Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red Velvetina Pancakes

Something definitely has come over me......because for the last couple weeks my chicas have been becoming " breakfast spoiled". For the past two weekends I have not only been cooking them piping hot

off the griddle meals. ( I hate to admit it, but I am more of a whatever fits in a bowl and goes with milk in the morning kind of mom) Although I love cooking lunch, dinner and of course baking, I just can't

seem to get it together that early in order to prepare anything else. So it's so surprising that not only have I made them hearty steaming meals, but they have been sort of an enticing take on

classic breakfast meals. Last week it was my spicy and sweet Mexican Chocolate French Toast, this week I decided to turn one of my all time favorite cupcakes into a breakfast treat.

Red Velvetina Pancakes with a chocolate syrup drizzle, a sprinkle of chocolate chips, swirled with a cloud of sweet whipped cream. They were so delicioso!

I imagine that this is kind of like what you might eat if you died and went to heaven on Valentine's Day ♥

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bienvenido Sabado Cookies!- Welcome Saturday Cookies

Well, It's finally Saturday, and after what was for a me a very long and stress filled week at the job I am embracing this long holiday weekend like never before.  Saturdays are usually filled with me and my chicas attempting cram in as many fun outdoor activities. Whether it means running around at the park or spending the day trying to convince my daughter's that we must go to both Home Goods and Marshall's because you just never know what you may find and we wouldn't want to miss a great deal! The final push is me trying to throw in that maybe one of these stores may have just gotten in a brand new shipment of Justin Bieber merchandise, and all the other savvy shopping mom's are scooping it all up as we speak. ( I know it's wrong but sometimes I will try anything to feed my cookbook addiction, I love Home Goods book selection). 

But not this Saturday, nothing could pull me through the thresholds of my front door, I was beat and I planned to make it a chicas weekend in.  That included 3 full dias of  playing Just Dance 2, 3 and Just Dance Summer Party. A weekend movie marathon full of my favorite childhood throwbacks which included various episodes of Roseanne, Jurassic Park and one  my all time favorite movies Over the Top with Sylvester Stallone. Ummm....I do love some Sly Stallone, I will definitely have to suppress my urges to ohhh and ahhh and lick my lips when we watch this one, I wouldn't want to be a bad influence on my 8 and 9 year old LOL! 

Well in preparation of our weekend of indoor fun I made these cookies which I decided to name Bienvenido Sabado Cookies. As you can see from the title in English this translates into Welcome Saturday, I came up with this name from one my eagerness to enjoy this wonderful day and also because they were replicas of the Hostess Cupcakes. Since a hostess is one that welcomes people into their homes or party and I felt like these little bites of chocolate cookies with squishy marshmallow bottoms and sweet butter cream squiggle were perfecto for welcoming us into the relaxing and serene next three days.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dos Mundos-Mexican Chocolate French Toast

Last Sunday I decided to slow down and resist the idea of handing my chicas a cereal box, some toast and orange juice and calling it an easy Sunday morning. I had been in the grocery store the previous afternoon and spotted a bag of that thick sliced white bread called "Texas Toast". At that moment I wasn't quite sure when or how I would use it, but that morning when I entered my kitchen an idea came to mind. At first it was to make regular old French Toast, but than another idea came to me out of nowhere (well maybe not exactly nowhere) It was actually while I had the cinnamon in my hand, I thought to myself what goes good with cinnamon? And literally 10 seconds later I had an "aha moment" and if a little light bulb could magically appear above my head that would've been the moment. Chocolate! Chocolate goes perfect with cinnamon, why not make Mexican Chocolate French toast.

I know this seems a little bit odd since the name of this original entree "French Toast" is obviously self serving but I feel that when the two come together it's a spectacular thing. At first bite my daughter said it was huge piece of not quite cookie, not quite french toast heaven! I would have to agree they were like no other I have tasted before. And since these two worlds came together so perfectly I like to call them my " When Mexico Met France" or my " Dos Mundos" (Two Worlds) Toast.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Smore Amor, Por Favor

Recently I was asked to make a quick treat for kids to enjoy for completing a week jammed

packed full of standardized testing.  OH how I remember those dias of sitting through pages and pages of questions and thinking

" As much as I despise 3rd grade math I would do anything to get away from these test booklets filled with never ending questions and get back to our daily 11'o'clock math lesson".  At least on those days I

knew that by 11:45 my pain and agony would come to an end, and I could look forward to that

hot steamy pork roll and cheese sandwich the lunch ladies had waiting for me...mmmm! Interestingly

enough pork roll and cheese was one of those

items that I looked forward to being on the menu each month. I have recently found out though that those of you who don't live

on the Jersey Shore have no idea what a pork roll sandwich is, but let me

tell you it is a slice of hog heaven blanketed with a smooth slice of melted American queso, tangy

ketchup stuffed inside a soft brown potato roll! I know what your thinking.......not only do young

Jersey Girls have access to an exclusive slice of culinary bliss for elementary lunch, but when we grow up we are so spoiled that we don't even have to pump our own gas!

Ahhh yes! Welcome to the La Vida Buena!LOL, not exactly.....  okay so back to the little deserving students who have

stressed and work so hard all week long to make their school proud.  When I was deciding on what to make, I

definitely knew that I didn't want to make something too involved and time consuming. I

just wanted to keep it short y muy simple so I decided on chocolate chip cookies, how much easier could it get than that?

But sometimes for me easy just isn't good enough and I remembered the new Kraft

stack able marshmallows that I purchased a few weeks back. I also happened to a have a package of chocolate

bars that would go great smushed between the cookies and the marshmallows.  Just like that my simple cookie

idea transformed itself and to chocolate chip cookie smore's sans the graham cracker crumbs ( maybe next time)
Anyway here they are in all their glory and since I have an obsession with giving every thing I make a name, these are called "Smore Amors".

After taking pictures of my sweet marshmallowy, chocolaty filled amors, I went over to pic monkey and had so much fun with their picture editing that I couldn't decide which pic I loved more soooo....... I decided to post them all.

I hope you like them! With muchisimo Amor from me to you! ♥

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Te Amo, Mommy!

My Mother's Day Breakfast Plate
So Mother's Day has come and gone.....for me it was a beautiful

day, clear skies, gorgeous weather.  Really not even a rainstorm could

have ruined my spirits that morning because the sun had just barely

reached the sky and I could hardly crack open one eye, when I heard a

little voice.  The little voice was quietly whispering to me Happy

Mother's Day and as I made focus with the face behind the voice I saw

my 15 year old baby girl (because even at that age so will always be

my very first baby) who I have nicknamed Shelley, which is nothing like her "real name" and I am the only person in the world who calls her this, but we have both agreed it's our special thing and it

fits her nonetheless. Okay, okay back to the morning....as I spy my little angel standing in front of me, I see she has something in her hands which smells like a mix between a cinnamon stick, swirled

with bacon sitting in a vineyard full of grapes?!  What can I say it was 6:45 a.m and I was still
halfway conscious, halfway in a dream like fairyland.  When my eyes officially gained focus I saw

that she must have awoken at a least 6:00 a.m to prepare me a breakfast completely handmade by her of : french toast, maple sugar bacon, with a side of plump purple grapes and FRESH HAND

Which after proudly and hungrily scarfing down half my breakfast my Shelley pointed out that my breakfast was on the colorful cupcake that I had hinted at days

before that I loved (wink, wink).  Ahhh!! Te amo ( I love you) Mommy!, she said ( she knows how much I love when she speaks in Spanish!) Could that day have gotten any sweeter? It actually did get

a lot sweeter but it would be to much to write in this blog and I'm sure I would just go on and on gushing about my 4 dulce chicas! When I say I have four of the best girls in the world, I say it with

no exaggeration, they are some of the sweetest, most compassionate, smartest and funniest girls I have ever met in my life. One other thing I know about them for sure, is that they are eager to please
Mexican Chocolate
their momma and they truly never seem to let me down.  I can truly say I have been blessed and I am thankful for everyday with them. Alright, alright no more gushing :)!  With all that said my very own

mother made a special request the day before mother's day that left me scrambling at the grocery store to fulfill her wish.  What did she want? Chocolate covered strawberries which I hadn't made in

years, but after dipping the first few I remembered just how fun they were to make.  I then decided in addition to regular dipped chocolate I would make a few Chica Chocolatina exclusives which

included: double dos ( a strawberry dipped in melted chocolate, rolled in chocolate chips), Mexican Chocolate( a cinnamon chocolate) and a Strawberry Dulce ( chocolate dipped swirled with dulce de

 She loved them all!  Anyway Happy Belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there and I hope your day was just as special as mine.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Chocolate Tacos and Mexican Flag Quesadillas

Mexican Flag Quesadillas
So anyone who knows me knows that I love

everything Mexican and I mean LOVE! The

food, the culture, the language it all fascinates

me if I hear anyone speaking Spanish anywhere

my ears perk up and I feel a sense of calm and

relaxation as if it was my native tongue, which also anyone who knows me knows although I do

speak Spanish it most definitely is NOT my native language.

So when my daughter Bianca eagerly came home one afternoon with a slip

of brightly colored paper in her hand that informed all the parents in her

class of an upcoming Cinco de Mayo fiesta I was overjoyed!  When I

continued reading this colorful announcement and realized that

parents were needed to provide some festive dishes of their choice my

mind began to race. What could I make? The note specified almost all

things typical Mexican could be considered : tacos, fajitas, chips and salsa, Mexican rice, ice cream sandwiches (now this wasn't Mexican) but in my mind I knew a perfect way to put un poquito

Mexican twist on it. After days and days of dreaming of how to make my daughter's Mexican fiesta a  little more special this is what I came up with.  The day my super special delivery person( my

sweet mama:) left with almost 10 boxes of dulce treats, I hope that all my ideas were well received by all the ninas and ninos at my daughters school. All the worry was put to rest however when I arrived

home later in the day and my mother informed me that when she took the boxes into the front office, one of the secretaries was so smitten with my treats that she quietly snuck one out for herself. I was

doubly pleased when Bianca came up and hugged me and said that everyone in the class loved what I had made so much that one boy said that " I would pay $10 for one of your mom's treats" and that she

was excited when the whole entire class cheered as she walked in the room with her special treats! So happy Cinco de Mayo to you and I hope these little tesoros inspire you to make your own Cinco de Mayo sweets!
Chocolate Tostadas

Chocolate Shells, Chocolate Cake, Marshmallow Cheese, Gummy Tomatoes, Twizzler Lettuce
Corazon Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches

Friday, May 4, 2012

Little Miss Caramelita

As a young chica caramel has

always seemed to run through

my blood, seemed like I loved it on everything.... sandwiched in

between my chocolate bar,  a

smooth drizzle running down my

heaping ice cream scoop, a thick layer slathered on top of a freshly baked box of premade brownie mix  sprinkled with conveniently packaged  pecans......mmmmm I so

loved that stuff! Could there be any topping more wonderful that rich sweet caramel? I thought not......until 9th grade Spanish class when

Sra. Lefevre was going over some of the many different "sabores" or flavors of Latin America and

she mentioned the words "dulce de leche" which she said was" almost like the caramel that we had

here in America, but it was made from milk which made it a little more creamier and provided a

richer taste than caramel. Que dijo?

What did she say? Could it really be? Something creamier and

richer than my caramel compadre? I

had to try some! Well when I finally had the chance to get my

hands on some of that caramel

version of a "Latin lover" it was absolutamente love at first bite! I have taken a vow to be faithful to dulce de leche and use it in every

way I can in place of regular old American caramel, it's overly sweet, underprivileged counterpart. 

And now that I have achieved success with making my own homemade dulce de leche I have become

inspired to create desserts that showcase this yummy salsa in all it's glory.  So here is my very first

confection made up of the very stuff that keeps me going and also made exclusively by me. It's my version of a carmelita but clearly

I have exchanged the caramel for dulce de leche and have affecioniately renamed it muchachita

which in Spanish means- sweet little girl and that is exactly what these are sweet little bars of chocolate, oats and dulce de leche heaven!
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