Tag Archives forRecipes

Pork Tamales Recipe – Authentic Mexican Cinco de Mayo Tradition

I love going down the ethnic aisle in the grocery store. There’s so much inspiration there. My latest grocery store endeavor left my pantry filled with the goodies I need to practice for my Cinco de Mayo festivities. Yea, I have a month to go but I need the practice. I want to make traditional Mexican dishes so I’m reaching out to some awesome Latin friends for those recipes.

Tamales-

I have a Latin background, with my father being Puerto Rican, but I want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with true Mexican foods. I asked my friend, Julia, what some of her favorite foods were and the first thing she mentioned was tamales. I have never made tamales before, so when she told me it was a lot of work I kind of brushed it off. Let me just say, making homemade tamales is a lot of work!

Making-Tamales-Recipe-1

I found everything I needed to make homemade tamales in the ethnic aisle. I even found a tamalera, which is basically a steamer used for cooking the tamales. It’s also great for seafood and canning – a nice investment I can be proud of. I also picked up a bag of tamale flour and just followed the directions on the back for that.

Tamales-1

While the tamales did take a while to prepare and cook, the process wasn’t complicated. I’ll definitely be adding this to our Cinco de Mayo menu and hopefully bringing others in to help make them.

Pork-Tamales-

Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Amber
Ingredients
  • [b]Dough[/b]
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • [b]Filling[/b]
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cooked
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 4 dried California chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • [b]Other[/b]
  • 16 dried corn husks
Instructions
  1. Set the corn husks in a bowl of warm water to re-hydrate them.
  2. Mix a tablespoon of stock and the shortening in a medium to large bowl. Mix in the masa harina, baking powder and salt. Continue adding stock until you get a sponge like dough. Set aside.
  3. De-seed and de-stem the chili pods. Simmer in a saucepan with 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Use a food processor or blender to puree the chilies and water. Strain and add the salt.
  5. Shred the cooked pork tenderloin in a large bowl and stir in the chili sauce.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and allow them to dry a bit. Spread them out and spread the dough on top, leaving a 1/4 inch space on the outer edges uncovered.
  7. Add a tablespoon of the meat mixture and spread it out a bit over the dough mixture. Fold the husks in, starting with the sides, and flip to close.
  8. Place the tamales in your steamer and allow to steam for 1 hour. Carefully unwrap the husks, remove the tamale and enjoy.

Churros Recipe – Must Have Cinco de Mayo Dessert

Have you ever had a truly authentic Mexican dessert? What’s you favorite? Mine is a toss up between Tres Leches Cake and Churros. If I had to choose one o have it would probably be – drumroll please…

Churros!

churrios

I’m a total sucker for churros. They’re so simple yet amazing. The fact that they’re super easy to fix makes them even sweeter – and I mean that quite literally. The only problem I have with making them is using a pastry bag to form them. It may just be my recipe, but getting the dough through a tip is almost impossible. I had to make John do it since he has the muscles in the family.

Churros1

I eventually had to change out the star tip for an open round tip. Even he was straining and we were a little worried the bag would bust.  Eventually I just started playing with the dough, making churros balls and pulling/stretching it to make thick Churros Logs. 

They may not have been the prettiest things, but my were they yummy. This recipe makes a perfectly dense churro that has just the right amount of bite without being too chewy.

Churros-1

Churros
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Amber
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cinnamon Sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your deep fryer or a heavy pot with 2 quarts of oil. Add the cinnamon sugar to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, water, baking powder and salt. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and mix together to form a ball
  3. Put the dough in a pastry bag with a star or round tip (you can bypass the tip if you prefer.)
  4. Pipe the dough out, around 6 inches at a time (you will need to cut or tear the dough to remove it from the bag). Carefully drop 3 or 4 churros into the hot oil and cook until golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oil and immediately roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture, tapping off any excess.
  6. Serve with your favorite chocolate dipping sauce or plain.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring has finally started to show it’s beautiful face around here. The birds are chirping and the smell of fresh cut grass is prominent  I adore that smell. We’re also seeing strawberries  plants blooming earlier than usual. Is there anything sweeter than fresh strawberries on a beautiful day?  Strawberry-Cake

This weeks Food Blogger Challenge happens to be for strawberries so I was excited. Sadly we don’t have any fresh strawberries ready for the pickin’ just yet. I used the next best thing, frozen strawberries, for a delicious strawberry cake. Strawberry cake has to be my all time favorite cake.

Strawberry-Cake-with-Vanilla-Cream-Cheese-Frosting

I can’t think of much that makes me as happy. The frozen berries don’t quite do what I want them to, but they do bring it as close as I’m going to get until I can use some fresh picked berries. I used a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting topped with sliced strawberries to finish the cake and let me just say: “YUM!

Strawberry-Cake-with-Vanilla-Cream-Cheese-Frosting-1

This is a fairly dense cake, but not in a bad way. I know most people use a preserve or puree when making a strawberry cake, but I have to have those strawberry bits so  just half mine. Check out the recipe and make sure you hop along to the other strawberry inspired recipes linked up below.

Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Amber
Ingredients
  • [b]Cake[/b]
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetabe oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups of strawberries, halved
  • [b]Frosting[/b]
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 8 inch cake pans.
  2. Mix together the sugar and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the flour and baking soda and blend until creamy.
  3. Split the batter up between the 2 cake pans and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool cakes on a wire rack and let them come to room temperature.
  5. In a large bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar to reach the desired consistency.
  6. Frost the bottom layer of the cake and spread the sliced strawberries over the frosting.
  7. Add the 2nd layer to the top and finish frosting. Garnish with berries if desired.

 



#FreshNFruti Pina Colada Cake & Strawberry Daiquiri #Sponsored

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Fruti #cbias #SocialFabric #FreshNFruti

How long did you wait for the weather to finally warm up? We’re still having a few chilly days here but there’s no denying Spring has sprung! I don’t know about you  but when I feel the sun on my skin and see and smell those familiar Spring feature I get a bit giddy inside. It’s my absolute favorite season ever and the perfect time for some of my favorite things: Pina Colada Cake and Strawberry Daiquiri’s.

FreshNFruti-Pina-Colada-Cake-Strawberry-Daiquiri
Today was absolutely beautiful so I decided to head up to Sam’s Club. I enjoy shopping there and love stocking up on stuff I need. While I was in the ice cream section I saw something that stood out and was screaming my name; a Chunks O’ Fruti variety pack with Caribbean Mix, Pina Colada, Strawberry & Strawberry Cream bars. After further investigation I noticed the Chunks O’ Fruti bars were 100% natural – no artificial ingredients in here. They’re vegan and gluten free as well as kosher certified. There are no colors or high fructose corn syrup added either.  What’s not to love?! (See more of my shopping trip, and more mouth watering pics in my Google+ Album)

Fruti-Pina-Colada-Cake-1

The Chunks O’ Fruti variety pack was an inspiration for this Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada cake. The flavors, especially the pina colada, were exactly what I needed. Not only are these bars the perfect ingredient, they’re the perfect healthy snack for kids and grown ups. Let me just say they are absolutely delicious alone! The chunks of fruit are just what I want in a fruit snack. Here are my recipes, if you make them I’d love to know what you think!

FreshNFruti-

Did I mention fruit is the first thing listed on the ingredients. That means there is more fruit than any other ingredient in these bars, and that’s how it should be.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry-Daiquiri

Ingredients (for 1 drink)

1 Strawberry Fruti Bar (slightly softened, but not defrosted)
1 tablespoon Bacardi Light
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice

Directions:

Combine all of the ingredients in a metal bowl or cup and use an immersion blender to mix. Pour into a serving glass, garnish with a lime slice and halved strawberry.

Fruti Pina Colada Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Amber
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (cold) unsalted butter – cut in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Pina Colada Fruti bars
  • 1 tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 cups coconut milk, separated
  • [b]Frosting[/b]
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • 3 teaspoons (plus more if needed) pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and flour/oil 2 cake pans (9 inch or one 9″ one 8″.) Put the Fruti bars in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to melt. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt until no lumps are visible.
  3. Put the mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. (A hand mixer should work as well) Add the butter and turn the mixer on, starting on low. Slowly pour in the vegetable oil and milk then adjust the speed to medium.
  4. Add the eggs, melted Fruti bars and coconut extract. Adjust the mixer speed to medium high and mix for 2 minutes or until thoroughly blended. The mixture will be thick.
  5. Pour scrape the mixture into the cake pans and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. For the frosting, mix together the ingredients on medium speed until creamy. You can add pineapple juice if you need a creamier consistency. Just add 1 teaspoon at a time.
  7. Use a dowel or straw to poke holes around the tops of the cake layers.
  8. Pour half of the coconut milk over the bottom layer and allow it to soak for 15 minutes; then drizzle the frosting on. Top with flaked coconut. Place the top layer on and pour the remaining coconut milk over the top layer of the cake and frost. Top with flaked coconut.

The addition of the coconut milk is a key step since the cake will be dry without it. If you close your eyes while eating a slice, it’s almost like being in the tropics, sipping on a real pina colada – paradise!

You’ll find Chunks O’ Fruti variety pack with Caribbean Mix in the freezer section at participating Sam’s Club. This is definitely a snack to have in your freezer for Spring and Summer. Whether you’re looking for the perfect recipe ingredient or just a way to please the kids without the artificial junk.

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I absolutely love the packaging of the Fruti Bars. The box is large, it does contain 16 bars afterall. But there are 4 inner boxes that let me arrange them however they will best fit in my freezer! Be sure to head to Sam’s Club on 5/13 for a fun (and yummy) Fruti and yogurt demo. I’m thinking parfait – how about you?!

Easy Mexican Pork Chops – Dinner Made Simple

Since being sick took so much out of me I haven’t really had the energy to make intricate meals. I’ve been trying to stick with easy food and these Easy Mexican Pork Chops were a life saver tonight. A few simple ingredients (whole kernel corn, tomato sauce and seasonings) mixed together with pork chops then served over steamed rice made for a complete meal.

Easy-Mexican-Pork-Chops

The beauty of this meal is you can clean up or relax a little while the Mexican Pork Chops are cooking. The flavor is out of this world; my son told me “There’s a fiesta in my mouth!” and the addition of corn adds a pleasantly light sweetness to make it a full meal. I used Allen’s whole kernel corn which is amazing. There were no leftover hulls of corn like some other corn leaves behind which is a huge bonus. The corn has a great flavor – sweet but not overly and a wonderful texture.

Allens-Vegetables

I have other Allen’s and Trappey’s products in my pantry that I have big plans for. I’ll be using the black beans for my next Taco Casserole. These are definitely brands you want to check out and stock your pantry with.  So, let’s find out how to make some easy Mexican Pork Chops, shall we?

Easy Mexican Pork Chops
Author: Amber
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 15.5 oz. can whole kernel corn
Directions
  1. Lay the pork chops on the bottom of a casserole dish.
  2. Combine the seasonings with the tomato sauce and pour over the pork chops.
  3. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the dish from the oven and stir in the can of corn. Return to the oven, uncovered and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  5. Serve over rice.

 

I received products from Allen’s at no cost. All opinions are my own