Ingredients of a Woman » Archive for January 2010

Who needs Botox?

   
Try this natural homemade facial mask! It only includes two ingredients.
Who needs Botox when we have bananas and plain yogurt?

I have tried it a few times, and it’s now one of my favorites. It will moisturize your skin, leaving it looking and feeling softer.

You need a ripe banana and a cup of plain yogurt. Mash up the ripe banana and mix it with the yogurt. Add the paste to your face and neck. Let it set for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse off with cold water.
Bananas, natural facemask

   
I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy the results, as mush as I do.
Alba

Filed under: Tips, to SAVE money

Easy Drunken Fajitas with Mushrooms, Poblano Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

   
Adding citruses to a marinade helps to break down the steak’s fibers and make it more tender. Beer and lime, sounds like a happy hour?

   
Well, these fajitas are easy to make. Once marinated, it’ll take you less than an hour to have them ready on your plate. Besides tenderizing, the beer and lime, add a rich flavor.

   
Marinate the fajitas a day ahead, combining all the ingredients below with the meat. An easy option is using ziploc bags to avoid the mess.

   
No time to marinate? You can cheat and buy the fajita already marinated, but it tastes better if you do it yourself.

Here are the ingredients:

   
Just a tablespoon of Olive Oil.

   
I almost forget, today’s secret ingredient:
Corona happy hour

   
Heat a large pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil, then add half of an onion and two cloves of garlic (cut into halves),

   
add the fajitas (already marinated and sliced), and sprinkle the juice of the two limes and fresh pepper to taste. Stir.

Why more lime and pepper? Trust me, they will add a richer flavor.

   
Slice the peppers, mushrooms and the rest of the onion.

   
When the fajitas are almost done (medium rare) add the sliced mushrooms and a 1/4 cup of beer. I used Corona this time, but you can use your favorite beer. Let the mushrooms cook.
And last but not least, add the Poblanos, bell peppers, tomatoes and the rest of the onion.
I don’t like my peppers over cooked, reason why I added them last.

   

   
There is something about Cherry tomatoes, not only their tangy and sweet taste but the way they look, that makes me want to use them in a lot of recipes.

   
Smoking fajitas!

   
The juices are going to consume, but your fajitas don’t have to get dry. This picture is not very clear, but I hope you get the idea. Now we are ready to dig in!

   
Serve immediately, sizzling hot, with white rice, warm tortillas and your favorite salsa.

   
Enjoy,
Alba

   
For Marinade
3/4 tsp. sea salt
¾ Cup of Beer
2 Limes
½ Tablespoon of Chile Powder
Fresh Pepper
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)

   
Ingredients
6 Mushrooms (sliced)
2 Chile Poblanos or Bell Pepper (I used 1 Poblano and 1 Red bell pepper)
2 Lb Fajita (Preferably marinated and sliced)
1/4 Cup Beer of your preference (I used Corona)
2 Limes
Pepper
1 Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil (just a tablespoon)
25 Cherry Tomatoes (cut into halves)
Salt
Cilantro (optional)

   
Preparation
Heat a large pan and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then, add half of an onion and two cloves of garlic (cut into halves). Add the fajitas (already marinated and sliced), and sprinkle the juice of the two limes and fresh pepper to taste. Stir. When the fajitas are almost done (medium rare) add the sliced mushrooms and a 1/4 cup of beer. Let them cook for a few more minutes. Then, add the Poblanos, bell peppers, tomatoes and the rest of the onion.
Serve immediately, sizzling hot, with white rice, warm tortillas and your favorite salsa.

Buen provecho!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Mr. Runway

This chubby, bubbly fellow looks healthy, mmmhh, turkey for dinner anyone?

   
Look at this corpulent guy! He’s ready to head into the oven.

Oven

   
The pictures were taken in a small village in Veracruz, Mexico.
While waiting for our sugarcane juice to be made. Mr. Turkey came walking and passed right in front of us, modeling his feathers, like if he was part of an exclusive Christian Dior’s runway.

   
I could think of many recipes including Mr. Runway: Turkey sandwich, turkey with portobello mushrooms, turkey casserole, roast turkey, turkey meatballs.

   
Oh, oohh, is he reading my mind?

He got my vibe and walked away.

Alba

Filed under: Photography, Travel

Alka-Seltzer for a great tasty coffee.

   
Fill the water chamber of your coffeemaker with water and drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait for them to dissolve, next brew a cycle to clean the tubes. Turn off the coffeemaker and let it cool for about twenty minutes. To make sure the Alka-Seltzer is completely gone, rinse the chamber with water, and repeat the rinsing process two or three more times.
Then run another brew cycle with plain water before making coffee.

   
Cleaning your coffeemaker every other week or at least once a month will keep your coffee tasting good.
Cleaning a coffeemaker
“Without my morning coffee I’m just like a dried up piece of roast goat.”Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Coffee Cantata.

   
I love coffee

Alba

Filed under: Tips

Easy Chicken Soup for the Soul

   
So you are SICK! Headache, runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing. And guess who has to make that chicken soup to bring you back to life? YOU! Yourself and only you.
Easy Chicken Soup bowl 3

I promise you this chicken soup is very easy. I make it every time I get sick. When my husband gets sick, I take more time and put more effort, just to show my looooove for him ;-) .

   
Simple but flavorful, and if your nasal passages allow it, very aromatic. Give it a try.

You can always adjust it to your taste, substituting oregano for cilantro or even for parsley.

   
I used two boneless chicken breast, only because they were already in my fridge. If you want to use two whole chicken breast with bones and skin, perfect! The broth will be even tastier.

   
Here are some more ingredients:

   
Ahhhh, I forgot the onion, half, only half.

   
I had a cold when I was making it, please also add 2-3 garlic cloves.

   
We also need some corn to give it more texture.
Corn

   
Now, it’s time to chop! I spent some extra time cutting the veggies into small pieces, just because I remembered my sweet Mom always made this soup when I was little, she always cut everything nice and small.
Hey! If you are feeling really sick, don’t bother chopping so much, just chop the veggies into large chunks.

   
One green bell pepper,

   
One large plantain.

   
Two celery stalks.

   
Two carrots.

   
Some fresh oregano.

   
One potato.

   
Place the chicken in a large pot, adding water, salt, the sliced onion, and the garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. We are basically poaching our chicken in a flavorful bath.

Once the chicken is cooked through, just FYI the juices should run clear…

   
it’s time to shred it. Be carefull, wait until is ready to handle, don’t burn your hands. I had done it so many times :-( .

We are going to add it back to the chicken broth.

   
And then the veggies. I started by adding the potatoes, corn, plantains and carrots, letting them cook first.

Let all the goodness simmer and release all those flavors until they are cooked.

   
Last I added the celery and herbs, in this case, fresh oregano. My celery has to be a bit crunchy not over cooked, that’s only my preference ;-)

   
Serve in a bowl.

Add some vitamin C, lime juice.

   
Feeling better?

Enjoy it!

Alba

   
Ingredients
2 Chicken breat
1 Large plantain
1 Green bell pepper
2 Carrots
2 Celery stalks
1 Potato
1 Can of corn
Salt
About 8 cups of water
1/2 Onion
2-3 Garlic cloves

   
Preparation
Bring the water with the chicken, salt, onion and garlic to boil, then lower the heat and simmer until chicken is cooked. Let the chicken cool down and shred it, then add it back to the chicken broth. Also add the rest of the veggies, except for the celery and oregano. The vegetables should be tender after 5-7 minutes. Finally add the celery and the oregano.
Serve with some lime juice.

Buen provecho!

Filed under: Busy woman, Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Feet warmer

   
After a long day at work, chasing the kids around, or just after finishing a home project, give your feet a well deserved rest and put those pretty empty wine bottles to a good use.
Wine Bottles

   
Fill one up with hot water, then sit down, relax, and roll it back and forth under your feet.
Roll back and forth

You feet will thank you.

Alba

Filed under: Tips

Cilantro-Asadero Cheese Omelette

   
This delectable omelette is delicate enough to melt in your mouth. Cilantro, eggs, mmhh, I want to have breakfast for dinner! The taste of fresh cilantro adds a punch to the eggs.

   
Here are the ingredients:
Asadero cheese,

   
Eggs, two or three, depends on your appetite,

   
More protein, turkey pastrami, about two slices,

   
Half of a poblano pepper, chopped.

   
Some fresh pepper,

   
Some fresh cilantro, also chopped.

   
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the olive oil. While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs in a bowl, and season with pepper and whisk some more,

   
Time to add the fresh chopped cilantro.

   
Whisk again.

   
Reduce the heat to medium and pour the whisked eggs into the hot skillet.
Continue cooking using a spatula to pull the cooked eggs from the edge.

   
On top of half of the eggs, place the cheese,

   
then the pastrami and poblano peppers,

   
remember to use only the top of half of the eggs.

   
Use the spatula to lift the opposite side of the omelet..

   
..and very carefully fold over, press a little for the to allow the uncooked parts run underneath. Flip over the whole omelette and let it cook some more.

   
Serve with hot tortillas,

   
fresh fruit,

   
or tomato sauce.

   
Buen Provecho!
Alba

   
Ingredients
3 eggs
2 slices of turkey pastrami
Asadero cheese
Cilantro
Fresh pepper
3 tablespoons of Olive oil

   
Preparation
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the olive oil. While the oil is heating, whisk the eggs in a bowl, season with pepper and whisk some more, add the chopped cilantro, and whisk again.
Pour the whisked eggs into the hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking using a spatula to pull the cooked eggs from the edge. Place the cheese, pastrami and poblano peppers on top of half of the eggs. Use the spatula to lift opposite side of the omelet and very carefully fold over, press a little to allow the uncooked parts run underneath. Flip over the whole omelette and let it cook some more.

Serve with fresh fruit or tomato sauce.

Enjoy it!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Eliminate fireplace odor

   
Nothing cozier than a warm burning fire on a cold winter night.
Fireplace

   
Is your fire smelly?

   
Try adding a few lemon peels into the flames. The oil from the peels gives out a citrus scent,
a pleasant fragrance, banishing bad odors.
lemon tree

Alba

Filed under: Tips

Mexican Fruit Punch

   
Also called “Ponche”. Your whole house will get a sweet aromatic smell. This hot drink will warm even the coldest winter night.
Ponche is a traditional drink in Mexico; we love to make it during the Christmas season. Since it’s freezing in Dallas, I decided to have the first Christmas of 2010, making the hot sweet delicious Ponche de Frutas (Fruit Punch).

   
So easy to make, you’re going to love it.

   
Here are the ingredients you need:

Some fresh cinnamon sticks, about three.

   
Ten cloves,

   
Half a pound of tamarind,

Don’t forget to peel them of…

   
Two lbs of piloncillo. Piloncillo is like brown sugar, but not exactly, see the sugarcane gets pressed in a large artifact to get all the juice from it, then, that juice is boiled at super high temperatures, until its color turns into a beautiful gold-brownish paste, which then gets formed into a cone. Here is a picture of the final product:

I love it, not only because it makes me feel like Speedy Gonzales, but also because contains large amounts of calcium, iron and proteins, ahaaa, its not only sugarrrr!! Plus its flavor is lighter than brown sugar. Piloncillo is one of the ingredients in many of my desserts, “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!”
piloncillo

   
Two apples peeled and chopped, and two sweet juicy pears also peeled and chopped.

   
Twelve guavas,

please don’t tell anyone, I cheatted this time and used frozen guavas, I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to get fresh fruit, forgive me, but It’s freezing in Dallas.
If you want to be gooood, use fresh fruit.
Guavas

   
About two lbs of sugarcane, shhhhh, also frozen….

   
One cup of raisins and one of prunes,

   
Prunes

The juice of 6 oranges, just FYI, I had fresh oranges at home.

   
Boil the drinking water with the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and the piloncillo then, reduce the temperature and add the rest of the ingredients, except the Brandy. How easy is this?

   

   
Let the fruit enjoy its hot bath for an hour.

   
Serve hot in a bowl, just like soup,

   

   
or in a glass, as cocktail…

   
Add some Brandy if you like, only if you like…

Enjoy it in a cold winter night, it doesn’t have to be Christmas.

Alba

   
Ingredients
6 Liters of drinking water
2 Lbs. piloncillo
1 Cup of raisins
1 Cup of pitted prunes
3 Cinnamon sticks
10 Whole cloves
8-10 small crabapples (tejocotes)
½ Lb. of tamarind pods
12 Guavas
2 Lbs. sugar cane
2 Apples, peeled and chopped
2 Pears, peeled and chopped
4 Large oranges (or 6 medium ones) juiced
Sugar to taste, if needed
Brandy (optional)

   
Preparation
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil with the cloves, piloncillo and cinnamon sticks, then, reduce the temperature and add the rest of the ingredients, except the Brandy. Add some more water if needed, let the punch simmer for about one hour.
Serve warm, adding booze for the adults ;-)

   
Buen Provecho!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Flying Man

   
Humble.
I love Veracruz _Flyer Man

   
Maybe sad, or worried…
I love Veracruz _Flyer Man 2

   
Could it be, scared?
I love Veracruz _Flyer Man 3

   
He was about to perform a dance, you would think that dancing is always fun… well, he was about to dance on top of a pole, up to 150 feet high.
I love Veracruz _Flyer Man 4

The Dance of Papantla’s flyers.

   
He is a flying man, trying to make a living.
I love Veracruz _Flyer Men

   
Alba

Filed under: ARTS, Dancing, Photography