Bean and Tortilla soup with Memories

>> Friday, April 30, 2010

sopa de frijoles, bean soup, mexican soups, mexican bean soup, beans, pinto, recipe, food, healthy, low fat, mexican recipes, Spicie Foodie, spicy food

Some of my most vivid childhood memories are usually triggered by smells. It doesn't make me special or unique in fact, scent is the sense most strongly tied to memory. It is also quite normal or common for these smells to trigger emotions in us. Whether the emotions are of happy or not so happy memories to just memories of experiencing something for the first time. The other day while I was boiling pinto beans, something that I do often, I suddenly had one of the most vivid childhood memories. I was immediately transported back to my Mother's kitchen in Mexico in the mid 80s and sitting around the table with my sisters waiting for our lunch. My Mother's sopa de frijoles con tortillas ( bean and tortilla soup) , was a lunch she often made for us, and my sisters and I all loved this soup. I could not only remember the taste of the sopa but the way it looked in our white bowls with the slices of tortillas floating around in the soup. We were all sitting around that ugly green Formica table (that was so popular back then) , I could even see the way the sun light would shine in from the patio into the open kitchen. Wow, I haven't had such a strong memory like that in a while. It brought back such beautiful memories of my childhood that the emotions it evoked in me stayed with me for a few days.

Coming back to the present, I craved my Mother's sopa so much that I right away changed my dinner plans so I could include the sopa that night. The only problem was that I never saw how she made it so I didn't have a recipe. Immediately I logged into Facebook and sent a message to my sisters to please give me the recipe or contact Mom for me. Unfortunately being that we are on opposite sides of the world, the recipe didn't come until quite late that night and after my dinner time. So I ended up just experimenting myself. First is the recipe for the way I made it following that I will share my Mother's actual recipe.

sopa de frijoles, bean soup, mexican soups, mexican bean soup, beans, pinto, recipe, food, healthy, low fat, mexican recipes, Spicie Foodie, spicy food

( 1 large serving, but can be adjusted to larger portions)
Your ingredients:

Boiled/cooked Pinto Beans
2-3 Corn Tortillas ( if you can't find real corn tortillas try my substitute recipe)
ground cumin , a pinch
garlic powder, a pinch
salt and black pepper to taste

1. Whether you are using whole home cooked or whole canned pinto beans, reserve the liquid for the soup base.
2. In a large pot add about 1 tsp. of corn or sunflower oil and add the cumin and garlic, fry for about 1-2 minutes. Next ladle in 2 cup of the boiled beans mixed with liquid. If you are using the canned beans pour in the entire can contents. Add enough liquid from the boiled/cooked beans to cover the beans. If using canned beans you may need to add some water to get the soup consistency.
3. Cook for 10 minutes ( or as long as you want), taste for salt and add a pinch of black pepper. When you are ready to serve, warm up the corn tortillas then cut into triangles or just tear into pieces. Ladle the soup into bowls and add as much tortilla pieces as you like, then mix into the soup.

sopa de frijoles, bean soup, mexican soups, mexican bean soup, beans, pinto, recipe, food, healthy, low fat, mexican recipes, Spicie Foodie, spicy food

The soup was delicious! Even though it was very good it still didn't taste just like my Mother's sopa but it did give me some comfort and satisfied the craving. Now for my Mother's recipe, 1. Boil/cook the beans and right before serving tear up the warm tortillas. Ladle the beans into the bowls and add the torn up corn tortillas. Serve! That's it, no other spices just the beans and tortillas. I couldn't believe that was all the went into something that tasted so magnificent.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and perhaps if you make it for your children they will enjoy it as much as my sisters and I did.

Now tell me what food triggers the most vivid or fond memory for you ??


Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie

>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

 Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie

Strawberry season is here, and these beautiful red berries are on sale everywhere you look. The other day walking past my local fruit and vegetable shop I just couldn't resist them. They sat there looking so perfect and juicy ready to come home with me! After eating (OK I'll admit it , pigging out ) almost a whole package, I sat thinking what else can I do with all my strawberries???? The next day I was really looking for an afternoon pick me up, which usually has me reaching for another cup of tea. As I pulled the Matcha Tea , Japanese Green tea powder, the idea of making a smoothie with my yummy strawberries popped in my head.

I love both smoothies and Matcha but honestly have never tried a smoothie with Matcha in it, usually it's just with fruits. I've used this green tea powder as an ingredient in some baked goods, and I'm always looking for other ways to use it. Matcha is my favorite green tea because it just taste so good! , it has like a creamy texture and taste to it. There's really no other tea quite like it, and this is obvious in the price. Matcha is a more expensive tea but well worth the price, in my opinion, because you are paying for the quality.

Matcha tea is green tea leaves that have been finely ground into a powder. Since the tea itself are the ground leaves there is no waste like in a typical green tea where the leaves are steeped then discarded. The fact that we are ingesting the tea means that the body is also absorbing more of the healthy benefits found in the leaf, this also makes it a healthier or better tea than regular green tea. Matcha is rich in Antioxidants, a natural mood enhancer,cleans the body of toxins, is a zero on the Glycemic Index(will not raise insulin levels), and also contains catechins which are a renowned cancer fighting antioxidant. Matcha is also the tea used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

So now that we have our health lesson for today we can move on to the recipe :)
fresh strawberries
Your ingredients : (1 serving)
8 strawberries
1 small tangerine
1/4 tsp. Matcha
7 ice cubes
1/3 cup / 100 ml milk (regular or soy)
honey to taste

Blender, strong enough to grinding ice cubes.

1. Wash and prepare the strawberries by removing the green stems and cut into halves. Place the ice cubes in the blender and blend until they have broken up completely. Next add the milk, strawberries, honey, tea, and squeeze the juice of the tangerine into the blender. Blend until smooth and serve! (You can experiment with adding or subtracting the amounts of the ingredients to get a thicker or thinner smoothie. )

healthy smoothie
Now this was the perfect afternoon pick me up with all the added benefits!


Happy 101 Award -Again & Again!

>> Friday, April 23, 2010

A couple of days ago I received a message from Elin from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner letting me know she was giving me the Happy 101 Award, that made me Happy :) Then a couple of days later I received another message this time from Liv Wan from Egg Wan's Eastern Food Odyssey , that too made me Happy :) This makes three times that I have been this award and guess what that makes me really happy :)

Elin's blog is one that has been making me droll for a while. Elin is a Mom and has many recipes that are kid friendly, she has quite a collection of all sorts of dishes and baked goodies. Her blog is super cute and her photography is fantastic so please stop by to pay her a visit. Liv's blog is relatively new to our foodie blogging world, so stop by to welcome her. Her blog focuses on Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. Her recipes look so good and her photography is fabulous. Trust me both of these blogs will make you and your bellies very happy!

By accepting the award I am to list things that make me happy and pass the award on to 10 bloggers that make me happy. When I first received this award I shared my 10 things that make me happy, and the list is still pretty much the same. So instead of boring you with 10 more things you can read my previous list and include these too :

~ Finally having some much needed sunshine...... aaaaaaaah!
~ No more 6 am wake up calls from the construction crew out my window, sweet dreams!
~ The mini rose bush my husband surprised me with the other day, so pretty it makes me really happy.

Thank you Elin and Liv for the award!, And the 10 blogs that make me happy and will make you happy ....(in no particular order)

~ Liv Wan - Egg Wan's Eastern Food Odyssey I had added her to my list before she sent me the message :) can I do that? why not , it will maker her happy !
~Natalie - Natalie's Killer Kitchen
~ Natasha from 5star foodie
~ Lauren - Coffee Muffins
~ Heidi -Aromas y Sabores
~ Tam - A Little Bit Burnt
~ Catherine - Living the Gourmet
~ Shamrocks and Shenanigans
~ Memoria -Mangio da Sola
~ Madhuri - Ma Recipes

All of the blogs are wonderful with so many dishes/recipes for all your tastes or needs. All of these Ladies are also super sweet so please stop by to say hello.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend with plenty of sunshine and yummy food that will make you very happy!!


Mexican Chorizo Tacos

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

potatoes; chopped; diced; chorizo; raw; fresh; Mexican; Tortillas; corn tortillas; oil; green; white; yellow; black; background; plate; taco; ingredients; food

Tacos de Chorizo y papas or Chorizo and potato Tacos, yum! Two previous post here on Spicie Foodie I shared my recipe for homemade Mexican chorizo, and here is the first recipe to use the Chorizo. If you are lucky enough to have fresh Mexican chorizo available at your local grocery or Mexican food stores , that chorizo will works just fine. The only thing you'll have to with the commercial chorizo is remove it from the casing. Chorizo can come in either natural/edible casings or in plastic casings. If it's plastic just remove the chorizo from the plastic. If the casing is edible then you need to remove it when it's being fried, just start removing the chorizo to break up. What ever the case may be with the chorizo you have on hand it will need to resemble broken up ground meat when cooked.
These tacos have always been one of my favorites since I was little. I just love the way chorizo taste on it's on or when combined with other flavors. I can remember being a little girl in Mexico and going to the taqueria (taco restaurant) or taco stand to grab some tacos. Mmmm the way the chorizo looked and smelled as it was being fried, ah good memories. Well besides being so amazingly good these tacos are also really easy to make. Great for nights or days when you don't have a lot of time to spend on cooking.
One last thing before we move on to the recipe, the amounts I used can be altered as to your personal preference. Perhaps you want more or less of either the chorizo or potato, play around to see what you like. Tacos are normally made using two tortillas on top of each other then topped with your ingredients. But since I have to make my own tortillas , I just use one layer, it's your call.

tacos; taco; ingredients; toppings; toping; tomato; jalapenos; onion; chopped; fresh; raw; cooking; Mexican; recipes

Your ingredients:
(serves 2-3)

300 grams or a little over 1/2 lb. Chorizo ( store bought chorizo 2 links)
3 medium potatoes
1 small onion
Corn tortillas
corn oil or sunflower oil

taco; tacos; Mexican; food; fresh; recipes; potatoes; cooking; chorizo; black; green; yellow

Optional toppings :
Jalapenos or hot peppers
finely chopped onion and/or tomatoes
fresh cilantro

1. Peel and dice the potatoes, they need to be small. You can either boil the potatoes for a lighter calorie version or the normal way is to add a couple of tablespoons of oil to a hot pan and fry the potatoes until they have cooked through. If you are boiling the potatoes , drain and set aside. If frying the potatoes , after they have softened remove from the pan and set aside. Next in the same pan add the chorizo and fry until it's cooked all the way through about 10-15 minutes. Drain some of the oil, then add the potatoes back in. Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the ingredients are well combined.
2. Warm up the tortillas and place some of the chorizo mixture in the center. You can either serve on it's on like this..

three; 3; taco; tacos; Mexican; chorizo; potatoes; green; plate; corn tortillas; black; yellow; white; fork; knife; cooking; recipes; food; fresh; cuisine; gastronomy

Or top with some salsa or any of the optional toppings suggestions, this is how I like to eat mine sometimes...

Taco ingredients and toppings tomatoes, jalepanos and chopped onion.

Either way you choose these chorizo potato tacos are so good! Serve with a cold Mexican beer or some aguas frescas and you'll have yourself a authentic Mexican meal. Buen Provecho!


Blood Orange Zest Rolls

>> Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I posted a recipe for Czech Easter sweet rolls, I liked the taste and texture so much that I decided to make them again. But this time I experimented a bit with different ingredients like adding the blood orange zest, vanilla and almonds. The results were yummy, yielding a slightly fruity and sweeter version. Honestly I liked these better than the recipe from the book.

The idea of the blood orange zest came when I looked in my spice cabinet to see what dried zest or citrus peels I had available. You see I like to remove and dry the peels from all sorts of citrus fruits to use in cooking and baking. You don't have to worry about using dried zest if you have some fresh blood oranges or oranges to use that will be just fine. Outside of Europe Vanilla sugar is not very popular so you may have a hard time finding it in other countries. I use it as a cheaper alternative to the hard to find vanilla extract. But don't worry see the recipe below to see how you can substitute the vanilla sugar with the extract.

Your Ingredients:
400 grams or 3 cups fine or medium grain flour
30 grams or 1 oz fresh yeast
40 grams or 1.41 oz Castor sugar
2 TB vanilla sugar ( or substitute 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
250 ml or a little over 1 cup milk, luke warm
pinch of salt
60 grams or 2 oz of butter
2 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites)
2 tsp dried blood orange zest ( can replace with orange zest )
slivered almonds for topping

extra flour for rolling
butter or oil to grease the baking pan

1. Melt the butter and set aside to allow to come to room temperature. In a small bowl break up the fresh yeast then add half the sugar and about 100 ml or 1/2 cup of milk. Allow the yeast to rise, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix the remaining white sugar and the vanilla sugar into the remaining milk and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the salt, zest and flour, make a well in the center. Once the yeast mixture is ready add it, the melted butter and remaining milk to the the flour. With a large wooden spoon start mixing the mixture until it comes together. You can begin kneading the mixture into a smooth dough for about 10 minutes (adding extra flour if needed). Cover and leave to rise until it has doubled in size, about an hour.

3. Preheat oven to 200c or 392f. On a floured surface knead the dough once again then cut into equal sized pieces/balls. Roll each into desired shapes, grease a baking pan, place the rolls on the baking sheet and brush egg whites over each bread. Leave bread to rise for another 5 minutes. Bake until they are golden brown 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool down before serving.

I'm also excited to have found a great site called Wild Yeast! . This will be my first submission to their YeastSpotting , check it out lots of great recipes. And if you're like me and need an extra motivation to keep practicing and learning more about baking you'll love submitting to the site.


Homemade Potpourri and a Winner!

>> Tuesday, April 13, 2010

aromatic potpourri, rose, candleBefore I announce the lucky winner of the Le Cruset mortar and pestle set , courtesy of CSN stores , I would like to share another great way to us a mortar and pestle. You all know how much I love all spices and can now see how much I love and use my mortar and pestle. I'm always looking for ways or ideas that require me to put my mortar and pestle to use, and making potpourri is definitely one of my favorites. I love potpourri it makes the house smell so good, looks pretty and it has a very relaxing effect to it. But one day I read the package contents of a potpourri mix and I was surprised to see some unidentifiable ingredients, eek ! I am not a fan of prepackage foods because of the chemicals and preservatives they may contain, and I certainly would like to limit the exposure to my family and home of harmful chemicals in potpourri and other fragrance sprays. So I decided that I would start to make my own homemade potpourri with the ingredients I had in my kitchen.

ingredients for potpourri,candleThis is the first potpourri mixture I made, as a matter of fact it's the one I make most often. One of the best things about this potpourri mixture recipe I'm going to give you is that you should have all the ingredients in your kitchen without incurring any additional cost. This would also make a great gift idea, (personally I appreciate gifts like this that have a more personal touch to them) . When I make this potpourri mixture I use it two ways, the first is just leaving it in a nice decorative bowl to sit and release its amazing fragrance. The other way, and probably my favorite way, I use this is by putting it in a potpourri pot or an aromatherapy pot/lamp with some water that uses a candle to heat up and release the scent faster. It's your choice how you want to use this amazingly fragrant and chemical free homemade potpourri mix.
( Recipe is for a small batch but can easily be doubled or tripled for your individual needs. )
Your ingredients:
12 whole cloves
1 or 2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 all spice
3 whole cardamom pods
1 small piece of nutmeg
dried orange/lemon peel or homemade dried orange/lemon zest
optional - dried rose petals
Mortar and Pestle
potpourri bowl or small decorative bowl or aromatherapy pot

star anise,cinnamon stick,cloves, allspice, nutmeg, zestPlace all of your spices inside the mortar and pestle and lightly pound the spices. You only want to crush and break them up into smaller pieces not powder.

how to grind spices
Next combine with the rose petals and place inside a potpourri bowl or decorative bowl to display.

Alternatively you can place the potpourri mix inside a potpourri or aromatherapy pot to burn. Done! just sit back and enjoy the lovely all natural fragrance as it fills your home. Ah now isn't that relaxing.
burn potpourri in pot
OK and now the moment you've been waiting for! First I want to say thank you to all of you that participated and thanks for your lovely comments I wish I could send each and everyone of you a prize. Drum roll.............. the winner is comment number ,32 - 5Star Foodie!(The winner was chosen using )

Congratulations Natasha 5Star Foodie! I will be contacting you by email to get your shipping information. I am also excited to see your recipe using your brand new cherry red Le Creuset mortar and pestle set!

Thank you Jason and CSN stores for the opportunity and for making our lucky winner a very happy person today! For those of you that didn't win you can purchase it here .


Giveaway and Mexican Chorizo

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm happy to announce my first giveaway to go along with this recipe. First we'll talk about the recipe then the giveaway. Chorizo, when Europeans hear this word they think of a fermented cured red sausage. But when North Americans hear chorizo they think of a crumbly meat red sausage. Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are very different from each other in looks, texture and taste. And no matter what you may find on the Internet the two are not interchangeable. I love both types of chorizo but for very different reasons and to enjoy in different ways. Today I want to share my recipe for home made Mexican chorizo that you can use in any of your favorite Mexican recipes. I will share some ways to use this chorizo in the coming weeks as I use it up, so stay tuned.

Your ingredients:
1.10 lbs or 500 grams of ground pork
1 Tb. cumin seed
1 tsp. coriander seed
5 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/2 Tb. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 Tb. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper or 5 whole peppercorns
3 Tb. Apple cider vinegar or substitute red wine vinegar

2 Tb. Ancho chile powder or substitute with a combination of
2 Tb paprika mixed with 1 tsp. red chili powder or 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder

1. In a mortar and pestle grind the cumin seed, coriander seed and cloves. Break up the bay leaves with your hands as much as possible and add them to the spices in mortar and pestle, grind until you have a fine powder. Next add the remaining spices to the mortar and pestle and grind/ mix until everything is well combined.

2. In a large glass bowl using your hands break up the the ground pork . Next you may want to put on some plastic gloves to prevent burning and staining to your hands. Pour in the vinegar and half the spices, spread them evenly on the pork, and start working it into the ground pork. Adding more of the spice mixture until it has all been used up. Keep working the meat until it turns red (from the chili) and all the spices have been well combined.

It's best to let the chorizo sit overnight before using it because this will allow all of the flavors to come together and make for a better tasting chorizo. Alternatively you can freeze the chorizo until you are ready to use it. Since this chorizo doesn't have casings you can form or shape sausages or patties and keeping their form by wrapping them in plastic kitchen wrap. Another way to store the chorizo in the freezer is by portioning out amounts and storing it inside plastic bags to put in the freezer. This way you defrost what you need or want without having to use the whole large batch.

Now you are ready to use the chorizo in all of your favorite Mexican recipes like tacos, sopes, frijoles charros, chiles rellenos or any of your other favorite fusion recipes.

And now I'm really excited to be doing my first giveaway!! You can all tell that I really love my mortar and pestle and use it quite often , so I thought the perfect thing to give away is a mortar and pestle. But not just any ordinary mortar and pestle it's a cherry red Le Creuset Mortar and Pestle Set. I'm also really excited to tell you that I am able to do this giveaway thanks to the fantastic CSN Stores. CSN has over 200 stores that carry any thing and everything you would want or need for your home. I really loved their House wares store collections and the Home Decor store. But my favorite thing was these beautiful cooper back barstools, they have the best and most unique barstool collection I have ever seen. What's also great is that they have stores in the US, Canada and the Uk, and they ship to all these places. You can check out CSN at

The rules:
- You must live in the US or Canada.
- Comment to be included in the draw, no anonymous comments will be considered.
- Follow me on Twitter / Facebook / Google Follow ( every time you follow me at any of these sites come back to comment again letting me know you have done this so you can have an additional entry count towards the give away.)
- If you tell your friends on Twitter / Facebook or your own blog know about this giveaway come back and comment again with a link to the post to let me know you have done this and again you'll have another entry count towards the giveaway.

Deadline :
April 11th at 11:00 p.m. EST ( 3:00 a.m. GMT, my blog is set to GMT time)

The winner will be announced on April 13th in a separate post here on Spicie Foodie. I will also invite the winner to do a guest post sharing with us one of their recipes using their new mortar and pestle.

Good luck everyone!!


Edible Book Festival

>> Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do you ever sit back and while reading your favorite book think, wow this book would be so scrumptious with some curry sauce or cooked in a spaghetti sauce or dipped in chocolate and served with a glass of wine or perhaps you picture how delicious it would taste as it's being dunked into a big glass of cold milk?? .......

Now your favorite novels, cook books, photography books , or poetry books aren't just for reading. It's time to start enjoying your favorite books even more, let me tell you how... I have found the perfect book cooking recipe site with so many recipes that it will leave you drooling and running to the kitchen with your favorite book in hand.

So let's get cooking everyone!!! Here's the link...

Edible Book  Festival , cook your book, eat that book, book recipes

I'm running to the kitchen with Anne Rice " Merrick" and going to make enchiladas for dinner ..yummm it's going to be so delicious can't wait!

Haha April Fools!!!!!


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