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Enjoy all the flavor of traditional Mexican rice in this healthy and delicious cauliflower rice dish.


Mexican Cauliflower Rice - lacocinadeleslie.com

Cauliflower rice recipes are all the rage on Pinterest, and I totally jumped on the bandwagon because I love finding new ways to add more veggies to my family's diet. And I knew just the rice dish to recreate with cauliflower... Mexican rice.

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

This refreshing crab ceviche with lots of fresh veggies, including cucumber and carrot, is perfect for Lent Fridays or a light warm-weather meal.


Crab Ceviche - lacocinadeleslie.com

Ceviche is another of my go-to recipes for Lent Fridays. I have so many ceviche recipes in my repertoire, that I could easily serve a different Mexican ceviche for each Friday of Lent. Some of my favorites include: Soy Ceviche, Shrimp Ceviche, Cauliflower Ceviche, Cabbage Ceviche, traditional fish ceviche, a Mushroom Ceviche that non-mushroom lovers actually love (recipe coming soon), and this Ceviche de Surimi (imitation crab ceviche).

While most ceviches have a few key ingredients in common--like onion, tomato, cilantro, green chiles, and oodles of lime juice--I like to add a few extra ingredients to certain ceviches to make them extra special. For example, adding shredded carrot and diced cucumber help make this Crab Ceviche even more refreshing.

What's your favorite kind of ceviche?

Ceviche de Surimi - lacocinadeleslie.com

Ceviche de Surimi
(Crab Ceviche)
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb. imitation crab meat, chopped 
  • 2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped  
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded 
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely chopped 
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 3 ripe avocados 
  • Tostada shells 



Directions: 
Combine imitation crab meat, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, serrano chiles, red onion, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Stir in lime juice; season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving for the flavors to blend.

Mash the avocados with a fork in a medium bowl; season lightly with salt. Spread 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado atop of a tostada shell. Spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons of crab ceviche on top of the mashed avocado. Enjoy!


Tip: Feel free to substitute 1lb. of real crab meat for the surimi. 
















Ceviche de Surimi (Crab Ceviche)

Valentina brand hot sauce not only adds a spicy kick to this creamy crab dip, it also adds tons of flavor.


Buffalo Crab Dip with Salsa Valentina - lacocinadeleslie.com

This spicy Buffalo Crab Dip is one of my family's favorites during Cuaresma (Lent). Made with surimi (imitation crab meat), cream cheese, Mexican crema, mayonnaise, and Salsa Valentina, this easy-to-make crab dip is creamy, delicious, and can be served a number of ways.

Buffalo Crab Dip w/ Salsa Valentina

Camarones con Rajas is a delicious Mexican dish that consists of plump shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce with strips of roasted poblano peppers.


Camarones con Rajas y Crema - lacocinadeleslie.com

For this month's installment of She Made/Ella Hace my friend Heather (from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen) and I are celebrating the first Friday of Cuaresma (Lent) with delectable seafood dishes. Heather is serving up Pan-Seared Salmon w/ Mixed Greens Pesto & Lentil Black Rice Salad over on her blog, and I am sharing my recipe for Camarones con Rajas .

Camarones con Rajas (Creamy Shrimp with Roasted Poblano Peppers) {She Made/Ella Hace}

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Cuaresma (Lent). Cuaresma is the forty day period (Sundays not included) before Easter. For many of us living in Mexico, Cuaresma is a time when we refrain from eating meat on Fridays from now until Easter Sunday. Cuaresma is one of my favorite times of the year in Mexico because of the traditional Mexican dishes that are especially popular during Lent. Recipes like Capirotada (Mexican bread pudding), chiles rellenos, tacos de papa (potato), tostadas de ceviche (soy ceviche tostadas), and a plethora of seafood and egg dishes.

Mexican Recipe Ideas for Cuaresma (Lent)

Flavorful white rice flavored with onion, garlic, golden corn kernels, and Mexican crema.


Arroz Blanco con Crema y Elote - lacocinadeleslie.com

With Cuaresma (Lent) starting next week, I thought now would be a good time to share how to make Arroz con Crema y Elote. It is a popular side dish served at Mexican restaurants that specialize in seafood dishes. When my older kiddies were little and going through their picky eater stage, whenever we went to eat at our favorite mariscos restaurant the only thing on the menu that they'd eat was this rice. Now that Hope and Nick are 19 and 17, they still love this rice, but now it's not the only thing on the menu that they order.

Arroz con Crema y Elote (White Rice with Cream and Corn)

Raise your glass to celebrate National Margarita Day with this tropical Coconut Lime Margarita.


Coconut Lime Margarita - lacocinadeleslie.com

I know I'm not the first blogger to point out that some foods and beverages bring certain tunes to mind. Like anytime I make something piña colada flavored, "The Escape Song" pops into my head... "Do you like piña coladas? And getting caught in the rain?" Or when I add red wine to anything, UB40's "Red, Red Wine" immediately comes to mind. Same thing happens every time I whip up these Margaritas de Coco (coconut margaritas). I add the tequila, orange liqueur, and shredded coconut to the blender, then when it comes time to squeeze in the fresh lime juice I can't help but sing, "You put the lime in the coconut, and drink 'em both up..."

Lime in the Coconut Margarita for #NationalMargaritaDay

Morisqueta is a traditional Mexican dish--popular in the state of Michoacán--that consists of a mixture of beans and rice topped with tender pieces of meat in a spicy salsa.


Morisqueta de Costillitas en Salsa Ranchera - lacocinadeleslie.com

Morisqueta is one of those dishes that when I make it, I ask myself why I don't make it more often. My grandpa loved to serve his morisqueta with Pork Chile Colorado, while I prefer to serve it with Costillitas en Salsa Ranchera (pork spare ribs). But really any pork or beef dish can be used. Some of my favorites include Shredded Beef Picadillo, Bistec Ranchero, Pork Chile Verde, and Carne de Puerco con Chile. Morisqueta can also be enjoyed meatless. Just spoon your favorite salsa, mild or spicy, over the beans and rice.

Morisqueta de Costillitas en Salsa Ranchera

Spicy roasted tomato and chile serrano salsa perfect for serving with tortilla chips (or pork rinds) or with your favorite tacos.


Roasted Salsa Ranchera - lacocinadeleslie.com

Salsa Ranchera is one of those salsas you always want to have in your fridge because you can serve it with tortilla chips or pork rinds for a quick appetizer, stir it into soups or guisados, drizzle it over tacos, or even spoon it over eggs for Huevos Rancheros. This ranch-style salsa made with roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, and serrano chiles, will become an instant family favorite.

Roasted Tomato and Serrano Chile Salsa - lacocinadeleslie.com

Salsa Ranchera
(Roasted Tomato Salsa)
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients: 

  • 7 roma tomatoes, cut in quarters
  • 3 serrano chiles, stems removed 
  • 2 cloves garlic, with skin still on   
  • 1/2 medium white onion, cut in large chunks 
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Directions: 
Heat a comal or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Roast the tomatoes, serrano chiles, garlic, and onions over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until the ingredients have softened and are lightly charred. Remove from heat and carefully peel skin from garlic.

Puree the tomatoes, serrano chiles, garlic, and onion with the fresh cilantro until smooth. Pour salsa into a medium bowl; season with salt to taste. Enjoy!   


Tip: Change up the flavor of your salsa by using different varieties of chile peppers. Some of my favorite chiles to use are jalapeños, chiles güeros (yellow peppers), and banana peppers. 

Yields 1-1/2 to 2 cups 
















Salsa Ranchera (Roasted Tomato Salsa)

Creamy banana pudding made with galletas Maria's and vanilla-flavored atole mix.



.
When you think Valentine's Day, the first things that come to mind are chocolates and roses. I love all things chocolate and my hubby never fails to surprise me with a beautiful bouquet, but he also knows that the best way to win my heart is if the words "banana cream" are involved. Like say, banana cream pie or this easy, no-fuss Banana Cream Pudding. Today, my good friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen are sharing Valentine's Day recipes for this month's She Made/Ella Hace. So be sure to visit Heather's blog for a swoon-worthy Love Potion Cocktail.

Comfort Food Classics: Banana Cream Pudding {She Made/Ella Hace}

Tender and juicy slow cooker pulled pork flavored with fresh orange juice, smoky chipotle peppers, garlic, and Mexican piloncillo.


Orange Chipotle Pulled Pork - lacocinadeleslie.com

Making pulled pork at home needn't be difficult at all with a little help from your slow cooker. Just mix everything together, put it in your crock pot and let it simmer for a few hours until the meat is so tender and juicy it practically melts in your mouth.

I love making pulled pork because it's a no-fuss recipe, it feeds a crowd, and the combination of flavors is finger-lickin' good! This particular pulled pork recipes is flavored with fresh orange juice, chipotle peppers, garlic, and piloncillo. Oh, and did I mention that it's super versatile too? Pulled pork can be served on it's own with sides like Chili Beans, Macaroni & Cheese, Mexican Rice, and Ensalada de Elote (Mexican street corn salad)--just to name a few--but it can also be served as a filling for tacos, tostadas, burritos, or sandwiches.

Slow Cooker Orange Chipotle Pulled Pork - lacocinadeleslie.com

Orange Chipotle Pulled Pork 
lacocinadeleslie.com

Ingredients:
2 cups orange juice
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated piloncillo or light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2-1/2 to 3 lb. pork shoulder roast


Directions:
Puree orange juice, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a blender until smooth. Pour puree into a medium bowl. Season orange chipotle mixture with brown sugar, salt, ground cumin, and black pepper.

Arrange the onion slices along the bottom of the slow cooker. Place pork shoulder roast on top of the onion slices. Pour orange chipotle sauce over meat. Cover and cook over low heat for 6 to 8 hours or until tender. When meat is fully cooked, shred using two forks. Serve as a filling for tacos, burritos, tostadas, or sandwiches/sliders. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork - lacocinadeleslie.com


Tip: For a sweeter pulled pork, substitute Tampico brand citrus punch or orange-flavored Fanta for the orange juice.
















Slow Cooker Orange Chipotle Pulled Pork

Spicy Mexican chorizo with nopales topped with loads of ooey, gooey melted queso fresco and queso Oaxaca.


Queso Fundido - lacocinadeleslie.com

Are your ready for some football? Or better yet, are you ready some finger-lickin' good game day eats?! Then you are in the right place, because this month for She Made/Ella Hace my friend Heather, from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen are serving up super appetizers to enjoy while watching the big game. Heather is serving up Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts, while I am sharing a delicious Queso Fundido de Chorizo con Nopales.

Queso Fundido de Chorizo con Nopales {She Made/Ella Hace}

This flavorful pizza topped with a rich mole sauce, shredded chicken, and Oaxaca cheese is sure to score a touchdown with friends and family when watching the big game.


Chicken Mole Pizza - lacocinadeleslie.com

I don't know if you've heard or not, but there's a big football game coming up in the next couple of weeks, and last night my favorite team secured their place in the main event. Woo-hoo! Go Patriots!!! To celebrate my team's big win, I'm sharing one of my game day favorites, because as much as I love watching football and rooting for my team, the thing I look forward to most is the food. My ideal game day menu includes nachos, chicken wings, tacos, guacamole, beer, and lots and lots of pizza. Like this Pizza de Mole (Chicken Mole Pizza), topped with a store-bought mole sauce, shredded chicken, Oaxaca cheese, red onion, and chopped cilantro. No matter who you're rooting for, this pizza will be the real winner!

Homemade Pizza de Mole (Chicken Mole Pizza)

I’m just going to say it… I love New Year’s resolutions! Whether I keep them or not, I love them. New Year’s resolutions motivate me to not only try to become a better version of myself, but they also inspire me to keep dreaming and to continue pursuing whatever my dream may be at that moment in time.




food blogging goals for 2017 - lacocinadeleslie.com

Every year I compile a short list of resolutions (or goals) I hope to keep throughout the new year and share it on my personal blog, La Casa de Leslie. While listing out the things I want to do and accomplish in 2017, a lot of what I came up with pertained specifically to my cocina blog, so I compiled a separate list of blogging resolutions/goals just for La Cocina de Leslie.  

Before I share my blogging resolutions, I’m going to get a little personal and share a bit of what last year was like and why I haven’t been as consistent with my blogging. Cooking and sharing recipes here on La Cocina de Leslie has always brought me great joy. I love cooking, in general, and I also love sitting down to write about the recipes I share, the stories behind them, and sharing why they mean so much to me. No other hobby of mine has ever made me as happy as this little blog.

For the past three and half years I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would have liked to my beloved cocina blog, because being a wife, mom, and full-time caregiver were my top priorities. 2016 was a rather difficult year for us as a family. We moved out of the rental house we had called home for 13 years and moved into my suegro’s (father-in-law's) home, and my suegro’s health continued to rapidly decrease as the months flew by culminating in his passing away in mid-September. 

My suegro's passing was devastating to us all, even though we knew it was coming. After my suegra’s (mother-in-law's) sudden (and unexpected) passing in 2012, we foolishly thought a prolonged illness might be less devastating, but in 2016 we learned that it wasn’t. We´ve spent the remaining months of 2016 mourning the loss of Don Chuy, who was such an integral part of our family. My family and I spent every day with my suegro, caring for him, sharing each of our meals, listening to his stories, and laughing with him. Even before we moved in with him, we counted him as part of our family of seven. 

We are still mourning his loss and will for quite some time, but with the start of the new year we realize we need to try to pick up the pieces and focus on the things that matter most and make us happy. For me those things are my family and my writing.

This year I want to get back to doing what I love most and that includes sharing recipes here in my cocina.  

Blogging goals 2017 - lacocinadeleslie.com

My Blogging Resolutions/Goals for 2017: 

  • Blog consistently! One of my main goals is to post new recipes on a regular basis, like two or three a week. Because it's been a while and I'm a bit out of practice, we'll start with two new recipes per week and work our way up to three later in the year. I may not have blogged much in 2016, but I did cook and even managed to snap a few pics, and now I have quite a few recipes in my drafts folder just waiting to be shared. 
  • A to Z Challenge: Speaking of blogging consistently, in April I will be participating in the A to Z Challenge and posting a Mexican recipe for each letter of the alphabet. That's 26 new recipes! Ay, ay, ay!  
  • New monthly series: To help fill the void of the now defunct Secret Recipe Club, I’m starting a new monthly series here on my blog. I’m still working on a fun/cute name for my 2017 series which will focus on classic Mexican pan dulce (pastries). If you have any suggestions for series titles (all I’ve got so far is Pan Dulce 101) or pan dulce recipes you’d like to learn to make at home, let me know in the comments.
  • Cookbook reviews: This also falls under the “new series” category, and is something I have been wanting to do for quite some time. I love cookbooks and I would love to share some of my favorites from the two shelves full of cookbooks in my bookcase and the dozens I also have on my Kindle. Because this blog’s main focus is Mexican food, I’m going to start with reviewing my favorite Mexican cookbooks (in no particular order) and then we’ll move on to other types of cookbooks. The plan is to review one cookbook a month. If you have suggestions of cookbooks you’d like me to review, let me know in the comments. 
  • A monthly round-up: When I started this blog back in 2009, I didn’t think anyone besides a handful of friends and family would ever read it. And I certainly never imagined that someday I would also be invited to share my recipes on other websites. I used to share links to those recipes via Facebook or Instagram, but it’s one of those things that got pushed to the back burner. Starting this month, I’m going to post a monthly round-up of any recipes I’ve shared on sites other than my cocina
  • Bringing She Made/Ella Hace back! My friend Heather (from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen) and I will be starting back up with our monthly She Made/Ella Hace series. Yay! (Insert happy dance here.) I’m not only excited to get back to blogging, I’m also super excited to get back to cooking with my dear amiga.
  • Sharing about my cookbook. One of the good things to come out of 2016 is that one of my biggest dream came true... I wrote a cookbook! I still don't know how I managed to do it, but Taquería Tacos was published in October of 2016. In the coming months I will be sharing an in-depth look at my cookbook along with some of the recipes, and I'll even be hosting a giveaway or two. So, stay tuned! 

I really am excited to get back into the swing of things, and hope you’ll come along for the ride. 



This post is part of the SOTB Blog Hop hosted over on my casa blog
















Blogging Resolutions for 2017

Simple and easy to make, Entomatadas Verdes are corn tortillas stuffed with asadero cheese and red onion baked in a mild tomatillo salsa.



For those of you unfamiliar with entomatadas, they are milder version of enchiladas. Simply put, enchiladas are made with a chile-based sauce and entomatadas are made with a tomato or tomatillo-based sauce. Entomatadas Verdes are a childhood favorite of mine. My abuelito (grandpa) used to make Entomatadas on those days when groceries were running low. (Meaning we didn't have any meat in the freezer and/or we still had a few days before payday.) Now that I'm all grown-up, entomatadas verdes are one of my go-to recipes because I always have corn tortillas, some kind of Mexican cheese, and homemade salsa verde in the fridge.

Entomatadas Verdes (Mild Green Enchiladas) #MeatlessMonday

Fresh squeezed orange juice and chilled Mexican beer combine together for a fun twist on the classic mimosa.


Beer Mimosa - lacocinadeleslie.com

Hello, friends! Welcome to another installment of The Secret Recipe Club. I've been apart of the SRC for a couple of years now, and have really enjoyed discovering new blogs from all over the world, learning about different cuisines, trying new recipes, and of course, making new friends along the way. Sadly, The Secret Recipe Club is coming to an end this month.

Secret Recipe Club: Beer Mimosa