Kid Friendly Chili

Hi everyone! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but the minute I think I figure out this motherhood thing, my little girl goes through another milestone, regression, teething, etc and I’m back were I started. I can’t complaint I’m loving every part of it, watching her grow into this beautiful, intelligent and opinionated little girl is so amazing. I’m constantly trying to keep up with her and now that she’s a toddler she’s eating whatever we are having for dinner, so I’ve had to adjust a few of my recipes in order to make them “kid friendly” without sacrificing flavor.

One of my husband’s favorite dishes is my chili. The first time I gave it to Emi, she was about a year old and she loved it!! Even now that she has started to be a little picky with her food (she’s 18 months), she still loves mommy’s chili, and whenever she eats all of her food without making any trouble is a good day for this momma *pat on the back*.

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I’m all for experimenting with the recipes we try, so I’m giving you a great tasting MILD chili, you can use this recipe as it is or adjust it to make your own signature chili, either way I’m sure you’ll impress some friends and family with it. Bonus point: You could cook this on a slow cooker too.

Note: I usually take a picture of every single step but this time I failed to take a couple ones at the beginning. I always try to make my recipes as simple to follow as possible, so I don’t think you’ll get lost.

Let’s get started. You’ll need 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 diced white onion, 1 diced green bell pepper, 8 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon mild chili powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons white sugar, 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 12 oz can tomato juice, 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes), 15 oz can tomato sauce, 16 oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed), 16 oz can pinto beans (drained and rinsed), shredded cheddar and sour cream for topping.

On a large skillet or pot (I like to use my dutch oven), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat and brown your ground beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, until it’s cooked through and all of its juices have consumed, about 10 minutes.

Add the diced onion, diced green bell pepper and minced garlic to the pot and stir until onion is transparent (if you decide to use jalapenos now is the time to add them), about 3 minutes. Add cilantro, mild chili, cumin, sugar, oregano, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper and stir. Cook until fragrant about 1 minute.

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If you decide to finish cooking on your slow cooker now is the time to transfer the ground beef mix to it. Add tomato juice, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to your pot or slow cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

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If cooking on the stove bring to a boil and low heat to medium low, cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If using the slow cooker cook on low for 7-8 hours.

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Serve hot with shredded cheddar and sour cream on top, and a piece of cornbread. Next week I’ll share my recipe for the sweetest and moistest cornbread IN THE WOOORRLLLD, stay tuned!

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Hope y’all enjoy this chili as much as we do and remember to give every recipe your special touch.

Kid Friendly Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds ground beef, turkey or venison
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mild chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 12-oz. can tomato juice
  • 28-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 16-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded cheese and sour cream, for topping

Instructions:

  1. On a large skillet or pot (I like to use my dutch oven), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat and brown your ground beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper until it’s cooked through and all of its juices have consumed, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the diced onion, diced green bell pepper and minced garlic to the pot and stir until onion is transparent (if you decide to use jalapenos now is the time to add them), about 3 minutes.
  3. Add cilantro, mild chili, cumin, sugar, oregano, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper and stir. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. If you decide to finish cooking on your slow cooker now is the time to transfer the ground beef mix to it. Add tomato juice, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans and pinto beans to your pot or slow cooker. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  5. If cooking on the stove bring to a boil and low heat to medium low, cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If using the slow cooker cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  6. Serve hot with shredded cheddar and sour cream on top. Enjoy!

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Chicken and Beef Stir Fry Noodles

I love my Grandma Susy, every time I went to her house she would always have some delicious chinese food for us. She’s the best I cook I know, even better than my mom, oops sorry mom! If I had to pick my favorite recipe from Mami Susy it will be hands down her Stir Fry noodles.

ChickenandBeefStirFry

I didn’t cook a lot in Ecuador, just enough to survive when my parents were out of the country, that’s why I always thought it was super difficult to cook chinese food but it turned out to be pretty easy. This recipe is not a 100% true to my grandma’s recipe since I couldn’t find some of the ingredients here in the US but even though I made some minor changes to the recipe it still tastes amazing!!! When I made it for my husband he was really impressed and now it’s one of his favorite dishes (he hasn’t tried grandma’s original Stir Fry so he thinks mine is the best… my poor innocent husband)

Let’s start! First you’ll need 6 oz of fettucine pasta (I know this doesn’t scream chinese but I couldn’t find some quality Lo Mein or rice noodles when I moved here, and the fettucine worked so good the first time I decided to keep it that way), 1/2 pound of flank steak thinly sliced, 1/2 pound of boneless chicken thighs thinly sliced, 3 stalks of celery chopped into sticks, 2 carrots chopped into sticks, 1/2 green pepper julienned (could use any other bell pepper), 1/2 white onion julienned, 1 tsp umami seasoning (ajinomoto, you can find it on the Asian food section of your local market), 2 tsp cornstarch, 2 tsp granulated sugar, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp canola oil and 2 tbsp oyster sauce (you can find it on the Asian food section of your local market).

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There’s one more ingredient that is kind of hard to find here in the US, maybe if you have a Latin market near you there’s a chance your could find it. “Wait did you just said Latin market?” yep! there’s a sauce called “Salsa China de Soya” (Chinese soy sauce), even though it translates to soy sauce, it’s thicker than regular soy sauce and has a bitter taste. If by any chance you are able to find it buy it!! it really takes this and many other Chinese dishes to another level, mine was brought from Ecuador. But if you don’t have it don’t worry your Stir Fry will still be delicious.

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Keeping it real with the dirty bottle

I forgot to tell you that I finally have a Kitchen Aid!!! *cue angels singing* It was a Mother’s Day present from a good friend of us #bestmothersdaygiftever #besidesmychildofcourse

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Back to recipe, I like to cook my pasta while I do all my chopping, it saves time and since I usually use the same pot to cook everything else clean up is a breeze (one pot meal anyone?), so cook your pasta al dente according to package directions and chop chop chop.

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Next add 1 tsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of soy sauce to the beef and stir to coat. Do the same for the chicken. In a big pot or wok, heat 2 tbsp of canola oil over medium-high heat and stir fry the chicken and beef. Once they’re cooked, add the carrot sticks and cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Then add the julienned pepper and onions and stir fry for 2 more minutes.

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Finally add the celery sticks and stir fry everything for 2 more minutes.

Then add the julienned pepper and onions and stir fry for 3 more minutes.

It’s time for sauces! Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tsp umami seasoning (ajinomoto) to the pot and stir.

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Now add the noodles and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, mix everything and turn off the heat. If you were able to get the “chinese soy sauce” now it’s the time to drizzle 1-2 teaspoons and stir, stir, stir (after all is a STIR fry haha *drumroll*).

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Taste and adjust soy sauce (savory), oyster sauce (sweet) or “Chinese soy sauce” (bitter) to your like. Serve and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if you want, or just eat it out of the pot like I usually do, ahem… only because I’m adjusting seasonings.

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Now a couple of tips: You could add as many vegetables as you want, sometimes I use whatever I have laying around my fridge (zuchinni, broccoli, all-color peppers, sky is the limit). You could also add shrimp and/or pork, just marinate them the same as the chicken and beef, and cook the shrimp towards the end, before the celery it’s a good time. Which brings me to my other point, DON’T overcook your vegetables, you want crunchy vegetables so cook them starting from hard (carrots) working your way to soft (zucchini, celery). Finally don’t be shy with the sauces!

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I really hope you like this recipe as much as we do. It’s so nice to share with you something that brings back so many good memories. Love you and miss you Mami Susy!

Have a great weekend everybody!!

By far the best and easiest Stir Fry recipe out there. Pin now!!

Chicken and Beef Stir Fry

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 6 oz of fettucine pasta (could use Lo Mein or rice noodles)
  • 1/2 pound of flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound of boneless chicken, thighs thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped into sticks
  • 1/2 green pepper, julienned (could use any other bell pepper)
  • 1/2 white onion, julienned
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped into sticks
  • 1 tsp umami seasoning (ajinomoto)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

Optional: 1-2 tsp of “Salsa China de Soya” (Chinese soy sauce), toasted sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Cook your pasta al dente according to package directions.
  2. Add 1 tsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of soy sauce to the beef and stir to coat. Do the same for the chicken. In a big pot or wok, heat 2 tbsp of canola oil over medium-high heat and stir fry the chicken and beef.
  3. Once the chicken and beef are cooked, add the carrot sticks and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the julienned pepper and onions and stir fry for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the celery sticks and stir fry everything for 2 more minutes.
  6. Add 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tsp umami seasoning (ajinomoto) to the pot and stir.
  7. Add the pasta and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce, mix everything and turn off the heat.
  8. If you were able to get the “chinese soy sauce” drizzle 1-2 teaspoons and stir.
  9. Taste and adjust soy sauce (savory), oyster sauce (sweet) or “Chinese soy sauce” (bitter) to your like. Serve and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Notes:

  • You could add as many vegetables as you want (zuchinni, broccoli, all-color peppers, etc).
  • You could add shrimp and/or pork, just marinate them the same as the chicken and beef. Cook the shrimp towards the end.
  • DON’T overcook your vegetables, you want crunchy vegetables so cook them starting from hard (carrots) working your way to soft (zucchini, celery).

 

448 days later I’m back!!

Hello everybody! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about posting again, the other day I was brave enough to open my WordPress account and I noticed I’m still getting some traffic, that really lifted up my blogging spirit and I decided it was time to start writing again. I’m a little scared though, it has been more than a year since my last post but I’ve always found a lot of support from the community here so I’ll take a chance.

First of all I had a baby!!! Emi is the best thing that has happened in my life, how could I know that I was capable of loving this much someone so tiny. Motherhood is such a blessing and I’m so grateful that God allowed me to experience it, but it is a lot harder than I expected.

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I’m doomed, she’s too cute, I can’t resist!!

I knew it was going to be hard but a part of me thought: “I got this”, “I’m prepared”, “I took all the classes” “look at those moms from the commercials, I can’t wait to give my baby a bath, have some quiet time and cuddle with her before she sleeps through the night” then reality hit me (damn you Johnson’s commercials!)

Let’s start from the beginning, first I got pregnant (that’s kind of obvious but just in case you missed health class or never had “the talk”) and I didn’t have that pregnancy glow everybody talked about, hell I’m still waiting for it to kick in. I was going for a Blake Lively pregnancy look, instead I looked like the Ghostbusters’ marshmallow man. Pregnancy was a little tough, I had a lot of morning sickness, afternoon sickness, night sickness, 3am sickness (see where I’m going) I even had and exorcist episode in the bathroom one day, not my proudest moment. When the “all-day” sickness finally got better I had a couple of good months but more on that later, I don’t plan to tell you about my whole pregnancy right now, there’s no time (I do have a baby remember). By the end of the pregnancy I was a sweating, hungry, swollen, breathing fire “lady” and I was more than ready for my baby to be born.

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Me at 9 months pregnant (check out my awesome photoshop skills)

After three false alarms the day finally arrived. It ONLY took me 23 hours to deliver my sweet baby girl (see what I did there? haha) kuddos to me! I did it! Now I can enjoy my beautiful baby… maybe not so fast. I had an assisted delivery with forceps which ended on a 3rd degree tear, but I’ll save that lovely story for another time, I just have so much to say about it and I’m trying to keep things “light” for this post (considering I started writing it a week ago, there’s so much one can do on nap time)

So far this blog has been mainly about cooking and sharing recipes, but I think it’s time to explore a new direction. I will still be posting recipes!! I love to cook and somehow I’ve managed to entertain my little one while I do it, so we are good. I feel as a first time mom I have so much to share and even though there are a million blogs about motherhood everybody has different experiences and I want to share mine in case someone out there is going through the same things I’ve been. I want to be able to help someone understand they’re not alone, it’s okay to feel they way you’re feeling.

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Just two BFF’s having a blast

That will be all for now, I just wanted to say hi, hopefully next post will be a recipe!

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich

Hey everybody!! It’s been a while but I’m back and I brought this amazing Egg and Cucumber Sandwich recipe to share with you. It’s perfect to take to work for lunch, party snacks, kid’s lunch boxes, holiday appetizers; the sky is the limit with this recipe. Last weekend Rintaro and I drove to Milwaukee for a Yellowcard concert (best concert ever!!) so I made this sandwich for the road, we were on a budget (…and diet) so lunch had to be homemade, that way we could avoid the road trip temptations, or at least try. Making these sandwiches took me 15 minutes, but you can cut the cooking time by hard-boiling and peeling your eggs the night before.

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich is the perfect crunchy start for Spring!!

The recipe makes two regular size sandwiches. You’ll need 4 bread slices ( I like to cut the crust from mine but you can keep it, no problem), 1 medium cucumber, 4 eggs, 3 tbsp. Tobiko mayonnaise or low-fat mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich is the perfect crunchy start for Spring!!

Slice your cucumber and cut the slices in quarts. Place them in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and let them drain over a plate. Cucumbers retain a lot of water and the last thing you want its saggy sandwiches.

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich is the perfect crunchy start for Spring!!

Meanwhile hard-boil 4 eggs. Once they are ready, peel and chop them.

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich is the perfect crunchy start for Spring!!

By now your cucumber must be drained, give it a good squeeze with your hands just in case (that picture is from another recipe but you get the idea). Mix the cucumber with the eggs, add 3 tablespoons of Tobiko mayonnaise or low-fat mayonnaise (for a lighter version you can use plain Greek yogurt!!) and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the egg mixture on your bread and voilà! We love this sandwich, the crunchiness from the cucumber with the softness of the egg… is perfection!! I know some people will say that an egg salad sandwich is not the healthiest lunch option but give me a break, it has cucumber, that counts as healthy right? Plus, eggs are a great source of protein… GO EGGS!!

Egg and Cucumber Sandwich is the perfect crunchy start for Spring!!

As I said before, the sky is the limit with this recipe, you can make bite size sandwiches and you’ll have an appetizer that everybody will love. For a kids party you can add food coloring to the egg mixture and cut the bread in shapes to make funny sandwiches (and the kids won’t even know they’re eating vegetables!!) but if you really want to take this recipe to the next level, you can add BACON bits to the mixture (insert drooling face here) you know you can’t go wrong with bacon.

Right now I’m eating one as I finish writing this post, because just writing about it made me crave for one, food blogger problems. Have a wonderful day!!! I’m going to watch The Chew, get some inspiration and dream about being best friends with Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly.

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Egg and Cucumber Sandwich

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 bread slices ( I like to cut the crust but you can keep it)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. Tobiko mayonnaise or low-fat mayonnaise (Plain Greek yogurt will work too)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Slice your cucumber and cut the slices in quarts. Place them in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and let them drain over a plate.
  2. Hard-boil 4 eggs. Once they are ready, peel and chop them.
  3. By now your cucumber must be drained, give it a good squeeze with your hands just in case.
  4. Mix the cucumber with the eggs, add 3 tablespoons of Tobiko mayonnaise or low-fat mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt) and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spread the egg mixture on your bread and enjoy!!

My monthly book review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other concerns)

Gutten Morgen everybody!!! Today is my last chance to share with you the book I read this month: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And other concerns) by Mindy Kaling. Mindy is a comedian, actress, writer and producer, I can’t tell you how much I love her work. She plays Dr. Mindy Lahiri in the sitcom “The Mindy Project”, one of my favorite shows right now. She also worked at “The Office”, where she wrote, produced, directed and portrayed Kelly Kapoor, the customer service chatterbox, obsessed with pop culture, getting married and having babies. If you’re familiar with her work you know I’m not exaggerating when I say she is one of the best the business.

is everyone hanging out without me?

As soon as I found out Mindy had written a memoir I knew I had to read it. After last month’s romantic book, The Best of Me, I needed something funny and light. The book describes her life from childhood to adulthood, with lots of funny references and anecdotes in-between. Her writing is so fresh and honest, I felt I was chatting with my best friend the whole time I was reading it, maybe it’s because I dream of being BF’s with Mindy (girl crush alert).

I thought it would be nice to share some quotes from her book just so you get an idea of what to expect from it, I promise they are not spoilers:

*Warning: do not read the following quotes or the book while drinking liquids; you may end up spitting them from laughing so hard (personal experience)

“You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?”

“It wasn’t even one of those stoic pimples that goes quietly when you pop it; this one was cystic and painful and had roots that seemed to extend into my brain.”…“So, with my zit throbbing like a nightclub, I went to the interview.”

“We clung to each other with blind loyalty, like Lord Voldemort and his snake, Nagini. I, of course, was Nagini. If you messed with one of us, you knew you messed with both of us, and Voldemort was going to cast a murder spell on you, or Nagini was going to chomp on your jugular.”

I loved this book as much as I love Nutella, and that is as serious as it gets. It’s important to read something light and funny every once in a while, it’s ok if you want to read “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” for leisure, but give yourself a break to have a laugh, your endorphins will thank you.

I hope you read this book, I absolutely recommend it!! Today my husband and I are going back to the gym and I’m mentally preparing for it (I’m not ready). Have a nice day my friends!!