She Made/Ella Hace: Chicken Pipián Rojo

This month for She Made/Ella Hace my partner-in-crime girlichef and I chose Pipiná as our theme, which couldn't be more perfect for me as I've had a bit of an obsession with pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) the last couple of weeks. I can't seem to resist stirring them into everthing and anything like salads, yogurt, cookies, homemade granola... The list goes on and on. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy pepitas is in Pipián.

Pipián is a traditional Mexican sauce that gets its distinct grainy texture from the pepitas. Pipián can be made in one of two ways: Pipián Verde made with tomatillos and roasted poblano peppers and Pipián Rojo made with tomatoes and dried ancho chiles. Pipián can be served over fish (girlichef made Salmon in Pipián Verde), shrimp, roasted pork, or chicken. Whether you choose to make Pipián Verde or Rojo, you'll love the nutty flavor the pepitas adds to this exquisite sauce.

Pipian Rojo Sauce made w/ Pepitas - lacocinadeleslie.com

Creamed Corn a la Mexicana

If you were to ask my husband what his favorite food is, he wouldn't be able to answer you because he has no idea whatsoever what his favorite food is. Most of the time he'll just say, "Everything my wife makes," which is sweet and totally true. But I've been married to the man for 19 years and I know exactly what his favorite food really is. It's the one meal he requests week after week when we sit down to plan our weekly menu. Even the kiddies know what he's going to request before he utters a single word: BBQ Ribs with creamed corn and glazed carrots.

Creamed corn is another one of those canned foods that I grew up eating when I lived with my mom. I really loved me some creamed corn. But again, Hubby didn't care much for the canned stuff. So I had to figure out a way to please us both. Luckily I quickly found a way to change Hubby's mind about creamed corn. Now Creamed Corn a la Mexicana is the first side dish, followed by Piloncillo Caramelized Carrots (recipe on Que Rica Vida), Hubby requests when he wants BBQ Ribs.

Creamed Corn a la Mexicana is so much better than that canned stuff I grew up eating. This creamed corn has a little bit of everything: sweet golden corn kernels, spicy serrano chilies, and creamy Mexican crema.

Creamed Corn a la Mexicana - lacocinadeleslie.com

Espinacas con Crema (Creamed Spinach) #SundaySupper

This week's #SundaySupper theme is Eat Your Greens hosted by Foodie Stuntman! Whenever I think of greens, I immediately think of my favorite green, one I've loved since I was a little, itty, bitty baby...spinach! Spinach was the first baby food I ever tried, and after that no other baby food came close to being as good as my mushed spinach. (I was a cute, but very strange baby!) 

Even though I've come along way from those days, I still love me some spinach. Just not in a jar. My favorite way to eat spinach is in what I call Espinacas con Crema, which is just another way of saying Creamed Spinach. What I love most about my Espinacas con Crema, aside from it's incredible flavor, is that I can make it with either fresh or frozen spinach. Another awesome thing about this recipe, is that it has changed just about every one I know into spinach lovers, including my suegro (father-in-law), who used to cringe at the mere mention of spinach. Now he asks for it a couple of times a month. And that in my book makes this recipe a winner.

Espinacas con Crema (Creamed Spinach) - lacocinadeleslie.com

Secret Recipe Club: Peanut Butter Fun Snack Cake

One of my favorite things about the world of food blogging are the various groups I've joined over the years. There is always much fun to be had discovering new blogs, trying new recipes, and making new friends. Some of my closest friends are friends I've made through bloggging. Well, I've gone and joined another group called The Secret Recipe Club (SRC). It's like a virtual recipe swap with another blogger, except I'll be assigned a different food blog each month, and the participants have no idea who is cooking something from their blog until reveal day. Sounds fun, right? I think so. The blog I was given this month was Things I Make (for Dinner) written by Sarah.

After reading through Sarah's blog about the recipes she prepares for herself and her hubby, I had a list of recipes I wanted to try: Shirley Temple Cupcakes, Pineapple Sangria, Peanut Butter Crunch Cake, Pecan Pie Muffins, Monkey Muffins, Pork Fried Rice, and Chicken Gyros. I was leaning heavily towards the Chicken Gyros because I haven't had one in like 15+ years, but I decided to ask Hubby and kiddies for their opinions as to what I should make. As soon as I said the words "peanut butter" they were sold. So, Peanut Butter Crunch Cake it was! But those Chicken Gyros are high on my list of things to make.

Oh, where do I start with this cake? I've always loved peanut butter, but it's been way too long since I've made (and eaten) a peanut butter dessert. I had forgotten how much I love peanut butter desserts. This snack cake reminded me of one of my favorite cookies, Nutter Butters, that I haven't had since I moved to Mexico 13 years ago. I couldn't stop tasting the cake batter, it was that good.

I did have to make one change to this cake. The original recipe calls for chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, but since I don't have access to those I decided to substitute plain m&m candies. The result was a major hit with my family. Jack, my youngest, has already requested I make this cake again for El Día del Niño (Children's Day) in April, and Hope and Nick, my teenagers, have both requested this cake for their birthdays. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this recipe!

Peanut Butter Fun Snack Cake - lacocinadeleslie.com

Mushroom Poblano Tacos #SundaySupper

Meatless Mushroom Poblano Tacos - lacocinadeleslie.com

For this week's #SundaySupper theme, hosted by Tammi of Momma's Meals, we are going meatless. Personally, I couldn't be any happier because I'm always looking for new meatless recipes to serve during Lent for our meat-free Fridays.

The recipe I'm sharing today is one I make often, even when we're not observing Cuaresma (Lent). My favorite thing about these tacos, aside from their spicy and earthy flavor, is how incredibly easy they are to put together. All it takes is 3 ingredients: onion, mushrooms, and roasted poblano peppers. Recipes don't get much easier than that.

Chicken Pipián Verde #WeekdaySupper

Chicken Pipian Verde - lacocinadeleslie.com

Have you ever said, "I feel like chicken tonight!" only to be greeted with cries of, "No, not chicken again!" from your family? Well it happens to me. Sometimes. And on those rare occasions, I turn to a recipe that I like to call my secret weapon, because my family cannot resist it's charm, nor it's deliciousness.

Pipián Verde is an exquisite traditional Mexican sauce made with roasted poblano peppers, tomatillos, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) that can be served over chicken or turkey. The pepitas are what give Pipián it's distinctive texture. There's also a Pipián Rojo made with tomatoes and dried ancho chiles, that I promise to share with you very soon. (Look for it next week.)

Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake #SundaySupper

When I think of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday my mind immediately wanders to all the rich, decadent foods I want to enjoy before the seriousness of Cuaresma (Lent) starts the very next day. Here in Mexico we take Cuaresma very seriously. Most people, myself included, give up eating meat on Miercoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) and every Friday until Easter Sunday. Martes de Carnaval (Fat Tuesday) is my last day to indulge in the rich and sinfully delicious foods I might be giving up for the 40+ day Lenten period. Not that I've decided to give anything up this year, but in years past I've given up Mexican Coca-Cola (which I no longer drink) and coffee (which I promised to never give up again).

Aside from coffee, my one guilty pleasure that I could never give up is chocolate, Mexican Chocolate to be exact. It can be used for so much more than just Mexican Hot Chocolate and Mole Dulce. One of my new favorite ways to enjoy sweet, cinnamon scented Mexican chocolate is in this Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake. The cake is tender, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery delicious.

Mexican Chocolate Coffee Cake - lacocinadeleslie.com