food

Very Easy Homemade Crackers Recipe

This recipe is so easy and so delicious that after making it twice, my kids already learned the recipe! I hope you try it out. It’s also very non-expensive as you probably already have all the ingredients you need in your pantry.  It’s our family favorite! Yum!

This recipe yields 30 crackers with each  being 4×2 inches ( rectangular shaped) approximately.

Ingredients

2 cups of flour; 1 Tsp salt; 1 Tablespoon of sugar; 1 Tsp baking powder ; 4 Tablespoons of meltes butter; 1.5 cups warm water.

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Add water to dry mix. Start mixing in the bowl and add more water little by little until you get the correct consistency before kneading.

3. Add flour to a clean counter surface. Add flour to your hands.

4. Place the dough from the bowl into a clean counter. Knead by hand adding additional flour as needed. When the dough is no longer sticky, take a rolling pin and stretch out the dough. It should be about 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick when ready. Both thicknesses work fine. It depends on your preference.

5. Cut the dough into strips of approximately 1 inch wide. Cut each strip into rectangles or squares ( your choice) and with a fork pinch the dough. The pinching of the dough is fun but also important to get the oven heat to bake the cracker all throughout. ( My kids do the pinching of the dough, it’s their favorite part!)

6. Prepare baking pans by covering with a small amount of butter. Place the crackers into the baking pans.

7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden on top.

Below is a short video showing you thickness of the dough and how to cut it.

My cracker shapes are very original as my kids are the ones involved in that part of the process, and having tons of fun with it. 🙂
Once you take the crackers out of the oven, let them cool. Then store them in an air tight container. Although I typically skip this step as these crackers don’t last long at home.. I never really get to store them. 🙂 
Enjoy!

Crackers in the oven.

Ready! 

Yuca ( Cassava)

Yuca or Cassava

Latin American cuisine knows yuca very well! I was thrilled to see that my local supermarket here in Colorado is selling it raw. 

Yuca is a tuber very much like the potato. However yuca is king for me and most of Latin American cuisine. It has a wonderful texture, it’s great for “sancocho” ( Colombian soup filled with multiple meats and cooked slowly for many hours.) To help illustrate, maybe our dear Louisiana gumbo may be a distant cousin of Sancocho.

To enjoy yuca you don’t need to cook a stew like sancocho, since yuca goes well with grilled beef or chicken and it’s perfect with scrambled eggs or omelets. Also, if you can get to some Latin American cheese (Mexican, Peruvian or Colombian) then yuca and cheese is the best snack! 

The recipe for boiled yuca is very simple.

Peel the yuca and wash well. Set enough water to boil but make sure you add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 white onion in big chunks. It will boil for at least 30 minutes but you will know it is done when you take a knife and it goes through easily. Texture should be soft.

Some like to fry yuca after it’s been boiled and serve as a side to a meat ( beef or chicken) , instead of potato fries. 

I hope you may find it and try it sometime. It’s my favorite! 

Gourmet Organic Potato Fingerlings

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This post about gourmet organic potato fingerlings is as simple as the recipe. I decided to stop serving regular potatoes to my family and I tried their taste buds with these miniature delights.  Smaller in size, they’re flavorful and versatile. They’re very convenient as they bake quicker, due to their size. It was uncharted territory for my kids, but not for me. I had tried purple potato fingerlings before. They are fantastic! They come in a bag with purple and yellow miniature potatoes. They can be baked, sautĂ©ed, grilled or fried. They’re sweet and a great side for any beef or poultry dish (at least in my opinion.) So here is how I prepared them and we absolutely loved them.

Recipe:

Ingredients: A bag of gourmet organic potato fingerlings; Salt and pepper; Parsley flakes.

1. Cut them in small pieces and saute them on a TSP of canola oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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2. When brown on the edges serve them sprinkling some parsley flakes on top.

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Healthy, low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol free and delicious! What else can I ask for? Simply stated, gourmet organic potato fingerlings are now a favorite at home too. 🙂

“Quiero Arepas” – Venezuelan Inspired Arepas

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Owned by Igor (Venezuelan) and Beckie, “Quiero Arepas” food truck carries delicious ‘Arepas Venezolanas.’ Beckie told me their story. Igor used to bring Beckie Arepas Venezolanas to work. Daily observers of the daily lunch ritual grew curious and gave Beckie lots of positive feedback. At that point Beckie and Igor knew it was time to open their “Quiero Arepas” Food Truck business.

Their website (http://www.quieroarepas.com) is very well-organized. I was able to plan my trip and meet them at the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Without regrets, I drove over 20 miles to try the Venezuelan Arepas, and I was not disappointed. 

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I ordered a QUESO AREPA (cheese arepa), which to my delight was also vegan.

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My husband ordered “LA HAVANA”, a classical arepa with pork and cheese.

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I asked Igor if he was worried about the Latin food truck competition and he replied confirming their concept and winning edge. They don’t compromise, they are true to the Venezuelan tradition. In Venezuela, if you want an arepa you go to the areperia (an arepas food store.) It’s simple, honest, true and authentic, just like the arepas we enjoyed.

They promote fresh local products. They work hard to lower environment impact, not just by driving a natural gas truck but also by reducing human footprint. Check out the note posted at the bottom of their menu.

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I also enjoyed their art! 🙂

 

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We talked about Venezuela and Colombia, our rich culture, and how these two neighboring countries share corn flour as the main ingredient to diverse, exquisite meals. “Quiero Arepas” truly brings an authentic cultural experience.

Chai & Chai – Presents Guest Chef ..

IMG_20140116_201003_055 (1)Offering a fascinating concept, at the heart of the University of Colorado Medical Campus in Aurora Colorado, Chai & Chai stands out as the unique place to eat. Enas (from Jordan) and Kublai (from India) opened this world stage where Chefs from every corner of the world prepare authentic ethnic cuisine for lunch. For dinner one can rely on Indian and Arabian cuisine always.

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That said, the menu is “open”, but the theme is shared. Zucchini was the theme when I went to try them out. I was fortunate to eat Kusa-bil-laban and my husband had an Indian delight also made with zucchini. Tikka Masala and Dum Biryani were also part of our delicious feast!

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Kublai explained that the origin of the name derived from the fact that while these two cultures are filled with rich lifestyle and language differences. Chai is the one word that brings them together. Both Indian and Arabian cultures enjoy Chai tea usually at the same time of day, and often.

For dessert they brought us Jilebi (Indian funnel cake) and a delicious Arabic sweet treat, Asabea Zenab.

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The poster at the door announced an upcoming Thai event with Chef Sue of Siam. This Thai chef would be showcasing a 6-week program exploring Thai cuisine at lunch time. Among the dishes announced were: Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles, Massaman and Green Curry, Spring and Egg Rolls.

I was pleased with the food and the service, but most of all, with the family atmosphere. A family (Mom and Dad) behind the kitchen waved hello, as their son prepared a wonderful, fresh, warm Naan bread for us.

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I would gladly go back and hopefully in time to taste Sue of Siam’s Thai cuisine or the next guest Chef. As Kublai explained, Chai and Chai is an ongoing project not at its 100% yet. If you want to know more about them, their website has cool pictures and Kublai keeps it updated with featured Chef’s information. I hope I can get to visit Chai & Chai again (http://www.chaiandchai.com/); I truly enjoyed every bite! 🙂