Pollo (Chicken)

The mother of invention is necessity. My parents were in town and for many Indian dishes you serve a side of plain yogurt. It’s a cooling agent to all the Indian spices. Well, after they left I had a bunch of yogurt leftover so I decided to make a marinade for my chicken from the leftover yogurt. There was a need to finish it, so why not repurpose it? I rummaged around my pantry and found this amazing latin paste I had grabbed from my recent trip to Costa Rica and started whipping up this tasty delight. Hope you enjoy my latin inspired pollo!

  • 1 tbsp of achiote paste (blend of red spices from Mexico, available i grocery stores that sell Goya brand products or you can order any brand from amazon)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of crushed garlic or 4 cloves
  • 1 fistful or bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 4-5 green onions (both white ends and green portions)
  • 1/2 container or 1 lb. of plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs or 5 drumsticks of chicken (bone-in chicken thighs would be good too)

Combine in blender or food processor and coat the mixture over a dish of drumsticks. Marinade for 24 hrs and then bake in oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. To keep moist while cooking, baste with melted butter (or lemon juice if you want to be waist line friendly). Serve hot.

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Happy Eating, XO.

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Yogurt Blueberry Cookies

With blueberries in season it’s the perfect time to throw them in to some cookie batter. And has anyone else noticed how massive blueberries are this year?

When Sonia and I lived near each other, I remember she was always experimenting with yogurt or diet soda in baked goods to make them a little healthier, and it made them sooo moist and delicious. They were honestly melt in your mouth. So I took a page from her book and used yogurt in these bad boys. Also, as I was pulling my ingredients together I realized I was out of eggs…seriously. I’ve never baked with an egg substitute before, but I took it as a chance to learn something new. And you know what? You couldn’t tell the difference!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries

If you didn’t run out of eggs like I did, (honestly though, who runs out of eggs?!) feel free to substitute the baking soda and oil for 1 egg.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 cookie sheets. Before you begin mixing the batter, mix together the egg substitute. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tsp of baking soda and the oil until fully combined and has a paste (or yolk-y) consistency. Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yogurt paste, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk the rest of the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, and salt and gradually combine it in to the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle in the blueberries and mix gently.

Scoop spoonful’s of cookie dough on to the cookie sheets, leaving about an inch to two inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the tops become golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack. (PS. Don’t try to eat these cookies hot. Remember, they have blueberries in them that are VERY hot!)

 

yogurt blueberry cookies

Happy Eating, XO.

Foodie Fav: Surprise Cheddar Biscuits

The other day I was trolling Pinterest for some new breakfast ideas (because, who doesn’t love a good brunch on the weekend?) and I came across this super cute site – Vodka and Biscuits. She had me at vodka. I was also really intrigued by her cheddar and biscuits recipe – she had a soft boiled egg inside of a biscuit! Once you read how simple it is to make, you’ll smack yourself. Not to mention, these were to die for! Seriously. For any of you who read The Fault in Our Stars, I quote: “I want this [cheddar biscuit] to become a person so I can take it to Las Vegas and marry it.”

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter – cubed, cold
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded or block)
  • 2 tbsp chives – chopped
  • 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 475 and grease a baking sheet, and toss the butter in the freezer (cold better works best for biscuits!). Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the eggs for roughly 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Drop in the COLD butter and pulse a few times until mixture is crumbly. Stop at this point – don’t want to overmix! Add the cheese and pulse until just combined.

Transfer into a bowl and gently fold in the chives. Stir the yogurt up and add to the mix. Combine with a rubber spatula until just combined. Remove eggs from shells. Using roughly 1/4 cup of dough, shape into a biscuit and place onto baking sheet. Press a well into the center to fit the egg in to. Form another biscuit and place on top of the egg, forming the biscuit around the egg. Use extra dough to cover up the sides of the eggs. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 and bake another 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Top with melted butter and extra chives.

Surprise Cheddar Biscuit

Happy Eating, XO.

Home-made EASY Tapa

So apparently the Italians aren’t the only ones that do cheese sticks. One night when I was in Madrid last month, the kitchen was closed at this local bar and the owner said he would whip us up yummy Venezuelan tapas. (Tapas literally just mean small plates). So much to our surprise these tapas were pretty much the Latin version of a cheese stick that they served with this slap your mama good aioli. I swear we crushed them in under 5 minutes so ofcourse I had to come home and try & replicate them immediately.

  • Store bought string cheese (4 sticks since you will be cutting them in half for 8 servings. I say use a mozz and don’t get fancy with any Colby Jack)
  • Store bought garlic flavored crescent rolls (don’t do the regular, these are more buttery & flavorful)

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Literally use the same method from the pizza roll ups, but just with the cheese and dough. Also make sure that the cheese is sealed in by the dough and nothing can ooze out when baking. The pizza roll ups were more free to form whereas in this recipe you want the cheese locked inside the dough. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-10 min. (until golden not brown). Let them cool for 3-5 min before serving.

Aioli (I think this is how its made, no clue since the guy barely spoke English, but it tasted like this so I cant be that far off)

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  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (don’t do greek, its too thick & tangy)
  • 1 tbsp. of mayo
  • 1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
  • 1 shallot (dice it a bit so it breaks down easier in the processor or blender)
  • pinch of salt, black pepper, and dried parsley

Blend in food processor & serve chilled.

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Happy Eating, XO.

Quinoa fruit parfait

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If anything Dr. OZ says that breakfast should be eaten like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. So if those are the expectations: What better way to kick off your morning than with a healthy quinoa breakfast parfait? This recipe calls for enough to share with others.

  • 2 (6 oz) containers yogurt (I like to use fat free french vanilla, strawberry or peach flavors)
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups fruit (mixed berries or chopped peaches)

Optional yummy items:

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds or pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Before we dive in to the instructions, I need to add my two cents. I’m not a morning person and typically don’t like to do a lot of cooking for my breakfast. Because this recipe calls for cooked and cooled quinoa, I suggest making it the night before and letting it cool in the fridge. This way there’s even less prep time involved.

If you took my advice above, you’ve got it made (literally) – now all you need to do is layer. Otherwise, cook the quinoa per the instructions on the box and let it cool. Spoon your yogurt in to a glass and layer the quinoa and fruit on top. For the optional ingredients, sprinkle in the almonds or pecans throughout and top with cinnamon.

Happy Eating, XO.