Happy National Margarita Day!


Every year in the United States, February 22nd is National Margarita Day. The margarita is the most common, tequila based cocktail in the United States. 

A margarita is a cocktail that consists of triple sec, tequila and lime or lemon juice. It is also garnished with salt around the rim. You can order your margarita shaken with ice (on the rocks), blended with ice (frozen) or without ice (straight up). It also comes in a variety of flavors including strawberry (my personal fave), mango, limeade, watermelon, pomegranate and raspberry. 

There are many stories about the origin of the margarita, but all agree it started somewhere between the 1930’s and 1940’s. One of the earliest stories attributes the drink to a restaurant owner by the name of Carlos “Danny” Herrera. His restaurant was called “Rancho La Gloria” and was located between Tijuana and Rosario, Mexico. Supposedly, he created the margarita for a customer, Marjorie King, who was allergic to many spirits except tequila. 


Pictured above, the Coronorita is one of my favorite drinks. It is basically a beer cocktail with a bottle of Corona turned upside down into a frozen margarita. 

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Happy Espresso Day


Today is National Espresso Day. In case you don’t know what exactly an espresso is, here is Wikipedia’s definition:


In honor of Espresso Day, McDonalds was giving free medium McCafe drinks, hot and cold, to customers with the McDonalds app. I enjoyed the Caramel Mocha. 

Every little bit counts


They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. You would be surprised how much we throw away that could actually be used by somebody else. 
My son’s clothes from last winter no longer fit him. I had cleaned out the drawers to make room for new clothing as I was going to put them in one of those clothing donation bins. But then I decided to post pictures of his clothes on his school’s Facebook page. Within ten minutes, a parent told me she could use the items and she picked them up the next evening.

The last couple of days I have also brought old papers/forms/mail etc that I have had sitting in a tote bag in my trunk for the last three months to a program for people with intellectual disabilities, as many of the individuals engage in paper shredding activities. They do this on an almost daily basis and struggle to gather enough paper to accommodate all participants. My mom had a large envelope for me this morning filled with papers to bring in.

So you see, what might no longer serve a purpose for you, can surely be used by someone else.  

What’s on the menu?


Tonight I made lasagna and spaghetti with veggies sautéed in oil and and butter. 

I pre heated a pan with about a tbsp of oil and about 3-4 tbsp of butter. I kept it on medium heat. Once hot, I added mushrooms, sliced green peppers, sliced onions and carrots. Stir occasionally and sauté until soft and pour entire mix into your pasta. 

For the lasagna, you can put ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, diced green peppers and cooked chopped meat in between each layer of lasagna. Cover baking pan with foil and cook at 375 for 20 minutes. 

Mangia!

Homemade mac and cheese


This is a simple and easy recipe for homemade Mac and cheese. I have been a long time lover of this dish and my son can easily eat three servings of this.

Ingredients:

1 box elbow or shells macaroni

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup milk

2 eggs

2 packages shredded cheese (cheddar, white or both)

Bread crumb

Paprika

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees

Place cooked pasta in a baking dish and mix in eggs, milk and butter

Put half of each cheese on pasta and sprinkle bread crumbs then mix

Put remaining half of cheese on top of pasta and sprinkle breadcrumb and paprika

Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes


I used as a side with fried chicken, mixed frozen veggies and platanos (sweet plantains). You can check out previous post for how to make platanos. 

Enjoy!

Arroz con gandules and platanos maduros


This is a quick and easy recipe for arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas) and platanos maduros (sweet plantains). 

Arroz con gandules:

1 can pigeon peas

1 cup rice

1 1/2 cup water

1 packet Sazon

Half onion (chopped)

Half pepper (chopped)

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp cilantro

1 tbsp garlic

1 can Goya tomato sauce 

1 tbsp olive oil


Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onions, garlic and pepper and stir frequently for about 10 minutes.

Add Sazon,tomato sauce, water, cilantro 

Add rice and stir to coat with oil and mix with other ingredients

Add water. Cook uncovered until water is gone. 

Lower heat to very low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 


Platanos maduros:

2-3 plantains that are very ripe, near black skin

Oil

Heat oil in a pan until very hot

Meanwhile, peel plantains and cut off ends

Cut each plantain in half and then slice each half down the middle


Add plantains to oil. Oil should be enough to cover the plantains. 

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes

Lower heat and cook for 15 minutes, turning plantains occasionally, until brown.

Put on a plate covered with paper towel if you want to absorb some of the oil.

Buen provecho!

Baked ziti

  
This is the dish to make if you are pressed for time or just not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen. The recipe is simple and you get a delicious and filling dish that everyone loves.

Ingredients:

1 box ziti

1 jar tomato sauce 

1 package shredded mozzarella cheese

1 small container ricotta cheese

1 package ground beef or turkey

Directions:

Boil entire box of ziti

While ziti is cooking, brown the meat I. A skillet. You can season with salt, pepper and parsley

Drain ziti and place in baking pan

Add meat, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese and 1/4 pkg of shredded cheese and mix

Cover your ziti with remainder of shredded cheese

Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 mins at 350 degrees

*You can also add diced peppers to your ziti before baking if you’d like *

  

Happy birthday to me!

So my birthday is this Monday and I went out last night to the city with my bestie. We had a BLAST! We started out at a Mexican restaurant called Dos Caminos. I ordered snapper ceviche, loaded nachos with guacamole and chicken taquitos. The best part is the waiter didn’t charge us for our drinks and I got carded for alcohol which was a little bit of an ego booster lol. 

  
After Dos Caminos, we went to a little hole in the wall comedy club in Greenwich Village. My friend was a little tipsy and the comedian asked her where she works. She is the manager of an upscale furniture warehouse and she responds “I work for furniture” at which point the comedian says “you work for furniture? Is your boss a recliner?” Lol. 

After getting our laughs we ended at a dance club called Gonzalez y Gonzalez. Let me tell you…….we had so much fun there! There was a live salsa band followed by a DJ set. I haven’t danced at a club in years and I felt like I was blasted back to the past. It reminded me of our high school days when we would go dancing every week at a club called Latin Paradise. The thing that I love about the Spanish clubs is the fact that the men are so respectful. You will NEVER go to a Latin club and not get asked to dance. They LOVE to dance. They are very respectful while dancing and a Latin man will make you feel beautiful while dancing with him. He will always thank you afterwards for allowing him to dance with you. We danced a little merengue and reggaeton and ended up there til 3 am. I definitely want to go back there.

   
     

Super simple avocado salad

  

So I wanted to share this super quick and easy  avocado salad recipe. It is a perfect summer dish to go along with your entree. 

Ingredients

-2 avocados

-1 large cucumber 

-1 large tomato

-1/2 cup cilantro leaves

-2 lemons

-salt (preferable sea salt)

Directions:

-Dice the avocado, tomatoes and cucumber and put in large bowl

-Chop cilantro and add to bowl

-Squeeze lemons into mix

-season with salt and mix everything together

Voila!!!!! Avocado salad.

*I also made shrimp skewers on the side. Just clean and season shrimp with lemon, oil, sea salt and pepper and sauté in skillet for about 8 minutes