Sunday, July 6, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Mango Milkshake

It's summer, the sun is scorching hot, and all I really want is something to help me stay cool. So when it came time to pick a recipe from my Secret Recipe Club assignment this month, I knew I wanted something along those lines. I think it's awesome that my blog assignment this month hails all the way from Australia. My Hobbie Lobbie is a new-to-me blog written by Trisha who loves to craft and travel. Although Trisha is a baker, she had plenty of recipes that fit my desire to stay cool perfectly. Her Mango (no-churn) Ice Cream immediately caught my attention, as did her Choco-Fudge Pops, and Melon-Cucumber Smoothie. And once the weather cools down a bit I'll be trying her Baked Naan, Japanese Cheesecake, and Sweet & Salty Cumin Cookies, because I never would have thought to add cumin (one of my favorite spices) to cookies. But the recipe that won me over was her Mango Milkshake, because who doesn't love a thick and creamy milkshake in the summer?

As much as my family loves milkshakes, we tend to stick to our favorite flavors like strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, cookies & cream, and peanut butter & banana. But as soon as I read the words "mango milkshake" I thought, "I love mangos in my licuados (smoothies), but why have I never thought to add them to a milkshake?!" These Mango Milkshakes were such a hit with my Hubby and kiddies, that I've already made them 5 or 6 times in the last 4 weeks. The first couple of times I followed Trisha's recipe to a tee using only vanilla ice cream. But after a visit to our local paleteria (popsicle/ice cream parlor) and seeing that they had mango ice cream, I forewent buying just a scoop and bought an entire liter to use just for mango milkshakes and that's all I've used ever since.

Once you try these Mango Milkshakes, I think you'll agree that they are sunshine in a glass.

Mango Milkshake -

Monday, June 30, 2014

Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie {She Made/Ella Hace}

Howdy there, strangers! I know that it's been forever and a day since I last posted, and for that I apologize. But I'm back today for another installment of She Made/Ella Hace with my partner-in-crime, girlichef. Heather (girlichef) chose nopales (cactus paddles) as our theme this month and I couldn't be happier. Not only are nopales a staple ingredient in the Mexican kitchen, but they're also one of the few foods that make an appearance in my kitchen almost daily. I add nopales to just about everything: soups, moles, tacos, huevos con chorizo, and even smoothies. Yes, you read that correctly....smoothies!

Licuados de Nopal (cactus paddle smoothies) are very popular at the juice bars in el mercado (the market), because they're believed to lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and help you lose weight. At the juice bars you can choose to have your Licuado de Nopal made with either orange juice or grapefruit juice. I prefer mine with grapefruit juice because it really plays well with the pineapple, celery, and parsley that are also in this smoothie. Licuados de Nopal are a nice balance between a sweet smoothie and a savory smoothie. But if you prefer your smoothies on the sweeter side you can sweeten this smoothie with either honey or agave nectar. Served over ice, this Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie is a delicious and refreshing way to start your day.

For a complete nopales filled breakfast, be sure to visit girlichef's blog to check out her Migas con Nopales!

Grapefruit-Cactus Paddle Smoothie (Licuado de Nopal y Toronja) -

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Mango Pie Bars

Happy June, amigos! It's the beginning of a new month, which means that it's time for The Secret Recipe Club big reveal. I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about blogging is discovering new blogs to follow and making new friends. This month I was assigned a new-to-me blog called Sweet as Sugar Cookies written by Lisa. True to it's title, Lisa's blog is full of sweet and delicious treats. Some of the recipes that caught my attention were the Baked Pears w/ Feta Cheese Lisa made last month for SRC, Honey Yogurt Bread, Spicy Peach BBQ Chicken, Mango Bread, and Peach Pie Bars. I finally decided to go with the Peach Pie Bars, because they just sounded like the perfect summer dessert.

My only problem was that I couldn't find fresh peaches, and I really didn't want to use canned peaches for this dessert nor did I want to make something else. My heart, mind, and stomach were set on having the Peach Pie Bars. So, I turned to one of my favorite summer fruits and made Mango Pie Bars instead.

Oh my goodness! This just might be my new go-to mango dessert. I still can't get over how amazing they were. They tasted like Peach Pie and Peach Cobbler all rolled into one. Thank you so much for this recipe, Lisa! My Hubby & kiddies thank you too.

Mango Pie Bars -

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Paletas de Cajeta y Nuez (Caramel-Pecan Paletas) {She Made/Ella Hace}

With summer just around the corner, my foodie BFF girlichef and I thought it only fitting that we make paletas for this month's She Made/Ella Hace. Both Heather (girlichef) and I both have a fondness for paletas. I think they are the perfect summer dessert, so cool, sweet, and refreshing. And they look so cute on those little wooden sticks. I don't know about you, but I've always thought foods on a stick just taste better than foods not on a stick.

Again, girlichef and I were on the same wavelength with this month's theme. She made Dulce de Leche Paletas and I made Caramel Pecan Paletas with cajeta (a Mexican caramel sauce). These paletas were inspired by one of my favorite snacks: plain yogurt with a sprinkling of chopped pecans and cajeta drizzled on top. As much as I enjoy my mid-morning snack, I love these Caramel Pecan Paletas even more! The tartness of the yogurt, the sweet creaminess of the cajeta, and the crunchy nutty flavor of the pecans combine together to make the perfect summer dessert.

Caramel Pecan Paletas -

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Empanadas de Piña (Pineapple Empanadas) #SundaySupper

I have a confession to make... As much as I love empanadas, there is a certain empanada that I rarely ever make - Empanadas de Piña (Pineapple Empanadas). Not because I don't love them (which I totally do), but because there are the only two kinds of empanadas sold at most panaderías (bakeries) in my small town: pineapple and vanilla. Usually when I make empanadas at home, it's because I'm craving a kind that I just can't find here in Small Town, Mexico. But pineapple empanadas are so sweet and delicious, that every once in a while, I just HAVE to make them at home, because homemade pineapple empanadas are that good.

Homemade Pineapple Empanadas -

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Poblano Chicken Enchiladas Blancas #WeekdaySupper

I've shared many a recipe for enchiladas here in my cocina over the years: Potato EnchiladasEnchiladas de Mole, Bean & Cheese Enchiladas, Scrambled Egg Enchiladas, Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas, and even Swiss Chard Enchiladas. But there are still quite a few enchilada recipes that I haven't shared yet, like these Poblano Chicken Enchiladas Blancas. Creamy and cheesy enchiladas stuffed with shredded chicken, roasted poblano peppers, and golden corn kernels. They get the name Enchiladas Blancas because instead of a red or green chile enchilada sauce, they are made with sour cream.

This is a great recipe to use leftover shredded chicken, but I'm including how to cook the chicken if you'd like to make this recipe from scratch.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Food Blogging Goals for May

I'm a list maker. What can I say? I love lists! Mostly I make lists in my head, but I also have a notebook and a planner full of lists. Not because I'm a super organized person, because I'm not. I wish I was, and I'm constantly working on it, but organized I am not. I make lists, because if I don't write things down I tend to forget about them. Like my monthly goals. Every month I make a mental list of things I want to accomplish. When I write them down, I'm more likely to do them. And I'm a big fan of crossing things off lists. But if I don't write down my monthly goals, I forget all about them. And when I finally do remember them I feel guilty for not having done them.

This month I've decided to borrow a page from my personal blog and post my Cocina goals for this month...

My goals for May: 

1. Post 3 recipes a week. The past couple of months I've been trying to blog a little more regularly, and this month I want to step up my game even more.

2. Translate and publish at least 1 recipe per day on La Cocina de Leslie (en Español). After 5 years of blogging here in my Cocina, in English, I've decided to start a Spanish language version of this blog. Now you'll be able to get my recipes in both English & Spanish!

The website is up and running with a couple of recipes en español, but I still have a lot of translating to do. I'm doing all the translating myself, because you just can't trust most translating programs. If I translate one recipe a day, at the end of the month I'll have 31 more recipes than I have on there now. (If you have any suggestions for recipes you'd like to see translated to Spanish, let me know in the comments.) 

3. Make at least 1 recipe from each of my food magazine subscriptions. This goal isn't really related to this blog, well it might be if I decide to post one of those recipes here. I subscribe to 4 food magazines and rarely ever cook anything from them anymore. (Shame, shame, shame!) And that's just plain wrong. The whole purpose of buying food magazines is to try something new or learn to make something you've never tried making before.

4. Write cookbook reviews. Along the same lines as my food magazines... I have a bunch of cookbooks that are gathering dust on my bookcase, because I haven't touched them in a year. That needs to change. So in an effort to cook more from those cookbooks, I'm commiting to writing at least one cookbook review this month. (Again, if you have any suggestions for cookbooks you'd like me to review, let me know in the comments below.) 

5. Have fun blogging & cooking! I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this blog. But I do know that I'd continue to cook, because I love it and I have a family to feed, and I'd still share pics of the food I make on Facebook and Instagram. This month I plan to continue having fun blogging and cooking along with all of my foodie friends: She Made/Ella Hace with my foodie BFF girlichef, The Cake Slice Baker's, #SundaySupper, and #WeekdaySupper.

Do you have any goals for this month?


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