Friday, December 21, 2012

Portabello Breakfast Cups

Portabello Breakfast Cups

I was sent an e-mail earlier this month by Latina Bloggers Connect to participate in their #ILoveAvocados Avocados from Mexico holiday campaign. With Christmas right around the corner and families gathering together and celebrate the holidays, they asked bloggers to create a new recipe or share a family or traditional recipe with your readers as well as your favorite holiday traditions.

Every family is different in their traditions and sometimes they change. Because I'm young, my family traditions have changed over the years. My brother and I are older and moved out of the house. Our family has grown to include our significant others and we both split our time with their families as well. My favorite family tradition was when I was young and my family would drive around on Christmas Eve looking at Christmas lights (usually a wealthy neighborhood or one with the most lights). When we came back home, Santa would have visited while we were away. My parents would call a "special" number to request that Santa come to our house early. My brother and I never caught on that the number my parents called as the local bank number that relays the time for you. Nor did we catch on that my dad always found a reason to go back into the house after we were all packed into the car to put out the presents and eat the cookies. So my favorite family tradition is something my family no longer does, but it something I look forward to doing when I have children of my own.

This recipe isn't traditional nor is it a family recipe. This is a recipe for when you're getting ready or recovering from your family feasts. Some families celebrate their holidays during lunch or dinner, like mine, and while you starve yourself the whole day for family gatherings, sometimes you need a good breakfast to get you through the day before you begin your celebrations. Or sometimes you need a good recovery breakfast the next day. This is that meal. It's warm, hearty and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare which is a great start to any day. It's also very versatile in that you can play with the flavors, add scrambled eggs and bacon then drizzle with red or green chile or stuff with guacamole and eggs. Do whatever you want. I love recipes where I can try different things and not be afraid that I'm going to screw it up!

Please visit Avocados from Mexico as well as Chef Pepin's Posadas recipe page of more avocado recipes. Additionally, below you will find a blog hop of other bloggers' recipes who are participating in this same campaign.

What is your favorite holiday tradition, past or present?

This post was sponsored by Latina Bloggers Connect and I Love Avocados. I did receive compensation from this post, but the recipe and content of this post is my own.

Portabello Breakfast Cups
A Tortillas and Honey original Recipe

1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 large portobello mushrooms, stem removed and wiped with a damp towel
2 large eggs
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 c. muenster cheese (or other good melting cheese like mozzarella), shredded 
truffle oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven broiler.

Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and place on baking sheet, gill side up. Place in oven for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms start to become soft.

Right before the mushrooms come out of the oven, cook the eggs in a non-stick pan over medium heat. You can cook the eggs to your liking, I like mine over easy.

When the eggs are done, put an egg in the mushroom cap, followed by the avocado slices and the cheese. Place back under the broiler for a couple minutes until the cheese melts. (Alternatively, you can do this in the microwave.)

After the cheese melts, drizzle truffle oil over the top and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

Today is a very special post because this year I signed up for the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! Not only did I send out three dozen of these yummy cookies to three different bloggers, I received three dozen delicious different cookies from three different bloggers. And this cookie swap helped to benefit Cookies for Kids' Cancer!

This was such a positive experience, the hardest part of deciding on a recipe to make! I didn't want to make cookies that went stale quickly or that would break in the shipping process (and I hope that these cookies did none of that!). I decided on these Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies, which I've been making the past several years. This recipe combines two of my favorite things, peanut butter cookies and toffee. This combines sweet and salty cookies with sweet and salty candies, so if you're into that flavor combination I think you would really love these cookies.

Please see below who I sent cookies to and received cookies from this year as well as more yummy photos and the recipe! I will definitely be participating in this again next year!

Bloggers I sent my cookies to:
Cooking with Cakes
The Givens Chronicles
Never Settle

Bloggers that I received cookies from:
All Day I Dream About Food
Cheesy Pennies
Patricia's PattiCakes

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies
From Hershey's

1/2 c. shortening(regular or butter-flavored both work)
3/4 c. peanut butter
1 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
3 Tbs. milk
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. toffee bits, divided

Heat oven to 375°F.

Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup bits; reserve remainder for topping.

Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches (mine was 1 Tablespoon which was perfect) apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool for 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack and let cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (I got 6 1/2 dozen using 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dilly Parmesan Chicken

Dilly Parmesan Chicken

Hello! I'm back and have nearly survived my first semester of grad school! I actually have to finish my last final, which is due Monday but I'm taking a break from it for the rest of the evening. My goal is to finish tomorrow before I go to my parents' for dinner and before work on Monday so I don't have to take time off work and stress about it. Fingers crossed! And cross your toes that my grades come back good!! Then I'll have a month off from school and I have several recipes lined up to post!

I am sharing one of our favorite dishes with you today! I like the fact that this dish takes only minutes to prepare before it goes in the oven and the end result is very impressive. (To me this also means I can clean or prepare the side dish or study.) The first time I made this dish, Joe said it was delicious, which is a rare term he uses so this was a huge compliment. And he didn't catch himself before he could take it back!

I originally found a version of this recipe floating around Pinterest, which claims to melt in your mouth. Although the original recipe says it's for four chicken breast halves, the mayo and parmesan mixture made so much that I immediately saved half of it to make again. Since then, I've reduced the amount of the mixture and changed it to incorporate different flavors which is reflected below.

Also, this recipe is gluten-free! Just make sure that the dip mix that you buy doesn't contain gluten. I used Simply Organic's Creamy Dill Dip mix for this recipe.

When I received some spinach and herb dip from my September foodie pen pal, Angela, I thought I would give the recipe a try but with my variations and using the dip mix. I'm presenting this recipe to you now with a dill flavor, but you can use other dip flavors instead (like ranch or the spinach and herb that I've also used). I'm looking forward to trying this with other dip mixes, maybe a green chile or taco seasoning.

I served this chicken with a simple spinach salad with feta, slivered almonds, and either strawberries or bluberries with a mixture of olive oil and basalmic vinegar.

I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy it. It is so easy and full of flavor, it's sure to pleaser!

I used a spinach and herb dip mix for this one

Another view of the chicken with the spinach and herb mix

Dilly Parmesan Chicken
Adapted from

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 c. mayo (I used olive oil mayo)
1/4 c. parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 1/2 Tbs. dill dip mix (or other dried dip mix-- don't use prepared dip! For gluten-free, make sure the dip mix doesn't contain gluten.)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 baking dish.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, parmesan cheese, dill dip mix, garlic powder, and pepper.

Spoon dill mixture equally over each chicken, ensuring that the entire chicken is covered.

Place dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown and the internal meat temperature is 165.

Once chicken is done, let rest for about 5 minutes until serving. Enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Spicy Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

Spicy Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

This week I prepared an amazingly fast and delicious meal that I got from Jen at Juanita's Cocina, which is one of my favorite blogs that I read religiously. She tells some of the greatest stories which complement the yummy food that she shares. This is her Spicy Bang Bang Shrimp recipe that only contains a few ingredients and takes no time in the kitchen to prepare. Shrimp = shrimp and cornstarch. Bang Bang sauce = mayo, sweet chile sauce, and sriracha. So easy!

I originally saved this recipe because it reminded me of my brother Eddy because he puts sriracha on everything. No joke! That's his hot sauce of choice. Mine? It's Cholula. You'd be amazed how much Cholula I use in one sitting. But Cholula's not for these tacos, so I had to go out and buy my own first bottle of sriracha.

I wasn't really sure how much shrimp was in a pound, so I estimated about 25 shrimp. Joe looked at the shrimp I had thawed and asked if that was enough. I prepared dinner and, yeah, it only made like four tacos. I was fine with two tacos with about 6 shrimp each. Joe stretched out his shrimp to make four tacos, but it only gave him three shrimp per taco, haha. So yeah, you need about 50 shrimp. This also meant that we had a ton of extra sauce leftover, so I saved it and made it again for dinner the next night. Both nights Joe was very impressed with how fast dinner was on the table.

I also discovered a cool trick to take off the tails of shrimp that's already been shelled and deveined-- simply squeeze the fleshy part of the tail and it will just slide out. Did not know that. Did you?

This meal can also be made gluten-free using corn tortillas. Make sure that your ingredients don't contain gluten or don't have gluten hidden in them. Besides the corn tortillas for Joe, I didn't really alter the recipe very much. We're not a cabbage family, so I just used baby spinach in place of it.

I think Eddy would love this recipe and next time I make this, he'll have to come over and give his verdict! Because it's so fast and flavorful, I have a feeling this is going to become a staple in our house.

Joe's 3-shrimp tacos, lol

Spicy Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
from Juanita's Cocina


For the Shrimp:
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 50 shrimp)
2 tsp. cornstarch
Canola oil
8-10 small flour tortillas (I used flour tortillas, Joe used corn tortillas)
Shredded cabbage (I used baby spinach leaves instead)
Sriracha (hot chili sauce) for service

For the Bang Bang Sauce:
5 Tbs. mayo (I used olive oil mayo)
3 Tbs. sweet chili sauce
1 Tbs. Sriracha


In a bowl, combine the mayo, sweet chili sauce, and Sriracha. Set aside.

Coat shrimp with the cornstarch, ensuring shrimp are all covered.

Heat a bit of canola oil in a large skillet. When oil is hot, add shrimp and brown on both sides.

Remove shrimp from the skillet and immediately toss with the Bang Bang sauce. (Since we weren't going to be using all the sauce, we also drizzled the sauce on top of our tacos too!)

Serve by placing shrimp inside of a tortilla, topping shrimp with a bit of shredded cabbage (or baby spinach leaves) and a drizzle of Sriracha (and extra bang bang sauce if you have it!).

If you have some green onions on hand, sprinkle those on top too.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals: October

The Lean Green Bean

Happy Halloween and Foodie Pen Pal reveal day! This month was a fun month of buying and receiving these goodies this month. I was paired with two non-bloggers again this month, Kozzette who I sent my package to and Lori who sent me my package.

Lori sent me an exciting themed package this month. She lived in Germany for awhile, so she sent me some of her favorite German foods and recipes!

Here's a list of what I received from Lori:

  • Werther's Original Hard Candies. These are some of my all-time favorite candies, I didn't know they were a German candy. My grandma used to always buy these candies when I was little and I would always sneak them when I was over. Somehow I was convinced she didn't see all the wrappers in the trash!
  • Haribo Christmas Gummy Bears. Christmas came early this year with these gummies! These were another product that I didn't know that was German.
  • Peanut Puffs. These were one of my favorite things in the package. These were puffy and very peanut buttery (in a real and not fake peanut butter way), I absolutely loved these!
  • Spekulatius. These cookies reminded me of Biscoff or Speculoos and are absolutely wonderful! I wanted to save these for making a dessert with them (maybe a cheesecake), but I've been snacking on them so much I probably won't have enough which works for me because then I don't have to share, haha.
  • Spaetzel. I've never had this meal before, so I'm excited to try it! Lori also gave me a recipe to make this, so I'm looking forward t
  • Schnitzel. This is another meal I've never had before. Lori included a recipe for these as well! I've been so busy with school lately, I haven't had a chance to cook these up but will make these very very soon!
  • Vanilla sugar and vanilla sauce, which were some fun additions in the package!

Lori put together a brilliant and fun package. There are so many new and fun things to try in this package, I am so honored to have gotten this set of goodies!

Thank you Lori and Kozzette for being my foodie pen pals this month!

If you would like to participate in Foodie Pen Pals, head over to The Lean Green Bean for more information and to sign up! Also, you don't have to be a blogger to participate!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Chocolate Chip and Toffee Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip and Toffee Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

So guess what? I'm surviving graduate school so far. I've gotten two A's on two of my papers. I just turned in my third paper for the semester yesterday. I have a midterm due next week and two more papers due two weeks after that. So ask me in a couple weeks if I still feel the same way!

My excitement for the fall has been depleted slightly. Every year I forget about the dark mornings. Every morning seems a little darker and I do NOT like waking up before sunrise. It just doesn't seem natural! Also, a cold front is coming through New Mexico so it's cold right now (not the crisp mornings and warm afternoons). And I won't go into trying on last year's fall/winter clothes. But I like scarves!

Anyway, I love it when people send me recipes or ideas. My brother's girlfriend sent me this recipe that she had found online. It's cheesecake and cookie dough together in one. Sounds heavenly right?

This recipe is super easy. If you don't want to make your own graham cracker crumbs, you can buy the store bought. It reduces the time and reduces the kitchen mess, but I still prefer making my own crumbs. I added toffee because I had some on hand and I'll put toffee in anything. The cookie dough is pretty versatile, so you can add in any of your favorite mix-ins.

A very rich dessert and is every bit as good as it looks!

Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
slightly adapted from from My Baking Addiction


For the Crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. flour
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. toffee bits

For the Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Do not turn your oven off.

3. While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps. Flatten the clumps of dough in your palms to flatten them out a bit. Distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter. Be sure to use all of the dough. You will cover most of the cheesecake batter.

5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

6. Lift the bars out by the overhang; slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature


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