Ingredients of a Woman » Home Ingredients

Grand Marnier Strawberry Sauce -Spring Flavours

   
Nothing like fresh Spring flavours. Strawberries are on top of my list of vibrant and flavorful spring foods. I’m planning to grow my own, next year for sure. On the mean time, I got some of these gorgeous passion red strawberries from the market.
They are big, beautiful and juicy.
The taste of this sauce will remind you that spring is HERE.

   
The ingredients are:
About 12 large strawberries. One whole lime, the juice and zest.
A couple of medium size cinnamon sticks or just one large. Two Tbsp. of cornstarch. And 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier, maybe 1/2 cup, it’s up to you ;-)

   
Upps, I almost forget, we also need about a cup of brown sugar.


   
In a saucepan bring to a boil 3 cups of water. Add a large cinnamon stick.
Let it boil for about 5 minutes or until the water has changed its color to a light red-brown, just like if you were making cinnamon tea.

   
Then add a cup of sugar, the strawberries, the lime zest and juice. Boil for about 5 minutes.

   
Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a ¼ cup of cold water. Make sure there are not lumps.

   
Once the strawberries are softened, add the dissolved cornstarch. Stir until begins to boil again and the sauce has thickened.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Grand Marnier.
Let it cool down and then refrigerate.

   
Server on top of a slice of cake with some fresh strawberries.
Strawberry Sauce_On top of sweet bread 2

   
Devour immediately!
Love,

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
12 large fresh strawberries (rinsed and sliced)
1 whole lime (the juice and skin)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 large cinnamon stick
3 ¼ cups water
¼ cup Grand Marnier

   
Preparation
-In a saucepan bring to a boil 3 cups of water. Add a large cinnamon stick.
-Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
-Then add a cup of sugar, the strawberries, the lime zest and juice. Boil for about 5 minutes.
-Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a ¼ cup of cold water. Make sure there are not lumps.
-Once the strawberries are softened, add the dissolved cornstarch. Stir until begins to boil again and the sauce has thickened.
-Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Grand Marnier. Let it cool down and then refrigerate.
-Server on top of a slice of cake with some fresh strawberries.

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Baked Spanish Tortilla with Mushrooms and Peppers

   
This is a little variation to “Tortilla Española”, since Spanish don’t use the oven. They only use a fry pan.
You could play with the veggies, adding all sort of peppers. Sometimes I even use broccoli.

   

   
Here are the ingredients:

   
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
First let’s start by chopping all the vegetables.

   
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

   
Then, in a baking dish arrange the cooked veggies.

   
Make sure to distribute them evenly.

   
Now, in a mixing bowl, add the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the parsley.

   
Whisk all together.

   
Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

   
Press down on the veggies making sure they get submerged.
I love the colors!

   
And bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

   
Serve on fresh bread.


   
Buen provecho!

   Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 oz peeled and sliced potatoes
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
3 mushrooms thinly sliced
Salt and ground pepper
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

   
Preparation
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and mushrooms; season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
-In a baking dish arrange the veggies.
-Now, in a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
-Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, make sure to distribute evenly.
-Press down on the veggies making sure they get submerged.
-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Serve on fresh bread.

Buen provecho!

Alba

Filed under: Breakfast, Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Crazy HOT Salsa

   
I love spicy-hot salsas, green, red, orange, brown, yellow…I don’t care what color they are, as long as they are HOT.

   
Since today is Cinco de Mayo and it’s all about eating spicy food. Ok, maybe it’s not.
It’s actually about the Mexican army’s victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, back in 1862. It’s about celebrating with your friends and family.
Cinco de MayoIt’s the perfect excuse to make salsa.

   
Just to clarify it has never been the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day as many people believe.

   
If you are looking to spice up your food try this salsa version. It’s very simple, easy, and absolutely HOT. You could use it with many of the Mexican snacks and dishes made to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Just be aware that it’s crazy HOT.

   
Here are the ingredients:
You also need 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

   
Boil the chiles, I used six red jalapeños, four cloves of garlic and one bell pepper to intensify the color of the salsa. Just a note, I didn’t remove the seeds. If you want to control the heat, then remove the seeds.

   
Once the jalapeños are soft, throw everything in the blender.
My preference is to have chunks of chiles, lots of texture. If you like yours smooth then make sure to blend some more.

   
Next, in a sauce pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the salsa and let if boil for a few minutes.

   
Then sprinkle the juice of one lime. We are done.

   
Serve on top of your favorite breakfast.

   
On your favorite tacos.

   
Buen provecho!

   
Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
6 Jalapeños peppers
1 Bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime

   
Preparation
Boil all the ingredients except the oil.
Once the jalapeños are soft, throw everything in the blender and blend.
Next, in a sauce pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the salsa and let if boil for a few minutes. Then sprinkle the juice of one lime.

Enjoy it.

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Eggplant Pasta with Garlic and Rosemary

   
The sauce in this recipe is robust in flavor and texture, yet so easy to make.
You could substitute the pasta for chicken. Or even add sausages.
It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and about 25 minutes of total cooking time.

   
Here are the ingredients needed:
Also, some salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
I almost forget, Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Eggplant with Garlic and Rosemary_Pecorino Romano

   
First, let’s start by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water.
Once it’s al dente, drain it, but wait! Save some of the water used to boil it, we are going to use 1 1/2 cup.

   
Halve and dice the eggplant. Also, dice the tomatoes.

   
Remove the leaves from the rosemary stems and finely chop them.
Eggplant with Garlic and Rosemary_RosemaryPause, inhale the aroma, pause, inhale again, continue.

   
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat until softened.

   
Then add the eggplant.
Stir over moderate heat until the eggplant begins to soften and change color.

   
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
Add the diced tomatoes.

   
Then the tomato paste and 1 ½ cup of the water used to boil the pasta.
Stir, then sprinkle the chopped rosemary.

   
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is completely soft and the sauce is not runny.
Here is an easy way to find out if it’s done. Run a spoon through it and if your get to see the bottom of the pan, the sauce is done.

   
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to mix.

   
Serve immediately, with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

   
Buen Provecho!
Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 eggplant large
1 fresh Rosemary sprig
3 large tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
12 oz elbow pasta
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

   
Preparation
First, let’s start by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water. Once is al dente, drain it and save the water used to boil it.
Halve and dice the eggplant. Dice the tomatoes.
Remove the leaves from the rosemary stems and finely chop them.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat until softened.
Then add the eggplant. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Stir over moderate heat until the eggplant begins to soften and change color.
Add the diced tomatoes.
Then the tomato paste and 1 ½ cup of the water used to boil the pasta.
Stir, then sprinkle the rosemary.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is completely soft. And the sauce is not runny.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to mix.
Serve immediately, with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

   
Buen Provecho!

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

Beef with lime and Capers

   
The capers and lime juice add a sharp contrast to the buttery Italian sauce.
Beef with Lime and Capers_Serve with salad

Today’s ingredients are:

   
In a mixing bowl beat the 2 eggs.

   
Season with salt and pepper.

   
Add the shredded beef and mix well until all the meat is cover with the egg mixture. Drain off any excess.

   
In a pan or baking sheet add a cup the flour and season with freshly ground pepper and salt.

   
Now, coat the beef with the seasoned flour.

   

   

   
Heat the olive oil in a large flat pan. Cook the beef for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.


   
I love their free form ;-)

   
Drain on paper towels.

   
Using the same flat pan, add 2 slices of onions and the 2 garlic cloves, let them cook for about 2 minutes.

   
We need about 1/4 cup of drained capers.

   
Add the cappers.

   
And the chicken stock.

   
Then the juice of the two limes and remove the pan from the heat.

   
Whisk in the butter.
Season with salt if needed.

   
Transfer the beef to a serving plate and pour in the sauce. I removed the garlic cloves and onions, just my preference, you could leave them in if you like.

   
Serve with a light salad.

Buon appetito!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
1 LB shredded beef
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt
Pepper
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
2 limes

   
Preparation
In a mixing bowl beat the 2 eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the shredded beef and mix well until all the meat is cover with the egg mixture. Drain off any excess.
In a pan or baking sheet add a cup the flour and season with freshly ground pepper.
Coat the beef with the seasoned flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large flat pan. Cook the beef for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on paper towels.
Using the same flat pan, add 2 slices of onions and the 2 garlic cloves, let them cook for about 2 minutes.
Then, add the cappers and the chicken stock. Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half.
Add the juice of the two limes and remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the butter.
Season with salt if needed.
Transfer the beef to a serving plate and pour in the sauce.
Serve with a light salad.

   
Buen provecho!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Spring Blossoms – Sharing some flowers and a poem by Emily Dickinson

   
“A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad

On Solitary Fields

That Science cannot overtake

But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,

It shows the furthest Tree

Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step

Or Noons report away

Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss

Affecting our Content

As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.”

   
Love,

Alba H. Rodriguez

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Filed under: ARTS, Home and Garden, Photography

Insalata Caprese with a small twist

   
This is my version of Insalata Caprese. My little twist is substituting mozzarella for queso freso (fresh cheese).
Insalata CapreseI love this salad, it makes me feel healthier after the first bite!

   
Here are the ingredients:

   
Cut the tomatoes, into thin slices. I used four tomatoes this time.
Also, slice the cheese.

   
For the dressing:
In a bowl, add one tablespoon of olive oil.

   
Then, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

   
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
Mix well.
How easy is that?

   
Here is the fun part.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.

   
Drizzle with the dressing.

   
Sprinkle with the basil leaves on top.

   
We are done.

   
Buon appetito!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
4 large tomatoes
½ Lb fresh queso ranchero
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper

   
Preparation
Cut the tomatoes into thin slices.
Slice the cheese.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.
Drizzle with the dressing.
Sprinkle the basil leaves on top.

   
Enjoy it!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

Sopes -Mexican Flavours

   
Sopes are significantly thicker than tortillas. Regardless of their difference in shape, they can be topped with the same fillings, such as beans, chicken, cheese, avocado, you name it.
For this sope version, I didn’t add lard or vegetable shortening to the masa dough. My Mom always make sopes this way, she always says we need to watch our figure ;-)
Sopes_Mexican FlavoursThe result is a delicious sope, which is rustic on the outside and soft in the inside. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

   
Here are the ingredients for the filling:
Ingredients 1

   
We also need some ground beef, about a pound.

   
Fresh mushrooms, about 6 to 8.

   
One lime.

   
Chopped cilantro, about a half of a cup.

   
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic, let them cook for about 2 minutes.

   
Add the ground beef.

   
Season with salt.

   
And freshly ground pepper.

   
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let it cook.

   
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.

   
Once the ground beef is cooked, there should not be any running juices.

   
Add the sliced mushrooms and let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

   
Time for the tomato sauce. We need about a cup.

   
Add the tomato sauce and stir some more.

   
Let the sauce reduce a little. It should look like this.

   
And finally add the chopped cilantro.

   
Mix well and let it cook for about 2 more minutes.

   
Now lets work on the sopes shells. We are going to use a sope press. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you could use a tortilla press or even the bottom of a can could help.

   
We need some fresh corn masa.
Use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix it with a pinch of salt to taste.

   
If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Use a square of plastic to cover the sope press. Place a masa ball on top and gently press with your fingers.
If should look like this:

   
Cover with another square of plastic.

   
Then press gently but now using the sope press.

   
You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. The result should be a fat little tortilla or what is called a gordita.

   
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Peel off the plastic and lay the gordita (fat tortilla) on the hot skillet.

   
Do the same with the rest until your skillet is full.

   
Let each side cook for about 3 minutes.

   

   
Remove the gorditas from the comal and immediately pinch up a border around each one.

   
It’ll look like a flower. They all look like flowers to me.

   
Also pinch the center.

   
If you haven’t developed the so indispensable calluses on your hands yet, then you might want to use a napkin or a paper towel.

   
They are so pretty!

   
Ok, one last close up.

   
Repeat the process until you finish shaping all the gorditas, making them into sopes.

   
Using the same skillet, now over medium heat, place the sopes back.

   
Add the ground beef on top, and let them cook briefly until the bottom is firm and cooked through. About 2 minutes.

   
Sprinkle the top with some fresh cheese.
Buen provecho!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
The Filling
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Lb. ground beef
1 lime (the juice)
6 mushrooms
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Mexican queso fresco
Salt to taste
The Dough
1 Lb. fresh corn masa
Salt to taste

   
Preparation
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes.
Then add the ground beef. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let the beef cook.
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.
Once the ground beef is cooked add the sliced mushrooms.
Let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the tomato sauce and stir some more.
Let the sauce reduce a little and then finally add the chopped cilantro. Stir.

For the sopes shells, use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix with a pinch of salt to taste. If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Divide the masa into balls.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Use a square of plastic to cove the sope press. Put a masa ball on top and cover with another square of plastic, and then press gently. You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Peel off the plastic and lay the fat tortilla (gordita) on the hot skillet and bake each side for about 3 minutes.
Pinch up a border around each gordita. Also pinch the center. Set aside and repeat with each one.
Using the same skillet now over medium heat, place the sopes back, adding the ground beef on top. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Top each sope with some fresh cheese.

   
Enjoy it!

Filed under: Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

14 days of Aphrodisiac Dishes -#12 Avocado-Cherry Salad

   
Avocados are high in vitamins A and C, niacin and minerals, including phosphorus and potassium.

I love Nahuatl, I do NOT know how to speak it, but I have a few friends, back in Mexico, that know how to. Avocado comes from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl” which means testicle. They were known by my ancestors, the Aztecs, as “the fertility fruit”.
Avocado Cherry Salad

   
Today’s ingredients are:
Ingredients

I almost forget, we also need olive oil, about one tablespoon.
Olive Oil

   
Cut the cherries into halves and core them.
Cherries

   
Finely chop the basil.
Basil

   
We need about 1/4 cup.
Basil 2

   
Place the basil in a bowl and add the lime juice.
Lime juice

   
Add the vinegar.
Vinegar

   
Then the olive Oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Olive oil

   
Whisk.
Whisk

   
Add the cherries.
Adding cherries

   
Cut the avocados in half, lengthwise and twist to split the two halves.
Avocado

   
Cube the avocados and carefully fold them in with the cherry-vinegar mix. If your avacados are too soft, you might want to drizzle them with the cherry-vinegar mix instead of folding them in.
Add avocados

   
We are done.
Avocado Cherry Salad

   
Buen provecho!

Alba

   
Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
2 limes (the juice)
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
20 cherries
4 avocados

   
Preparation
-Cut the cherries into halves and core them.
-Finely chop the basil.
-Place the basil in a bowl and add the lime juice, vinegar and olive oil.
-Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
-Whisk.
-Next, add the cherries.
-Cut the avocados in half, lengthwise and twist to split the two halves.
-Cube the avocados and carefully fold them in with the cherry-vinegar mix.
-If your avocados are too soft, you might want to drizzle them with the cherry-vinegar mix instead of folding them in.

Buen provecho!

Filed under: 14 Days of Aphrodisiac Dishes, Busy woman, Food Marathons, Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen

14 days of Aphrodisiac Dishes #11 Red Snapper en Papillote

   
Nearly every culture has idolized fish as a symbol of life. Phosphorus, calcium and vitamins A, B and D, all found in fish, are important nutrients known to pump up your libido.
Red Snapper en Papillote
“En Papillote” is French for cooking in parchment paper. The technique allows the fish to steam in its own juices. This recipe is pretty easy to make. It will take only about 18 to 20 minutes for the fish to get cooked.

   
Ingredients:
Ingredients

   
Heat oven to 400 °F.

   
Slice the carrots.
Carrots

   
Chop the garlic.
Garlic

   
Combine lime juice.
Lime juice

   
Capers.
Capers

   
Dill, olive oil, sea salt and garlic.
Dill

   
Whisk and set aside.
Whisk

   
Pour on the caper mixture.
Pour on the sauce

   
Brush the snapper with the caper mixture.
Pour on sauce 2

   
Make sure you also brush the inside of the snapper.
Sauce in

   
Fill it in with the onions, butter and carrots.
Place onions in

   
Top with the onions, carrots, butter and peppercorns.
Add carrots

   
Sprinkle corn peppers

   
Cut 4 pieces of parchment to wrap the snapper with.
Wrap

   
Place the snapper on a baking sheet and bake until the packets have puffed and the fish is cooked, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Done

   
We are done.
Red Snapper en Papillote 1

   
Server with Maple-Glazed Carrots.
Red Snapper en Papillote

   
Enjoy it!

Alba

   
Ingredients
1 whole red snapper
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon chopped dill
2 large limes (the juice)
2 teaspoons capers, drained
½ large Onion (sliced)
1 large carrot
2 teaspoons red peppercorns
Sea salt to taste

   
Preparation
-Heat oven to 400 degrees.
-Combine lime juice, capers, olive oil, dill, sea salt and garlic. Whisk and set aside.
-Rob the snapper with the caper mixture.
-Top with the onions, carrots, butter and peppercorns.
-Cut 4 pieces of parchment to wrap the snapper with.
-Place the snapper on a baking sheet and bake until the packet have puffed and the fish is cooked, about 18 to 20 minutes.
-Server with Maple-Glazed Carrots.

Buen Provecho!

Filed under: 14 Days of Aphrodisiac Dishes, Food Marathons, Home Ingredients, In the Kitchen