Tag: comfort food

Peanut Butter Shortbread Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Shortbread Chocolate Cookies

Peanut Butter Shortbread chocolate cookies:
Peanut butter shortbread chocolate cookies are a real treat for any cookie lover.

I’m such a sucker for shortbread. Recently I decided my shortbread should be peanut buttered and finished with chocolate. I took this idea a step further and sugared the cookies for a perfectly sweet crusty texture. As I was making the cookies (more…)

Parmesan Crisps In A Creamy Zucchini Soup

Parmesan Crisps In A Creamy Zucchini Soup

         Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mama Francesca Cheese. However all opinions and the recipe are 100% my own.

Parmesan crisps in a creamy zucchini soup #mamafrancesca

I never seem to tire of cheese.  The thought of cheese excites me.  It makes me want to plan an entire meal around it or just slice it up with a cracker.  I run the gamut on the types I like and usually will hunt high and low for a specialty cheese.  Come on, does this really need explaining?  My logo to this blog is a little mouse.  That didn’t happen on accident.  I say it loud and proud,  “I’m a cheese girl!”

You can only imagine my utter delight when I happened to come across the premium MF_logo_premcheese_blackMama Francesca Cheese (available in a variety of flavors) at my local Walmart.  I nearly jumped for joy.  I adore parmesan cheese and it can sometimes be a little bit of a pain to find a nice one at an everyday market that’s affordable.  For some reason most people only think of parmesan cheese as a spaghetti topper, and forget to explore all the other wonderful things you can do with it.  I like to mix it into my mashed potatoes or make it into a pesto or encrust my chicken in it and fry it to a crisp, or simply make parmesan crisps out of it for soup or salad.  It doesn’t matter what you do it, as long as you buy it and eat it right away.

Ingredients for parmesan crisps and creamy zucchini soup:

  • 5 – tablespoons Mama Francesca cheese ( I used Perfetto flavor)
  • 1 – tablespoon olive oil 
    LIneup shot Mama Francesca
  • 6 – garlic cloves
  • 1/3 – cup leeks (chopped)
  • 9 – zucchini (chopped in rounds)
  • 1 – tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 – teaspoon chile flakes (the kind you use on pizza)
  • 1 – teaspoons Lawry’s seasoning salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 – bay leaf
  • 4 – cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 – cup 1/2 and 1/2

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat.
  3. Pour 1/2 tablespoons of Mama Francesca cheese into little circle on the mat. Make sure they do not touch. parmesan cheese crisps #mamafrancesca
  4. Bake the cheese for 5 to 6 minutes or until golden crisp. baked parmesan cheese #mamafrancesca
  5. Set to the side to cool on baking sheet until ready to use.
  6. In a large pan over a medium flame add in olive oil and allow to get hot.
  7. Add in leeks and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes.
  8. Cut zucchini into rounds. I used a variety of zucchini. colorful variety of zucchini
  9. Then add in zucchini, dried basil, chile flakes, Lawry’s, black pepper, and bay leaf. Mix to combine. Continue to saute for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the center of the zucchini starts to become translucent.
  10. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
  11. Boil the zucchini until fork tender for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Then remove bay leaf from soup.
  13. Working in batches, pour 1/3 of the zucchini soup into a blender with 1/2 and 1/2. Blend until completely smooth/pureed.
  14. Pour smooth/pureed zucchini mixture into a bowl, and continue with the rest of the zucchini soup until all is pureed.
  15. Serve in a bowl hot and top with parmesan crisp and EAT IT!zucchini soup with a parmesan crisp #mamafrancesca
Avocado Tacos and a Red Salsa

Avocado Tacos and a Red Salsa

  

Is there a dish that your Grandma use to make you when you were little?  Something special that your Momma has learned from her Mom and will now pass it down to you?  For me it’s Avocado Tacos.  The simplicity of these tacos is the beauty of it.  You can taste the creamy-ness of the avocado, the tang of the cheese and the tasty salsa all wrapped in a crispy corn tortilla shell…. and that’s all you need.

Avocados from Mexico is sending me to Blogher in New York City in less then a week to find out what other bloggers think when they hear the words Avocados and Abuelita (Grandma) together?  What a fun trip.  I can’t wait to hear what people have to say.  In the meantime I will savor what comes to mind when I hear the words Avocados and Abuelita together ….. Avocado Tacos with a Red Salsa!

Stay on top of all the action on twitter by following the hashtags  #ILoveAvocados     #AmoLosAguacates

 All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for Avocado Tacos:

10 – corn tortillas

2 – ripe Avocados from Mexico (sliced 1 inch thick)

1 – round of jalapeno queso quesadilla (sliced 1/2 inch thick)

toothpicks

1 – cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for simple red salsa:

water

4 – tomatoes

14 – chile de arbol

3 – garlic cloves

1 – tablespoon salt

Let’s start with the simple red salsa.  Fill a medium pot halfway with water and place over a medium high flame. Bring to a boil and add tomatoes and chile de arbol. Boil for 30 minutes. Remove from flame. With a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes and chile de arbol (remove stem from chiles) and place in a blender. Add 1 cup of the water the chiles boiled in to blender as well. Then add garlic and salt. Cover and blend till smooth. Pour into a bowl and set to the side until tacos are ready. This portion can be made the day before if desired.

Taco time! Over an open flame heat corn tortillas till warm and pliable. Remove from flame and stuff with a piece of Avocado and cheese. Fold in half and close with a toothpick. Repeat until done with all tortillas.

Pour vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium high flame and allow to get hot.  Then add tacos and fry on each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp.

Then remove tacos from oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Remove toothpicks. Dress your tacos with red salsa, and eat one of the most incredible tacos of all time.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Avocados from Mexico and Latina Bloggers Connect. The recipe and opinions are completely my own!  Yes, and without a doubt #ILoveAvocados #AmoLosAguacates

Go Away Friggin’ Cold!  My Tortilla Soup to the Rescue!

Go Away Friggin’ Cold! My Tortilla Soup to the Rescue!

For those of you who visit my blog often, let me apologize for my absence.  You see, everyone in my household has caught a nasty bug that has us all sniffling, sneezing and now coughing.  I was the first one to bring the germs in the house.  Yikes!  Then while my Mom was visiting she caught it, next Mando got slammed by it, and lastly my little angel Maxie joined the ranks of the sickos.  It truly is a sorry sight…. I’ve never seen so many moco filled tissue papers stacked in the bin.  In short…. I’ve been ill and couldn’t muster up the energy to blog.  Sorry.  Tonight I decided I am DONE being sick and I’m gonna make sure my family gets better as well.  To ensure this happens, I made a pot of spicy tortilla soup to knock it right out of us!  We are all feeling better already….. seriously.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for tortilla soup:

1 1/2 – tablespoons olive oil

3 – small carrots (peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces)

1 – large onion (thinly sliced)

1 – stalk of celery (cut into tiny pieces)

2 to 3 – chipotle chiles in adobo sauce ( cut into thin slices)

9 – cups of chicken broth

1 – teaspoon black pepper

1 – teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt

3 – Idaho potatoes (peeled, and sliced into 1 inch pieces)

2 – large zucchini (cut into 1 inch pieces)

1 – cup corn kernels

3 – cups chopped turkey (cooked)

2 – cups black beans (cooked and rinsed well)

Garnish:

limes

cilantro

queso fesco

avocado

tortilla chips or strips

In a large pot over a medium high flame, add olive oil and allow to get hot.  Add carrots and saute in oil for 5 minutes, mixing every so often.

   

Add onions to carrots and continue to saute for 4 to 6 minutes, then add in celery and chipotle. Mix well and saute for another 3 minutes or until onion is limp and chipotle chile is completely mixed into veggie mixture.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Once broth is boiling add in potatoes and cover pot with lid.  Let potatoes boil for 5 minutes, then add in the zucchini to the soup and let boil for 10 minutes, don’t forget to cover the pot with the lid.  Lastly add in corn, turkey, and black beans allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Place soup in a bowl and garnish with fresh lime juice, cilantro, a few chunks of queso fresco, avocado and broken corn tortilla chips. ENJOY!!!!!

 *Remember this soup can be enjoyed any time, it is not only a cold chaser  🙂

In the Snack of Time: Latin Recipes – Grilled Bacon Bean and Cheese Burrito!  In some circles it’s called a Chimichanga.

In the Snack of Time: Latin Recipes – Grilled Bacon Bean and Cheese Burrito! In some circles it’s called a Chimichanga.

When I elect to go for the gusto….there is no holding me back.  Yes I love bacon, but more than that I heart a slab of beans and cheese smeared in a flour tortilla.  Who doesn’t?  This is a sneak peek of what goes down in my kitchen on those nights when I live to eat with no restraints….. that falls under the category of soothing my soul.

All photos taken by: Mando Lopez and Nicole Presley

Ingredients for bacon bean and cheese burrito:

a package of bacon

1 – chile de arbol

3 – cups beans de la olla (if you don’t have time to make a batch “Sun Vista” pinto beans works well)

1 – teaspoon salt

1 – cup grated jack cheese

1 – cup grated cheddar cheese

flour tortillas

In a large pan over a medium flame, fry up your bacon till it is crisp and perfectly cooked. Then remove bacon from grease and dispose of half the grease.

   

Reserve the other half and while it’s still hot add the chile de arbol and beans.  Allow for beans to heat stirring occasionally.  Then add salt and with a potato masher start to smash beans to get a creamy consistency.

   

Next add jack cheese and cheddar cheese…. Mix well. Then crumble in bacon.  Reserve a few slices on the side.  Remove from flame.

   

Heat flour tortilla on each side over an open flame for 30 seconds on both sides.  Then add 2 tablespoons of bean and cheese to the middle of the tortilla and add a slice of bacon to the center of the beans.

Fold in outer ends, then roll to close.  Once you have your burrito/burritos rolled up heat a non stick pan over a medium flame and allow pan to get hot.

   

Place burrito in pan and grill on each side till tortilla is crisp.

Remove from flame and dig into HEAVEN!  I eat mine all by itself or with sour cream, avocado, salsa or tapatio.  Mmmmmmmm.  Enjoy!

Bertolli Soup for Two!

Bertolli Soup for Two!

Try to imagine the sound of a hundred little lady-bugs on a marching line playing snare drums, slightly out of sync.  That’s what the rain sounds like when it hits the awning outside my window.  I wait for that sound because when I hear it, that means it’s time to get cozy.  I woke up to the lady-bugs drumming this morning and thought I would love to have some soup to accompany the musical rain.  The problem is that I just don’t have the time today to put hours into making one.  I was a little bummed but then I remembered I had a few packs of Bertolli’s soup in my freezer.  Thats right, I said soup in the freezer…. and they’re yummy.  

Bertolli is now making a wonderful variety of frozen traditional Italian soups.  What I find interesting is the way they are packaged.  All of the vegetables are hand chopped then flash frozen individually, so they are fresh and picked at the height of their ripeness.  The pasta is cooked to perfection and not mushy at all.  The super cool part is the broth, it’s packaged in little ice cubes.  Nice.  Put it all in a pot with a cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes….  PRESTO your done!  Soup for two. 
  
Would you like a chance to try this gorgeous soup for yourself?  If you said YES….. I have a giveaway for you to enter.  This giveaway will run till October 30th.  Winner will be notified on the 31st before noon. Prize includes…..
  • Two Tasting Certificates for Bertolli Premium Meal Soup for Two
  • Stainless steel soup ladle
  • Woven oval bread basket
  • Bertolli reusable freezer bag
To enter:
1.) Tweet:   Bertolli’s New Soup giveaway @PresleysPantry! Enter to win here! http://t.co/e5AyXN1z

2.)  Leave a comment on your thoughts of frozen soup.

Make sure to leave a comment below for each of your actions.  This will give you the opportunity to have two entries instead of one. 🙂

* Open to U.S. Residents only.  No PO Boxes, please. Must be 18 years or older to enter.   Contest ends October 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM, PST and one (1) winner will be randomly chosen from all entries through random.org.
* No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with the same product above to review through a sponsored campaign from Bertolli. All opinions are my own.