Month: March 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Muffins!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Muffins!

I recently started working again and I find  it’s fun getting up in the morning, brewing my coffee, grabbing a piece of toast on the way out the door.  I love morning… driving to work, feeling the nitty gritty of the city, greeting my co-workers, having a little spring in my step…. it’s exciting.  Then once 10:30-ish rolls around, my tummy starts to grumble. It’s not quite lunch time but I need a little something to hold me over, something I could pick at while sitting at my desk.  Sometimes it’s fruit, other times it’s a Toblerone, but today it was my peanut butter banana muffin with hints of mexican chocolate.  I made a slew of them to share with my gals in the office.  It was a hero move and for the rest of the week, I’ll have a small army behind my ideas.  Ahhhh the persuasion of food! 🙂

Ingredients for peanut butter banana chocolate muffins:

1/3 – cup oil

2 – eggs

1/3 – dark brown sugar

1/2 – cup sugar

1/2 – teaspoon almond extract

1/2 – teaspoon vanilla extract

1 – cup mashed banana

1/2 – cup smooth peanut butter

2 – cups flour

1- teaspoon baking soda

1/3 – teaspoon salt

1/4 – cup grated Ibarra mexican chocolate (about half a disk)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Ready 11 muffin baking cups on a cookie sheet or line baking cups in a muffin pan.  Set to the side.

In a mixer bowl add oil,eggs, brown sugar, sugar, almond extract and vanilla extract.  Mix on medium for 2 minutes or until combined.

Then add mashed banana and peanut butter.  Mix it on medium until fully incorporated… about a minute or so.


In a small bowl add flour, baking soda, salt, and mexican chocolate.  Mix together then pour into peanut butter mixture all at once.


Mix to combine.  Then take 1/4 cup of muffin batter and fill cups.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Eat plain or frost with a cream cheese frosting sprinkled with grated chocolate.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese frosting:

4 – ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

1/4 – cup butter (room temperature)

1/2 – teaspoon vanilla extract

1 – cups confections sugar (powdered sugar)

In a mixer combine cream cheese and butter, and mix for 2 to 3 minutes.  Then add vanilla and mix till combined.  Last add in confectioners sugar a little at a time till completely combined.


All photos taken by: Mando Lopez and Nicole Presley

An Ultimate Side Dish: Korean Fried Rice

An Ultimate Side Dish: Korean Fried Rice

My mouth waters at the anticipation of this dish.  I remember the first time I watched my friend Ji-Young make it, I was shocked that she was using day old steamed rice out of the fridge and SPAM.  Call me sheltered if you’d like but I don’t think I had ever tasted SPAM at that point in my life and didn’t quite know what to expect.  Actually I had never experienced kimchi in a fried rice either, so the results were going to enlighten my palate.  As she prepared the rice she told me, “Whenever you add kimchi to a fried rice you must fry the rice in butter.  If we were just adding meat and veggies we would fry in oil.”  I shoved that tip in my pocket, took it home and deposited it in my memory bank.  Finally the rice was done…… I dug my chopsticks in and never looked back.  In my opinion this rice is one of the BEST side dishes you can place on the table.  Thank you Miss Moon for introducing me to this delectable treat.  I hope my version represents your special dish well.

Ingredients for Korean Fried Rice:

3 – tablespoons butter

1 – heaping cup spam (cubed small)

1 – cup onion (sliced)

2 – cups kimchi (chopped small)

4 – cups steamed rice (a day old)

3 – eggs

4 – sprigs green onion (sliced & chopped)

1/2 – tablespoon soy sauce

1 – tablespoon sesame seeds

In a large frying pan over a medium high flame add 1 tablespoon butter and allow to melt then add cubed spam.  Fry until spam is slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.  Then add in onion and mix well.  Continue to fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.


Next add in 2 tablespoons of butter and allow to melt into spam and onions, then add in chopped kimchi.  Fry in pan for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Once the kimchi and onions are nice and soft add the day old rice.  It will take a second to break it up into the kimchi mixture.  Mix well.

Once the rice is combined lower the flame to a simmer.  In a separate pan make some scrambled eggs then add to the rice, then top with green onion and soy sauce.  Mix well.


Lastly sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve HOT!!!!!  Eat with a piece of meat or by it’s lonesome…. D-LISH!

All photos taken by: Mando Lopez

Martian Birthday 2012

Martian Birthday 2012

My birthday is March 19th, this year that fell on a Monday.  Of course that left me no choice than to celebrate on March 17th, which we all know is St. Patrick’s Day.  I wanted to stay with a green theme but not necessarily one that included leprechauns and four leaf clovers. Why not have a martian green party instead?  That’s just what I did!

I looked into the forecast and noticed it was going to rain.  That was not going to stop me or my martian friends from a fun party.  I made a big batch of my chicken chile verde and an even bigger batch of potent green margaritas.  I threw on my green martian cape and let the festivities begin.

I peeked out the window and as promised, the night sky was washing the city clean.  I knew it wouldn’t be long till my martian guest started to arrive.  I hung up green chain link decorations, set out the green cookies, and grabbed my space patrol blaster.  I was officially ready for my celebration!


Some of the guests:


I was thrilled to see my circle of friends from Mars….





Time for the cupcakes and a jolly cheer!




The END of the night…..

;$5*:?//  #)((-+$&7$\~*  (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

Photos taken by guests at party…thx! 

Potato Chicken Budin (Boo-Dean)

Potato Chicken Budin (Boo-Dean)

Budin is a fancy name for enchilada casserole, or mexican lasagna.  This  dish is made of green chile dipped corn tortillas, cheese, pepitas, and the vegetables of your choice… stacked in a pyrex and placed in the oven.  It is nothing to look at in the baking dish but your taste buds will beg to differ. One bite in, expect to be delighted.

Ingredients for potato chicken budin:

Green Chile Sauce:

8- Jalapeños

4- Serranos

8- Hueritos (Yellow chiles)

7- Big Tomatillos

5-6 Garlic Cloves

1-teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt

1 cap full of White Vinegar

a pinch of Oregano

1-teaspoon of Garlic Powder

Black Pepper

How to Prepare the Chile:

In a big pot, boil all the chiles and tomatillos for about 30 minutes or until soft.  Set aside water from boiling chiles you will need it later.  Allow to cool.  Remove stems from all chiles, and as an option deseed chiles for a less spicy blend.  Now in a blender, add chiles, garlic cloves, Lawry’s, vinegar, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, and 1/2 cup water from boiling chiles.  Do this in batches till all your ingredients are blended.

Budin Ingredients:

24 king size corn tortillas or 32 regular size tortillas

3  1/4 cups of vegetable oil

6 green onion stalks (Chopped)

1/3 of a cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)

A basket of mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)

1- Brown onion (diced into small pieces)

2 – cups shredded cooked chiken

3 – large Idaho Potatoes (peeled, boiled, and sliced)

1 heaping tablespoon of crushed red chile flakes (the kind you put on pizza)

1/4 of a cup of fresh cilantro leaves (take off the stems)

1- Package of queso fresco (I like the Cacique brand) (crumbled)

2- Cups of cheddar cheese (grated) (I use Tillamook)

2- Cups of Monterey Jack cheese (grated) (I use Tillamook)

How to make and assemble the budin:

Preheat your oven to 375. Get two large frying pans, a pair of tongs, and 1-9×13 inch Pyrex glass baking pan.

Fill one of your frying pans with 3 cups of vegetable oil and heat over a med-high flame.

In the other frying pan, fill with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil over a medium flame and wait till it gets hot, then pour in 3 to 4 cups of your green chile. Let the oil and chile combine then lower your flame very low, so that your chile will simmer.

Now you’re all set to start. Divide your stack of corn tortillas into 4 equal parts.

Dip your corn tortilla into the (Oil) frying pan, and let it fry on each side for 30- 40 seconds.  You don’t want your tortilla to be too hard that it ends up looking like a tostada, but you don’t want it to rip in the layering process either.  What you’re looking for is a tortilla that is slightly hard but still bends.

Then with your tongs… take your fried tortilla and immerse it into the green chile sauce. Then take it out and place it in the pyrex glass pan and start to build your first layer of fried green chile corn tortillas. Once the bottom of your pan is covered in tortillas, it is time for the next level.

Arrange your potatoes in a single layer on top of the tortillas, then continue to layer with cilantro, pepitas, green onion and queso fresco, salt and pepper.

It’s time for another layer of corn tortillas fried and dipped into the green chile.  Think the same concept as layering lasagna.  Once you are done with your new fresh canvas of corn tortillas… Then on this level in a single layer place mushrooms, brown onion, 1/2 amount of shredded chicken, red chile flakes, and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.

Lay down another layer of corn fried dipped in green chile tortillas.

Then layer with other half of chicken, cilantro, and 1 cup of Jack cheese.

This is your last layer of fried dipped in green chile corn tortillas.  Then top with the remaining cheddar and jack cheese.

Place in the oven and let bake for 40-45 minutes!

Serve with Sour cream,avocado slices, and sprinkle with pepitas!



KitchenAid + White on Rice Couple + Joy the Baker + Cristina Ferrare = 3 F’s (Fantastic Food Fun)

KitchenAid + White on Rice Couple + Joy the Baker + Cristina Ferrare = 3 F’s (Fantastic Food Fun)

Anyone who loves their cooking appliances knows KitchenAid takes the stand mixer to a new level.  It’s numero uno, top notch, cadillac supreme, blue ribbon, first class, peachy keen, stellar, boss…. you get what I’m getting at.  IT’S A FINE PIECE OF MACHINERY!

This past Wednesday I found myself among a slew of talented creative bloggers at a event hosted by none other than The White on Rice Couple and KitchenAid.

A.)  I was completely thrilled to be invited, and meet many of my blogging peers that I had never acquainted in person.

B.)  Joy the Baker and Cristina Ferrare gave cooking demonstrations along with their new cookbooks, something I really enjoyed observing.

C.)  I got to play with the new shiny KitchenAid toys!

Here is a pocket-sized photo documentary run down of the day:

KitchenAid citrus juicer attachment working hard to freshly squeeze OJ for tasty mimosas….Starting off the morning bubbly.


Todd and Diane sharing their journey through videos, photographs and their heartfelt storytelling.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  In simple words, they are genuinely caring people and that translates through their work.

The team posing before the kitchen went into full swing.  From L to R: Todd Porter, Joy the Baker, Cristina Ferrare, Diane Cu, Rachel Barbarotta, and Alex Ferrare.




White on Rice Couple made all the food and it was goody-goody yum-drops.  Click here for the Spicy Sriracha White Bean Dip recipe.  I’m waiting for them to post their Chicken salad recipe…. Any day Todd and Diane. 🙂

Then last but not least:  Joy the Baker taught us all how to make marshmallow frosting.  She was very sweet and so were the cupcakes.


Photo of Joy and I taken by: Sara O’ Donnell a.k.a. Average Betty.  All other photos taken by me, Nicole Presley.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Just a fun event I had the pleasure of attending.


Broccoli Cream Sauce for a Shrimp skewer.

Broccoli Cream Sauce for a Shrimp skewer.

I’m such a sucker for a nice cream sauce, especially when it’s drizzled over shrimp…. OH YEAH!  Tie my hair up, give me a napkin and listen as silence overpowers the room.  Only chewing noises will reach your ears and you will see the face of a happy gal as I relish every last morsel of my plate….. Here’s a recipe you can do the same with.

Ingredients for broccoli cream sauce:

1 –  stick butter

2 – cups red onion (diced)  

3 – cups broccoli head (chopped small)

1 – tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 – cup sauvignon blanc

2 – cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 – cups 1/2 & 1/2

Chop red onion into small cubes, and trim the heads off the broccoli. Then take the broccoli heads and dice really small.  Place to the side.

In a large frying pan over a medium high flame…. Melt your butter, then add onion, broccoli bits, and garlic. Mix well until all butter is absorbed  and continue sauteing for about 10 minutes.


Then add in sauvignon blanc, and let that reduce for about 10 to 15 minutes.


Next pour in the vegetable broth, and continue to reduce for about 20 to 25 minutes or until most liquid is evaporated.

Once it starts to look a bit murky… then add in the 1/2 & 1/2, and lower the flame a little…. let it simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. That’s it the broccoli sauce is done.


Ingredients for shrimp skewers:

1 – pound shrimp (cleaned and deveined)

1 – tablespoon olive oil

1- teaspoon garlic

1/2 – teaspoon Lawry’s

1/2 – teaspoon black pepper

1/2 – teaspoon basil

1/2 – teaspoon chili flakes

6 to 7 wooden skewers

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let marinate for a 20 to 30 minutes. Then string shrimp on skewer…. 5 per skewer.

On a hot grill add shrimp skewers and cook on each side for 5 minutes or until perfectly pinkish.

Then serve on a plate with steamed rice, a wedge of lemon, and a nice serving of broccoli sauce. Your tastebuds will thank you.