About Me

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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peppermint Bark

Well, it's after Christmas. If anything, you end up with so many peppermint sticks. Personally, this always happens every year for me. I always end up either giving it to my kids (nephews, nieces, etc).

As with most of my postings, this recipe is for one batch. Most of the pictures are demonstrating a double batch of the peppermint bark.


1 6oz package semisweet or dark chocolate
1 6oz package white chocolate
5 medium sized peppermint candy cane
2 tsp oil (either vegetable, corn or canola oil is fine)

First, start by lining the baking dish with foil. Make sure that you are living into each crevice of your baking dish. Once done, place off to the side. Don't add any oil or cooking spray at all to the foil.

Make a double boiler with a medium sized pot full of water. Place onto the stove and on low heat.

While the pot is heating up, start to chop up the semisweet or dark chocolate. Remember, in order for it to melt faster, you need to chop up in even pieces. Add one teaspoon of the oil to the chocolate. This helps keep the shine to the chocolate.

Place the chocolate into the boiling pot and start the process of melting the chocolate. Once all melted, transfer the chocolate onto the foil lined baking dish. Spread the chocolate into every corner assuring that the chocolate is evenly spread out. Place this into the refrigerator allowing to harden for about 25 to 30 minutes.

While that is cooling, you can start to crush the candy canes. I am using the mallet in order to crush the canes. Once done, place off to the side.


Do the same thing to your white chocolate that you did with the semisweet chocolate. Chop up, place some oil and onto a double boiler. Keep an eye to the white chocolate. Sometimes, it tends to scorch. Once melted, take out the hardened dark chocolate. Spread the white chocolate making sure you don't want to mix (since the white chocolate is fairly hot). Now you are ready to assemble!!


After you have spread the white chocolate, add the crushed peppermint to the chocolate. Take the peppermint bark to the refrigerator allowing too set for about 25-30 minutes.

Now you are ready to make some cut pieces. Peel the foil off the peppermint bark. There is no rhyme or reason to cut the chocolate. You will notice that some of it will just break while you are cutting with the knife.


I truly like to give this to family and friends. Again, this is a great way to use up all those peppermint candy canes. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Making a Mexican inspired Cheese Ball

Entertaining people is fun. I learned how to entertain from my grandmother. Entertaining at her place was always a big affair and always happened on Sundays. As I grew up, I felt that I could do plenty of entertaining with a reasonable budget. As an adult, I still tend to like to entertain even though sometimes we just don't have enough time. Doesn't mean that I can't share some recipes!

This recipe is rather simple to make. I would prefer that you try to make it a day in advance as the spices will blend well together and the cheese ball is totally firm for your party.


2 packages cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp salted butter, softened
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mexican oregano
1 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Start by taking out the cream cheese and the butter. Allow to soften to room temperature. Now like most
things, I am making a double batch.

Cream the butter, cream cheese and spices. I am using a simple hand mixer as its easier


Start to form the cream cheese into a ball. I am using a spatula to form the ball. Once formed, cover with cellophane and allow to set for about an hour (maybe more if need be).

If you are planning to make it like a traditional cheese ball, chop up the walnuts. Take the cheeseball out and spread the chopped nuts onto the cream cheese. You might have to press the nuts onto the ball.


This is great for any type of gathering not just for the holidays. Serve this with some club crackers. I personally like the new pretzel crackers that have recently come up. Hope you make this and share with your family and friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Green Chicken Enchiladas

I do love to cook Mexican food. Sometimes though, it can be a little taxing with the prep time. It normally takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours to just prep actual homemade enchiladas (this also includes making the tomatillo sauce). If you are up to the challenge, try this recipe.


8 chicken thighs, boneless
1 large onion,  diced
4 cups tomatillo sauce (preferably fresh, but canned is ok)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, asadero and quesadilla cheese)

First, start by cleaning the chicken. I am a true believer in rinsing your food. Remember, like most of my recipes, I tend to rinse the meat to take off any preservative or other additive.

Next get ready to fry the chicken thighs. I don't like to crowd the chicken and I add less than a tablespoon of olive oil. The thighs have enough fat that it will cook itself. Cook the chicken until it was browned. Take out of the skillet and add the next batch. Allow the chicken to drain.


Once the chicken has cooled some, dice the chicken into cube sized pieces, place off to the side. In the same pan, add the diced onions allowing to saute for about a minute. While that is sauteing, add the diced chicken. Also add the minced garlic. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

While the chicken is cooking, start to heat up your tomatillo sauce. Once its starts to heat up, add to the cooking chicken mixture (about a couple of large spoonfuls). Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat and allow for sauce to meld well with the chicken. If need be, taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.


In order for the tortillas to soften, you need the sauce to be hot. Keep in mind this sauce I had made a long time ago. This was actually salsa that I had made a while back, but in order for it to be sauce, I have added a little more chicken stock to the salsa. Allow to cook a while longer.

Once you are ready to assemble the enchiladas, turn the heat off of the sauce. Add some of the sauce to the bottom of your baking dish. Dip the tortilla into the sauce and allow it to soak a little in the hot sauce. Take out and get ready to stuff. Add the cheese and chicken to each tortilla and roll.

Continue to assemble the tortillas until all of the chicken is stuffed into the tortillas. Once you have your enchiladas assembled, add more sauce to the enchiladas. Cover the enchiladas with cheese.

Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Cover the enchiladas in foil. Place the enchiladas into the oven and allow to bake for about 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and its ready to serve! Enjoy it with some beans and rice or just have them alone. It may be a lot of work, but its well worth it!