Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zuppa Toscana Soup

If your looking for a quick meal this one is for you. No more than an hour to prep and cook. 
This soup is inspired by Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana Soup, and it's a now a family favorite at home. 
The hubby found this video, and it's super easy to follow. Her music is fun too!

I created a menu sheet similar to the one below after my hubby needed it for his work to pass out to his coworkers. His version included their company name and the "chef"s" name on it.
They have a monthly cooking class, and this is the soup he did for his coworkers. 

Feel Free to download and print it :)
Enjoy and let me know what you think of the soup !

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Polymer Clay

My nieces are visiting from Southern California, and trying to keep these teenagers occupied is hard :)

I had polymer clay on hand, and I also had some molds. They ended up using my dahlia, heart, and key shaped molds that I bought from this etsy shop.
They made some earrings.
I think they turned out super cute.

They also made a heart and a key. 

My goal was to keep them busy, and this craft only occupied them for about an hour. Good enough for me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Craft day

Today happened to be a crafting day for me. I have been working on putting together some routing charts for our son, and some of my nieces and nephews wanted some as well. Once I was fine designing them, I printed them and laminated them. 

Once I was done, I put Jacob's chart up in his room door. Hopefully this will help us get into a daily morning and night time routine. 

Later on in the day, I quickly sewed up a small blanket for my nephew. I am not a good sewer. I took home economics back in junior high, and liked it. That's all the sewing experience I have :)
I learn as I go, I google stuff and try to find easy tutorials.

I thought I had cut everything  evenly, but once I started sewing the material wasn't aligned. I blame it on the blue material.  Once I sewed all around, I cut the excess blue material, turned it inside out and finished it up. 
It turned out ok. Hopefully my nephew will be to excited about the dinosaurs that he won't even notice my bad sewing skills. 

A future goal of mine is to become a better seamstress :)





Friday, June 7, 2013

Pin-Insprired: Beverage Station Sneak Peak

I love pinterest. It's a spot where all things wonderful come together. I have pinned a lot of pins, but not as much as others, but I think I'm getting there. 

The intention of pinning ideas is so that one day you can make it as well. So, with Father's Day just around the corner, things are getting a little busy around here. 

Our theme this year is Golf with a little Crab Boil. The guys are going golfing in the morning and the women are cooking for them (not much of a difference from a normal day lol). 

It's going to be an outdoor event, and when I came across this idea on pinterest from Lil Luna,  I thought it would be perfect for it. 

I first enlisted my dad for help. His retired and is always looking for the next thing to do. I face timed him up yesterday morning, and showed him the blog with the beverage station, his reaction was "oh piece of cake". I said perfect when you get a chance to do it that would be great, but we do need it for Father's Day. He said fine.

A few hours later he face times me and says look, he turns the Ipad camera around and shows me that he already finished the base and the only thing we need are the buckets.

Holy smokes is my dad fast LOL, today he painted the base white, and tweaked the base a little, that way we wont have to drill into the bucket later.

I asked my niece to take a picture of him with the base.

Isn't he cute! Love him.

My dad loves that we give him projects to do, it keeps him busy. 
Just to the right of the picture, he was painting a tax cab yellow for an upcoming party were doing!

Final picture of the Beverage Station will be up next week!

Ensalada de Nopales-Cactus Salad

It's about 97 degrees here in East bay San Francisco, and all I can think about is what am I going to make for dinner. When it's hot, I'm sure no one likes to be in the kitchen over a hot stove. Well neither do I, so I headed over to our not so local Mexican Grocery store. It's about 15-20 minutes away, but totally worth the drive.

I picked up some ingredients to make ceviche ( a later post on that), and some nopales, also known as prickly pear cactus. 

If you haven't heard about nopales, they have a similar taste to green beans or asparagus, with a little gelatinous center and a bit of a citrus taste. They are high in fiber and low in calories :) 
They are said to be a natural food/aid for managing diabetes and cholesterol.

You can buy them already cut into strips in a jar, or wide pieces with spiny bits still on them, or you can buy them by the package, spiny bits removed.

Buying them in the package is the way to go, you get a fresher taste and you don't have to spend the time slicing of the spiny bits. Just make sure they are tender, not too hard and not too soft.

My mom cooks nopales in a few different ways. Even though I'm trying to avoid the stove on a hot day, this only takes a little bit of stove time, which isn't too bad.

 Chop up however much your going to use, place it in a pot, cover them with about about 1/2 inch over with water. Add a piece of white/yellow onion, sprinkle some salt, and a garlic clove. Medium heat is good. You don't have to wait for the water to boil, just taste a piece and it should be soft. 
Drain the nopales, and put them in a bowl or plate. 

From here you can add some diced up tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a jalapeño. Mix it all up and it's done.
 Sauté the chopped nopales in some oil with tomatoes, onions, add homemade salsa, cilantro, and eat it with flour/corn tortillas. 
Lastly, you can avoid the whole stove part, and take the nopales outside and place them on a bbq. 
Take the whole piece out of the bag and put it on a grill until it gets roasted and tender. No boiling before is necessary for this style.  Slice it up, add homemade salsa, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and eat it with a flour/corn tortilla in a taco style.

There also good by themselves, just sprinkle a little salt and pepper and your done.

The method I chose today was the first method:
I bought my package like this

 I let the mixture sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and my cool snack in the middle of a hot day was perfect.

Oh yeah, one more thing. You can always sprinkle some fresh Cacique Cheese- Queso Fresco on top!

National Donut Day!- Epic Fail

As I do every morning, I grab my cell and check my emails.  A lot of the blog emails I got were mentioning that it was National Donut Day today. I scrolled down and saw this email from The Novice Chef Blog.  She had made some Confetti Donuts, and provided the  recipe. It so happened that I had all the ingredients at home. I decided to give it a try.

 I have no idea what happened, I followed this recipe to the "T", but for some reason mine did not look like the picture.

It was an epic fail :(

I had my little guy helping. I think we added to many sprinkles.

Placed the mix in the donut maker/baker, and this is after about 8 minutes in the machine.

Mine did not look yummy nor white.

This is what they were supposed to look like, yummy, colorful, and white!

I really do think that I added to many sprinkles, next time I'm in charge of the sprinkles and my son will be in charge of the camera!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quinoa Rice and Shrimp Mole Tacos

I am far from being a good cook. Sometimes I will follow recipes to the "t", and sometimes I wing it. Most of the times I wing it.

When I am not following a recipe, I eyeball all my measurements. For right now, it's only my husband, our 4 1/2 yr old son, and me, which means I have to make a small batch, and not all recipes indicate that it serves 2 1/2 people!

I love my mom's cooking, and she cooks authentic Mexican food from Arandas, Jalisco Mexico. I'm more like her when it comes to cooking, no measuring required. 

The only difference between her cooking and mine is that she normally cooks for minimum 5 people on a daily basis. There's always family there and she loves to feed them.

One thing we do have in common is that we try to use what ever food we have on hand and make something out of it. Sometimes it's tasty and sometimes it's not.

My mom laughed when I told her I was making mole tacos. She asked me how I was going to make the mole, and I told her that I bought a jar, and she quickly said that's not mole. 
Her mole recipe is delicious and it's made from scratch. Unless she's with me walking me through every step, I definitely can not make it on my own.

I'm sure there's a lot of you out there like me, so I hope you enjoy this meal if you try it.

Here's me "winging" (not a word lol) up a meal!

These are my ingredients that I used:

I thawed out about half a bag of small peeled and deveined shrimp.

I first grabbed the Dona Maria Mole paste (careful, trying to open the jar is a bit oily and messy). I scooped 2 1/2 spoonful of paste (normal spoon size).  I started to pour in the chicken broth until it got a smooth consistently. Bring it to a boil.

I then cooked the quinoa rice according to the package directions.

Sprinkled salt and pepper on the shrimp, sprayed the pan with pam olive oil, and then sautéed the shrimp. 

Chopped up the shrimp and some oranges for a side fruit.

Warmed up the tortillas, placed the shrimp, some mole, and sprinkled the cheese on.

Easy enough right? A little healthy and a little Mexican all in one!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Blog/Etsy Look!

I am so happy to announce that my blog has a new look! I have been wanting to create a custom logo, and a blog/etsy design to go with it. My prior look, I did, but I wasn't to fond with it, so my search began for some inspirations.

Then came Nina from Nina's Design Studio, and her etsy shop is here.  I came to her with a vision, and once she provided the logo, I wasn't to thrilled. She provided her ideas, and then I provided mine, and it turned out PERFECT! She was very patient with me, which I probably drove her crazy at times, but after about 5 days, it was done.

So a little bit about the logo, I love to craft and my husband loves to cook. Because I post my husband's cooking here in addition to my crafts, I wanted to incorporate it in the logo. My husband is from Portugal and my family is from Mexico, so I wanted to incorporate that as well. 

The "roof" on top of our logo is a mix of Dahlia flowers, which the dahlia flower is Mexico's National Flower, and the Lavender flower, which is Portugal's National Flower. Within the name Casa De Sousa, are a pair of scissors to symbolize my crafting and a whisk, to symbolize my husbands cooking.
The design is simple, fresh, and perfect for us!

Thanks Nina, you did an awesome job :)

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