Mexican Recipe: ChilliDogs

I have been asked or told in occasions by non Mexican people to make chili con carne because they think it’s mexican. According to Wikipedia (LOL) it’s origin is Texan and they do have a lot of true Mexican influence in their cuisine but in my opinion Mexican American food can’t be considered Mexican food but TexMex which in other post I remember explaining it would be a whole different thing and it is also delicious but not commonly what a Mexican living abroad is looking for.

Anyways, the recipe I’m about to share is very similar to Chili con Carne but it is Mexican at least it’s very popular in some regions in the north part of Mexico specially Monterrey, where I’m from and it is served mostly at children’s birthday parties for the merienda (meal around 4 PM only given at these events)

I recently made it for my daughter’s 1st bday, as I did for my son’s 1st bday 4 years ago. So here it is. The ingredients are for a big, BIG crowd, so size them down to your needs.

Ingredients

2 kilo ground beef

4 onions

4 garlic cloves

6 tomatoes

5 big cans of brown beans (bruine bonen from AH)

2 medium cans of chili beans

15 to 20 sausages

250 gr of bacon in blocks

1 bottle of ketchup

1/2 cup of sugar (or more to taste)

1/4 cup of jalapeños vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of dry cilantro

2 tablespoons of dry peterselie

Procedure

Chop the onions, garlic, tomatoes and sausages and have them ready on the side.

On a deep pan (I used the biggest from Ikea, that holds 10 liters) start cooking the bacon and wait some time and add the onions and garlic until it the bacon has become a bit crunchy. Then add the beef and cook normally until its completely brown.

Add the sausages and cook too.

Then add all the beans and mix.

Add the vinegar and ketchup. Taste.

It should be sweet but not too much. If it still taste like beans add the sugar and keep tasting until it’s sweet to your taste.

Then add the spices and mix well. Taste until its good for you.

This is normally served in Monterrey inside a bread like the witte puntjes they sell here. Open carefully just from the middle, do not open like a hotdog but more like a canoe, just to fill the inside so it doesn’t come out and make a mess. In kids birthday parties is served together with jello and chips.

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Good mom VS. Bad mom

For some time now I have been constantly working on myself, on my thoughts on my house and on many more things surrounding me. Some time ago, some situations and hurtful comments shooke me inside and I was a bit depressed and feeling so bad with myself that I let go of me and even though I was continuing with my life the best I could these words and situations were in my head until I said no more. I got free from what was having me so anxious and stressed and I immediately felt free. But it didn’t stop there, after this I had to go back inside myself and tell the truth to this lady (me) and build myself back up.

It has been a constant back and forth specially cause things keep happening, you know, life goes on. There is one thing that has kept me a bit sane through all this and is my relationship with God. If I go through something I always run to him in prayer and just pour myself there. If after praying I find peace in my heart then I know I’m in the right direction. If I still feel anxious or not settled then I know I should do something, like confront someone, tell the truth, ask for forgiveness even it has been years since something happened and so on. I have done it in the past cause I need my soul to be at peace and my mind to be healthy and my heart to be happy. This is the ‘secret’ to how I keep on going after bad things or unpredictable things happen to me. You can actually read back on my blog to see its not the first time I tell this stories about how God transforms situations in my life. Infertility and loss were part of them, I kept running to him for comfort and now I have 2 beautiful kids to raise and enjoy.

Relationships will always be hard. Sometimes we have chemistry and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we meet people who just are with use while they need us and sometimes we will meet a true friend. Depending on our own personality is how we take and handle this things.

Today after some other things happened around me and after already crying to God for help, and he sending me some reminders these past days I ran into this devotional from few days ago but the title got me mainly because of what I first told you in this post (the hurtful words/situations). Some of the things that have happened in my life for the past 2 years have made me feel and think I was a terrible person and I have doubted of my capacity to being a good mom to my children and I was walking after that in shame and doubt and was feeling so uncomfortable around other moms I consider are great and perfect or on playdates and almost avoiding them. It took work to know it wasn’t me, it was chemistry and characters and in some cases prudence. It took me going out of my comfort zone to find new situations where I could see it wasn’t me or my kids who were problematic or unloved but just unfortunate moments that happened. Still sometimes these words haunt me, but I go to my Lord to find comfort and repeat to myself that everything is OK.

Then I found this devotional I was mentioning and these paragraphs brought new healing to my heart.

As moms, I pray we’ll remember the truth of today’s promise in Ephesians 2:4-5, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”

God’s grace is always willing to step in. Not to excuse us from being more patient, organized or responsible. But it reminds us we’re doing better than we think we are. His grace says, “My love for you is great! Stop bouncing from feeling good to bad to good to bad. In the good times, rejoice and thank Me. In the not-so-good times, call out to Me quickly.”

With God we’re never a bad mom. We might be having a bad moment … or two … or 17. But a few bad moments do not define us.

God’s grace is there to cover us. Teach us. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt us, redirect us and change us.

Forgiveness is there.

Love is there.

A second chance is there. And then another one after that.

You are a good mom, my friend … even if, like me, you’ve had a few bad moments … you are the exact mom God knew your children needed. Let’s live in that truth today.

Isn’t it amazing how God works. He knows how to repair our hearts. He knows what we need on time. He won’t let his children sink in destructive thoughts or believe lies others tell. Cause all it matters is how He sees us and how He is working on us. Bad moments don’t define me. He uses those bad moments to refine me. I’m a better person and mom because of all that has happened to me these past year and a half. I know now how to identify people who are better suited company for me. I know how to listen to my kids when they don’t feel comfortable and avoid unfortunate situations. I know I have to keep things to myself when it comes to parenting and raising my kids. And that is another topic I would like to talk about in other post in the future. I have learnt so much in this time I have to remind myself out of all this bad came something so good and that’s what I stay with.

If you are a mom who is going through something that is shaking you, don’t feel alone. It’s gonna be OK. Go and look for the Lord, he has your back.

How to make a piece of art for your kid’s room.

If you are a DIY MOM and have an artsy kid at home this is then the best piece of art your child can have in his/her room.

You will need a canvas the size you like, acrylic paints, an apron to avoid messing their clothes, a humid cloth to clean their hands once in a while, a brush, and painting tape.

First with the tape, make the shape, letter or number you want to make for the room. We choose the M because with my daughter we used her initial as well which was part of the decoration I used for my baby shower a year ago.

Once it’s done, start by painting one hand only in the softest color you have. We used all the shades of colors from yellow to blue. With one hand we did yellow, orange, red and pink and with the other hand we did brown, green and blue. I was cleaning his hands sometimes if the color was to different for example from brown to green.

Then we pushed the hand with paint against the canvas no more than 3 times and trying to go over the taped area so when removing it you will have a clear shape.

Once you finish let dry completely and then take out the tape.

As you can see my son is very proud of his work and it’s already in display on his room. It brings color and life to his room and we all love it.

Hope you like it too and if you do it please let me know to see it and enjoy your wonderful work.

Renovating myself

It’s been a long time since I write mainly because I have been going through so much that I haven’t had a time to sit and write.

When the year started I wanted to do so many things and so many projects were in my thoughts, but also I was holding on to stuff that didn’t let me go through. I was a bit anxious, lonely, depressed, stressed, overwhelmed, tired but with a positive attitude about overcoming all this and succeed.

I had to break up with these things and reorganize my thoughts about myself, my projects and let go.

When I finally said goodbye to what was holding me, I felt free. It wasn’t a one time thing, I had to quit to projects, I had to take decisions, I had to let go of friendships and accept my present, my today, myself as I am and look at the moment.

Motherhood has been hard for the past year and some months. Life has been busy, I had let go of myself and I was drowning. I had to recover myself in order to serve my family properly. In order to put my dreams into actions.

It’s happening people. For some time now, I have felt free, I am rediscovering myself, I am accepting who am I now, and also working on my own personal projects. I’m learning from my mistakes, I’m maturing and growing into a better me. My children are more relaxed, cooperating, feeling loved and I’m enjoying them as I used to, not feeling overwhelmed by what I think people say or react towards them or my parenting, but just focusing on their needs and prioritizing them. It made a difference. I’m busy growing my business which is something I love doing and it’s my thing, it’s my moment when I feel myself, and looking into how can this become a real full time job and generate a proper income to modify it from a hobby to a way of living.

Everything that led to this moment was meant to be. It took me in the right direction to look for God and search for help. I have been for the past 2 or 3 weeks working on renovating my home but if I’m being honest, the renovations that take place and can be seen on the outside are happening too on the inside. Every time I rearrange a room, a box of utensiles, every time I clean a shelf and organize the stuff on it and get rid from the ones I don’t need or bring me bad memories or simply doesn’t serve to any purpose, I realize, that I’m feeling lighter. It brings a sense of peace and order in my mind and therefore in my house so it’s kind of a two way action.

I won’t lie and I’m not yet in the place I want to be but I’m working so hard on setting the right atmosphere at my heart to reflect it in my home and in what I do and viceversa. I’m working extra hard on keeping my mind in line and not letting anything disturb it. I’m working in not loosing myself but in bringing me back and don’t let the past haunt me and stop me from being the chatty, sparkly, high energized always doing something woman, creative dreamer and extrovert I normally am.

I always think, if I were in Mexico, would I be going through all this? My answer is no. So this is kind of part of the expat life for me. It never hit me this hard until now. Being alone, without help, without my family and tribe makes it even harder cause I can’t have a day to just rest and be me. I’m a mom 24/7 and can never get a chance to send them to grandma and just reset. It’s just hard. I slowly started to go out with my friends for dinner recently but I took the youngest because she just doesn’t drink formula and would scream bloody murder until she cries herself to sleep if I don’t nurse her. I need to go out, I know if I were in Mx, I would leave her with my mom and go for a drink with my friends or my husband. I haven’t been me in a while and recovering myself will take time, self love and lots of patience from myself and from the people here who really care for me. They have been supportive even though actually no one knows I’m going through all this.

So I’m in the process of renovating the house but also myself. And here is a photo of how it is coming along.

Blue corn Tacos

Today I’m sharing with you 2 very easy recipes for tacos. One is a vegetarian recipe and the other is not.

Today I was gonna make meat with something else for dinner but then the post man arrived with a surprise: blue corn tortillas made by my friend Angie. She sells the best tortillas in my opinion really. I’ve been buying from her for like 2 or maybe 3 years now and I’m always happy with them. But now I wanted to try the blue ones and they are amazing… So yummy.

So I changed my menu and made ‘Rajas con queso’ and ‘carne picada’. Here is what you need.

ingredients.

4 punt paprika’s

1 big onion or 2 small

1 small can of corn

1 bag of shredded cheese.

A piece or meat that doesn’t have lots of fat.

Tortillas from La Tradicional

Salsa (I use the red salsa from La Morena)

Lemon

Onion and coriander finely chopped.

Salt and pepper

Preparation

First, prepare the punt paprika’s the same way as we did for the Pastel Azteca. So, burn the skin completely, rest in a plastic bag for 10 minutes, take off the burn skin and cut in stripes.

Now, while the punt paprika’s rest, cook the meat. Look at the photo to see the kind of meat I used. I honestly never look at the names of the pieces but I just know how they look. This one is like a steak but has no fat and it’s also not used for shredding. You can grill it and then leave it to rest until you are ready to mince it in the food processor.

Also saute some onions like in the picture below.

By then the punt paprika’s should be peeled and cut. Add them to the onions together with the corn and mix. Add the cheese, lower the fire and cover with lid until the cheese has melted.

Season everything to your taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the pan (I have an authentic Comal) and warm up the tortillas turning sides until they are soft.

Serve in the tortillas, but see, here is how…

the ‘rajas’ which is the name of the vegetarian dish, you just serve it like that on the tortilla and add salsa if you like.

The beef tacos, you serve the minced meat, then add the mix of onions and cilantro, squeeze some lemon juice, add some salt and salsa and enjoy. These last ones are actually street tacos. Delicious! They really were delicious. My son ate 3 tacos!!!

If you like the recipe please make a comment and share with others the joys of Mexican food. Don’t keep it to yourself! 😂

33 years

Today is my bday.

I’m 33 years old now… I don’t feel 33, sometimes I feel 21, others I feel 35. I get a little philosophical when it’s my bday, you know because it’s an end of something and a new beginning.

In 33 years of life I have been incredibly blessed with so many things and through so many people. I have also been challenged by so many situations, by so many people and some of these challenges I overcome, others I don’t and I keep going through them probably cause I haven’t passed the test.

All of these experiences of life leave me something. I consider myself a very positive person but I do have a depressive side of me that sometimes pulls me and want to take over the normal, positive, happy, dreamer, everything-is-possible-me. Normally this area of my personality comes through when a challenge of life becomes too much for me or its emotionally too hard for me to overcome. I’m going through a challenge I keep having every certain years and each time I do learn something but apparently I need to learn more. The last time was almost 12 years ago. It’s about relationships and every time it happens it hurts me and shakes me.

Today is my birthday, I’m 33 and while I nurse my baby to sleep, I keep thinking on these past experiences because they do something inside of me. I need to learn once and for all the lesson because I don’t want to go through them again in 5 years or 12 or 20 years and also because I need to prepare my kids properly for the world. I just want to stop this cycle and be mindful about my friendships, my reactions, and just have peace in my mind and heart.

A birthday is like a personal new year. I did make some new years resolutions but never put them into paper. So I want to write down my new year/birthday resolutions. They are in no particular order of importance. I want to do them all.

1. I will do anything I have to do to be emotionally healthy.

2. Focus on my personal goals including being the best mom I can be to my 2 kids, be a better wife and woman and treat myself gently.

3. Organize myself better to accomplish these goals and keep track of my plans.

4. Be healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually.

5. Shake off the bad experiences and negative comments about myself, my family or what I do. I can’t control how people think or talk about me but I can control my reaction to them.

6. Do more of what makes me happy, that is baking, crocheting, reading novels, watching movies, working out, blogging and basically anything that keeps me busy and happy.

7. Use my talents to help others.

8. Be creative

9. Be kind and gentle first to myself and then to others.

10. Do more outdoors activities with my kids.

11. Get into a routine for my social online life to achieve my blogger and networking goals.

12. Get back into my biblical Journaling and personal Bible study.

13. Invest more into my positive friendships.

14. Administer my business better to grow it and enjoy its fruits.

15. Get closer with my family.

16. Write on a journal.

17. Enjoy alone time with my husband.

18. Don’t let the hardships of life turn off my light.

19. Put everything in the hands of God and let things takes their place and time to work out everything. That means not rush into anything

20. Worry less about what people will think or do or say or feel, if I’m not doing it with a bad intention or to hurt anyone, specially if it stops me from being happy or doing something I like or just being myself. If they can’t handle me, then they are not good for me.

I think those are mainly the things I will work on and hopefully this new year that I start will be better than last year and that this challenge Im still overcoming can be passed and I won’t ever have to go through it again.

This birthday had some bittersweet moments but I will take the sweetness and print it in my memory and therefore I will only say the positive, I have had 33 wonderful years and for real I’ve had one of the best days today with my family in a long time. They showered me with love and spoiled me and I received some very special treats from very special people too. God even gave me snow for my bday and I spent the best weekend with my 2 cubs and my loving husband.

Happy birthday to me, may this year be even more blessed than the one I just ended.

Fantastic Bake along – Ode to Chocolate

“Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate” – Jo Brand

This month’s bake along hosted by Tracy from a it’s a sweet day was in charge of Tami from Tangle Wood Knots and the challenge was to make any chocolate recipe you like. Well, I’m not exactly a fan of chocolate things in general… But I love chocolate cakes or brownies whenever you need a glass of milk to down it. And the following recipe is like that. This cake was my most sold out cake when I was in Monterrey and I made cakes as a side business. My mom found this recipe in 2007 and told me to do in for my boyfriend, now my husband. It is super easy even though it does have a lot of steps.

Ingredients:

For the cake batter you need:

1 stick of unsalted butter

3 eggs

1 cup of sugar

1 1/4 cup of milk

1 cup of all purpose self rising flour

1/2 cup of cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 teaspoon of baking powder

For the icing you need

200 ml of whipped cream (here is called slagroom, and it’s not whipped but you have to whip it your self)

1 envelope of klop fix which is a stabilizer

3/4 of cream cheese package

1/4 cup of powder sugar

Other ingredients

Besides you will need a chocolate ganache which I did this time using chocolate paste and milk but you can use your favorite recipe.

Also you need strawberries, and sliced almonds.

Preparation

For the bread you can watch out live video, it’s in Spanish though but I made it this time into muffins. First you cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs 1 by 1.

Then add the dry ingredients and finally the milk. Set them in the muffin tray previously prepared with butter and flour so the muffins don’t stick and put them into the pre heated oven at 180 Celsius degrees.

Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until you know they are done by sticking a knife and it comes out clean.

Once they are done, take them out and let them cool completely.

Put in the freezer a bowl and the paddles that you will use to whip the cream. Now this is very important, they must be super cold if you are doing it, if you have the whipped cream like the heavy cream kind not the one that melts that usually goes in the pies… Anyways… If you do it from. The beginning you need to start mixing and exactly at 45 seconds add the stabilizer… Then mix until you reach 2 mins and 30 seconds and stop. Add the cream cheese and with a hand whisker mix it well and add the powder sugar until you get this consistency.

Then decorate with it the cupcakes or cake and add the ganache, strawberries and almonds like this.

And that’s it… Enjoy!

I’m alive…

Hello everyone… I’m so sorry I have been silent but life has been so busy around here specially with the baby going through what I hope is just a leap or teething or both but for the past 3 weeks we have had at least 3 difficult nights out of 7 every week.

One or two days she sleeps like a champ and then the next 3 she cries every two or 3 hours and then repeat… So i haven’t had a proper night of sleep in 3 weeks but I’m doing well enough, just there isnt time for my hobbies or blogging.

I hope this will pass soon cause I need to show you the end for the Winnie the Pooh blanket. I promise I’ll do my best to have it posted this week, tops the beginning of next.

I have to go, crying baby requesting mom.

Tutorial: Piñata Elmo

**before getting started, if you would like me to translate this tutorial to English please let me know and I will happily do it.

Como diría PiPo… “Ándale, andale, pégale a la piñata, andale, ándale, rompele una pata”

http://youtu.be/UhD2yuHFRVk

El día de hoy les traigo una segunda entrega de las muchas sobre la primera fiesta del enano: la piñata.

Pues resulta que me anime a hacer mi primer piñata por ahí de mediados del 2014. Busque como siempre inspiración en internet y también como hacerla.

http://pinterest.com/marciacantu/fiesta-marcelo-2014-ideas/

Finalmente me decidí y compre los materiales, aunque muchos ya los tienen seguramente en casa.

Estos materiales e instrucciones son para hacer un Elmo.

Ocupan:

Periódico cortado en tiras largas, medianas y cortas

Dos globos redondos (de los que puedes usar como pelotas) no de los normales.

Engrudo (yo lo hice con agua, harina y vinagre)

Rollos de papel periódico

Cinta

Papel crepé para decorar

Silicon

Mecate

Instrucciones:

Primero ocupan inflar su globo que servirá como la panza de Elmo. Lo Inclán grande, grande. Una vez inflado y suponiendo que ya tienen el engrudo y las tiras de periódico listas, comenzarán a untarlo de engrudo y colocar las tiras.

La primera vez le di dos capas, no más, porque se empiezan a poner aguadas y es mejor que no se arruguen.

Dejen sin cubrir el nudito del globo porque ese les servirá después. De aquí lo pueden colgar incluso en un tendedero para que se seque completo.

Hay que dejar secar 24 horas o más (en caso de que no salga el sol o que el ambiente este muy húmedo). De lo contrario, cuando revienten el globo les pasará esto:

Muy bien, pasado el primer intento que fue un fracaso jajajaj seguimos con las instrucciones como les digo.

Le di 3 series de esto: engrudo, papel, secar 24 hrs… Y repetir.

Una vez listo, infle un segundo globo pero más pequeño, para la cabeza. Hice el mismo procedimiento de engrudo, periódico, secar…

Una vez listas ambas partes, me di a la tarea de formar el cuerpo y decidí comenzar con las extremidades. Pueden ya reventar los globos.

Para las piernas y brazos hice el mismo procedimiento. Comencé con las piernas. Es importante comentar que las piernas van en el lado opuesto al nudo del globo. Este orificio les servirá para unir la cabeza y el cuerpo más adelante.

Enrolle dos periódicos completos y los pegué al globo de panza con cinta canela.

Luego le di unas dos capas de engrudo a las piernas pegadas al cuerpo. Hice una pierna primero y luego la otra porque para que quedarán así duras y derechas me ayude con la primera de la pared. Recargue la pierna contra ella y no se movió por un día o hasta que seco por completo. Con la segunda al pegarlo me asegure de hacer un tipo soporte con la cinta a la pierna ya lista. Al forrarla con engrudo y papel la recargue contra la pared hasta que seco.

Los pies los hice formando dos bolas de periódico y pegándolos a las piernas y a su vez forrando con papel y engrudo.

Ya que tuve las piernas listas y me servían de soporte, utilice el agujerito donde se encontraba el nudo del globo. Y lo que hice fue cortarle líneas alrededor del orificio para poder abrirlo y luego “embonar” la cabeza. De ahí el mismo procedimiento es con los brazos. Con la cinta le dan forma para que parezcan doblados. Y después de esta foto está la parte para hacer el cuello como se muestra en la foto.

Una vez que medí la cabeza con el cuerpo y ver que podía embonar bien utilice cinta para mantener estas pestañitas levantadas. Luego con una hoja de periódico enrollada la coloque alrededor y le puse engrudo. Esto forma el cuello. Una vez seco del cuello salen los brazos y con ayuda de la cinta es que se le da la forma. Se forran del engrudo y papel y se espera a que seque.

Ahora en la cabeza se hará el mismo procedimiento de cortar perstañitas para embonarlas al cuello. Una vez que este abierta pueden perforar la parte superior de la cabeza donde colgaran la piñata. Yo hice una perforación y metí un mecate para colgar. Lo asegure por dentro con Silicon y con papel y engrudo y por fuera también.

Ya que esto este secó, de igual forma forma unen con cinta la cabeza con el cuelloy luego se forran con papel y engrudo. Los cachetes de Elmo o la forma ovalada de la cabeza se le da con bolas de papel periódico y uniéndolas con engrudo y papel.

Finalmente cuando todo esta unido, se le da otras dos vueltas a todo, especialmente las uniones, con engrudo y papel, dejando secar entre una capa y otra.

Pueden hacerle una abertura en la parte trasera a la espalda de Elmo para luego meter los dulces. Esta abertura la pueden hacer fácilmente con un exacto.

Para decorar la piñata van a ocupar pegamento líquido, un pincel y el papel crepé cortado en tiras y a su vez cortándole pestañitas para que haga la forma de pelitos.

Es más fácil si comienzan de abajo hacia arriba. Con el pincel van colocando el pegamento y luego rápidamente la parte lisa o no cortada del papel crepé.

Los ojos y la nariz son bolas de periódico forradas a su vez con papel crepé en los colores correspondientes.

Todo el proceso de la piñata me tomo 2-3 semanas y la hice con como 3 meses de anticipación, porque tenía que aprovechar el verano. Le dedique 1 hora al día o menos en lo que aprovechaba las siestas de mi bebe. Fue muy divertido y relajante. Pero esta siguiente fiesta la piñata será más sencilla…

Ahora si, rellena de dulces y listo!

Me recordé de este proceso porque justo estoy ya empezá do la de la gordita. Tambien les pasaré un tutorial que les va a gustar porque es una piñata vintage.

Cualquier pregunta pueden escribirme y encantada les ayudo. 🙂

Winnie the Pooh CAL part 3

Hi all! Sorry again I completely forgot about posting this part last Friday and yesterday I interrupted myself by the Sleeping Beauty post but here it is.

Today is a bee. As simple as that. It is the one who makes the honey, Pooh so much likes and it makes the set look adorable. On my next post I will share with you the layout I have planned out to join together and add a border.

To this block I will still add a line around the wings of the bee but I will show you the last details at the end. Right now lets focus on having all 9 squares done. I like adding the details at the end before joining cause it goes faster for me. The wings come in a cream color. The materials are listed below.

2 skeins of white

1 skein of black

1 skein of yellow

1 skein of cream

I have no more to say so here is the graph and the example block.

bee