Recipes and Tips for Foodies like you!

Plantain “Rellenitos”

Rellenitos de Plátano are a staple in our local cooking. They are made out of mashed cooked plantains, stuffed with sweetened refried beans. They are shaped into ovals or balls, fried, and then sprinkled with sugar and sometimes drizzled with cream. This is one of the ways we enjoy plantains in Guatemala and since they are easy and inexpensive to make, it is quite common to find them at markets, parks, fairs, restaurants and our grandmother’s kitchens.

As with all local dishes, there are a few variations when it comes to adding ingredients to the sweetened refried bean mixture. Since this is our independence month, I wanted to try making rellenitos myself so we could share the recipe with all of you and add it to our Guatemalan Recipes Collection. I also wanted to try the variation of adding unsweetened cocoa to the bean mixture, I think it would give it more depth of flavor.  If I had made these for myself, I would have added some cayenne pepper to the bean mixture too, if you like food with a little kick… by all means try adding a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper.  Be careful, this stuff can be very hot!

Helga

Rellenitos de Platano

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Jello Hearts

This post comes to you entirely on behalf of my kid.  We were grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago, and she asked if I could buy her some cherry flavored gelatin packs.  We don’t really eat gelatine at home, but I thought… what the heck. She explained that there was a recipe she wanted us to try, she got it from one of her favorite apps: ABC Food.

This is a very easy recipe you can make with your kids at home.  Just dissolve the jello packs in boiling water and let it set (be careful that the kids don’t get burned with the hot water).  When they are done and you cut out the shapes and they can eat them with their hands, which makes it a great idea for birthday parties, or an after school activity.

We tried to cut out star shapes, but the mold I used was probably too small and it did not turn out well. If you want to use a star shape, choose a 2 inch mold. Another tip, is that when using your mold, wiggle it as you push down to cut through the jello completely.  Dipping it in hot water before cutting would probably help… I just thought of that as I write.

On lifting the shapes, I have an offset spatula at home, so it was easy for me to get them out.  You don’t have to go out to buy one, you can use a butter knife or try to lift them out with your fingers.

Have fun!

Helga

Jello Hearts

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Guest Foodies: Matt Kearns

Lately, we’ve been working towards writing better and useful content for you, our readers. That also means having more Guest Foodies over to share some of their favorite recipes. Meet Matt Kearns, from Fresh Menu Planner and The Main Dish. Matt is a classically trained Chef from Alberta, Canada and has been working for over 13 years, and as a functional outlook on food:Food is fuel, but it can also be delicious, without having to be complicated or expensive.

He is one of the owners of The Main Dish, a Deli based from Calgary that focuses on Healthy Eating in a convenient way, offering prepared dishes to dine in or to take home. They have catered to many organizations, but specially to athletes… their focus is healthy food at all costs. Matt created Fresh Menu Planner to share his experience in the kitchen, and the healthy side of food. Today Matt shares with us two of this favorite recipes, Sesame Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Grilled Chicken Breasts.

We hope you enjoy them!

Helga & Kitty

Guest Foodies: Matt Kearns

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Chocolate Bundt Cake

This Chocolate Bundt Cake started vegan. It was until I added the chocolate chips, but you can definitely keep it vegan. Now that we got that out of the way, let me tell you how chocolate full this cake is. And, by adding the espresso powder… it goes all the way to the best chocolate bundt cake we’ve tasted for a long time.

Here at home we are big chocolate fans, and by we it’s mostly dad. He is a tough critic and he is very patient with me with all the baking experiments, both success or failures, and it was only fair that after baking so many non-chocolate goodies, I baked a chocolate-full one. This goes great with strawberries or vanilla ice cream on the side, and most definitely doesn’t need any chocolate buttercream. It is chocolaty enough. A bit of powder sugar is the perfect finish to this chocolate beauty.

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of warm coffee, but since I have my espresso powder, I replaced that with 1 tablespoon espresso powder and increased the water to 1 ½ cups. Now, the batter, as Joy mentions, is thick. Don’t fret! It will bake beautifully! The bundt cake lasted for a few days, and it definitely is a recipe I will keep as a favorite.

Bake it this weekend for the chocolate lover in your life!

Kitty

Chocolate Bundt Cake

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