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Showing posts from August, 2018

Throwdown's Green Chile Cheeseburgers

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In New Mexico, the state vegetable is the chile pepper, where they're layered atop beef for an iconic dish: the Green Chile Cheeseburger. Sometimes topping the Scoville chart, and sometimes mildly spicy, these burgers are defined by a relish of mixed chiles and a handsome dose of melted cheese. Bobby's recipe has poblano, Hatch and serrano chiles with honey and red wine vinegar to balance. Pickled red onions add tang, and a Monterey Jack-Parmesan queso sauce brings it home with creamy rich flavor.

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay
Total: 5 hr 5 min
Prep: 35 min
Inactive: 4 hr
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
Queso Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
12 ounces Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green Chile Relish:
1 medium poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1 ser…

Ancestral Ties

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My paternal grandmother has been ill for a few years, and lately, she’s been longing to return to the town she was born and raised in. She says she wants to feel rooted again. She and I were born and raised in the same state of Puebla but one city away from each other. The feeling of bliss I feel when I reminisce transforms into lovely words when described by grandmother. When I think of my hometown of Chietla in Puebla Mexico, I think of the sweet smell in the afternoon air before the last ring of the town's church bells. The city sits almost 3,700 feet above sea level and the evening breeze is brisk and blissful as it caresses you, almost as if you've earned its honor. While growing up there, the streets buzzed in the moonlight as people walked around on the unpaved roads, greeting each other with wishes of a pleasant evening. We both deeply miss the utter, humble simplicity of the life that we once had in our neighboring towns.

We both haven’t been to our home state in deca…

Fresh Peach Cake

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 50 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Pine Nut Pesto

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Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
Total: 23 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 8 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions
Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Lightly oil the grill pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a processor. Lightly pulse. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of the oil, blending until the mixture is creamy. Add salt and pulse. Put half of the pesto into ice cube trays and store in the freezer for future use.

Transfer the rest of the spinach mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.  Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprea…

The Glimpse of Seamlessness...

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I'm a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend. Each role gives me the illusion that my life is fragmented because each function has its own obligations that come along with it. So when I heard Deepak Chopra in a meditation session say, “Our true self isn’t fragmented because it doesn’t play any role,” I thought, “I have many roles. How can I not handle them differently, therefore fragmenting myself?” I spent some time thinking about the quote and my question, and while scrolling through some photos, I ran into the picture above that I took at a museum--the artwork is composed of small pieces of tile that make up the beautiful and vibrant piece. The artwork along with Deepak’s quote brought it together for me. What I consider to be fragmented pieces of myself is just a process needed to finish a whole picture!

The different roles in our lives don’t define our real self--the true self is centered in its own being. Our true self is finished artwork that had to go through many challenging …

Chicken Milanese

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total: 35 min
Active: 35 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Arugula, for serving
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan shavings
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Directions
Place your palm flat against the top of each chicken breast and carefully slice each piece in half horizontally; you'll be left with 4 thinner chicken breast pieces. Place each chicken cutlet between 2 sheets of waxed paper and use the smooth side of a mallet (or a rolling pin) to pound them until they're very thin. If you think they're thin enough -- pound 'em a few more times! The thinner the better.

In a dish, whisk together the milk and eggs. Place the flour in another dish and mix in some salt and pepper. Place the breadcrumbs in a third dish. Set the 3 dis…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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The Beauty In Growth...

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The evolutionary impulse is speaking through you saying, “Grow, Live, Prosper." This is the eternal message of life. –Deepak Chopra

In nature, growth can’t take place unless crucial factors happen before a seed germinates—the most important being water, temperature, and sunlight. When the time is right, growth occurs and the scenery changes, enhancing the landscape. Without choice, a seed goes through a process of growth, and in the human mind, its fruits are considered a success for the environment. So, why do humans consider what happens to plants a victory, but label the same growth process in the human life a failure? Things get messy, complicated, and don't go as "planned" in both nature and human life.

Failure is defined as a lack of success, but how can we justly measure the level of success for a day or a task? When I leave my house on time, I consider it a success! But then, the tide turns when I waste time filling out the wrong form, or I’m placed on a waiti…

Mini Quiches with Peas and Bacon

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Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh
Total: 1 hr 15 min
Active: 45 min
Yield: 7 servings
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients
6 slices bacon
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
3 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
1 round refrigerated pie dough (half of a 14-ounce package)
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions
Special equipment: a 3-inch round cookie cutter; a 12-cup muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add the bacon to a medium skillet, turn the heat to medium high and cook until browned and crispy on both sides, about 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then dice. Set aside.

To a medium bowl, add the eggs, heavy cream, paprika, cayenne, Dijon and some salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Add the bacon, peas and Gruyere; fold to combine. Set aside.

Unroll the pie dough and cut out 7 rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. (If necessary, roll out the scraps and cut out more rounds.) Spra…

Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

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This salad is simple and makes an adorable and tasty addition to any lunch box.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Total: 20 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings (6 cups)
Level: Easy

Ingredients
6 ounces wagon wheel pasta
1 heaping cup very small broccoli florets
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 ounces thick-sliced ham, cut into small cubes
1 scant cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
2 scallions, sliced (optional)

Directions
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. About 30 seconds before the pasta is done, add the broccoli florets and corn kernels. Cook for 30 seconds and then drain into a colander. Run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking. Keep the pasta draining in the colander while you mak…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Pushable Rosé Pops

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Why should kids have all the summer frozen-treat fun? When a frozen push-pop is infused with rosé wine, fresh berries and pound cake, a grown-up can happily relive the good ol' days.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 4 hr 20 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 12 pops
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup raspberry apple juice
Four .25-ounce packets unflavored gelatin (about 3 1/2 tablespoons)1/4 cup superfine sugar2 1/2 cups chilled rosé wineSix 1/4-inch-thick slices vanilla pound cake or other sturdy plain cake3/4 cup fresh raspberries

Directions
Special equipment: Twelve 7 1/4-inch-tall pushable pop molds

Pour the juice into a medium saucepan and sprinkle over the gelatin. Let stand until the gelatin is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the superfine sugar and heat over low just until the gelatin and sugar dissolve, about 1 minute.

Pour the gelatin mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish and stir in the wine. Refrigerate, stirring every 10 minutes, until the gelatin just begins to thicken, 30 …

Róse Lemon Caper Salmon

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Recipe courtesy of Ayesha Curry
Total: 30 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
6 cups mixed salad greens
1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 6- to 8-ounce skinless salmon fillets
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 cup dry róse wine or white wine
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Directions
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl. Zest the lemon over the salad greens; squeeze in the juice of half of the lemon (reserve the other half). Drizzle the greens with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste; toss. Set aside.

Sprinkle the salmon fillets all over with salt and several grinds of black pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the fillets and cook u…

Nut-Free Ranch-Flavored Crispy Cereal Snack Mix

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Roasted green peas make a crunchy and colorful swap-out for nuts in our snack mix, which we change up with a homemade ranch-flavored spice blend. If the buttermilk powder in the blend isn't part of your pantry yet, it should be: It's great to have on hand whenever you need a bit of this recipe staple, and it keeps at room temperature for 9 months.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 35 min
Active: 20 min
Yield: 8 cups (eight 1-cup servings)
Level: Easy

Ingredients
6 tablespoons buttermilk powder (see Cook's Note)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
Kosher salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups roasted salted green peas (see Cook's Note)
1 1/2 cups bagel chips, broken into pieces
1 1/2 cups bite-sized pretzels
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Zest of 3 lemons
2 tablespoons dried chives
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar

Directions
Combine the buttermilk powder, garlic powder, onion powder, 2 teaspoons salt an…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Growth In The Horizon

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The unfolding of Life, the maturation process, the process of growing through and coming into your own empowerment, is a process that needs to be approached with reverence. –Gary Zukav TheSeat of the Soul

Last week, on a busy and rough day, flustered and tired I said under my breath, “I’m either the healer or the problem!” Shocked, wondering where that came from--its truth lingered in my lips for a few seconds. The problems are always: self-doubt, sabotage, and judgmental replays of the past--they keep me from moving forward with a clear and reverent mind. It’s what Gary Zukav refers to as a lack of reverence for the growing process. Not until last week did I realize the lack of respect for the process of maturing, growing and coming into my own. I don’t lack time and patience, I lack reverence for the happenings of each day. On tough days I can cry thinking about how much I beat myself up during stressful situations. I wish I chose reverence each time things get tough—to heal myself w…

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Total: 20 min
Prep: 14 min
Cook: 6 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 bunches scallions, chopped
3 cups cooked white rice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions
Heat the butter, olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the Cajun seasoning and shrimp and cook, stirring, until the shrimp begin to curl, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes and scallions to the skillet and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the rice and 1/4 cup water and continue to cook until the rice is warmed through and the shrimp are opaque, about 3 more minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve with lemon, if desired.

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