Archive for the ‘Sides recipes’ Category

I’m still around… somewhat. Let me tell you about a baked potato and some movies

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Howdy folks. The fall semester is in full swing, and one class in particular is already driving me batty, leaving me less time to update this here blawg. But, this is hopefully my last semester so I just need to keep a good sense of humor for the next couple of months.

Anyway, so you want a decent baked potato? Let me share with you my recipe:


  • A couple of potatoes. Russets usually hold up well, but I also like the smaller golden potatoes myself
  • Olive or canola oil
  • sea salt

So here’s what you do:

  • Set the oven for 375.
  • Wash the potatoes very well to get all the grit off, then pat dry. You’ll want to keep the skin on for this recipe, so treat it kindly.
  • Stab the tater a few times on each side or you’ll have an explosion in the oven you’re not going to want to deal with.
  • Pour some sea salt into a small plate.
  • Put a little oil in the palm of your hand and coat the potato. Then, roll it around in the sea salt and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat for each potato (up to 4 is best here).
  • Bake for 1 hour

Your potato is now ready to rock and roll. Delicious!

I was supposed to be studying, but over the weekend I managed to catch a couple of movies on Netflix that I somehow had avoided viewing for many years. First up is Requiem for a Dream.

In a word, I’d say this is probably the best “say no to drugs” movie out there (moreso than even Trainspotting). However, let me stress that this movie is not made for children. At. All. I felt like my soul fell out of my body and was chilling out on the floor by the end. Still though, great movie all the same. Ellen Burstyn devastated me with her performance.

Then I popped in There Will Be Blood. Normally I’m not too fond of P.T. Anderson because his movies tend to be way too long, but it was great. I re-discovered my affection for Daniel Day-Lewis and his ability to lose himself in every character he plays.

Netflix has also been releasing more of the Classic Album series of documentaries (or rockumentaries, if you prefer). I enjoy watching them immensely.

And, last but not least, if you’re a George Harrison fan you’ll like George Harrison: Living in the Material World. It’s directed by Martin Scorsese, and it’s definitely epic in scope. George was always my favorite Beatle, and I wish he was still around to make the great music that lived inside him always. He was a beautiful man, inside and out.

Corn on the cob straight from the microwave, and it’s a good good thing

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Seriously… try it. It’s much faster than boiling or roasting, and tastes great.


  1. Get a damp paper towel and lay it flat inside the microwave.
  2. place two corn on the cobs with husks and silk intact on top of the paper towel.
  3. Nuke for 4 minutes. Turn corn over. Nuke for another 3 minutes. Let sit for a couple of minutes.
  4. Remove the husks and silk and enjoy the wondrousness of microwaved corn on the cob.


Flour Tortillas a la Jen

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Still working on the shape as I don’t have a tortilla press.


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Chicken Tortilla Soup/ Guacamole, as you like it

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment
Chicken Tortilla Soup and a nice side of guacamole

Today I decided to try my hand at Chicken Tortilla Soup. It came out pretty tasty, but as in all things, if you like it spicier, try some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes in your recipe.


  • Split chicken breasts
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 container (16 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 can yellow corn, drained
  • 1 can hominy, drained
  • chopped cilantro (if you like it)
  • 1 can chopped green chiles (4 oz)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Chop up the chicken into bite sized pieces, and put into oil along with onion and garlic.
  3. Cover and let cook until chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Toss in all the other ingredients, and let cook for an hour.
  5. When ready, garnish with shredded cheese and/or chopped green onions. Make sure you have some tortilla chips handy 🙂

Easy peasy.

As far as the guacamole goes, I have found that Ina Garten’s recipe actually works for me. Not so much tabasco sauce per se, but a little doesn’t hurt too much. Here it is:

Guacamole Ingredients

  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced


Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Charro beans going in the crockpot tonight… yum

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I’ve made them, but hey, why not right?

Little fuss and muss, and tons of flavor. Try it out sometime 🙂


Categories: Sides recipes

Ropa Vieja recipe (with my revisions)

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Ropa Vieja over Jasmine Rice with a side of Charro Beans

Howdy. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but it’s been a busy time with work and traveling and what not. Today I decided to make Ropa Vieja, a Cuban beef dish that translates to “old clothes”. Very tasty. Originally, I used a recipe from the Goya website, but this time around I did some modifications that worked wonderfully.

Now, this dish does take a couple of hours to prepare and cook, but it’s worth it.


  • 2 lbs beef skirt steak, sliced fairly thin (the original called for flank steak, but that’s way more expensive. It’s a good substitution)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • Goya “Adobo with Pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 jar Goya “Sofrito
  • 2 big cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 packet Goya “SazĂłn with Coriander and Annatto
  • 1 packet Goya “Beef Bouillion
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Spanish “Manzanilla” olives stuffed with pimiento, drained (may want to use less, according to taste)
  • 1 small jar capers, drained (may want to use less, according to taste)

Directions (modified by me):

  1. Heat up olive oil in large heavy-bottomed pot. Cut up meat in 1-2 inch pieces, season with Adobo, and divide up in two batches. You don’t want to add all the meat at one time because that much meat won’t distribute the heat properly. For both batches, cook meat for 5 minutes on on each side on medium heat. Place cooked meat on a plate and keep the heat going in the pot.
  2. Add green bell peppers and onion to the pot and cook up for 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, water, tomato sauce, Sofrito and black pepper to the onion and pepper mixture. Let cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add powdered beef bouillion and Sazon into the pot and then add the meat back in. Let cook for 45 minutes.
  5. Slice up olives and drain. Add them and the capers to the pot. Let cook for 1 – 1.5 hours (I just let it go for 1 hour).
  6. Shred up beef in the pot and turn off the heat.
  7. Serve over cooked rice… Jasmine works wonderfully. I also cooked up a batch of Crockpot Charro Beans. Yum!

And that’s all she wrote. So tasty and flavorful. My husband loved it and so did I 🙂

Recipe: The lazy girl’s version of Baja Fish Tacos

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment

When the options of eating out (too lazy) and making something from scratch (too lazy combined with being tired from studying all day) are just not options, sometimes short cuts can be used. The caveat to this is that the short cut has to keep the deliciousness going.

I’d been promising my husband I would make Fish Tacos, but hadn’t delivered. So today, I decided to try my shortcut idea since I was also craving them. Normally I’d get them at my favorite joint (La Jaiba in McAllen, home of my favorite phrase, “Jaiba Nice Day”), but again, remember what I said about laziness. Full effect, no doubt.

Online I found more than a few recipes for one of the most important parts of a good fish taco… the sauce. Some folks like it spicy with peppers, others like it tangy. I like tangy. Observe the assembled ingredients for my favorite version:

Baja Fish Taco Sauce Ingredients:

  • 6 oz Greek Yogurt (I used one that was nonfat, and it worked out great)


Yoplait Greek Yogurt… in the perfect size.
  • 1/2 cup light mayo… Kraft’s Reduced Fat Mayonnaise with Olive Oil is my recommendation:

Kraft Reduced Fat Mayo with Olive Oil

  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 TB minced cilantro


Baja Fish Taco Sauce Seasonings


Pretty easy… combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add the juice of the lime, and set in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to combine.


It looks "blah" but tastes "yeah!"

Ah, so about the shortcut… I decided this time not to go nuts with breading and working with fish. Enter my favorite alternative:


Use the oven for these... not the microwave!

One of my favorite things about these tacos is the addition of cheese. I love cheese. My tip: don’t get the shredded stuff, get the brick and shred it up. Such a big difference in taste and texture:


Monterey Jack cheese rules the world

So… bake the fish according to instructions. When you’re done, assemble the taco and get your sides ready (Cilantro Rice works very well along with frozen mixed vegetables). Corn tortillas are my preference, and I like a little avocado for topping. Overall, this is a light, flavorful meal that’s easy on the budget and big on taste.

And the end result… drum roll please…


Baja Fish Tacos... very tasty.


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