Tag Archive for 'ilinap'

Cinco de Mayo

I am not sure WHEN it happened but I do know WHERE it took place. While I’ve always enjoyed Mexican food it wasn’t until I went to school in San Diego that my inner ‘cinco de mayo‘ became revealed. Coming from a family steeped in traditions at every holiday – there are two holidays that I have claimed as my own – the fun filled fifth of May celebration and Halloween. There are a whole lot of other sentimental reasons that I love this day (despite that I am not of Hispanic origins or currently living in Mexico) and if you really know me, well then you’ll know why this is one of my favorite days of the year – good food, good drink and good fun – and yes, there IS more to that story but that’s the beauty of a cliff hanger. You just keep wanting more.

To whet your appetites, and get this party started, I am posting my second recipe from ‘Taste This’. It is not too late to put this one together to go with your evening cervesas…Chicken Tinga. Enjoy it with a glass of White Sangria! Ole! (See story below the Chicken Tinga recipe for the hidden bonus treat in this post).



Chicken Tinga

Ingredients

1 large tomato, chopped big
½ large yellow onion, sliced length-wise
1 garlic clove
1 chiplote
1 can tomato soup
1 TBS water
1 lb chicken breasts
2 tsps salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups rice, cooked

Directions
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add in chicken. Cook until the chicken floats to the top. Remove from water, set aside to cool.

In large pan, heat vegetable oil on high heat, add the onion (SET TWO SLICES ASIDE FOR THE SAUCE) and cook, stirring until translucent, approximately 3 minutes.

In a blender add and mix together:
– tomato soup
– garlic
– 2 slices of onion
– chiplote
– water
– salt

Shred the meat and add the onion into a large-size pan and cook on medium-high heat. When onions are softened, add in the tomato and cook for 5 minutes. Add in liquid contents from blender and bring to a boil. Do not let all of the liquid dissolve. Serve over rice prepared according to package directions.

Serves 5-6.

Note: If you don’t have time to boil and shred three chicken breasts you can by a pre-cooked chicken and shred it.


BONUS: Oh, and did I mention it is great with a glass of White Sangria? I’ve co-posted with Ilina Ewens, Dirt & Noise, who does my favorite 5:00PM Friday’s drink posts to give you a second recipe from ‘Taste This’. This is a day that deserves a good drink. Click on over– I know you’ll enjoy her post and her blog. (Shhh- don’t tell her that it is really not Friday yet, with enough of this beverage you just might think it is!)

Drink to the New Year

This guest post is from the friend I’ve yet to meet in person. We speak to each other nearly daily via Facebook and Twitter – we share laughs, recipes and stories and we talk about spending time together when our lives finally collide. Until then, she honored me with her gift of words and mixology. This mystery woman – Ilina Ewen writes a wonderful blog called Dirt & Noise and can often be found on Twitter at @ilinap.

Thank you Ilina, for helping me drink this new year away with illusions of beach-side naps and fruity blissful beverages!

******
I haven’t yet met this fellow foodie and cocktail maven on the left coast, though I count her among my friends. I have a hunch that when we meet we could very well gab for hours on end whilst shopping and sipping, leaving little room for breaths and pregnant pauses. Gina perks me up, makes me chuckle, and whets my appetite. I’m dying to pull up a barstool in her kitchen and nosh and toast and laugh.

I imagine Gina has a lovely kitchen. I bet she has really cute aprons too.

A little bird, known as Facebook, told me that Gina will be blowing out candles on a cake this week. Nevermind just how many candles. Since she’s the one who inspired me to start baking from scratch (I’m telling you, her blueberry muffins are sinfully delicious.), I’m pretty sure she’s indulging in a damn good cake. Let’s just say that I’m a better mixologist than a baker. I’ve concocted a little birthday cocktail for my friend Gina.

I’d whisk her away to a blue hued sea with white sand beaches and red pedicures if I could. We’d eat fresh fish, succulent pineapples, and sweet coconut juice. This must sound like a romantic rendezvous to some, but for mothers who work work work, paradise is a beach replete with libations and girlfriends where no one calls us Mommy.

So to toast Gina on her big day, here’s my little taste of paradise. Cheers!

Gina Bina Bobeena

Ingredients
1 ounce dark rum
1 ounce coconut rum
1 ounce banana liqueur
5 ounces pineapple juice
splash of grenadine
pineapple wedge and banana slice for garnish

Directions
Pour first three ingredients over ice in a high ball glass. Add pineapple juice and an ever so slight dash of grenadine. Skewer a pineapple wedge and banana slice to plop in as garnish.

Happy Birthday, Gina!

Cremas- A Haitian Indulgence


While we are nearly mid-way into 2010 I have surprisingly not had the time to post any of my recent cooking adventures- that said, many of the new ‘concepts’ have not been what I would deem as worthy successes. Happily, this morning when I logged onto email a post from my Twitter pal @ilinap hit me as the perfect post. I reached out to her and asked if she would share her thoughts/words/philanthropic outreach/recipe with all of you. Graciously, she said ‘yes!’.

This post is more than just a fun recipe, this post can help a group of people. Each comment on her site earns a dollar to help Haiti and you get to learn a bit more about a wonderful, sweet local beverage. What you may not know is that ‘Dirt and Noise’ has a regular Friday feature called 5:00 Friday where Ilina posts a fun new drink recipe. This week she took that concept and blended together (pun intended) a way to use her Friday indulgence to help others.

A bit of Ilina’s excerpted post:
I grappled with posting today. I mean, I feel kinda lousy throwing back a cool cocktail while millions of people are struggling for a simple glass of water in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It is hard to belt out a guffaw and embrace glee while I know so many people are hurting in the throes of despair. There’s not enough hyperbole to go around to adequately explain the situation down there. A mere 90 miles from our shores.

Today I’d like to use 5:00 Fridays to give a nod to Haiti’s culture. With this drink, you’d better make a couple batches and invite over the neighbors. Better yet, invite the neighbors and collect a cover charge at the door. Donate the cash to the people of Haiti. I’ll even donate a buck to UNICEF for every comment on this post.

This drink is like a delectable milkshake without the hassle of a blender. What I love is that the Haitians like to serve this rich concoction with pastries or cakes. I’m all about indulging my inner sweet tooth (and outer love handles).

Cremas

2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk
4 (12 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (NOT to be confused with coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 anise star
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 lime (zest and juice)
1/5 80 proof rum (You read that right. A fifth. The whole bottle)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg to fancy it up.

I raise a glass to the people of Haiti and all those reaching out and flying in to help them. Peace. Click her to

Thank you Ilina for your post. Friends and family, please click here to comment and donate (at no cost to you) one dollar to Hati.

————————————————————————————————————-
And if you want to do more- there are many ways to contribute (as taken from both Ilina’s site ‘Dirt & Noise‘ and Jane Maynard’s “This Week For Dinner‘:

Unicef

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
: (Text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross.)

Haiti Reborn: An local organization accepting donations to help earthquake relief efforts http://www.quixote.org/earthquake

Doctors Without Borders: Another organization already in Haiti and working directly with victims of the earthquake http://doctorswithoutborders.org

Partners in Health: Based in Boston, Partners in Health (PIH) have been working in Haiti for many years to establish rural health clinics http://www.pih.org for more information

Yéle Haiti: Wyclef Jean’s organization. They have many directly-linked projects to community groups in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. (You can text “yele” to 501501 to automatically donate $5 to the éle Haiti Earthquake Fund. The 5 bucks will be charged to your regular cell phone bill. It doesn’t get any easier than this.) or you can visit the website http://www.yele.org

It’s A Pisco Party

A delightful alternative pisco beverage

A dlightful alternative pisco beverage

I have the honor of being the celebratory guest blogger for my good Twitter pal and birthday gal Iliana Ewen. That in mind, this drink comes with wishes for another great year ahead. Should she wish to hide from her special day, this tasty beverage is certain to erase her memory when combined with laughter, friends, family and a bit of cake!

Three years ago, I met a young gal from Peru named Rosa. We became friends and through that friendship she introduced me to all things Peruvian. While the cuisine is amongst my favorites I must also confess that I have often indulged in the native alcohol — pisco [prounced PEES-KO]. You should know, I have a soft spot for both Rosa and pisco. These two key instigators blended with my Italian heritage are responsible for this seemingly innocent concoction.

But like all bar drinks, this one must have an interesting story and that story is rooted in the origins of pisco.

Pisco- Drinkology 101- facts to impress your friends while under the influence:
– Pisco is both a city and an important port on the Peruvian coast.
– The name originates from the Inca word for a ‘bird’
– Pisco is made from a special grape in the Andes Mountains and dates back to the 1500s
– It is a South American brandy-like liqueur distilled from grapes and is 45% alcohol
– Both Chile and Peru claim pisco as their national drink and are still fighting over who has sole ownership (Rosa says it is Peru that owns it!)
– Most common pisco drink is a pisco sour (but that’s a whole ‘nother story!)

In conclusion, pisco is some serious stuff.

Lemon-Aid Blur
Note Secret Measurement: 2 parts liquid K.O. Be sure to read over both ingredients lists.

Lemon Simple Syrup Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
12 strips of lemon zest (approx 2 lemons)

Lemon Simple Syrup Directions

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (or peel) off of lemons before juicing them as directed in the remainder of the drink recipe (called The Blur- see below).
In small saucepan, on medium-high heat mix together sugar, water and zest. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves. Let stand 20 minutes, until cool. Syrup can be refrigerated up to one week – and is also good over berry flavored sorbets.

The Blur Ingredients

¾ cup lemon simple syrup
¼ cup pisco (or ouzo), chilled
½ cup + 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
4 lemons
6 sprigs basil (or mint for the less adventurous)
ice, crushed

The Blur Directions

Stir together the simple syrup, pisco (or ouzo), and the fresh lemon juice.
Fill six small glasses with ice, fill to the brim and add a sprig of basil.