Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lomo Saltado

Lomo saltado is a delicious Peruvian dish. It's almost like a Peruvian beef stir fry. The first time I had this dish was in a wonderful restaurant called Cuscos in Hiroshima, Japan. My family loves it when I make this!!

Here's what you need:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Homemade play dough

A great activity to do with your child is making homemade play dough. Kids love helping in the kitchen and my daughter is no exception! She had a blast with this project. I got the idea from a friend  Jackie Allen , check out her website, she has lots of activities for the whole family and yummy recipes. My daughter did everything herself, the only thing I helped her with was kneading the dough because that was a little difficult for her little hands!  

Here's what you need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
food coloring of your choice

Here's how to make it:

In a large bowl mix together  Water



Food coloring

Mix with whisk

Combine Flour and cornstarch

Mix with spoon

Pour flour into water little by little

Stir until you get a good consistency

Knead your dough until it becomes soft and workable
help them out with the kneading part


Use and air tight container or a blastic bag to store
I use old empty playdough containers to store the homemade stuff,
this recipe fills up two of these

* Tips: Remember to pour in the flour little by little, if you live in a humid place you will most likely need a bit more flour than I did. I only used about 3/4 cup of flour because of the dry environment.

Also, if you want to make more than one color divide your water, oil and salt mixture, add your different food colors and add the flour to the different bowls.

Thanks again to Jackie Allen  for this fun recipe!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Arepas Colombianas (Colombian White Corn Cakes)

Arepas are Colombian grilled corn cakes and are eaten usually for breakfast. The most common way to eat them is to spread some butter on them and salt to taste,That's it, they're delicious!! Apart from the butter and salt which you should never miss, you can also top with shredded mozzarella cheese or white Colombian cheese slices, or serve as a main dish with shredded meat on top. Growing up my dad always made them for breakfast on the weekends!
It is also served as part of the bandeja paisa, the typical dish of Colombia.
In Colombia you will always see  women making them on the streets. They use a special griddle which is best to use. These are the ones that I use and you can probably get them at any Latin food store.

But if you don't have one you can use a regular skillet as well.

Here's what you need:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to make Okonomiyaki

                           Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style veggie pancake, or at least that's the way a Japanese friend described it to me. The first part of the word Okonomi means "as you like" and Yaki means "grilled" so pretty much grilled pancake as you like it. I remember going to the Okonomiyaki restaurants, each table has it's own grill and when you order they bring you a big bowl of uncooked food. It's your job to grill it, makes for a great time with family and friends. It is eaten with an Okonomiyaki sauce which I can't get here so I made my own, oh yea and drowned in mayonnaise! It's a great dish to make because you can add anything you want. Normally it always has cabbage and some kind of fish or meat. Since we live in the desert fresh fish is not the easiest to find, so I usually make mine with meat or chicken. I also have a limited source of Japanese ingredients so I have to work with whatever I can get. Here is my recipe for this delicious Japanese treat!

Here's what you need:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hiking in 49 palms

This weekend we all went to 49 palms. It's just off of Canyon Road in Twentynine Palms and it's part of the Joshua Tree National Park. Our three year old did surprisingly well, although she did fall a few times and scrapped her knees a bit. The trail was pretty tough for her so she was always by my side. My hubby was carrying our 9 month old in his "man pack" as he calls it lol, that would be his baby carrier. The baby slept most of the time and when he was up he was entertained looking at everything.

So here starts our day hike, coming from base you make a left on Canyon Road and this is the first thing you see

This Pill Hill sign is pretty funny, I mean who on earth would actually put up a sign like this?! lol

Anyway, this road takes you all the way to the parking lot and this is where the trail starts.

My husband and our kids ready for our day hike
  It starts out pretty easy and gets harder as you go. With our three year old it took us about an hour to get to the oasis. I highly recommend taking band aids and some kind of antibacterial in case your kids fall and get little scratches.
Here are some pictures of the trail

Just a few of the different Cacti found in this area

Ahh, and finally we're here!

Relaxing for a little bit before heading back down again.

After another hour of walking down and uphill we finally made it to the parking lot. It was a fun trip and we will definitely be doing it again! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy 2011

Hey Everyone!
First of all Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great and safe time celebrating the holidays. I haven't been on here in a few days (it feels like forever), but I have a good excuse. 

So let me tell you a little bit of what I've been up to these last few days. We were all vacationing in Fl at our parents house for some time now, and we just got back to California a couple of days ago. It's nice to be back home but I do miss my family a lot. On the other hand I have so much to do at home that  I don't have time to be bored. We have been re-arranging the house and doing some serious cleaning since we hadn't been here. Our little boy is crawling now and we have to get every inch of the house spotless!! I'm a major clean freak and have been working non-stop for my house to look sparkling clean again. It's pretty much done for now (although house work is never really done is it?)lol.

Anyway... we had a lot of fun celebrating the holidays at my parents house. It was the first time spending the holidays there since I got married. My daughter loved being around more family, since it's usually just us.
We ate all the wonderful traditional Colombian food and even had novenas every night. I grew up going to  novenas from the 16th to the 24th of December. As a child we would go to a different house every night and prayed a novena there. The hosting family would have delicious Colombian appetizers eaten around the holidays like buñuelos , empanadas , natilla, arroz con leche and much more. The same family was in charge of it every year and a ton of people came. What it is basically is a set of prayers that we say for nine days straight before Christmas. So each day we would go to a different house and say that day's  prayer, sing some Christmas carols and then eat and mingle. It was actually a lot fun. Since then the family who was in charge of the novenas stopped doing them and no one really took over, so my parents decided to do them with a couple of friends and it was very nice. My daughter loved going to the different houses to sing and play with other little kids. We normally have nativity scenes by the Christmas tree during the novenas and we call them pesebres.

Here are some pictures of the different pesebres an novenas from 2010.

This pesebre is from a friend of ours, Rocio. She made her pesebre in a winter style, very elegant and pretty.

This pesebre is Beatriz's, another friend of ours who we celebrated the novenas with. She made hers the "real" way! lol with small humble homes and a shack for the birth place for baby Jesus.

This was our pesebre. I also made mine with a winter snowy theme. I like making them different every year.

 I drew the background on thick carboard paper

This is another little pesebre we had in another part of the house

Here are a few pictures from the novenas

 some of the food that was served at the novenas

So that's it from me today, I just wanted to share a little bit of how my holidays went. I am very excited about this new year and all of the new projects I will be doing. I hope everyone has a great year!

Happy New Year

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