Bacon Wrapped Maduros

A few weeks before Christmas, as I perused through various facebook recipe pages, plantain ptheperfectairs  across this amazing idea.

Bacon wrapped maduros.

It sounded like yummy awesomeness. It’s sweet plantain and bacon, perfectly deliciousness.

As I was discussing this amazing find with Mumika, she told me bacon was bad for me and would give a me a coronary.

Bacon is amazing. It’s the only thing I ate in the hospital that didn’t make me nauseous from the meds I was on. Turns out the antibiotics and fungal meds were wonking up my taste buds making everything taste horrible and nothing sounded good. Except fruit, bagels, bacon. No one in the hospital told me I couldn’t eat it and the nutritionist who always reminded me I could only have half a bagel every morning never told me I was eating too much of it. I think their thought process was, at least she’s eating.

I replied to Mumika’s statement by claiming, “I’m as healthy as a diabetic horse.”

Which cracked me up. A horse with diabetes.

With football playoff starting Sunday, this would be a great appetizer to chomp down on between bouts of screaming at the TV.

Maduros is plantain that is cooked when yellow or nearly black instead of when green. Pretty much it’s ripe plantain and the more yellow and black it is, the sweeter. It’s almost the same concept as using blackened bananas for banana nut bread, except, you’re slicing thick slices and frying the plantain.

When a plantain is green and fried twice, it becomes tostones. When plantain is green and fried once and then mashed with garlic and bacon or fried pork skin, it becomes mofongo.

This is why Puerto Ricans get mad when you call them Hispanic and ask them to make tortillas. We don’t know how to make tortillas, it’s not in our cuisine. But we do know how to cook plantain at least 5 different ways.

I heart maduros. Heart them. The thicker the slice, the better. But that will be for a different post.

bacon wrapped maduros

Bacon Wrapped Maduros

1 extremely ripe plantain
oil, for frying
4 slices of bacon, cut in half


Peel plantain and slice into thick slices. There should be 8 total.

Heat oil in frying pan.

Fry plantain until they become golden brown both sides.

Wrap half a bacon slice around the maduros.

Place bacon wrapped maduros on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until bacon is nice a crispy.Makes 8.


Most amazing thing every created.

Where has this been all my life? Why didn’t I think of this?

The sweetness of the plantain pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon creating the perfect sweetly savored appetizer. Or snack.

Hell, I would add a fried egg and some slices of avocado and call it breakfast.

That’s how good it is.

So the next time you have the guys over, impress them with this little slice of carribean wrapped in bacon. Because people will eat anything if it is wrapped in bacon.


Honey Vanilla Porter Chicken Skewers

Happy New Years!

Hopefully you will fulfill your resolutions if it tickles your fancy. My resolution is the same one I made in 2012 which ironically is the only one that I can fulfill – not dying or being hospitalized for diabetes. Or in other words – no DKAing.

The hubby has a whole different view of 2015. New year, new him. His descent into having a ripped body starts, and to be quite honest, I’m not looking forward to it. We spent part of last night watching youtube videos of bodybuilders routine and tips on getting massive. Eat big or go home or something like that. Lots of protein powder and pre workout drinks and protein this that and all other. It’s a lot to take in. A lot. But I’m happy he’s taking some initiative.

If you want something simple and tasty, these chicken skewers are perfect. They also go well if your watching all the bowl games.


Honey Vanilla Porter Chicken Skewers

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup vanilla porter
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
6 boneless skinless chicken thigh, cut into cubes


In a large bowl, soak the bamboo sticks for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix everything except the chicken to make the marinade.

Add the cubed chicken making sure the chicken is completely coated.

Put in fridge for 30 minutes.

While waiting, get grill going.

Pierce chicken with bamboo sticks. I would put about 4 – 6 cubes on each skewer.

Place the chicken on the grill.

With a brush, baste the chicken with the remaining marinade.

Flip the chicken after 3 minutes, basting again.

Take off grill.

Makes 15.

This was pretty amazing and happened to be the best appetizer as I made Christmas dinner. The honey paired well with the vanilla porter giving the marinade extra flavor as it penetrated the chicken. The smoke from the grill seared this flavor into the chicken allowing it to be tasted in every single bite.

It was absolutely fabulous. And welcoming.

Of course most people just do kabobs or slather barbecue sauce on chicken, but this takes bbqing chicken to a whole entirely different level of happiness.

Having the guys over to watch a game? Like, I don’t know the superbowl? Wow them with this offering to the superbowl gods.

Or make it into a meal with some rice and a vegetable kabob.

Strawberry and Champagne Jell-O (The perfect way to ring in the new year)

Happy New Years Eve!

Are you ready for the countdown?

I think my favorite part of New Years is the drinking. Or more specifically, Champagne.

Champagne is not only great on its own, but also in a plethora of cocktails. It makes any event elegant when used.

This time I made Jell-O out of it. Fancy Jell-O.

It’s a play on the strawberries and champagne that has become popular since the dawning of time.

champagne and strawberryjello

Champagne and Strawberries Jell-O

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups cold water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cold champagne
1 1/2 cups ginger ale
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries


In a saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water.

Leave for two minutes before bringing water to boil and stirring until the gelatin has dissolved.

Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Stir in champagne and ginger ale.

Refrigerate for 90 minutes until Jell-O has thickened.

Fold strawberries in to Jell-O.

Place into molds.

Refrigerate until firm, roughly 6 hours.

Makes 24 muffin tin molds.

I didn’t have any molds, so I had to improvise.

Muffin tin pans are a great way to eat pretty much anything because of portion control. Add this awesome Jell-O concoction as an alternative to drinking champagne when the clock strikes midnight and you’re starting the new year in a fun bubbly way.

I love how the Jell-O sparkles like diamonds when you fold in the strawberries. It is such a beautiful dessert, the way the strawberries are suspended in air bringing hints of red. It’s fascinating and hypnotizing.

It’s an interesting bubbly taste. The ginger ale cuts the bite from the champagne calming down what could be a rather alcohol-y taste.

The strawberries are refreshing and pleasant at every bite.

All in all, this would be a fun little dessert on New Years Eve as a way to introduce the kids to alcohol.

So if you decide fancy Jell-O shots are not the way to ring in the new year, introduce it as a dessert.

Reindeer Chow (Peanut Butter and Nutella Muddy Buddies)

When I found this recipe last year, Family Christmas had already come and gone. Don’t get me wrong, the Hot Cocoa Ornaments were amazing and everyone loved them. But since two of Bryan’s siblings live 5 hours away, I really wanted to prepare a little snack for them for the ride home.

But that’s okay, because I didn’t know about the gift wrapped pringles can until this year.

Before I made these, Mumika told me something that boiled my blood for two days straight. I couldn’t focus on Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner, I was so pissed. I mean, who does that and I had showed her what I was making. But when the time came, it was no where to be found.

As it turned out, my mother in law was making a different chex mix for the kids to munch on. A more savory version and forgot to put it out. When she said she had added Worcestershire sauce to hers, I automatically knew which version she was making. Mumika must have misunderstood her or something.

By the time I had made these little mx of awesomeness, I didn’t care that much. Why? Because they came out awesome.

Originally I was going to make two completely different batches and mix them together before putting them in the canisters. But then I realized, that was too much of a hassle and ended up making something completely different.

I made peanut butter and nutella muddy buddies. It was pure and utter genius.

reindeer chow

Reindeer Chow(Peanut Butter and Nutella Muddy Buddies)

10 cups chex mix (corn or rice or a combo)
10 ounces of dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup peanut butter
5 tablespoons butter
12 ounces green and red M&Ms
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar


Melt the peanut butter, nutella, and butter in a microwave safe dish.

Microwave in 15 second intervals until butter is melted. Stir each time

Add the chocolate and continue 15 second intervals of microwaving until all is melted into the mix.

Continue stirring at each interval.

Add the vanilla and stir together.

In a large bowl add the cereal and pour chocolate peanut butter nutella mixture over it.

Mix with a spoon.

In a large paper bag, place the powdered sugar.

Pour the chex mixture into the paper bag.

Close the bag and shake it until the powdered sugar has coated the chex mix evenly.

Add the M&Ms and shake it..

Makes 20 servings. Or Four Canisters. Per serving/canister.

OMG, it tastes amazing. It’s really interesting because when you take your first bite, you taste the nutella and as you keep chewing the peanut butter comes out.

Also I reduced pretty much everything – the powdered sugar, the chex, the chocolate.

By keeping the peanut butter, you get some protein in there.

One of my sister in laws called it crack. Which it is. She would give one of her sons a few pieces as she ate the chex mix. When he popped the first square she gave him, his head moved back in pure euphoria and he said “mmmmm” and demanded more.

Adults and children alike will love this. Both kid and mom tested and approved.

My mother in law later told me everyone loved the gift, which made me happy. Bryan and I don’t have a lot of money to spend on our seven nephews, so I figured food would be the best bet. Just watching that one nephew’s reaction made me feel like I did enough even though he got a BB gun, toys, candy, books, and a skateboard from the rest of the family.

But then again, you’re talking to a girl that went all EEEE! when Mumika gave her a huge box of walker shortbread for Christmas one year.

It really is the little things.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Croissant

ghMumika bought croissants before she left. Bryan looked at them and said, “These would taste really good with ham and swiss cheese”. Both of which, we had.

The man does not like ham. Don’t buy him ham to make sandwiches, he won’t use it. Yet, croissants are ok. I don’t get it.

Originally, I wanted to make those rolls with cheese and ham and that sauce that you either brush on the tops or put inside.

“Meh,” Bryan replied, “Just ham and swiss.”

Which I did.

The best thing about this is it is literally 3 ingredients. And you can make as many as you want.


Ham and Swiss Cheese Croissant

4 regular croissant, sliced horizontally in half
16 slices of ham
8 slices of swiss cheese


Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Place 4 slices of ham on the bottom half of the croissant.

Place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on top of the ham.

Place the top of the croissant on the cheese.

Bake at 350 for 10 minute or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes 8.

This is perfect for a brunch or a late breakfast. Paired with fruit. I might do a play on eggs benedict with this one day. Why didn’t I do that? Didn’t think of it until now. As usual.

Actually, this is perfect for any time of day, but that’s besides the point.

I used honey ham which I found complimented the swiss cheese quite well. Add the flaky butteryness of the croissant and you have something perfectly amazing.

If you cut it into bite size pieces, it would be a great appetizer for a bridal or baby shower. If you are making it for a baby shower, I would use baby swiss if you are having a baby tea time theme.

Why is Swiss cheese so amazing?!?! It’s definitely one of my favorite cheese. It’s up there with muenster and Havarti.

So yummy.

Beer batter fried chicken

I hardly drink anymore. In fact, it’s more rare than usual. It’s not that I don’t like alcohol, it’s just not as fun in a non bar setting. I think that’s why Bryan wants to find a place similar to the bar we went to every single Sunday night when we lived in Houston. But we aren’t going to find the same thing, definitely not up here.
But when I do drink, it’s either cider or beer of some sort. Only problem is that I’m rarely in the mood for it. On top of that, some people left beer in our fridge that I don’t like. Now there’s beer in the fridge that I will never drink and I have no clue what to do with it.
Until a light bulb goes off.
Beer battered chicken. The recipe has been floating around the facebook recipe pages lately. Why not try it.
Beer Battered Fried Chicken
1 1/2 pounds of  boneless chicken breast, cut into strips, nugggets, or left as is
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup beer
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
oil for frying
In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, beet, paprika, and black pepper together until well combined.
Place chicken in medium bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat a skillet with oil and fry chicken until golden brown.
Makes a lot.
This actually makes tons of batter. So if you want to use the batter for something other than chicken, pour some of it into a different container. It can also last three days in the fridge.
The chicken was succulent. The batter was awesome. Definitely not your normal batter. I think I actually prefer this batter to normal or buttermilk batter. I think it’s that slight hoppy aftertaste that brings everything to a more heightened level.
This would also be great for pickles, onion rings, and anything else you feel like frying. Oh, zucchini fries or green beans or asparagus. I so need to try that next.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

We had watermelon leftover from the margaritas. I had bought mint that we ended up never using. I found feta in my fridge which I have no clue where it came from but it was there saying, “Use me, use me.”

I find seasonal salads completely overrated. Who decided you can only have a watermelon, feta and mint salad in the summer? Or a strawberry spinach candied walnut salad in the spring? Or something with butternut squash during the fall? And it’s so bloody cold in the winter that no one in their right mind wakes up and says, “Oh, today would be a perfect day for salad!” They don’t. They are thinking, blimey, it’s bloody freezing outside, my coffee warmth is going to where off soon, let me go make some soup to warm my insides up.


Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

3 cups watermelon, cubed or balled
4 oz feta, crumbled
3 mint leaves, torn


In a medium bowl, gently combined ingredients.

Made 6.

I really didn’t think these flavors would work. I thought it would come out horrible.

But it didn’t. The flavors meshed so well that you forget exactly what combination of food you’re eating.

The mintiness, the saltiness, and the pop of sweetness.

It was amazing.

I would definitely have this as a side salad at a picnic. Or as an appetizer. Or a snack. Or an elegant side for a brunch.

Caprese Toast

On cold overcast days that come out of no where due to a lot of rain, one needs to make caprese toast.

Whenever Bryan and I go to Olive Garden, he always orders the caprese flatbread and then proceeds to eat it all by himself. The only time I get a triangle is when it is minorly burnt. Which is fine. I will happily give up caprese flatbread for tiramisu.

So when one of my clients brought me fresh basil, the flatbread automatically came to mind. Only problem was, I couldn’t exactly find the flatbread I was looking for. I suppose I could have used Naan, but it is just way too expensive.

French bread, however, is cheap. So French bread it was. Life, after all, is all about improvising.


Caprese Toast

4 slices of French bread
half tomato, chopped
4 basil leaves, torn
1 cup mozzarella, divided


Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Place slices of bread on cookie sheet.

1/4 cup of mozzarella goes on each slice. Sprinkle half of the 1/4 cup of mozzarella on the each bread slice.

Place a few pieces of diced tomato evenly on top of the mozzarella.

Place the torn pieces of basil on top of the tomatoes and cheese.

Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the bread slice.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Makes 8. Per 1/2 slice.

I love this. I absolutely love this. Everything is perfect. The bubbly cheese, the diced tomatoes, the fresh basil.

If you want to take this one step further. Diced the tomatoes ahead of time and put in a bowl with the torn basil. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour before placing it on the bread. This allows those awesome juices to mingle creating vibrant flavor.

In a way, this is sort of a drier version of bruschetta.

Greek Burgers

When Mumika called stating she was coming to town, I really didn’t know what to make her first night. I was sort of grasping at straws as I went through my list of recipes to try.

When I came across this one, I knew it would be fun and different. I like testing new things out when Mumika is around. She’s literally my guinea pig, whereas Bryan will lecture me for 30 minutes on why he doesn’t want or like fired rice for dinner.

It isn’t a true Greek burger because I used beef instead of lamb, but all the components come across as Greek.

So If you are tired of the same ole bacon cheese burger and want to try something a bit more adult, more gourmet, and more elegant, this Greek burger is definitely for you. You could even make sliders out of it as a appetizer when having company over.


Greek Burgers

1 pound ground meat beef
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons Greek Seasoning
1 bunch of spinach, torn
1/2 cup Tzatziki sauce
1 sliced tomato
1/2 sliced red onion
6 hamburger buns

Combine the meat, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, feta cheese, bread crumbs and Greek seasoning in a mixing bowl.
Get those fingers nice and dirty until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Form into 6 patties. Grill or pan fry over medium-high heat on each side until it ha reached the level of doneness you want.
Arrange some torn spinach leaves on the bottoms of each hamburger bun and place the patties on top.
Top with tomatoes, red onions, tzatziki sauce, and crumbled feta cheese.
Makes 6. Per Greek burger.
Bryan and Mumika loved this. I hated it. I blame the use of nutmeg in my Greek seasoning. It was all I could smell and taste.
Other than that, it was pretty amazing.
The crunchiness of the onion, the saltiness of the feta, the tomato, and the creamy tzatziki sauce created these amazing layers of flavor that enhanced all the components found in the Greek burger itself. This isn’t gourmet, it’s a masterpiece.
Only thing I would do is cook it a little extra. My first two burgers were still raw in the middle despite looking cooked on the outside. So cook it until there’s a little bit of charring on the outside. As Bryan so eloquently put it that night, “It’s not ready until it’s burnt.”
The reason why it takes so long to cook causing some charring is the amount of stuff put inside of it having to cook as well. Just something to keep in mind.

Jalepeno Poppers

During the making of this snack, I managed to get jalapeno juice in my eye and I nearly died from the intense burning sensation. One whole side of my face was radiating in hottest fiery pain. I should have known better, my best friend Kelly warned me about such a thing happening when she accidentally did the same thing in 2010. If was one of those hilarious moments that she decided to tell me after I got out of the hospital leaving me laughing and gasping for air.

Moral of the story: Don’t get jalapeno juice in your eye.

I hate jalapenos. Then I went to HEB and tried half of one. Not bad, I thought. I considered buying a package of them until I realized I could make them myself.

The next day, while rummaging through the fridge, I found cream cheese. 4 ounces. Well hot damn, I have to make them now.

You have a choice of whether to bake or grill. I choose to bake.


Jalapeno Poppers

6 jalapenos, deseeded and halved lengthwise
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
6 slices bacon, cut in half


Mix cream cheese with green onions in a small bowl.

Spoon cream cheese mixture into cavity of the jalapenos.

Wrap each jalapeno with half a slice of bacon.

Place on parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Makes 12. Per jalapeno.

When I gave these to Bryan, he looked at me and said “Wow, this is a strip of chicken away from white wings.”

“White wings is a jalapeno popper with a strip of chicken on top that is then wrapped with bacon?” I asked.


“Hmmm….maybe next time.”

He then proceeded to eat 10 of them.

Originally he was all, green onion, getting all fancy, but the green onion compliments the coolness of the cream cheese, the heat of the jalapeno, and the crispiness of the bacon.

You could hold everything together with a toothpick, but I wrapped the bacon around the jalapeno half tight enough that it wouldn’t unravel. Also, try to find the plumpest jalapeno to even out the cream cheese to jalapeno ratio.

Look at me, making Texan cuisine.