Pineapple Angel Cake

A little over a year ago, I was introduce to the whole angel food cake pineapple thing. I was excited over the sweetness and pops of fruity pineapple between the light and airy cake. And then my bubble was burst when someone told me it came from a box mix.

A box mix!



I really hate this lets transform box mixes phenomenon that are labeled as cheats. Don’t feel like making real cookies, then use a box cake mix with chocolate chips and get the gooiest cookies ever created. Make a box cake mix taste homemade by adding this that and all the other. Or why take time making banana nut bread when all you have to do is add banana and nuts to a yellow cake box mix. It’s so beguiling. And frustrating.

I mean, if you’re going to cheat, do it right and just by an already made cake or refrigerated cookie dough. Why add more ingredients to a mix ladled in sugar and carbs? A simple recipe with from scratch that has like 14 grams of carbs per serving, now has about 38 grams of carbs from the additions you made as a way to make it taste like you slaved an extra 30 minutes on it. You might as well have made it from scratch and save the overly abundant sweetness and carbs and thighs. Because you know all those little extras are going straight to that area of your body.

Where was I?

Because I was making a smaller angel food cake for the trifle in attempt to make sure it didn’t float like last year and to make it smaller which mean less carbs and sugar, I had to figure out what to do with the extra batter.

Pineapple Angel cake! Bahahahahahahahahha. I’m a genius. And it’s something we can enjoy for breakfast or brunch or a snack during the brisket smoking.


Pineapple Angel Cake

1/2 the angel food cake recipe
8 oz can of crushed pineapple, drained


Make angel food cake as instructed.

Before pouring into a square cake tin sprayed with cooking spray, fold in pineapple.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 12.

It’s perfect. Absolutely perfect.

Only one problem. I used a carton of egg whites instead of actual egg whites so they never peaked the way I wanted it to.

Moral of the story – DO NOT try to save money and USE EGG WHITES FROM A CARTON. It doesn’t work.

And if it does, it takes forever.

Other than that, it was perfect. The light airiness and the pops of yellow speckled in the cake bringing sparks of pineapple in every bite. Goes perfect with coffee or tea.

So make it for a luncheon and surprise every one when you tell them it wasn’t made from a box.

Take that Susie FastMaker, destroyer of yumminess, creator of type 2 diabetes. Okay, maybe I went a little too far with that. I fully respect Mom’s with busy life’s and handling the kids, the house, and a job at the same time. Mumika was a single parent. It’s not easy. So shortcuts to bring food onto the table or being reminded that you promised to make 36 cupcakes for class or a school fundraiser are desperately needed. But just think about what you are allowing your kids to put in their mouths by using these short cuts. That’s all I ask. The future health of your children will thank you.

For an even low sugar and carb version use the strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe.




Banana Nut Bread

A few weeks ago, I made banana bread in a rice cooker. You can read about it here.

I’ve made banana nut bread a ton of times. Bryan hearts it. And I always have to use chopped walnuts.

Before I made it this time, I looked in the cookbook called A Modern Family Cookbook written in the 1950’s to 1960’s. My edition is 1964, I believe. Bryan’s grandmother passed it down to his mother and it’s one of those precious items that could cause a feud in his family when his parent’s died. So I went on etsy and bought my own. I was so excited over this cookbook, it wasn’t even funny. Bryan remembers this cookbook used throughout his childhood and as a good wife, I want to be able to cook foods he knows.

So I figured there would be a banana nut bread recipe.

But there wasn’t. Much to my horror. Banana nut bread raised to popularity in the 1950’s so why isn’t it this old ass cookbook?

Oh, well.

Banana bread wasn’t a must in my household growing up but it was at a friend’s house. I swear the mother would wait until the near rotten bananas were on sale and then buy the whole lot of them just to make banana bread. And the oddest thing was that they were German, so for the longest time I thought this bread was a German thing. Then I found out it was more of a Southern thing from Bryan (Although he is also of German descent). Sweet tea and Banana nut bread, two main staples of the South and despite living in Texas, I had no clue.

One thing one must know about this recipe is that it needs to be cooked for longer than the recipe stated. I baked it for an hour and the middle fell out of it. So I put it back in the oven and cooked it for an extra hour. Banana nut bread should not take 2 bloody hours to cook. It shouldn’t. So just a head’s up. Cook it longer.

Also, it is important that you walnuts. Not pecans or any other nut, but walnuts. There’s something about the combination of bananas and walnuts that is down right magical.


Banana Nut Bread

3 ripe bananas, the brown/blackish, the better
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup of sugar
2 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts


Mash bananas in a medium bowl

Mix in the baking soda and salt and flour in a separate bowl.

Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract with the mashed bananas.

Mix in the flour mixture with bananas until well combined.

Fold in walnuts

Pour the batter into a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

If you have walnuts left over, sprinkle it on top.

Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

Makes 12.

This is one of the most moist banana bread recipes I have ever made.

It made the whole house smell divine while baking.

This is technically my fourth time making banana nut bread. The first time being in the second apartments, Bryan and I lived in. The second time, I made amazing banana nut bread muffins out of it. Then the rice cooker experiment. And now today.

Am I a pro at this? Nope. Hell, I’m amazed it was able to rise the second time I put it in the damn oven.

I did cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup from 1 cup. If your bananas are black, there is no need to add extra sugar. The sugar in this case is more of a binding agent than anything else.

I do admit I liked the extra crunch from adding the walnut as a topping this time. I’ve done a sugar toping and a brushed brown sugar topping before. Also, this is the first time I’ve solely used white sugar. In the past it’s been brown sugar or a blend of the two.

Which means I’m going to have to do a brown vs white vs a blend bake off one of these days to declare which sugar reigns supreme when it comes to banana nut bread. It will be epic.

The great thing about banana nut bread is that it’s suitable as a snack, part of brunch, breakfast and incorporated in desserts. Quite a versatile sweet bread. And it never lasts.







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.

Rice Cooker Banana Bread

You did read the title right. It says Rice Cooker, not slow cooker. But more of that later.

So Bryan took away my stove to tile. Which he still isn’t done yet because he just will not work on the house during the week. It’s driving me crazy. To make things worse, he’s taken the sink away too. And I will not wash dishes outside in 60 degree weather. Fuck that. So I can’t cook.

So it’s either tv dinners or eating out. My stomach is already screaming, “Why?!?!?!”

Which is also driving me crazy. He better get this shit done this week or I’m going to kill him.

As I was pursing the interwebs, I came across a website that claims you can make all sorts of things in the rice cooker. That’s right. The rice cooker is no longer just for rice, it’s for cabbage rolls and other things. In this case, banana bread.

I had bananas nearly black patiently waiting to be used. I was going to go to my mother in laws but I remembered she’s in Houston with her grandkids or something. So I can’t bake or anything. I want to stab things with plastic knives and snap the tops off. I need to bake or something. I had the longest week last week, I need to do something yummy and constructive with my time off.

Banana bread in the rice cooker it is.


Rice Cooker Banana Bread

3 bananas
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


In a medium bowl, mash bananas and mix with butter and sugar until roughly smooth.

Add vanilla and eggs until well combined.

In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined.

Add dry mixture to banana mixture and stir until well combined.

Grease the inside of the rice cooker with cooking spray or butter. Which ever tickles you fancy.

Pour baker into rice cooker and press cook.

Makes 14.

So using my rice cooker was a bitch. It popped off to warm a million times and I had to keep pressing cook every 5 minutes. It was supposed to take 90 minutes to cook using two cooking cycles. But that was obviously not the case with my rice cooker.

Meaning, if you want to check the damn thing every 5 minutes to turn press the lever to cook, then all means be my guess. If not, then DO NOT DO THIS.

Also the batter is insanely thick. You’re going to look at it and think, “This is not right. This is definitely no where near being right”, but it is.

I was so hoping it would be an awesome life hack and in a way it is, but it’s not worth it.

The possibilities are endless in reality. The bread was actually good and moist and spongy. I was actually surprised. I might add a little more sugar if you want it to be sweeter.

All in all it was a welcomed cooking experiment. Would I do this recipe again, no. Will I try something different, sure why not. I mean, I’ve done a cheesecake in the bloody slow cooker. What will I try next.

Chicken and Waffles with Maple Gravy

You should have seen this coming. But if you didn’t, that’s okay.

I was first introduced to chicken and waffles at the Grand Lux Café in the Venetian in Las Vegas in 2006. It was late at night, I didn’t want to ruin my buzz so I ended up drinking grand mariner on the rocks like a little douchbagess that I am. You know, when you look cooler than you actually are but don’t give a flying fuck about it. I’ve done that several times since then but most people refer to it as being a cold hearted bitch. Which I feel is overkill and an insult of passion.

Then I started hearing about chicken and waffles everywhere and I finally decided it was time to try it…nearly 8 years later.

I’m a white Hispanic, chicken and waffles do not sound appetizing, fried pork with monfongo and a poached egg on top sounds better to me. Actually, that sounds really good. Why have I not thought of that yet. Be an awesome brunch idea….wait where was I?

Since Bryan had the waffle iron out, and I happened to have some chicken left over, I felt sure why not. Let’s see what all the fuss is about. This whole chicken and waffles phenomenon that is typically seen at fried chicken places whose main clientele are the blacks.

I sort of feel like this is one of those random food mistakes turned into genius.

“Got get some food, honey.”
“But Mama, all we have is frozen fried chicken and frozen waffles.”
“Then it looks like you’re having chicken and waffles for dinner today, honey.”

I could have gotten more racist with this conversation, but felt like it would be doing a disservice to the hard working blacks out there trying to law abiding citizens.

I also decided to make a maple gravy to tie in the fried chicken and the waffles. Because just chicken and waffles would be too dry and no self-respecting black person would let that happen. They would add gravy. And not just any gravy, maple gravy. Perfection.


Chicken and Waffles with Maple Gravy

Fried Chicken

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons Gold flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup pure maple syrup


Melt butter in saucepan.

Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Whisk in chicken stock and bring to boil.

Stir in Maple syrup and bring down to a simmer until gravy thickens.

Add salt and pepper.

Makes 6. Per Chicken and Waffle with Maple Gravy.

Dear Black dude that came up with this amazing combination – Thank you. I get it now. I didn’t get it before, but I get it now.

Originally I thought, eh. But then I tried a bite with the waffle, and the chicken, with a little bit of the gravy and everything became clear. Genius. Absolute genius.

It’s like a fried chicken sandwich that is appropriate for both breakfast and dinner. Why not have fried chicken with waffles for breakfast, or waffles with fried chicken for dinner? There’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, it’s full of innovation. Even better, it can be a late night snack after the bar. Instead of a T-bone and eggs with a side of pancakes, chicken and waffles.

And the maple gravy makes it. It really does. Ties everything up, crosses the t’s and dots the i’s.

Or else it would choke you to death and no one wants to die from such scrumptious yumminess.

Could even be cute as an appetizer of sorts…..hmmmm…..

Waffles using coconut flour

My mother in law gave Bryan coconut flour when he went over for something…I can’t remember what.

He comes home from his parents, gives me a little container of white stuff and demands waffles. Originally I thought he was joking so I ignored him. Two hours later, “When are you going to make the waffles?”

This is not a joke. This is not a test of the Bryan hunger system. This is not test.

The man is dead serious.

Then he tells me, “Oh, add an egg or liquid and mix it with normal flour.”

What did the man give me? Coconut flour.

I have never worked with this flour in my life. So, I had to do some research.

Coconut flour is made from dried coconut meat leftover from making coconut milk. It is denser than normal flour and very little is needed. However, you cannot fully replace flour with coconut flour because it binds differently. It is rich in protein and fiber and is great for gluten-free diets.

That’s what Bryan meant by add liquid and mix with normal flour.

It smells like coconut, has a light coconut taste to it.

Waffles it is, then


Coconut Flour Waffles

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cup milk
2 eggs
splash of vanilla extract


Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Add milk, vanilla, and eggs until well combined.

Stir in melted butter.

Spray cooking spray onto waffle iron.

Pour 1/6 of the batter into the waffle iron well.

Cook until golden brown.

Makes 6. Per Waffle.

The waffle in the picture has chocolate chips in it.

You know how you usually have to separate the eggs and whip the egg white into meringue form to create those delicately light and fluffy waffles? Um, yeah. Coconut flour makes them light and fluffy and airy. No longer do you have to look for the hand mixer and dirty extra things in order to get those amazing light fluffy clouds of happiness.

And there’s a light coconut taste to them which makes them even better.

So, if you want the best most yummy and amazing waffles that will make your family swoon without overextending yourself and using more electrical equipment than it’s worth, make these waffles.

You’ll never go back to the hand mixing meringue folding into batter waffles again.

Cut’s the time in half and is less of a hassle. Because we all know deep down inside when we crave waffles, there’s a groan of OMG, I don’t want to take all day making these damn things because I have no clue where the hand mixer is and then take the rest of the day trying to clean the thongs. But you make them anyway, because of that puppy look on your baby girl’s face that makes everything worth it. And next thing you know, you’re out of batter and it’s time to clean.

Now all you have to clean is a bowl.



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.

Apple Dumplings – the easy way

I know you’ve seen it, the facebook and pinterist posts of apple dumplings using an apple, a tube of refrigerated crescent dough, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and get this: sprite.

Does it work? Does it not work? Why on earth am I using sprite?

The whole sprite component through me for a loop. A complete loop. Most of these recipes use mountain dew, but I HATE mountain dew. Sprite it was.

This is also half the original recipe. Why? I was testing it out.

The only reason why I’m making apple dumplings this way was because it was my anniversary and I didn’t have the time to homemade apple dumplings. That and well, I spent the day with Mumika and we ended up spending the day getting alcapurria and empanadas and drinking coffee. You know, importante boriqua stuff.

Bryan had never had apple dumplings until his dad took us to a Chinese buffet that happened to have them. I couldn’t resist having one and as usual, because I did not make these, I had to give half of it to Bryan. We have rules. They keep me alive.

“Oh my god, this is amazing!”

This is the thing though – Bryan doesn’t like pies or anything where the fruit is baked. The fact that he loved the dumplings sort of opened a new universe to me.

So I tried the – I don’t have time for that easy way.

Apple Dumplings

1 granny smith apple, cut into 8 wedges
1 tube of crescent dough
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 oz Sprite


Spray 8X8 square cake pan with cooking spray.

Pop open dough tube and wrap 1 triangle around 1 apple wedge.

Place apple wrapped dough wedge in baking dish. There should be enough room.

Mix melted butter with sugar, vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Gently pour the sugar buttery goodness over each dumpling.

Gently top each dumpling with cinnamon.

Pour the sprite into the cake pan. Be sure not to pour it on top of the dumplings. Pour it on the sides until each dumpling is surrounded by sprite.

Bake at 350 in the oven for 40 minutes.

Makes 8. Per dumpling.

OMG! OMG! Whoever thought of this was a genius!

The vanilla and the butter and the dough and the apple is phenomenal. It made my house smell like fall. Smelled so good I could taste it.

The sprite, holy fuck balls Batman, created a citrus caramelized syrup of awesomeness.

I loved how the apple wedge disintegrated into the dough.

This is perfect for Thanksgiving. Skip the pie. Make little individual apple doughy goodness instead. You could put some ice cream on top and spoon some of the left over citrus syrup on top to make the most gooey yummy happiness ever created.

I should of thought of that the second time I made it. Grrrr.

I wonder if I could make peach dumplings the same way…..hmmmm…..


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.