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.


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.







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.

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Christmas Eve!

So you’ve made all these pies for Christmas and there’s some crust dough left over. What do you do? Do you throw it out? Do you put it in the freeze for later use?

Or you could make cinnamon rolls out of it for Christmas breakfast.


You only need four (4!) ingredients and I bet you have it already in your pantry just waiting to be used.

They are very simple and easy to make and will go in a flash.

I tried it out on Bryan a few weeks ago, but learned from my first mistake – melting the butter and brushing it on to the pie crust. So DON’T MELT THE BUTTER.

They came out okay, but could have been better.

Second time around, they came out way better.


Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

pie crust
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons sugar


Roll pie crust out into a square that is 1/4 inch tall.

Spread butter all over pie crust.

Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on butter.

Roll the pie crust tightly.

Cut into 12 slices.

Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Makes 12.

So the second thing I did wrong was not tightly roll the pie crust the first time. The tighter the roll, the more the cinnamon and sugar can bind to the layers.


But most importantly enjoy.

You drizzle a wee bit of icing on them, but I thought they tasted perfectly without. The cinnamon definitely comes out and kicks you in the face.

An easy breakfast for the family on a crazy day of cooking. O you could snack on them as you go.

Pecan Pie Bark

Much to my surprise, no one brought a dessert with them. Someone always brings a dessert. Good think I had dessert covered.

I actually did a test batch at my house before making it at my mother in laws. I wanted to see if I could reduce the amount of sugar and butter without ruining the consistency of it. That and I wanted to know if I could use parchment paper. I ended up ruining the batch and having to take all the pecans and stirring it into extra butter so that it would adhere to the graham crackers. Even with the extra butter, the sugar didn’t melt down and cause the pecans to solidify. I was absolutely livid. And it only made half a batch.

So I figured I would do everything based on the directions. The full cup of sugar, the two sticks of butter. And guess what?!?!?! Still didn’t work. There is something inherently wrong with this recipe that has not been brought up in the dozens of recipe sites I found this on. Also, there isn’t enough pecans to cover the 12 sheets of graham cracker. I ended up using 2 cups of pecans. Maybe I used too many pecans the second time, who knows? I would have done a third batch but pecans are too expensive to be used on a fucked up recipe.

You have been warned.


Pecan Pie Bark

2 cups pecans
1 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
12 sheets of graham crackers


Place graham crackers on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Melt butter slightly in a saucepan.

Add sugar and pecans, stirring as the sugar and butter melt.

Keep stirring until the mixture starts boiling.

Pour pecan mixture slowly onto the graham crackers.

Spread the sugar and pecans evenly on the graham crackers.

Pop the bark in the oven at 325 for 8 minutes.

Let bark cool down before breaking it apart.

Makes 24 squares. Per square.

Even though I cheated on the pecan pie bark, it actually tasted like pecan pie.

I figured this would be les carbs than an actual pecan pie with the same taste. Maybe next time I’ll make pecan pie bars since this really didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

But if your in a pinch and happen to have pecans, butter, sugar, and graham crackers on you, at least you know something yummy and tasty that can be whipped up in under 10 minutes.

Also, the first batch I made, I did it based on the instructions and felt that tossing the butter, sugar, and pecans together and melting everything at the same time could have also ruined the consistency I was supposed to have. When I made the second batch, I melted the butter slightly so that the sugar would not burn before the butter had melted. I had gotten lumps of sugar on the pecans the first time, and despite me redoing it by adding extra butter, there were still clumps of sugar. I don’t know if that has something to do with the molecular structure of sugar. But I didn’t have this issue in the second batch.

on the bright side, there was no use of corn syrup/

Mexican Chocolate Bars

Bryan has been talking about brownies for roughly three days. ‘Oh, I want brownies’, ‘Brownies sound absolutely amazing right now’, and ‘Man, I could sure eat some brownies right now.’

This is my life. My marital life. My husband trying to convince me to make brownies. And it took me three days to break down and make him some. I knew he wanted something super moist but every recipe I found required a chocolate bar, which I could have sworn we did not have. Needless to say, I found a bar while the brownies were baking. Notice how I wrote brownies and not bars. There’s a story and I am slowly getting there.

So I decided to make the chocolate goodness without the chocolate bar and I happened to add cinnamon.

They smelled amazing. But when I gave Bryan the brownie he looks at it and says, “These are not brownies.”

Originally I was all, “You wanted brownies, I made you brownies. How are these not brownies?”

But then I saw his point. Somehow these “brownies” became like pound cake.

Also, I had added cinnamon to them and Mexican chocolate is known for it’s chocolate with hints of cinnamon and notes of vanilla. Hence the name change.

Unfortunately, Bryan still wants brownies. And not the fluffy cake kind, the gooey falls apart in your hand kind. Maybe next week.

Mexican Chocolate Bars

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Line a 9×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and both sugars.

Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until fully combined.

Add flour mixture to batter and stir just until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and ground cinnamon.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 16.

Bryan claimed these bars were edible. I, however, thought they came out pretty amazing.

I wasn’t sure about the hint of cinnamon I had added but it really came through in a rather wonderful way.

Add the pockets of melted chocolate thanks to the chocolate chips, and these bars are damn near heavenly. Pair it with some milk or hot chocolate on a cold rainy or wintery night and you have one magical evening.