Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordles Wednesday: Matachines

Friday, February 10, 2012

Video(s) of The Week - Superbowl Commercials

Here are my favorite commercials from this years Superbowl.

Doritos-Man's Best Friend. The whole commercial is funny!

M&M's - Sexy and I know it. So funny!

Acura NSX: Transaction. I loved the part where Jay Leno shows up.

The Voice - Vocal Kombat. The fighting is kind of cheesy, but the ending is awesome!

H&M - David Beckham Body Wear. Do I really need to say why this video made my list.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Randy's (@areyousuprised) Inspired Chicken and Rice

Today's recipe comes from YouTube, specifically @areyousuprised. If you don't know who Randy is, you need to check out his YouTube Channel.

Ok, before I go on with the recipe, you need to watch his video where he makes his EXTREME PROTEIN dish, the inspiration for my dish.

Isn't he just sooo cute!

Now Randy's dish and mine are a bit different because Randy is packing protein, working out, in shape, hot, good looking, delicious....but I digress....and I am not, so mine might not be as healthy.


Chicken stock or bullion cube
Black Beans
Salsa (any brand, any level of heat)
Diced Tomatoes (not pictured)

I'm not adding any amounts because it's really up to how much you want to make. I used this whole package of chicken and at the end I would have liked more corn and beans, so I will use 2 cans of each the next time.

First make your rice. I did two cups of brown rice with four cups of water and a chicken bullion cube. Cook until done. While the rice is cooking, start on the chicken. Dice the chicken into bite size strips and season with your favorite seasoning.

To a hot pan, add some oil and the chicken. Cook chicken until it's almost done and then add chopped onion.

Cook until the onion is translucent and then add your corn and beans. Because I used can beans, I did rinse them with water before adding to the pan.

Then add your chopped tomato, fresh or canned, and salsa. Again, add a lot or a little bit of salsa, according to how spicy you like it. I like mine spicy so I added about half the bottle of salsa. Set the heat on low, cover, and let it simmer for a few minutes while the chicken soaks up all the deliciousness.

When done, get a plate and scoop some brown rice in the center. Then get a heaping scoop of chicken and salsa and place on top of your rice. Top with some chopped cilantro and enjoy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Video of the week!

I was in Wal-Mart, the only place in Del Rio that has books for sale, looking for a new book to read. As I was browsing the very small selection of books, I came across one called The Hunger Games. As I read the title, I remembered someone who I follow on twitter, I'm pretty sure it was @tyleroakley, had mentioned the book. I picked it up and read the back cover. Seemed interesting, so I bought it.  After I bought it and read some chapters, I decided to do a twitter search to see if anyone else was talking about it. Turns out there are a lot. That when I found out about the other 2 books in the series and the upcoming movie. As soon as I was finished reading the first book, I read the second, and then the third. I really liked the series and the trailers for the movie look good. The second trailer was just released yesterday and the movie is set to come out in theaters March 23, 2012.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Empanadas de Calabaza (Pumpkin Empanadas)

In my last post I said I was going to make pumpkin empanadas using that huge pumpkin my grandmother gave me. Empanadas  are basically stuffed pastries that are baked or fried. They are very common in Latin American countries as well as southern Europe and southeast Asia. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanadas are made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing. The stuffing can consist of a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables or fruits among others.

Empanadas are really easy to make. They can be make savory or sweet. They can be large entree size, or they can be small bite size. There are many recipes out there and I chose to do this one


3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Cinnamon (optional)
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup warm water

4 cups pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 beaten egg


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

I didn't have any parchment paper, so I didn't use any. I didn't have any stick to the pan, but it might be a good idea to use it if you have it.

 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Adding cinnamon is optional. It was not in the original recipe but I LOVE cinnamon, so I added it. I put in 1 large tablespoon of cinnamon. You can add however much you want.

Then cut the shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs.

 I just used a spoon and scooped the shortening all around the bowl, then I used a pastry cutter to mix in the shortening until it resembles course crumbs as seen below.

Stir water in 2 tablespoons at a time, just until you can gather the dough together. Knead the dough a few times in the bowl, then scrape it out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into quarters and then cut each quarter into thirds to make 12 equal portions. 

 The recipe says that it will make 12 servings. You can make 12 large empanadas, or 24 medium empanadas, or a whole bunch of small epanadas. It's all up to your liking. I made medium sized and small empanadas so some of the 12 dough balls were slit in half. Like I said, it's all up to what you want to make.

Cover the dough balls and let rest while you make the filling.

I found that the dough was a lot more manageable if you wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it. I would say at leas one hour. I actually let mine in the fridge overnight.

Mix the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together until smooth.

I didn't have any ground cloves so I added ground nutmeg...why not.

On a floured surface roll each dough ball our into a thin circle about 6 inches across. Spoon 1/3 cup of filling into the center of the dough circle. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half moon shaped pie and crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork, leaving fork lines in the dough.

I did not make them 6 in across, so I did not use 1/3 cup of filling. I used more like 1-2 tablespoons.

You can also use an empanada mold to fold and crimp your empanadas.

Gently lay the empanadas onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops of each empanada with beaten egg. 

Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is hot and the crusts are shiny and browned, about 20 minutes.

I baked mine in the middle rack and it took a bit longer than 20 minutes to bake. You just have to keep your eye on them. These were not going to a party or going to be given away as a gift, so I wasn't too picky with how they looked. My stomach doesn't really care if one is torn or I didn't crimp tight enough and its leaking. Just be careful not to over stuff with filling or you will have some leakage and tears in the dough....well I did.

I also made mini bite size empanadas with a small mold.

Serve warm with ice cream for dessert or at room temperature with coffee in the morning for breakfast. You can also reheat them in the microwave if wanted.

Like all recipes, you can play around with the ingredients in both the crust and the filling (eg. take out or add more sugar). If you are going to make a savory empanada, you might want to omit all or some of the sugar in the crust. A good filling for savory empanadas is taco meat. Just use some ground meat with onion, peppers, and taco seasoning. Serve with  crema fresca and/or guacamole

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin

In December of last year, my grandmother bought some pumpkins and she gave me one. I don't know what kind of pumpkin it is or what to do with it. My grandmother told me that I could roast it like a regular pumpkin. Well, not too sure what to do with it, I let it sit in my living room as a decoration piece.

Well, the other day I decided that I better do something with it before it goes bad, if it hadn't already. I wanted to make empanadas with pumpkin filling, so why not use this pumpkin. I have never roasted a pumpkin before so, like I always do with something new, I went to google and did a search. I found lots of info and found out that it really isn't that hard.

First I wash the outside of the pumpkin and cut it in half. Then I removed the seeds and guts.I was surprised with how bright and orange it was even after sitting in my living room for a month.

Then I quartered it.Then I cut those quarters in half, that way it would not take as long to cook, and fit better in my pans.

 I roasted them skin side up at 350 degrees and it took about 1 1/2 hours till it was done.

Then after letting them cool for a bit, I took a spoon and scooped out all of the flesh into a bowl. I got four large bowls from this pumpkin.

Then, in small batches, I used a blender to puree the pulp.

 This is what I ended up with...a whole lot of pumpkin puree. I put some aside to make the empanadas and the rest I put into freezer bags and into the freezer to use at a later time.

I plan to use all the puree to make empanadas, but it can be used to make pies, breads, cakes, flans, soups, and whatever else you want.

Ok, so I have neglected my blog for way too long.

Lately when I'm at home cooking, I start taking pics and twitpic them. I thought, why don't I blog about what I cook, so I can post more pics and share what I cook with anyone willing to read this.

Now don't get me wrong, my blog will not become a food/cooking only blog. It will still be a jumbled mess of things that I want to blog about blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Convo: Her name is Joe

Mom - "I didn't know you knew how to do this stuff"
Me - "What stuff?"
Mom - "Car stuff"
Me - "I used to date a mechanic."
Mom - "Oh really, what was her name."
Me - "Joe"
Mom just walks away