Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sherry and Red Wine, Tomato Soup

Yesterday my husband and I decided to enjoy the "cold" weather that Texas has been enjoying by cooking our traditional winter menu... tomato soup and sandwiches! It was sooo good, but to tell you the truth it needs to get colder for it!  It is super easy to make serves 4 - 6 people, it takes around an hour to make...


8 large tomatoes
salt and pepper
Olive Oil
12 - 15 thyme stalks
10 - 12 garlic cloves
1 shallot
1 medium red onion
1 tbs of chopped oregano
1 tbs of chopped basil
1/2 cups of chicken stock
1 shot of sherry
1 shot of red wine
1/2 small can of tomato paste


Pre heat the oven 350 degrees.
Cut the tomatoes and garlic cloves in big chunks, place them in a large sauce pan, drizzle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Also sprinkle the chopped herbs and mix, bake for 30 minutes.

In a separate medium frying pan chop the red onion and shallot, drizzle olive oil and saute for around 4 minutes, add a little bit of chopped thyme for flavor... when the onions are lightly brown remove from the heat and wait for the tomatoes to come out of the oven.

Add some of the chicken broth and the tomatoes in the big pan and stir while keeping it over medium heat. Let it simmer and add some more chicken broth, until the tomatoes star falling apart, add the sherry, wine and tomato paste, let it reduce for 20 minutes.

Place the mix in the blender and puree... serve hot in a bowl, with garlic croutons.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pan Seared Halibut with mushroom broth and Lemon Risotto

This was our dinner a few nights back, it was to die for!


1 pound of halibut, cut into 2 fillets
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 box of dried porcini mushrooms
4 tbs of unsalted butter
3/4 of a cup of risotto rice
4 cups of free range chicken broth
1 medium white onion
1 lemon, juice and 1 teaspoon of the zest
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream


With a paper napkin pad dry the halibut fillets, sprinkle salt and pepper making sure you cover the whole fillet and drizzle olive oil over them, set aside, you can prep the fish a couple of hours in advance and leave them in the refrigerator.

Boil 1/2 cup of water and put the dehydrated mushrooms to soak in a covered container for at least 15 minutes, until the water turns brown and the mushrooms are soft, set aside.

30 minutes before cooking the fish add a couple of table spoons of the mushroom infusion on top of the halibut fillets.

In a medium size frying pan add the butter, chopped the garlic clove and the shallot into little squares and saute them over medium heat. When the shallots are clear add the halibut fillets with the meat side facing the pan and brown that side, should take around 4 - 5 minutes, turn them when you can see the meat getting a light brown coloration. Flip the fillets and add half of the broth into the frying pan, keep cooking for another 5 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees, in a small baking sheet put the cooked fillets cover them with the remaining mushroom broth and bake for 10 - 12 minutes. Meanwhile use the same frying pan with the remaining shallots and garlic to saute the mushrooms; dice them, season them with salt and pepper, and add another 2 tbs of butter (4 - 5 minutes).

Remove the halibut fillets from the oven and let them sit for a couple of minutes so the juices would settle, they are ready to be served, use the mushrooms and shallots to create a nice topping for the fish.

Chop the onion in small cubes, in a medium size sauce pan using medium heat put some olive oil and the chopped onion and cook for 4 minutes approximately, until the onions turn clear. Add the risotto rice and mix, add 1 cup of chicken broth, lower the heat to medium.
Stir occasionally, not letting the rice get stuck in the bottom of the pan, you will notice the chicken broth gets absorbed by the rice, keep adding some more broth and keep stirring for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, adding broth whenever the rice seems to be drying up. The rice should puff up, when you notice there is a tiny white dot in the middle of the rice grains add the whipping cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and zest and stir.

Note: You don't have to use all the chicken broth. Also keep in mind that the risotto rice keeps cooking after being taken off the heat, so you want to take it out when it has a little crisp when you bite it.

Just delicious!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Whole Food's Shrimp Burger

I had never seen this tequila and lime shrimp burgers before at Whole Foods, but a lady next to me was ordering them and told me how fabulous they were.. So I grabbed one and brought it home to be cooked as an appetizer to share with my husband.

What I did is, I prepared a little salsa to use as a dressing, I like my shrimp with extra lemon, so I chopped half of a white onion, then I took 6 cherry tomatoes and cut them in four, put all the chopped veggies in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper and I squeezed a whole lemon on top of it and let it rest while I cooked the burger.

In a medium size pan I seared 3 pieces of bacon, without discarding the bacon oil, I added a tiny bit of olive oil and in medium heat I placed the shrimp burger to cook.... I let it brown on each side ( 4 - 5 minutes) and then I baked them for 15 minutes on the oven at 350 degrees, you want those shrimp to be well cooked before you eat them!

I chopped the bacon, took the paddy out of the oven, topped it with the salsa and sprinkle bacon on top of that! It was sooooo good! The bacon adds so much flavor to the salsa and makes it less overpowering!

Chicken Soup, Grandma's Recipe

Yesterday my husband went and had sushi with some coworkers of his, before we went to bed he was running a 103 degrees fever, his boy was shaking and needless to say he got really really sick... After a whole night of drinking Pedialite, today I  made him my super special chicken soup, it is the best thing to boost your immune system and get you back on track!

For 4 servings, prep time 30 minutes, cooking time 1.5 - 2 hours


3 chicken breasts
1 white onion
8 fingerling potatoes
1/2 bag of pre cut broccoli and cauliflower
3 medium size carrots
5 celery sticks
6 - 8 branches of cilantro and/or parsley
2 garlic cloves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 tbs of season all or any seasoning salt
4 1/2 cups of water


In a large size boiling pan at medium high temperature, heat the water with the chicken bouillon cubes and the pealed garlic cloves, when the bouillon cubes are melted, chop the onion in four pieces and put it in the boiling water as well, lower the temperature to medium low.

Peal and chop the carrots, clean the broccoli and the cauliflower, and chop the celery sticks, add all the vegetables to the boiling water. With some twain put together in a bunch the cilantro and parsley and add to the boiling water. Let it seat for 15 minutes.

Clean the chicken breasts and cut it in cubes, add to the boiling water and cover for 25 minutes, so the juices of all the vegetables and the chicken can mix properly.

Note: You can add many other vegetables like green beans and zucchinis, also if you would like the soup with a little kick you may want to use Tony Chachere's for your seasoning salt!

Chop the potatoes and add them to the mix, let it cook for another 15 - 20 minutes, try the soup and add salt or pepper if needed.

Now after this step you need to take it out of the heat and let it cool down for a couple of minutes before serving! Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicken Paillard with Baby Arugula and Cherry Tamatoes Salas

It is still very hot in Texas and last night my husband and I were feeling like eating some chicken... I was thinking of a summery but filling dinner plate we could prepare and remembered about an amazing Chicke Paillard I had tried a couple of weeks ago in Florida, but that I thought could use a good upgrade in the salad. So I put my little Vero touch on the salad and added artichoke hearts and capers, and also used two different kinds of tomatoes instead of just plain red ones... I hope you enjoy this, I had so much fun making it, and the flavor was outstanding!!!
Serves 4 hungry people
Time: It takes around 45 minutes to prep everything neatly, and then another 15 to cook.


4 chicken breasts with no skin
4 medium size lemons
1 large garlic clove
2 tbs of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 bag of baby arugula
12 red cherry tomatoes
12 yellow cherry tomatoes
1 medium red onion
2 tbs of capers
1 can of artichoke hearts


Using a cutting board slice the onion in very thin layers, they need to be transparent, if they are too thick the olive oil and lemon would not maserate them. Place the onions in a small container, squeeze two lemons, add salt and pepper, and drizzle some olive oil (3 tbs) Leave aside to soak.

Proceed to chop the yellow and red chopped tomatoes in four pieces, place in a separate container, add salt, pepper, 2 tbs of olive oil and the capers, mix and set aside.

Open the can of artichokes and cut ¼ of the top of the hearts and then proceed to cut in halves, set in a separate bowl on the side.

Grab each chicken breast and slice them into 3 cutlets, they should be 1/3 of an inch of thickness, place all the cutlets in a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. After you cut all the chicken breasts grab a meat tenderizer and some serain wrap. Place each cutlet individually on the board, cover it, and with the soft side evenly hit the cutlets until they become very thin.

Afterwards replace them in the baking sheet, add some love oil and sprinkle the chopped parsley over the breasts. Pre heat the oven on 275, and a big skillet over medium high heat, sautee the garlic with some olive oil, then place the cutlet of chicken for them to sizzle on each side. (4 -5 minutes preside, until they become lightly brown) As you are cooking the chicken, place the cooked breasts on a clean baking sheet, bake for 5 – 7 minutes to dry them a little bit.

While you wait for them to bake in a large bowl mix the arugula, the anions (with all the juice), the tomatoes with the capers and the artichoke hearts. 

Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and serve.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fabulous Strawberry Tarts

A few weeks ago I spoke with a good friend of mine about his new blog I was starting, I told her all about how much I love cooking and that I wanted to share my creations with people that need some ideas, inspirations or tips to use in their own kitchens; when it occur to me, that I should also share recipes from friends of mine that  they enjoy making! So she sent me one of her recipes and she even let me use her pictures of the last time she cooked it! By the way, if you can not tell already she is a professional photographer, enjoy the pictures, try the recipe and give us your feedback!

It serves 7 or more guests, it takes 15 minutes to prep!


1 quart fresh Strawberries
3/4 C sugar
3T cornstarch
juice of 1/2 lemon
8 ounces softened cream cheese


Wash and hull strawberries, mash 1/2 strawberries in food processor. Combine mashed strawberries with sugar, cornstarch, & lemon juice in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer mixture until thick and clear, about 5-7 min, stirring constantly, remove from heat. Chop remaining strawberries in food processor or by hand  (small, about the size of corn kernels) add to warm strawberry
 mixture. Chill strawberry filling. Fill shells with chilled strawberry mixture, reserving 4T. Cream reserved 4T with softened cream cheese and pipe on tarts.

Fillo product:

Mini fillo shells

Cream Rigatoni with Red Onions, Peas and Bacon

My husband and I have some meats leftover from breakfast today, so we decided to reduce, reuse, recycle... Super easy lunch or dinner recipe, it takes maybe 30 minutes to make.


Rigatoni Pasta, I like to use Barilla.
1 medium size red onion
1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 of a butter stick, unsalted
1 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese
4 strips of bacon (chopped)
1/2 cup of peas
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley


In on small sauce pan boil water and make the pasta, you can take the pasta a little before it's ready, take it off the flame but leave it in the water so it remains hot while you are cooking the rest.

In a small pan sautee the onions with some olive oil until they become kind of yellowish and the white coloring to it have become more of a light brown.

For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium size skillet, then add the cream, use medium heat, let it come to a boil, lower the heat to lox/medium and add the Parmesan cheese in batches, making sure you stir it while you are doing it. (5 minutes)
When you see the bubble become thicker lower the flame to low and add the chopped pieces of bacon, the peas, the red onions, and parsley, let is sit for a second, always remember to stir the sauce. (4 minutes)

In a bowl mix the sauce with the pasta,  little by little add some pasta and stir with some sauce to make sure the noodles get sauce all around them and also inside. Let it sit for 2 minutes so the pasta and the sauce solidify. It is ready to serve!

*Note: You can add grilled chicken to this recipe and make it even better!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let's Rally for our Furry Friends

I have a puppy named Thomas, I absolutely love him, but I realize that there are millions of other puppies around the United States that do not have the same luck as Thomas. There are thousands of shelters that have no resources to feed and take care of all the abandoned puppies they have taken upon their care.

That's why I am writing this blog post 'cause Pedigree is donating a 20 pound bag of dry food to a shelter for every blog that post the following link, plus for every person that actually likes the page on facebook they'll be donating a bowl of food as well.

So please join me in this effort and if you have a blog please take 5 minutes to write about this wonderful program.


Bacon Wrapped Prawns with Pesto Linguinni

Tonight it's pasta night, I decided to recreate my famous pesto sauce and bacon wrapped prawns. This recipe serves 2 hungry people, and it takes approximately 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients for the Shrimp:

Half a pound of large unpeeled shrimp, (6 or 8 shrimp)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 package of thin cut bacon

Ingredients for the Pesto Sauce:

2 garlic cloves
Pinch of salt and pepper
Olive Oil
Small block of Parmigiana Regiano
10 -12 Walnuts
Small heavy whipping cream
1 package of thin cut bacon
1/2 pound of fresh green basil leaves


Grab the shrimp and peal them using your fingertips to penetrate the shell and pushing outward the skin will break easily. After cleaning all of the shrimp you need to devein them, bend the shrimp into a a medium arch and with a very sharp knife gently cut a straight line through the top section of the shrimp. Note: Do not go too deep on your cut, the vein is not even in the middle of the body, you don't want the shrimp to loose its' shape.

Put the shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle salt and pepper, not too much, just enough to give it a little bit of flavor, remember that the bacon is going to have enough saltiness by itself.

Extend the shrimp and grab a piece of bacon, start from the tail end of the shrimp and start wrapping it very very tightly overlapping between loops. You should not need toothpicks to hold the bacon in place, when the bacon is tight enough it will stick when cooking.

Heat a medium non sticky pan, medium high temperature should so it, no olive oil added, put the shrimp with the end of the bacon strip directly on the pan, and sear for about 7 minutes on each side and then stand them so the bottom would be cooked as well.

Meanwhile boil 1 cup of water with some olive oil and salt and make 1/2 a pack of linguinni, it takes around 9 minutes for the pasta to be aldente.

In a mixer put 1/3 of a cup of olive oil, 1/3 of a cup of cream, the garlic cloves, some salt and pepper, the walnuts, 2 small strips of Parmesan cheese and all the basil leaves (do not mix the steams or flowers) Mix until it gets a pasty texture. Try the mix and add more salt or pepper accordingly, if it is too thick you may want to add a tablespoon of water or a little bit more of olive oil.

In a bowl mix the pesto sauce with the cooked pasta. Then serve the pesto pasta in a plate and top it with the shrimp, shave some Parmesan on top.

Wine and Dine in Orlando, Part III

The best experience we had during our four days in Orlando was dinner at Bice at the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios. Pulling into this amazing Italian Riviera inspired hotel gives you an amazing sense of class and romanticism.

You have to go through the hotel lobby to the outside patio overlooking a lake with gondolas, cafe seating around the lake and the most adorable Vespa look a likes all over the place. Very cute to take a stroll under the moonlight and take some cute pictures!

The restaurant is on the second floor of a building with a very nice exterior view, everyone in the establishment speaks Italian, they were very pleasant and before you can unfold your napkin they were already asking you about some cocktails! My lemon drop martini was great!

The menu is very traditional Italian, that included traditional beef carpaccio, minestrone, all sorts of pasta, chicken saltinbocca, and many many yummy things! We ordered the "fritto misto" for the table, for $19.00 we got slightly fried shrimps, zucchinis, calamari and mushrooms, the portion was very generous! Perfect to share in a table of six. We also ordered a beef carpaccio that came with a creamy caper sauce and truffle oil, very good, and some artichoke hearts to compliment it!

As our entrees we had a variety of things;
Lamb Chops with truffle oil and risotto, one word, AMAZING! For $38.00 you got nine ribs perfectly cooked!
I had the veal that was to die for! Very generous portions, it came with potatoes au gratin, $36.00
My sister had Chicken Saltinbocca, came with a huge tomato and arugula salad that was surprisingly tasty! $26.00
My dad had the farfale with mushrooms and peas that was unbelievable! $19.00
Mu husband had the tortellini filled with short rib in a creamy sauce with mushrooms and port reduction, very flavorful and surprisingly delicate. $30.00

I know the prices are a little bit high, but the whole experience was worth it! The wine was amazing as well, and don't forget the dessert, the tiramisu was the best I have tried in a while! The perfect ending for the perfect dinner! Cappuccinos and espressos were outstanding as well.

This was my FAVORITE restaurant in Orlando!

Wine and Dine in Orlando, Part II

You can never go wrong with a classic, Capital Grille - Orlando is located in the middle of the busiest street in town, International Drive. The environment is the same that has characterized the chain for many years, dark and sexy, lots of action around the bar, very elegant and sober in the dinning room.

We were received by our hostess that accommodated us in the bar while our table was set up, we had a martini and shortly after we were seated. The wine list is not extensive, but we could find something we liked the Casa  Lappostole Cuvee Alexander. A Chilean Wine that my father likes, very robust and heavy, he enjoys it with some nicely cooked steak and delicious sides like steamed asparagus, creamed spinach and sweet corn... They bottle is usually priced around $60 which is good cause it is not a cheap wine in stores, it goes from $30 - $35 in the shelves.

The attention was great at the restaurant, our waiter was very nice and friendly, not to mention this time around our cocktails very fabulous! And you get two waiters to make sure your experience is pleasurable.

The temperature of the steaks was great, and the desserts were very good as well, we thought the Creme Brulee was way better than the Chocolate/Hazelnut cake my parents ordered.

Overall we were happy with the environment, service and quality of the food at the Capital Grille, I would definitely recommend it to any of my friends visiting Orlando!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wine and Dine in Orlando, Part I

I had never tried this wine before, but on Thursday we went to have dinner at Charlie's Original Steakhouse in Orlando, and I was surprised with the results... It is a little expensive, around $120 in the restaurant and you need to have it decant around 30 minutes before drinking it... But as it opens up, the rich scent and smokyness become very sutil and compliments spectacularly a nice medium rare cooked steak.

Here is a little information about the wine and where it comes from:

"Seña wine was established as a collaborative venture in Chile between Viña Errázuriz and Robert Mondavi. Since 2005 Seña is owned 100% by the Chadwick family, proprietors of Errázuriz, and is the personal project of Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo's ambition is to create a Chilean icon wine, one which fully expresses the terroir (wine identity linked to local soil, aspect and climate) of the Aconcagua Valley north of Santiago. The inaugural vintage of Seña, which is Spanish for distinguishing mark or personal signature, was that of 1995. The wine is made from a blend of six of the classic red grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The grapes for Seña are sourced from Seña Hillside vineyards within the Aconcagua Valley, in which vines are grown according to bio-dynamic principles. The wine is currently produced at Errázuriz's Don Maximiano Estate winery in the Aconcagua Valley.
Seña 2001 was amongst two Chilean wines to take first and second place in the Berlin Wine Tasting of 2004, a blind tasting of icon wines from France, Italy and Chile judged by 36 international wine experts." (Wikipedia)

There are several Charley's Steakhouse in Orlando, my family and I decided to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday at the Original Charley's on South Blossom Trail, I was kind of hesitant at first to make reservations cause I had driven by the other location on International Drive and the massive neon lights did not gave me a good vibe. Anyways we had gone to Capital Grille a few day before, and everything closes so early in Orlando that we did not had more choice...

After arriving to the place promptly at 9:45 pm, the staff was not too happy to see us, even the hostess was not very pleasant. She directed us to our table were she did not even handed out the menus, they were placed on the booth almost under the table, I had to reach over and distribute them to our party of  8 and waited 15 minutes for anyone to show up to take our cocktails order. After our cocktails came in another 15 minutes, our waitress disappeared, not to mention I had the worst mojito ever!

We have to flag he down to get our order, we all have steaks, and she lets me know that the 32 onz. strip I was sharing with my dad has a $5.00 extra charge for "sharing" ... I mean really? It is a almost $50 piece of meat and they charge $5.00 cause I can't eat it by myself!

They wine we chose to drink was amazing, the steaks came out and they were hit and miss in the temperatures.. They steaks were juicy and the flavor was ok, but they were not hot and that took a lot out of it.

Our waitress came to check on us after 30 minutes of our meal being served, she was not friendly at all, and it seemed she was upset to be held up for a little longer than all of her coworkers...

We left immediately after entrees... It is a shame because they have this restaurant as one of the top 10 steakhouses in America... Sadly I can not agree with that, I would not recommend it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Daddy's 50th bday!

Today is my dad's 50th bday, we are going to cook something fabulous and enjoy it with my sister and close friends, not everyday we he turns 50!
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Petite Petite

This is my new obsession, Petite Petite by Micheal David, the Shiraz from California that is affordable and amazing at the same time!

We picked up 6 bottles of it before driving to Toledo Bend on Thursday, I was amazed to find out that HEB (the supermarket in Houston) has it for $15.00 when Specs (the biggest wine distributor in Texas) sells it for $18.50... Anyway, we picked up the last bottles off the shelves and proceeded to put them in our cooler so they wont be exposed to the sun while we drove, after all, it is only 100+ degrees in Texas...

My husband and I, together with our friends have enjoyed the simplicity of this wine, so crisp and light that it has been paired with b.b.q ribs, crawfish etouffe and everything in between! But it is just so good that is hard not to break the rules on pairings!

We enjoy it a little cooler than usual, we leave it in  the refrigerator for around an hour before serving it... I hope you get a chance to try it!

Traditional Daiquiri

Sorry it has taken so long to write another entry, but we are on a lake house on Toledo Bend.. which I am not sure if it is Lousiana or Texas and the internet service is very unreliable..

But the weather has been nice, we have had a great time in the lake and we have enjoyed a lot of great food, wine and margaritas!

This is a recipe from my husband, he found it while digging for a drink that I could sip while hanging by the pool or by the beach without it getting me wasted or being too heavy for the sun... So he found Hemingway's daiquiri recipe in a book.

It is so easy! Ingredients:

4 - 6 limes
3 - 4 tablespoons of simple syrup or sugar syrup (it goes by many different names, if you can't find it you can make your own with 2 parts sugar, and 1 part water, bring the water to boil in a small saucer pot and put the sugar, mix and reduce heat, bring to simmer it should be done in 5 - 7 minutes, if the sugar boils it may be too thick to use it)
Rum ( I have used dark rum lately, Zacapa is amazing, Flor de Cana works well, and you can use regular Bacardi if you don't have anything else around)


Squeeze 4 lemons in a plastic cup, add 3 tablespoons of simple syrup and stir the mix. Try before you add more sugar, you don't want it to taste like melted lollipop, you can either add more lemon or syrup depending on your taste. Add some rum in the mix and lots of ice... you can garnish with a mint leave or basil for aroma...

This is a perfect drink for the hot southern summer!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Duck Breast with Peaches and Tarragon!

This recipe was emailed to me by a good friend of mine, she dicovered this great site called :, I have been exploring the website and you can get recipes from chefs all over the world and you can also upload your recipes and share them with the rest of the world, and guess what it is free!!

2 1-lb. boneless duck breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
6 Tbs. dry white wine or dry vermouth
6 Tbs. lower-salt chicken broth
3 medium peaches (or 6 medium apricots), pitted and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 tsp. mild honey, such as clover honey


Heat the oven to 425°F.
Score the skin and fat on each breast without cutting into the meat. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the breasts skin side down and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes.
Flip and put the skillet in the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 130° to 135°F for medium rare, 8 to 9 minutes.
Transfer the duck to a cutting board.
Discard all but 1 Tbs. fat from the skillet. Swirl in the butter and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and simmer until reduced by half, another 2 minutes. Add the peaches, tarragon, honey, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir until the sauce is bubbling, 1 minute.
Slice the duck and serve with the fruit sauce.

Voila! Easy and delicious! Hope you enjoy it!

Love, V

Very Entertaining!

A good friend of mine emailed me this yesterday and I thought it would be a great idea to share it with all my foodie friends:

Enjoy A Glass of Wine?
To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine...
And those who don't and are always
seen with a bottle of water in their hand.

As Ben Franklin said:
In wine there is wisdom,
In beer there is freedom,
In water there is bacteria.

In a number of carefully controlled trials,
scientists have demonstrated that if we drink
1 litre of water each day,
At the end of the year we would have absorbed
More than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) -
bacteria found in feces.
In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

We do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer
(or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor)
Because alcohol has to go through a purification process
Of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Water = Poop,
Wine = Health.
Therefore, it's better to drink wine
and talk stupid,
Than to drink water and be full of crap.

There is no need to thank me for this valuable information:
I'm doing it as a public service!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dinner is served!

Chicken breast with porcini mushroom and white wine sauce, with garbanzo compote on the side! Looks amazing!

This was a very simple and fabulous dish:

Garbanzo puree:
Drain one can of garbanzo beans and let it simmer in low heat for around 15 minutes, you can see they start to peel, after wards take them out of the heat and mash them, add salt, pepper and olive oil, garnish with some rosemary and parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken breasts, let it sit for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on them and drizzle some olive oil.

Pre heat a skillet pan with 2 table spoons of butter, add a few dried porcini mushrooms, some white wine and a little bit of chicken broth, let it boil (10 mins) and low the heat for another couple of minute until the mushrooms are soft.

Insert the chicken breasts into the broth and let it cook 10 minutes on each side, the texture should be firm and they should have a golden brown coloration.

Take out the chicken and cover for 5 minutes, add some heavy whipping cream into the left over broth and whip until it comes to a boil, it should reduce and have a nice heavy texture (10 -13 minutes in medium heat)

You are ready to serve!
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Our wine for Dinner

The Argentinian wine from the Mendoza region, Alamos Seleccion, the Malbec from the Catena family winery. Nicely chilled and aired, light perfect for some chicken! Price range $15 - $18
As you will be able to figure out very very soon we don't drink too much white wine in our house... So if you have some recommendations please leave me a comment in this post.
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I guess today Daniel is cooking...

So today my husband decided he was going to be in charge of the kitchen, so far I like what I am seeing.
Chicken breasts, italian seasoning, garbanzo beans, porcini mushrooms, white wine.... I will let you know how it goes!
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The Region of Priorat, Spain

Yesterday night after cooking for 5 hours a Short Rib Lasagna, we open an amazing bottle of Spanish wine, I will have to be honest now, I do not know how this wine got to our shelves or what kind of wine it was, but the label was pretty cool and since it was with the other "every day" wines, I thought it should retail between $15 - $20. Well, today before starting to write this post I went online and tried to get some more info about it, guess what? there is nothing to be found about this wine! I can not find price, reviews, nothing!

Oh well, I guess I will have to make my own guess about it all, I am assuming or at least hoping it is not more than $20 - $40, very bold and strong flavor, amazing woody smell, lots of bleeding and sediments, perfect for a flavorful meal like Short Rib Lasagana.

The composition of the wine goes as follow:

20% cabernet sauvignon
40% garnacha
40% mazuela
Imported by Montesquieu Winery

I love the label on the wine, the code of arms on top with the keys and the cross, it seems very antique, regal, colonial, I don't know it just has a great feeling to the whole experience of enjoying this unsual bottle.

The only thing I could find about this wine is: 
"Priorat is now one of the most happening wine regions in Spain, but one which fairly recently gone through huge transition. Old-style Priorat had a reputation for being rough and massively alcoholic, but since the 1990s things have changed, and now the best wines from this region are some of Spain’s most sophisticated and sought-after reds."

If you have more info about other wines of the region I should try send us an email to or leave us a comment. 


Cook, Drink & Dine

I have been cooking my whole life, when I was a little girl I used to bake brownies, cookies, cakes, anything I could think off and then go around my neighborhood selling my creations for dimes on the dollar... but it was never about getting something out of my cooking, it was about sharing something good with someone else...

As time passed I started exploring some different options like breakfast... simple, messy and tasty... I started playing around with scrambled eggs, pancakes, omelets, and the list can go forever. I discovered a passion and I have been exploiting it every day since.

Thank God for my love to the kitchen while I was in college, simple cooking got me through 4 years of studying without eating cup-a-noodles every day.

Now I am married, moved to Texas and enjoy cooking for my lovely husband, my amazing in-laws and
the exceptional group of friends we have gathered since 2005/2006. I still love to spend time in the kitchen, I create my own recipes, I borrow some others from famous chefs and magazines, but the most important thing is that it is always a different experience, a new flavor, and always fun!

My moto:
"Cook like a Chef, Drink like a Pirate, Dine like a King"

There's so much joy in cooking and even more rewards in sharing your food with people you love, the wine might run out but the fabulous times you spent together will be in your memory forever. So please enjoy my blog; I will have recipes, restaurant reviews, wine suggestions, decorating ideas and much much more!