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.


Cuban Sandwich

I’ve eaten a lot of food in my life. Like, a lot. Before my diagnosis, I could have a 5 course meal and lose 2 pounds. It was amazing.

But I have also tried a lot of different cuisines. When I lived in Boston, I knew where all the good food was and it was all ethnic. No American or American bastardized ethnic food like tex-mex or what have you.

I’m always looking for that little hole in the wall that has the best _______ ever created. That’s the way I’ve been since undergrad. Hell, I planned my graduation for undergrad based on which restaurants we were going to eat at.

Mumika says I came out like my dad in that respect. Always willing to try something different and then introducing it to other people. Luckily Bryan is the same way. It helps when your husband is as big of a foodie as you.

My recent discovery has been the food trucks two towns over has been a beautiful experience for us both as we try different cuisines the food trucks offer. My favorite so far is a Korea fusion truck and their bulgogi tacos. Then there’s the empanada truck and another latina truck whose Horchata is amazing.

When I realized I was making Pernil for Christmas Eve, I immediately knew I wanted to make Cuban sandwiches out of it for the overnight brisket smoking. It was perfect as a midnight snack. And where did this idea come from, from one of the food trucks that made Cuban sandwiches of course.

Much to my amazement, Mumika had never heard of such a sandwich. How can she walking on this earth 27 years longer than me and never heard of such amazingness? I was baffled. I could claim it was the fact that she was in Puerto Rico during her teen and early 20’s. But that really isn’t reason enough. The truth is, Mumika is quite sheltered when it comes to food. It’s sad, but true. Don’t deny it Mumika.

When she took the first bite out of her sandwich, she raved about it. Then she went to the in-laws a talked about it non stop to my mother in law. Then she came over the next day and talked about it on the way to the mall. Then she talked about it at the mall, at the eye glass place, on the way home, and at my house. It was non-stop. It’s like nothing else mattered in life except this sandwich and that was all she wanted.

Unfortunately, Bryan was working on the tile in the kitchen so her dream of eating another Cuban sandwich sadly came to an end. Didn’t help that I froze the rest of the pernil later that night. I have all sorts of ideas for the pernil. All sorts of ideal.


Cuban Sandwich

4 ounces pernil
4 ounces ham
2 slices swiss cheese
yellow mustard
3 sliced lengthwise dill pickles
1/4 of a baguette


Slice bread in half lengthwise.

Place pickles on bottom piece of bread.

Put the pernil on top of the pickles.

Place ham on top of pernil.

Put cheese on top of ham.

Slather on mustard on the inside of the top bread slice.

Put top piece of bread on top of cheese, mustard side down.

There’s two way to make it: toast it in the oven by baking it at 350 for 10 minutes.
Putting it in a Panini press and toasting it that way.

Makes 1.

I didn’t use the tradition Cuban bread because 1) didn’t have time to make it, 2) don’t have a surface to flour, and 3) couldn’t find it premade anywhere.

You don’t have to use pernil, any left over pork loin will work.

What makes this sandwich amazing is how the tangy mustard plays with the saltiness of the pickles and cheese which ends up highlighting the pork and ham. The flavor profile of each part of the sandwich brings something to the table and creates a yumminess that cannot be done any other way.

Is this a traditional Cuban sandwich, no. Does it taste amazing, yes. Next time I make it, it will be traditional to the core. What is not added to this sandwich I made is the olive oil and garlic that is brushed on the bread as it toasts before assembling the sandwich. But this sandwich is something you can make in a jiffy if time is not on your side and i’s very filling.

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.

Carne Asada BBQ Sandwiches with Avocado

I love BBQ. I love everything about it.

When Bryan deemed the carne asada tacos unacceptable use of the carne asada, I was not happy. To me, it was perfect. The he said, “get some pickles and buns.” I saw where he was going.

Shredded beef sandwiches.

We could have made some rice and bean bowls with onion, tomato, cheese and avocado. But no. “Get away from Mexican stuff” Bryan tells me.

Fine. Be that way.


Carne Asada BBQ Sandwiches with Avocado

Carne Asada
14 hamburger buns
2 jar of sliced pickles
1 onion, sliced
3 avocado, deseeded and sliced
BBQ sauce – I used hickory, Bryan used Carolina


Open hamburger bun up.

Place onions at the bottom.

Pile the carne asada on top of the onions.

Drizzle the BBQ sauce on the carne asada.

Place slices of 2 pickle slices on top of the carne asada.

Place avocado slices on top of the pickles.

Place the top half of the bun on top of the avocado.

Makes 14.

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. This is phen-fucking-nonmenal.

I hate it when Bryan is right. I really do.

The tacos were good, but these sandwiches are out of this world.

Everything is perfect. The crispy spiciness of the onion, the meat, the saltiness of the pickles, the creaminess of the avocado, and the BBQ sauce ties everything together.

This is definitely a must have for any BBQ. A must have. Love it!

Carne Asada Tacos

You waited the however many hours for the carne asada to cook in the slow cooker. Now what?

Carne asada tacos of course!

I took all the fancy stuff out of them. No sour cream (much to Bryan’s dismay), no guacamole, no pico de gallo, no pickled jalapenos, no tomatillo sauce, no salsa, no caramelized onions or bell peppers, no pineapple slaw, or whatever the latest gourmet craze. Just pure and simple foods in their natural form.

And it was amazing.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada
Avocado, deseeded and sliced
Tomato, chopped into chunks
1/4 onion, diced
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
12 flour tortilla


Make tacos. Simple right?

Makes 12 tacos.

This is the best taco I have ever made. I’m serious. It was so good. Why haven’t I made tacos like this yet? Ground beef, move over. It’s carne asada from now on.

Bryan hated the fact that it was shredded meat. But whatever.

It was so flavorful. Everything was perfect. Also helps that when I warm the tortilla in the microwave, I put the cheese on it so it’s slightly melted. I swear, deep down inside, I’m a little fat girl. Who does that? Who thinks, hey let me melt this cheese so the tacos have that perfect melted cheese on it to make these even more amazing. I do. The little fat girl inside of me that wants to eat everything but can’t because she’s diabetic and will die does. But it makes all the difference.

Melted cheese in tacos makes it perfect. So you have to melt it when heating up the tortillas. Then stack all the veggies on one side and the meat on the other and fold in half

No I know what you’re thinking, Michelle, the cheese isn’t melted in the picture. That’s because I thought of it on my third taco. See, it takes a while for diabetic skinny Michelle to listen to fat Michelle. It’s because fat Michelle is always begging for a donut or something and complaining about how skinny diabetic Michelle needs some meat on her bones. So skinny diabetic Michelle has learned how to ignore fat Michelle. It’s a huge ordeal.

But now you know how to make the perfect taco.



Bulgogi Grilled Cheese

I couldn’t help it. I had to make it. When I thought of it, it sounded so yummy, my mouth was salivating.

And then I told Bryan and he agreed that it sounded phenomenal.

Sometimes you just have to jazz the grilled cheese up. Sometimes, you have to try something completely different. Did this experiment work?

Hell yes.

Absolutely amazing.

Bulgogi Grilled Cheese

2 slices of cheddar cheese
2 slices of bread
1/2 tablespoon butter


Butter one side of each slice of bread.

Warm a skillet over medium heat.

Place bread butter side down on the skillet. Top each slice with a slice of cheese and one slice with a handful of bulgogi.

Grill bread until cheese starts to melt.

Flip side with cheese only on it on top of the bulgogi side cheese side down.


Makes 1.

This is one of those sandwiches that will change your life. And next thing you know, you will be craving bulgogi every week. So yummy. I’m going to have to try and make it in taco form next…..

Mozzarella Salad

I was first introduced to this at TGIFriday. I had never been inside of one until 2009 because it was the only place open close to Bryan’s and my work when he got out at 1030PM. So on the days where my last session ended at 10PM and I didn’t feel like cooking, we would go to TGIFridays. Or as Bryan likes to call it tiggyfridays.

I usually get the bruschetta chicken pasta and Bryan gets the parmesan crusted chicken with this awesome mozzarella salad. Even though I get the same thing every time, I would get jealous over this mozzarella salad. And then I fell in love with the sizzin’ Steak and Spinach.

What is it paired with – the mozzarella salad.

Hells to the yeah!

When I was over at Mumika’s I was supposed to make a BLT Club sandwich of sorts and I thought this would pair perfectly with it. But, as always, life likes to go a different path no matter how well you plan things, and this lunch was never created.

A few weeks later, I paired it with an entrée.

Mozzarella Salad

15 grape tomatoes, halved
10 mozzarella ciliegine, halved
1/4 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons mozzarella water
2 teaspoons, Italian seasonings
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Makes 4.

When I first made it Bryan told it me it was good but there was something missing. Then he realized it needed some acidity to bring out the tomatoes, the crunchiness of the red onions, and the blandness of the mozzarella.

“Do we have basalmic vinegar?”
“Red wine vinegarette?”
“Yes, but it’s not open.”
“Do you think red wine vinegar would work?” I asked.
His face brightened up, “Yes. Yes it would.”

I really love having someone to bounce ideas off of that is as big of a foodie as I am.

I went back, added the red wine vinegar and it made a world of a difference.

This salad would be great as a little appetizer where you have toothpicks and put half the ball, a slice of onion, and half a grape tomato on it. The vinegary water would serve as a marinade before you put everything on the toothpick. It would also make a great side for brunch or a lunch involving a grilled sandwich of sorts.

The perfect bite:

Deconstructed Steak and Cheese

When I was in undergrad, my college had an amazing cafeteria that we shared with MassArt. Everyday was filled with yummy food that I forgot I had an eating disorder and started eating again.

If it wasn’t a blt with swiss, or a salad, I was eating a steak and cheese. Which is essentially a cheesesteak. Boston likes to have their own lingo and whenever I called it a cheesesteak someone would correct me. I loved the steak and cheese. Add BBQ sauce to it and it was perfect. I would eat it every day for weeks. I’m pretty sure that’s what helped me balloon up to 165.

I came across this recipe and was like, OMG, it’s a steak and cheese without the bread! Meaning, it’s carb free and gluten free. I’ll be honest, I got excited. I got really excited. It’s one of those, I can’t really eat it unless I take extra insulin due to the amount of bread in it. Instead of the bread, the bell pepper is the bread and you stuff the cheese and steak and onions into it.

Pretty amazing!

Deconstructed Steak and Cheese

1 pound of thinly sliced steak
1/2 onion, sliced
6 bell peppers, halved and deseeded
12 slices of provolone cheese
1 tablespoon lawdry’s seasoned salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder


Season steak with Lawdry’s, garlic, and onion.

Cook steak with onions in a skillet until steak is fully cooked and onions are translucent. Stir occasionally to make sure you don’t burn the onions.

Stuff steak and onion mix into each half of the bell peppers.

Cover steak mixture stuffed in bell pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Makes 12. Per Bell pepper half.

It’s portable. You don’t have to use a knife or fork.

And it tastes like steak and cheese.

I love it. I love it so much.

It’s so much fun to eat. Great for lunch. You could technically put these things on a grill and grill it. But baking works as well. If you need a bread of some sort, make Pao de Queijo. It’s also gluten free.

Yay gluten free meals.


I love empanadas. Love them. LOVE.THEM.

It must be a latina/Hispanic thing. I had a choice to have mini empanadas as an hor derve at my wedding but then I saw the beef wellingtons and fell in love. We decided ceviche would be a good way to incorporate Puerto Rico into the food.

Every time I think of empanadas, I think of Puerto Rico. They are everywhere in Puerto Rico. And come with a plethora of different filling. In Fajardo, there’s a little outdoor marketplace off the freeway next to a beach. Along this strip of outdoor shops, there’s food everywhere. All selling the same thing: Empanadas. On the way to El Yunque or coming back from El Yunque, we would stop at Fajardo, get some empanadas and walk around on the beach.

Doing this has always been my favorite part of the trip.

The only time I got empanadas were in Puerto Rico. However, there’s a Puerto Rican grocery store and guess what is near it, a little Puerto Rican café. It’s where I will get coffee at 3PM on a sweltering June day like it’s nothing. And what are they always selling: Empanadas. They taste just like Puerto Rico. They are big and a meal within itself – about half the size of a large plate. I love them.

Then I realized, I could make them myself.

When I told Mumika I was going to make empanadas, she was surprised.

“You’re going to make empanadas…from scratch?”
“Well, if I can’t find the Goya discos, I’ll have to.”
“I’ve never made empanadas.”
“You’ve never made empanadas?!?!?”
“What kind of Puerto Rican are you? I’m white and I’m more Puerto Rican than you are!”
“I’m an Americanized one.”

I set out looking for Goya discos. These discos are essentially frozen empanada dough that is already rolled out to the proper size. This way all you have to do is put the meat filling in, fold, and fry. But I’m in Central Texas and didn’t feel like driving 30 minutes to the Puerto Rican grocery store. I swear, they need more Goya products up here. Drives me crazy.

After some research, I found a recipe with ingredients I already had. It seemed tedious and frustrating, but I want empanadas. And I’ll be damned if a stupid recipe and a lack of product because supply and demand is low for Goya products in the country is going to stop me.

I did have to buy a rolling pin though. But I was going to need one sooner or later anyway and didn’t feel like going to the inlaws to borrow one of there’s.

These are homemade empanadas. The filling is picadillo and the dough is made from scratch. That’s dedication.


Empanada Dough:
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoon butter, cold
1 egg – well beaten
3/4 cup cold water


Oil for frying.


Mix flour, salt, and baking powder.

Cut butter into the flour mixture.

Mix egg and water well.

Add liquid mixture to flour and mix well using a fork.

Divide the dough into 15 pieces.

Work each piece at a time with a rolling pin until it is the size of a small plate.

Add about a tablespoon of stuffing in the middle, fold in half.

Secure edges by pressing with a fork.

Make sure to use plenty of oil to fry them in so that they expand. Fry in batches.

Place on paper towels to absorb extra oil.

Makes 15. PER EMPANADA. Calories: 277, Carbohydrates: 21 grams, Sugar: 1 gram, Fiber: 1 gram, Protein: 9 grams.


I’m on the beach, the air blowing through my hair, the sand in between my toes, Reggaeton playing in the background.

This tastes just like Puerto Rico. I feel like I’m in Puerto Rico.

I did roll the dough out a little thick, so next time I’ll roll it out thinner. But in my defense, I don’t have countertops and ended up rolling the dough on the floor using a plastic lid for a mixing bowl as a board. Sometimes you just have to work with what you got.

At first I wasn’t so sure about the dough but it came together quite quickly. It’s flaky. It’s perfect and compliments the filling. I’m actually happy that I took the time to figure out how to make this homemade. I can make these for parties as a side, or in mini form as an appetizer.

Just don’t burn the empanada while frying it. The first batch was a little too brown. A nice golden brown makes the empanadas taste better.

And what’s great is that if you make too many, you can always freeze them before frying.


Poached Egg over Asperagus with Parmesan and Bacon

I used to hate breakfast. It was either messy or taste like glop. Oatmeal tends to get boring as well as bland quite fast. Eggs are messy. Pancakes and waffles are messy. You can only eat so much cereal. I didn’t understand breakfast so I would skip it.

For years I didn’t eat breakfast. In college, I would only get a bite to eat if I had an early morning class. Usually a bagel with butter. Other than that, I drank coffee in the morning.

Then I got diabetes. You can’t skip breakfast when you have diabetes. Hell, you can’t even skip a meal. Why couldn’t I skip breakfast? Because the way my insulin is set up, I take the fast with the slow acting this way I don’t have to take a shot until dinner. It also makes lunch super important.

I’ll be honest, I’ve reduced my dose and took out the slow acting insulin due to my job. If I have at least two clients before lunch, I’m naturally going to go low. Yay, physical jobs!

This made my breakfast insanely important. And I can’t get away with eating cereal, pancakes, or waffles.

My first breakfast at Mumika’s was this. I wanted to make something elegant. It is more protein based than carbs, but protein is so important at the start of your day.


Poached Eggs over Asparagus with Parmesan and Bacon

5 spears asparagus
Poached egg
Strip of bacon
1 tablespoon parmesan
1 teaspoon olive oil


Toss olive oil with asparagus and place it on top of foil on a baking sheet.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the asparagus.

Roast asparagus at 350 for 12 minutes.

While asparagus is roasting, fry bacon and poach the egg.

Crumble bacon.

Plate with asparagus on the bottom. Sprinkle bacon over asparagus and then the poached egg on top of everything.

Makes 1. Calories: 200, Carbohydrates: 4 grams, Fiber: 2 grams, Protein: 13 grams.

This is the definition of elegant plating. And it taste so good. Asparagus, it brings new meaning to breakfast.

I think it would make a great starter for brunch. Pair it with a BLT, or a sandwich of some kind. Maybe some fruit.

It was definitely an amazing way to start my day. A person’s day can only go to the sky from such an amazing start. You could have the worst day but none of it matters because you started it right.