Showing posts with label kid favorites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kid favorites. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Peanut Butter & Jelly Day!

No recipe today, just sharing a photo to wish you all a happy Peanut Butter & Jelly Day! (I ♥ food holidays!)

Peanut Butter & Jelly Marias Cookies Snack Sandwiches -

We love to eat PB&J on Galletas Marias. It's one of my kiddies' favorite afterschool snacks. What's your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter & jelly? And what's your favorite flavor jelly to pair with peanut butter?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

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 -

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheeseburger Pizza {She Made/Ella Hace}

We're baaaack! After a short 2 month hiatus, girlichef & I are back to bring you more She Made/Ella Hace. Our theme this month: Football Eats! Today's recipe combines two of my favorite foods to eat when watching The Big Game (or any other major sporting event)...cheeseburgers and pizza.

My son Nick is the one who actually came up with the idea for this recipe about 8 or 9 years ago when he couldn't decide which of his two favorite foods in the whole wide world he wanted to eat at his birthday party. One day he'd choose pizza, then minutes later he'd change his mind and say he wanted cheeseburgers, only to change his mind again minutes after that. I suggested we serve both, but then he came up with the genius idea of combining to the two into a Cheeseburger Pizza, that way he'd get the best of both worlds. And the rest as they say is history.  Now Cheeseburger Pizza is a beloved family favorite.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Comfort Food Classics: Sopa de Espagueti (Mexican Spaghetti)

Mexican Spaghetti -

Growing up I ate a lot of pasta.  There wasn't a day of the week that my grandmother didn't prepare some kind of pasta, except for the one day a week she'd make Mexican Rice.  Gramm always prepared her pasta the same way with onion, tomato, and tomato sauce just like her Sopa de Fideo Seco.  The only thing that changed from day to day was the shape of the pasta. One day she'd make macaroni, the next day she'd make Letras (letters), and the day after that she'd go back to making fideo (vermicelli).  The only pasta I can't recall my grandmother ever making is spaghetti, even though Gramm always referred to her Sopa de Fideo as Mexican Spaghetti. 

But Mexican Spaghetti is actually a completely different recipe.  My recipe combines elements from both my suegra's recipe for Sopa de Espagueti, which my kiddies remember fondly, and the recipe of a good friend of mine who is originally from Morelia, Michoacan (here in Mexico), which was the first kind of Mexican Spaghetti I'd ever tasted.  My suegra's recipe for Sopa de Espagueti is fairly simple: spaghetti, some butter, and a box of tomato sauce. The real secret to her Sopa de Espagueti was in how she cooked the spaghetti.  She'd add half an onion to the cooking water, along with a cube of Knorr Suiza (chicken bouillon). My friend's recipe included making your own sauce with pureed tomato and onion, very much like Sopa de Fideo. The secret to my friend's amazing spaghetti was that she added Mexican crema to the sauce.

By combining both of those delicious recipes, we get the best of both worlds.  Mexican Spaghetti is a favorite in our house.  It makes an appearance on our table about once a week.  Sometimes as a side dish, and sometimes as the main dish.

Mexican Spaghetti w/ Crema & Queso Fresco -

Sopa de Espagueti (Mexican Spaghetti)

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 cube chicken flavored bouillon (I use Knorr Suiza)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6 to 8oz.) package uncooked spaghetti (I used a 200gr. package) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup Mexican crema
  • Garlic salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Queso Fresco

Bring the water, onion, chicken flavored bouillon cube, and salt to a boil over high heat in a deep skillet or saucepan.  Add the spaghetti, reduce heat to medium and let cook for about 15 minutes or until the spaghetti is completely cooked. Drain the spaghetti (DO NOT RINSE) and set aside; discard the onion.

In the same skillet you cooked the spaghetti melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the tomato sauce and Mexican crema. Stir well with a wire whisk to combine; season with garlic salt and ground black pepper. Stir in the cooked spaghetti and toss gently to cover noodles with sauce.  Reduce heat to low and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco all over the spaghetti. Cover skillet and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Easy Spaghetti w/ Mexican Crema & Tomato Sauce -

Receta en Español 

Sharing this post w/ Your Best Recipes (YBR) hosted by SpicieFoodie.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Nutella Yogurt Paletas to Celebrate La Cocina de Leslie's 4th Birthday!

It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years since I started this little blog of mine.  But it's true...La Cocina de Leslie turned 4 years old yesterday!  Time sure does fly by when you're having fun.  I have had a blast writing and cooking with all of you, and getting to know you through your blogs, comments, and/or emails.  From the bottom of my heart I thank all of you who continue to visit this blog, even though I haven't posted much these last two months.  I'll explain all about my absence in a future post, I promise.  But right now, it's time to get this birthday party started!

To celebrate this joyous occasion, I've got one heck of a decadent treat for you...Nutella Yogurt Paletas!  Spring has sprung here in Mexico, which means it's the hottest time of the year.  And well, there's no better way to help keep your cool than a paleta (popsicle).  This may be the shortest and easiest recipe I've ever posted, but trust me, you're going to thank me for this recipe.  Nutella Yogurt Paletas are creamy, fudgy, slightly tart, and oh-so rich and delicious.  They're so good, I bet you can't eat just one!

Nutella Yogurt Paletas

  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup Nutella 

In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt and Nutella until well combined.

Spoon (or pour) the Nutella-Yogurt mixture into plastic cups.  Insert popsicle sticks into the center of each cup.  (The yogurt mixture is thick enough to hold the popsicle sticks in place.)

Chill in freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours.  To unmold, run warm water around the plastic cups for about 30 seconds.  Enjoy!!! 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sloppy Worm Sandwiches for Halloween #SundaySupper

I am so happy to be hosting the Trick-or-Treat #SundaySupper Halloween Party today!  It's like I finally get to host the Halloween party of my dreams.   I've loved Halloween since I was a little kid.  Dressing up as whatever TV or movie character I idolized at the moment, going to all the fun Halloween festivals and haunted houses, and trick-or-treating through the neighborhood with my pillowcase full of candy.

It's because of these fond memories that I continue to celebrate Halloween with my kiddies, here in Small Town, Mexico.  My kiddies love Halloween just as much as I do, even though they've never experienced a real Halloween in the States.  As soon as October 1st rolls around, the kiddies are the first to bring out the few Halloween decorations I have left.  And the only thing they want to talk about all month long is what they're going to dress up as for Halloween.  Of course, each of the kiddies changes their mind at least a dozen times.

One of our family Halloween traditions, is to watch our favorite family friendly Halloween movies, like "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown",  the week leading up to Halloween, to help get us in the mood.  Another family tradition is to eat fun Halloween themed foods, with super spooky names like Monster Mash and Spicy Vampire Bat Wings.

One of the kiddies' favorite Halloween dishes is Sloppy Worm Sandwiches.  Now, I know I've shared an exotic dish or two here in my Cocina, but I assure you, I've NEVER cooked with real worms.  The "worms" in these sandwiches are actually salchichas (hot dog sausages), that are cut into quarters to resemble worms.  Clever, right?

So, if you're looking for a fun Halloween dish to feed your little monsters this Halloween, these Sloppy Worm Sandwiches are slimy, yet very satisfying!

What are your family's Halloween traditions?

Sloppy Worm Sandwiches
(Inspired by Taste of Home magazine)

  • 2 pounds salchichas (hot dog sausages) 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 serrano chilies, finely chopped (optional) 
  • 1-1/2 cups bottled BBQ sauce
  • Hot dog buns
  • Shredded lettuce (optional) 

Cut each salchicha into quarters, lengthwise.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat.  Add the salchichas and let cook until slightly brown.  Gently stir in the chopped tomato, onion, serrano chilies, and bottled BBQ sauce. (Important note: If you have little ones at home who aren't used to eating spicy food, please omit the serrano chilies. If you still want the flavor,  use chopped green bell peppers instead.)   Reduce heat to low.  Cover skillet and let simmer until the salchichas are soft and pliable.

Serve on toasted hot dog buns spread with mayonnaise or Mexican crema.  Enjoy!!!  

For more Halloween recipe ideas, be sure to check out the rest of the #SundaySupper line-up:

Bewitching Brews

Ghoulish Gruel: 

Haunted Snacks: 

Spooky Sweets: 

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day, this Sunday (October 28th) during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about all things Halloween.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your favorite Halloween recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

For the Kid In All of Us {Rainbow Cake}

One of things I love about living in Mexico is that there is always something to celebrate.  And today is not the exception.

Today is a particularly festive day all throughout Mexico and in the Limón household.  It is El Dia del Niño (Children's Day). 

In our family, the kiddies get the day off.  No chores.  No homework.  They have the entire day to do as they please.  And they decide what we will be having for extra large pizza with pepperoni, chorizo and jalapeño peppers.

Our Dia del Niño celebration wouldn't be complete without a cake.  This year, my kiddies chose a Rainbow Cake.  I made them one for St. Patrick's day and they loved it so much that they requested it again for El Dia del Niño.

Making a rainbow cake couldn't be easier.  You start with a box mix, prepare according to package directions and color the batter with food coloring.  See?  Piece of cake.  (Pun totally intended.) 

Before we start, let's talk about food coloring.  I recommend that you use gel food coloring.  You get great color results and it won't water down your batter like using the liquid food coloring.

If you're like me and your living in a small town in Mexico, where gel food coloring isn't available, fear not.  Just head to one of the local mom & pop farmacias (pharmacy) and ask them for pintura vegetal.  It's powdered food coloring and comes in tiny brown paper envelopes in a variety of colors including: Azul (blue), Verde (green), Rojo (red) and Amarillo Huevo (egg yellow).  And best of all it's very inexpensive.  I bought 8 envelopes for 4 pesos.  (Less than 40 cents). 

Rainbow Cake


  • 1 box Betty Crocker French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • Gel food coloring (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple)
  • White Frosting 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.

Divide the cake batter into 6 bowls.  (About 3/4 cup of batter per bowl.)

Tint the cake batter with food coloring.

Pour the cake batter, one color at a time, into the center of a greased and floured cake pan.  I started with the purple, then continued to pour each color of batter directly into the center of the previous color.

I used two 9-inch rounds, but you could also use one 10 x 3 round pan. 

Bake at 350F, according to package directions.  I baked my two rounds for 25 minutes.

Fill and frost with your choice of frosting.  I prefer using a cream cheese frosting, but for this particular cake, I used ready made white frosting.  (Gasp!) (Hangs head in shame.)  In my defense, my electric mixer died on New Year's and I'm hoping the "kiddies" will gift me a new one for Mother's Day.   


And watch how your kiddies will gobble this cake right up!


Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Make Duritos

I used to see large piles of these dried pasta like shapes, when I went shopping with my grandparents at the local Latino markets.  I had no idea what they were or how they were prepared.  And it wasn't until I married Hubby, that I found out.

They are indeed a dried pasta made from flour called DuritosDuritos are a very popular snack here in Mexico.  Kiddies of all ages love them.  Duritos come in assorted shapes and sizes.  The lighter colored duritos are actually made from potato flour, and once they are cooked, you can really sense the potato flavor.

Duritos are very easy to prepare.  All you have to do is carefully drop them in hot oil.  As soon as they hit the oil, they start to puff up.  Once they're all puffed up, they're done.

In a matter of seconds you can have a delicious snack! 



  • Duritos
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Lime wedges
  • Bottled Hot Sauce (I recommend Tapatio or Valentina brand)

Heat 1 to 2 cups of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Carefully drop the duritos into the hot oil.

Remember, the duritos start cooking as soon as they hit the oil. Once they've puffed up, remove them immediately from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Serve as is or top with bottled hot sauce and lime juice.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just what the doctor ordered {Sopa de Fideo}

Hubby and Jack aren't feeling good today.  Whenever Hubby is sick, I usually make a large pot of Caldo de Pollo But since Jack isn't feeling too good either, I decided to make him one of his favorites...Sopa Aguada de Fideo.

Sopa Aguada de Fideo is a soupier version of Sopa de Pasta.  It can be served as a side dish, but is hearty enough to be served as a main dish as well. 

Sopa de Fideo
(yields 8 cups of soup)


  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 6 to 8 oz. fideo (vermicelli)
  • 1 dried chile de arbol (optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato sauce

Puree the tomatoes and onion in a blender with 2 cups of water; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a 2-quart saucepan.  Add the fideo and chile de arbol.

Saute over medium-high heat until the noodles turn a deep golden brown.

Carefully add the puree mixture, along with the chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Cover saucepan and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer until noodles are cooked through.

Serve with Classic Quesadillas.  Enjoy!!!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ultimate Comfort Food {Macaroni & Cheese}

I have a confession to make.  When Hope was two years old, I introduced her to a new food, that quickly became her favorite...Macaroni and Cheese.  But not just any macaroni and cheese, it was the kind that comes in a blue box.  She loved it!  And every time we went to the grocery store, she would spot the blue box and scream "Mac-Cheese".  Whenever I wasn't sure of what to make her for lunch or dinner, she would say "Mac-Cheese!"  She was crazy about the stuff.

Fast forward to almost a year later, when we moved to Mexico.  Sure, Hope liked the food that my suegra prepared for her, but she still wanted her Macaroni-and-cheese.  This being a small town, far from the big city and large grocery stores, the little blue box was no where to be found.  I did buy a few boxes of the different Mexican brands, but none of them came close to the yummy goodness of the stuff in the blue box.

Then began my desperate search for the perfect homemade version.  Some were baked.  Some had a bechamel sauce base.  But still, I hadn't found a recipe that was pleasing to my little girls taste buds.

Finally, one day, I really didn't feel like making yet another bechamel sauce, so I decided to use a few shortcuts.  I cooked my macaroni according to package directions.  Then in a separate bowl,  I melted a little bit of butter, added some Mexican Crema and a few slices of good ol' American cheese.  To finish it off, I seasoned it with a little salt and pepper and presented it to Hope.   

I waited with bated breath as she tasted her Mac-n-Cheese.

She turned to me with a very serious look, then flashed me the biggest smile and said, "Mommy, this is the BEST Mac-n-cheese!"

Coditos con Queso (Macaroni and Cheese)

  • 6 to 8oz. elbow macaroni (I use 200 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup Mexican Crema
  • 6 slices American Cheese, cut in large pieces (make sure it's the good stuff!)

Cook the macaroni according to package directions.  Pour the macaroni into a strainer to drain the hot water; set aside.

In the same pot you cooked the macaroni, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Stir in the Mexican Crema and the cheese.

Continue cooking, stirring often, until the cheese has melted completely.

Stir in the cooked macaroni.  Season with salt and pepper.




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