Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's be a little a little "Material" girl... just like Madonna said..

I know, I know… It is a bad thing, but tell me.. Do you know any girl that can stop herself from being “seduced” by a pair of gorgeous shoes or a marvelous dress or some stunning sunglasses??? I am pretty sure you don’t know ANY girl, I bet you that one!!.. I know that you would be able to find a girl that can stop herself from buying it, but is not exactly the one that is making the decision… Her wallet is the one that will… and I can tell you that one by my own experience…  lol

I guess is time to open up and tell you a little about my story…
I am not exactly a COSMO girl by any matter, the people that knows me in person know that I am not exactly a ”fashionista”, but I love to do A LOT of screen shopping.. After living in Milan, “Worlds Fashion Capital” for couple of years as a “Poor international student”, you can’t avoid yourself on dreaming some times on being the woman in the following video, mostly, because I am so in love with the adorable “eye-catching” look of the “Gals” walking down “Il quadrilatero della moda” or Via Montenapoleone fashion district  that I just wish one day “when I grew up” I can do that at least for an hour before finishing up with the savings of my life (and Mikey’s as well.. lol)

So yes, I know the video is so “dreamy”… and Prada may not be for everyone’s (us working class) wallet… we can keep on dreaming that someday, we have the opportunity to own at least one of those “Art” pieces, don’t you think???

The picture that I used to start with this blog is very special to me, because makes me remember my beloved friend Milan, I know, he has the name of the city as well!!.. I took this picture as the view of his room to downtown Milan, the white building in the right is the sooo soooo famous "Duomo di Milano" and in the left is "Torre Velasca" that to my taste is not exactly a pretty builing, but adds up a lot of character and diversity to the city that is impossible not to like it at the end..

Any thoughts or dreams  to be a "Material girl" one day???

The story of the Coconut Cake..


Well, the other day I really wanted to have a piece of cake, but since the hubby just loves “Chocolate” based desserts… well.. I was ready for a change of flavor, don’t give me grown, I love chocolate toooo!! But once in a wild you need to spice it up, and more when the weather is getting so gorgeous…. Summer is right in the door!!

Anyways, after having several things on mind, a bunch of things going on and a lot of biking around the city, I am enjoying the outdoors right here in the city!!... I know that I should of posted this blog a week ago.. but I was just so happy with the warmth and the sun and the bike and the most important one: enjoying time with the hubby that was totally impossible to write all my thoughts together for a post… any ways, I will post double this week!!

This is a picture of a gorgeous Robin bird that was looking at me when I was taking out the look of my bike, isn’t it cute??

So, on my  flickr account I posted some cool pictures I took the past “Mother’s day weekend” that I spend with my now immediate family: "my husband"… Locally I live really far away from home and was not able to make it back home, and his family decided that everybody else had things to do so the celebration was banished with it..  so to help you understand a little better Mikey couple of months ago decided that he wanted to learn/try/experiment with a new sport.. and to my surprise he decided that he wanted to go big so.. “windsurfing” is what he decided to go for… My first question was “Honey, where are you going to keep all that gear?” his answer was “we have a bunch of space in the living room, we never use it anyways”… yes, you can imagine my face.. I was in shock!.. Locally I was very fortunate and the board does not fit anywhere in our apartment and our landlord was extremely kind with him so the board can be kept in the basement… So he is now taking advantage of the location of our place and he walks down to the lake with all his gear and he is learning slowly but surely the technique, he started his knowledge by getting a book from the public library so after 4 hours of attempting, here a picture of the couple minutes he was actually in the board:

The lake was calm, and I don't think that we had enought wind for the hubb to enjoy the "new" sport.

While I was "tanning" and waiting for the Hubby to give up, I had a good time looking at the other people in the lake

After all that, he was all tired and hungry so we decided to go for some burgers for dinner and call it a day… So, Mother’s day we decided to go on a bike ride/picnic/photo tour to “Minnehaha falls” I was very surprised that I made it, it was a 18mille bike ride, and my tricycle’s basked had all the possible things we could of need: sunscreen, food, a picnic blanket, water and my gigantic camera bag with my tripod, here is a picture of the falls, I really like that I was able to get the smooth water on it!! (what some photo classes and some reading had taking me “Long exposure” lol)

In our way back from the falls, we listen a lot of party noise, and we decided to stop and for our surprise, we found a "5 de Mayo" celebration in Lake street, it was a week later, but we enjoyed because we had to try the "authentic" Mexican tacos... you don't have idea the flavor of the original ones when you eat them in the street, growing up I did never appreciate that and now, you can't imagine how much I miss them.. just look at the picture:

You don't feel like you should be eating one of this right now??

So anyways.. My craving for some more tropical foods was on last week and I decided to GO FOR IT!! So I did stop by the grocery store and get some coconut flakes to start the adventure of some coconut cake…

So, after some digging online, I decided that I was going to go for the following recipe:


  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Seven-Minute Frosting (I used this recipe and it does taste like melted marshmallow!!)
  • 2 1/2 cups (7 ounces) shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted in 350 oven for about 5 minutes


1.      Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter and flour the pans, tapping out excess flour. (I used two 6-inch pans and the "Baking no-stick cooking spray" made out of flour and save some time)

3.      In a small bowl, sift the cake flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small pitcher, combine the milk with the coconut milk. In a medium bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth. At low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture; beat until smooth.

4.      In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at high speed until firm but not dry. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into the batter until smooth, then fold in the remaining whites until no white streaks remain.

5.      Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and smooth the surfaces. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

6.      Using a sharp serrated knife, cut each cake into 2 even layers. Place one cake half on a serving plate, right side up. Tuck 4 wide strips of wax paper under the cake to cover the plate. Spread the seven-minute frosting on top. Repeat with remaining layers, then spread frosting liberally over and around the cake.

6.     With your hands, press the coconut onto the side of the cake. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut on the top. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

*recipe adapted from food & wine.

So, since at the end I had half of the can of the coconut milk, I remembered my adorable roomie from my masters in Italy, my adorable Angelica, who will make me a super special recipe "Colombian rice", I know you may be thinking, how can that has a relation with coconut milk??... well... in the Colombian coast they have this delicious recipe:


  • 1  cup of rice
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of "Coca Cola"
  •  1 hand full of raisins

  • Directions: 

    •  I certainly don't have idea how to make rice if is not with a rice maker... so I used mine for this recipe.. I know that without it, I will never would be able to make a eatable bowl of rice... so.. I place the cup of rice, the coconut milk and the Coca-Cola all together and let it cook... and YES, this rice don't need water!!.. when you try it you will know why!!

    • When the rice was almost done, I added the raisins to get the moist of the coconut milk and Coke. Then I just waited until the light on my rice maker was on "Warm".. and DONE!!... I had this delicious meal ready when the Hubby was hungry for dinner... ( I just thought that cake was not enought for him lol)
    Now you may be thinking... "but that sounds like a sweet rice??!!" Well, let me tell you.. is not sweet at all!!.. you can serve it with salty things like fish, or meet or any other thing like a side dish!!
    What do you think??... Are you going to attempt on making any of this recipes??? I will totally would recomend both of them, and will make an other post for you soon!!.. So excited to tell you about this past weekend!!


    Friday, May 11, 2012

    Living in Minnesota in the spring... is like the best thing ever!!!...  (with "Enchiladas Potosinas")

    The picture above is an inspirational picture from the blooming tulips that I took with my phone… but to start with today’s blog’s I guess that I have to say that I am extremely happy that the winter cold is in the past and that for couple of months here in the cities we will be able to have decent weather and then just couple of weeks with amazing summer and then back to the cold again… I guess this is something I will never understand, coming from were warm weather is a normal statement, Minneapolis in the other hand, just makes me feel like I live in my ice cube for more than ¾ parts of the year…

    I had an interesting couple days… Yesterday I had my photography class examination, and was very interesting how I being improving, my skills, I have something for architecture and weird details is something that my classmates made me realize yesterday, and certainly like that!!.. I wish I can start improving my portraiture photography, but the hubby gets in a mood to not cooperate at all, so I will have to find a way to improve.. if you wanna take a look at my photographs here is the link:  here couple of them, that are my little favorites:

    I called this one "Meet me for coffee" and is following the "Light Painting" technique... so in love with it!!... (what do you think??)

    This one is "The gold medal sign" that is a typical landmark of the City of Minneapolis, since it face the Mississippi river, I really like the cool reflection that my lens created!

    In other crazy ideas, I want to share with you today my first recipe in this blog

    I am a big lover of REAL Mexican food, and just get insulted must of the time with what Americans call “Mexican food” Yes, I know, here in Minnesota we are far far faaaar away from the border that there is just a glimpse of idea of what that really is… so, the other day I was watching online a good TV chef from Mexico, she works in a Morning show called “Venga la Alegria” and she presented a delicious recipe called “Enchiladas Potosinas”, this is not the typical idea of what in USA is categorized as “Enchiladas” this ones and the REAL Mexican ones don’t have rice, or beans or weird things inside…. (I am not saying that those ones are not good… I meet my hubby because he gave me the AMERICAN recipe for enchiladas, so don’t give me wrong, but back then, 4 years ago, I was not even able to boil water…. And I am not laying, I have being running a milestone, and so happy now I can cook for me, the hubs and my friends from around the world…)

    …OK, I think I got immersed on my thoughts and don’t want to make you get board… so here you go…

    Enchiladas Potosinas.

    • 1 kilo of corn tortilla dough*
    • 6 Guajillo chilies (easy to find in the Hispanic isle in the grocery stores if you don't want it super spicy, you can just put 2-3 to get the color in the tortillas)
    • ¼ cup water
    • Salt to taste

    For the filling:
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 200g of grated cheese
    • 1/4 cup green sauce “Salsa verde”

    To garnish:
    • Lettuce slice
    • Avocado
    • Sour Cream


    *I made my own corn tortilla dough with couple of cups of “white corn flour” that can be found in the Hispanic isle in the grocery stores and couple of cups of warm water, a pinch of salt and mixed them with the electric mixer for 4 minutes in low speed, until while you touch it is not sticky… I usually get 8 good size tortillas per cup of corn flower, so you can figure the end product quantities pretty easy.

    1. Hydrate the chiles in hot water, seeded and deveined until thoroughly soft. (I did boil the water with salt and put the chiles there for 5 minutes before I turn off the heat, then I just did let them stay there for like 30 minutes to get softer)

    2. In a blender grind the chiles with the water until dough is smooth and well blended. (I used the same water were they were I boiled them)

    3. Knead the dough for tortillas with guajillo sauce and season with salt to taste (Since you did read my recipe above for the corn tortillas, I used couple cups of the flour and instead of warm water I used the warm blend of water and chiles)

    4. Make balls of the same size and cover with a damp cloth or plastic (you can get 16 good size “balls”, my secret is to divide them first in half, then in half again.. and so on, until I divide the dough in 16 simillar size balls).

    5. In a skillet with a little oil fry the onion until it becomes soft, transparent add the cheese and some “salsa verde” (you don’t need to much salsa because you don’t want the filling to be to liquid, you want it to be more in to the chunky side, if not while you continue with this recipe you will make a terrible mess)

    6. In a tortilla press with plastic (I use parchment paper) make an omelette with the mass of guajillo, (If you don’t have a tortilla press, don’t worry, you can use a big circular plate as a press, you will get the same results) fill with the onion mixture with cheese and press the ends to close.

    7. In a skillet with a little oil fry cooking enchiladas from both sides.

    I did let the oil to drain for a little with some kitchen napkings to reduce the fat...

    8. Serve with lettuce, avocado and cream to taste, and "voilà"

    This is the original post that I used, so pretty much I am just kinda translate it to English and added some personal comments after making them…

    So tell me... Are going to try to make this ORIGINAL recipe???... and if you do, don't forget to post a picture or a comment!!.. I will be super super happy to listen about it!!!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Just excited to start blogging

    Today I decided to start a blog, it may take some time from me to be completely committed to do it, but I found blogging extremely interesting, I still don't have a plan on what I am going to blog about, but I know time will help me decide...

    Here is one of my favorite pictures... I am taking photography classes and I am happy that I am improving my technics, I don't have idea why, but lately night photography is something I am enjoying... Can't wait for summer to be here so I can spend more time out ;)

    My fist post from my phone!!