Recipes and Tips for Foodies like you!

Summer Succotash with Chicken & Avocado

It’s not succotash if it doesn’t have lima beans and corn in it!  I get curious about food and about certain dishes’ history, so I browsed around and learned that succotash was first prepared by Native Americans and it is now a dish that is mostly popular in the South and New England.   For me, it turned out to be a convenient and delicious new way to prepare vegetables at home. Plus, I can’t remember the last time I had lima beans, and I love them!

Actually, it had been so long since I had lima beans, that I hadn’t actually cooked them myself. In Guatemala we don’t usually use frozen produce or fruit, so if you want lima beans, you cook them yourself. I learned the hard way that you have to peel them first, before cooking them.  That wasn’t so much fun.   I went online to find a procedure to cook lima beans and all websites said the same thing. It said to soak them overnight, then cook them for about 45 mintues.  So I did. Then, I realized…they didn’t look green. Wait, what about peeling them!? I opened one, and there it was… green mush inside. It was too late. Sufferin’ Succotash, indeed.

Cooking Lima Beans: Take 2.  Thankfully, Mariano was on his way home and was able to run to the store and get me some more.  Sandra, who comes over a couple of times a week to help me with the cleaning, was there that day.  She just laughed and told me you have to peel them before cooking them, and that once they are peeled, they take about 5 minutes to cook.  Grrrr!   So, here’s my note on cooking lima beans at home, for those of us who can’t find frozen ones:

First, peel them and then drop them into a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes.  They will be soft, but still firm enough to keep their shape.

I do hope you try this recipe, it’s definitely worth it!

Helga

Summer Succotash with Chicken & Avocado

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Coconut Banana Pancakes

I only make pancakes on the weekends… when else do you have the time?!  I always use my trusty homemade pancake recipe which I sometimes vary by adding blueberries, chopped strawberries or bananas.  Mariano’s favorite are Banana Pancakes, and it had been a while since I made him some, only this time I added shredded coconut to the mix. Don’t you think bananas and coconut are a perfect combo?   I would definitely suggest that you do not skip browning the coconut before adding it to your batter.  This intensifies the nutty flavor of the coconut, and makes your kitchen smell great.

I used regular maple honey to go with these, but I bet they would rise to another level if you try our orange maple syrup recipe.  Find the recipe below. (The recipe serves 1… it was for me!  But you can easily multiply it to serve more people)

Enjoy!

Helga

Coconut Banana Pancakes

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Foodies Freebie: Desktop Wallpaper Roundup

30 months. That’s 2½ years. Every month since March 2011 we’ve been posting Desktop Calendars for you, and on March 1 2013, we expanded our desktop wallpaper to iPads and iPhones. We love how it looks! It’s crazy to see how we are growing our little blog, now with so many things to consider for each post! We pick our recipes with more thought in mind, we test (sometimes more than twice!) certain recipes to make sure you have the most painless and surprise free experience in the kitchen. On July we release our 30th wallpaper. How crazy is that?

Back to the wallpapers, we’ve gotten some comments about how our wallpapers are helpful for a quick glance of the day and date… as well as comments of how some of our readers have loved certain desktops, but won’t keep them on because they have the calendar included. So, it was only right for us to add a calendar-free version of the desktop wallpaper to our Monthly Wallpaper Collection starting in July.

Calendar-Free Desktop Wallpaper

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Mixed Nut Butter

More and more, awareness of what’s nutritious and what we should avoid eating is being published in different sources for us to take a conscious decision about what we put in our bodies. And more importantly, for me at least, what we are teaching our children to put into their bodies.  Making a lifestyle change when it comes to eating, and not going for fad diets is a sure way to maintain positive changes in our body, and live a healthy… and longer life.   Even though you guys know how much I love cooking, and how much I may love bacon, butter and chocolate… and while I still use all these things to make goodies at home every now and then, we opted for changing how we eat at home, especially during the weekdays.  One of the things we keep around for a quick snack, are nut butters, which I make myself.   I decided to try this mixed nut butter, which is great on toast with a little jam (which I also make at home), or by itself.    You can use any combination you like, the possibilities are endless.  I chose macadamia, cashews and peanuts for this particular mix.

Nut butters provide protein, healthy fats and antioxidants.  When mixing different types of nuts, you can take advantage of their different benefits.  For example, almonds strengthens bones and helps maintain muscle and nerve function, making it ideal for athletes.  Cashews are rich in B vitamins, which boost metabolism, increase skin and muscle tone, enhance the immune and nervous systems, and promote cellular health.  I read somewhere that macadamia nuts are one of the only food sources that contain palmitoleic acid (a type of monounsaturated fatty acid that may speed up fat metabolism, which reducing the body’s ability to store fat).

So, I do recommend you try making nut butter at home, it’s easy and healthy.

Helga

Mixed Nut Butter

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