Grown up kids – Oreo and peanut butter cupcakes

Oreo peanut butter cupcakes

When I was an annoying pre-teen my diet consisted solely of quesadillas and oreos. It’s true, there was a time in the life of this foodie where I totally missed out on one my favorite things in life; eating. I do have to say though, in defense of quesadillas and oreos, they are both incredibly good. I’m pretty sure there aren’t many mexicans out there who’ll deny the deliciousness of cheese, tortillas and salsa. And what can I say about oreos? If you don’t like them, there’s probably something severely wrong with you. Like get-your-butt-to-the-doctor-wrong. Especially if the wonderful cookie sandwiches come accompanied by peanut butter and a tall glass of cold milk. Am I right? Peanut butter and oreos is the ultimate pre-teen combo…and teen, and young adult, and adult and senior. Because it never gets old. At least for me it will always be one of those childhood flavors that I will never outgrow.
And so were born these oreo cupcakes (and cake!)….stuffed with cookies and topped with a not too sweet, melt in your mouth peanut butter frosting. Also topped with more oreos, because you can’t have too many of those. I actually made these for a co-worker who recently left our office and who needed something to remember us by, and what better way than using an already full of memories combination of flavors?Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

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Breaking rules again? – Homemade cheese

Homemade cheese to spread

Anyone who knows me more than a little knows that I have a curious love hate relationship with rules. Let me get into this a bit more: I love rules, as long as they don’t apply to me. I know, it’s a brazen, shameless philosophy, but I can’t really help it. What would our world be like without the proper guidelines for doing things in life? Chaotic at best. And I do love things that work  smoothly and correctly, especially when it comes to my surroundings. But just don’t ask me to be part of those guidelines, because I will probably go crazy (er?) or run away. I don’t know why, but I just feel rebellious when someone says “That’s the way everyone does it. That’s why yo should also do it that way.” Not that I have something against systems or structures. I’d just rather appreciate them from the sidelines. I guess it’s just one of those things that make us who we are, because they suit us and keep us comfortable. And indeed I was comfortable making this cheese, because I didn’t adhere to any recipes (even though it’s my first time) and instead figured I’d go with whatever sounded best in my mind. The result was a beyond delicious, creamy spreadable fluffy goodness which can be whipped up in two hours and keeps for about a week in your fridge (not that it will last that long before you eat it). And, it breaks all the rules, which is my favorite part. For the first time making cheese, it’s easy and inviting to try more challenging recipes, even if that means I’ll have to do it the pre-established way. (Because I don’t think I can make up rennet…) But imagine the possibilities once you find that cheese is so easy to make! And this home recipe is open to all kinds of herbs and additions, such as garlic or chives. No rules, no fuss. Recipe after the jump.

Hang the cheese to drain whey Continue reading

White cloudy goodness – Cauliflower Leek Soup

Cauliflower and leek soup

It’s a little hard to believe, but when I was little, I was the pickiest most annoying eater you can imagine. I disliked almost anything that wasn’t meat or cookies. And I ate around the same amount a country sparrow does. And I hated crumbs around my plate with a passion. My mom tells me I used to obsessively pick them up one by one and put them back in the plate. I loathed when people tried to feed me more than three spoonfuls per meal. So much so that I once threw a chicken leg at my father. (I know). And don’t even get me started on vegetables. I don’t think there was one I liked. (except for mushrooms but they don’t count as vegetables. they are too delicious) None of them seemed sugary, crumbly or meaty enough for me. And among those was cauliflower, which had a big place on the house table. As I grew older, I started to venture out a bit more, and I came to like a few of those green critters. But cauliflower always remained in my eyes as a glorified broccoli with no flavor, even if it’s cloudy shape was as endearing as a baby sheep to an 8 year old. And then somewhere after I went from eating nothing to eating everything with a shameful passion, I re-discovered cauliflower. And I came to the conclusion that it was not a glorified broccoli, but that it was it’s whiter, fluffier, softer, more subtle tasting cousin. And we became best friends after I realized that cream and cheese and an oven could transform it into puffy clouds of greatness. But not only that; when turned into a creamy soup…all I can say is that for sure no broccoli soup I’ve ever tried can match it. So I bring you today a light version of this puffy friend; a creamy cauliflower leek soup minus the cream. That way you can enjoy three platefuls of it and not feel like you might explode afterwards. But don’t think it’s any less rich because it hasn’t got cream in it. The golden leeks and nutty flavor give it a warm fulling kick that won’t make you miss it. Read more for the recipe.

Cauliflower head

Chopping the leek

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Love in a bowl – Serrano Parmesano Risotto

Serrano - Parmesano Risotto with avocado

Remember that time when you ate risotto for lunch and dinner and next day lunch? No? You’ve never done such a piggy-like thing before? Hmm. Weird. Maybe that’s because you haven’t made risotto with a nice and old, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, jamon serrano, tons of butter, and avocado. This kind is the second best risotto I’ve ever tried (it was here), the first one being a Black risotto with calamari, which you can enjoy right here in Mexico City, but which I’m not adventurous enough to try and make myself yet. (How do you go about using squid ink? Where do you even buy it?) For this recipe though, I did feel bold enough to try it with a recipe I made up myself, using good ingredients as the secret for good results. I chose jamon serrano, which one could say is the spanish version of prosciutto, but which tastes quite different. And then I did something (if you’re squeamish/vegan/a health nut , I would suggest you stop reading) quite naughty; I toasted the rice in those white slices of fat. I know. I’m terrible. But you can really justify it to other people once you present them with a hot bowl and a spoon. They won’t be complaining once they the get tiny bits of golden, delicious, cheese covered goodness. Read more for the recipe!

Grated parmesan cheese Continue reading