Kale, lentils, walnuts for some crunch is just what you need to boost your energy. This salad Makes a great Lunch or a light dinner side dish.

Kale and lentil salad with honey mustard vinaigrette_red kale

Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette_healthy and delicious

Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette.

Serves 4

4 cups of Redbor kale (washed and pad dry) ( you can use Dino Kale )
2-3 cups of cooked green lentils*
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely diced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
A couple of tablespoons of Bulgarian Feta cheese

Honey- Mustard vinaigrette

2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons Extra virgin Olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons of honey or ambar agave nectar.
the juice and zest of ½ lime or lemon.
Fresh ground pepper to taste.

*How to cook Lentils?

These green Lentils are best cook in lots of salted water, just like pasta. Bring water to a boil add 1 generous teaspoon of kosher salt and a Bay leaf. Add the lentils, bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to low and gentle simmer you barely want to see little bubbles on the top. Cook for another 15-20 minutes with no lid. after 15 minutes check on doneness. I like mine al-dente, specially for a salad like this, I want them with a bite. So I usually remove from heat at 15 minutes and cover them for another 10 minutes. Strain them and let them air dry for a few minutes on a single layer in flat tray.  I usually serve this salad with barely warm lentils, I love the texture and comfort.


Start by removing the stems of the kale leaves and breaking the pieces into small bite size. In a small bowl whisk the vinaigrette ingredients. In a platter, layer the kale, lentils, chopped onions, red bell pepper, parsley and walnuts. Drizzle over the mustard vinaigrette. Mix and top it all with crumbled feta cheese.
Serve the salad at room temperature. It is also great in a pita with some Greek yogurt or served in avocado halves!!!Kale-and-Lentil-Salad-with-Honey--Mustard-Vinaigrette_ingredients-layout

Kale and Lentil Salad with Honey- Mustard Vinaigrette_vegetarian_healthy dinner



Music Pairing: Don’t Worry be happy – Bob Marley

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