Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cream of Orange Peppers and Zucchini Soup: My version of my wedding soup


Today I was inspired by a couple of orange peppers that have been in my fridge for a couple of days. I found them on sale at the grocery store and I had to get them as they were so pretty. The color was so vibrant and they surely stood out from the more common red and green varieties. I did not know what I was going to do with them then, but today I knew... a version of my wedding day dinner soup.

Many years ago, I got married in Edinburgh, Scotland. We had a fabulous, small reception at a restaurant called The Witchery by the Castle. Our starter was Cream of Yellow Peppers Soup. This is my version, made with orange peppers. I have to say the flavor was almost identical to what I remember, and maybe even better.  This is a healthy version of the traditional creamy soups that are normally made with cream, butter and thickened with flour. It only took me 25 minutes to make. Want to try it?

I thought so!

Ingredients (serves 4):


  • 2 Orange Peppers (you can use yellow too)
  • 2 Zucchinis
  • 3 cups of water 
  • 3 tsp of chicken bouillon powder
  • 3 tbsp of powdered milk
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt, Pepper and Nutmeg to taste
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese to serve
Preparation:

Cut the orange peppers and the zucchini into chunks (I made mine medium size, the smaller you cut them the faster they will cook). 



Place them in a pot with enough water so they are not fully covered, if the water covers them your soup will be too thin. Add the bouillon. Set the pot on high heat and boil until the vegetables are tender. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes. 


Half way through the time, add about 4 to 6 basil leaves to the soup.


When the vegetables are tender, place the soup mix in a blender. Always be very careful when blending hot liquids, never fill more than half of your blender with hot liquids and always start to blend with the lowest setting and increase the speed as you blend. Add the powdered milk and blend until smooth.



Put the soup back in the pot using a sieve to remove any bits from the skin of the peppers. Season to taste with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Use salt if needed (I did not).


Your soup is ready. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a sprig of basil.


Enjoy!

PS: These peppers were so cool that I had to take the seeds.... you will see them in my garden soon!


When life gives you ripe bananas, make smoothies!

Nobody, and I truly mean nobody eats bananas in my household once they go too ripe and get little black spots. But that does not mean they go to waste.... For us it means something even more yummy!! Smoothies!!! I always have some frozen berries in our freezer, strawberries made the cut this time!!

So here is the recipe to make this deliciously healthy banana strawberry smoothie. Your kids will love it and they will not even know they are drinking something that is actually good for them!!

Ingredients (makes 4 tall glasses):

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1.5 cups of milk
Optional ingredients: You can add honey, or agave syrup but honestly this is sweet enough as is. The other nice thing to add if you have it is yogurt, just replace some of the milk with it.

Preparation:

Peel your bananas, cut them in chunks and add to your blender, pour the rest of ingredients and blend until smooth! You are actually done.



Serve immediately and top with whipped cream is you wish.


Today I had a little left over Kefir, so I added that to mix. You can also use frozen raspberries, blueberries or a mix. The possibilities are endless. Happy mixing!

Enjoy it!!!



Sunday, June 22, 2014

Soap Clouds!!! A quick and fun experiment to do with the kids.

 
I have been wanting to do this experiment for a while, but somehow always managed to forget as life goes by. So imagine my great surprise when I found my new #influenster box  #TLCvox box on my door and saw that it had a bar of Ivory soap on it. I had no more excuses and new I had to do this with the kids. I think Ivory soap is the funnest soap you can buy. Do you know that it also floats? Yes it does, best thing ever in a bath.... no more looking for missing soaps under the water.

But you are reading this because you want to make some fun clouds rigth? this experiment takes only seconds and it will certainly entertain your kids.

All you need is a bar of ivory soap, a piece of wax paper and a microwave.


First you need to decide whether you want a huge cloud or a small one - The reason I ask that is so you can use as much of the bar as you want. I wanted a relatively small one so I cut a small piece of the bar to do this. You can certainly use that whole bar and enjoy 100% f the fun!!!


Put the piece of Ivory soap on top of the wax paper on the microwave (the wax paper will prevent it from sticking to the microwave plate - I did not have wax paper so I used regular white copy paper today).


Close the door and start your microwave for 2 minutes (you won't need this long but it is always good to run the microwave longer than needed so you can manually stop it when the cloud is done)

Once the microwave starts you will immediately see the bar of soap transforming into a cloud right in front of your eyes. Stop the microwave when the soap is fully fluffy - you will see only cloud and no soap.

And that is it! The cloud is ready to be admired, uhhh and wowed by your kids.




The cloud is sturdy but if you press it too hard it will break. After the kids played with it, we put it in the bathroom counter. We will be breaking little pieces of cloud to wash our hands for a few days!

Did you like this experiment? if so let me know in a comment and I will try to get more fun experiments like this one to lighten up your summer!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How to make a kit-kat and M&M's cake?

I have been meaning to post about this M&M and kit-kat cake for a long time. I have been fascinated about the simplicity and sophistication of the cake. You do not need to be a cake decorator to achieve this look and believe me there is nobody that will not enjoy this yummy treat. So next time that you have to do a cake in a hurry, impress your guests with an M&M and kit-kat cake. 

The cake below was for my daughter's gymnastics' coach wedding. She wanted something fun and simple to celebrate with the girls. The girls loved it!!!






To decorate this cake, you will need:

  • 2 round cakes of different sizes - you can bake them or you can buy them, your choice!
  • Enough kit-kats packages to go around both cakes (how many depends on how big your cakes are)
  • M&M's in the color of your choice (for this one, I separated the blues and browns from several bags)
  • 1 cup of Icing (you can buy a tub or you can make it - click for my recipe)
  • Ribbons in the color of your choice

To start, open your kit-kat packages carefully as not to break the chocolates.With a sharp knife or an X-acto cut the kit-kat in half vertically so you end up with two pieces of 2 chocolate bars each. Then you are ready to assemble the cake.

Place the larger of the 2 cakes on a cake plate or holder and cover it with a medium thick layer of frosting - the frosting does not need to be perfect as it will be covered completely with the kit-kats and M&M's. Once the frosting is applied, carefully place the kit-kats to the edge of the cake making sure you leave no holes in between each piece. The kit-kats will stick to the cake because of the frosting. When you are done, take a ribbon and carefully tie it around the cake to hold the kit-kats in place.

Take your second cake and carefully place it on top of the first cake (if you want to do a single layer cake, skip this step). Repeat the step before by placing the kit-kats around this cake too and finish by wrapping it with your ribbon. To tie the bows, first do a double knot as tight as you can to hold the cakes in place and then do a bow like you will do to tie your shoelaces.



Once the chocolates are in place, fill the top of both cakes with M&M's. If you have a cake topper, put it on top of your cake, and that is it!!! you are done!!!

Easy ha?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Colleen's Easy Quesadillas with a twist! The secret? Avocados!!!



As you know I love avocados, so when Avocados de Mexico and Latina Blogger Connect asked me to write a sponsored recipe with their avocados I jumped at the chance! In fact I already had the right recipe in mind, a twist on my friend Colleen's quesadillas.

Last week we went for a get together at Colleen's house. We went shopping prior to the party and when she said she wanted to eat quesadillas I kept steering her towards the Mexican cheese and she kept telling me that she only needed cheddar.... it turned out she was right - these things were delicious. I decided to make them today for a snack and I added some avocados de mexico to the mix and they were even more fantastic! which is no surprise really I think avocados are just like bacon, every thing taste better with them on it!!!

So here is the recipe for the easiest yummiest quesadillas! do not be fooled by the simplicity of it - sometimes the simplest of the recipes are the most delicious!

I am sure many of you have the grill going all summer long, one of the cool things bout this recipe is that you can either grill the quesadillas or do them in a pan, I will explain you how.

Ingredients:



  • Tortillas (I use corn, Colleen uses flour - they are both great)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados de Mexico
  • Fresh jalapeños - optional
  • PAM cooking spray

Grate your cheese, cut your tomatoes, avocados and jalapeños  in slices and be ready to assemble.

To assemble:

Put cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños  and avocados on one side of an open tortilla, fold the tortilla and spray PAM on both sides. If you are grilling it,  then fold it tortilla on the grill and hold to close with your grilling tongues for a few seconds. Turn around in about a minute or when the tortilla is nice and toasted. It is done once crunchy on both sides (couple of minutes).





To do in a pan, heat your pan on medium fire. When hot, place 2 folded quesadillas and flatten with something like a heavy pan (I put one pan on top of another). When nice and crispy on one side turn and repeat on the other side and you are done!





You can eat the quesadillas with a dollop of Mexican or sour cream, a little salsa and some good all guasacaca made with yummy avocados off course!!



Enjoy!


 Tip: How to easily remove the pit of an avocado: Cut your avocado in half with a knife. Take a knife with a wide blade and carefully tap it on top of pit. Twist he knife and the pit will just cleanly release from the avocado - voila!




 BTW is you have nice avocado recipes you can upload them to the recipe page of Avocados de Mexico and while there you can search for other yummy recipes too. They have recipes from all sort of people from Rick Bayless to mine!!

PS: This is a sponsored post made in collaboration with Avocados de Mexico and Latina Bloggers Connect. All facts and comments are my own and the recipe is based on my friend's Colleen's!
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