Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sweet Bread

I love the smell of freshly baked bread. When I was a young girl in Puerto Rico I used to go to the local Panaderia, a bakery and I used to get coffee with milk and sandwiches and the smell of baking bread reminds me so much about that time.
I had a little trouble baking this the first time around, trouble with the yeast and the bread rising and I burned it just a little bit but in the end my family really liked it and enjoyed the sweet taste. The recipe calls for regular milk and regular sugar but I like changing things up a bit.

1 cup Sweet Vanilla Almond milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Raw turbinado brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
a small bunch of oats for garnishing

Add ingredients in order, into a mixer or mix by hand.
To make the yeats active: Warm the Almond milk to 100 to 110 degrees and add the sugar and the yeast.
Stir and let sit for about 15 min. to proof (the yeast will foam). If it doesn't foam, your milk probably wasn't warm enough. Then add the foamy yeast mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix.
This dough is easy to mix by hand so you really don't need the KitchenAid. The dough will be sticky. So after mixing, cover and let it sit in the bowl to rise 1 to 2 hours. You can form into rolls a or bake in a loaf pan. Sprinkle the oats on top of the loaf before baking. If you want a sweeter, richer bread, increase sugar to 1/2 cup and add one extra egg yolk. If makikng one large loaf, bake for 30-35 min. at 375 degrees.

Enjoy a slice or two with some butter yum!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ponche Navideño

I love trying new things and this drink is so tasty!I had to post the recipe my friend shared with me here. It has hibiscus flowers, spices and fruits, lots of them. Its become a family favorite.

The Traditional Hot Christmas Punch of Mexico
Ponche: It looks like a bubbling pot of hot fruit salad. It smells like heaven. It's a classic symbol of Christmas in San Miguel de Allende—as it is all over Mexico—and it belongs in your Christmas plans too. I got the info on this site

Here is the recipe my friend Ana Guerrero shared

Ponche Navideño

Recipe Courtesy of Ana Guerrero, Thank you :)


1 Pilloncillo or Brown Sugar
1 to 2 hand bunches of Jamaica Hibiscus Petals
2 cinnamon sticks
3 apples
3 pears
Guavas (Guayabas)10
1 bag of fresh cranberries or cranapples
1 box of small pitted prunes
Sugar to taste
1 orange
whole cloves

Boil the water with 2 big cinnamon sticks and jamaica petals (hibbiscus) and boil them together for a good 15 to 20 minutes.

In the meantime, peel your pears & apples. But them into squares. Not too small and not too big. You can eat them when you drink the ponche.

Cut the Guavas in half

Slice the orange into slices. You'll just need the peel. Then stick several cloves into the peel. You'll add these to the water and it gives it flavor!

Once water has boiled for 15 - 20 minutes with the cinnamon and jamaica remove the petals and sticks. Then add the fruit and add the piloncillo and cook for a good hour. Then add sugar to taste. Add the sugar at the end because that's when it's fully cooked and you can decide if it needs more sugar or not.


You can add alcohol to this drink. like brandy or rum. I mixed mine with Manishewitz grape wine and it was delicious, I think it gave it an extra punch of flavor.

The best drink for the holidays, specially today Dia de Reyes, 3 Wise Men day or 3 Kings day!
Feliz Dia de Reyes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brussel Sprouts

These are my frienemies lol Brussel Sprouts, they are tasty in the sauce I cooked them in. They are usually bitter but I didnt notice a lot of bitterness with this sauce. The sauce doesnt over power the sprouts and the sprouts do not lose theyre flavor, its preety balanced flavors.

Brussel Sprouts in Shallots and Bacon sauce

Clean the sprouts, cut the stem, not too much or the leaves will fall off. cut an X on the bottom of each sprout so they can cook all the wat through. Steam the Brussel sprouts for 10 minutes.
In a sauce pan add a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tbls. of butter, a couple of chopped shallots(3 or 4), bacon bits(Oscar Mayer package) sautee until the shallots caramelize a little, then pour 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and let it simmer on low heat for about 6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sprouts and serve hot.

Its not kid friendly if the kids do not like brussel sprouts(my kids didnt like the sprouts lol)they loved the sauce, the sauce can be poured on other veggies like broccoli, pasta or potatoes.

Tip: you can also cook the sprouts in the sauce for 10 minutes instead of steaming them.